Fresh out of prison Mr. Abbott has chosen to abandon the real world and enter a fantasy realm where the wealthy and dying have gone to live forever or so they thought. Will Mr. Abbott find a purpose and trustworthy allies in this new reality? Or will magic, deception, and other’s greed end him before he gets the chance? Welcome to Abarrane.
My Opinion: 82 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Full disclosure: I received an advanced copy for review. I purchased the novel when it became available.
There are story ideas in this that I really like. The big villain introduced is very interesting and I liked that the game world allowed for people to be evil. Unfortunately, none of those good story ideas are really developed fully. Instead, the story shifts from idea to idea and it makes for an unfocused story.
Game mechanic wise, there’s lots of information given. Damage notifications, character sheets, stats are shown. However, with two exceptions, nothing here is special. Exception one: players get to be monster races and have unique features like eating humans regenerates health, or a compulsion to read every book. Exception two: Stats act like qualifiers, determining what a player can do. Like needing a five in intelligence to speak properly or a perception of five to even have a chance to see traps.
Story-wise, it’s unfocused. It starts out as a kind of trapped in the game story with a neat twist, then becomes dungeon dive, then it moves into world exploration. However, the thing that really drags the story down for me is that none of the story conflicts have resolutions. By conflicts, I don’t mean the fights, those are fine. The big story troubles that are introduced and setup in the story just don’t get resolved. The author may intend to resolve these conflicts in another books in the series, but because it’s not resolved here the story left me unsatisfied.
Overall, I think the series may have potential. But in this novella, the story is unfocused, and the major conflicts are left unresolved. So it just wasn’t a satisfying read. Though I’ll likely give book 2 a chance because of some of the interesting ideas introduced in the story.
Score: 6 out of 10