My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Fantasy in Death is an interesting take on the death-by-gaming plot that has previously been done by a couple of fantasy and science fiction authors, most notably in Niven and Barnes’ Dream Park series. I doubt that most of Robb’s readers will be familiar with the other books, as they’re probably coming from the romance world (crossing over from her Nora Roberts titles) instead of the science fiction genre.
What hit me the most, though, was nostalgia for the dot com boom. The portrayal of the hot start-up company with its open, cheerful offices full of tech toys and energy, well-paid employees on fire with ideas and enthusiasm happily burning the midnight oil to work on exciting projects—I remember those days! Okay, the technology wasn’t as advanced as the stuff in the book, but I can relate.
I always enjoy the portrayal of Dallas and Roarke’s relationship as a mature partnership. It is a bit clichéd at this point that every case has some aspect that justifies bringing in Roarke as a civilian consultant, but it’s part of the formula. The sex is somewhat paint-by-numbers by now, too, but as prolific as Robb/Roberts is, I’m wondering if she has templates for different series and she has her own Stratemeyer Syndicate-type operation going on somewhere. (I’ve never read anything by her but the Eve Dallas books, so please take that as the joke it’s meant to be!)
I was a little disappointed in the reveal, as I felt that the bad guy was too obvious. I won’t say more, as I don’t want to give anything away. I’ll probably continue reading the series, but I’m past feeling an urgent need to grab them as soon as they come out, and this definitely isn’t one of the few series that I could re-read and enjoy.