Travail is collapsing. The terrain is crumbling, the economy is in tatters, and strange mobs are turning innocent people into mutated beasts. Coral wants to rally players and overthrow the CEO behind the game's decline, but there's a catch. He employs her parents. In an offshore facility. And he won't guarantee their safe return unless Coral plays nice. Has she picked a boss fight she just can't win?
Meanwhile, Daniel struggles with his mother's gambling addiction, Sybil fights to keep Farah safe from Jack, and Sal keeps eating things he probably shouldn't, all while preparing for their inevitable battle with the elf queen at the helm of the game's most torturous content.
My Opinion: 388 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Travail Online continues to decay because of the imbalance created by imprisoning the goddess of life. Problems are exacerbated by the developer shutting down servers and over populating the remaining ones. Coral, who’s been playing solo since the the end of the last book has to reconnect with her former team mates to save Travail Online from both the elven Queen and the greedy CEO.
Each novel in this series gets better. This one has the best story of the three and has a plot that makes total sense. The writing is really solid and all the quests connect together.
There are actual big stakes for the online world and for each character in real life. There’s also a great reminder that kids shouldn’t talk to strangers, even in game. Especially when they’re super creepy. The strangers not the kids.
Additionally there are good crafting scenes and advancement of everyone's skills. I thought the ether gear in particular was kind of cool.
One thing that this novel does that other LitRPG stories don’t is that it makes the game world imperfect and exploitable by the bad guy. In this case the story frames server lag and overloaded servers as a recognizable threat to the online world. It’s a much more relatable problem for gamers than a permadeath axe or hypnotic headsets.
My favorite in the series so far.
Score: 7 out of 10.