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The Moon Maze Game (Dream Park #4)

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  537 Ratings  ·  81 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 fabu
ebook, 368 pages
Published August 16th 2011 by Tor Books
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Tim Hicks
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 kille
Aug 23, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 11, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
_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 t
Eddie Hodges
Nov 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 game ...more
Jun 18, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dixie Conley
Sep 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jeffery Russell
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 14, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Thomas S
May 24, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Christopher Murphy
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Taking place several decades after Dream Park, this book takes several interesting twists and turns. It is basically about a televised game being held on the moon, but there are so many other plots that it is also a political thriller, a crime fiction story, a psychological story about facing your fears, a love story or two, and several other things all interwoven into a page-turner. I was actually getting hooked on the story within the game, before it got interrupted by the story of the book. T ...more
Robert Arrington
Long ago, I read Dream Park, the first book in this series. It was a magical experience, with two stories progressing in parallel fashion. There was the fantasy story involving live action role-players set in a world where Cargo Cult mythology was ultimate truth, and a real life murder mystery that intersected with the game world. It was absolutely dazzling.

This is the fourth installment in the series, and much time has passed. We're now dealing with the adult child of the original protagonist,
Meghan Tracy
Ugh. I didn't know about the whole kidnapping plot point going into this book and I really should have. I had thought that it was just a story about when LARPing in the future was for real. You know, the next step past a bunch of people getting together and using their imaginations. That aspect of the book is pretty damn cool and I would happily sign up for the computer simulation LARP as soon as it's available.

The first 60% of the book is quite disjointed as the perspective is constantly shift
I just finished reading the Moon Maze Game by Larry Niven & Steven Barns last night. Overall the book was entertaining. The setup took a long long time and way to many pages of the book. Despite that it felt as if there was a large number of pages missing displayed by gaps in the story as the book progressed. These gaps also felt as if they contained information that could have been interesting. Once the "game" within the book started and the plot twist hit, then the book got good. I essenti ...more
Dec 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I've been an on-and-off fan of the Dream Park novels. The first one was one of my top reading experiences, the second a bit meh, the third one came close to recreating the same feeling I had from the first - not as great, but it was a worthy sequel.

Sadly the Moon Maze Game doesn't hit the spot like books 1 and 2 did. It takes too long to get going, the concept of hi-tech LARPing is only a backdrop to a less than inspiring story about an attempted kidnapping/revolution and none of the characters
Jun 15, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I understand where they were going with this story, but they failed to pull it together like earlier adventures in the series. It was difficult to envision the layout of the setting so much that they resorted to numbered rooms, for Pete's sake. I couldn't figure out who the protagonist was, so ended up rooting for a minor character who at least seemed to have fun.

All flaws aside, this novel tries hard to carry the same genre-bending model you've come to expect from Dream Park. Perhaps th
Oct 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
It has been ages since I read the other Dream Park books and my memory is probably tainting things a lot but I seem to recall really liking the first one and feeling the second and third were so-so. This one felt more like the first one to me, at least to my memory of the first one. I did enjoy this one more than I recalled the second or third, just felt more like the first and the story seemed more interesting. But either I'm having reading issues OR this book needed a good editor as there seem ...more
Royce Sears
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
The Moon Maze Game was an interesting read that was fast-paced and full of fun 'gamer' tidbits that were great for an old D&D gamer like myself. Set in the future, where LARP has become a sport, The Moon Maze Game takes the reader on a fun-filled ride through a futuristic LARP game based on H.G. Wells The First Men in the Moon. The main conflict is centered around a prince of a small African nation who is heavily invested in these LARP games, but is a target for a group of terrorists who des ...more
Jan 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I really want to play a game like the one in this book. It's a live-action video/roleplaying game with the biggest special effects budget known to man. They have giant robots and holograms and supporting actors. It would be awesome.

The plot about the guys who want to take over the world or a country or something is there, too.

And it's on the moon, so that's interesting. The mechanics of a kidnapping on the moon are complicated, to say the least. First, you have to go all the way there, and once
Kristin Lundgren
Somebody is trying to tell me something... in this collaborative novel, coming on the heels of Suarez's Daemon and Freedom about MMOPRGs, this one is set in 2085 about a LARP (live action role playing game - real people, acting out the game, but with roles, points, etc.). The first such, using holographic game set - this one modeled on the HG Wells canon, and set and played on the moon. The plot: a Prince from Africa is one of the contestants, a coup in is in place, the game is hijacked, and now ...more
This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For
An entertaining read, possibly the best of the Dream Park books since the original, The Moon Maze Game takes place about a generation after the original books. An easy read, it its a fun adventure with a few consistency flaws that should have been caught by editors (eg. Characters discovering the same thing multiple times, getting the number of people in a room wrong, having someone leave a room but then answer a question as if they had never left, etc.), but don't take away from the overall sto ...more
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have always been a big fan of the Dream Park series of books. I enjoyed the both the idea of big LARP style games with tech that made it seem real and I always thought the business tie in they came up with made it seem very plausible. Sadly this story just show cases that the series is pretty played out. The story really just took the first book and re named the characters or had the children of the first book character fill the same role. Then they moved it to the moon and that is that. A sad ...more
Teresa Dowd
I wanted to like this book. I adored the first three books. I don't sympathize with this Griffin and even less about his initial assignment. If I wanted to read about twits like that, there's plenty of rag sheets. It just took far too long for me to empathize with any of the characters. I didn't care that young Griffin's fanny was in the bear trap...

It made me sad as this was one of my first books after a long drought. I'd rather dig out one of my worn copies about the Cargo Game than try again.
Nov 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This was a great return to the Dream Park series. I read the first books many years ago, and this one brought back memories. The technology in those books was so far ahead of its time, AR before there was even the term. Who could imagine back then that we'd really have Video Game leagues one day?

In this return, our tech and expectations of the tech, have caught up, yet this book takes it up a notch and is still believable.

If you remember the first books, jump in on this one. If you never read th
Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Niven and Barnes have produced and interesting variation on the theme of LARP(Live-Action Role-Playing)games. Set on the moon, a group of brilliant people use their unique talents and interesting mentalities to solve puzzles and escape harrowing situations.

The game they play, which rapidly goes beyond fun to life and death is enhanced by special effects which can only be dreamed of by modern-day gamers.

A very fast engrossing book, which even non-gamers will find exciting and hard to put down.
Aug 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big fan of the Dream Park series, so I was ecstatic when I heard a new one was coming out. Unfortunately I felt let down this book. There wasn't as much 'Dream Park' action as I hoped there would be & the fictional backdrop of the 'game' was not very intriguing. There were some interesting scenes, but overall I was bored in places. The narrator's performance was also not too inspiring. Glad I listened to it instead of reading, but was hoping for more after my long wait for another "Dre ...more
T.S. Gray
Dec 06, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: with-reviews
With an ensemble cast, I found the perspective switches- sometimes three to a page- excessive and often confusing. Hard to tell who was speaking often. The story itself was a lot of fun, especially for gamers or fans of H.G. Wells. Didn't realize this was part of a series, at all, there was nothing to indicate it was not a stand-alone book. Which is not a bad thing. Overall, I enjoyed it, but would have preferred to focus on just a few characters and gotten to know them, rather than shifting non ...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
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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)