Elijah Burrows leads a secluded life. Banished by his well-known and influential parents after he came out to them, he lives alone and kills the time playing video games. His latest game, DungeonCrawl, is fast becoming his favourite. Just when he’s getting into his stride in the game a thunderstorm hits and knocks out all the power. Frustrated Elijah walks out of his door only to discover that his whole world has changed. Gone are the suburbs where he’s supposed to be living and instead he finds himself in a log cabin in the middle of a forest.
It isn’t long before Elijah realises that he’s somehow found his way into his favourite game. Not only that, in this world - Timiria - he’s known as Elian Surgis, the name he picked for his avatar. Things get even more exciting when he discovers that in this world he has a lover - Sarin Eckhert -and an important mission.
Of course dealing with real threats face to face is a far cry from controlling an avatar with a keyboard and mouse. But Elijah has found a world where he’s accepted as he is, where he has a lover and a goal in life. He may be in mortal danger, but Elijah is happier than he has been for a very long time.
I liked the idea behind this story. A fervent gamer ending up in his favourite game and having to figure out how to survive and deal with his new world and all the unfamiliar things he encounters there, is an interesting, although not very original, premise. Which makes it a shame that Timiria, wasn’t really described in any detail. In fact, that lack of detail was true for everything and everybody in this story. I didn’t get a feeling for Elijah, Sarin, the world they inhabit, their enemies or their allies. Potentially big and shocking revelations are mentioned in passing and hardly reflected upon and dangerous situations resolved with incredible ease.
Of course this is only the first instalment in a series and it is quite possible that Timiria and the characters inhabiting it will be expanded upon in future stories. But I can’t help feeling that a first book in a series should be captivating enough to hook a reader. By the end of that first story the reader should be invested in it, the characters and the world. And while I do feel mildly curious about where this story might go next, I don’t feel compelled to read on. And that’s a shame because, like I said, I liked all the ideas I came across in this book and know that if they’d been fleshed out a little bit more I might well have ended up hooked. As it is this is a take it or leave it book for me; if I come across the next instalment I will more than likely read it. I can’t see myself going out of my way trying to find it though.