Beware the Dragonrider’s Fury; even the gods fear its justice. - The First Dragonrider
-Boh’s Journal, March 13th, N167
It started with a card in a cafe. An invitation to an exclusive world called Seventh Talon, and it only asked one question before I agreed. Do you want to be a Dragonrider?
It said nothing about guns, magic, or heavy metal, those were just added incentive. It also said nothing about the secrets, betrayals, and politics of a dragon run society. Dragons that would rather eat me than listen to what I had to say, horrible way to win an argument in my opinion.
Nor did it tell me that the biggest enemy I would have to fight was myself.
Author Note: The main character of this book does not leave Seventh Talon. If you are curious about the first chapter, Odditek Online, and Neuroma, then please read my Office War series. Office Wars takes place in the same world, just a different part of Odditek Online and follows a different character arc. It provides a lot more information about Neuroma, Odditek, and the sectors.
Also, I do add in easter eggs from the various books too. It is a fun way to reward my readers.
My Opinion: 444 pages, $4.99, Kindle Unlimited
Note: An unusual number of spelling and grammar errors. Even some unfinished sentences. It may bother some people.
Just a quick warning. If you’re expecting anything like Office Wars, you’re going to be disappointed. It’s set in the same Odditek universe, but is in a separate VR world that the main character never leaves.
Having said that, I would have liked a little more connection or explanation about what the Odditek universe was in the story. Even just a paragraph in the beginning about it being a VR multiverse would have made the introduction into the story a little smoother. Having read Office Wars, I got it but someone new to the series might have a harder time understanding what’s happening.
In general there are some really good things in this story. The magic system and game mechanics are in depth and rather cool. I loved that there’s a kind of starter zone where the Champions are tested to see who they are and how that affects their stats. It was sort of disappointing that none of the antagonists from that starter island show up in the rest of the story, they were pretty unlikable and I would have liked to see them get their just desserts. Still, there are dragons and dragon riding, and it’s hard to beat that.
Much of the story after the testing island reminds me of Naomi Novak’s Temeraire series, since it combines dragon riding and guns. Though magic is a big thing in this world and it veers more heavily towards fantasy. Still the threat from evil forces creates a good excuse for some great fights against some unusual monsters.
Now, those are the good things I really liked about the story. Unfortunately, the thing that I didn’t like, stopped me from really enjoying the story as a whole. The main character (MC), Boh, is really tough, stubborn, and sometimes grating. These attributes would normally be part of a character development arc where a MC becomes a bit softer or shows some vulnerability over the course of the story, balancing out their personality. You know, the jerk with the heart of gold. While that show of vulnerability comes, it doesn’t occur until more than half way into the story, and then it never really happens again. Yeah, Boh is supposed to have MS but it’s not something the reader ever sees. It's just something referred to and it’s not something that impacts her game play at all, so it’s not something that softens her character at all.
**note: Turns out that there’s a reason the reader doesn’t see her with MS. The author messaged me after he read my review on Amazon and let me know, Boh is totally cured. I just missed the paragraph in the story that reveals it.**
I like strong characters, but it’s hard for me to love them if there’s no vulnerability to show their humanity. Think of all those Clint Eastwood characters. Strong, gruff, even jerks. But somewhere along the way there’s something that shows their actions in another light and some kind of vulnerability to them that softens their behavior bit. That just didn’t happen here with Boh.
Additionally, the whole relationship between Boh and Malinite felt, no pun intended, forced. I liked the story so much more before their stories came together for the 2nd time. Her forgiveness of his part in what amounts to a kind of magical invasion and assault of her, seemed uncharacteristic. Their reconciliation feels like it occurred so there would be some weight to what Malinite’s does in the last scene of the story (I know I’m being vague, I don’t want to spoil things).
Overall, a fine story that a lot of people are going to like. The issues I mentioned with the main character’s development and a few forced plot points just stopped it from being good for me.
Score: 6 out of 10