As an ex-MMORPGer (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) this book caught my attention by its somewhat novel concept; aliens invade Earth an..Show More »d give us peace and a virtual realty game the whole galaxy is playing. Not the usual outcome of such a scenario that you've probably come to expect. I gave up MMORPGs as I no longer have the time, but miss the fun, challenges and character building. So bear that in mind as it will colour my views.
The author has obviously has played MMORPGs. A lot. The book delights in the player's experience of building a character and is heavy on game mechanics. Heavy yes, but not to the point of being distracting. With an engaging and novel story concept, the reader experiences all the major aspects of what a player has to contend with when playing a MMORPG: character creation; chosing skills; chosing a moral standpoint; decision making - the list goes on.
But before all this sounds somewhat dull, it is presented against the backdrop of a very interesting story concept. Aliens "invade" Earth and stop humanity from tearing itself apart with war, famine, bigotry and the rest. They give us technology. They give us The Game, a virtual reality simulation where players from cross the galaxy interact, trade, do business, fall in love, and go to war. For the game is the only place where war is now fought. Our protagonist, Alan, is a newbie only equiped with an seemingly overpowered AI assistant Eve. He enters this virtual world only to find that there is a lot more to it than he ever inagined and that the actions in the game will have far reaching and devastating consequences back in the real world.
For the first published book by unknown Cosimo Yap, this really was a pleasant and engaging surprise. So much so that I went looking for the print version only to disappointingly discover there is none. It was also disappointing to discover that volume two is not yet available on Audible, simply as it is still being written.
My Audible reading list is already set for the next few months, but when book two arrives - and I really hope it does - it will be bumped to the head of the queue.