Hell to Pay (Ascend Online Book 2)

A new side novel set in the Ascend Online universe! 'Book 1.5'

Lazarus Cain is a member of the Grim Shadows, one of the Thieves Guilds in the city of Eberia. Unfortunately, Lazarus is having a bad day. Waking up in a torture chamber, suffering from amnesia, he’d be pretty much screwed if not for the mysterious, magical sigil burned into his chest.

Sometimes a really bad day should be shared with others, especially professional torturers.

Lazarus will need to use all his cunning and skill to work with his comrades, uncovering schemes within schemes, discovering that The Grim Shadows are not the only Thieves Guild in the city mired in conflict. What’s more, the leaders of the other guilds, the Thief Lords, don’t respond well to treachery…

My Opinion: 344 pages, $6, Available on Kindle Unlimited

Not about the main characters from book 1. Instead, this the story focuses on Lazarus Cain, a level 12 Brawler that’s also a member of the Thieves’ Guild in the city of Eberia, the starting city for Ascend Online. Lazarus wakes up chained up in a cell. Only when he wakes up, he doesn't remember the last 24 hours, has a painful brand of rage burning his chest, and is about to be tortured. He not only has to figure out what happened to him but save the city from imploding from internal conflict.

I really enjoyed this stand-alone novel set in the Ascend Online universe. It’s full of action, adventure, and a little bit of mystery. Lazarus Cain is a different kind of character, more of an anti-hero since he’s chosen the unlawful path of the criminal. It’s a fun story telling opportunity. The game mechanics are solid but they aren’t as detailed as they are in Ascend Online book 1. But they don’t need to be. The story kept me interested and I finished the novel in a couple of sittings.

I had a chance to message the author of Ascend Online, Luke Chmilenko, and he says that he originally had Lazarus as a side character for the main story but felt the character and his friends were too flat and required too much backstory explanation. So, he turned that backstory into a full blown novel. Don’t worry, Luke says you’ll see the two story lines merge in the next book Legacy of the Fallen.

Score: 7 out 10.

Hell to Pay (Ascend Online Book 2)