A few days have passed since Jason's confrontation with Alfred and he's debating whether to re-enter Awaken Online. Alfred has made a proposition that Jason isn't certain he should accept.
After the battle with Alexion, Jason has also been appointed as the Regent of the Twilight Throne. He must assume the mantle of ruling an undead city – with everything that entails. His first task is to investigate the dark keep that looms over the city’s marketplace. This act will lead to a chain of events that might ensure his city’s survival or create new enemies.
Meanwhile, Alex re-enters the game listless and angry after his loss against Jason. With his reputation in the gutter and no prospects, he will face a choice regarding how he intends to blaze his path through the game.
My Opinion: 481 pages, $6.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Full Disclosure: I got an advanced copy of Awaken Online: Precipice from the author for review. I purchased a copy of the novel when it became available.
In just about every way, book 2 in the Awaken Online series is better than the first book. The author gets right into the game world and not only provides tons of action but the story also makes the reader think a little. Which, to me, is the mark of a great story.
This is a smaller more intimate story that focuses around two narratives:
1) Team Undead - Jason, Frank, and Riley work to solve the problems that faces the new undead kingdom, growing their population when the undead can’t procreate. They come up with some interesting solutions.
They each find themselves influenced by the opportunities created by the dark deity, a portion of the AI controlling the game.
2) Team Evil Sociopath - Alex, the rich kid bad guy from book 1 has to figure out what he wants after losing the battle for the Twilight Throne. He has the opportunity for redemption but he’ll have to make the ultimate choice about who he’s going to be.
There’s a lot more cool stuff in the story but I can’t review those parts without getting spoilery. However, I can assure you that those parts of story alone are wonderful.
Action, adventure, skills, levels, and loot. All the stuff I love! The MC uses his brains, good friends, and a bit of luck to take on challenges most would consider unwinnable. Very rarely does he take the easy or obvious path.
More than that, the story asks the reader to think. To question the nature of good and evil and how we define them.
Raises many philosophical questions about the nature of good and evil, and introduces sociological concepts like:
Social contracts and agreed upon cultural norms
Good = What Benefits self and Bad = What Harms self
Good acts mean good person? Can a person be judged evil without seeing what’s in their heart?
Some religious connotations, possible commentary?
Is redemption possible for everyone?
Great action, adventure, and some stuff that makes you think. Great story.
Score: 9 out of 10.