Review: Darkness Stabs: Dark World Book 1 Part 2

  • Title:
    • Darkness Stabs: Dark World Book 1 Part 2
  • Author:
    • David Gunter
  • Release:
    • May 30, 2021
  • Format:
    • Audiobook, Kindle
  • Narrator:
    • Aaron Smith
  • Series:
    • Dark World

I opted to review this part first, as I can listen to an audiobook at 2x speed. I did lose any context or plot elements from part 1, however, I never felt lost or as if I was going to have trouble following the plot.

The overall setting of the world reminds me of a couple of movies I saw many years ago. The first one is Spy Kids 3D, where a group of people is teleported into a virtual world. While they think it’s just another videogame at first, they soon find there are consequences to their actions, and the dangers are real. The second movie is Source Code, which has a somewhat similar premise.

The idea of being transported mentally into the game world has probably been the fantasy of many role-playing videogame fans, as well as Dungeons and Dragons fans. It begins to feel at times as if you’re listening to a game of Dungeons and Dragons and other times an actual videogame. Complete with the stupid character names made up of random words and numbers. The gods are just high-level characters and people react when somebody changes class. To me, it’s everything I wished every RPG I ever played was. They always felt shallow, because devs can’t exactly program

The characters are all fleshed out with classes, missions, guilds, dreams, and desires. They’re all invested in their virtual reality, they feel pain and can choose to forfeit their memories when they respawn. This gives the combat real stakes when you might be inclined to ask “Who cares? It’s just a videogame for them.”.

Stats, debuffs, and buffs are all mentioned as well. All of this makes the world, the story feels authentic. It gives you the impression that this is a videogame that could conceivably exist with VR and modern gaming tech. It can get tedious when you’re sitting there listening to the narrator read off a seemingly endless list of meaningless numbers when listing character stats.

This book is a very interesting read, I love the idea behind a videogame where the NPCs are players. I do think a lot of the videogame aspects would be lost on people, such as the aforementioned made-up player names, stats, buffs, etc. Though I think with time, they’d start to get the idea.

The narrator does an excellent job and the robotic system sounds voice is a nice touch.

NOTE: This copy was provided to me free of charge as a review copy. The opinions stated in this review are mine and mine alone, I was not paid or requested to give this book a certain rating, suggestion, or approval.

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