I must say I'm really really glad Alexis Hall exists and writes.
Can that man do anything wrong? /fangirling
This book appealed to me in many ways.
First off, if it wasn't already obvious, Alexis Hall is one of my favorite writers. /fangirling
Also, RPG games and fantasy books are almost single-handedly responsible for the first real friends I made in high-school, met over the internetz (and we've been going at it for the last 10 years so I'm pretty sure I hit the jack-pot).
I haven't played WoW (or any MMOs), but I lived and breathed Baldur's Gate for most of my high school days (and I spent the last year playing the Enhanced Edition and a chunk of this year's spring playing the SoD expansion). So you know, I got some of the references (and when Edwin was mentioned I realized he and Bjorn are probably related in some way, and if there was an anthropomorphic personification of SoD I would name it Tinuviel :P ), and I didn't get a lot of the abbreviations and slang, but there's a glossary so I managed :D
What I loved about this book is basically everything. I loved the setting (obviously), I loved the MCs (I could relate to both Drew and Kit in some ways) and the ending was so utterly sweet (I still want more, but I also kinda liked where it was left). Not to mention the writing.
It's a book about finding somewhere you fit in and love being and not letting anyone tell you it's wrong. The fact something happens only in your imagination doesn't make it less real. If you are moved by an emotion, if it touches a part of you in any way, it becomes real at that moment, and if it makes you happy the perception/judgement of others shouldn't ever matter. That's what Drew was learning and what Kit was showing him.
"When you got right down to it, killing imaginary pigs with a bloke who lived on a different continent was no worse or sillier a way to spend your evenings than throwing a piece of plastic around with a bloke who lived down the corridor. The really silly thing was that he’d ever believed there was a difference. As long as you cared about what you were doing and who you were doing it with, then it didn’t matter if you were in a pub or your living room or on a virtual rock in an imaginary kingdom in a video game."
A bit on the morbid side - I have this thing I do when I really love a writer, that is I start planing on stretching his/her books to last me a lifetime. So, when I heard Terry Pratchett was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's? I basically stopped reading Discworld, because he's gonna stop writing soon because death and then I will have read all of his books and then what am I gonna do the rest of my life without anything new to read written by him? So I pace myself. I realized I started doing the same with Alexis Hall books, and that's why I haven't read this as soon as it got out, even though I had it on pre-order. And also why I stretched it over a few days rather than reading it in one sitting. My point being, Mr. Hall, please please please live long and prosper.