Anya has never played a video game before and now, on her first day in Eretriah Online, she is losing a fight against some slimes. Thaezos, a dwarf and experienced player, helps her.
In the year 2057, many countries have gone bankrupt. Powerful multinational corporations control governments from their megalopolises and in the remaining territories, living conditions are hard and almost unbearable.
When Black Scythe releases the first VR-MMORPG, Eretriah Online, many citizens think that it can be their opportunity to thrive. Thaezos, the leader of a gang, has some suspicions about the new technology and resolves to play. Anya is the hope of her family because she is one of the few fortunate girls that can attend high school. Her parents decide that she has to play the game.
When Thaezos saves her, what he cannot imagine is that the red-haired girl who owns the so-called ‘useless magic’ has the potential to become one of the most overpowered sorceresses of Eretriah.
My Opinion: 344 pages, $3.96, Available on Kindle Unlimited
From the very first sentences of the story, you can tell there are some technical issues with the writing. The story seems to have been written by an author that normally writes fantasy and sci-fi in Spanish. So, download a sample and if you can’t get past the many many little errors in just the first paragraph, then you should not read this novel. Here’s a small example from the novel.
“Where is Sam?” asked the girl.
She was in a white room more luxury than her house or any place she has been ever inside, including the High School.
Because of the language issue, the dialogue feels very stilted.
If you can get beyond these language and technical writing issues, there’s a good story here. The story is set in a poor country where the main character, Anya, uses a two month game pass to try to gain enough levels to find good loot in game that she can sell for real world money and help bring her family out of poverty.
The game mechanics in the story are solid and detailed. There are quest notifications, character sheets, item descriptions. Lots of stuff that should be familiar to anyone that’s played an RPG or MMO.
The only original game mechanic in the story is a magic system that is based on colored mana. There are 11 colors of magic in the story, each corresponds to a different kind of magic. The main character chooses violet mana, a rare choice. Only after choosing it, is she told that violet mana is for curse or bad luck magic. The mana color chosen is supposed to not only be a reflection of the player's soul but also impacts what kind of character they become.
She’s helped by a nice guy, Logan/Thaezos, in game that helps her with her first quest. Out of game this same guy is the intelligent leader of a local gang that is trying to take over more territory. He’s already absorbed several other gangs and now controls ⅕ of the cities gang territory. He has food and medicine, things is short supply in this poor community.
The author does a good job of subtly describing the quiet desperation of poverty without reducing the characters to stereotypes or beggars.
Overall, a decent read if you can get past the abundance of technical writing errors. It is easier if you happen to use a text to speech program to listen to books.
Score: 6 out of 10