Review: Nightmare Keep by Phil Tucker

41432577I’ve been looking forward to getting this one into my ear-holes since I finished Death March. I’m having one of those stints of not being able to get as many audiobooks as usual in though because work has been…. strange. Ehhh so it goes. So, when I finally had a good day of time for audio, I gladly listened to as much of this story in the Euphoria Online series as I could.

I’ve managed to survive my first week in Euphoria Online. But I couldn’t have done it without my new friends. Lotharia. Falkon. The Green Liver goblins. 

But now Lotharia’s gone missing. Swallowed by that nightmare keep. Lost to the darkness. 

Everyone’s telling me that going after her is madness. That I don’t have a chance in hell. 

But I’m not the kind of guy to turn my back on my friends. 

Damn the odds. 

I’m going to find her.

Ahhhh man. This was a great addition to this series. In this one, Chris’ new friend Lotharia has disappeared into the titular Nightmare Keep after the events of the last novel, and Chris makes it his main goal to get her back.

Through goblins and undead, and more goblins and crazy exes, and… a group of high level mercenary players intent on finding the treasure of Nightmare Keep… and being assholes in general while trying, and then some decidedly creepy shit in the actual Keep itself…. he is dead set on getting her back.

This one, just like the first, was a really great listen. The plot flowed really well, and the book was never boring. Twists and turns made it really interesting, and I found myself getting all kinds of work done as I listened to this one in huge chunks during my work day. Parts of this one were legitimately feels inducing too, as we’re starting to find out just how crazy Euphoria can be.

Chris is a great character, and it’s really hard not to root for him. Falkon is another character that I’ve really identified with… the main reason being that in the last two or three MMO games that I played with any regularity, I played a male character (which was apparently *super* confusing. I mean for the amount of dudes who play female characters in MMO games… you’d think….? But, no. Super, super confusing, in my experience!) ^_^

There were a few parts here that got really deep as well, especially between Chris and his psycho ex girlfriend, and just how toxic that relationship was, and continues to be, really. Chris’ relationship with his friends, new allies, and possible allies whose true goals are sort of up in the air. Nightmare Keep is much, much more than it seems, and it was a truly exciting adventure trying to figure out what was going to happen next. This series is so well thought out and put together with really details about not only the stats and abilities that Chris gets, but also bits of Chris’s life outside of the game and a bit more of an in-depth look at the things that lead him to start playing the game in the first place. It really is engrossing in not only the gaming parts but the real life parts as well. Though it isn’t pointed out too often, I never forgot why Chris was doing what he was doing. There was always a little bit of real-life consequences added to the obvious in-game consequences in the back of my mind while I listened.

Once again, Vikas Adam nails the narration on this one, but at this point, there is never any question on that front, at least to me. He just has a pleasant sounding voice, and is one of those narrators that I can just… listen to for long periods. One would assume that most narrators would have this quality, but for me it’s really more rare than you’d think. He narrates a few other LitRPG books that I’ve been planning on listening to for a while, so I’m quite excited to explore this genre a little more with his help.

I mean, who wouldn’t want to stare at this all the time? Me-ow and what have you. My husband of course being the lovely one-eyed catwoman in this picture… okay I might be able to understand why this could be confusing… but ‘wait, which one of you is the dude?’ was too hilarious every time. ^_^

All told, this was another win from Phil Tucker. I think it’s pretty safe to say at this point that I’m never disappointed with anything he writes. His characters just grab my attention and hold on tight until the end, and like Asho and Acharsis grabbed hold and took me on grand adventures, Chris definitely has as well. I’m excited to see what is in store for him in the final book in this series. 5/5 stars! Onto book three!


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