A single look changed everything.
It might have been the sight of blood on Kaden's hands.
It might have been when he laid eyes on the woman haunting his dreams.
Forced against their will into a new world, Kaden and Laney will have to serve a wicked god and fight for survival. Every. Single. Day.
An old foe to god Bardos appears and offers them salvation. Will his offer save or kill them?
This is Maelstrom. Prepare to be changed.
My Opinion: 269 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
*Update: 06/20/18, the author has recently published the 2nd edition of the novel with most of the technical writing errors corrected.*
Basically this is a series of fights and dungeon dives held together with a super vague plot to distract an evil god long enough to make him mortal.
This is LitRPG. There is RPG advancement with characters leveling choosing new powers as they level. But it’s a very loose RPG system that almost seems to be made up on the spot as the story goes on. For example, early in the story it’s established that players spend skill points they earn as they level to learn spells or abilities related to their class. The MC, Kaden, does this choosing some cool ice powers. Then a short time later, through sheer imagination and an act of will he creates a whole new spell. So, he never really needed those skill points, I guess? Additionally, it never feels like there’s a whole system that was created in advance of the story, more like it was being made up as the story was written.
On the story side, there really isn’t one. The novel starts out with an awkward transported to a game world beginning then drops the main characters into a battle, where they kill, level up, get new abilities and kill some more. That’s really what the story is throughout. There is an attempt to put a sort of story in place between fights with flashbacks and a plot to bring down the evil god that sent the MC to the world, but honestly it’s just an excuse to get to the next fight.
One of the biggest issues for me, was the sheer number of consistent technical mistakes in the novel. My brain naturally adjusts to ignore them, but there are a lot of consistent mistakes. Additionally, the writing style and dialogue are awkward as all heck. It’s really going to bother some people.
Overall, I was sort of bored for a lot of the novel. The fights, which are a major portion of the novel are decently written. The movement, tactics, and spell are interesting from a technical level. But over all, the fights lack purpose which makes them a bit boring and skippable for me. I tested it out actually. After reading up to a major lull with flashbacks and plot, I went back and found last place before some fights and then skipped to the ‘story’ and found no real loss of context. If you are in the mood for something that throws fight after fight at you in a serial style storytelling, you might enjoy this if you can look past the technical issues.
Score: 5 out of 10