The last thing Jackie and her new friends expected was to wake up in a virtual reality nightmare hosted by 1-Up, a student of eighties slashers.With knives hung over their real-world hearts, set to penetrate them if their hit points reach zero, Jackie and her fellow players will have to level up to escape their digital prison, or else it’s game over forever.
Slasher Online is a new sub-genre for me, GameLit / LitRPG. And unfortunately, I wasn’t overly impressed with my first introduction to it.
The synopsis and details of Slasher Online were, at least to me, somewhat misleading. The “Slasher” 1Up is said to be a “student of eighties slashers” and the book is a “love letter to video store slashers”. Well, I am a huge fan of slasher films so I was pretty excited to read this book. But I found it missing one very basic element of the Slasher genre. The Slasher. The story follows a group of young adults who are trapped in a virtual reality world by 1UP and forced to survive four “levels”. If they are killed in the game they are immediately killed in real life.
Well throughout those levels they seem to fight everything but any kind of 80’s slasher villain. There are plenty of pop culture references but even those are to non-slasher movies. I liked the references, and I liked some of the monsters that were thought up. But I came for the slashers. A guy with a knife or axe, who uses brute force and physicality and stealth to do his killing. Not a guy who uses telekinesis and zombies. There is a guy with a knife but he doesn’t use the damn thing.
The book seemed like it was a big story to tell that just got rushed through. The second two “levels” are described as being pretty big with different areas filled with different enemies to face, almost all of which is bypassed. Likewise, there is a specific fight where each of the players is faced with their own unique enemy to face and those fights are simply glossed over except for one. These are great moments that I want to read about but they are just skipped.
The relationships between the contestants seem to come out of nowhere. They don’t know each then suddenly within hours the majority are deeply in love with one another and it just didn’t feel believable. One character literally goes from thinking three of the other players are cute then is suddenly talking about seeing a possible future without but for no real reason.
I enjoyed the first half of the book more than the second. After the halfway point everything seemed kind of rushed and that was amplified by the fact that for some reason the second half of the book had a lot of errors. I wasn’t going to mention them since I thought the book was yet to be published but I checked and apparently, the book has already been published. I am surprised at that with all the errors in the second half of the book.
I think this book works better as a good draft copy but not as a finished, ready-to-be-published book. There are some cool ideas and some very cool parts to the book but as the book went on it just became too rushed and had too many descriptive sentences that either didn’t make sense or were written in a way that I had to read them several times before I understood what was trying to be said.
Use the following link to buy this book on Amazon.Slasher Online: A LitRPG / GameLit Novel