Steve McNeill

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A great reading experience

A LitRPG story ( for those that don't know, "LitRPG" are stories that revolve around a setting with Role Playing Game-like mechanics.), which focuses on Kyle, a young high school boy, who plays a female character inside the game, and his interactions with his friends and family in both the "real world", and the game world -- "Winter's Tale".

The game world is a new take on the virtual reality experience, and is much different than those where a character pops into the game standing in front of some quest giver to walk them through the basics. Characters are thrust directly into a virtual reality, with very little understanding of the game mechanics or rules involved in playing the game, and thanks to this, we as readers get to slowly learn the rules of this new world just as the character's do.

Interaction between characters are bright and vivid, with each individual having their own voice and personality. There's six high school students in the "real world" that we get to see interact -- 4 boys and 2 girls -- and each has their own well defined personality and come alive to us. We also get to see how these 6 take on completely different personalities and personas inside the virtual world, which is done amazing well.

Kyle (a boy), plays a female character because he thinks it'll draw more attention. Seraphine (his next door neighbor/almost girlfriend) decides to play a male character so she can make a match with him. The shy kid in real life, takes on the role of a rough drunken dwarf, releasing all his pent up frustrations under the guise of game anonymity.

Heather is a male-bashing lesbian in the real world, with an intense crush on Sera. The problem here? Sera is playing a man inside the game! And the most attractive female in the game (Kylie, an elven princess), just happens to be played by a male! And she's confused about who is playing who in the real world!

Can a man-hater in the real world, hold onto her feelings of hatred after she makes best friends with a "girl" in a game, only to find out it's played by a guy? Can her friend Sera continue to feel the same way with her, and hold onto their friendship, after Heather continues to call her every action stupid, idiotic, and a waste of life, in the game where she's playing a man?

The character interactions here bring this story to life, and the dynamics of watching the cast interact in both reality and virtual reality is immersive, captivating, and top-notch. I'd give this story a 10-star rating as it's a wonderfully written adventure that seamlessly carries the reader along with it, interweaving reality and virtual reality into a masterful story!

Well done!!

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