RiftWorlds Online: Book 1 - Space Opera Insertion


RiftWorlds Online is an action-packed LitRPG ride that combines Escape from New York and Tron in an epic adventure spanning worlds of Space Opera, Fantasy, the Old West, and more.

In 2028 RiftWorlds Online is the most popular virtual reality MMORPG game ever. A week after its release, millions are playing in a game that spans seven unique universes. But now people can’t log out. And when they die in the game, they die in real life.

In prison for manipulating real-world currency through VR-MMORPGs, gamer Rick Danburg just wants to serve out his sentence in peace. But the President’s daughter is trapped in the game. Secret Service agents drag Rick before the President who offers him a deal: a full pardon for finding her and keeping her alive until people on the outside get RiftWorlds back under control.

That will be much harder than he is prepared for.

My Opinion: 215 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

A decent enough adventure. The game mechanics are shown throughout the the story constantly. It’s very SciFi RPG throughout with cyborgs, laser guns, spaceships, and space pirates and more. Though the setup for the game universe pushes a multiverse with game worlds for:  Western, Post Apocalypse, Fantasy, Space Opera, Superhero, Cyberpunk, and Steampunk. So don’t expect the SciFi stuff to continue into the second book. The action in the story is good, but because of the premise of the story, you know the MC is never going to die and true to form, he’s miraculously saved from death many times.

The premise of the story is probably the part I have the most issue with. It’s trapped in the game, die in the game die in real life. Only it’s a voluntary situation the MC goes into. He’s supposed to find and protect a girl in exchange for a pardon. But the setup doesn’t make sense, since any gamer worth their salt would never expect not to die at least once in a game they’ve never even heard of. Still, it is what it is.

The die in the game, die in real life aspect is a premise that’s semi-popular in LitRPG since people have watched Sword Art Online. But very few have really used that premise it well. In that anime the players are trapped in the situation against their will, but given a chance at freeing everyone if they risk their lives and meet a particular goal. Most people in that anime react like you’d think they would and no longer adventure, instead sticking to safe zones where they can’t be harmed. Only a relatively few continue in an attempt to free everyone.

None of that exists in this story. Instead PvP continues on without players even blinking. Every player continues to adventure for no real reason even though they know dying means permadeath. Additionally, the premise informs the reader that no matter what happens, the MC is just not going to die and that’s what ends up happening. Every time the MC is near death, he miraculously avoids it or the story is crafted so that the bad guy kind of stands there and dies instead of defending himself because it would mean the MC’s death.   

Beyond that, the part of the premise where the MC is supposed to be tracking down this girl to protect her also has huge plot holes. In a MMO where there are literally tens of thousands of planets spread out over 7 full universes, the MC is able to pick up the girl’s trail on the very starter planet he begins on? Additionally, there’s very little advancement that the MC does to that plot line to track the girl on his own. Instead, he lands on a planet, picks a faction, does some quests and lets that faction do all the work of finding leads on the girl. Then moves to the next planet and repeats the act. After the first 30% of the story, it honestly makes the story pretty predictable.

Overall, while the story is never boring and the action is well written, the issues with the premise and the predictability of the story reduced my enjoyment. If you’ve never seen or read Sword Art Online or just have a need for a SciFi LitRP, this might work for you better than it did me.

Score: 6 out of 10

RiftWorlds Online: Book 1 - Space Opera Insertion