Narrator: Nick Podehl
Series: The Gam3 #2
Published by Podium Publishing on 07 November 2017
Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
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The Earth has changed. War is now fought in an alien virtual reality - the Game - where many of the players are anything but human.
Now part of the Black Rose guild, Alan heads to the Academy to level up and get stronger. He hopes to make allies and learn skills to win the battles to come. But with everyone pursuing their own agendas, what can one gamer do in a universe he still doesn't fully understand?
©2017 Cosimo Yap (P)2017 Podium Publishing
Earth’s Gambit by Cosimo Yap is the second book in a series called The Gam3. Alan has successfully joined the well known mercenary Black Rose guild and heads off to an in-game academy to progress his skill and class levels. By increasing his levels, he will gain more power, allowing him more influence amongst his peers as well as in the war for Earth. The game is much more than a virtual reality game. It is actually a proxy for intergalactic politics and war. And Earth is in danger of falling to an alien race. Alan, relying on his AI, must master the skill and learn the pertinent information from a variety of sources to help save the Earth, all the while progressing in the game itself. Even as part of a guild, there are many political factions and game rules that he still needs to understand. Working with his powerful AI, Eve, Alan must complete his assigned quests, increase his levels and work to protect his native land.
This second novel builds on the first in potential. Alan still spends almost the entire novel within the game, which function as a proxy for war and politics in the real world, which is still well described. The complexity develops further with more factions and groups that interact and have a political role to play. However, the faults in Alan’s character remain. He relies too heavily on his AI to be successful in the game, showing no skill himself. However, in this book, Alan’s mentors see this and point out the faults in it, whether Alan listens or not, which is refreshing. As before, his interpersonal skills are lacking, but his internal AI try to help him with this. It seems that now that the world is set up, Alan’s personal development is progressing with the plot, which I appreciated. As before there are a lot of characters, which can be difficult to keep track of as they come and go in the story.
Nick Podehl did a good job with the narration again and the production quality was good. I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes the mixing virtual reality games with political maneuvering.