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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
First of His Kind by Dan Sugralinov revolves around Carter Riley, whose goal is to get to the planet Sidus after events have him waking up in a medical capsule, missing his arm, and with a tarnished reputation. Out of a combination of luck and thoughtful maneuvering, Riley eventually makes it to Sidus, where he and Chrissy search for their missing friends among a diversity of alien races. They ultimately end up in its arena, and as they strengthen their abilities, they also form alliances, including Beverly. Together with Beverly, they participate in battles, gradually improving their skills and rankings. Riley's cautious approach clashes with Beverly's eagerness for paid tournaments, but they eventually find success through teamwork and strategy, becoming more experienced competitors in the virtual battle arena setting. First of His Kind is book one in the LitRPG series, Sidus.
First of His Kind by Dan Sugralinov is kind of the first of my kind, as reading a game-themed book has long been on my list of genres to tackle, but I'd not yet come across a book tempting enough to commit to it. Sugralinov changed that with the story of Riley, who feels human enough to relate to but still has the bionics to make him believable in a science fiction role-playing game universe. Here, Sugralinov expertly combines science fiction, gaming, and strategic adventure, and half of the fun of Riley's journey is getting him to Sidus. As an origin story, this is critical and allows us to get to know him and what has been sacrificed to get him into the arena. Sugralinov develops a believable and super-absorbing game universe. The author transitions from almost pure science fiction to the seamless integration of gaming mechanics, alterations, and rankings. The result is a solid entry into the Sidus series, and thankfully, there won't be a long wait for book two as Protector of His Kind is already slated for release.