'Raiding Jotunheim' continues the exciting LitRPG adventure by USA Today bestselling author Kevin McLaughlin. When technology blurs the line between fantasy and reality, what will we become?
Samantha didn't ask to have her mind uploaded to the virtual afterlife of Valhalla Online. Someone did this to her. She’s determined to find out who.
But her quest has stirred enemies. They’re coming after her with new weapons - hacked items capable of deleting anyone struck by them. One scratch, and she'll be gone forever. There's no coming back.
Stalked by an assassin who can kill her for good, Sam pushes on, struggling to smash her way through yet another Realm. She needs to beat all of them to learn the truth, and her foes stop at nothing to make sure she never survives that long.
But Sam will not let fear deter her. Some things are worse than dying, and immortality in a cage is one of them.
My Opinion: 221 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Set a few weeks after the end of book one. Samantha has finally earned enough points to move onto the next realm in the game. Unfortunately, someone doesn’t want her to progress any further in her quest to talk to the outside world and figure out how she ended up in this virtual afterlife. Someone has hired a black-clad assassin to permanently delete her from the game's servers.
Now she not only has to be concerned with learning the new rules and gameplay of Jotunheim but this assassin too.
Remember that Samantha’s big goal is to talk to the outside world and figure out how she got uploaded into this game. She has to travel through the eight realms that make up this closed MMO. Each realm has its own rules and gameplay mode. The second realm that Samantha travels to, Jotunheim, is a PVE game environment that doesn’t allow players to harm each other. It focuses on large raids against a variety of giants. Player run guilds compete for prestige as they raid these instanced dungeons.
This book follows the same basic formula that book 1 did. The main character lands in a new realm not understanding how things work and everything around her is vastly more powerful than she is. Everything is explained to her and she’s led around by the nose by other characters learning until about halfway into the story. Then she goes solo, gains confidence, a bunch of levels, gameplay skill, and power. Then she leads her side to victory against the jerks, even after a predictable betrayal.
What makes this story different from book 1, are the game mechanics of this realm. In the first realm, it was all about castle capturing and PVP. In this second realm, it’s the opposite. It’s about doing well within the groups you form and working well together to conquer challenging instanced dungeons. These dungeons also make combat different than it was in book 1. Large scale castle sieges are different from small group dungeon runs. Each raid has its own unique monsters, traps, layouts, and bosses. So there’s a larger variety of combat situations that can be described.
My favorite part of the story was the solo adventure of the main character. Seeing her learn new gameplay skills and then developing new strategies to beat higher level monsters solo. The simple story of her leveling, applying skills, getting new spells, and wailing on some monsters for XP is satisfying.
This assassin thing isn't really important in this story. Once she leaves the first realm and goes into Jotunheim she can’t be harmed by other players. So, it’s just a sword of Damocles that hangs over her head the entire story and something she worries about. Also, I don’t think you’ll be surprised who the masked assassin turns out to be.
Overall, a good read. The combat is well described, and the monsters fought are varied. The guild on guild competition felt a bit forced but I get that there had to be some motivation for the MC to grow in power rapidly. The assassin thing just seems a bit silly and doesn’t really make sense but maybe it’ll become more important in the next book. Still, an enjoyable read.
Score: 7 out of 10