Rejoin Alburet Two-souled as his journey in Alpha World continues. He has two quests that still need to be resolved; one that deals with Nobility, while the other is from the Dark Lord. Before he can deal with either of them, Mindblown brings down the server. As they are about to launch a mass scale immersion testing phase.
Gerald, Marysue, Karen and Fluffball are four of the lucky ones selected for the testing phase. Gerald plans to drum up recruitment for the guild, Alpha Company, during the meet and greet before the immersion testing starts.
The quartet of newly minted friends will meet for the first time in the real world. Will they get along or will something force them apart before the game goes back on-line with them immersed.
Welcome to Book 3 of Alpha World: Alpha Company. It is based on the newly minted guild getting its feet under it and seeing what they can do as hundreds of new long-term testers get used to the idea of long term immersion.
(This book still contains adult themes, like the first two did. if you didn't care for them, you probably won't care for this one either. You've been warned twice now, don't say I didn't warn you. The detail of the adult content didn't increase, but it is still present.)
My Opinion: 409 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Full disclosure I received an advanced copy of this novel for review. Just an FYI, Adult themes exist in this story but they’re not a huge part of the story. Also non-traditional relationships are discussed in this novel.*
There are three story threads in the novel. 1) Guild stuff: Recruiting, guiding, Dealing with jerks, plans to grow, contests, raid plans. 2) Plot advancement: deal with nobles, heir thing, deadlands stuff, stuff with the dark one. 3) Personal stuff with MC. Polyamory stuff. Dealing with psychological issues. Personal stuff with Karen and Fluff.
The first two story threads are good. The new developments that happen with all the new guild members and plans to help the guild grow are fun and interesting. The main plot of the story advances too. These are good storylines and lots of great RPG action occurs in the story. There are plenty of cool fights. On it’s own, these elements of the novel would get a 7 out of 10.
However, the author does something in this novel that elevates the story from good to great. That third thread is so interesting and is developed in such a cool way that I couldn't help but give the story a score of 8 out of 10.
*Minor Spoilers ahead*
Ok. The details about that third thread of personal development are going to get minorly spoilery.
There are two things that I found utterly fascinating about this novel.
The first, is that there are several frank several discussions, mostly late in the story, about polyamorous relationships. Even though I personally, am not interesting in this type of relationship, it was still utterly fascinating to see these characters talk about it. It was almost like I was getting a transgressive peek into the pillow talk of a group of friends I knew. The dialogue in these sections reveals that each person has their own issues and hangups. They each also have their own specific needs both emotionally and physically. The attraction of the polyamorous relationship for these characters is as much about emotional needs/fulfillment as sexual desires.
The second extra interesting aspect of the story is the psychological exploration of the past of several characters by exploring their memories. Stacia, as a succubus, has some dream/memory walking power that allows her to explore a person’s memories. Think of the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and those memory explorations. It’s like that but less weird and more revealing of traumatic pasts. I mean, there are some serious revelations for some characters through this. The disclosure of these traumatic memories and their exploration in the story create a bond with the reader. I think it’s a great way to reveal backstory and hidden motivations of the characters.
Overall, I had a good time reading about all the normal action-adventure MMO stuff and the guild expanding adds some interesting stories. However, it’s the exploration and discussion of polyamorous relationship and the psychological exploration through memory sifting that pushes the story to a 8 out of 10.
Score: 8 out of 10