Thursday, 7 July 2016

Book Review: Zombie Wars Online pt1 by Marla Braziel

When Matt logged onto Zombie Wars Online, he expected another fun-filled night of zombie killing with his best online friends. Under the spell of the Felote, a gaming apparatus that forces the player into a controlled REM sleep, reality faded away and a new life began inside the game. It was the perfect escape from the harshness of everyday life. But when a malicious hacker takes control of the game, a new nightmare begins, far worse than Matt and his friends could have ever imagined.

Zombie Wars Online combines the best parts of horror and gaming in an ever-changing world where every episode introduces a new hacker induced trauma to an already horrific gaming experience.

My Review:
Matt and his friends are all addicted to an interactive computer game called Zombie Wars Online. In it you become a zombie hunter on various missions and need to work on your skills, scavenging and planning to get to higher levels. You can be an archer, ninja, half vampire and a whole pile of other characters, working alone or in teams with others who are logged on...

This was an interesting concept. People are addicted to online multiplayer games for things like XBox and PS4 so the idea of a realistic interactive game where you are actually transported into the game to face the zombies for real...that would be huge. When you die or complete a mission, you are taken back into safe zones where you can hang out face to face with other gamers in a social environment, and plan your next adventure. Lots of people with no interest in killing zombies meet in these places to make new friends, and those addicted to zombie hunting can form teams to take on the most difficult challenges. Yep, this would be a great invention!

I liked the range of characters in this segment. Matt is an archer who is good on certain levels but the guys he teams up with are all better players and he has to join them on missions that are too advanced for him, causing him to keep getting killed. He likes hanging out with Liv, who is not keen on zombie missions as her character is a low skilled medic, and a previous death in the game left her suffering from nightmares. She plays reluctantly to spend time with Matt. Cade is one of the uber gamers who takes defeat personally and has a go at Matt for causing most of their team failures. The characters are realistic gamers with different personalities and I liked the interaction between them.

Through this first part, there are mentions of players being unable to log out of the game because of a technical issue. This issue causes announcements in the game that players need to go back from their missions to a designated area so the game designers can find a way to get them logged out. However, this is going to be easier said than done and this book finishes with Matt and Liv going to the convention centre in the game to find out what is happening. It is an introduction to the game and the characters with the real plot developing in the second part of this serial novel.

What I liked was how the game worked. When you are reading it, the characters are in various zombie battles with real sounding terror and deaths, so it should appeal to most zombie fans even if you are not gamers. The gamer element adds something fun and new to the plot that gamers and non gamers alike should like. It is well written with good characters and I enjoyed this first part which I got free on Smashwords, enough to buy the full serial novel omnibus. I plan to read the rest of it tonight!
star rating photo: 35 star rating 3-5-stars.jpg

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