Guild of Tokens by Jon Auerbach review – A wave of nostalgia and one brilliant book

Hello!  Welcome to the latest review on my blog, westu hal and well met.  We are still living through some of the strangest times, I am not letting this affect me too much asreading is providing a wonderful escape for me.  On that note, the book I am about to review is wonderful for doing just that, for you and the main character you will meet.  Here’s a preview of what I thought of this book, I geeked out over it.

Firstly though may I welcome you to day 3 of the Storytellers on Tour blog tour of Guild of Tokens by Jon Auerbach.  Storytellers on Tour is the creation of Justine and Timy, two wonderful people sharing their love of self published fantasy novels.  To check out the rest of the fantastic blogger and bookstagrammers on this tour, click this link.

But first here is the premise:

Jen Jacobs’s nights are spent traversing a strange city finding hidden objects, slaying dragons, and tangling with a host of fellow adventurers. And her days are spent counting down the seconds until she can return to the grind and continue racking up tokens and leveling up.

Except Jen isn’t playing a video game.

It’s all real and happening right in New York City.

After a particularly harrowing quest pairs her up with Beatrice Taylor, a no-nonsense and ambitious mentor, Jen hopes she’s on the path to becoming a big-time player. But as she dives deeper into the game’s hidden agenda, she realizes Beatrice has her sights set on the Guild, the centuries-old organization that runs the Questing game. And the quests Jen loves are about to put both of them in grave danger.

Will Jen survive the game before powerful forces cut her real life short?

I will say right now this is one of the most enjoyable reads of this year, as much as I enjoyed this a huge wave of nostalgia washed over me reading this, as a player of several MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) this book was brilliant.  This has been my first work of urban fantasy for some time, a sub – genre of fantasy that I enjoy and this was no exception.  Told in the first person, everything happens from Jen’s perspective as she slowly becomes enveloped in a real world questing.

There are relatively few characters that you encounter across the book, Jen and Beatrice being the main characters with several supporting characters popping in and out as required and needed.  This again was a refreshing aspect of the book, as keeping track of characters in some fantasy books can be a real challenge.  I connected with Jen in many ways, she is a bit of a suppressed geek and appreciates her Whiskey, as well as being an under-appreciated employee at her company developing a pretty cool sounding MMORPG at the same time.  It is through Jen we discover the secret world of questing, the Guild and dangerous secrets.  I loved the short chapters, sometimes dealing with minor incidents or several chapter long incidents, Jon has an accessible writing style that eases you into his world.

It is fairly low on the fantasy for a while, until Jon introduces Beatrice and some of the weirder aspects including the awesome alchemy.  The characters can create temporary boots or buffs as they are called in the book, they can make them think and act faster, run faster, they have vitality buffs for picking you back up again and again the wave of nostalgia washed over me. Being set in modern day New York also keeps the fantasy low, but it is there in the book hidden away in plain sight and this is one of it’s greatest strengths.  The familiar and the unfamiliar collide together brilliantly in Guild of Tokens, Jon has delivered a fantastic book which is worthy of your attention.

Well, we are nearly at the end but this really was a fantastic read for me.  A different approach to urban fantasy awaits, the familiar and unfamiliar will collide with some great characters.  See if you can spot the cool geek elements that make up this book, the chapter titles for one, and all the wonderful elements Jon has mixed together and out came this book, even the little swipes at Kickstarter.  This has been another 10/10 from me, my only complaint is when can I read book 2 because I need to read more!

There is also a tour-wide giveaway running to win either a copy of the book or a code for the audible version (the audio book is really good and well narrated) and you can enter via this link it’s free and think how cool it will look in your collection.

Just to whet your appetite even further here’s the Youtube trailer for the audiobook:

About the author

Jon Auerbach’s love of fantasy began at the tender age of six, when his parents bought him the classic 1977 animated version of The Hobbit (the less said about the recent trilogy, the better). Jon hopes to pass on his stories to the next generation, including his kids, who have their own copy of The Hobbit that they lovingly call “the Bilbo book.” 

Links to connect further with Jon






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