In Luckbane, author Tony Breeden introduced readers to the ultimate role-playing video game, Otherworld. In the future, a high tech corporation called GameComm has terraformed planets to allow gamers to play their favorite game remotely via an avatar, or they can travel to a planet to play in person.
Dreadknights takes place shortly before Luckbane and follows the adventures of Christine Johanssen, a seventeen-year old staying with her aunt and two of her cousins on Platform 161, a fish and kelp farm that processes sea life into various products. Christine excels in Otherworld as her alter ego, Ogress Bloodskull.
The story opens with Christine attempting to win the Colonial Trials to secure an opportunity to be part of a group that will colonize the planet Tarak. Her task won’t be easy. With Aunt Maggie making home life difficult, a team member’s betrayal, accusations of cheating, and a universe full of stiff competition, Christine (Bloodskull) will need every ounce of skill and help from her teammates to achieve victory.
When she isn’t involved in an edge-of-your-seat battle on a foreign world, Christine has an opportunity to see what it would be like to colonize Tarak. She participates in a couple of side adventures in the farmlands of the planet, defending crops against furrybites and devilpedes, alongside Davis Crimmeans, a young man she begins to take a special interest in.
Like Luckbane (read my review here), Dreadknights is an action-packed thrill ride from start to finish, although the pacing is improved from the previous novel because we see more character development outside of the gaming world. Even though I’m not much of a gamer, I found the action compelling, enjoyable, and highly creative.
If you enjoy fantasy novels, role-playing games, or just good action-packed books, Dreadknights should be a delightful read. I had a lot of fun with it, and I look forward to more Otherworld books by the author.
Mr. Breeden has even created a wiki that provides details about the characters and places in his novels. Here is a link to the page dedicated to Ogress Bloodskull (includes some spoilers).