Siphon (A Touch of Power Book 1)


Jade has spent her life fighting boredom in the terminally ill ward. Surfing the net or reading, she always envied the ability of others to go out and experience the world. She knew her wish to live a normal life was far beyond her reach, but after waking up one morning without the sounds of her life support, she opens her eyes and finds herself with a weak but healthy body in a magical world.

As blue game-like system notifications fill her vision, she knows that she'll have to adapt quickly in order to survive… but this is all she ever dreamed of, so Jade is up to the challenge. She will soon realize that you need to be careful what you wish for.

This is Andara, where her true adventure finally begins.

My Opinion: 272 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

Full disclosure: I received an advanced copy for review but purchased a copy of the novel when it came out.

This is a transported to a RPG fantasy world, but turns into something like a cross over between the Princess Diaries and a magical academy story.

Jade, the main character (MC), wakes up to find herself, not bedridden and dying, but in a fantasy RPG world where she has an RPG profile page listing her stats, name, age, and her one special ability: Siphon. Siphon will let her grow both physically and magically, but at the cost of a major appetite and if overused, great physical pain. The MC explores this new fantasy city, meeting new friends, learning about magic, applying for school, and doing all the things she couldn’t when she was on earth. Mixed in with this is a comedic element where she goes around pushing boundaries, yelling and intimidating the nobility, and charming the royal family. Eventually, there’s some action, but only a couple scenes. The MC insists that she doesn't want to fight and instead wants to re-invent things from our world and make life better for people. Most of the story just follows the MC on her rambunctious adventures surprising everyone with her spunky attitude, her huge appetite, and tendency to find trouble in the most unlikely of places. It’s a cute, non-action focused, slice of life kind of story.

Game mechanic wise, this is pretty light. The only place you see them is when the MC uses her Siphon ability which gives her a snapshot of someone else's profile to see what skills/stats they have that she can take. You also see the mechanics whenever the MC looks at her own profile (aka character sheet). The profiles are detailed with lots of numbers for stats and skills. As the stats increase there are physical changes to the MC. But the same can’t be said for the skills. Even though those numbers increase, there isn’t a noticeable change to what the MC can do. That is unfortunately because both the magic and skill systems in the novel don’t seem to have rules of any kind. Magic doesn’t seem to have a cost, beyond making the MC tired in vague terms. Magic is described as the MC imaging something happening or willing it to, and then it happening. That’s it. No incantations, no special gestures, no weaving together elemental streams. The MC doesn’t even need training as she discovers several forms of magic all on her own. For skills, it’s even less defined, and there’s no correlation between what’s listed and anything that happens in the story.

There are a couple things early that bothered me. 1) When people, who are from another world who have no connection to our modern world, use our modern slang. 2) Though the MC is supposed to be 18, early speech patterns and use of child like incomplete sentences make her sound like she’s 10. 3) A magic and skill system without rules. It feels odd for a LitRPG story that quantifies stats and skills to not have any rules for it’s magic system. 4) In the early parts of the story, the MC comes off as entitled and demanding. She appears in this new world, no money, or knowledge then declares the room she finds herself hers, eats massive amounts of the place’s food, and demands they give her special objects and do her favors. All without ever offering compensation and rarely even saying thank you. This attitude mellows out a bit after the 30% mark when she starts to make money on her own though. She even starts to thank people for helping and supporting her goals. The pushy, overly confident, sharp tongued attitude even becomes charming when the MC wields it against social bullies and not just against normal people trying to do their jobs.  

Overall, despite the few things that bothered me, I liked the story. The MC becomes a charming, go getter, who doesn’t let anyone stand in the way of her goals. She’s determined to live life to the fullest because before she was transported to this RPG world, she wasn’t expected to live. That dichotomy creates a character you just can’t help but root for.

Score: 7.2 out of 10

Siphon (A Touch of Power Book 1)