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Discordia: The Eleventh Dimension Paperback – October 5, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

To the detriment of his schoolwork, Lance Taylor spends every spare minute on his computer playing the game Discordia. His online gaming buddy, MrsKeller, whom he has never seen in person, is just as addicted as he is. One night while online, Lance and MrsKeller, who turns out to be male, are unexpectedly transported into another dimension where Discordia is a real place and they are actually living the game. They have been summoned by TheGreatOne, a zombie who needs their help to steal the wand of the powerful sorceress Alchemia. On their quest, Lance and MrsKeller meet Rayva, a slave girl who has managed to escape her cruel masters and who may be a gamer as well. After a long, dangerous journey, the three friends manage to secure the wand. But while frantically trying to pass through a portal to their home dimension, they become separated, and Lance ends up back in his bedroom in the "real" world while the other two, especially Rayva, may still be in dire straits. This novel's premise lacks originality, and its plot tends to unravel toward the end of the book. Nevertheless Salmon writes an electrifying adventure story that will keep readers captivated. Her disturbing, dreamlike images and graphic violence are best suited to older teens, especially those familiar with gaming. The cliffhanger ending will leave readers hooked and eager for the sequel. A helpful players' manual and a glossary of gaming terms for "noobs" are included at the end of the book. Reviewer: Dotsy Harland --VOYA --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Review

Lance is your everyday New York City teen, juggling school and parents as best he can, but really living for the mystical online world of Discordia, where he comes alive as his alter ego, a level 17 zombie sorcerer. But the line between reality and online gaming blurs and then fades altogether when he and his friend MrsKeller are recruited to join the Awaken Myths Guild by TheGreatOne, a level 60 player. Suddenly, a snow day in the Big Apple becomes a journey though an unknown but oddly familiar landscape, where little-if anything-makes sense anymore. Using what they know from having played the game, they do their best to adapt to their circumstances and start a journey looking for answers. Separating friend from foe is only part of the challenge, especially after Lance finds himself slowly but surely turning into his zombie avatar. This is Alice in Wonderland turned upside down and made into a whiz-bang, nonstop read for the modern gamer. The only thing wrong with this book is its cliffhanger ending; readers will hope Salmon writes fast. (Science fiction. 10 & up) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Series: Discordia
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Book CH; Reprint edition (October 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423111109
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423111108
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,948,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audible Audio Edition
Lance, a zombie sorcerer, is always playing in the virtual world Discordia with his virtual friend MrsKeller. In this world, there are two sides: the zombies and the normal humans. The zombies can gain strength by eating others. Of course, Lance chooses to be a zombie. He takes the world and game playing so seriously. One day, he actually ends up being sucked into the real Discordia along with his virtual friend MrsKeller. You'd think the oddest thing is that MrsKeller is actually a guy, though it's not. Lance is convinced that he's actually turning into a zombie, just like TheGreatOne, the guy who pulled him into the real Discordia.

Together, MrsKeller and Lance travel and try to escape this world of Discordia. Will they ever make it back to the real world?

This book was very unique; I'll definitely give it that. I'm a huge fan of anything video game related, because I find the whole idea of a virtual reality really intriguing. Hey, it is the 21st Century. I've actually never heard of this book before. I picked it up at a library book sale and I was immediately intrigued by the synopsis. I'm glad that I actually bought it.

The characters were pretty cool. I really liked MrsKeller because he knew so much about the world. You could definitely tell that he was serious about his gaming. I also found it really cool that they found another person, Rayva, who might've possibly been originally from the normal world. The only thing is, she's been in the world for so long that she probably forgot about where she actually came from. She's been living like a peasant for as long as she can remember.

Another really interesting thing about this book was the gamer's manual.
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Format: Hardcover
Although Lance is still a n00b in the MMOG (massively multiplayer online game), Discordia, he feels much more at home in the online world of the game than in his new school and apartment building.

His zombie sorcerer, also named LANCE, has already reached level 17 with the help of his hobgoblin friend, MRSKELLER, and the two spend many hours flirting and going on quests. Things get even better when a level 60 zombie named THEGREATONE invites both LANCE and MRSKELLER to join in a guild dedicated to leveling up newer players, and then recruits them both for a dungeon quest.

Even though THEGREATONE seems to take the role playing a little too seriously, MRSKELLER points out that they can always leave the guild and ignore him if he turns weird on them.

But things turn a little too weird when, while running from the dungeon in the game, Lance wakes up in a strange land with blood on his hands, face-to-face with real life versions of MRSKELLER and the THEGREATONE.

Once Lance and MrsKeller get over their initial shock, TheGreatOne explains that he has pulled them both into the real world of Discordia, the land in turmoil that inspired the game. Lance and MrsKeller both have the innate ability to transport themselves to the eleventh dimension, and TheGreatOne now needs them to go on a real quest before he will tell them how to get back.

Left with little choice, Lance and MrsKeller embark on their quest, translating their knowledge of the game for use in the real world of Discordia as best they can. When they team up with a runaway slave named Rayva, they realize that they have limited time, because Discordia may claim them forever, along with Lance's humanity.
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Format: Hardcover
While I am not an MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) player, I still really enjoyed this novel. It can be a bit difficult to get into since it starts off with Lance playing the game and if it's not something you're used to, the plot can drag a bit, which it did for me. But once Lance has been pulled in, it becomes like a regular fantasy novel dealing with adventures and quests. The concept is really intriguing, especially in this age of WoW and other MMORPGs, and I loved how Salmon built the game world and the world that Lance gets pulled into (there are differences between the two).

The story is told in third person and it really feels that way- there's a distance between the reader and the characters and so I didn't feel like there was much depth in the characters; it's definitely more of a plot-driven novel than character-driven, which can be very good for reluctant readers, but not necessarily for avid readers (unless of course it's your preference).

I thought the ending was pretty rushed and everything came to an abrupt end in the last 15-20 pages. The story ends on a big cliffhanger, which definitely leaves me wanting more. Overall, I'd say it's an above average novel but nothing to write home about. If you're into fantasy and/or MMOs, this is the book for you. For people new to MMOs though, there is an introduction and user manual plus glossary in the front and back of the book, respectively.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fast moving, imaginative, witty, this is a classic fantasy journey with a modern twist. Some readers (particulary pre-digital-agers) may be surprised by the gamer's setting, but portals between our world and other worlds are a staple of fantasy fiction (think as far back as the Narnia classics or the The Neverending Story). That traditional conceit is transformed here in a satisfyingly original way and it is tremendous fun -I won't spoil it by revealing too much. The story is full of vivid detail and has a witty tone that doesn't take itself too seriously. The land of Discordia feels more than real as the human characters adjust to their transformed selves in a new (and yes, dangerous) world. Look for incredible fun as they discover what loot really looks like and tastes like and find out how it feels to actually encounter a sobbing Banshee with one huge nostril. Anyone who enjoys fantasy science fiction will have a blast with this new and welcome addition to the genre.
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