First Rule of Haven: Get Out Alive
Garrett Jones wants to save his sister, making her an Immortal within the world’s online hub, The Park. The thought of giving her unlimited time with her kids within the world she loved becomes Garrett’s one dream. But the 5 Million credit price for this rare status is more than he or his family can afford.
Until a long-abandoned game, Haven, mysteriously comes back online, offering 5 Million Credits for the Guild or Company who can complete the dangerous Questline under an undisclosed deadline. Garrett finds himself in a world that reaches beyond the limits of a game and into his personal life, putting himself in danger, and the fragile life of his sister.
Will he and his friends finish Haven before forces within The Park find his sister’s body, or death takes her forever?
My Opinion: 246 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
The price per page is a bit too expensive at $0.02/page. I usually look for about a penny a page.
This is really a techno thriller/Cyberpunk novel with a portion set in a RPG game. In the story, earth has expanded to the stars and a VR hub system called “The Park” connects other virtual worlds in a kind of theme park system. The main character (MC), Garrett, works for the park as a kind of security agent tracking down virtual hackers and trouble makers in game and ‘burning’ or deleting their access to the game. His sister gets run over and he gets the chance to win the money to have her mind uploaded into the system.
Technically this is a LitRPG novel. After the 17% mark, a large part of the story is set in an obviously stated RPG game world and none of the mechanics are hidden from either the reader or characters.
But honestly, even though there are detailed character sheets, item descriptions, and ability/spell descriptions, none of the RPG stuff or really the game part matter to the story. You know how you can usually tell if this is the case? When large parts of the game progress story are just skipped or if you can just skip any of the game parts and the story doesn’t change. Both are the cases here.
For example, the MC in the story accidently chooses the Blue Mage class. There’s a detailed character sheet, a list of skills, spells, the whole shebang. But when it comes to actual RPG content, you know text about him actually playing this game, fighting monsters, quests, leveling up, deciding what to increase each level? Little of that is in the novel. With in the space of a few pages, the main character goes from level 1 to level 4 to level 15. Even when he dies and is supposed to get kicked out of the contest, he magically has the item he needs to not only re-enter the game but also gets bumped to level 30. The relatively few times the novel does follow combat, the numbers used don’t quite match up with level 1 characters magically soloing monsters 3-5 levels higher than them without even dying once. The only reason the levels seem to exist at all is as qualifiers for certain quests to beat the game and win the big prize and maybe to qualify it as LitRPG.
However, that entire RPG game part doesn’t really matter to the real story. Which is a techno thriller/cyberpunk story about some rival company wanting to take over The Park (think the Oasis and the bad corporation IOI ), the owners being uploaded into the game, and how the MC’s sister knew too much. You can literally skip every game section and you don’t lose anything.
Overall, this just wasn’t an entertaining story for me. When the RPG game stuff doesn’t matter to the story, I stop caring. Plus there’s a major cliffhanger at the end of the story, so you don’t even get any kind of resolution to anything.
Score: 5 out of 10