This hilarious exploration of physics gone wrong opens with Casey surviving a shotgun blast to the chest, becoming aware of the nature of the simulated reality in which he lives, and saving the world around him from life-threatening bugs in the code.
KNOWN SHIPPABLE, WILL NOT FIX is a farcical tale inspired by a web comic about author Roy W. Russell’s experiences in game development on projects like Bioshock. Told in close third person, the narrative also includes several bug reports written by various characters as they complain about minor and occasionally lethal faults with the world around them. Never invasive, these bug reports always forward the plot, offer suspense, and/or reveal aspects of a character’s personality. The characters are diverse, generally well-rounded, and thoroughly entertaining as is the world in which they live— an uncanny simulation of our own.
Admittedly, the opening scene with the initial shotgun blast is a little abrupt and confusing at first, but quickly makes sense if the reader sticks through it. And overall, the plot is fairly engaging. Casey and his neighbor/coworker Natalie face a plethora of comical foes who are no less dangerous for their absurdity. Unfortunately, what feels like the climax or the big showdown happens far too early, about two thirds into the book. After that, there is a series of smaller adventures followed by a secondary showdown with another enemy and a denouement. Though thoroughly entertaining, the pacing starts to feel more like a sitcom with a series finale than the structure of a standard novel.
Another flaw with the narrative relates to how some of the scene transitions are handled. There were times where characters began a conversation in one location and finished it in another with little or no description guiding the reader onward to the new setting. Though seldom, the effect was significantly jarring when it occurred. However, the imaginative humor of this page-turner of a book far outweighs its flaws, and I heartily enjoyed reading it.
~Ditrie Marie Bowie for IndieReader