I received this book for free in return for an honest review.
Party Hard by David Petrie an interesting book. It has some good quips, some snappy dialogue, and even some good fights. It just felt like it was missing something, almost like it was trying too hard. I will say that the concept and execution behind the quest that picks up our intrepid heroes is much more interesting and plausible than the usual “A whole bunch of people are suddenly trapped in a VRMMO game.”
There are three distinct sections to this book, and I think that each needs to be talked about individually: the introduction, the party gathering, and the quest itself, which was kind of a boss run/multiple dungeon run. I found the introduction fairly boring, other than the fight. I admit it was a pretty good way to show off both the main character’s skills, as well as a few of their limitations, but other than the fight it was mostly a 50-page infodump.
I think I enjoyed the party gathering stage the best. We got to head to a few different locations in the world and learn about them, as well as see the party dynamic slowly change as new characters kept being added. How they arrived was even altered so that there wasn’t the too much repetition. I think the thing that bothered me the most here was something small that I noticed throughout, the lack of commas when using multiple adjectives to describe a single object (i.e., the small, brown dog). Like I said, not a big thing, but when I noticed that quite a few in a row didn’t have it, only for the next one to, it annoyed me. I honestly would have been less upset if none of the adjectives had the commas, but when I see that a few of them do, it makes me think ‘why can’t the rest of them?!’ Other than that, the grammar was quite solid though.
Really the place where the story started showing signs of breaking down was in the actual quest portion. In order to prevent a disaster, the main characters had to go around and fight 4 mythologically themed bosses that were specially added to the game for this quest, all of which were going to be insanely hard. But several problems happened here. For one, the fact that there was four lead to an increasingly short screen time for the lead-up and fight of said bosses, as well as the fact that the names they were given really had very little to do with what the bosses were. It was more like “here are 4 bosses that I want you to fight, oh let’s give them a name to make sure they have a theme.” There was one fight even, that was solved by literal deus ex machina from outside the game. Sure, the hint was given in game for some “thing” the antagonist gave the party’s sponsor a while back, but that could have easily been a puzzle, not a boss. Admittedly, after I got over my annoyance at the whole mythology thing, the first boss fight was quite good. Even the third one was decent. Just… again, I would have been ok with the quest giving some reason why the mythology didn’t match up, or mutated, but without explanation, I guess it just felt hollow. Not that I don’t understand the reason for it lacking an explanation.
Now I couldn’t really connect with the characters, so maybe you’ll feel differently if you do. I don’t want to say that this is a bad book, there are definitely some good points to it, and I think that for some people, this will be great. Not for me though. The amount of fun I had with it was overshadowed by the overly joking nature (there are some serious moment, so it’s not even like there’s anything I can specifically point to and say ‘that’s what I mean by it seems to be trying too hard,’ that’s just how I felt about it) and the unsatisfying boss fights. 6/10
You can find Party Hard over on Amazon at –