So first and foremost disclosure, I kindle borrowed this book from a friend, because I was scared by many reviews saying that if not a gamer you don't need to apply basically. Were they right? Oh IMO absolutely and I *am* a low level gamer, who however plays simple games on Ipad for few years almost every day ( fifteen - thirty min or so), so while I do not by all means claim familiarity with MMO games (never played), I understand the *principle of enjoying the game*. But lack of familiarity with the gaming terms is NOT, I repeat NOT the main reason why this book turned me off so very much. Here is a brilliant review that says almost everything I wanted to say:
I will add few comments and if it comes out as repetitive this is because her review spoke to me so much.
So the first fifty five or so percent of the book and this is a *long* book, Drew gets accepted in his new guild and plays the game. Boy they play a lot of games. Major part of the first fifty five percent reads like this:
"[Yell][ Vilicus]: DELICIOUS AGONY! “Shit.” “Sorry.” “Focus on Bjorn.” “Dave, get Glory.” “Booyah!” “Keep it up.” [Yell][ Vilicus]: DELICIOUS AGONY! “Dave’s down.” “Maaaan, I just got the buff.” “Flesh, flesh!” “Full burn.” [Yell][ Vilicus]: DELICIOUS AGONY! [Raid][ Ialdir]: I’m out [Yell][ Vilicus]: DELICIOUS AGONY! [Raid][ Solace]: Me too [Raid][ Solace]: 3%. You can do it guys"
When we do not have game chat transcripts, we have the following:
"They pressed on to the next area and rained arcane death on their next batch of completely innocent bystanders. By the time they returned to the quest-givers, they’d accumulated enough XP to hit level two, which meant their quests sent them each off to talk to their individual class trainer. Drew got a baseline healing spell called Nourishing Soil, and Solace got Infestation, which turned out to be completely useless at this level because between the two of them, they could kill everything they met before the DoT had a chance to tick".
But note, none of these examples would be a problem for me per se. Granted, there were several words I have to look up in the dictionary at the end (why why the dictionary at the end and not in front of the book), and I was still not sure whether I figured the action correctly, BUT when I enter any setting I am not familiar with, any fantastical world I am not familiar with, I am fine with sink or swim approach as long as I can get the general idea.
And I get that they were fighting in the game, doing something something, trying to obtain something something.
Where I run in the major barrier is when the game did not IMO make the characters change and grow. I mean, in the last thirty - forty percent some growth takes place for one of the characters, but that naturally begged the question for me, was the first fifty - sixty percent just a gaming manual?
Say the book is about two chemists and it describes their work day in every tiny detail with the names of the substances they use in their work. If you are a chemist, you will understand it , of course, if not, not so much, wouldn't you agree that the book where their work is just *there* and does not influence characters' growth does not have strong characterization?
The characters were all just so very one dimensional IMO. The main guys were barely 1.5 dimensional. They had some sweet interactions in the second part of the book - both in real life and in the game, but once again - this book needed to be much thinner, because I just did not see the point for so many pages in the first half, unless once again the book will be called "Gaming manual" with a splush of romance at the end thrown in.
And yes same as Francesca I hated Tinuviel - who talks like that when your friend comes to you for advice? Who talks like this?
In the last forty percent we get some not exactly game related but still close enough interaction between guys in real life, it was quite sweet, but did not save the book for me, considering how many times I wanted to abandon it before but forced myself to soldier on.
Conflict was fine (as if felt organic to who they were, not fake) - even if with obvious answer (yes, you can make some great friendship online too - DUH), but I wish Kit was a tiny bit less of an ass about it, because no, it is not good to be on the phone whole time you are playing a game with your boyfriend's friends even if your other friend was having a personal crisis.
I will add another star for the second part of the book but that's the most I can do.