After a glitch brought on by a cyber-terrorism attack, a newbie player is trapped inside the online dreamscape of The Game. She must reach The Game’s seventh rift to escape, but with every passing rift the glitches brought on by the initial attack become more deadly.
The Game is the first of its kind: an online dreamscape where fantasy is reality. With 12 million players on its launch date, it’s the biggest success the corporate gaming world has ever seen, despite a few hundred pirated players that sneaked in for a free ride. But when the servers crash after a strange glitch, thousands of gamers are trapped inside The Game’s now unreliable dreamscape.
When a feisty newbie is separated from her co-op partner, she teams up with a stray player to head for what a random bulletin message claims is their only hope for salvation: reaching the infamous Arena at Bang-Bang Island.
But as Kitty and the experienced stranger make their way across the rifts of the now very unstable game, Kitty realises that her new teammate has been deceiving her. As she gains a deeper understanding of what’s really happening to The Game, Kitty is forced to decide between finding her own way home or relying on the knowledge of the tricksome stranger who’s been helping her through the rifts for his own selfish purposes.
With time running out, and the glitches becoming more frequent and destructive, Kitty must find her partner and get to the Arena before The Game unravels around her, leaving her mind trapped inside forever, unable to escape The Game’s dazzling yet deadly cage.
Straight out, I will admit I am neither an avid gamer or a fan of the science fiction genre, however, I was fascinated by this book from the very beginning. I’ve always loved the concept of a fully immersive gaming experience and The Seventh Glitch takes the reader into that idea.
Kitty is a newbie gamer, tagging along with her more experienced partner. After a spell goes awry, she’s forced to team up with Lucy to work her way through the rifts searching for her friend and hope to get to the Arena. Only there, can they be released from The Game after a series of glitches. As they progress through each rift, Lucy begins to act different, and it’s not long before Kitty realizes he is not someone to be trusted.
This book takes place almost exclusively inside of a virtual reality game. There are instances where the characters think back to their bodies waiting for them ‘back on Earth’ which help cement that what they’re experiencing isn’t real. Though the stakes get higher when they realize when your last life is gone, the player doesn’t appear to unplug.
While I found the entire story quite fascinating, I have to admit I was annoyed by Kitty at times. However, as a sporadic video game player myself, I can understand her hesitance and inability to figure out which weapon to use or spell to cast at the necessary times. She alternates between arguing with every decision her teammates make, sulking, and freezing at important times. As her real life story unfolds, it becomes more obvious why she behaves the way she does. She is definitely more animated when she’s just with Lucy than when William is also involved.
William is obviously the experienced gamer of the two. While he’s only in about half of the book, I found his attitude to be quite off putting. He seemed to see Kitty as less than useful and like he was doing her a great favor by getting her into The Game.
Lucy is something else altogether. It’s hard to touch on him without giving everything away, so let’s just say all of his actions are suspicious. Maybe one day I’ll read the book again and carefully watch what all he does. Though you can pinpoint fairly quick that he’s not a boy scout.
While I loved the varied environments the book went through, I feel the need to add a caution. Each environment illuminated a different type of game people would enjoy, including one designed just for children. With that in mind, there were definitely environments, or rifts, that were adult only. So be prepared for an uptick in curse words and other adult themes.
The entire book was quite original and fun to read. That’s saying something for me since I’m not the biggest fan of science fiction. If you like the idea of the ultimate virtual reality game, I could definitely recommend this book.