Michael R. Stevens, Author
Michael R. Stevens, Author . Oceanview $25.95 (312p) ISBN 978-1-933515-77-9
Reviewed on: 03/29/2010
Release date: 05/01/2010

Role-playing gamers will best appreciate Stevens's debut, a far-fetched thriller that reads almost like a YA novel. Jason Lind, a Stanford computer science grad student, becomes addicted to Fortuna, an online alternate reality game based on Renaissance Florence and Machiavellian economics. As the line blurs between Jason's RL (real life) and his gaming persona's role as Father Allesandro da Scala, he falls heavily into debt. Frantic to stay afloat, he drops out of Stanford to work for Global Packet Control under his uncle, Frank Stöcker, who once employed his father, Nicholas, who died nine years earlier in a car accident. At GPC, Jason discovers suspicious business dealings, but while the action hurtles toward surprising revelations, the worlds of role-playing and global economics never quite mesh. And some will find the portrayal of the romance between Jason and a fellow Stanford student less than sophisticated. (May)

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