11 Mar 2021


 One of twenty five bloggers (for the full list and links see the Blog Tour Schedule further down the post) who over five days will be participating in this Mini Blog Blitz, today (the 4th day of the Tour) its my pleasure to be sharing my thoughts on  ...

Pixeldust by T. K. Arispe.

Genre: NA Urban science fantasy

Publication Date: 20th July 2020

Standalone Novel

Estimated Page Count - 300

Purchase Link - https://www.amazon.com/Pixeldust-T-K-Arispe-ebook/dp/B08DD612GR 

Maria Elena thought she’d sworn off gaming forever. But she hates her new internship, so her brother Balt convinces her to play Heroes of Avonell, a cutting-edge virtual-reality video game with such complex programming that it’s like the non-player characters are self-aware.

Disappointed with the usual clich√© job class offerings, Maria Elena’s character Quinny stumbles through a glitch in the game and ends up in Caed Dhraos, a strange city populated with friendly monsters. Quinny decides to work for the resident dark lord as part of his magic personnel, but she can’t tell anybody she’s playing in off-limits areas of the game—not even Balt. Soon Quinny finds herself getting to the bottom of a mystery surrounding an ancient demon and why Caed Dhraos is suffering from the Blight. 

But the artificial intelligences in the game really are self-aware, and some of Avonell’s so-called “heroes” have decided they don’t like humanity very much. The game has gone out of control, and Maria Elena and her new friends have to find a way to set things right. Can she save Avonell – and Earth – while juggling her real job and trying to salvage her crumbling relationship with her brother?

Pixeldust is a dive into a fantastical, fun virtual world where the universe may be made of data, but the dangers, friendships, magic, and lessons learned are very real.

I don't play video games anymore, Balt. (First Sentence)

This time, as it dissolved into black mist, Quinny flicked her staff and caught some of the mist in a shining bubble of magic. (Memorable Moment, Page 90)

MY THOUGHTS ... With a cover that I feel is designed more with children in mind, a main character (Marina Elena known in Avonell as Quinny) who despite holding down a job comes across as really young in outlook, no graphic violence and no romance (let alone sexual content) I suspect that Pixeldust will appeal to the children/grand children of my friends and especially those with girls who inform me that there aren't that many books in the Urban Fantasy genre that feature female characters quite as prominently or, more importantly, as positively.

A book that took me to a fantastical world, fuelled by what else but of course, pixie dust; that some of the characters, the monsters she encounters in Avonell are threatening to break through to our world and wreak havoc, that I loved the exploration of Maria Elena and her brother, Balt's relationship ... so far, so good.

That some of these characters are NPCs (non-playable characters) ... Hmm! Its just as well the author explained this and several other terms (a credit that they did so in such an unobtrusive way).

I so much wanted to really like this book and like it I did. Totally aware that this says more about me than the author or their writing, seemingly whilst I can invest in fictional characters it would seem I can't so much virtual fictional characters.

ABOUT T.K. ARISPE ... T. K. Arispe is an illustrator, gamer, and unashamed nerd with a background in animation and webcomic production, including the webcomic Trainer Wants to Fight! which somehow got its own page on TVTropes. She loves interesting stories, well-crafted worlds, and memorable characters, and is passionate about creating quality, intelligent, slightly offbeat media that everyone can enjoy. Most of her story ideas come from random research binges, usually in the fields of theoretical physics, computer science, or oddly enough food history. She lives in California, where she enjoys not having to deal with snow because it is terrifying.

FOLLOW T.K. ARISPE ... ~ FaceBook ~ Instagram ~ GoodReads

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE ... ~ 8th March: Bookshine and Readbows ~ ayjaypagefarerbookblog ~ B for bookreview ~ Cheryl M-M's Book Blog ~ donnasbookblog ~ 9th March: Mama Bear's book hour ~ Splashes Into Books ~ Gina Rae Mitchell ~ Reviews in Heels ~ Lecari's Livejournal 2.0 ~ 10th March: Damsel In The Bookland ~ Previouslyunread ~ The Magic Of Wor(l)ds ~ everywhere and nowhere ~ On The Shelf Reviews ~ 11th March: Felicity Grace Terry ~ Jessica Belmont ~ Hearthside Storytelling ~ Book After Book ~ Mai's Musings ~ 12th March: alazyeggreviews ~ My Fictional Oasis ~ Jazzy Book Reviews ~ The Paperback Collector ~ Scintilla.Info


Kelly said...

I don't know much about "urban fantasy", but I do like the term "Pixeldust"! I'm not sure this would really appeal to any of the children in my life.

T. Arispe said...

Thank you so much for your thoughts on Pixeldust and being a part of my blog tour! I really appreciate it! I'm glad you noticed that Pixeldust is female-forward urban fantasy; I was definitely trying to fill a void there.

Brian Joseph said...

It is so interesting how common this plot element has become. That is, fictional game or other simulated characters becoming intelligent.

http://www.nightwingsraven.wordpress.com/ said...

I am uncertain about this book
and I understand your point about
investing in virtual, fictional
characters. But I will keep it in
And thank you for your honest and
excellent review.

DMS said...

This does sound like an interesting read. Glad you enjoyed it. :)