The Greystone Chronicles: Book 2 - The Dire Lands

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Jupiter Tech's headquarters, Olympus, has been attacked. Lives have been lost in the real world. Alexander and friends must now thwart the servants of the Dark One both in and out of the game.

With a few new allies, the Greystone Guild moves out of the noob zones to take on the challenges presented by the ruins of Dire Keep and its inhabitants. They must conquer, rebuild, and defend the Dire Lands against attacking forces.

The players (and Fibble) must now overcome tougher dungeons, and more dangerous foes. Even betrayal by one of their own!

 

My Opinion: 600 pages??, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

Book 1 having only come out a month ago, book 2 is already out.

There’s nice summary of book 1 at the beginning of book 2 but I’d still recommend you read book 1 to understand who everyone is.

The first 7% is recaps book 1, reminding you about who everyone is and introducing new interesting characters.

From the 7-14% it’s a nice action adventure story about the main group clearing Dire Keep and the Greystone Guild taking possession of it. The next 50% of the novel is a kingdom/town building story with breaks for crafting, dungeon diving, attacks from players serving the Dark One, character development, betrayals, and love.
Over 50% of the novel is devoted to building up Dire Keep. It’s really well written and super detailed. There are text about recruiting new citizens for farming, crafting, and fighting, planning and building structures, figuring out the game system used to interface and upgrade the keep, planning defenses, planning on food and water needs for citizens, and more. If you’re a fan of that kind of stuff, this novel will satisfy you.

If you’re not, well there’s still the action and adventure. It’s good. There’s a good 20% of the novel that is about fighting various players that attack the keep, or the group dungeon diving and fighting a nice variety of monsters.

The few things I thought could be better in book 2 are:  that the MC and the Greystone guild seem to be getting pretty overpowered, a love interest that seems off, and a overreaction to player death and PKing.

Part of what I really liked about book 1 was that the characters were underdogs. The core group had to start over at level 1 to use the fancy new immersion tech. They regularly faced off against player and monsters 10X their levels.They had to use their brains to rework their powers into great combos to overcome their disadvantage.

Now in book 2, they have this great new overpowered ability. It’s the same one that Batman has. Money. Money to rebuild a whole keep, get whatever they want for materials, hire whoever they need, buy food and livestock for hundreds of people. Every adventure seems to give them so much money that they never seem to run out. Additionally, the MC’s given several abilities/resources that are so rare that it’s almost like the author gave him the ability to printing money and build overpowered weapons/items.

Additionally, when there is action, it is well written but I never really feel that the group is in any danger of losing. Especially not enough to merit the main character’s over exaggerated responses to Player Killers and seeing players get killed. After all, the players respawn in like 10 minutes. Yet each player death is reacted to by the group like that player was really killed and will never be seen again.

Another small thing that just kept bugging me, was the MC’s love interest. It’s a cute add on, but it really feels like her character was only written into the story for that purpose. Additionally, that budding romance feels forced. It took me a little while to realize why. It’s because it doesn’t feel natural for the MC. He’s been sheltered because of a degenerative disease most of his life. His best friend is a girl he grew up with and is initially one of the only people to know about it. All his other friends are from playing online games. So, when did he have the time to develop skills with the ladies? How do the two of them just seem to magically get together without that awkwardness that is your first love interest? Also, why does he seem to have all these jokes about women really being in charge and men just following them around? Those are the kind of comments I’d expect from a guy who's been married a few times not someone that’s never been on a date before.

Overall, I had a good time reading the story. My favorite characters get expanded parts and every scene with Fibble is wonderful. The action is nice and the combat scenes have varied opponents with plenty of new skills/items tested and shown off. I liked all the detail of the kingdom/town building. There are things I think could have been done better, especially since the major plot point teased in the novel isn’t actually getting resolved in this book. But those things didn’t stop me from having an enjoyable time reading the story.

Score: 7 out of 10.

The Greystone Chronicles: Book 2 - The Dire Lands

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