By Miranda Boyer
“You liked Ready Player One, you might also enjoy Alter World,” and so I bought it. It’s no secret that Ready Player One is one of my favorite books, so this wasn’t a hard sell. There were a lot of things that I enjoyed about ALTER WORLD by D.RUS and one thing that bothered me.
I’ll start with why I enjoyed this book. I love alt-reality books and tech inspired genres. Right now more than anything else, as technology changes, I find myself more and more drawn to books that use it in fun ways. ALTER WORLD takes place in the future (not too far off it seems) where technology has inadvertently allowed humans to become part of the digital world permanently.
Our main character, Max, has an inoperable brain tumor chosen to enter the digital world as a way of beating death. And thus our heroes journey begins. I enjoyed learning this new world as Max does. There was never an info dump and as someone who hates them, I can appreciate his avoidance of writing one.
I also enjoyed that this wasn’t typical in story-arc. There wasn’t a bad guy so to speak, it was about the journey and how things played out. BUT….
The thing that bothered me about this book, our Hero was too good. He never falters. He never missteps without some fix pulled out of his ass to save him from seemingly nowhere. I never wondered if he would place second or win a battle or make friends with important people. At one point I thought maybe the girlfriend was a spy, but nope. She’s just what she says she is. I was disappointed with the sheer lack of surprise. Max was always better than the best. I wish he had some faults that made him more human. Even in his personal life. There comes a point where overnight he creates something others have spent years making. There was no struggle. It would have been more compelling if he’d spent half the book trying to create this item instead of one long night.
On a whole, I enjoyed the book. It was no Ready Player One. But I’d probably read the next book.