Betrayed by those closest to him, Finn Caldwell thought he’d escaped his life of violence and deception. But when a frantic message from his estranged sister draws him into The Realms, the world’s most advanced holographic reality game, Finn is forced to embrace his deadly skills once more.
Armed with a mysterious artifact known as a Godhead, Finn becomes the warrior mage Gryph. Yet, things are not as they seem and to save his sister, he must escape a sentient dungeon by defeating its master the Barrow King.
My Opinion: 452 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Launch issues: spelling and grammar errors, missing pages, according to reviews but the author assures me they've been fixed.
The novel starts out as a cyber thriller where the main character (MC), Finn, former spy is sent a message by his sister. She’s been missing for the last six months and is trapped in a game created by the most immersive VR game creator. It’s all very cyber thrillery. Very. It also doesn’t really matter, except as a long term plot for the series. In this novel, it’s just a way to get the MC trapped in the game.
There’s also this whole other subplot that the game is really a portal to an alternate dimension where this world is ruled by game mechanics and the CEO of the company used beta players to take over and then advance the universe by 200 years once he was the god of the world. But this honestly doesn’t make sense and I choose to ignore it.
After character creation, which takes way too long (like 40 whole pages). The rest of the story is a dungeon dive. You get a bit of insight into how the MC has a unique abilities and a special item that will make him like a god eventually, but for now has to be leveled up through epic level fights. The MC collects some nice party members but it is still a dungeon dive.
The story has flaws. Like a few of the fights being wand wavy and there being no way the MC should have won (like he fights a level 21 character at level 1 and wins). And the loot the MC gets is so overpowered. But beyond that, the story is good. Most of the other fights are balanced and well described. It’s a pretty good dungeon dive story over all.
Score: 7 out of 10.