Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Book Review: Feyland: The Dark Realm by Anthea Sharp

by Anthea Sharp 

Genre: Sci-fi/Fantasy/Fae
Reading Grade: Young Adult
Publication Date: December 4, 2011
Source: the author (ebook)
Age Rating: 13+

Feyland is the most immersive computer game ever designed, and Jennet Carter is the first to play the prototype. But, she doesn't suspect the virtual world is close enough to touch—or that she'll be battling for her life against the Dark Queen of the faeries.
Tam Linn is the perfect hero—in-game. Too bad the rest of his life is seriously flawed. The last thing he needs is rich girl Jennet prying into his secrets, insisting he's the only one who can help her.
Together, Jennet and Tam enter the Dark Realm of Feyland only to discover that the entire human world is in danger. Pushed to the limit of their abilities, they must defeat the Dark Queen... before it's too late.

My Review

  • Plot: Jennet's father is the head of a computer game development company and Jennet gets to play the beta version of a new extremely immersive game called Feyland. Only thing is, Feyland is a gateway into the realm of the Fae, so what happens in Feyland does NOT stay in Feyland. She loses to the final boss, the Dark Queen, and the old crow takes some of her essence. Jennet needs another gamer in the real world who can defeat her to get it back, or Jennet will die. So, Jennet recruits a kid named Tam from her new school to help her since he's an excellent gamer. But, the game proves dangerous to anyone who dares to play it.
  • Characters: Jennet is a reformed mean-spirited rich girl, but you wouldn't know it. She's very sweet and accepting in the story, even though Tam is wary of her. Tam is a kid from the wrong side of the tracks, although a responsible one. He's dirt poor, so he's very weirded out by Jennet wanting to have anything to do with him, but they find mutual ground to stand on when it comes to gaming because they are both excellent at it. I'm happy a YA story has the geeky kid as the hero/love interest, and he doesn't even have to transform into a jock/emo vampire to be complete, at least not in his real life.
  • Writing: I didn't feel the prologue was well-written, thus it made me think the rest would be just as poor, but it evened out once I started the first chapter. The writing is perfectly fine once you get past the prologue.
  • Storytelling: Now, here's something interesting: this story is an incredibly unique retelling of an old Scottish ballad called Tam Lin, which is where the characters' names come from. All of this is explained in the story, so you don't need to be familiar with this ballad beforehand. But, it's so clever how the author weaves that story into her own. It's a good little story about gaming, but there is some jargon that non-gamers will find baffling, and it's never clarified. You must already know what NPC's are and some other basic gaming terms like that.
  • Overall Quality: Decent quality, above average. This is a self-published title and one that doesn't really need much fixing up, I'm happy to report (except for the prologue).
  • Favorite Moment/Scene: When Tam first enters the game (Feyland) and how amazed he is at its realism. He had never played a game so immersive before and his personal experience is described so well, it felt like I was seeing and experiencing the entire thing through his eyes, even though the book is written in 3rd person POV. It's great when this POV reads like 1st person.
  • My Score: 3.5 stars out of 5.

*I received this title from the author in exchange for my honest review.

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  1. I am yet to start this one even though I got it for review a while ago. Any chance you could skip the prologue and still be able to understand what's going on? I love the idea. How often have you wanted to step into a video game? Metal Gear :P

    1. @Lan: Yep, you need to read the prologue in this one. Definitely.

      But, you're right, oh how I'd love to step into Metal Gear Solid and be with my Snakey-poo!

  2. Wow, I am totally intrigued be the concept of a Scottish ballad being re-interpreted into what sounds like a cyberpunk story. I will definitely check this out. Thanks for posting your review!

    1. @Camille: It's a really interesting interpretation. You could like this one, especially if you like gaming.

  3. Interesting! I like video game stories, so I may have to check this one out.

    1. @Ash: I love video game stories, too. This one is good!

  4. Finally! A girl CAN fall for a nerd. Love it!

  5. Wow! When I was approached about this book, I immediately thought of you. I'm really glad you liked it. Its so cool about the Scottish ballad. I love when authors are able to weave a new story like that.
    Great review, Cathy!

    1. @Andrea: Thanks for referring this book to me!

  6. I'm not a gamer, so that aspect of the story doesn't really appeal to me...but I *am* always intrigued by the blending of old stories/legends with a modern setting. Glad you enjoyed this one! :)

    1. @BJ: Thanks! It's not a story that would appeal to everyone.


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