I remember the first day I picked up Dawn of the Realms. I remember turning to my best friend in the world, Sara, and telling her I was finally getting to play the game of my dreams.
I hadn't previously shown any skills in prophecy, so we'll chalk it down to the world having a sense of humor.
Six weeks later, I went to sleep in my bedroom after a long night of gaming, only to wake up again as my avatar within the game. From that point forward, every night, I woke up as my character within Dawn of the Realms. Except not just in the game - in a real, vibrant fantasy world, populated with real people. And plagued by real monsters.
This is the story of my first week within the Realms. The friends I made, the adventures I had, and the beginnings of a story that would envelop not just the game world, but my own.
My Opinion: 294 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
I’ll be completely honest. The author wrote into the podcast and asked that I review his novel. He said it was ok if the review wasn’t good, he’s looking for criticism.
So, here it goes. The writing at the beginning of this story is bad. I mean, there are so many issues that it’s going to be hard for many people to get past it.
Not only is there constant tense changing, the tenses aren’t even used correctly. The past is talked about in the present tense and the present is in the past tense. There are also time-line jumps where the main character is in the present, then he just decides to describe some history element of the game he’s been playing. Then he might shift to a future event. Very confusing stuff.
However, the writing does get better, eventually. It’s never great but it does become more consistent and understandable. Either that or my brain just began to ignore the issues.
The core story idea in the novel is neat. A college student is having these weird recurring dreams of himself inside the MMO he’s been playing on his PC. These dreams are so vivid he just explores the world for the first few night. On the third night, he accepts a quest from a pretty girl to clear the forest of rodents. There he fights the creatures and wins, suffering only minor wounds. However, when he wakes up he’s battered and bruised. He even bares a bite mark on his arm, in the exact same place the rat in the dream bite him. The question becomes, Is the main character (MC) connecting to the MMO in his dreams? Or is the MMO connecting to some other parallel world? Or is something else happening? If he’s showing injuries from his fight, what happens if he dies in his dream?
A good section of the novel goes on to explore those questions. The MC starts to involve his friends and it turns into a more predictable adventure story. The MC and his group get a rival, go on some quests, and defeat the big bad guy by the end.
Overall, the story is rather predictable but the core story idea has promise. The ending neatly ties things up and has the potential to take the story in interesting directions. The novel’s biggest flaw is the bad writing. It’s especially bad in the beginning of the novel and even though it gets a bit better as the story goes on, most people won't be able to get past that bad start.
Score: 5 out of 10