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Feyland: The Dark Realm ( Feyland Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Jennet went against her father's wishes when she played the in-development immersive sim game Feyland. When she lost the boss level, the Dark Queen boss took Jennet's life force. To regain what she lost, Jennet must find a champion in real life who will play the game with her. She finds Tam Linn, but it takes everything she's got just to convince him to trust her. There is more at stake than Jennet realizes and the game is becoming more and more real.
Sharp does a fantastic job balancing the amount of prose set in Feyland and the amount of prose set in the real world. Both realms were alive in their own way. There were so many fun details about the sim tech and the differences between the classes in the real world and such great description of playing Feyland.
The premise felt a bit rushed in the beginning and the first chapter was a slog, but after that I was sucked right into the plot. I couldn't put the book down after that.
The characters each were independent, but they had to work together to survive and succeed. There were moments of damsel-in-distress (the whole premise is she needs a knight to save her), but Jennet holds her own again and again and proves her worthiness as a strong female main character.
I've never been much of a gamer. I had a brief period where I was addicted to Gran Turismo - totally wupped my husband's butt, too - and another bout of trying to get that cow Lara Croft to do as she was told. But other than that, it's not really my thing. It was enough, however, to understand the mindset of the kids in this book and their addiction and love of it. Jennet is the daughter of a game developer and as such, has access to the latest technology, including a beta version of a new full immersion Sim game called Feyland. Pretty soon, it becomes evident that the simulated world is actually a gateway to the real, if alternate, world of the fair folk of myth and legend, and that what happens in the game has real life consequences.
Overall, I enjoyed Feyland, although I don't really feel like I was its target audience because despite the fact that I've read and loved a lot of YA novels, I suddenly felt very old reading it. I'd describe it as VYA (very young adult) as it was super squeaky clean content-wise and something I would let my 12-year old daughter read. Nothing inappropriate at all with regards to violence or romantic situations. This doesn't stop it being a good story, of course, it just made me feel set apart from it; as though I was reading it simply for review purposes rather than for my own enjoyment.
Like I said: not its target audience.
There is a lot of good here, though, it has to be said. Interesting characters; particularly Tam and his difficult home life. Also the burgeoning relationship between he and Jennet was sweet. He's a bit of a nerd, she's a bit of a princess. From opposites sides of the track, as it were, in what appears to be a rather frightening speculative America full of gangs and violence on one side, and technology-rich luxury on the other.
I'm settling on 3 stars for this which means "I liked it", although I have no plans to read the next instalment. Maybe my daughter will, though;)
3 Stars ★★★
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The real, non-computer generated, world is not quite so endearing as Jennet, through her friendship with Tam soon discovers.
Will definitely be reading the rest of the trilogy.
No cliffhanger, just a promise of more weird and frightening adventures yet to unfold.
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