Questland by Carrie Vaughn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Carrie Vaughns trek into LitRPG territory is a solid run even if it feels like a half-attempt to legitimize the sub-genre by giving it fairly extensive SF roots, a real-world base, and economic "reasons".
Of course, most of the LitRPGs I've read don't bother with any of that. They just go straight into the adventure and let us have all the *ding* level-ups we want, letting us revel in the adventure and learn the basic gaming rules as we go with easy-to-follow diagrams. :)
Vaughn's is more along the lines of Ready Player One, but with a more devoted eye to direct LoTR mythology and normal myths that aren't limited to '80s schwag. I LIKED that. I even liked the idea that a PHD in Literature got the leading role.
So what didn't I like? The plot. Maybe the first half was okay because it's standard journey stuff, but once we got into the evil corporation arrogance and the rats trying to steal all the company cheese, I either wanted it to go out with a big bang or defy my expectations. It did neither.
It wasn't bad, but it didn't wow me, either.
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