A lazy and wussy ex-gamer, Phil becomes one of the few humans who receive a mysterious alien piece of wetware which allows them to see the world through an augmented-reality interface very similar to those used in a MMORPG game. Guided by its stats and messages, Phil begins to level up, gradually transforming himself and his life. He even opens his own business in order to help his friends and complete strangers who acquire a newfound respect for him, assisting him in his travails. As Phil continues on the road to self-improvement, guided by his own conscience rather than system messages, he tries to find out more about the mysterious third party which has bestowed such superhuman abilities upon him.
My Opinion: 593 pages, $6.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
This novel is the epitome of slice of life. You're basically following a guy around as he gets his life together in a modern setting. He does things that you’d think would be boring to read about, like: Working out at the gym, spending time with his girlfriend, and starting a business. But the addition of RPG mechanics makes it all so fascinating. There are social game mechanics, stats increases, special skills that give bonuses, and item bonuses. It’s just so interesting how the main character (MC) uses his RPG interface to plan out and improve his life. I also like that there are negative consequences for failure and unintended consequences for poorly thought out actions. The MC loses XP if he fails an accepted quest or does something with negative social impact.
There’s also a sub story about alien time travelers judging the MC as to whether he can keep the interface system he uses, but that’s a minor arc for most of this book. Mid way there's a distinct theme change as the game mechanics start to have a bigger impact on the MCs life. Which is all I can say without spoiling things too much.
Overall, this is a story that I found entrancing enough to read through in a single sitting. For some reason I just really like this story even more than book 1. Probably because it just jumps into the Real Life RPG stuff from the first chapter without having to do any setup.
Score: 7.8 out of 10