“Book Review: VEIL Online (Book One)”
Reviewed by Alexandria Ducksworth
John Cressman pulls at our heartstrings in this captivating fantasy role-player story
If you combined Ready Player One with Dungeons and Dragons, you might get pretty darn close to VEIL Online. This book is a must for adventurous readers who love journeys with dragons, mages, rogues, and trolls.
The journey of VEIL Online begins in the real-life world with protagonist Jace Burton. Jace is a programmer for the behemoth gaming company WorldCog, the company behind VEIL. Players enter the game through their virtual reality gaming pods, but this is beyond your typical gaming console. When you play in VEIL, you’re literally in it—able to transfer both your money and consciousness into the game after you die.
When you’re alive, you can log off whenever you need to.
So when Jace gets off from work to find himself stuck in VEIL, he’s got some questions to ask. There’s only one conclusion: Jace is dead in real life. But how did he die? Did somebody kill him? Is WorldCog behind it? As Jace progresses through VEIL, readers will uncover the game’s secrets and meet helpful and entertaining characters along the way.
One thing is for sure: Cressman definitely knows how to write a page-turner. He guides readers through twists and turns, surprises, and constant danger. Like in every good fantasy RPG, there is never a dull moment. Every time Jace succeeds in a quest, a new problem arises. When Jace finally transfers his way to another human body, it’s a level one—no magic, no advanced skills. Jace has to start from scratch.
Readers will empathize with Jace’s character, not because he’s a gamer, but because he is pretty much alone. His friends mainly consist of his WorldCog coworkers. He has no immediate family, and his love life barely exists. I appreciate Cressman not having Jace as your typical, lonely gamer character. In the real world, society sometimes automatically condemns gamers to be anti-social, awkward, and only have fictional friends. That’s not the case here.
Jace builds a new family in VEIL. He gathers some NPC friends, a feline companion, and meets Charlena, the elf archer who slowly reveals herself as a possible love interest. It’s a great opportunity to explore the concept of virtual relationships.
Gamers will be all over VEIL Online. The air of mystery surrounding Jace’s permanent place inside the game will really get readers flipping the pages. Those who love fantasy, adventure, and online gaming will be delighted with it. And this is only Book One of Cressman’s series, so we’ve got plenty more to look forward to.
Category: Fantasy LITRPG
Paperback: 536 pages
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