The Gods are dying.
Magic is fading from the world and the nine Lords of Night know that only one can exist less they all die. To give each a chance they form a pact and reluctantly agree that a game will give them the best hope. A game that will be played by humans.
Josh Fell is your average extreme gamer. He spends hours immersing himself in every MMORPG he can get his hands on to avoid the life he hates. When Josh receives a mysterious vanilla envelope offering him one of 297 coveted spots to beta test the all-new Fully Immersive Virtual Reality MMORPG EvoBorne, he jumps at the chance.
Joined by his childhood best friend and secret crush, Olivia, he eagerly logs into EvoBorne for the first and last time.
The Gods have used the last of their magic to create this world and their fate is tied to the choices of their nine chosen champions, but the rules state there can be no interference. The humans must not know of the stakes that rest on the outcome.
What starts at as a simple beta test turns into a fight for his future and the only chance to return home he will ever get. Unknowingly chosen by the Lord of Night Tezcatlipoca, Josh must go on a DEATH level quest to find the relics needed to win and gain him and Liv their way home.
Filled with goblins, orcs, reavers, and countless other enemies that want to see him dead; Josh will have to grow much stronger if he wants any chance at victory.
Join Josh and Liv as they traverse the expanse of EvoBorne in search of nine ancient relics that will grant them any single desire.
Monsters. Dungeons. Loot. Everything an avid RPG gamer craves!
Can they overcome the threats that face them? Can they find the relics in time before the other eight champions beat them to it?
Find out in the first installment of the EvoBorne Saga.
Welcome to EvoBorne!
My Opinion: 230 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
From the novel description it’s not 100% clear that this is a LitRPG story, but it is. By the 13% the main character (MC) is in the game creating his character. There are lots of RPG mechanics including: levels, item and monster descriptions, damage notifications, magic spells with costs, and lots of crunch numbers. That’s the good news, it is LitRPG. However, for me, it was a mostly unentertaining story that drops into dislike because of how frustrating the end was.
The ok to even good parts of the story: Of the 5 or 6 fights, most were well written and used the game mechanics well. There are a couple small adventures that the MC and his group go on that are independently good.
The novel has a lot of flaws that individually are just minor annoyances. Dialogue is often rather awkwardly written and it feels artificial sometimes. The MC’s backstory done at the beginning didn't endear the MC to me at all. He comes off as an entitled little rich jerk. I felt more for empathy for the romantic interest, who is a scholarship kid who works multiple jobs to care for her grandma. The most interesting game mechanics, the magical alignment system, doesn’t mean anything to the story since the MC never fails to learn other kinds of magic. There are way too many info dumps, and all the character sheets and some important quest notifications are formatted wrong and only half show.
The biggest issue, the one that made the story start on the path to a negative impression, was related to expectations. Most of the story feels like a waste of time where the MC does some slice of life adventuring, makes friends, learns about the world, and gets items. That's fine. But the story is setup with a major plot from the first pages. This competition between champions so that some gods can come back. That plot line is advanced only a couple of times. The first time it doesn't happen till half way through the story and then not again until the very very end. So, my expectations were set for a real plot driven story, but I got slice of life instead and it felt disappointing.
I was also really frustrated by the end of the novel. There is a betrayal that is not foreshadowed at all and it feels like the author just picked a random group member to turn into the last minute bad guy by shifting their personality 180 degrees. Also, the final resolution is really wand wavy for me. All of which dropped my opinion of the story from bored to dislike.
Score: 4 out of 10