- 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: #10,422 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Playing For Keeps (Alpha World Book 4) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
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TL;DR. If you love point counting and constant fighting, look elsewhere. If you like character development, this is for you.
I love the way he melds the multiple points of view and personalities and his perspective on really " how would that work?" i cant wait to get the next edition of it. I read the ARC and still cant wait!
It is good to see strong rickly developed characters who have weaknesses and who are learning to adjust adapt and accept.
To me ultimately this is very much are story of forgiveness acceptance
Covering the trip from city to the keep and the process of claiming it, this entry into the series spends very little time on actual combat until the very end, with most of the focus being on developing the characters(primarily Fluff, Karen and Alburet), filling in their pasts and their growing relationship. What combat there was towards the end was solid enough, though it's safe to say that the majority of 'action' in this one is more words and memories, less swords and spells, so that's definitely something to keep in mind.
Without wading into spoiler territory a few developments towards the end have some interesting potential for Alburet specifically and the guild in general, so it will be interesting to see where those are taken in future books.
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.