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God of Gnomes by Demi Harper

God of Gnomes by Demi Harper
4.25
Book Name: God of Gnomes
Author: Demi Harper
Publisher(s): Portal Books
Formatt: Paperback / Audiobook / Ebook
Genre(s): LitRPG
Release Date: September 26, 2019

“eSports meets Civilization

I never understood the appeal of eSports, and my every attempt to read LitRPG could be described by Thomas Hobbes: brutish, nasty, and short (the attempts were not solitary, since the other LitRPG books I tried to read were otherwise popular).

Enter God of Gnomes, by Demi Harper (aka, Laura Hughes), which reads like someone teaching a newbie how to play Civilization. That is to say, it’s a fusion of eSports and LitRPG. Given my track record, you’d figure I’d pass on God of Gnomes in favor of Leviathan. Still, having enjoyed a short story by Laura Hughes, I decided to give it a shot.

And I loved it.

Carried by a compelling narrative voice, it kept me engaged from start to finish as I followed the trials and tribulations of Corey. A mortal being reborn as a magical gemstone, he’s responsible for bringing back the gnome race from the brink of extinction, in hopes that he might one day be able to regain his former body.

Though known as a God Core, Corey starts off at the bottom of the trash heap with not much more than consciousness and the ability to see within a narrow sphere of influence. Only when his finder begins to worship him does he ascend to a new level. With each new ascension comes new powers; and as a newbie, Corey requires the guidance of Ket, a sprite who explains how a God Core influences the world around it. In this, God of Gnomes reads like a video game: drop down menus of abilities, power levels that increase with experience and achievements, resources to build structures, creation of God Born creatures, slots for the number of God Born, etc.

Corey will need to know how to make use of all these powers, because he can’t communicate with his gnome worshippers directly. Instead, he has to coax them into working towards his objectives. He CAN control his God Born creatures, though they do have a level of autonomy. He’ll need both, because almost as soon as he’s thrust into this strange new role, his community is set upon by bloodthirsty kobolds, who worship a sinister Core.

In my past readings of LitRPG, I quickly tired of characters knowing how much mana or hit points they had; but Corey’s snark kept the explanation of game mechanics within the story both logical and interesting. Like Corey, I became attached to his worshippers, despite the greater distance a reader would normally have to secondary and tertiary characters.

In addition, it helps that the plot also drives his use of Corey’s powers, and everything moves at the breakneck pace of a real time civilization-building video game.

I found God of Gnomes to be an enlightening read, and rate it 8.5 stars out of 10.

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