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.

Belart Wright's "The Glitch Fiends: Part 2"

Belart Wright's "The Glitch Fiends: Part 2"

Those who know me know that I’m a Belart Wright fan, especially his Hell’s Glitch series. It’s dark, brutal and unforgiving, and you know that is all right up my alley. It’s gets darker, more brutal and more unforgiving in Belart’s latest offering, The Glitch Fiends: Part 2.

Book 3 cover

Book 3 cover

We’re dropped into Part 2 nearly right after the end of Part 1, and things are still looking a bit rough for Sam. He’s still trapped in a game where nearly everything in the game wants to kill him, and if he dies in game, he dies in real life. If that wasn’t tense enough, there is an added level of danger for him in the way of the titular “Glitch Fiends” that are only appearing in his game so far, that threaten to break the game, which would end well for Sammy. On the flip side of all this, we have Alex, designer tasked with helping Sam, however limited her help may be, though surely not for lack of trying. She’s in just as much as danger of losing her life as Sam, should she reveal or do too much for him, or ask too many questions about her role and the overall purpose of Milner’s dark experiment. Sam at least has the ability to revive should he die in most cases, whereas all it would take is one bullet to do Alex in. Talk about a stressful work environment…

As you can see, the stakes are higher than ever in this installment, which is saying something, given how dire the situation was in the last book. Things are revealed in this continuation that are touched on in part one, and makes for a more immersive experience overall. And speaking of immersion, there is a blurring of lines in regard to reality that occurs for Sam due to the level of immersion he experiences. This adds another layer to the psychological struggles Sam deals with, especially after still having not come to terms with the consequences of his actions in past books. Him struggling with the guilt of what he did, even though he isn’t at fault (at least to me because I blame Milner), as well as him trying to keep the game world and the real world from meshing together is something that Belart does very well, using these moments to peel back layers of his character.

The Glitch Fiends: Part 2 delivers more of the enjoyable wise-cracking and foul-mouthed mc in Sam, rage-inducing, brutal, and borderline unfair fights with enemies, harsh settings, and stakes that continue to climb higher. Belart Wright offers yet another installment that allows you to learn more about the game world he’s created, along with its memorable and badass characters (looking at you Ji), all the while planting seeds for some interesting things future sequels. I’m curious to see where things go next after the way this one ended.

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