Logan hated full-immersion virtual reality MMORPGs like Reternity Online. He’d watched his younger brother Jason and countless friends throw away their lives because of their addiction to playing RO. He vowed he would never put on a NeuraLink headset and waste his life like they had.
Then he received an anonymous email from kidnappers demanding a real world ransom payment of $150,000 USD to release his sister Emily, who they held in an undisclosed location. To keep her compliant, the kidnappers used a NeuraLink headset to log her permanently into RO. In-game, Emily’s character was locked away where no one would ever find her.
They called it mind-locked. Emily wasn’t the first person to fall prey to mind-lockers and she wouldn’t be the last.
If Logan didn’t pay up, the kidnappers would sell her real body on the black market for organ harvesting.
If he had any idea where Emily was, Logan could do something to save her. But he didn’t. Nobody did. And he didn’t have $150,000 to pay off the kidnappers.
He only had one choice. Go inside Reternity Online himself, level up, and try to find his sister in-game to gather clues to her whereabouts before they murdered her in the real world.
My Opinion: 555 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Logan Bryne, hates VRMMOs but his sister has been kidnapped and held permanent captive in Reternity Online. MC has to log into the game and level up to find his sister and the clues he needs to rescue her in real life.
The premise of the story reminds me a bit of the storyline from Sword Art Online season 2, only without the lovable main character. Going into the story, I really wanted to like like it but there were just too many issues that couldn’t overlook.
- The author does a great job of capturing the complicated relationships brothers have with each other. The way the older brother Logan and Jason fight is something a lot of siblings go through.
The action in the story is well written and varied. There’s lots of different enemies that the characters fight.
The game mechanics of the story have a bit of depth. You can tell that the author put a lot of time into them. Not just action stuff either but the consequences of reputation in the game.
There’s a long setup, where the main character describes in agonizing detail how much he hates VR gaming and gaming addiction.
The real life search by Logan for his sister at the beginning of the story takes too long. I understand that he has to exhaust all other avenues before he feels like he has to look in the game but the author’s description of the novel does the exact same thing in a few paragraphs.
MC is kind of an ass. Very pessimistic attitude, judgemental of gamers, AI, and his family. Yet, when the MC enters the game finally he immediately starts to flirt with his NPC trainer. Ughg.
For a lot of the early story, there’s no real urgency about saving the sister once in the game.
I like the idea of behaviors having consequences in the game but the Evil /Good reputations shifts seem arbitrate sometimes.
Some of the twists in the sister’s kidnapping narrative were a bit annoying. They were unexpected twists but they were still annoying.
Overall, it was an ok read. The actual game story isn’t bad. There are some good stories there and some interesting humor. However, the story has some serious fundamental flaws. The main character is a jerk and it was hard to empathize with him. It also seems like it would have been faster to let the high level younger brother do all the in-game work rather than wait around for Logan to level.
Score: 6 out of 10.