Gaia's Gambit: Evolution Online I (A LitRPG)


The end of the world had come, and humanity was in danger of extinction, but it would survive. Had survived, as far as Jason knew.

Jason lived the last millennia in a virtual utopia, which was slowly driving him insane. His mind suspended in a computer matrix, an ark of sorts, until they could grow new bodies and rejoin the real world, to rebuild. It would be a long time before the Earth recovered. Only four million out of billions had been saved in such a fashion, he was one of the lucky ones.

At least, he’d been in a utopia until that morning, when he woke up in a new world on a bed of moss in the middle of a forest glade. Alone. No breakfast, no coffee, and no bacon. He wasn’t sure what to do, but he didn’t really have a choice but to move forward, it was either that or starve himself to death over and over. Not really a choice at all. Well, either that or be killed by monsters.

He just wished he knew what the hell Gaia was thinking. Elves, dwarves, evil races, magic, swords, and bows? The A.I. must have lost her mind…

My Opinion: 294 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

This was recommended to me by someone. I’d missed it when it first came out and hadn’t found the time to read it till now. I’m glad I did, it’s quiet good.

The premise is interesting with earth as we know it gone and the remnants of humanity living as digitized beings for 15,000 years. When the ruling AI notices some people going crazy from all the perfection, she changes things into a RPG fantasy world where people can be challenged, feel pain, and grow again. Jason, the MC, chooses to be a mage type and finds a player like himself Gwen, and together they survive and even thrive in this new world. The story is really slice of life, with the MC figuring out the game system, contemplating magical theory to maximize his power and progress, finding companions, going on adventures, and fighting.  

Game mechanic wise, it’s pretty good. There are regular character sheets, damage numbers, XP, skills, stats, and the magical theory is well thought out and flexible. The RPG game world has hard limits on how powerful skills and magic can be so that players have to make hard choices about their progress and I personally enjoyed all the insights into how the MC thought and why he made his game progression choices.

Overall, I’m really glad I went back to read this. The writing can be a little dry sometimes and combat isn’t the most visceral but it is very tactical and interesting. But the biggest appeal to me is the intelligent way the main character acts, plans, and progresses as a caster. That and all the good game/magical theory details.

Score: 7.6 out of 10

Gaia's Gambit: Evolution Online I (A LitRPG)