Into The Real.
By John Ringo and Lydia Sherrer.
My rating ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ out of 5 stars.
Lynn Raven may be the boss master of WarMonger 2050 with her online persona of “Larry the Snake,” but when the CEO of Tsunami Entertainment personally asks her, as a favor, to beta test a new augmented reality game, she has to face her greatest fear: going outside and dealing with, ugh, people.
As she becomes more immersed in the game, the stakes rise and so do the obstacles. Strife between teammates, a ruthless rival team, and these strange glitches that make it seem like the game algorithm (or maybe “game AI”?) has it in for her. Now she has to face a new fear: is she willing to step into the real to win the future she’s always wanted?
What do you do when a game and real life merge?
If you are, or used to be, a gamer you will probably like this book. If not, well you might still like it but the story is really one for gamers. None-gamers might find the story somewhat ludicrous and it is really quite ludicrous. It is a permutation of the old make-someone-believe-it-is-just-a-game-when-they-are-actually-fighting-real-aliens.
I do not think I have ever read a book or watched a movie where the premise of tricking someone into thinking that they are just playing a game made any real sense. It is contrived to say the least. But, I will not complain too much because it often makes for a fun story and, in the case of this book, I liked the story.
The main protagonist is a young introvert girlie who’s on-line persona, a kick-ass mercenary, is the direct opposite of herself. As the book title implies, she now has to venture out in the “real” and become that mercenary in the real world.
A lot of the book is about her learning and playing the game and, at the same time, developing her character and overcoming her introversion and taking command. On that quest she is accompanied by a very sentient-like and somewhat cheeky AI. I liked these parts of the book although, sometimes, the run-jump-slash-shoot-kill routine became a wee bit repetitive.
The game plays out in the real world although with VR glasses to turn the real world into something else. However, playing in the real world still means that she has to interact with it, in particular with people. In addition, later on in the book it becomes a team game and, being an introvert, this of course poses much more challenges to Lynn than just killing monsters.
Unfortunately the author has thrown in some really annoying characters. One being an utterly obnoxious as well as stupid bitch thinking she can win the game by tagging onto others as well as cheating. Another one being a dick “friend” of hers believing that girls cannot play combat games. The first ends up on a opposing team and the latter ends up on her team… of course.
These parts of the book I did not like very much. These two people are just annoyingly stupid and cringe worthy. I almost took off a star for that crap.
Throughout the book there are sprinkled vague hints about the game not really being what it first appears to be and the book ends in a bit of a teaser/cliffhanger on that subject.
Overall, I liked the book enough for a four star rating and I am rather eager to see where the story goes next. The ending made it clear that the author expected to make it into a series so I hope this book sells enough to make that happen.
One thought on “Into The Real – Fun read if you are a gamer.”
Ringo has a history of partnering with other writers and starting a series with an interesting idea and then letting the burden of the continuing series fall more and more on the second author. His “Into the Looking Glass” series with Traviss Taylor is a prime example imo.
I hope this series stays strong and doesn’t turn into a dumpster fire for you.
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