It is not often that I am able to stop and read a book, but I knew once I picked up book one of The Elementia Chronicles, The Quest for Justice that I would not be able to put it down.
I was first exposed to this novel series while attending the Baltimore Comic Con. At the kids pavilion there were these small sample books that contained I think the first three chapters only. I honestly thought that was it because being at a comic convention the literature there is typically short. Something caught my attention and I picked one up and shoved in my bag. That copy bounced around my room for a bit until one day I decided to pick it up and read it thinking I could knock it out in a few moments. Again not fully realizing that it wasn’t a finished product I had in my hand. Once I got to the end of that sample book I was hooked and was so upset when I understood that I in fact just had a teaser. So I took to the Internet to seek out info about the author and purchase the book as soon as I can. Amazon came to the rescue and I purchased not only book one but two also and preorders book three because I knew I was in for the long haul.
What is most impressive about this series, seemingly a trilogy of novels was written by Sean Fay Wolfe. A young entrepreneur who started writing the Elementia Chronicles when he was still in high school. He recently graduated from the University of Rhode Island and laughed his own company Diamond Axe Studios which he uses to working on the various computer games that he is programming. An avid gamer himself he fell in love with Minecraft which is the obvious inspiration behind the Elementia Chronicles.
Now about the books themselves. These Chronicles, if you can’t tell by the cover, follows the lives and adventures of some three noob Minecraft characters who end up on starting their Minecraft experience on the Elementia game server that is currently full of corrupt leadership and fallen heroes of the past. Stan, Charlie and Kat are the 3 latest players on a server and start their journey with the simple task of learning the in’s and out’s of what life on a Minecraft server means, simple survival skills and how to craft. During their intense training the compound is attached and the truth behind the corruption on the serve comes to light. Hurt and disappointed by how the tyrant leader King Rev is Stan, the untitled leader of this group of noobs, takes action into his own hands and makes a stand for lower leveler players. From there the story takes off as we follow these adventures around the server building allies where ever they can to help bring the king down.
What I love about this story the most is the characters. I will never in my life look at any minecraft character the same way again. Wolfe truly knew how to bring these characters some life and depth without loosing their true blocky essence. He also did an amazing job depicting the true feel and minecraft experience by sticking true to the weapons, items and enemies you encounter. Doing that helped make the characters just that much more real and believable. As you get to know Stan, Charlie and Kat you also see how deep their bond is with each other as well as their commitment to the task of taking down the king. Wolfe gives you the opportunity to get to know each character individually even thought the story is told primarily through the eyes of Stan. Occasionally at key points when the characters are separated you will bare witness to what the other members are doing, but is Stan who drives this story along. And each character brings their own unique talents, experiences and attitudes that help balance the team well and makes them stronger as a team.
The other characters you need to be aware of are the enemies that you can come across while venturing a Minecraft server at night. Wolfe does a great job incorporating the various night time threats into the story experience.
As you may imagine the entire game is set in the world of Minecraft, so much of the surroundings, locations, items and people are describe with the best accuracy you can have for a book that is inspired by a pixelated video game. While you don’t need to have prior play experience with the game to appreciate the book, it certainly does help. Especially when certain areas or bad guys are mentioned. Wolfe does a great job explaining what some elements are, for something so unique as Minecraft it is helpful to have a visual guide before you start reading. It is clear just how knowledgable Wolfe is of the game, the various landscapes that you could encounter and how he blends in the people that live there and the tasks that they accomplish to keep their towns in business was a great touch.
The Ending …
Okay so there is no way I am spoiling the end of the story for you, you will have to read for yourselves, but I can say that I was very impressed. Knowing that this a trilogy in the making I was happy with the way that the heroes of the story ended this chapter of their quest. I was also very satisfied in the in which Wolfe teased you with a glimpse of how this adventure isn’t over yet and showed that there is still a threat out there waiting to infect their new peaceful server.
Guys I can’t express enough just how much I really enjoyed my experience reading this book. I have read a fair amount of novels in my time (I wish I had even more time to read) and I am extremely glad that I decided to give this series of books a try. I am currently already a quarter of the way through the second adventure, Book Two: The New Order and I can say this much, the intensity and adventures do continue. You have several options to choose from if you are interested purchasing the book now. Both the first and second books are available from these sources. And the third book is scheduled for a January 2016 release.