Fight, Magic, Items review copies now available!

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I’ve been reviewing books as a blogger and a professional critic for over 15 years. I’ve been buried under piles of early review copies, trawled NetGalley for early digital copies, and seen my review blurbs plastered on book covers. It’s been a ride.

But now: the tables are turned.

Because drum roll review copies of Fight, Magic, Items: The History of Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and the Rise of Japanese RPGs in the West are now available for request on NetGalley!

Here’s the most recent blurb:

Take a journey through the history of Japanese role-playing games—from the creators who built it, the games that defined it, and the stories that transformed pop culture and continue to capture the imaginations of millions of fans to this day.

The Japanese roleplaying game (JRPG) genre is one that is known for bold, unforgettable characters; rich stories, and some of the most iconic and beloved games in the industry. Inspired by early western RPGs and introducing technology and artistic styles that pushed the boundaries of what video games could be, this genre is responsible for creating some of the most complex, bold, and beloved games in history—and it has the fanbase to prove it. In Fight, Magic, Items, Aidan Moher guides readers through the fascinating history of JRPGs, exploring the technical challenges, distinct narrative and artistic visions, and creative rivalries that fueled the creation of countless iconic games and their quest to become the best, not only in Japan, but in North America, too.

Moher starts with the origin stories of two classic Nintendo titles, Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, and immerses readers in the world of JRPGs, following the interconnected history from through the lens of their creators and their stories full of hope, risk, and pixels, from the tiny teams and almost impossible schedules that built the foundations of the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest franchises; Reiko Kodama pushing the narrative and genre boundaries with Phantasy Star; the unexpected team up between Horii and Sakaguchi to create Chrono Trigger; or the unique mashup of classic Disney with Final Fantasy coolness in Kingdom Hearts. Filled with firsthand interviews and behind-the-scenes looks into the development, reception, and influence of JRPGs, Fight, Magic, Items captures the evolution of the genre and why it continues to grab us, decades after those first iconic pixelated games released.

If you’re interested in reviewing or covering Fight, Magic, Items, head on over to NetGalley and request a copy (it’s quick and easy to set up an account). I’m a big proponent of grassroots word of mouth for books, so don’t hesitate to request a copy no matter the size of your audience or your platform. And, if you’re interested in working with me on a feature/interview/whatever regarding the book, please reach out!

Request Fight, Magic, Items on NetGalley

On a personal note, it’s dawning on me that review copies going out means, um, people are, like, reading the book now, and, you know what? I’m fine. Really. I’m fine. All good. Not freaking out at all.

Fight, Magic, Items: The History of Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and the Rise of Japanese RPGs will be officially released by Running Press on October 4th, 2022. Just 68 days away! If you’re not planning to cover or review it, but still want a copy, remember that preorders are love! Check the previous link for online retailers or head to your favourite local bookstore and make a request. Preorders make all the difference, especially for debut authors like me.