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The book I am thinking of starts with a boy and girl (I think they are class mates but not friends) both getting the same fantasy game then playing it at their own homes.

When they started the game there was a character selection screen with a a bunch of your generic fantasy class/characters. The twist was that the videogame characters were in on that the kids were going to get transported into the game. The sexualized male and female warrior characters were designed and supposed to lead them through the adventure (We don't learn this for a little bit).

I remember that the boy picked the sexualized adult female warrior character, because he's boy, duh. I think that the girl chose the anthropomorphic character (squirrel person maybe?). The important thing with the (squirrel?) person was that they were (technically) a child. The squirrel child mentions this regularly when anything adult happens and how he can't legally view the adult thing because of "X" Corp, the makers of the game I think.

This throws the other classes for a loop since she didn't pick the character she was supposed to, though it doesn't ruin anything permanently.

There was also something about getting a wish or your hearts desire if you win the game.

I remember the book being trippy, weird, and self aware.

Some of the plot points I remember:

  • There was a village where a machine was stopping everyone from cursing/saying sexual things. For example, a villager explained that he couldn't complement the size a female warrior's bosom/breasts. When he tried to say the word it would be "bleeped" out. The kids eventually rescue the village from that horrible fate.

  • The kids help a female mermaid get back to her husband. When the mermaids embrace and wrap their tails around each other the squirrel child character says "I am a child and cant view any sexually explicit material because...".

  • The girls finds a dog and takes it back to the real world when the game ends.

Throughout the adventure the girl and boy become closer and eventually the girl winning the game (not sure how). When she gets back to the real world she finds she has everything she wanted (A pet dog and a nice boyfriend).

I remember reading the book when I was young and it constantly surprising me. I would love to read it again.

  • Good question. When did you read it? When do you think it was released? – Möoz Oct 11 '17 at 21:50
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    I remember reading it about 12 years ago in my school library. I don't remember the cover, anything about the title, or when it was released. – Nikolay Arabadzhi Oct 11 '17 at 21:53
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I believe that it is Demons Don't Dream, the 16th novel in the Xanth series. The protagonists, Dug and Kim, from "Mundania" (aka our world), start playing the Companions of Xanth game, which starts with them choosing a Companion from the list. Dug picks Nada Naga, the beautiful half-snake princess, while Kim picks Jenny Elf, who is indeed underage (and in Xanth, there is magic that protects younger people from knowing about adult things).

When they first play the game, it seems to be a game with text and graphics, but when the players start believing enough, they are pulled all the way into Xanth.

At one stage, Kim has a dream about bubbles floating along with various discarded items in them, and one particularly large one contains a dog. When she pops the bubble, she wakes up, but the dog is still there and she calls it Bubbles and managed to take it home with her at the end.

One of the puzzles in the game that Dug encounters is that Isthmus Village is under the curse of a censorship (a ship that spews out smoke that causes them to be censored from saying and doing things), and he manages to drive that away.

And to cover the other plot point you mention, Kim manages to help two merfolk get together (one could only live in the rivers, the other in the ocean, and she found a spot where the water was a mix of both so they could tolerate it). Jenny says something along the lines of "and now they can summon the stork together, but I don't know how they do that because I'm too young" (although there's a side discussion that she's only pretending to not know because of how the game works, as in a previous novel she actually lost her innocence about the topic).

  • You are absolutely correct! I had no idea it was a series, and especially the 16th novel. I have a lot of catching up to do; I wonder how the book/series will stack up to how I remember it as a kid. – Nikolay Arabadzhi Oct 12 '17 at 15:02
  • I started reading a lot again since I was a kid and remembered this novel. I remembered it was interesting but you can see how much I have forgotten. It will be such a nostalgic trip to pick this up again. I seriously can't thank you enough. – Nikolay Arabadzhi Oct 12 '17 at 15:09
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    Not a problem. I was a big Xanth fan back in the day, and I think Demons Don't Dream was one of the first ones I read too. The later books rely kind of heavily on reader submitted puns, so I lost interest probably somewhere around the 20th book, but the early ones are kind of fun. – ConMan Oct 12 '17 at 22:17
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    Incidentally, the game is pretty good too, mainly because the whole thing started out as Piers wanting a game based on Xanth, and when they asked about the plot, he wrote the book to explain. – FuzzyBoots Aug 14 '18 at 15:43

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