Maria Elena thought she’d sworn off gaming forever. But she hates her new internship, so her brother Balt convinces her to play Heroes of Avonell, a cutting-edge virtual-reality video game with such complex programming that it’s like the non-player characters are self-aware.
Disappointed with the usual cliché job class offerings, Maria Elena’s character Quinny stumbles through a glitch in the game and ends up in Caed Dhraos, a strange city populated with friendly monsters. Quinny decides to work for the resident dark lord as part of his magic personnel, but she can’t tell anybody she’s playing in off-limits areas of the game—not even Balt. Soon Quinny finds herself getting to the bottom of a mystery surrounding an ancient demon and why Caed Dhraos is suffering from the Blight.
But the artificial intelligences in the game really are self-aware, and some of Avonell’s so-called “heroes” have decided they don’t like humanity very much. The game has gone out of control, and Maria Elena and her new friends have to find a way to set things right. Can she save Avonell – and Earth – while juggling her real job and trying to salvage her crumbling relationship with her brother?
Pixeldust is a dive into a fantastical, fun virtual world where the universe may be made of data, but the dangers, friendships, magic, and lessons learned are very real.
Pixeldust is the coolest book I’ve read in 2021, so far. T.K. Arispe takes us on a journey that gamers who enjoy RPG Fantasy and Scifi games, will absolutely love. The only types of games I enjoy are RPG, so this was just so fun to read.
Maria Elena is a relatable character. She has a job, but she loves her online gaming world much more satisfying. I think that’s typical for anyone. She’s a bit naive, however, she has a wonderful heart and an open mind, and I enjoy the journey she takes.
The plotline is very unique, and as I said, this is such a cool book. It’s an intriguing look at good vs evil and how, sometimes, not everything is as it seems. I absolutely love the ideas presented here.
I think fantasy/scifi readers will enjoy, but readers who are also gamers will absolutely inhale this book.
*I received a free copy of this book from Rachel’s Random Resources to review honestly on the blog tour. All opinions are my own and unbiased.*
T. K. Arispe is an illustrator, gamer, and unashamed nerd with a background in animation and webcomic production, including the webcomic Trainer Wants to Fight! which somehow got its own page on TVTropes. She loves interesting stories, well-crafted worlds, and memorable characters, and is passionate about creating quality, intelligent, slightly offbeat media that everyone can enjoy. Most of her story ideas come from random research binges, usually in the fields of theoretical physics, computer science, or oddly enough food history. She lives in California, where she enjoys not having to deal with snow because it is terrifying.
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