A gamer girl plays for her life.
There are seven stages of grief. Tatiana finds herself stuck in anger. Diagnosed with an inoperable, terminal brain cancer, she rails against fate as her choices get taken away one by one. Only two things prevent her from falling into the sixth stage – depression. The first is Grimdark Adventures Online, where she has two characters/avatars, one a brutal male Battle-Knight, the other a gorgeous Rogue. The second liberating thing: insurance.
When her real-life body dies, the insurance will allow her to escape extinction by paying for her upload into the game as a perma-player, ensuring that she will never reach the seventh stage – acceptance. She need only choose which character her consciousness will inhabit.
Perma-players can’t level up as quickly or easily as Players, so Tatiana spends her last days in the hospital playing the game, leveling up where she can and venting her rage in battle and mayhem.
When a demon in the game threatens to steal from her her final choices by permanently killing both of her characters, forcing her to upload as an unknown at Level 1, Tatiana knows desperation. She must either accede to the demon’s wishes by going on a quest, or meekly accept the unacceptable.
Backed by a flying dragon, she sends her Rogue character into the unknown to battle orcs, mages, and cannibalistic goblins. Determined to win through despite the odds, she refuses to accept any possibility other than victory. But, even should she win through, she can only hope that the demon will keep his word, freeing her to make her final choice before it gets made for her.
My Opinion: 248 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Easy review. This is a boring story. The core premise of the entire novel hinges on a player believing that some random voice in her character’s head is a demon that is aware he’s a character in a game and has the power to delete her main and alt characters. None of which is established in the story as being possible before.
So, instead of logging out and reporting a bug or even commenting on the fact that this NPC demon is self aware, the woman believes him and lets the demon possess her body.
This sets the tone for the novel. The woman just does everything this demon tells her and goes on this adventure to collect three talismans and beat a high level guild, all by herself. Any time things get tough, there’s some magic wand waving and things just somehow work out. This level of unrealistic response just makes the whole story boring because no matter what happens, you know the main character is going to win. Even if she, as a low level character, is facing a guild full of high level characters. Or as happens early in the story, she magically beats a room full of armed men, even though she is naked and unarmed.
On the game mechanics side, things are light too. There’s plenty of gamer references but the actual mechanics are limited to an occasional character description, short character sheet, and a health bar that appears during combat. Everything else is written as fantasy.
Score: 5 out of 10