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Let’s talk about Perception Check by Astrid Knight. Her favorite tabletop roleplaying game is real, and her kidnapped childhood best friend is trapped in a far-off land. Will she be able to save her?
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Author: Astrid Knight
Genre: Fantasy, LGBTQ, Fiction
Her favorite tabletop roleplaying game is real, and her kidnapped childhood best friend is trapped in a far off land. Will she be able to save her? Let’s roll initiative!
Violet Spence wants nothing more than to have a normal life. After witnessing her childhood best friend get abducted by monsters, that’s easier said than done. At twenty-three years old, Violet cannot seem to move past that fateful night ten years ago. Her only solace is Mages of Velmyra, a tabletop roleplaying game filled with goblins, fairies, and all-powerful magicians. But of course, that’s all fantasy.
Or, so she thought. As it turns out, the land of Velmyra is very real and the home of the monsters that took her best friend.
With the help of her friends (and the creator of the game itself), Violet must navigate the once-fictional creatures and powerful mages of Velmyra to retrieve a set of ancient relics—all in the hopes that the journey will lead her back to her friend. But for Violet, fighting monsters and magic workers doesn’t seem nearly as terrifying as confronting her own demons. And she’ll soon realize fighting the battle within herself can be just as tough as those fought against demigods.
Perception Check is the magical first installment of the Mages of Velmyra Saga, great for fans of Dungeons and Dragons, Critical Role, and The Magicians. With endearing and hilarious characters, an exploration of mental health and trauma, LGBTQ+ representation, gut-wrenching twists, and a whirlwind of an ending, you will never want to leave the world of Velmyra.
NOTE: Perception Check deals with the topics of mental health (specifically depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicidality) with mentions of childhood sexual assault, alcohol abuse, and animal violence.
I immediately thought of the Korean drama series W Two World when I initially read the blurb. Of course, when I read it, it was a lot different. Astrid Knight wrote the book, which is fantasy fiction. The story alternated between two universes. If given the opportunity, I would most likely travel to Velmyra. In terms of characters, I adore them all since they have individual personalities that make them stand out. As I’ve progressed through the novel, I’ve understood how, aside from the monsters lurking at the Velmyra, they each have their struggle to fight. I’m hoping that the other characters will have their point of view because each one deserves to be heard.
As I previously stated, each character had individual qualities, and as a result, I experienced a roller coaster of emotions. I believe the characters are well-balanced and complete the story. However, I occasionally forget why they are on the Velmyra in the first place. I’m looking forward to seeing more about May.
The author did an excellent job of describing every aspect of the book in terms of writing. The book was simple to read, and the author did such an excellent job describing both worlds that I felt like I was there myself. I enjoy how the book deals with mental health issues. The book is wonderful and easy to read in general. This is a book I would recommend to anyone interested in tabletop role-playing games.
I give Perception Check by Astrid Knight 4 out of 5 stars.
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