Read: February 2023
I thought I would like this, wanted to love it… it started off so well, & then tapered off into what felt like a never-ending tedium.
I thought the writing was fantastic, I really enjoyed Gabrielle Zevin’s writing style. I also thought the characters were interesting and well-drawn initially, however where it fell apart for me was the structure.
I enjoyed the first section of the novel where we spent some time getting to know Sam and Sadie and the foundations for their friendship. After that, the rest of the story is told in short bursts and fragments with lots of time skips which for me felt like the characters just got lost, and I wasn’t invested or connected to them any more. Especially as most of the time, they are not speaking to each other, so all we end up hearing about is a lot of detail on the process of game design.
The minutia of game design is not something I am interested in (I like games but that does not mean I want to read in great detail how they are made). I want to know about characters as people, not repeated lists of video games they’re inspired by. Also, making a video game is not a very exciting thing to read about as it’s basically just someone sitting at a computer by themself typing out code!
I am a big fan of Mythic Quest and especially loved the bottle episode about Dark Quiet Death, so I feel like I have used all my interest in video company stories up on that.
After about 50% I just sped through to the end of the book. Tedious is the word… it felt a lot longer than the 400 pages it is.