When bartender Jake Steele finds a portal in an abandoned building, he does what any bored guy would do – he walks through it.
He finds himself in a game-like world where his life is measured in stats and his violence is rewarded with experience points. Under the tutelage of an animal-butchering, whore-loving master, he learns to become an alchemist.
He used to mix drinks, but from now on he’s going to be mixing things that are far deadlier.
My Opinion: 452 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Warning: Lots of cursing and penis references. Not particularly funny but more used in everyday language. Also lots of little spelling errors. That may bug you.
From the author of Monster Spawn and Arcane Survivalist.
Jake Steele feels unwanted and unneeded. His parents are dead. His best friend is leaving for college. He doesn’t have anyone else who’ll miss him if he disappears. After discovering a portal to another world, he waits two weeks to jump in, and discovers a world unlike any he’d imagined.
There’s a lot of good backstory and character development in the first 6% but it doesn’t really matter since the rest of the story takes place in the game world.
Jake is in this world with RPG mechanics by the 7% mark of the story. The world is pretty vaguely described at the beginning. Like, ‘Oh, look mountains to the east, a forest to the north, a road to the west, and a hut to the south.’
I really wanted to like this story. I mean a whole novel about alchemy in a world with RPG mechanics? Yes please. Unfortunately, the alchemy and crafting aren’t that great. Potion making comes down to mixing two ingredients together, an herb with magical properties, a base that enhanced magical properties (just another plant ground up), and water. Yes, I know that’s three ingredients but in the story the author insists that potion making only has two.
Which brings me to a very common issue with the story. The errors. The novel has lots of tiny errors. Spelling errors. Game mechanic errors. But most striking, the author mistakenly changes a major character’s name mid-story. The alchemist that is teaching Jake starts out as Carson. Then his name switches to Cason. Then back to Carson. Then it stays Cason for the rest of the story. He changes names again at the end of the story but that’s part of a silly plot twist that made me roll my eyes.
The game mechanics are pretty light. We see them when the main character identifies things (names), crafting, and when he looks at his character sheet. Jake seems to level after almost every fight, regardless of who the opponent is. It’s sort of an inconsistency that the reader has to just accept because sometimes levels are given for enemies but mostly it’s just a % of experience after the fight is over.
The story itself is decent. It’s a coming of age story where Jake decides in a magical world what kind of person he wants to be. He does some crafting, kills some monsters, and saves the day. Not bad, just not amazing either.
Overall, between the many errors in the story and the lackluster crafting, the novel was only ok. It is the weakest of the authors LitRPG stories. A much stronger LitRPG story from him would be Arcane Survivalist.
Score: 5 out of 10