Listen. I liked the premise. I liked the concepts. I even liked some of the world building. But this book gets such a low rating from me because I honestly don’t know how this book ever made it through publishing in its condition. The first quarter of the book was a snoozefest of info dumping and extremely uninteresting video game history. The video game research Cline had to have done for this must have been extensive, but it does his writing no good to copy and paste. Speaking of writing, the MC was completely robotic (and not in a cool/nerd way), and I just couldn’t connect with him at all. No character development. All of the supporting characters were way more interesting and deserving of a POV.
Once the action picked up, the plot was catching but predictable. I couldn’t put it down through the more thrilling moments. But the ’80’s nostalgia and gaming encyclopedia distracted from the story constantly.
Honestly, this book read as a gratuitous redemption fantasy of a 40-50 year old creeper living in his mom’s basement, living vicariously through a better version of his life. -11/10 do not recommend.