Publisher: Hummel Books
Author: Richard Hummel
Released: November 15th 2018
I received a copy of Gilded Wolves through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Richard Hummel’s debut novel, Radioactive Evolution is nothing like anything else I’ve read. It’s a LitRPG, something I didn’t even know excised before now. It’s also a true sci-fi novel. It also throws in a dash of dystopian and action-adventure for good measure.
A LitRPG is short for Literary Role Playing Game. And it pretty much is exactly what it sounds like. It combines the conventions of science fiction and fantasy novels with the structures of role-playing games. Sometimes the combinations are obvious, while other times it can be a bit more subtle.
Radioactive Evolution was an interesting reading experience. I mentioned above that I had never even heard of LitRPG before now, and that’s true. I certainly never had read anything like it before. That alone made this a fascinating adventure.
The familiar elements allowed the story in Radioactive Evolution to move along at a faster pace than it otherwise would have. By making it feel like a game it immediately connected games to an instinctive set of rules. This let Richard Hummel skip steps in his storytelling; skipping ahead to the more interesting elements.
The best way to explain the ups and downs in pacing would be to compare it to a video game. There are the quick action sequences, but then there’s also the part where you have to plan out your equipment and upgrades. Each part is necessary to have a chance at succeeding in the boss fight. That’s really the same concept here; we’re watching Jared prep for his boss fight.
I’ll admit that it took me some time to warm up to Scarlet. At first, her appearance was so sudden, that while I found her to be fairly awesome in the literal sense, I just wasn’t emotionally attached to her. That did change with time.
I actually didn’t know that Radioactive Evolution was a LitRPG from reading the blurb, but in a way, I’m glad I didn’t know that going into it. It gave me the unexpected chance to read something completely new. Ironically I picked up the novel because I was craving something more like Fallout 4. As in, I was craving a book to read like a video game. Hit the nail on the head, huh?
As far as debut novels go, this was a really strong one. I can’t wait to see what Richard Hummel will come up with next. And I’ll certainly be curious to see what genre the next book will be in.