Welcome to LEGEND: A Gamer Romance Novel by Michael Loring
A Contemporary Gamer Romance Novel published by Independently published (02/12/21)
First reviewed through Reedsy Discovery
“People needed to come in-store to order the Helmet that would best fit their unique head shape, which meant I spent most of my work days measuring peoples’ heads. It was a living.” Michael Loring. Welcome to Legend (Kindle Locations 168-170).
Cole would rather play video games. It’s much easier for him to relax in game than around other people. When the largest VRMMORPG is released, he’s hooked. While playing this game, Legend, he meets another passionate gamer who happens to be female. Could this be the start of a new friendship, or perhaps something more?
Gamer, Romance, VR, MMORPG, Video Game, Gamer, Friends, College, Depression, Therapy, Retail
Cole is in some ways a stereotypical introverted gamer. He’s a white male in college, nervous around women, jocks, and strangers. He’d rather be gaming than socializing.
This story is all about Cole. The main story focuses on Cole and his discomfort around other people, his social awkwardness, and his constant – often negative – inner monologue. This inner conflict is fascinating. There isn’t as much external conflict present but more day-to-day drama built around the main character. The stakes are not that high. If you like books centered on characters, their environment and how they interact with that environment, you will enjoy this short novel. I personally really enjoy inner-conflict contemporary novels because I feel like I truly get to know and understand the main character. I empathize with Cole. Though I have never experienced more than a day’s depression here and there (and only mildly) I started to understand why Cole thought the way he did and I was able to sympathize with him.
My college life was similar in some aspects to Cole’s. I’ve had to work when I was sick, to suck it up and put on a smile. It’s tough having a full college class load and adding on many hours at a minimum wage job dealing with idiots all day. I’ve had to push myself to be social and extroverted. Though my thoughts never spiraled as much as Cole’s, I understand his thoughts of self-doubt, assumptions about others, and even his depression. He easily spirals into self-negative thinking though he seems like a very likeable guy! More extroverts should read books like these so they can understand how difficult navigating the world can be when you’re introverted and self-conscious.
The romance was adorable and I was both rooting for Cole and very, very worried that he was relying on a relationship for his mental health.
The world in Welcome to Legend is not unlike our contemporary world, though game tech for VR has evolved much more than our current tech.
I really enjoyed how the author, through Cole, has a no-nonsense way of describing the world around him and that of Legend. There’s no condescension for those who aren’t familiar and no assumptions that people already know what he knows. As someone who isn’t a big gamer, this was a lovely introduction to the passions and new worlds of gaming.
I cannot help but compare Welcome to Legend to the popular sci-fi novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. They both build a gaming world from futuristic VR tech and feature young male protagonists. This book is much more focused on Cole than on the world falling apart around him like in Ready Player One. Cole is in his own world, seemingly independent from society.
This novel was Independently published on 02/12/2021 and is available on Amazon here.
TL;DR Star Rating: 4.00
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