The first time Cal logged into ValorVale, something went wrong.
Unlike the human soldier everyone else got to be, he was forced to play as an orc fighter. This didn't bother him too much. Not being able to exit after he'd logged in the second time... that was a problem. A big problem.
As Cal struggled to escape the game, he realized that just like real life, in ValorVale, nothing was ever easy. Especially when you were never meant to exist in the first place.
And especially when an OP arch druid decided that you would become her new plaything.
My Opinion: 538 pages, $4.40, Available on Kindle Unlimited
This is a trapped in the game LitRPG novel. The evil overlord stuff is a little bit of a stretch. The real life portion (3-6%) is well written and establishes some empathy for the main character (MC), Cal.
However, once he gets to the game world things slow down and get a little awkward. It’s not until the 11% mark that the story finds its legs and picks back up. At that point the MC finds purpose in the world and goes on this buddy adventure with a werepanther who doesn’t like him. That’s the part of the story that caught my attention and kept me turning pages. The story of two guys that don’t like each other, but come to respect one another through shared hardship. It’s a good hook that gets you to the first story twist. There’s also some good fighting and a sort of plot to leave the game world or get revenge. But it’s kind of an excuse to fight more, level, and gain new abilities.
The game mechanics in the story are pretty standard. Levels, stats, skill increases, item descriptions. There is an attempt at adding original concepts. There’s this whole mechanic where there’s no sun but four moons on this world. Each of which has some effect on magic and abilities depending on their phases. There’s also a team combo system, that’s honestly rather overpowered and a bit wand wavy. But still, it’s a good attempt at trying to bring something new to the standard RPG system.
The only minor complaint I have is with the magical escapes of the big bad evil guy in the story. I mean, I get the need to hold off on the big conflict and increase tension, but how many magical escapes do you need?
Overall, I liked the story. Good action oriented story with this buddy adventure aspect.
Score: 7 out of 10.