Publisher: Changeling Press
Published: May 23, 2014
Genre: Paranormal, Action Adventure & Suspense, Romance, M/M
Book Format: E-book
Obtained via: Publisher
Reviewed by: Helena Stone, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dungeon Crawl is probably best described as a serial novel and as such should be read from the start. I would strongly advise against reading ‘Patch Day’ if you haven’t read ‘Loading, Please Wait’ yet.
It hasn’t taken long for Gamer Elijah Burrows to fall into the life of his game character, Elian Surgis. Together with his lover, the lupine mage Sarin Eckhert, Elijah has to lead a group of survivors of Sarin’s mystical order through the wilderness to safety. Hot on their tails is Timiria’s monarch, King Mirov, whose goal it is to banish magic from his kingdom by killing every magic-wielding soul.
The road to safety is fraught with danger though. An apparently innocent encounter with a group of traders leads to a astounding revelation as well as a dangerous encounter with another gamer stuck in the game world. This gamer has allied himself with the King and is determined to put an end to all Elijah’s efforts.
In the midst of all the danger, Elijah also tries to explore his relationship with Sarin. Sarin has been together with the character Elian for a long time and is very sure of his feelings. To Elijah on the other hand, the relationship is brand new.
I’m enjoying this story. I like the concept – a man ending up inside his favourite game – and the way the author applies it. The story is well written and very easy to read. I also enjoyed the lighter moments in this story such as the reaction of some characters to Elijah’s ‘other world’ language and Elijah’s reflection on food:
“Though he had to admit, fresh, fire-roasted rabbit tasted a hell of a lot better than boxed macaroni and cheese.”
While there is a lot happening in relatively few pages, there is time for more tender and sexy moments as well. In fact, I think the balance between action and intimacy was just about spot on in this instalment.
“Sometimes, Sarin said. Words aren’t needed.”
Having said that, I do think publishing this story in instalments has one real down-side. Certain elements have to be present in each short novella in order to keep the reader fully in the story. The format means that scenes feel rushed at times. I would have like more detailed and longer descriptions as well as more time to settle into a scene before the next one starts.
Mind you, I am now rather fascinated with Elijah, Sarin and the world they’re trying to save and want to know what is going to happen next. I may wait until the full story is available before reading on though, provided I can keep my curiosity under control.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.