Troll Nation

I reviewed the first book in this series (Rogue Dungeon) a while back, and this is the third one - I didn't wait to review them all at once simply because I knew the chances of me reading the whole thing in one go were zilch, because it hadn't all been published yet.

The fourth book was released earlier this year, and it's not marketed as "the final installment" or "the thrilling conclusion" so I'm going to assume there's at least one more to come.

The first thing I noticed was that because there was more focus on the players in this installment, there was even more swearing than there was in the first two, which wasn't something I would have wanted to read if I might have avoided it.

That said, the plot is engaging, the characters distinct and varied, and stakes are increasing at a steady pace, keeping me very invested in what happens next.

I would say that this book would not be a fun read for someone who didn't like video games, or for someone who is sensitive to gamer stereotypes. Out of three books, there has been precisely one gamer who doesn't spend half his lines swearing, and he's also a developer, so I'm not sure he even counts as belonging to the gamer group and thus under the same stereotypes as the others. The implication is that all gamers that play MMOs are immature, crass, short-sighted, and in general not very nice people.

If I belonged to that group, I personally would be insulted enough not to continue reading. As it is, I disapprove of the stereotyping but do not feel personally targeted because I am not a gamer.

That said, the use of game mechanics as part of the plot was actually quite clever, and I appreciated that they weren't just a feature of the world, but also a part of the story.

I'm giving this book a 3 out of 5 for misuse of stereotypes and excessive cursing, but intend to read the next book in the series nonetheless.

If you like stories like Artemis Fowl for its impossible goal and clever problem-solving and Scarlet Pimpernel for its dashing hero and themes of sacrifice, then this might be a book you would enjoy.

#Review #Scifi #Fantasy #VideoGames

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