When Peter finds himself on a strange planet, drafted into a war by alien abductors, his only goal is to be one of the few to survive the war and return home to Earth.
Peter is one of thousands who get abducted every year, as payment to the aliens. The aliens have given humans portal travel, healing serums, and other advanced alien technology. The quality of life has improved, but everything has a price.
Along with a group of strangers Peter is trained for war by going up against literal monsters. The troll-like aliens won’t give them modern weapons. Humans have to battle monsters with swords and shields, and that is just to get out of boot camp.
His only chance to survive is to use the alien device he is given. The device can increase his strength and speed to superhuman levels. It can even grant him powers that seem like magic. Complicating things is that the device's interface is written in an ever-changing alien language. He will have to figure out its secrets if he wants to keep himself and his team alive.
A Science Fantasy novel with LitRPG elements.
My Opinion: 269 pages, $2.99, Available On Kindle Unlimited
The very beginning of this story was nicely written and very engaging. I was drawn in by the almost concentration camp type tension as the humans were taken from their train, separated from their children and then forced to fight or die. I thought that the story would be grim and dark and full of the same kind of tension. Unfortunately, it’s not.
Almost immediately after that very good beginning the story takes a more predictable military training camp turn. The main character (MC) and his group learn about why they were taken by aliens and how they will receive training in the alien tech that is used as the basis for the RPG mechanics and progression system. There are a few action scenes in the first half but they lack variety and sparse details about the progression system left me bored. It’s not badly written or anything, but it wasn’t interesting to me as a LitRPG reader. The second half of the story improves things and actually develops a plot, more varied combat, and a much more detailed RPG system. However, this section also has issues with unneeded forced antagonists, vaguely defined powers that are used as magic problem solvers, and several forced story points. Some readers won’t care about those points, but they did make the story less enjoyable for me.
On the game mechanic side, I mentioned that was mostly bored with the first half of the story because of the severe lack of RPG stuff, which doesn't really appear until after the 50% point. It's justified in the story because humans can't read alien language of status screens, then the MC gets around that. But after there are actual status screens with skill and power levels that can be upgraded with orbs looted from monsters killed on these alien planets. But the powers are intentionally poorly defined in what it costs to use them so that they can be shaped and used how the story needs them. Including a few places where the story makes up a power or skill in the moment to get the MC out of a situation.
There are other places in the novel that felt forced too. A bit with the aliens. But especially the rivalry with Flynn. All their interactions felt forced to make that character an enemy for no real reason. There also wasn't really a payoff to that whole thing so it was extra frustrating.
Overall, the story isn't bad. But for over half the story combat was limited to one type of enemy and some training which wasn't that interesting for me. Only once it got to the upgradable powers did it improve for me but felt forced in several ways which made it less than enjoyable for me.
Readers that don't mind the forced aspects mentioned or who just like military training scenes more, may like this more than me.
Score: 6 out of 10