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Power of Ten: The First Day, a review

This article expresses the views of its author(s), separate from those of this publication. Readers are encouraged to comment or submit a Letter to the Editor to share their opinions. To submit a Letter to the Editor, follow the instructions here.

When something extra-dimensional tries to eat the Earth, it is stopped by the machinations of The Archmage through plans and protections years in the making. Foreseeing such events, The Archmage created a virtual reality game (Power of Ten) to train and prepare the masses; those who played the game were the most prepared and took charge during the ensuing apocalypses.

When the extra-dimensional entity tries and fails to devour the planet, Earth is moved to an entirely different universe where magic is real, with new stars and laws of physics. 

The first book in the “Power of Ten” series, “The First Day,” follows Aelryinth, one of the strongest who played Power of Ten, as he tries to save humanity. Between evacuating people from natural disasters, coordinating between groups of empowered people, gearing and feeding as many people as he can support and exterminating the newly undead, Aelryinth has his hands full. 

In direct opposition to the trope of intelligent people being evil and only fools being good in a world where life is a battle, in “Power of Ten,” the exact opposite is true. It isn’t a story about the survival or growth of a group or individual; it’s about the survival of humanity after multiple apocalypses, a story about the end of the world and the day after.

Cover of The First Day by R.E. Druin

Every person with power is either focused on protecting and empowering the masses or actively sabotaging the effort to ensure humanity’s survival. There is no middle ground. The goal is for the human race to reclaim their planet, even if it takes generations, not gain personal power for power’s sake.

Based heavily on “Dungeons and Dragons” and other tabletop games, a good portion of “The First Day” is power mechanics or logistics and can be wordy. 

I enjoy the worldbuilding that went into theorizing the aftermath of an apocalypse. Usually, stories are set in the post-apocalypse period, months or years later. A government has already been established, the aftershocks have calmed down and it’s either time to rebuild or overthrow the current regime.

This is not the case in “Power of Ten.” The Earth is still unstable, new complications frequently reveal themselves and Aelryinth and peers must build a government from scratch. It’s an innovative idea that R.E. Druin pulled off splendidly. 

The current main “Power of Ten” series includes five books, with “The First Day” as the first installment. It can be found on Kindle Unlimited or bought for $5.99 as an e-book. A series of spin-offs can be found for free on Royal Road under the name “Power of Ten.”

Rating: 4.5/5 Spinnaker sails

4.5 spinnaker sails







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