Random Encounters

Ezine and Gamer Resource for Springfield, Mo Area Gamers

Book Reviews, Old & New

Here on this page of the website, I will be reviewing books of fantasy and sci-fi, both old and new to help give people an idea of what to expect when they buy a novels and stories for gaming inspiration, and help assist them when deciding which new books to add to their collections. Each book is given a rating out of 20 on a 20-sided dice

Current Reviews:
Stuck in the Game

I normally don't get to do a review before a book' release, so this one is an exciting one for me. I recently got to Beta-read an upcoming book by Christopher Keene called 'Stuck in th Game.' What do I have to say about this book? Well, first of all, I marathon read the book in just under 6 hrs as I just couldn't put it down. As I was reading it during my dialysis treatment, it made the treatment just fly by, let me tell you.

I don't want to give out any spoilers of the book's plot or characters, so suffice it to say, this book presents for you an amazingly detailed game-world setting that any gamer out there, after reading, will be chomping at the bit to go out and log in to. Even if the game was simply in the realm of WoW or EverQuest, you would still want to be involved and get your game on, all the while wishing you were one of the lucky characters in the book that get to experience the world in full VR splendor. The visuals described are amazing, the skill and spell system is fantastic, and you are just salivating hoping for more and more.

In closing, I can't wait for the sequel to come out, and the first book isn't even fully in publication yet. For those of you out there who are fans of LitRPGs, you really must get a copy of this book when it comes out!

EDIT: Although I did get a Beta-Reader's invite to the book, looking at Amazon, I find that the book became available in August of last year! This means you should definitely go out and get a copy. a Kindle Edition copy is only $2.99 right now!!!

Genre: LitRPG/Fantasy


Critical Failures(Caverns and Creatures Book 1)
by Robert Bevan and Joan Reginaldo

One of my favorite kinds of books out there is those where a group from our world ends up transported to a fantasy setting. One of the newest of these to catch my eye is the Critical Failures series. What to say about these books, I'm almost at a loss for words...luckily, the authors came up with their own excellent tag-line to sum up how these books will strike you:

What if you and your friends got to live the game for real? What if you and your friends were assholes?

This series, and specifically the first book in offering, is a laugh riot from cover to cover. We've all played with characters like these in our games. We've all met players that would drive you to distraction like these ones do. Shoot, many of the GMs out there will sympathize with the GM in the books for sure. The depiction of the players, and their characters is a wonderful festival comedy of errors. Pay special attention to how they translate a low Charisma score into a wonderful and irreverent reality for one of the main characters.

If you enjoy this kind of comedic look at fantasy, or just love game-book inversions such as this, definitely give this book and the rest in its series a try. As of this review, I believe there are the 5 books just called Critical Failures I - V, each with a subtitle of course, as well as several books of short stories ironically called 1d6, 2d6, 3d6, etc... and some new books that I know of that leave off the Critical Failures Main Title.

Genre: Fantasy/Comedy