The premise is interesting, and Michael, a former Marine himself is attempting to put into words all the feelings he’s felt in his service, with the use of protagonist Connor and fictionalised tellings of real events for the purpose of the narrative. While this book’s initial idea is very fascinating, the execution of it leaves much to desire.
Michael jumps frequently between the “current” time, his time in the service, and the time in between as Connor moves in and out of therapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, juggles his current job as a correctional officer afterwards, and events that have happened in between. While I appreciate and like changes of setting to keep the reader on their toes and introduce different aspects of the protagonist’s life, most of Connor’s story is so disorganised and cobbled together that the novel is hard to follow during transitions, which jump between all these different aspects of his life at abrupt and often questionable times in a way that makes the transition more harmful than helpful.
Looking at the technical aspect of Video Game Crusader, the writing of the book is incredibly simplistic, which both helps and hurts it. On the positive end of the spectrum, it’s easy to follow along with the individual chapters, with Michael being straight to the point with what he wants to say and thinks, but on the other end, it starts to become hard to read at times because there’s nothing colourful or outstanding about the writing to make it stand out beside books that share a similar theme to this one.
Spelling and grammar is atrocious, as can be seen on Michael’s blog, where it was originally written and then copied and pasted into a novel to sell online without an editor to contribute to the writing. Frequent misspellings, incorrect usages of terms like “your”, “you’re”, “their”, “there”, and so on litter each chapter of the novel, as well as numerous acronyms and jargon that a Marine could understand, but that the average civilian might not be familiar with. Such problems are persistent enough that immersion can’t be maintained during the course of the story, as you’re frequently stopping to to re-read and understand poorly spelled or worded sentences or look up Marine jargon.
Video Game Crusader has an interesting concept, but it ultimately disappointed.