Seamus is facing life in prison without parole. While doing his time he's given an option by the Department of Justice and the biggest virtual game maker around, Mindblown Entertainment. If he will help them test long term immersion he will get the chance to play the latest game from Mindblown, Alpha World. All he has to do is sign away his legal rights and sign an NDA.
Now exploring Alpha World, Seamus becomes the Summoner Alburet. Follow Alburet on his journey of exploration and questing in the latest game to hit the market. He will summon demons, befriend players and NPCs alike all while trying to find a little happiness in his life.
He's the first gamer to be sentenced to life imprisonment in a virtual world. What could go wrong?
My Opinion: 403 pages, $3.99, available on Kindle Unlimited
Full disclosure: I got a review copy of this but picked it up on Kindle Unlimited once it was released.
Written by Daniel Schinhofen, author of the Last Horizon books.
These are the adventures of Seamus, a convict, who chooses to serve his life term in a virtual reality world as Alburet, the summoner. There’s no mission to save the world. Just the adventures of a man who now has to live in a virtual world. He’ll fight monsters, make friends, find lovers, and figure out how to best use his class abilities to tame the snarky demons he can summon.
Just a heads up: Towards the end of the novel there are some rather steamy sensual scenes that some may consider mild erotica.
I enjoyed about 80% of this novel quite a bit. Which I’ll talk about first.
The author has a talent for creating characters with depth. They have interesting backstories, internal conflicts, and distinct personalities. The relationships that are created between characters, whether romantic, friendly, or as enemies, are the highlight of the novel. I connected with the characters and found myself wanting them to be happy and feeling sad when bad things happened to them.
There’s action in the story. There are fights with skeletons, goblins, and orcs. However, it often felt very technical and while the group battles aren’t bad, they’re not amazing either. Instead the most interesting part of the story are the conversations and relationships between characters.
There’s lots of flirting from the MC with a few other players and even one of the NPC. There are even some very sensual scenes involving massages, showers, and baths that gave me the vapors. These scenes appear about the 62% mark and then more through the last 25% of the novel. There is sex in the story but is mostly of the ‘fade to black’ variety and is not graphic with the exception of one small scene near the end. These scenes make sense in the story and ultimately lead to a big reveal later on.
Parts that I didn’t enjoy as much:
Really, not one but two scaling items for the main character?
Only inconsistency in game mechanics is that the main character seems to be able to use unarmed combat techniques like a rear chokehold without having any type of ingame skill. The main character is a summoner with slightly better than average stats but still focuses on intelligence and wisdom. Yet he can consistently defeat trained NPC guards and soldiers who presumably have more stats invested in strength, agility, and constitution? It’s really the only thing that stuck me as inconsistent.
Then the last 25% of the novel turns into this sensual harem-ish story with occasional breaks for combat and leveling. Then the end sort of just peters out with a reveal that was a bit obvious.
Overall, it’s a fine story with more game mechanics, classes, and crunchy numbers that the author’s other series. However, the ending just fall a bit flat and isn’t really satisfying. It’s just a reveal, then The End.
I give Alpha World Book One: Gamer for Life , a 7 out of 10.