John is enslaved. Taken by the Valda—Dark Elves—and forced to fight for them with other slaves in dark dungeons on a hideously dangerous jungle island.
The island is a mystery, a two kilometer high stone tower of ancient dwarven make in the center. Overgrown with jungle, it’s infested with demonic creatures and filled with the ruins of dwarven facilities.
With his new friends—fellow slaves—he must fight and delve into the island’s secrets.
Dead Gods is a LitRPG/Gamelit novel. There are no harems in this book, and no sex.
My Opinion: 286 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Full disclosure: I received an advanced copy for review but purchased the novel when it became available.
Overall the writing and storytelling has improved over book 1. There’s action, adventure, good dialogue, banter, and some improved world building.
The game mechanics however have retained the same issue from book 1. While there is consistent progression of both levels, stats, and improvement of magical abilities and spell, the game world feels more like portal fantasy with a decent helping of RPG. There’s still a feeling that even though on his character sheet, the MC is more powerful and improving his stats/powers, that growth isn’t always felt during the adventures. That’s mostly due to the lack of quantifiable connections to combat from the stats or skills since there are no damage notifications, levels for monsters, health pools, stamina pool, or mana pools. So there are no numeric points of reference.
The in-game story is essentially a long dungeon crawl, with some nice monsters to beat, and dungeon puzzles to solve. My favorite part of the dungeon crawl is likely the water level, because of the many gamer jokes about water levels. The IRL story steps away from the big need for the main character (MC) to earn a living, he literally forgets about an item worth $5K at one point, and instead focuses on beginning the reconciliation story between the MC and his comatose father. The use of VR for therapy is interesting, though I wish I could have read more about how that worked. Still, the author gives the MC a reason to continue gaming.
Overall, I had a good time going on a dungeon crawl with these characters and seeing how the real life storyline played out. Sure there are still flaws, but it’s an entertaining dungeon crawl.
Score: 7.2 out of 10