What if Humanity’s Last Hope Was a Group of RPG Nerds?
For Jason, all that matters is his teammates and the world of Azur, an MMORPG where he spends most of his waking hours. Contrary to the real world, in that game, he has found meaning. As leader of the top guild, he’s respected. He’s someone. Unfortunately, people around him don’t see it that way. They keep telling him that he should grow up, that he’s wasting his life away. He should just go back to College or find a job. Otherwise, he’s in for a rude awakening.
But when Jason wakes up from one long gaming session and finds out the entire world has been trapped alongside with him in his favorite game, the responsibility falls on his shoulders and that of his guildmates to find a way out. Those countless hours he’s put in will finally serve a purpose… that is, if they can survive that long!
With no respawn or res available this time around, he has no room for errors. Jason will have to start again from level 01 while dealing with inevitable rival guild, Warmongers, that is set on killing them all.
My Opinion: 289 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Set some time in the far future, the novel drops you into a VR RPG shooter where the main character (MC) Jason and his friends are killing mobs.
There’s a little backstory setup for the MC. In real life, he’s an 18-year-old college dropout that is so good at this VR game he plans to go pro. But of course his mom and family don’t understand and think he’s wasting his life and that the game is stealing him from them.
The next day, everyone wakes up trapped in this game and the group of friends are supposed to save the world with their amazing video game skills.
This is an action oriented story with lots of battles. Additionally, the highlight of the novel is the relationships between the group of gaming friends that make up the guild Insane N Deranged. Good, funny banter.
Unfortunately, there are also some big holes in the story and other problems that stop it from being as good as it could be.
One, it’s not clear until the very end of the story what exactly is going on and who’s trapped the world in this game. For most of the story, the team of gamers is just given quest objectives that they blindly follow to gain levels, get new gear, and new powers.
Additionally, the permadeath aspect of the story seems weird. Why does the team still kill other players understanding that they’re actually going to die permanently? It seems out of character for a bunch of teens.
Also, a significant portion of the dialogue in the novel is in gamer speak.
An example of the gamer speak:
“CC a DPS. Pick a guild.
Inde then PT, then me. Damage mitigation, people! "Junkee ordered.
Inde CC’d the hired gun in Warmongers. Pain Train grabbed the scientist DPS in Crits and Giggles, and Junkee CC’d the TH DPS in Bruh.
Understandable to anyone that’s spent time playing with other people in an MMO. But the dialogue, while accurate for gaming, also makes me feel like I’m watching a YouTube video of some group play an MMO.
This is also true of the game mechanics and fights in the story. While accurate to MMO gaming, it feels dated in the context of this story because it's supposed to be set in a future world where full immersion VR MMO gaming has been perfected.
There’s some crafting and a little character building but the story is mostly action scene after action scene strung together by a vague goal of saving the world.
Overall, good action and banter between the group members. But that lack of much else going on in the story coupled with the dated feel I got from the game stuff made this only slightly better than meh, for me.
Score: 6 out of 10.