Wednesday, July 21, 2021


Questland is a standalone modern fantasy by Carrie Vaughn. Released 22nd June by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, it's 304 pages and is available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately; it makes it so easy to find information with the search function. 

I try very very hard not to compare authors or books to one another. This book does have its own rhythm and style and of course, the author is capable, prolific, and adept with the more technical aspects of writing. That being said, the comparisons to Westworld and Jurassic Park (and Ready Player 1) are not far off. I've enjoyed much of Vaughn's oeuvre and this one is also skillfully written with good use of dramatic tension and a satisfying denouement. The very last scene seems to possibly hint at forthcoming future stories, which would be interesting. 

It's a locked room sandbox SF/Fantasy mystery with a band of adventurers including mercenaries, a minstrel/lorist (whose day job is English Professor), a tech billionaire who may be hiding some stuff and a fantasy island doing its level best to kill the adventurers. 

The action rolls along at a good pace; I never found it dragging or tiresome. I did skim some of the many action scenes. This will be a good choice for readers who love nerdy in-jokes and Easter eggs in their stories. The cultural tie-ins and spoofs are plentiful and varied.  The language is variable and roughly R-rated. 

Four stars. Readable and a lot of fun. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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