Saturday, 7 June 2014


PATCH DAY by Mychael Black

Pages: 38
Date: 06/06/2014
Grade: 3+
Details: No. 2 Dungeon Crawl
             Received from New Changeling Press
             Through Love Romances and More
Own / Kindle

The blurb:

“Gamer Elijah Burrows has rather seamlessly taken over the life of his game character, Elian Surgis, in the world of Timiria. Alongside his lover, the lupine mage Sarin Eckhert, Elijah leads survivors of Sarin's mystical order through the wilds of the province of Tasmorum. They manage to stay just one step ahead of Timiria's monarch, King Mirov, who seeks to destroy every magic-wielding soul connected to the Labyrinthine Order.

From encounters with a mysterious group of traders on the road, to a revelation of epic proportions, it's a miracle Elijah has any time to explore his relationship with Sarin. Then Fate throws a wrench into the mix: the appearance of another "traveler" -- another gamer stuck in the game world Elijah now calls home. But this particular gamer has ulterior motives that have nothing to do with the Order's survival”

My thoughts:

Dungeon Crawl is probably best described as a serial novel and as such should be read from the start. I would strongly advise against reading ‘Patch Day’ if you haven’t read ‘Loading, Please Wait’ yet.

Elijah Burrows has very quickly settled into his new life in Timiria. The world that up until recently only existed in his game console is now his reality and he is more at home here than he has been in his ‘real’ life for a long time. That’s not to say life as Elian Surgis is easy. Under threat from King Mirov’s army and assassins, Elijah has to rely on skills he barely knew he had in order to keep the people travelling with him as well as himself and the man he is starting to love, safe.

At the same time, his relationship with Sarin, a Lycan as well as a mage, is anything Elijah could have dreamed up and than some. With danger lurking around every corner and other ‘travellers’ working for the king who would destroy Sarin and all other mages, it is a miracle the two men have time to grow the relationship between them.

I’m enjoying this story. I like the concept – a man ending up inside his favourite game – and the way the author applies it. The story is well written and very easy to read. I also enjoyed the lighter moments in this story such as the reaction of some characters to Elijah’s ‘other world’ language and Elijah’s reflection on food:

“Though he had to admit, fresh, fire-roasted rabbit tasted a hell of a lot better than boxed macaroni and cheese.”

While there is a lot happening in relatively few pages, there is time for more tender and sexy moments as well. In fact, I think the balance between action and intimacy was just about spot on in this instalment.

“Sometimes, Sarin said. Words aren’t needed.”

Having said that, I do think publishing this story in installments has one real down-side. Certain elements have to be present in each short novella in order to keep the reader fully in the story. The format means that scenes feel rushed at times. I would have like more detailed and longer descriptions as well as more time to settle into a scene before the next one starts.

Mind you, I am now rather fascinated with Elijah, Sarin and the world they’re trying to save and want to know what is going to happen next. I may wait until the full story is available before reading on though, provided I can keep my curiosity under control.

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