Immigrant. Orphan. Criminal. Genius.
Abandoned as a child and fostered around a foreign city, Nicolay Somov had little hope of a successful life. Then he was wrongly convicted of a heinous crime and all hope was dashed.
Imprisoned and awaiting execution, Nicolay receives an offer: Become a beta-tester of the secret, government-controlled virtual world known as Territoria or die.
Within the virtual world, Nicolay enrolls in the mysterious Ravenscroft Academy alongside humans, ogres, faeries and gargoyles. As he continues to explore his new home, Nicolay discovers a conspiracy wrought with inhumane actions, driven by his captors’ boundless lust for power.
What he thought was a school for the gifted turns out to be something else altogether. Surrounded by avatars, under constant surveillance, and fearing his mind has been infiltrated, Nicolay must escape or never see the real world again.
My Opinion: 364 pages, $3.99, available on Kindle Unlimited
A fantasy magical academy story masquerading as LitRPG. The first 20% is pure tedium. A 16 year old troubled kid is on death row after being wrongly convicted of murdering his parents. Turns out he’s actually a super genius, his parents are demigods in a full immersion VR game and that he’s being sponsored to go to Ravenscroft Academy, an academy in this game, if he agrees to try and break the game from within.
For the first 30% of the novel (120 pages) I just kept wishing the story would get to the game world and even when it technically was there it never really felt like it. It felt like a regular magical academy story with occasional game references. The game mechanics felt superficial and not important to the story at all.
The handful of game mechanic references: Health Bar, Mana bar, Stamina Bar and Inventory. They seem to be inserted only to give the story a vague video game feel and don’t really mean anything. If i removed those few words the story would be almost exactly the same. It almost feels like this was a repurposed story.
Nothing technically wrong with the story. Good visual descriptions, a flawed main character aching for redemption, no spelling or grammar errors. This type of story just isn’t for me.
For now, 4 out of 10.