ARC Review: The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak

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Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 304
Series: No
Release Date: February 7, 2017

4 Stars
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This is the woeful tale of how far fourteen-year-old boys of the 1980s had to go just so they could see naked women. And it also demonstrates of the idiocy of fourteen-year-old boys.

And while that may not be the official synopsis, it’s pretty close. You see, out protagonist Will and his two friends, Clark and Alf, have found out that the newest edition of Playboy has pictures of Vanna White, the host of Wheel of Fortune and the woman everyone seems to have a boner over. After several failed attempts, they plan to steal the magazine. For that, someone has to seduce the store owner’s daughter to get the security code. And Will agrees to do because he has an agenda of his own.

The store owner’s daughter, Mary, is, like Will, knowledgeable in the field of computer code. And Will needs her help with his game. They meet up at the store, they talk, get to know one another, and they work on the game.

Like some other people, I requested this book because it reminded me of Ready Player One, which I loved. And this book is similar in some respects, namely it’s relation to gaming and the ’80s. But it’s actually quite different as well, which is perfectly fine.

I really liked this book. Jason Rekulak wrote it really well, especially with how he did Will’s perspective. He made Will a likable guy despite how many time he messed up. I liked seeing Will’s relationship with his mom and, even though it took a long time for them to grow on me, his friends. Will’s interactions with Mary were fun and cute. The book was fun and cute, period. Even when the characters did some pretty stupid shit.

All the nerdy little things were great. And as afraid as I was that the story would be predictable, it wasn’t.

Almost everything was great. Except for the one thing that consistently irked me. Often, the way Alf and Clark, mainly Alf, talked and the things they said, they was very offensive. All the fat jokes and degrading remarks were off-putting. And then Will himself contributed to the assholery and it was simply not okay. I don’t care if that’s how guys talk now—or talked in the 80s—there had to be a better option. Also, the characters really were idiots.

Oh and, almost forgot, while I myself am not a gamer, my brother is and he played the game on the author’s website. He thought it was really fun and he especially liked the guards that chased the hero.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read and I’m glad I requested it. I recommend you check it out as well. Thank you Netgalley, the author, and the publisher for providing me with this advanced copy.

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