Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Questland by Carrie Vaughn
Published by Mariner Books on June 22, 2021
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
It’s said that sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, and an eccentric billionaire has set out to prove it by building an island retreat that brings the fantastic to life. In an action-packed novel for fans of Ready Player One, Carrie Vaughn asks what happens when a bunch of tech geeks and fantasy nerds don’t realize the game they are now playing is for real?
I am a fan of this author, but I am not a gamer. Questland is a gamer fantasy with plenty of nods to different pantheons like Dungeons & Dragons, Lord of the Rings and many, many more. I am certain I missed several references because I am not familiar with them.
Our point of view is Addie Cox who is a college professor in literature. A company is creating a master game park on an island and things have gone wrong. Because of her history with one of the designers and gaming, she is hired to go there to try to fix things.
While I didn’t grasp the references, I loved having Addie who was like an expert guide. It was great to hear her thoughts but this was strenuous for her. There was a bit of not being able to trust anyone but at least the fixit team protected her. She still got pretty banged up.
This felt like a survival dystopia to me and I love that atmosphere. I liked getting to know the characters a bit but I had the most sense of Addie. She had her flaws but I liked her. I could certainly relate to her being exhausted, hungry and afraid at times. But there was also her wonder at the technology on the island bringing unicorns and dragons to life.
I had to start this a couple times but when I actually started it, I was engaged. I really enjoyed the story. If you have some gaming experience, I would think it would be even more fun.
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