In the year 2101, ISLANDS allows users to become whoever they want to be.
Nineteen year old Sylvi Grohl is excited for her first semester in a new school, but all thoughts of higher education vanish when she starts receiving strange packages at home. Packages she didn't order.
As Sly delves deeper into the underbelly of ISLANDS to find the source of the mysterious packages, she finds herself caught in a dangerous love triangle in a world where she can't tell friend from foe.
Can she unravel the mystery without alienating everyone around her, or will the consequences of her own actions finally catch up with her?
My Opinion: 281 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Ok. Let me say first off, this novel didn’t work for me. But I think the author has potential. At least there were several aspects of the story that I liked, even if on the whole it didn’t work for me.
First, the stuff I liked: 1) The humor. That’s probably the thing that is best about the novel. It has a snarky, fun, bantery sense of humor. Especially between the main character (MC) and her mother. Lots of good banter there and I liked that relationship a lot. 2) There are several RPG scenes, none of which are the focus of the story, but the last two were good. Liked the Taco Bell sponsored heist quest, liked the last PvP fight.
Onto the stuff that didn’t work for me. 1) The core story is basically a VR Highschool dating drama. Yes, the MC is supposed to be in college, but it really feels like highschool drama since this is the MCs first relationship, first kiss, first time two boys have liked her at the same time and she can’t choose. I’m just not into that kind of story. 2) Next, the RPG stuff felt for the most part like it wasn’t important. It’s just something the MC and her dates do together. Yes, she levels and there is some thought put into her class and race progression, but it doesn’t matter to the story. If you took those parts out and replaced them with other VR date stuff, the story would be basically the same. It is LitPRG, but you can tell that part of the story wasn’t the focus. 3) Combat while semi-regular, isn’t done well until the last couple RPG scenes in the story. 4) The ending, while kinda tense, was a little bit of a let down when it’s revealed who the bad guy is. With the reveal, the reader is given new information in the form of a flashback showing how this started. It’s something there were no hints about and it contradicts information given previously. I get that it’s supposed to be a big mystery, but the way it was setup the reader has absolutely no chance of figuring it out first, which makes it disappointing.
Overall, while there are several aspects I liked, the story on the whole just didn’t work for me. You can tell the author was figuring out his style and while it gets ok eventually, it takes a bit. A bit more than I think most people would be willing to wait. However, readers that do like highschool romance drama, may just like this more than me.
Score: 6 out of 10