Goblin: a LitRPG Novel (Tower of Gates LitRPG Series Book 1)

Ever dream of being trapped in a virtual reality video game?


Read on, adventurer!

Sarah, Eric and Josh secretly log onto the new Tower of Gates VRMMORPG and stumble on a world unlike any they have seen before. Swords, sorcery, and intrigue abound. While not planning on staying in the unreleased game long, life happens.

They soon learn the stakes are even higher than they imagined. To survive, they will need all their strength, courage, and wisdom, not to mention help from friendly NPCs, magic items, and everything else uncovered as they delve deeper into the game.

One more level becomes a matter of life and death.

My Opinion: Amazon doesn’t show a page # but I’d estimate it’s about 565 pages??. $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited.

The beginning is pretty well written. The 1st chapter of the story made me feel like the story had great potential: 3 kids logging into a forbidden VR game. Eric is in a wheelchair who gets full use of his limbs back in game. Sarah is his best friend and the girl that he’s secretly in love with. Josh is a jock that’s only there because his girlfriend is. Reading the 1st chapter, I could see a lot of potential, but it never pays off.


  • Explore the emotional complexities of regaining use of your legs, do they actually work in game if you’ve never used them in real life? Would there be a psychological addiction? Or even cooler, an associated physical response in real life?

  • Love interest: It’s cute the first couple times the boy main character says how much he cares for and loves the girl main character. It’s not as cute the 9th time he says it, especially after he gets so jealous whenever she just talks to or flirts with any male NPC.

  • The game seems to know about the characters real life issues some how and creates quests around that but the thread of VR being used to treat emotional issues is never developed.

Things I liked:

  • The penalty for speaking out of character. 10% of next XP per infraction. Not always implemented but an interesting way to keep players in character.

  • Action scenes - Well written, descriptive, creative tactics used to deal with more powerful enemies.

Things that I didn’t like:

  • Characters have knowledge they shouldn’t

    • Why does the jock, who doesn’t play these kinds of games know how to use special game skills magically.

    • How do the characters know so much about the game’s lore and the mechanics of the game if they’ve never played it before?

    • How do you know what happened in a part of the story you weren’t there for? Ie: when someone dies?

  • No explanation until over half the novel is gone about player villain Inyontoo. Why does he want to kill the main characters? How is he so powerful? How does he even know who they are or that they’ve logged into the game?

  • Multiple perspective narrative does not go well with 1st person perspective. Lots of personality flips. With one character taking on on the character traits of another. Perspectives shift every few pages sometimes, very confusing.  

  • The quests the characters go on are interesting and help to compartmentalize the story. Unfortunately they also get plot twisted to death about the 40% mark when a quest chain takes a weird turn and becomes a bit unbelievable. They’re about to destroy the evil artifact then a bad guy just happens to show up to steal it away? How’d the bad guy know where to find them?

  • It takes over half the novel to address the issue of why they’re stuck in the game and how there are other players stuck in the game. That’s a lot of story without any progress on the big storyline.

Last 50% of the novel is a bit better and there are fewer perspective shifts but also some odd plot twists. There are a few interesting game mechanics in the story and there is potential in the story it never pans out and I had to push myself to finish the novel. If I can eliminate half the novel and it doesn’t seem to affect the story, there’s a problem.

Goblin: a LitRPG Novel gets a 4 out of 10.