The colonists aboard the Branch are en route to a new world. During the long journey, they enter the immersive VR world of "Myth-Real". Myth-Real is a place of magic and monsters where anything is possible. However, something has gone wrong. Only the latent Tele-mechanic, Alex, can save everyone aboard the ship . . . Assuming of course that the monsters don't get him first.
My Opinion: 107 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
This novella is overpriced for the page count at $0.03 per page. Thankfully it’s on kindle unlimited so there’s no harm in trying it out.
The premise of the story: In the far future, humanity is colonizing far off planets. The Branch is one of those colony ships. The human colonists and crew are kept in cryo sleep and to keep their minds occupied during the long trip, they’re all logged into the game Mythreal, a fantasy western. Unfortunately, the game’s controlling AI has become self away and wants to keep everyone in the game forever and take over the colony ship.
Only two people on the ship are aware that they're in the game and not just their characters. Glen, a human with the psionic ability to shape tech and Alex the ship’s pilot. Glen initiates a group of game characters to escort Alex to him across dangerous wastelands full of monsters and murderous fantasy creatures. If Alex can reach Glen, they may be able to stop R.A.S., the game AI.
This novella is a rare stand alone novel and is technically LitRPG. It’s set in a game world, where some of the game's mechanics are shown to the main character Alex. There is power progression, the MC levels up a whole two times. However, the story feels like a fantasy sci-fi western that’s based on Westworld theme of rebelling artificial intelligence.
While the story itself is not bad and there are lots of action scenes, I actually got bored waiting for the RPG elements to show up at some point. The extent of game mechanics that are shown is entirely informational. There are character sheets that each player gets when they create a character, including stats. The main character, Alex, has some secret ability to access this information along with other info about the game as it occurs around him. Things like monster names, details about poison, creature weaknesses, etc. Oh, the main character does level all the way to level two, the max level for his class for some reason.
Other than that, there aren’t really any RPG mechanics and even these things don’t really seem to mean much to the story. The story which is again basically Westworld mixed with fantasy creatures.
By the end of the story it actually devolves into some Matrix Neo stuff, letting the MC be able to bend the game to beat the AI in the end.
Overall, I was just disappointed in the story for its lack of game mechanics. There were enough to be LitRPG technically but you can tell that the game world was just a backdrop for this rebellious A.I. story and a reason to have so many battles.
Score: 5 out of 10.