“Fighters of the Code” by CB Archer

What can I say about this book? It continues the ridiculously zany story begun in “Breakers of the Code.” Having won in the previous book, Anders and his companions are rewarded by being allowed into a new gamescape before any other players. Only, well, things don’t quite go as planned, and before they know it, they’re battling Breaker and his minions, and stumbling over new players, right and left.

The sexed-up craziness continues to skirt the line between outrageous and outraging, as Anders becomes the sex candy of an evil dragon, takes on a whole group of gladiators, and does so many other crazy things that I can’t even begin to enumerate them. An excessive focus on the sexual aspect of the story (which, admittedly, is extremely attention-grabbing), though, would miss the opportunity to comment on the deft use of dialogue for characterization, as in this hilarious exchange:

Kray: “Kay, I am so skinny! I’m so hot now.”
Anders: “What, no, I mean look at your skin it is s–”
Kray: “I know, kay! I am so thin now.”
Anders: “But you were allowed to change your appearance! Why wouldn’t you put your flesh back on an–”
Kray: “I did change my appearance! I went from Body Type #1 (average) to (skinny), kay. Now I am extra super thin and hot.”
Anders: “But you are a horrible flesh husk of a monste–”
“Kray: “Shut up already! You’re just jealous because you made yourself even chubbier, kay. Why would you do that? You had a perfect opportunity to make yourself a proper weight for a gay elf and you made yourself even fatter.”

The tension between Anders and Kray sparks some of the most side-splitting moments in the book. However, it isn’t all sniping between the characters. There are several surprisingly tender love triangles developing that have quite caught my heart, and I am waiting with bated breath to find out who ends up with whom. As a non-gamer I was originally somewhat skeptical about this series, but I’m so glad I gave it a chance!

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