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Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
It’s 2068 and people are still searching for that most elusive of all relics – The Holy Grail. In Keith Holmes’ book, Un-Holy Grail, we meet Jonathan Cain who is an experienced and wealthy Grail Hunter. The opportunity to find and, of course, drink from the Grail Cup, hence gaining immortality, comes around only every ten years when the majestic and mythical Grail Tower appears somewhere in the world. The last time the tower appeared, Jonathan was just a mere teenager, when he, his father and his brother went in search of the elusive Grail. The trio were successful in their quest, but his brother and he drank from false Grails and although they received Grail powers, they did not find the ultimate prize of immortality. Their father, however, appeared to drink from the true Grail and is now lost to them. When the Grail Tower is sighted in Soltania, just off the coast of Florida, Jonathan heads out for another wild Grail adventure.
Un-Holy Grail is a relatively new genre, called Lit-RPG. Although classified as science fiction, the story Keith Holmes unveils for his readers is very reminiscent of many of the video game stories I have watched my son play in the past, even down to the magic of the players diminishing each time they use it. While this is not necessarily my genre, as a reader, there is plenty of non-stop action here to keep the most ardent Lit-RPG reader fascinated and engaged. I did find the constant changing of perspective, from chapter to chapter (all in first person), to be a bit confusing at times and I had to keep reminding myself who was speaking at any given point. This did detract from the flow of the story I felt, but definitely not from the action and battle scenes, which were numerous and vividly written. The characters were many and varied – all with weird and wonderful powers and weapons. The author’s imagination is clear for all to see in this story. A solid and, at times, enthralling and fantastical future read for fans of the genre.