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The Moon Maze Game

(Dream Park #4)

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  682 ratings  ·  105 reviews
The Year: 2085. Humanity has spread throughout the solar system. A stable lunar colony is agitating for independence. Lunar tourism is on the rise....

Against this background, professional “Close Protection” specialist Scotty Griffin, fresh off a disastrous assignment, is offered the opportunity of a lifetime: to shepherd the teenaged heir to the Republic of Kikaya on a fab
Hardcover, 364 pages
Published August 16th 2011 by Tor Books
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Average rating 3.51  · 
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 ·  682 ratings  ·  105 reviews

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Dec 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Back forever ago, I used to rave about the Dream Park books. They were everything I imagined good imaginative fiction ought to be when it's right next door to us but catering big time to the whole gamer crowd that's out there.

What I mean is it's a SF and Fantasy fan's dream, mixed with LARPing and such a huge budget. Before, we were dealing with a fantasy theme park pulling out all the stops for the Princess of Mars or Voodoo mysteries and mixing it all with high-tech hijinx and murder and real
Aug 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
Dream Park is one of my favorite novels of all time. It really captured the feeling of what futuristic live action fantasy gaming might be like. The characters were interesting and lively, and the plot was engaging and fun.

The first sequel, The Barsoom Project, was just as good, maybe even a little better.

Then came The California Voodoo Game. This one tried a little too hard, suffered some abrupt and jarring changes to the canon (replacing Kreugeresque holographic "external vr" technology with L
I remember loving the first Dream Park book, then being a bit disappointed with the second and third installments. This one is back on track and contains more futuristic LARPing, for me this made it much more interesting.

The game world/scenario in this book is take on H.G. Well's 'The First Men in the Moon' and those familiar with that book will really appreciate the period setting. As the game takes place in a dome on the moon, there is the added element of lower gravity and the constant danger
Dec 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will admit that its been a while since I have read a great rip roaring sci-fi adventure from Larry Niven (and Steven Barnes) and I will admit that I had forgotten how much fun it was. True the book did get delayed being finished as I was busy with work but once the story clicked and I was in the full flow it was hard to put down.

So why a mediocre rating - well to be honest this is technically the latest in a series of books about the Dream Park games and although the story was fast paced and s
Fun, but missing something compared to past Niven and past Dream Park series.

SRC 2018 'TUM' (Fall) Task 5.6 based on Moon Maze.
(Did not check for other possible tasks)
Tim Hicks
Nov 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
OK, I didn't like the other Dream Park books all that much either, and I hated Fallen Angels.
But this was disappointing even beyond that.
This from the guy who gave us Ringworld, stepping discs and the Draco Tavern? Larry, you're slumming.

Even the basic premise is nonsense: Broadcast LARPs are popular, therefore one set on the moon will be boffo. But then I don't watch "Survivor" on TV either so what do I know?

I disliked it most near the end where a couple of scenes have characters being kill
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf
I was chuffed to bits when I found this. It's been a while since I read the first three and I thought that was all there was. I'm a third in and feeling...meh. Parts of it are great but it needs editing. Repetition after repetition, as if the two authors did a chapter each and didn't read what the other wrote.

And I am BEYOND SICK of the fat/fit fashion that gets mentioned constantly and women being described as chubby for no pertinent reason. We get it. At that point in the future, curves are in
Eddie Hodges
Nov 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Moon Maze Game is a really great science fiction novel (though I'm not crazy over the title). It's part of a group of books by Niven & Barnes called the Dream Park novels; not really a series, but set, more or less, in the same setting. The Dream Parks are the setting for live action role playing games that have far out stripped football, basketball and other sports in popularity. To the point that chamionship games are followed with as much or more enthusiasm than modern Super Bowl games. H ...more
Dixie Conley
Sep 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
I've read several reviews that slammed this book and I can't see why they did so. Admittedly, the setup was slow moving, almost glacial in its progress, but the story overall was wonderful.

Set a generation after the Dream Park books, man has colonized the moon to a point. Enough to host a game at any rate. The players are varied, but among them are the prince of an African nation, his bodyguard, an experienced gamer and her out-of-practice partner who fear a grudge against them from the GM, a la
Dec 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed DREAM PARK and this is the latest sequel. This time the game is played on the moon, and the action becomes more real than what the players bargained for. There were a few details that I didn't find especially convincing, but it's a fun and fast-paced page-turner, just the thing for a winter evening by the fireplace. ...more
Jan 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
_Dream Park_ was not from Niven's "early and awesome" period, but it was an early favorite of mine, because it was about gamers and it understood what gamers wanted out of interactive drama. (Yes, the Games themselves were a stilted collection of LARP and D&D tropes, but that's what would *actually happen*, right? I mean look at today's videogame industry. But then check out the description of the haunted-house attraction at the beginning of _DP_. That's proper game design.)

So then I liked the s
Gilbert Stack
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Dream Park series ends on an awesome note with The Moon Maze Game. I loved the first book and thoroughly enjoyed The Barsoom Project but thought the series took a wrong turn with The California Voodoo Game. With the Moon Maze Game, Niven and Barnes recaptured the magic, and ironically did it by breaking the formula that governed the first three books.

These novels all revolve around a live-action role playing game which utilizes holograms and robotics to produce fantasy adventures. The effor
Christopher Murphy
Sep 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Caveat to the following: This book = much better if you read the first Dreampark novel for background into how these games work.

Absolutely brilliant! Though no sequel will ever be able to top the original Dreampark; this is the one that comes closest. Just as in the original there is a wonderful mix between the two storylines of in-game and out of game. The out-of-game storyline still won out in grabbing my attention away from the game (for obvious reasons), but unlike books 2 and 3 (Barsoom a
Richard Radgoski
Sep 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
I loved Dream Park. I really enjoyed the sequels. When I saw this book on the shelf, I was certain it was a sequel even though I didn't know anything about it...or that it was coming out. I then did something potentially silly...I checked the goodreads score with my iPad as I stood in the store. And I found a less than stellar score and some fairly negative reviews. I almost didn't buy it because of that. But I thought twice and recalled my enjoyment od it's predecessors and bought the book. And ...more
Barry Haworth
Jun 08, 2018 rated it liked it
I have at one time been a big fan of the works of Larry Niven, though I have not kept up with all of his works lately. The Dream Park series (of which this is the fourth) is not my favourite among his works, but I found the book to be an enjoyable enough read. The first live action competitive game to be held on the Moon is a high profile, high stakes affair, which only becomes more so when terrorists attempt a kidnapping within the game. Except that the game masters are not entirely locked out ...more
Jeffery Russell
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
The first two books in this series, Dream Park and The Barsoom Project are two of my all time favorites. The series wandered a bit for book three and now, book four has wandered further. The Game, which to me is the most interesting aspect of the series, takes a backseat in book four to focus on a Die Hard style terrorist storyline which didn't grab me. On the bright side it's inspired me to go back and reread the first two. ...more
This book started slow. Too much exposition, at a glacial pace compared to the previous Dream Park books.

But when the main plot finally shifted into gear, I could barely keep up and it was grand! Suddenly I was cheering for the characters and kept on reading, eager to know what happened next. There were neat twists and turns that bumped this up to a 4 star review. I definitely recommend this book.
Jun 12, 2018 rated it liked it
This is fine. I've read all the Dream Park books and they're all fine. I wish they were a little more compelling, but they're still good.
I think my biggest complaint is the split between the roller play stuff and the behind the scenes stuff switches to quickly and can be confusing.
It's good, but I wish it was great.
Mary Pat
Quite different from the first three Dream Park novels - not much on the way of gaming on this one, and there's really no mystery, per se. It's more action/suspense/thriller, with some engineering problem-solving thrown in. The characters aren't all that well fleshed out, in my opinion. But the operations of the moon colony is interesting. ...more
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, gamer
If you want a book like the first three, this is not for you. The writing is enjoyable and good but thematically it’s very different. It’s set a generation later so no recurring characters among the the group of MCs. The crime commited to drive the plot stops the game.

Sep 14, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction
This one is a big disappointment. This science fiction is written around a gaming plot and not written with the normal Niven quality. I put it down.

- saw on new book shelf in library
Ray Daley
Jun 06, 2019 rated it liked it
It's not awful. I quite like the connections to HG Wells, and the general story is decent, far better than the 2nd book.

If you liked the 1st book, I'd recommend this one too.
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is the fourth in the "Dream Park" series of books by Niven and Barnes. Like the previous ones, the premise is "larping plus VR leads to Very Serious entertainment, almost the way professional sports work today: mass audiences, serious preparation, and gambling and corruption." It's a good premise but in an era of "cyber sports" doesn't feel so revolutionary.

Here the gimmick is that there's a game on the moon and it crosses paths with a Central African coup. It's a good premise, a good setti
Jun 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction-series
Written nearly 20 years later, this book is quite a bit better than the third and former last book of the series. It seems likely that there won't be another. I found it good, not great, and unlike the others, the plot here covers a lot more than just the game.

One of the things that confused the previous book was a ton of characters. This book has a more reasonable cast, but not a lot of growth. Previous books tried to keep up with technology and felt dated, this one waves hands over the "game"
Thomas S
May 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
One and a Half. Some merit, but executed with lumps. needed more needing to get to 2 stars. it wiled away the time, but the inconsistencies had me dissatisfied on the whole. I did not have it, it was OK. but not good, not great.

I think the intent was to show that LARP gamers were a cut above the rest, especially above thugs and cutthroat kidnappers, but it failed to deliver that promise. The authors should have put it in a draw for a while and started afresh. I found the disabled player the mos
Jeff T.
May 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
Reviewing this book makes me sad. The first three in the series were all good or better. They were engaging, they had fun characters, and they were about gamers and gaming.
I got 80 pages into this 350 page book and nobody has been in a game. Games have been mentioned in passing, but we're still setting up the main characters, all of whom, with maybe one exception, are thoroughly unlikable.
I didn't come here for a slightly futuristic kidnap or whatever mystery. Disappointed. I'll go read the fir
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Scotty is a hard-luck bodyguard who gets to escort an African prince to the moon to participate in a well-financed role-playing game. There will follow many good guys and bad guys, some light sexual tension, frequent use of phrases that include “the hell”, and about a thousand references to the moon’s one-sixth gravity.

This is not a piece of great literature. It is a comic book with no pictures. And it takes for-ever to get to some comprehensible story. If you get confused, try reading the insid
Chris Aldridge
Jan 08, 2021 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shaun Edmonds
Jul 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Overall good book in the series. It goes outside of it's own comfort zone and I appreciated that. I do wish it has the "character summary" that the other books did - with such a large cast it was sometimes hard to remember why I should care about them. It also traded some of the joy/wonder of the previous books for more of a thriller edge - different but neither good nor bad. ...more
Eric Hunter
Feb 09, 2018 rated it liked it
This book had echoes of "The Campus" books by Tom Clancy, for me, since it features Scotty Griffin, the son of Alex Griffin, Chief of Dream Park Security, who is so much like his Dad, it is difficult to tell the difference between the characters. A fun read, but hard to believe. ...more
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Laurence van Cott Niven's best known work is Ringworld (Ringworld, #1) (1970), which received the Hugo, Locus, Ditmar, and Nebula awards. His work is primarily hard science fiction, using big science concepts and theoretical physics. The creation of thoroughly worked-out alien species, which are very different from humans both physically and mentally, is recognized as one of Niven's main strengths ...more

Other books in the series

Dream Park (4 books)
  • Dream Park (Dream Park, #1)
  • The Barsoom Project (Dream Park, #2)
  • California Voodoo Game (Dream Park, #3)

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