Three days before his high school graduation, Jacob Milroy learns that the military draft has been reinstated. With a war raging on the other side of the world, he realizes that he might soon be thrust into battle.
But then a groundbreaking contest within the immersive virtual reality game, Solaria Online, is announced by its visionary creator, a man who has grand plans for the human race. The prize for four lucky winners: recruitment into the Mars Colonization Initiative (and exemption from the draft).
Will Jacob be able to assemble his dream team in time to compete in the first round of the contest? With so much at stake and so many players vying for the adventure of a lifetime, he’ll have to rely on his wit and ingenuity to have a fighting chance.
My Opinion: 289 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Jacob is teen is turning 18 who’ll soon be graduating high school. He loves playing the best VRMMO Solaris. Only soon he’ll have to sign up for the draft and be sent off to war, unless he wins a contest set up by Solaris. The company promises that the 4 lucky players that win the game contest will instead get a ticket to help colonize Mars.
The first 33% of the novel sets up all the details from the description, establishes who Jacob and who he chooses for his ‘dream team’ of players to help win the Solaris contest.
There is also a real life storyline with Jacob rebelling against his parents and figuring out how to live in real life while playing in this contest.
Jacob’s gaming group consists of: Himself, his best friend, a girl they sort of know in real life, and a 35-year old that MC met in game. There’s also a badass fighter girl neighbor girl knows but she leaves the team in what feels like a very forced way. Heck, the group feels pretty random and there’s little to no backstory on most of them.
There are some descriptions given about monsters and gear and a little about leveling but it all really doesn’t matter.
At about the 33% mark, the contest actually starts and contestants levels reset to level 1 and they're able to create a new character or modify reset one. The contest will take place in a new unique realm in game with new NPCS and monsters. So any information the reader has gotten in now useless. One life for the contest. Die once and you lose.
There are some interesting twists to the game contest but not enough to make it a page turner.
Overall, this was just an ok read. The game mechanics in the story are never fully fleshed out. Heck, I didn’t even know there was magic in the game until about 45% into the story. The contest itself is a series of fights. However, most of the combat is just mediocre.
Score: 5 out of 10.