At first glace, 18 year old Lester Dunn seems pretty run-of-the-mill; nerdy, socially awkward and with a creative itch in need of some serious scratching. After years of perfecting his ideal Video Game he's reached a road block - that is until a mysterious code lands in his lap. Now one wrong click has landed him and everyone he loves into a world of his own creation.
Along with his younger brother, a classmate and an artificially created NPC best friend named Kappa, he must fight against the realities of the game world!
The Code is a GameLit with twists, turns and a great deal of humour!
Also available in audio! Justin Thomas James narrates it here:
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The Code. When I started out, I had high expectations, for some reason. They style in which it was told was one that actually took work and talent to live up to. With it's premise, it promised to be new and exciting. Deep. Well, that's behind me now. It didn't disappoint. While they style of storytelling changed as the story did, the quality largely stayed the same. Oh, grammar-wise, there are a few simple mistakes, but largely, nothing more.
I found it to not only be a fascinating and entertaining concept and read, but a study on the characters. Did I enjoy it? Oh yes, I did. Very much so. It isn't an everyday read, and r something I'd wait for every new chapter, but it more than lived up to the expectations I set for it.
Okay, this one's a bit of a toughie to explain. Let's start simple. Anyone who wants a quick chapter before getting to the sypnosis's promise, eg, stuck in a game for your own design, will be dissapointed. Anyone who wants to see this fleshed out, properly explained and given thought will be delighted. The first several chapters are told from a future perspective, someone looking back on the events that led up to the point being narrated from.
It doesn't just tell a few details and jump around either. Instead, it smoothly flows through the entire journey up to that point, introducing us to the characters along the way and the process of making Dunn. Here, the author shows their knowledge of the subject. They go suitably in-depth and maintain a level of accuracy I didn't expect, while also making the entire process fascinating, something I didn't think would be possible.
The story's style changes upon catching up to the current events, but still maintains a good flavor, giving us the perception of a game from the point of view of the guy who created it. The action scenes are pretty good, if Lester actually does little. There are also some very good concepts, such as what happens when real life logic is applied to a game. I particularly like this section, with events like a band of pirates doing an off-screen rebellion against their Lawful Evil captain, monster not sticking to their designated places in dungeons and so on.
These are just some examples, of course. I also liked the author's definition of a modern bully very much, having seen some myself. All in all, the story section of this succeeded admirably.
Again, a very good section. Now, the first part of the story, eg, the events leading up to game-world-becoming-real stuff, are told in past scenario. Someone telling the story to a listener. I very much liked this style, with the commentary and actual pacing of events. In fact, I liked it better than the style that took over once the reader caught up to the main character. Don't get me wrong, the style from there was good too, but the previous one was better, in my opinion.
Still, both styles we're very well done, with proper pacing and structure.
For the most part, very, very good. Excellent, fact, save for two small details.
• Forgetting question marks: More often than not, I noticed, especially towards the end of current content, a habit of forgetting to add question marks. Instead, a sentence meant to obviously be a question would end in a period. This throws off the entire effect of said sentence, and readers as well.
• Missed commas: This one is a bit of a lesser concern, but, again, towards the end of current content, I noticed more than a few sentences where there should have been a comma, but none were to be found. Properly used, commas can highlight the effect of a sentence, or help capture a moment.
Aside from those two, the grammar was near perfect. I might have missed some, but I didn't find any mistakes. Very good job.
This is a strong suit of the story. A very strong one. Well, not just the characters, but their flaws as well. It shows a brutally honest side to us, that sometimes, people can't overcome their flaws when faced with them, and do unforgivable things out of desperation. In my opinion, this was one of the best things about The Code.
Take Lester, for example. He's invested so much into making this game world, that he's not good at interacting with the real one. He has opportunities to speak up, to be in the right, prove himself wrong, be good, but misses them because of his nature. He's confronted by his mistakes and can lose. His flaws aren't tucked away and forgotten, like some others, but they're there, and often obvious. Too often do we see some fatal flaw buried and forgotten, with everything working out perfectly for the MC.
Not here. Oh, it's not, say, an underdog story, with back-breaking struggle, but it's still there. Lester doesn't magically become some handsome charmer in this game, he stays himself.
The rest of the cast are similarly fleshed out and given depth. All with their strengths, flaws and quirks. At no point does it feel like the story revolves around Lester and only Lester, for all that he's the MC. Nope, it's got depth. He may have created this world, but he's not the only one trying to survive in it. Other characters don't necessarily follow him, I stead being just as able to interact and live as he is.
We've seen very little of any antagonist characters so far, but the amount of depth in the side characters does give me hope for some deep and fleshed ones as well. Jerkwad brothers don't count.
The Code is a read done right. Not just right, but entertainingly so. It builds strong and deep, while maintaining solid characters and good dynamics. It shows what happens when a video game world becomes real, and stripped of some of the game logic that makes much of it function in the first place.
When one and zeros suddenly come to life.
I very much enjoyed it, and if you're a fan of the genre, you will too.
It's really not a traditional webnovel, but the conversational style and strong voice sell this weird offbeat world with really understated but interesting characters. There are some flaws with regards to pacing and the lack of fists making bloody, brutal contact with faces, but hey, not every novel can be about punching.
Ani's Glance Review(TM) on 'The Code':
Style and Grammar:
The style isn't overcomplicated, as expected of first-person. The MC doesn't sound bland at all, and always kept that funny tone with him the entire prologue. No major grammar issues either. Though some sentences could have been worded a bit differently, but this one is subjective anyway.
4 star. Not bad.
Story and Character:
Only tidbits and hints about the story were given on the prologue. The entire chapter was spent describing his past experiences with a certain sandbox game, which didn't really add up to the actual plot of the story. Still, from the hints and synopsis alone, it promises something that can be thoroughly enjoyed by a large amount of readers.
As for character, Lester came off pretty well. He's a human. He plays minecraft. He wants to develop a game after playing minecraft. Sounds pretty realistic to me! Also, Lester tone, as said in the Style and Grmmar section, is pretty lighthearted/funny. Reading the prologue was like talking to that nerdy friend you have that always play games even with an exam tomorrow. Yeah, those people.
And that's all for my review. This empress gives you her blessing, TheLiriValley. Good luck and have fun writing~.
I'll admit it, before I started this book, I didn't think you could have a prologue that was basically explaining Minecraft. But I will say this, I'm definitely happy that it has happened!
There wasn't a lot about the style for me to touch on in the first chapter. It read well, and the style didn't really compliment the story/book as much as it should, but it was still fine. No issues that I could see!
Good use of grammar as far as I could see; semi-colons; commas; periods, basically all the normal stuff. None of it was used incorrectly and it all flowed well and helped keep the pace of the story moving along. Grammar definitely complimented the story and the book, so I hope it kept up.
There isn't a lot of story in the first chapter/prologue, which is entirely acceptable. It's easy to see that it's building up to something, mainly because that's how the first chapter is written. In my opinion, the story that's outlined in the first chapter is very enticing, and the way that it's written is rather captivating as well. I think the story will definitely be worth your time.
I think for most of us, we either knew someone or were the pimple-faced 12 year old that spent too much gaming. They're relatable, they're funny and overall have the makings of a good MC that people would care about.
Overall, I think from the first chapter that 'The Code' is outlined marvellously. I think that it's a very, very good starter - almost phenomenal. In the end, I recommend that if the tags suit your fancy, that you should definitely check this out. Worst case scenario is that you put the book down after a few laughs!
Great story and combined with the audiobook... this is a must read for all who appreciate RPGs, humour and adventure!
Only a few chapters in and loving this story so far. Every little detail from interactions with other characters to past experiences breathe so much life and believability into Lester Dunn. He is such a relatable character with his fears and struggles that it is impossible to not become absorbed in his story in some way. Especially if the reader is a fan of RPGs and fantasy. Overall, very solidly written. I am eager to see where the story goes.
Maybe if the author had presented this as a plotless slice-of-life story, I could have adjusted my expectations but even then the issues with the characterization would weigh it down.
The premise is that the MC stumbles on a Code that does something. What? I'm not sure because we never got to that part. At five chapters in, we have pages and pages of boring backstory about him liking Minecraft, wanting to make a game, and being a bullied loner who likes a pretty girl.
This could work if the MC was more interesting or the side characters were well developed or the interactions were compelling, but they're not. It's a pure slog.