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A very fun read.
This one had a lot of twists and turns. More Sci Fi than steampunk, it still manages to be a bit of both.
Summary: Lee Green is a university research guy monkeying around with virtual reality. When a test subject has a weird reaction to a game simulation run by a quantum computer (called QT), Lee puts on the device and soon finds himself in a simulated steampunk "game" so real he feels like he's truly in danger--flying rocket planes, riding a zombie cyborg bird, even being seduced by the wife of a sky pirate! He's thoroughly enjoying the experience despite the risk, and is just relishing the last of his time online before his preset timer runs out...
Only instead of coming back to reality, he jumps to another reality--this time on a moon colony being attacked by spacebots. This is where the action really picks up. Not only is the world-building (moon-building?) by the author very descriptive, but the action feels more organic in the moon unit sections of the book than anywhere else. This is truly the heart of the book, and the complications Lee encounters as his moon counterpart Leah are literally astronomical.
About mid-way through the book, I thought the end was in sight, but then the plot twisted again. And again. And again. By the time it was finished, I was pretty satisfied. All-in-all it was a highly addictive read and I would recommend it to anyone in the mood for a page-turner. This is pure adventure! Enjoy it!
I love the triad dynamic between the main character, his love interest, and his best friend. Even in the middle of life-threatening the action, these three manage to be mix drama & level-headed pragmatics as they make their many, many ways through the labyrinth of worlds their souls touch. The interactions felt legit considering they are scientists and very closely attached in each of the three (and a half) worlds their souls populate.
The humor had me laughing aloud. There was a moment when Lee quoted Captain Jean-Luc Picard in a reality where Star Trek : The Next Generation had never aired, and it was very believable. I'm pretty sure I'd have done the same thing in that situation.
The characterization was very good, all around. None of the characters felt like they did anything "weird" or too predictable, but at the same time, the kids acted like real kids, the scientists were scientific, the military were...you follow me. This could have derailed quite easily when it came to Lee/Leah/Leo. Having a man hop into a woman's body could have gone very, very wrong. Good news! It didn't. If anything would have pulled me from the story, it would have been this. Instead, I found myself marveling at the idea of moon hoppers and sympathizing with Lee as morning sickness ruined his/her perfectly good space helmet. Good stuff!
There were a few loose threads, but the story ends primed for a sequel, so I hope to see what happened to Leo, Dionne, the baby, and what exactly was up with that nefarious QT in the next book. I can't help but wonder if QT had anything to do with the space scorps, but I'll just have to wait and see. My only other complaint is that the interactions between the three major players gets a little repetitive at times, but then again, dealing with three sets of three, maybe all that conversation was necessary. Regardless, it all happens in the middle of the action--it never slows the story down--so it's not really a complaint. I just add these two quibbles because I know some people won't take a review seriously if it doesn't find *some* fault with a book. Well, there ya go.
Conclusion: Reality Check was thoroughly enjoyable and I will be recommending it to anyone who asks. I can't wait to read the sequel. The book I read before this was also by Garrison, and I see a marked improvement in his storytelling between that book and this. I think Garrison has a bright future ahead of him as a novelist, and I will look forward to starting on his Road Ghosts series in the near future, as I wait for Reality Check 2!...more
I liked it, but it was a kinder, gentler version of the HBO series. It also had a lot of ads in the back for the series box set. The "making of" was oI liked it, but it was a kinder, gentler version of the HBO series. It also had a lot of ads in the back for the series box set. The "making of" was okay. All-in-all I found the show to be closer in tone to the actual novel, but this was a fun light read if you're into graphic novels already (I am). I did find a typo in one of Ned's speech bubbles: "I pay that" instead of "I pray that," which was a bit surprising considering there were so few words to proofread. Oh, well. A thoughtful Christmas gift, hopefully my husband and kids will enjoy it as much as I did!...more