J.R. Ford’s Storm’s Breath is the story of a totally immersive fantasy game quest. Individuals either pay-to-play or get in through a lottery = Think Ready Player One, but a fantasy world.
The main character is Pavel… he wakes up in a tavern in the middle of a free-for-all. Tankards, fists, and swear words are flying! He defeats his first opponent, gets some experience points, and walks outside with some coin. And next to him is another adventurer. One Pavel can trust? Hmmm. This is where we start to learn about his moral streak. At 16, he wants to do right by people, even in this game… Will it hurt him in the long run?
Storm’s Breath is fill with magic, mini-quests, and much maiming of monsters and men alike. 🤣 And at the heart of Ford’s narrative is a fun story about a young man who has to use all his wits to get ahead of the other players in the game. I liked the overall RPG feel of the writing. It was not overwhelming but allowed me to both feel satisfied with Pavel’s characterization and the main adventuring story. And Ford sneaks in a bit of adolescence angst, not in a bad way at all. It’s true to that constant anxiety of a young person interacting with an object of affection in virtual reality.
At only about 250 pages, this is a book that I flew through. And anticipate a good sequel to come.
4 out of 5 stars.
Thank you to the author for providing a copy for review.