Saturday, March 16, 2013

LARP: The Battle for Verona by Justin Calderone

Larp: The Battle for Verona was a really interesting read for me. It might be because I am a nerd and I used to LARP (live action role play for those who don't know) in the World of Darkness and I'm an avid fan and player of Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, and pretty much any other system that I can play in. So to me nothing could be better then donning armor and going to save the world! Okay in this case it's an island but your home is always your world, at least in my world it is so there.

The story begins with Dennis reminiscing about his character Sir Dengar as he struggles to think about how his life would have been different had he not started to play LARP. His brother was a popular football player and Dennis was following in his footsteps until during a gym class he befriended Mark and Freddy, the resident nerds. They introduced him to LARP and ten years later he was still playing. Dennis feels that he should be more grown up now and focus on his job at the bank and he wonders if he missed out on the chance for love because of his affection for the game. He is also troubled by his friend Mark's personality when he plays because of his controlling and egocentric personality.

The boys head off to their yearly convention on the Washington main land away from their beloved island of Verona. Meeting up with the friend Jenn who works at the museum in near by Seattle. Unfortunately the weekend quickly goes bad for Dennis when Mark puts himself in a bad situation and Dennis ends up "dying" because of Mark's foolhardiness. Dennis leaves the convention in a huff and head back home until he is stopped at the bridge to Verona. Turned away by the military he becomes intrigued and pulling around to the back of a local store Dennis uses binoculars to spy across the water. He is disturbed to see flames and smoke and blackness as all the electricity has been turned off.

Dennis returns to the convention and gathers his friends together to discuss what he has seen. Jen gets a hold of her father who happens to be a general in the US Army. A plan is soon formulated that involves both the military and all of the larpers as it seems like the people who have attacked the island are Mongolian's who have forsaken the modern world.

I really liked reading this book. The characters are well rounded and have great depth. It's well written with great humour and the action seems to move along at a good pace. The main bad guy could have been a little more thought out and have more background but otherwise really good. The Mongolians were great sympathetic bad guys. I loved the conflict with Dennis and his friends as they try and re counsel what they feel are teenage hobbies with their adult responsibilities.

You can find this great book at Amazon both .com and .ca, it's a steal for under 4 bucks if you buy the e version. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!!

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