There’s no problem a cupcake can’t solve.
M.I.T. calls her a genius, her mother calls her Cupcake, her buddies call her Princess Cuddle Fluff and she’s here to kick butt and blow stuff up. At least until she realizes she’s stuck. Eleven-year-old Mayah’s just collateral damage in an investigation by a government that’s intent on keeping control of its finances. Now she’s trapped in the Virtual Reality of Ruins of Majesta waging the war for her life the only way she can, by questing, leveling up and sewing.
She’s attempting to unravel the mystery of who did this to her and why. She’s angry as shaz and out for blood. The same blood the parental filters won’t let her see. So instead she’d be happy smashing them into a hole with her hammer and tossing in a few grenades for good measure. Involving her in their plans was the worst idea the government cronies ever had. If you’re going to be stupid enough to fight a genius, …DON’T!!!
Follow Mayah through the Ruins of Majesta, as she unlocks its mysteries, and tries to escape its deadly clutches.
This novel is a combination of big hammers, cats, books, enchanting, snark, necromancy, leveling, government conspiracies, financial revolutions, grandmothers, Evil sentient computer viruses, crafting, duels, getting gear, friendship, Happiness and sweet, sweet XP.
Safe for the kids Great for the adults.
This book Is GameLit / LitRPG and contains very visible RPG, video game mechanics, and fights that are integral to the story. No blood or cursing, though.
My Opinion: 550 pages??, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Full Disclosure: I received an advanced copy for review. I purchased a copy when it became available.
This is a trapped in the game, slice of life story, with cyber punk sub threads. There’s lot of good action but a good portion of the story is about crafting. Which I love, but not everyone will. But there’s lots of other things for people to enjoy.
Things I like:
-Great character build up, especially in the beginning. The author does a great job of establishing personality for the main character (MC) and her family. You kind of fall in love with Mayah, an eleven year old black girl, and a child genius among gifted high school students. She a fierce kid that will stand up to people talking down to her or trying to take advantage just cause she’s eleven. She’s smart enough to see through the B.S. that most adults put out and is a little jaded because of it. But at the same time, she’s still a kid and doesn’t even recognize when she develops her first crush until her, wiser more and emotionally mature, mom points it out to her.
-There are a few places where that character breaks a little and you feel like you’re seeing more of the author, like an eleven year old making ‘that’s what she said’ jokes. But for the most part the MC is consistent.
-Crafting. Boy is there crafting in this story. And it’s just so good too. There are really great ideas and combinations of trade skills and magic systems. There’s so much great crafting!
-Did I already mention crafting? Training scenes are nice too.
-Good secondary characters. I don’t love anyone as much as I do the MC but they’re still well developed. They have good personalities but also their own flaws and character development paths.
Game mechanics are very thoroughly described and they feel like they matter to the story. Fundamentally, there’s not much new here. When characters level they get points to improve themselves, or they can train to improve. Skills can be learned or purchased and improve through use. Magic is one of the few things restricted by level. What the story does do is combine familiar game mechanic elements into a deeper, entertaining story. The MC is intelligent enough to recognize the rules and exploits every loophole she can find to her advantage.
The only place I think more explanation would have helped was with understanding the difference between stats and attributes. For some reason they’re separated. Characters get separate points for each but there’s not really a good explanation of why they’re separated or what applying a point specifically does to each. It doesn’t help that the MC hoards her stat and attribute points till the end of the story so there’s not a natural place early on to address it.
Things I thought could have been done better:
-The cyber punk stuff. Not a big fan of it in general. It’s always a weird thing when coding problems can only be solved from inside the game.
-While the cyber punk stuff, whether real world or game part, is interesting, there’s not much resolution on that end. It’s mostly setup for future stories.
-I really thought the avatar virus things was a bit of a wasted opportunity for character growth.
-Better antagonists. There are a couple introduced but they end up being little more than one shot characters. There’s no one that really ends up being the foil for the MC.
Overall, I had a good time reading this. There are places things could have been trimmed down a bit, it’s kind of massive novel, but it’s a good action, crafting story. I will note that there is a bit of a cliffhanger ending, which bothers some people. But for me, it just makes me want to read the next volume sooner.
Score: 7 out of 10