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Reviewed by Cecelia Hopkins for Readers' Favorite
Lost in Fantasia by Chelsea Caslie sees Tack180 and Ghost interrupted in the middle of battle. The glitch steals Ghost and infects Tack’s hand. Tack escapes with the assistance of her high-ranked player, SmokeScreen. Soon the entire platform explodes and the virtual world of Duty Falls is lost. When Tack wakes up, she is in Fantasia where the avatars enjoy more autonomy. She is shocked when two assailants do not respawn, leading to the charge of murder. Traveling to Castle Town, Tack is forced to start a new life in Fantasia. She still hopes to find Ghost. How many worlds will be lost to the glitch before she succeeds?
Lost in Fantasia by Chelsea Caslie was a surprising and engaging Lit-RPG adventure. I appreciated the narrative being set in a future where gaming was so evolved (or decadent, depending on your point of view) that humans were employed as avatars. I liked the character of Tack and was intrigued by her plight. I also liked Olivia, whose surprising presence in Fantasia helped Tack integrate into the new game. Most gaming fiction revolves around a single game, but I was excited to get bonus glimpses into the sensual world of Vampira, the mythical Olympus, and a horrific clown game in addition to Tack’s main game worlds. The fight scenes were well-written and varied. It was fun to see the avatars face situations they were not “programmed” to encounter, and especially satisfying to see Tack negotiate a new contract with the producers. Lost in Fantasia by Chelsea Caslie kept me involved in both the game world and the mystery.