More Than a Game by Andrey Vasilyev

Many thanks go to the publisher, LitWorld, for sending me a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Several years ago, long before I moved to Russia, I tried my hand at World of Warcraft. I remember finding it quite a challenge as I couldn't devote the time to play regularly or for very long. The experience I had made me appreciate just what the regular players had to devote to the game. But now there is a new way to enjoy these RPGs...through the newest book genre LitRPG.

I was a little sceptical when I first heard about it, and had a lot of questions like "is this a choose-your-own adventure book?". Well, let me assure you that it's very much not that kind of thing. In fact, I was in for a complete surprise!

More Than A Game, the first in the Fayroll series, follows the mostly online life of a reporter at a small newspaper in Moscow. When he is given an assignment to check out the latest gaming craze, Fayroll, he jumps right into the RPG world and discovers the joys of playing. Solving quests, forming alliances and fighting both bots and PKs, he explores the world and all it's history and creativity, just to find out why it is so popular.

The gaming world created by Vasilyev really pulled me in. I could clearly imagine myself playing alongside our hero, who is a really well thought out character with both a good game life and a complicated, stressful real one. At times, I was so engaged I even lost track of other, important things. It isn't perfect, but I think I need to give the genre more time to develop, but I will definitely read other books in the series, and I would recommend it to fans of gaming and also of fantasy books.

Star rating: 4/5