I tried this because I enjoyed Billy's Bones by this same author last year. But this is completely different. Very lightweight. With the ubiquitous homophobic father and conflicts that felt random and artificial. The RPG and D&D stuff wasn't written in a way that made it accessible or interesting to me. After reading so much outside this genre recently going back to it with this book felt like I'd gone back in time.
One thing that took me out of the story was the dated pop culture references. For example I doubt that American 18 year olds are raving about Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker as their favourite Dr Who's (and not even mentioning the new series). And the favourite fantasy book that Danny and his friends are reading is by Mercedes Lackey. That author had her heydey in the 80's and 90's. There is so much new stuff in mainstream fantasy these days that is popular with young guys and that is linked in with modern gaming trends. If these older references were mixed in with some newer ones, or if the guys had acknowledged that these things were retro I would have believed it more. But it just felt like a middle-aged author putting in all their favourite things from times gone by. I find that a lot with YA written by M/M authors. If you're writing YA you need to start referencing 21st century trends.