SPFBO 7 Review: This Quest is Bullshit by J.P Valentine

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I immediately geeked out when I saw I had a comedy assigned to my batch. As my namesake would suggest, I’m sort of a fan of comedic fantasy, or anything with a humorous side to it.

I was encouraged when the first few chapters didn’t sink into some of the trappings that make comedies slide off some folks — being too overzealous with the humor at the detriment to character building, or suspension of disbelief.

This starts out with the main character, Eve, being given her Life Quest. She finds out she’s a “messenger girl” and her Quest is to bring a loaf bread to another town. Yep. That’s it, that’s now her Quest. She was a tad disappointed, but also deeply confused when she realized that her Quest level was Legendary. Considering the dude who was given a Quest to bring down a dragon was just an Epic level, something is afoot, but she doesn’t know what. This evolves into a going-on-an-adventure type story with your classic raiding party Classes; warrior, priest/healer, ranger etc. Eve doesn’t really fit into the stereotypical adventuring classes but it doesn’t seem to matter because what else is she going to do? Her Legendary Quest to go get a loaf of bread has the universe bending over backwards to make sure she can’t get that fucking loaf of bread regardless of what she tries. I found this to be a pretty absurdist humor style, but because the character is self aware that it’s ridiculous bullshit quest it actually works well for me.

There’s a fair amount of banter between the characters, they have a pretty healthy relationship between them all and they grow as a group. I actually was surprised that by the end of the book the comedy had been less and less common and it kind of came to a strained and sad conclusion leading into the next book. There’s also a m/m relationship between two of the members of the group so it’s LGBT friendly.

There’s a medium amount of stat talk, it’s not paragraphs of droning data, but it’s definitely a feature that’s used a lot – so if you prefer a softer LitRPG this may not be for you. If you enjoy the progression of power then this will definitely be up your alley. The prose itself was pretty cut and dry, it’s not a flowery or elegant writing style, but that’s not the norm for this genre. I do like the fact that the humor wasn’t used to bludgeon you, there were reoccurring background jokes that made me smile when I caught them. Not everything landed with me, but that’s alright, the majority did which made it enjoyable.

As far as the world building this was geared towards old school fantasy MMORPG setting kind of like WoW. There are goblins and dungeons to raid and soooo much magic. This is definitely a book where magic, how it works, different classes and spell types take a center stage focus. This isn’t a book about people stuck in a video game though. People level up, and you can see stats pages, and things that very much resemble a video game, but this is not a bunch of people in a VR game, this is just a world that works as a video game does.

Overall I would recommend this to people who like the LitRPG genre, there’s enough unique about it for it to stand out from others out there, and it was an enjoyable audiobook. I liked the fact the MC was a woman, most feature a guy as the protagonist. I also appreciated the fact that the characters weren’t 2D cardboard characters — for whatever reason there’s a decent amount of LitRPG that focuses so heavily on the world and the magic and what have you that the characters take the back burner and aren’t always as developed as I’d like. It was fun, light, easy read to kick off my SPFBO 7 adventure 😀

Ratings:

  • Plot: 10/15
  • Characters: 10/15
  • World Building: 12/15
  • Writing: 11.5/15
  • Pacing: 12/15
  • Originality: 10/15
  • My Enjoyment: 7/10

Final Score: 72.5/100