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Superb opening part! Winner!
on 3 December 2012
Book Review: Gameland Episode 1 : Deep Into The Game by Saul Tanpepper
Reviewed by J Bryden Lloyd
Writing Style - 4.5/5.0 (Excellent)
From cover-to-cover, the atmospheric work is superb in this opening part of Saul Tanpepper's post-apocalyptic series. The first-person style in general is characteristically strong - typical of this author - and is built around some realistic, and often cleverly thought-out, dialogue.
The structure and temporal construction is excellent, following a carefully defined path through a complex, well executed group of sub-plots.
Character Development - 4.0/5.0 (Very Good)
This is a very simple character group, who begin with simple attributes and flaws, and build fairly quickly into the characters who will lead the way through the coming parts of the series.
As to be expected from the opening part of a series, these characters and their varied histories play the pivotal roles within the central plot, but all seen from the viewpoint of the main character, who drives the narrative from the start and gives you added glimpses into her personal journey through the story.
There are perhaps a few minor rough edges on the lesser members of the group, but you would really have to look for them in order to highlight them properly.
Descriptive - 5.0/5.0 (Outstanding)
This man makes perfect use of descriptive. Say what you like about the subject matter... if zombies aren't your thing, fine... but you have to admit that this writer has a definitive talent for scene-building and nudging the imaginative juices of the reader, so that they see exactly what he needs them to see.
Every element of each section of the plot is beautifully presented. No matter what the atmosphere of the moment, he hits the nail on the head every time, setting up the twists pages and pages in advance, so subtly that they are as easy to miss as the proverbial needle in a haystack.
Language & Grammar - 4.5/5.0 (Excellent)
As far as linguistic knowledge and application goes, this man knows his noodles. If I were to be picky (which I enjoy from time-to-time) I thought a couple of passages felt forced with regards to the links used to move the story on, but at the same time and considering the punishing schedule the author has set for the release of these episodes, much of this is entirely understandable. Though it does make me wonder what this man is capable of producing, if he were to sit and develop a work over a couple of years.
Plot - 5.0/5.0 (Outstanding) - MINOR SPOILERS
Damn, this is a clever one! A simple, central plot revolving around a game-zone supposedly once filled with the un-dead, there to be the subjects in a real-life role-playing-game, controlled by users in the `normal' world.
Interwoven into this is the `company' who go to extreme lengths to keep people out of the game-zone, and therein lies the more obvious twist... did they really try and keep this group out?
The central viewpoint and the primary character group really do make this highly entertaining and equally thrilling as the plot moves briskly along.
By the time you read the closing paragraphs of this offering, you will be frustratedly pinging your way back into the e-book stores looking for the next episode.
General - 4.5/5.0 (Excellent)
This is a great book for fans of the genre, and promises to be the start of an equally great series. I can't commend this author enough for the way he creates and presents the environs and builds his superb stories around them. It really is an excellent example for writers of the post-apocalyptic genre, and I would gamble that a finished omnibus offering when this series is completed, would be widely very well received.
Five stars... easy.