Zack’s plan for the summer was easy enough: pick a college, enroll, and spend the rest of his time building his alchemist in a new VRMMORPG called Aetheria.
But when he finds out his college money fund has been depleted and he has no more means to pay for the tuition fees, his plans need to change in an instant. With money to be made in this game, he now has to put the exploring part—and all the fun—aside to focus on earning every dollar back. And so he does, playing the only way he knows how: by finding and exploiting the game’s loopholes. Who cares if other players get killed and he loots them clean? After all, it’s just a game, isn’t it?
Zack the Alchemist will quickly learn, however, that the world of Aetheria is much more than that. As he lets his greed dictate his actions and pulls one dirty trick too many, he opens up a portal that will unleash hell upon this virtual world. If that wasn’t bad enough, as he dies at the hands of the megaboss he has just freed, there’s a glitch that happens in real life and that locks Zack inside the game for good.
Trapped in his character, he will have to change his ways and start allying with others if he is to find the key back to the real world. But it’s hard for a loner such as himself to start making friends; especially when you’re under the penalty of permadeath and have to watch your Level 04 back because you’ve already made quite a few enemies.
With his potion making skills and a lousy starter copper dagger for sole companions, Zack has the odds severely stacked against him. The slightest slip-up could mean the final game over.
My Opinion: 350 pages??, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
The story doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be and because of that it felt untethered to a theme. It starts out as a story about a bullied teen graduating high school who gets an expensive VR rig from his mom and is determined to make a living in the game. Then after the main character (MC) makes his alchemist character and shows that crafting is just button pressing, he becomes a PKer double crossing the guy that just happened to tell him all his PVP secrets. The MC abandons his goal to earn money from taking gear from killed players and decides to take on high level content at level 3. Then about mid way through, it shifts to a stuck in the game story. The entire thing just didn’t work for me.
Score: 5 out of 10