3 out of 4 stars
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Gamers and Gods is a science fiction/fantasy trilogy comprised of the books Aes, Machaon, and Alexanor. The author, Matthew Kennedy, was inspired by videogames, mythology, and physics. Because of the author’s interests, the books are full of gaming terms and references to modern game design. Along the same lines, it’s obvious that the mythology was well researched. This is a great series that both gamers and non-gamers alike can get into.
In the near future, the population of the earth has been greatly reduced by war and disease. In the aftermath, the remaining populace developed advanced technology and peace between nations. It’s in this world that people can now live most of their lives online. Gods have chosen this time to fight over the control of humanity and the chosen location is PanGames, the online worlds of the leading virtual reality gaming company. Each book in the series features a champion related to Greek mythology and a champion from Egyptian mythology. Let the games begin!
Along with the basic plot, there is also a focus on philosophy and theoretical physics. I didn’t find the theoretical physics interesting so I was really hoping it would add something to the story, but ultimately it’s only partially impactful. However, the philosophical question of “What does it mean to be human?” tied in well as an overall theme of the trilogy.
There aren’t many characters, but they’re all likeable and well written. The key players are Darla, an engineering student, Farker, the Chief Information Officer of PanGames, and the three titular heroes. In Machaon and Alexanor, the author falls into the trap of using characters that don’t know anything as a method to insert exposition, but it’s not done well. On a positive note, this method of exposition is only used long enough to go over some technical aspects. The story goes back to normal narrative quickly.
I rate Gamers and Gods a 3 out of 4. I enjoyed reading the books, but I wouldn’t read them again. The storyline was too simple to be repeated three times, but the writing itself is very cohesive and solid. There are a lot of writing errors that should have been edited out and the story had a very noticeable plot hole. Someone interested in physics may find a large portion of the books more interesting than I found it. I recommend this book for people interested in a fantastical story about videogames, mythology, and physics.
Gamers and Gods: The Complete Trilogy
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