Illusion (The Blacklight Chronicles Book 1)


When an overly powerful guild threatens to take over an entire server in the worlds premier crime game, it falls to a new player and his small but powerful crew of friends to stop them.

The Life of Crime is Blacklight Industries second major immersive experience. Everyone played their first, the world famous fantasy game Brescia Online. Now, years later, the company has focused on a different genre entirely. Once plugged into the game world, you feel as though you're back in the early 21st century, and thanks to their powerful immersive AI, have all the freedom to shape the world around you one could hope for. Players build Crews, Crews control Turf, and fight one another tooth and nail for it, rising to great power and status along the way. Each server houses a major metropolitan city, and the west coast US server, Illusion, is being threatened with total takeover by an unscrupulous and power hungry Crew named GoonStorm.

Kurt joins the game three years after its release, at the request of his lifelong friend Jimmy, and in response to getting kicked out of college. The pair falls in with The Getaway Gal, The Life's most famous driver, and joins her campaign to stop Illusions most powerful guild from taking over the server entirely. Kurt sets off on a series of elaborate and harrowing heists and guerilla warfare actions towards this goal, making powerful allies and enemies along the way.

My Opinion: 613 pages, $5.00, Available on Kindle Unlimited

This is a LitRPG story that is part Grand Theft Auto and part heist film. The game mechanics are definitely based on GTA but expanded to include skill levels, weapon rarity, hideouts, and upgrades.  

I liked the beginning of the story the least. It felt so random and it was kind of an info dump sometimes.  But once it got to the plotted heists, the story became more focused and I enjoyed it more. It's sort of the difference between the random open world parts of GTA and the story quests. I always liked the latter more. 

The over the top action and escapes are a big part of the novel and while fun, they didn’t always appeal to me because they weren’t setup in the game mechanics. For example, the main character (MC), with his low level skills seems to be a bad ass shot that doesn’t miss and succeeds on a bunch of high end difficult quests when he’s only played the game for a couple of hours or days. You could tell the scenes were written more for fun than to strictly follow RPG logic, and I’ll admit, many of the scenes are fun.

Overall, I liked the story and that it tries to use a different game as a base system. I was never a big fan of Grand Theft Auto so it didn’t resonate with me as much as it might someone else but was still entertaining. 

Score: 7.2 out of 10

Illusion (The Blacklight Chronicles Book 1)