Book Review: Dragongirl

BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

 

I think what I love most about dragon myths is that regardless of whether these mythical beasts are portrayed as good or evil, they are still amazing to me. After all, what’s not amazing about a giant reptilian creature with wings that can breath fire? It’s something that could never exist in our reality, and yet they might as well be real given how much they appear in our literature, our movies and our imaginations.

I’m not sure where my own fondness for these ancient legends comes from, but it feels like something that has always been there. That’s why when I first got my hands on Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series, I knew I would be hooked for good.

The first book in the original series was published all the way back in 1968, gradually giving birth to dozens of stories which took us to every intricate part of the universe McCaffrey had envisioned. The interesting thing is that I started reading the books after I played a video game that was based on the series. Admittedly, the game was nothing to write home about. It was made for the Dreamcast, and even though it had a lot of potential, the game just wasn’t as great as it could have been. That being said, I really loved it. Not for it’s graphics, or it’s dialogue, or even it’s gameplay. No, I loved it because it painted a beautiful image of the bond between humans and dragons that I’d always wished to see if dragon’s ever did turn out to be real… I guess not all childhood dreams come true, but it doesn’t mean you have to stop dreaming them.

When I discovered that the game was based on a series of books, I immediately purchased the first three and fell in love. My first surprise came when I learned that they aren’t actually classified as fantasy, but science fiction! I understood why as I began reading them. For those of you unfamiliar with the Pern universe, here is my simplified summary of it from one of my previous blog posts:

“Basically, it’s a story set in a future where most forms of advanced technology no longer exist, reminiscent of a more medieval time period where the people are governed by lords, the lands are divided into different Holds and Weyr’s, and of course there are dragonriders – hence the title – which is really all the allure you need to get into it.

Humans have colonized a planet called Pern, located in the Rukbat system, and which is under the constant threat of Thread, which is some kind of space spore given off by the another planet called the Red Star every fifty years or so. The only means they have of defending themselves during the Threadfalls, as they call it, are their dragons, an indigenous species on the planet along with fire lizards and other native and non-native organisms, who are able to produce a phosphine gas from the consumption of firestones, which is not only very flammable, but also very potent against Thread.”

 

Anne McCaffrey created a version of our future where dragons are not only a reality, but they are also the key to our very survival as a species. She had such an incredible vision, and even though she sadly passed away in 2011, I was surprised when I found out that Pern’s legacy had been passed on to her son, who has carried on the series to this day.

Dragongirl is the third book to be published with Todd McCaffrey as the sole author, and even though I didn’t read the sequels, it was written so well that it took me very little time to figure out what was going on, what had taken place prior, and the direction in which Todd is looking to take the stories. So without further ado, here are my thoughts on Dragongirl by Todd McCaffrey:

*Note: As is the case with most book reviews, there is the possibility of spoilers. I will try my best to keep it spoiler free though.*

51W+hRyELmL__SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Review: Dragongirl by Todd McCaffrey

stars-4

If you can’t decide whether you’re in the mood for science fiction, fantasy, or romance, then you definitely want to read this book. With plenty of time travelling, epic battles between Dragon and Thread, complex love triangles and a group of memorable and loveable characters, Dragongirl is a beautiful addition to Anne McCaffrey’s legacy.

Dragongirl continues the story of Fiona, a young Weyrwoman who has travelled back to the present time after helping a group of dragons reach maturity in order to continue the long and arduous battle against the deadly Thread that continues to threaten their survival on Pern. She sought to bring hope to the hopeless, and even though most welcomed her with smiles and open arms, the hearts of some were not so easily won over.

It also didn’t help that many of the dragon’s were succumbing to a mysterious illness for which there didn’t appear to be any cure. Needless to say that things were not looking so good, and after the disaster that befall Telgar Weyr, it seemed that all hope was lost to the citizens of Pern.

A very interesting aspect of this book is the relationship that Todd McCaffrey created between Fiona, a seventeen year old Weyrwoman who is very much driven by her emotions, and Lorana, a much older and wiser former Weyrwoman and the protagonist from Dragonsblood, who suffered a great personal loss, and who has not only the ability to hear other people’s dragons, but somehow Fiona’s thoughts as well. This connection they share is both a blessing and a curse, and it makes for a very unique character dynamic between the two.

This book also explores the effects that travelling Between [aka travelling though both space and time] can have on both dragons and their riders. Time travelling, as a concept, is always a tricky thing to deal with in writing, because there are so many different variables and strains of logic that you have to take into account. For instance, if you travel to a certain point in the future and witness someone’s death, can you do something in the past that will prevent it from happening? It also addresses the issue of what kind of physical affects it can have, and how often you can travel to certain points in time.

Admittedly, it took a bit of getting used to for me. Despite his knowledge of the Pern universe and its history, and his ability to give a crucial role to every character in the story, Todd’s writing style is visibly different than his mother’s, and I feel like he has a bit more to learn about story development and pacing. Overall, though, I was very leased with his work, and I look forward to seeing what other stories he’s able to come up with in the future.

What do you look for in a good science fiction story? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on my blog’s Facebook page, and until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

A World Without Technology: Can You Imagine It?

BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

 

Having grown up on a farm out in the middle of the boonies, I know what it feels like to be technologically limited. The house was heated with a wood burning stove in the basement, the grass was cut using a hand held scythe, the water was pumped out of a well, and the closest grocery store was very small and took twenty minutes to get to by car. When it came to watching television, one of my favourite pass times, we were lucky if we could get five channels, and that’s only if the weather was nice and we turned the antenna until it was in just the right spot using the rotor [for those of you unfamiliar with the term ‘rotor’, it was basically a device that had a nob that you turned in order to get a better TV signal… my how things have changed]. Then there was the dial up internet, which would often take up to an hour to load anything, and was incredibly frustrating when someone else wanted to use the phone, and were met instead with the familiar dial up screech upon picking up the receiver.

This may sound like a horrible way to live for some of you, but honestly, it’s a way of life that I miss sometimes. It may not have been easier, but it was definitely simpler in a way. It felt like I was living in the kind of close knit community that doesn’t really exist anymore, where people helped one another unconditionally, where parents went out of their way to run programs for the kids of the neighbourhood, and we were more afraid of the coyotes howling at night than we were of other people.

It’s also a reminder that there is so much that the youth of today who take for granted. I wrote an article once about how many of today’s children know next to nothing about cooking, food and nutrition. They think that it all just comes from the store and that there will always be plenty of food to go around. They have no concept of sustainability, of how it gets from the farm to their plate, and how pre packaged or ready made meals are not only less nutritional, but are also depriving them of the joys of cooking. It’s a shame, really, and it’s only going to get worse as society continues to make great strives towards making life ‘easier’.

I started thinking a lot about this after reading this passage from                           9780515147483_p0_v1_s260x420                 The Law of Nines by Terry Goodkind, which I will hopefully get to the end of in the next week or so. For those of you unfamiliar with this title, The Law of Nines is part of the same universe as The Sword of Truth series. I won’t say too much, except that you learn quite a bit more about the world that Richard ‘Rahl’ Cypher grew up in, and how it might not be all that different from our own…

Anyway, there is this one part in the book where the two main characters get into this deep discussion about what our world would be like if we suddenly no longer had access to the technology that we have come to rely upon so heavily for everything:

 

“Well, imagine life here without technology. Imagine life without the technology that heats your buildings, helps grow food in abundance, makes your lights glow. What would life be like without your phones, your trucks, your medicines and cures, without the means to supply the people in your cities with goods and services?

Imagine all the people in cities deprived of every kind of technology, technology that they use every day to survive. Imagine everyone suddenly having to find a way to grow their own food, to preserve it, to store it safely.

[…] Without your technology the fabric of civilization itself would come apart within days – if not hours. Everyone would be on their own. One city wouldn’t know what the next is doing, or if they were even alive. There’d be no plans or cars or anything else. You couldn’t travel to other places unless you walked. Do you have any idea how long it takes to walk just a few dozen miles? A distance that in your cars takes a brief time would be days of hard travel on foot.”

      It goes on for several more paragraphs, and the more I read, the more I realized just how hopeless many of us would be if we could no longer rely on the convenience of our technology to get by. Growing up, I thought it was normal having to walk almost half an hour to get to a friends house, until I visited some of my friends in the city who literally just had to cross the road. It seemed unfair at first, but then I thought about all of the beauty of nature I got to enjoy on my long walk, a beauty that my city friends were being deprived of.

      Having to work harder to get something makes you appreciate it so much more, and I fear that that’s something else that might be lost on the next generation of youth. Having worked in a grocery store, I’ve seen all sorts of different family dynamics. It always warmed my heart to see children who were eager to help their parents carry the groceries, as if it was the most exciting thing in the world. There was even this one kid who really wanted to pass me all of the groceries by himself. Those were the days that made me smile.

Then you had the children on the other end of the spectrum, the ones that made you feel the same pain that the parents must be feeling as they watch their child throw a full blown tantrum in the middle of the store when they could only have one chocolate bar, or when their teenage child is too busy text on their phone to bother helping out when their parent is struggling to pack and carry all of the groceries by themselves.

Where has their sense of responsibility gone? Their respect for those who raised them? Their appreciation for the things that they already have? Everyday, it seems to only get worse and worse, and I fear that future generations will be completely unequipped to handle even the simplest challenges should they no longer have technology to lean back on.

What are your thoughts on this quote? I’d love to hear what all of you lovely BookNerds have to say, so please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below, or on my blogs Facebook page. Happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd   

So Long As We Believe, The Story Will Live On

BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

 

There are hundreds upon hundreds of reasons for one to fall in love with the world and characters J.K. Rowling created in the Harry Potter series, the afore mentioned being among them. For me, these are the stories that opened my mind to the wonderful world of books, novels and novellas, making them very near and dear to my heart. Before that, I viewed books as little more than educational tools for teachers, or accumulators of dust bent on triggering my allergies every moment of the day. Upon discovering the school of witchcraft and wizardry, filled with students who almost never seem to attend actual classes after the first book, my views were completely transformed.

At least a few tears were shed as the final chapter of the Harry Potter saga came to an end. None of us wanted to believe that the stories would ever end. We all wanted to believe that someday, we would find ourselves under the sorting hat, shifting anxiously on the stool as we waited to be sorted into our desired house, and then be thrown into a life altering adventure as will no doubt ensue. Those books kept that dream alive,  despite the fact that we all knew it could be nothing more than a dream, but the great thing about dreams is that if they’re strong enough, they can create possibilities from the impossible. And that’s exactly what has happened.

Harry-Potter-Cursed-ChildIf you haven’t heard the news by now, you’d better have a seat. Are you sitting? Good, because it was recently made public that there is indeed going to be an eighth Harry Potter book. When I first hear about it, I was speechless. J.K. Rowling had made it quite clear that The Deathly Hallows was going to be the end, and that anything that happens afterwards is entirely up to our own imagination. So then why the change of heart?

Looking into it a bit more closely, I discovered that, although it is technically the eighth harry potter book, it’s not actually a continuation of the series. The book is actually based on the script for a two part play written by Jack Thorne, based on a story by J.K. Rowling. In other words, the script is going to be published in book form, but in the end it’s still a play script, and therefore not an actual sequel. Still, can’t say I’m not excited to see where this new adventure will take us.

Based on what we know so far, it takes place after the epilogue of the seventh book, whichlandscape-1445606246-harry-potter-epilogue1 depicted Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny waiving goodbye to their children as they were boarding the infamous Hogwarts Express, preparing for the start of their very own adventure. It focuses on Harry, now an Auror working for the Ministry of Magic, and his son Albus Severus Potter, who not only has to deal with being a Hogwarts freshman, but also coming to terms with the fact that he walks in the shadow of the schools greatest legacy. It’s a blend of past and present, and being a harry potter story, you know there will be plenty of moments that will tug on the heartstrings.

You can find more information on both the upcoming Harry Potter play and book at www.pottermore.com. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the eighth installment! Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and until next time, keep on reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

 

 

 

Book Review: Destiny of the Dead

BookNerd

It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

 

 

 

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

You know a book was written well when you haven’t read the first two books in a series for a very long time, and yet the chain of events that brought the characters to where you are fall into place almost effortlessly in the time it takes you to finish the first chapter. It was back in high school that I first got my hands on a copy of The Fate of the Fallen, the first in Iran Irvine’s The Song of Tears trilogy, and I couldn’t put it down.

The story was oddly reminiscent of the original star wars story; man becomes obsessed with power and is willing to sacrifice anything and anyone to get it, he ends up at odds with his son who is torn between wanting to save his father and defeat him, and an epic battle ensues between the rebels and… well, the bad guys basically. There’s even a love interest, and no, she doesn’t turn out to be the guys sister after sharing a kiss.

A fantasy tale of epic proportions with memorable characters, locations and plenty of twists and turns at every corner, it’s definitely a book that will keep you on your toes, and those who love epic battles between humans nightmarish beasts will find this installment of the trilogy especially appealing.

 

*** WARNING: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THE FOLLOWING REVIEW ***

1914401_130527140338_ggugjgjReview: Destiny of the Dead by Ian Irvine

stars-4

This book I a fitting end to the original trilogy which began with Nish, a physically and emotionally wounded man who was on the verge of death; Maelys, the obedient yet constantly looked down upon daughter of clan Nifferlin; and Xervish Flydd, ex-Scrutator and a rather perverted old man. They are the pillar of our merry band of misfits, each with their own agenda, yet with one common goal between them: to bring down the God Emperor.

Destiny of the Dead drops us in the midst of the battle at the Range of Ruin, where Nish and his dwindling army continue to face off against the God Emperors superior forces. There doesn’t seem to be any feasible way that they can win, but they aren’t about to toss in the towel. Nish must find a way to lead his army to victory… or submit to his father [the God Emperor] so that no one else must die.

Compared to the books that came before, this one is certainly faster paced. There are very few moments when our favourite characters aren’t thrown into a life or death situation, and not to name names, but not everyone makes it out unscathed. Floods of tears and rivers of blood are shed, and if facing off against a god-like human isn’t bad enough, the shape-shifting being Stilkeen has emerged from the void to unleash a fresh hell upon Santhenar in its search for chthonic fire and its own personal revenge.

If there is one criticism I could make about this book, it would be that there are certain moments where something shocking or emotionally jarring would occur, but there would be very little reaction to it from the other characters. This is only the case a few times, and I suppose it could be argued that in the midst of battle, there’s just not enough time to grieve or be taken aback, which I can accept. It also bothered me how oblivious Maelys was when it came to Nish’s feelings for her, right up until the very end. I realize she’s supposed to have a very self-doubting and uncertain personality, but he was being pretty obvious. I do like her increased assertiveness in this book, which more than makes up for her inability to notice the obvious.

Overall, it was a brilliant ending, it tied up pretty well all of the loose ends, and what Irvine did at the very end of the book really took me by surprise, which is something I love in a good story. Obvious endings are boring, and I can honestly say that there is very little that’s predictable about this book. I would even go as far as to say that its almost on par with Branden Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy, which is a huge compliment for those of you who are familiar with Sanderson’s work.

My only regret is not reading this book immediately after finishing the previous two, which I would have if it had been available in Chapters at the time I’d gone to purchase it. Still, there mere fact that I was able to come back to the series after so much time had passed and still feel the same love for it is the mark of a truly talented writer who knows how to create an unforgettable story.

What are your greatest character pet peeves from books that you’ve read? I would love to hear about them in the comments below or on my blogs Facebook page, and until next time, happy reading!

 

Cheers,

BookNerd

 

 

 

The Stories We Grew Up With

 

BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

As long a there has been life, there has been stories. You could say that our very existence is the greatest story ever written, one which will span to the end of time itself. It is a story with as many antagonists as there are protagonists, and with over seven billion chapters, each one cataloguing the events of every individual life that’s lived.

We all strive to shine as brightly as we can, in the hopes that our chapter will be a memorable one capable of enduring the test of time. There are many pages to fill, however, and in the meantime there are many stories of our own creation for us to enjoy, ones which may have a greater influence on our greatest story than we realize.

I’ve been thinking a lot about stories lately. I mean, I think about stories basically every moment of my waking days, but there’s been an increasingly prominent theme among them that makes me yearn for the days when my greatest frustration was having to share my toys with my siblings.

Youth is by far the most fleeting part of our chapter, and yet for most it is the most memorable and cherished for the very reason that I would love to go back in time and fight over the last Lego piece I need to finish my castle; because our worries, our fears and our anxieties were so much smaller back then.

It’s also the time when our discovery of the world begins, and thinking back on it, a great deal of what I learned about life and how to live it came from the books I read – or had read to me during my pre-reading days – and I’m sure many of you feel the same. I’m not talking about the technical stuff, like how to learning how to ride a bike or how to use the toilet, even though there are plenty of books that can help us overcome those obstacles, I’m sure. No, I’m talking more about lessons of morality, values, and normative behaviours that are accepted by our culture.

9780679830665One of my all time favourite books when I was really little was called “Elmo Wants A Bath“. The entire thing was waterproof, so I could take it into the bathtub with me and not have to worry about ruining it. It was one of those books that was designed to help find joy in taking baths, instead of seeing them as a chore, and it certainly worked on me. I couldn’t wait to dump in the bubble bath and sculpt the resulting foam into bubbly mountains. It was such a simple book, and yet it impacted my life so greatly, and as such it holds a very important place in my heart. It helped me to realize that joy can be found in anything, you just have to know where to look.

51HPM256BGL__SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Another book I remember quite fondly was called “Dear Tooth Fairy“, which told the story of a young sprite who works hard to earn her wings and become a Tooth Fairy. I’ve always had a fondness for fantasy and magic, and it’s quite possible that this book was the catalyst for it. It was a truly a book of hope, using a combination of beautiful illustrations and a simple yet compelling story to teach us that nothing is impossible, and our only limitation is the size of our dreams. It also taught me a lot about oral hygiene, but my young mind found those bits to be of less significance 🙂

519NKBB2FXL__SX258_BO1,204,203,200_If you grew up in the 90’s, then you probably remember the “Little Critter” stories. They were certainly a classic, and what was so great about them was that the stories were very relatable for kids. There’s one in particular that comes to mind, and it was called ‘I Was So Mad’.

We’ve all had times where it seemed like the only word our parents knew how to say was ‘no’. It could be frustrating, especially when you didn’t know why they wouldn’t let you buy the candy bar from the store, or stay up past your bedtime, or watch a scary movie. The protagonist of this story gets so mad that his parents won’t let him do anything he wants to do, and decides to run away from home, but he barely leaves the house when his friends come by and ask if he wants to play baseball with them. When his mom finally says yes, he realizes that he’s not angry anymore, and he joins his friends at the park and has a really good time.

These are just a few of the books that I feel helped to shape me into the person I am today, by encouraging me to dream, have fun, and to not sweat the small stuff. This is why it’s so important to encourage children to read when they’re young as part of their fundamental development, because try as they might, our parents don’t always have the time to bestow upon us their wisdom in all aspects of life. Books help to fill in the gaps, and sometimes they teach us things about ourselves that we wouldn’t have known otherwise.

What are some of your favourite books from your childhood? I would love to hear about them! Leave the titles in the comments below or on my blogs Facebook page, and until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerds 

 

 

 

Winding Down The Year

BookNerd

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.”BookNerd

 

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

I know I’ve been absent for a while, but given that it’s December, I’m sure most of you can understand. One minute you’re sitting down, relaxing with a mug of hot chocolate, and then you’re rushing about trying to get a bunch of last minute preparations done as you realize that Christmas is only a week away and you’ve barely made a dent in your holiday check list.

I haven’t had a lot of time for reading, meaning the next book review won’t be coming out any time soon, but I will do my best to continue blogging about topics I find interesting. Also, you should know that I’m always open to suggestions from my followers. If there’s anything you would like my opinion about, or if there’s a previous post that you have a question about or would like to comment on, or anything else that comes to mind, feel free to jot it down in the comments below, or on my blog’s Facebook page.

Latest-The-Force-Awakens-Trailer-DescriptionTo get things started, how about you all tell me what you thought about the new Star Wars movie. I’m hoping that by now everyone has seen it, so this won’t be creating spoilers for anyone. Just in case, consider yourself forewarned. That being said, feel free to get the conversation rolling by sharing your favourite scenes, characters, lines, or anything else you loved about the movie. Heck, if there’s something you were disappointed with, I’d be curious to hear about that too. Leave your thoughts in the comments for this post or on my blog’s Facebook page, and then I’ll try to follow up on them in one of my next posts.

In the meantime, I hope you’re all prepared for the winter season which is finally upon us, and until next time, happy reading!

 

Cheers,

BookNerd 

When Videogames Are More Like Books, Amazing Things Happen

“It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

It is said that a picture can say a thousand words. Well, so can a thousand words. They are the keys by which we can unlock new and amazing worlds, some of which ascend beyond the imagination, and it all begins on the first page.” – BookNerd

Greetings Fellow BookNerds,

So, I just got the news that the next installment of Dreamfall Chapters is set to come out this Thursday, and I could not be more excited… well, I suppose I could be, but only if the new Star Wars movie were to come out on the same day. Still, I don’t think I’m going to be able to sleep too well for the next few nights, as my mind will be too focused on the next chapter of Zoe Castillo’s journey.

Actually, ever since I began playing this series, I found myself thinking a lot about how videogames have changed over the course of the past fifteen years or so, not just visually, but in the stories they have to tell, and the kind of thoughts and emotions those stories provoke in us.

For those of you unfamiliar with Dreamfall Chapters, it is the third in a series of games that began with The Longest Journey in 1999, a game which was both simple and complex at the same time. It told the story of two worlds; the one of science and logic known as Stark, and the other of magic and chaos known as Arcadia. The two worlds were once one and the same, but it became evident that magic and science could not co-exist peacefully, and hence they were divided, watched over by the Guardian who maintained the Balance between them.

In the game, you play as April Ryan, an art student with no real direction in life. She has been having very strange dreams, in which she travels to an unknown world and meets a beautiful white dragon who refers to April as her daughter. She tries to dismiss them at first, but when the world of Arcadia begins to leak into Stark, she cannot ignore them any longer. With the help of a mysterious man named Cortez, who seems to know a great deal about Arcadia, April soon discovers that she is a shifter, meaning that she has the ability to move between the two worlds.

Unsure where this journey will take her, April travels to Arcadia, where she meets all sorts of colourful characters, and learns more about this mysterious world and how she may be the only one who can restore the upset Balance between both worlds. It’s an older game, and as a result it doesn’t have the greatest visuals, nor the most exciting gameplay, but the story, dialogue and characters make it well worth your time, I assure you.

After I finished playing the first one, which to my surprise only took me a few days – my gaming is a lot like my reading, slow but determined, hence my surprise – I thirsted for more. When I discovered that a sequel had been made about eight years later called Dreamfall, I thought I might cry with happiness as I immediately got on my computer and bought the game.

I was so happy to see that they managed to keep all of the charm and wonder of the first one, while having created a gaming environment that was more suitable for modern gamers. They brought back much of the old, but also included a few new things for us to discover, which only added to the already amazing story. Of course, like any game, there are always things they could have done better, but overall, I was satisfied, and once again I fell into despair when the game ended, thus ending the journey… until I made yet another discovery!

In 2014, the game was reborn yet again with Dreamfall Chapters, taking the story to a whole new level that I couldn’t have even imagined being possible. Red Thread Games, who bought the rights to the game from Funcom, added an element to the game which was met with mixed results. Similar to games like Knights of the Old Republic and Witcher 3, Dreamfall Chapters includes various dialogue options which can alter the path your story takes. In other words, your choices have actual consequences, and honestly, I think that was a brilliant move on their part.

Games used to be designed in a way where there was only one outcome, and it was just a matter of making your way towards that outcome, which remained unchanging no matter how many times you play it. This is all well and good, except that there are no consequences for the actions you take along the way, and when there are no consequences, then all we’re teaching young gamers is that you can get away with anything so long as you know how to shoot a gun or go into stealth mode.

I love games that make you think, as opposed to shoot first and ask questions later. In Dreamfall Chapters, when you get to a point where you have to decide how to respond to what someone else has said, or you have to make a choice between two courses of action, the game pauses to give you time to reflect on those choices, allowing you to place yourself and their shoes and consider what you would do if placed in that very same situation. What’s more, each option provides a glimpse into your characters mind, so you can see the thought process they’re going through, not unlike what authors do with their characters. In other words, the characters begin to seem more like actual people, adding a whole new dimension to video gaming.

And with this new dimension, the stories that video game designers create can become even more complex, sometimes to the point where it literally feels like you’re actively participating in a novel. Dreamfall Chapters does this really well by dividing the game into different chapters, each one with its own plot twists and character perspectives, sometimes even ending on a cliff hanger to be picked up in the next couple of chapters. It’s a really creative and imaginative way to design a game, and I truly hope that the future will show us even more games following a similar path.

If any of you BookNerds out their are fans of this, or similar games, I would love to hear what you have to say about them and your opinion on the future of story driven games. Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on my blogs Facebook page, and until next time, keep on reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd