After his fiance deserted him and took his dog, Tom spends his days at the office and his evenings in Infarna Omega, a full-immersion fantasy game. He makes a side-living levelling up and selling characters to order.
When he gets an order for a Shadow Walker, a class he’s never played before, it seems strange. Things get even stranger when, just as he’s about to kill a goblin NPC, it talks.
Tom and Gabber the goblin embark on a quest to get Gabber to safety. They're pursued by Crawford, a creature hunter with an immense knowledge of the game and resources to match. He’ll never give up, never stop, and Tom must use his courage, skills and ingenuity to outwit him.
This starts an epic quest of swords, magic, and monsters, while an unlikely friendship develops. Tom can’t let the hunter catch Gabber. Unlike the players, if the goblin dies, he won’t respawn.
My Opinion: About 198 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Tom has a job he hates, a boss he loathes, and his fiance just left him and took his dog. He plans to pay off the massive debt she left him and move to the bahamas. The only problem? He doesn’t make enough at his current job. So he has a side job of creating, leveling, and selling off characters in the VR MMO, Infarna Omega. One day while leveling up a special request character, a shadow walker, he runs into a goblin that seems much smarter than the average mob. Instead of killing him for the XP he instead goes on a series of adventures that may help heal him of the emotional traumas.
Things I liked:
The interesting class that the MC plays, shadow walker. There are some neat abilities and low level spells that he uses intelligently.
The secondary character, Gabber the Goblin. Is it wrong that I like him about 10 times more than the MC? Hands down a much more likable and interesting character than Tom or anyone else in the story. He has problems but instead of whining about them, he has plans to solve them. He also has cool monster taming skills and tends to use his brain over his brawn to resolve issues. Heck, he basically makes a pet out of the MC by promising him good loot if he helps him.
Decent combat scenes.Some of the monsters fought are interesting and the way the characters fought them were unique.
Things I didn’t like:
Main character spends too much time whining and telling us about his problems and exactly why he doesn’t trust anyone and prefers to be alone. I understand that the author is trying to establish a character flaw to be fixed later but it goes on for a little too long.
The main bad guy, Crawford, is never really that interesting and comes off as an entitled ass hat. That would be fine if that’s all the author tried to make him but there is also an attempt at making the reader empathize with the character by describing how he was neglected as a child by his rich father, only really wants his father’s attention, he secretly does nice things for others when they aren’t looking, and actually works hard at his job. For that to work, we really need to see Crawford’s point of view or at least get some conversations from him that create a counterpoint to his consistently snotty behavior in game.
The game world is never really fleshed out. I can remember a few of the environments. A forest, a cave system, but none of it really sticks out in my mind as being memorable.
Overall, The Goblin’s Shadow was an interesting read. However, I really did like Gobber the Goblin more than any of the other characters and would have rather have read a story about him.
Score: 7 out of 10.