- File Size: 1903 KB
- Print Length: 421 pages
- Publication Date: February 28, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07B4Q6M8Y
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #614 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Playing For Keeps (Alpha World Book 4) Kindle Edition
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With that out of the way, i want to state how saddened i am that i will not be finishing this book (Made it about 50 pages through before i saw this was going to be more book 3 drivel) nor reading any more of this series... I loved the first book, the second was good and it has gone progressively down hill from there. Not for any other reason than the character development has become more and more filled with "feelingsy crap" and less and less action or focus towards LitRPG (Which is what attracted me to this series in the first place). Most of the story so far, 50 Pages in is their love Quadfest and how they are all hurt and broken people... seriously, who cares. HTFU, move on, and deal with life. Everyone has baggage, get over it. the Characters whine 99% of the time, and Alburet, the protagonist, literally went from this decisive BADASS to a whiny little child who can't make a decision and who cries about how epic his life is. Very little of book 3 was them questing, gaining abilities, loot or all the things a Gamer like myself really enjoys and loves about LitRPG. I cannot stand how much of a little b**** Alburet has become. Author took an amazing series and turned into a twilight crybaby whine fest where everyone sits around and discusses their feelings. Less and less combat, great action, LOOT and epic scale that drew me to this series in the first place (EPIC DEMON ARMOR/MINIONS!!!). Please please bring back the badass main character that we had in book one... Oh well Hope Rapture doesn't go this way...
There are some things about this story that may not mesh well with everyone. This is primarily a travel story. You remember that first LOTR movie? Where most of what they did was walk? Sure, there were some fights, but mostly walking and character and story development? That’s what this is. It’s the fellowship of the succubus.
75% of the novel is spent traveling to the abandoned keep through the high level Dead Lands. Yeah, there are regular fights but they’re usually a few paragraphs long each. Most of that 75% is spent traveling, developing the relationships between characters, advancing the memory exploration thing. I found it very entertaining, but in a different way than a primarily action driven novel.
Something that may bother some people, there’s more fade to black sex and non-mainstream relationship talk. The MC struggles with loving multiple women and how that doesn’t mesh with his ingrained beliefs about monogamy. The conversations aren’t ‘in your face’ but they’re honest and open with the subject of polyamory. Personally, I found the viewpoints very interesting to read about.
Also, there's more memory exploration. Each of the core group members, the MC, Karen, and Fluffy each have issues and traumas. The characters explore and share these moments with the reader through a kind of magical memory thing that replays the memories as they actually happened and not as the person remembers them through the haze of time/self protection. It’s a very cool tool that the author uses to create emotional resonance with the reader and I found myself tearing up sometimes and getting angry when seeing other memories. However, be aware that this is a major portion of the first 75% of the story. This is how a great deal of the character development is done.
Only when the group reaches the abandoned keep do you really get any action and fighting. That’s not until the 75% mark. While I thought a couple fights ended a little wand wavy, overall the action is good and I was just glad that the group was able to wipe and learn from their mistakes. That’s what makes a good MMO raid.
Overall, I had a good time with the story. But, I also really like the memory exploration aspect of the story. I think it’s a great story telling tool. If you don’t like that mechanic, or if you’re not into some of the frank relationship exploration conversations, this may not be the novel for you. Personally, I love getting the chance to see the world through someone else's lens (is that the right phrase?). Regardless, that’s one of the things I love the most about fiction. It’s ability to safely explore new concepts (magic, tech, or social) that people may have never had the chance/inclination to in real life.
Score: 7 out of 10.