I’ve heard so many good things about this book, and so I had the audiobook in my library nearly on release day… and then the sequel… and still didn’t manage to actually get to them until now (I’M WORKING ON YOU, 150 UNLISTENED BOOKS).
So, what better time than now?! 😀
IT’S NOT A GAME ANYMORE…
In the real world, twenty-one-year-old library sciences student Tina Anderson is invisible and under-appreciated, but in the VR-game Forever Fantasy Online she’s Roxxy—the respected leader and main tank of a top-tier raiding guild. Her brother, James Anderson, is a college drop-out struggling under debt, but in FFO he’s famous—an explorer known all over the world for doing every quest and collecting the rarest items.
Both Tina and James need the game more than they’d like to admit, but their favorite escape turns into a trap when FFO becomes real. Suddenly, wounds aren’t virtual, the stupid monsters have turned cunning, NPCs start acting like actual people, and death might be forever.
In the real world, everyone said being good at video games was a waste of time. Now, separated across a much larger and more deadly world, their skill at FFO is the only thing keeping them alive. It’s going to take every bit of their expertise (and hoarded loot) to find each other and get back home, but as the harshness of their new reality sets in, Tina and James soon realize that being the best in the game might no longer be good enough.
This is the story of Tina Anderson and her brother James who are avid players of Forever Fantasy Online, which is a full VR MMORPG. One day, they are playing just like normal when with a shudder and a shake, the entire game becomes real. Dying is really death, zones are really huge, and enemies are rather sentient, now.
Roxxy, a paladin and the guild leader of the one of the top raiding guilds has to lead her people from an unbeatable raid to the sanctuary of a friendly fortress without them dying.
James, a healer, is stuck in the staring area for the cat people, and those cat people are *not* happy with him. They know he’s a player, and they say that he and his people have kept them enslaved in a nightmare for the last 80 years. He has to convince them that he means them no harm and that they probably shouldn’t murderkill him into a million pieces.
I have played a lot of MMO games over the years, and this one brought to mind some of the best times I’ve had with them. I met my husband in World of Warcraft (while making fun of way-too-serious guild leaders in /tells in Molten Core while fighting Ragnaros. True story. It was destiny. ❤️❤️❤️). But this one brought everything from WoW to FFXI/XIV and Everquest II and even Skyrim sometimes to mind, in the best way possible. Maaan, I sort of miss those days. Memories.
Anyways, back to this audiobook! This was a fantastic adventure that was never slow and never boring. It switches back and forth between Tina and James, who are not… really on speaking terms right at this particular moment due to strife both in game and in real life. So, we have them in different places doing different things but still having to more or less be the voice of reason. One to a group of tired and annoyed raiders that don’t understand what all the stakes are, and the other in a group of rather hostile NPCs.
I cheered hard for the both of them, usually. Tina was a bit over-the-top at times, I can still understand where she was coming from. James I cheered for most of the entire book. I wanted him to win, to make the cat-people and the gnolls become… less enemies with each other. Frenemies, perhaps. Through the power of winging it, mainly. As one does, in these sorts of situations.
It was interesting to think how people/personalities/likes and dislikes and so on would change if you were suddenly your character. There are a couple female characters who are really male in the real world, so they suddenly have to deal with all kinds of new and different experiences. Some food doesn’t seem appetizing to some while it seems delicious to others.
It made me think what I would be like if one of the games I played with any great regularity were to suddenly become real. If it were FFXI, I’d have been a gangly elf with an admittedly sweet AF feather hat. If it were WoW, I would have been either a blue cannibal or a cow who turns into a fat giant owl… and if it were FFXIV… I’d have been a cat-man in a bathing suit.
Look, I never said I wasn’t ridiculous. >.>
And it was a nice bathing suit! ^_^
All told, I had a really great time with this book, and I can’t wait until I manage to get the sequel into my earholes. I must know what happens next! 4.5/5 stars!~
I really loved this one. Rachel Aaron is quickly becoming one of my top authors and probably the only one right now that is an auto-buy.
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