Review: perception Check

Book by Astrid Knight

I was lucky enough to be given an ARC of Perception Check. Below is my review.

In a nutshell, the book is about struggling college-age kids in America who love Dungeons and Dragons, have a lot of issues and personal trauma, and find that their beloved version of the game is actually a real place.

I'll leave others to write about the plot, character names, etc. I'm going to talk about how the book made me feel, what I felt worked, and what didn't.

First impression: the gorgeous map, quote, and opening to the book immediately makes you want to grab some snacks and settle down into your comfiest chair, as you know you're in good hands. I love the playfulness of taking Dungeons and Dragons and making it a real place. Not like the 80s cartoon version, but more honest and down to earth.

Do characters travel on foot a lot? Yes, and it hurts them. Blisters, aches, sanitary products and just the sheer distance involved brings it to life.

Do characters heal their HP after a long rest? Nope, because that doesn't happen in real life either (I did wonder if there'd be a subtle joke about this, but apparently not).

And then there's the mental side of things. None of the characters have what you'd call a balanced approach to life. They struggle, internally and with each other, which develops into a glorious read and makes you root for them all. I did wonder if the party size of 7 would be too much, but Knight holds them together with ease, giving each person their own voice and style that helps to separate and appreciate them.

And let's not forget the plot twists that literally made me cry out loud. Just when you think you know where the plot is going, that's when she hits you in the feels and sends you reeling.

If you like Percy Jackson and other such urban fantasy, then you'd love this, but be aware that the language is a bit more fruity than PJ and is definitely an adult book for me. Think more of a 20 year old Percy who's had a very traumatic upbringing and is only now starting to discover what he's about.

Overall, thoroughly loved this book and cannot wait to read the sequels.