author, book review, reading, writing

Book review: Joshua Mason – Steam Whistle Alley (@WhistleAlley ‏ )

Jacob was a gamer through and through. Over the years he had made a name for himself in testing and bug finding in new VR games, so when he saw someone dancing down the reviewstreet, thrusting and parrying he recognised the moves. But what he didn’t know was why someone was doing them in the middle of town, instead of being secured in their rig. He’d heard of over indulgence causing difficulty separating in mind to real life, but something told him there was more to this. Boy was he right. The man had been bait, luring Jacob to exactly where the new Augmented reality game developers wanted him, their door. Alpha testing is in session, and with a prize for the winner beyond their wildest dreams, prancing around the streets looking a fool is the least of his concerns. Then again, when he first donned his goggles, he had no idea what he should have been fearful of. But he was about to find out, everyone is playing to win, but for some their prize is something completely different. Jacob must keep his wits about him, if he hopes to survive in tact.

Steam Whistle Alley is an excellent example of both Litrpg and steampunk writing. The AR is a fully immersive and interactive steampunk style overlay on a futuristic setting. I have to admit, this book had me hooked from the start. Action, adventure, danger and peril all presented in a tight story written with great imagination and flair. Beautiful descriptions will leave you in awe, while the futuristic technologies are to a degree that will sate a sci-fi lover, yet not overwhelm someone who doesn’t follow that genre. I loved how Jacob was a retro gamer, many of the things referenced are in my own collection. It is clear Joshua Mason has a passion for both gaming and writing, and it is one clearly evident in their work. A gripping fun adventure, and a brilliant start to what looks to be a promising series.

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