Solarversia - Toby Downton (English)
Solarversia - Toby Downton
Solarversia is the story of an epic year-long game played by 100 million people inside a virtual world modelled on the real world Solar System. Given three lives, three vehicles, and told to master The Science of Solarversia to stand a chance of winning, players compete for the £10m grand prize, and the chance to help design the next game, starting in 2024.
Nova Negrahnu and her friends Burner and Sushi cannot wait to start playing. But when an international terrorist organisation sets its sights on the game and it’s creator, Nova finds her life turned upside down, as the line between simulation and reality blurs. Can she navigate between playing the game, coping with all the issues an eighteen-year-old girl faces and avoid the very real and present danger mounting outside Solaversia?
First of all I would like to thank Toby Downton for sending me an advanced ebook copy of his book Solarversia so as to get some first opinions and get the word out.
Now onto the book itself. I think the synopsis says it all without spoiling anything so I'm not gonna add anything.
Since before I got the book I had it as a "Must Read", the main reason being I enjoy books that merge real life with video gaming or virtual reality such as "Daemon", "Ready Player One", or "Eye of Minds". But even though they are all diferent, Solarversia combines elements from all of them and the product is better than the sum of its parts.
First and foremost, it captures many aspects of the gamers life that other books fail to grasp. For example that gaming takes away precious time from your studies and that you have to organize your week previously so as to not fall behind. Another aspect I thought it captured pretty well was that in order to win you have to put hours on top of hours in order to achieve certain level of expertise.
Secondly, I found amusing the number of games and puzzles Toby had to make up. In my humble opinion, that requires more creativity than a lot of people can muster. But what I think was the most creative thing he envisioned was the "Golden Grid", a grid with square 1 in the center which spirals outward up to 100.000.000. Each square represents a player and shows their status and stats. Another aspect that I enjoyed was how he integrated virtual reality into real life and allowing each user to adapt it to suit his specific needs. This means that you could wear your headset (similar to an Oculus Rift) all day long and get an augmented version of everyday reality. He basically created a book around a game that involves 100 million people worldwide on a near-future Earth. On top of that, he does a remarkable job on telling the story well and using gamer lingo. Just amazing.
And finally I would like to end on the following note: best part is that Toby has gone beyond the book and hopes to make the game real in the year 2020 by funding the game through the earnings of the book and its merch. Also, you can participate to win a spot on "Golden Grid" by writing a review of the book on Amazon. And if you have a blog dedicated to books theres another chance for you to win if you meet the requirements detailed here. For those who are intrested, you can sign up for a newsletter here and ask for a free ebook of the book.
It has been an amazing journey and I hope it captures every reader as much as it did me. Sincerely, I can't wait until the game is out.
Rating: 5 Supernovas