March 5, 2012 by dracs
Paranoia is one of my favourite RPG’s, so when I downloaded Paranoia Stay Alert, the first in the Troubleshooter Rules trilogy, I was looking forward to a story of treason and backstabbing. I was not disappointed.
The book follows newly made troubleshooter Fletcher-R-JSV-1 as he tries to lead his team in their mission to deliver an incredibly familiar (and annoying) help robot. During his mission he has to face gangsters, IntSec agents who can’t keep track of who is bribing them now and psychotic team mates. Oh, and he might be a mutant.
The novel is by no means a great work of literature. The writer often seems to get too caught up in technobabble and explanations, and the perspective will occasionally shift without warning between that of Fletcher and that of an omniscient narrator. All this, couple with the constant switching of character motives can make the story somewhat confusing, especially for a first time reader.
However, this does not prevent the story from being a thoroughly entertaining read. The plot is well structured, taking the form of a mission debriefing interspersed with the story’s events. The brief glimpses of the events given by the debriefing segments helps to really pull you into the story.
The novel really captures the setting of Paranoia, being both brilliantly humorous yet still able to capture the horror of such a society.
Although not suitable for those new to the setting I would definitely recommend it to any fan of the game as it will provide you with some ideas of how to play and will definitely give you a better idea of the setting and how things work in Paranoia.
Unfortunately it is only available as an ebook from Ultraviolet Books, but for what you spend it is definitely a worth while read for any Paranoia fan.
+ Captures the game well
+ Good balance of Funny and Serious
- Confusing at points
- Plot can become somewhat laboured