Tuesday 28 August 2018

Novella: Initiate (Guild of Tokens #1) by Jon Auerbach

Book Title: Initiate (Guild of Tokens #1)
Author: Jon Auerbach
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥
Source: E-book review copy provided by the author

Amazon UK, Goodreads

Plot Summary: The Quests are real, the rewards are real, and the dangers are unimaginable.When Jen Jacobs stumbles upon the Quest Board during a late-night programming binge, everything changes.
The rules of the Board are simple:
Complete a Quest, get a token.
The harder the Quest, the more tokens you earn.
Get enough tokens, and you level up.
Except the Quest Board isn't in a video game. It's real.
Jen's first Quest is simple enough, but when she receives her first wooden token, the sense of achievement is unexpectedly addictive and she vows to grind her way to the top of this real-world game, no matter what the cost.
As Jen crisscrosses New York City fetching more random items, slaying dragons (well, sewer rats), and meeting a host of Questers, she soon discovers a hidden underworld dating back to the city's very inception.
And when a simple task delivers Jen into the arms of a ruthless Quester with a terrifying agenda, the game becomes one not only of levels, but of life-and-death.
Thank you, Jon Auerbach, for providing me with a review copy of this book. Also a big thank you goes to Esme over at the Weatherwaxreport for setting up TBRindr.

What did I think?

3.5 Stars.

This series shows a lot of promise.

It's a quick read, and I quite enjoy the idea of reading a series of novellas in this world. It feels a bit like watching a TV show, and this one has an interesting premise.

I am an avid gamer. Completing quests in the real world sounds appealing, though I wouldn't want to slay sewer rats, so maybe this game isn't for me.

Unfortunately, this first book suffers from some issues. It's a very simple plot, and Auerbach doesn't offer a lot of world building, and so far his characters feel rather flat. I'm imagining this will change as the series grows. I'm hoping especially Jen will get to develop in the next instalment.

The story is straightforward with simple, uncomplicated prose, but emotionally I did not connect with the world quite yet.

I think these books could turn into an excellent series if Auerbach takes care to develop his world and characters and with time will add layers to the story, sort of like Jim Butcher did in the Dresden Files.

Recommended to urban fantasy fans.
The next instalment will be out in September.

You can find Jon Auerbach's website here and join his newsletter here, to get updated whenever he releases a new book.


  1. I always like the idea of this kind of quest either inside a video game or in the real world but have yet to read many!

    1. Yeah, it's definitely an interesting premise, and I hope to see it more often!

  2. Interesting concept - and it sounds like it’s off to a fairly good start. Hopefully the world building will expand with the next book.

  3. Ohhhh I don't think I've read a book that is video game based. I love playing video games and I think I'd like this book a lot. I always wanted to know what would be my stats in the real world.

    Elle Inked @ Keep on Reading