Forever Fantasy Online (FFO #1)
Rachel Aaron & Travis Bach
IT’S NOT A GAME ANYMORE…
In the real world, twenty-one-year-old library sciences student Tina Anderson is invisible and under-appreciated, but in the VR-game Forever Fantasy Online she’s Roxxy—the respected leader and main tank of a top-tier raiding guild. Her brother, James Anderson, is a college drop-out struggling under debt, but in FFO he’s famous—an explorer known all over the world for doing every quest and collecting the rarest items.
Both Tina and James need the game more than they’d like to admit, but their favorite escape turns into a trap when FFO becomes real. Suddenly, wounds aren’t virtual, the stupid monsters have turned cunning, NPCs start acting like actual people, and death might be forever.
In the real world, everyone said being good at video games was a waste of time. Now, separated across a much larger and more deadly world, their skill at FFO is the only thing keeping them alive. It’s going to take every bit of their expertise (and hoarded loot) to find each other and get back home, but as the harshness of their new reality sets in, Tina and James soon realize that being the best in the game might no longer be good enough.
I’ve wanted to read a LitRPG book for a while now. I’ve played the sort of games these are based on, and I don’t think anyone can play them without thinking about writing their own story. I was also part of a writing group for a while that was nothing but people writing these types of books. Since I enjoy Aaron’s other books, I thought I’d try her version of things.
After reading Forever Fantasy Online, I’m not sure if this genre is for me. I can see the appeal of writing this kind of story, but I’m not sure if I see the appeal of reading it. I like a more fantasy aspect, meaning not just magic, but the idea that people aren’t immediately horrible when given freedom. I’m sure Aaron and Bach’s version is much closer to reality, especially with how god-awful gamers are, but I wish there had been more good. It’s like Brandon Sanderson’s The Reckoner’s series, with so many bad, powerful people and not enough good. I need good in my entertainment right now.
The book was divided into two points of view. Siblings, Tina and James. James is a screw-up in real life, but once stuff happens in the game, he is courageous and diplomatic, quickly acclimating to the new way of things. Meanwhile, Tina leans heavily into her tank role and becomes even more of a tyrant than she sounded before things happened. I did not like her. She has MAJOR control issues, and even after she’s called out on them, she gets pissed off at anyone who questions her. She messes up all the time, but still, her way is the best way. She’s frustrating.
I still wanted to know what was going to happen, but I started skimming toward the end. Things were gruesome, and it was sad what was happening to the world they were stuck in. I want to know what happens next, but I think I’ll end up doing more skimming through the following books. Thankfully, they’re all in kindle unlimited.