The Family: The Brotherhood
By Donte M McNeal

Based in Michigan, Donte's Playground is a blog by Donte M McNeal. His posts range from nonsensical ramblings about anime, in-depth reviews of books and television/film, to random spurts of philosophical babble.

Glitch Fiends Review

Glitch Fiends Review

So, for those of you who don't know, I'm a huge fan of Belart Wright's work. He caught my eye with his debut, Average Joe and the Extraordinaires, kept me interested with the short story, Story of K, and then blew me away with his next book, Hell's Glitch (which I talked about here and is also the prequel to the book I'm talking about today). Without further ado, Belart Wright's neewst home run, The Glitch Fiends!

So, Glitch Fiends, book 2 of the Hell’s Glitch Series picks up where Hell’s Glitch left off, with our entertaining and quite relatable main character, Sam, still trapped in the deadly Project DH, but that doesn’t mean it’s just more of the same . . . kind of. We still have Sam as the focus of the story, but things have changed. The game’s systems are different, which means that the pain is more intense, the status effects are felt in a more real way, and Sam is in even more danger than ever before (which is saying something since he's trapped in game where if dies in it, he dies in real life). You get the sense that if Sam doesn't up his game, then it'll be game over for him, for good.

The descriptions of everything is better this one, but that's not to say that things were unexplained in the first book in the series, because they were. I just feel that with Glitch Fiends, Mr. Wright has gotten a much better grasp on his brutal game world. In addition to being a more immersive read, we get to see characters who didn’t get a lot of screen time in the last book get more to do this go round (looking at you Alex). A much as I enjoyed Alex and Sam's relationship in Hell's Glitch, I must say, seeing more of her IRL helped to establish her as more than the witty tech support role she had almost settled into. In addition to Alex being fleshed out more, we also get to meet some new characters, both inside the game as well as outside, and some are nicer than others. That's all I'll say on that front, know that Belart does as great a job as always creating characters you can, and most likely will, enjoy to read. I know I did.

One other thing I appreciated about this sequel is how problems addressed in reviews of the last book were tackled in its follow-up. That’s not to say everything about the book is different, but it’s made clear in Glitch Fiends that the story (and game) Belart has created is its own beast, and not some unoriginal imitation of something else. The new monsters are fun (well, maybe not for Sam), the tension thick both in-game and IRL, and the stakes are higher than ever before with unforeseen challenges being thrown at Sam from all directions, be they internal or external. I had a blast reading this one.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the next installment. I’ll be impatiently waiting for it to drop, that's for sure. What's my verdict on this one?

The Perfect Tear Review

The Perfect Tear Review

Johan Twiss' "I Am Sleepless" Series

Johan Twiss' "I Am Sleepless" Series