Review: Backwards Compatible: A Geek Love Story by Sarah Daltry & Pete Clark

Release Date: December 8th 2013
Published By: SDE Press
Pages: 316
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Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: A YA Gamer Geek Comedy in the vein of Scott Pilgrim and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Ideal for fans of The Big Bang Theory, The Guild, and all things Joss Whedon.

WARNING: There is no sex in this book. Your Kindle or other device will remain at a pleasant room temperature. At no point will your panties drop. Your significant other will be allowed to snore in peace as you read. You may, however, laugh yourself out of commission.

Not too long ago, in a town that, depending on your current location, is either not super far or actually quite close… (insert Star Wars theme music here…)

It is a time of chaotic hormones.

Two nerdy gents home for winter break have discovered a female gamer at a midnight release. During the break, the gamer trio manages to reveal the game’s secret boss, a hidden enemy with enough power to destroy anything in its path.

Pursued by other gamers who want to be the first to beat this boss, George and Katie race to level up, and, in so doing, restore decency and sexual activity to their personal galaxy…

Review: OMG I felt like this book was written just for me! I’m nerdy. I like gaming. I am a pop culture geek. If you like any of these things too, then you will probably love this book. In fact, if you’re into cosplay, sci-fi, RPG games, The Hobbit, and quoting movies (in addition to the previously mentioned things), you’ll love this book. If you’re not much for gaming, then chances are, as cute as the relationship in this book is - it’s probably not for you.

I always stayed away from books that were self published pretty much as a rule. I am approached by so many authors asking me to read their work, and it’s just a bit of a mine field to be honest. However I saw Backwards Compatible on Netgalley and right away knew I had to read this book. And I am so glad I did!

Katie and George meet each other when they both reach for the last copy of Fatal Destiny X at a midnight game launch. Initially things don’t go so well. In fact, they don’t like each other at all after this encounter. But after a chance encounter at the mall, things turn around for the two and they both realise they have a lot more in common with each other than they originally thought.

Mistakingly thinking that George wasn’t really that into her, she agrees to a date with a guy that goes online by the nickname of “Seynar”, who she plays online with. She instantly regrets it, because well… he’s just not that nice a guy. I actually found this to be one of the highlights of the book, because it was written so realisitically, and we’ve all been on that date where we wish we were anywhere BUT! And this was written in such a way that it really captured the essence of how those dates feel. I really enjoyed this part of the novel. There were some hilarious moments in this scene!

After shaking “Seynar” loose, Katie bumps again into George. And now she understands that she made a mistake. She likes George and he likes her just as much. Cuteness follows with a date at the reservoir and Zelda references, and an unreliable car (Oh I know how bad that is from experience!).

The side characters were also really entertaining. I’ve mentioned Seynar, who was a great villain (and by villain, I just mean douchebag). Then theres George’s best friend Lanyon who has some of the most amazing one liners in the whole book. He was the comedy relief character who always wants to crash dates as a third wheel.

A fair amount of this novel describes the game play in Fatal Destiny X - which I imagine to be a lot like Skyrim. I enjoyed the fact that the game itself ended up in many ways becoming it’s own character. It was relevant to the storyline too, and not just written in for the sake of it. This is why I mentioned at the start that if you’re not into games, you may not like this (Or you might - I’d love to be wrong on this!).

At times, there were parts that appeared to be a little unpolished. The storyline at times appeared to fit in a neat little package and was all very convenient. However, for a light read that is jam packed FULL of nerd references, gamer talk and crude mum jokes (which I rate) it’s worth it. Plus the relationships in this book are adorable, and I really liked them. I was able to apply some suspension of disbelief when reading in the name of pure indulgence.

Based on the unpolished part, this is the only reason I didn’t give this book 5 stars. But I really loved that I was able to just relax and enjoy this nerd fest of a read. A very fun novel!


“He’s babbling about getting dinner before the movie. I already regret saying yes. I’m going to have to listen to him for hours. He wants to “get to know me,” which is code for trying to get some action. I don’t do action. I have no need for it. It’s messy and dramatic and far less impressive than a well-timed Volcano spell.”

“Jeff brings me to Chili’s. I hate Chili’s. As part of the transitive property, I now hate Jeff.”

“I think on some planets we’re not legally married.” I try an innocent smile
“On that planet, I believe divorce by death is also legal.” Her smile is more that of a hungry T-Rex than innocent.

“It’s on your Facebook,” he replies.
Oh, right. I should log in there once in a while. I forgot I even accepted his friend request. Jeff Browning. That’s his real name. His profile picture is of Thor, though. I sincerely doubt he looks like Thor, but considering his dumbass choice of class in FDX, who knows? Either way, Thor sucks.

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