AUTHOR: Ali Luke
GENRE: Fiction, Contemporary Fantasy
PUBLISHER: Self-published through Aliventures
PAGES: Unknown - only available as an ebook
After finishing Lycopolis, I found myself wary to go to sleep, afraid I might be plagued by the same nightmares that haunted the characters in Ali Luke’s novel. Lycopolis is a fast-paced adventure that revolves around seven people who accidentally summon a real demon through an online role-playing game. The novel follows each of them as they struggle with their own greed, anger and fear… the emotions that the demon feeds off of.
Ali writes clearly and concisely, without letting too much prose get in the way of her plot. There isn’t a slow spot in Lycoplis: it starts with action and ends with action. She gets into her characters’ heads and brings out their individual personalities so that we learn to love every single one of them. Of course we love protagonist, Kay, who is a misfit Oxford student and the only one strong enough to stand up to the demon. But even Seth, the antagonist and the mastermind behind the summoning, has his redeeming qualities.
The narrative switches often from real life to the imagined online world of Lycopolis. In this alternate fantasy world, the seven main characters have different names, different appearances, and even different personalities. While I enjoyed Lycopolis thoroughly, I did wonder if some people might get confused by the online gaming foundation. I am familiar with online text-based role-playing, but I found myself wondering exactly how the game worked, and an in-depth explanation of the game isn’t provided until halfway through the book.
The ending of Lycopolis did not disappoint. It was a fast read and made the perfect weekend escape. The plot was original and refreshing, and although some of the sub-plots were left on a loose end, I finished the book with satisfaction. Lycopolis is the first book of a planned trilogy, and I look forward to reading the sequel.
Online gamers will find Lycopolis to be a riveting, fun read. This is definitely a book for the younger generation, although tech-savvy adults will enjoy it as well. The content is clean enough to be labeled Young Adult, but the characters, which range from high school students to married adults, are eclectic enough that readers of all ages should be able to find a main character to identify with.
Lycopolis on Amazon.com
Official Lycopolis webpage
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