As the company's revolutionary next-gen game is threatened by a software glitch, Russell finds himself in a race to save his job, Black Arts' legacy, and the people he has grown to care about. The deeper Russell digs, the more dangerous the glitch appears--and soon, Russell comes to realize there's much more is at stake than just one software company's bottom line.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-04-15
- Reviewer: Staff
Unsure of how his "life had failed to come together," Russell Marsh gets hired on as an "entry-level game designer" for Black Arts Studios in this second novel (after Soon I Will Be Invincible) from video game design consultant Grossman . But when co-founder Darren Ackerman suddenly resigns from his post and takes most of the "senior design and programming staff" with him, Russell is handed the lead design post for Realms of Gold VII. As he navigates between his own creative anxieties of how to design "the ultimate game" and making sure he doesn't "turn the hallowed Black Arts name into a joke," a bug appears in the memory of the WAFFLE software, the system "that powered Black Arts games first, to critical success" and begins "messing with" Russell's game. To unravel the mystery of the "Mournblade bug" Darren will have to comb through the fictional ages of the Realms of Gold franchise and his own past. Readers interested in software and game design will find some reward in Russell's reflections about life as a game designer, but these reflections, along with Russell's tangential back-story and surreal visits from characters of the gaming world saturate the plot, turning a neat science-fiction short story into a haphazard novel. (Apr.)