Pile Of Bones: A Novel Of The Parallel Parks by Bailey Cunningham
This is by Jes Battis, using a pen name. It drops you right into the action with no explanations given. A park is actually a doorway to another world. 3 grad students who never seem to sleep regularly cross over and have adventures in the city of Anfractus, which seems like ancient Rome but with magic.
It's all harmless fun or is it? The boundary between worlds blurs and plots in Anfractus spill over bloodily into the real world. This was good. But so much is unanswered. People keep referring to the rules of the park. Who made them? How do you learn them? How did they cross over first? How many citizens of Anfractus are from the real world? What is Anfractus? There is civil disobedience, utterly destructive people, serious moral issues and the LARP is far more threatening than you realise.
The LARP will have consequences. How many people know of the park? Is one character's child special ed? The LARP seems about to end in disaster. Why do people seem willing to give up their real lives to live in a LARP? Or is it a LARP? The unemployable grad students face unpleasant incidents and their delusions are punctured. Roll on books 2&3.
“Did he piss in that?”
“I imagine so. Put it on.”
“I'll say that you're my idiot brother and I've just dragged you down from a ditch somewhere.”
“Follow that bee!”
“Our students often do. They outgrow us and decide that we no longer deserve our position.”
“I don't like it there at night. The ducks get angry.”
“We each cast a shadow that stretches from one side of the park to the other.”
“A magnet for chaos.”
“Not every park leads to another world, but some do.”
“Your arsenal is from eBay.”
“A ruling class whose beginnings could no longer be traced with any kind of certainty.”
“Are we all playing some kind of extreme RPG?”