Freehaven Online is more than a game to Justine. By day, she creates monsters for the world, by night she's raiding dungeons. Most importantly, it's her one connection to her dead brother whose buffs still linger within the game.
When his virtual shrine is threatened by an update Justine reforges his guild to complete the Dragonsbane quest in his honor. As an experienced tank, she's no stranger to the bandit attacks, PvP combat, and dragons Freehaven will throw at her.
Little does she know, a hacker organization known as Archangel tampers with the update, leaving thousands of players, including Justine, stranded in full immersion virtual reality. As if that weren't strange enough, NPCs are getting smarter, and some marooned players don't want to escape. They're ready to jump at the chance for virtual immortality.
Justine must temper the fervent emotions stirring in her guild and unite them to complete the quest. If she doesn't, friends will break from sanity, and others will die in real life.
My Opinion: 586 pages, $5.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited
This is the author’s first novel. There are some things I thought were well done but overall it was a hard to care about the characters, and the plot twists weren’t setup well.
Things I liked
-Good introduction with details about loss of family
-Thoroughly described game mechanics that were consistently applied throughout the story.
-Decent action scenes.
-Good tactics from players in fighting different opponents.
Things I didn’t like
-I never cared for the main character (MC) or really any characters. The MC kept switching between different alts so it was hard to connect to any of her avatars. She’d be a half elf, then a dwarf paladin, then a monk, then her brothers male combat character.
-The MC didn’t feel like she earned anything. Everything the MC starts out with are either items she got from her brother’s character or things she added as a dev. This includes some really cool items like flaming motorcycles, a whole guild keep, and all the major quests in the story. Cool stuff, but nothing she worked to get.
-The story twists aren’t setup well. About half way into the game, this turns into a trapped in the game story. There’s no foreshadowing that a group is going to take over the system, or that the VR tech even allows for the kind of ‘mind trapped in the game’ setup. At one point a bad guy even says that the game will keep them alive, but again no setup that the tech allows for long term immersion.
Overall, there’s nothing technically wrong with the story. I just couldn’t connect with the main character or her pick up group. So I found it hard to care about anything they did or the stakes that were setup. Even the last twist at the end, which should have made me feel ‘OMG!’, I was like, ‘Meh’.
Score: 6 out of 10