It’s been a busy month for thirty-two-year-old Jack Mitchel:
Three weeks ago, he died.
Two weeks ago, he founded the first Faction in the ultra-immersive, fantasy-based VRMMORPG, Viridian Gate Online.
A week and a half ago the world ended, destroyed by a cataclysmic asteroid.
Seven days ago, he conquered the Imperial city of Rowanheath, bringing all of Eldgard to the brink of war.
Though Jack’s Faction, the Crimson Alliance, has a tenuous truce with tech genius and Imperial lord, Robert Osmark, Jack knows it can’t last. Osmark is devious and power hungry, and it’s only a matter of time before he sends his forces to wipe Jack and his underdog crew off the map for good.
If Jack hopes to survive another month inside of VGO, he must find a way to beat Osmark and his army of bloodthirsty thugs, and a new quest—the Path of the Jade Lord—may be just the ticket. But this quest will be far harder than anything Jack’s faced before, pushing him to his mental, physical, and moral limits. And if Jack isn’t careful, his quest to defeat Osmark and the Empire may end up turning him into the despot he’s been fighting against.
My Opinion: 274 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
This is a fun action filled novel, that took some turns that were completely unexpected. The scale of the story has been knocked back a notch. With the exception of the very beginning of the story, there’s no faction vs faction fighting. Instead, it focuses on the quest for the Jade Lord, a rare quest line that asks Jack to find three artifacts scattered in the world. If he succeeds he’ll unite the entire marsh region of the game under the banner of the Crimson Alliance. Which means more cities, people, and resources for the faction.
However, this quest is so challenging that a single respawn means failure. It has a component called, Death Head. Which I thought raised the stakes of the story nicely. Features of ‘Death Head’ quest: If the quester dies, he fails and can’t repeat the quest. Additionally, the quest has a time limit, and the quester becomes progressively weaker as time goes on. However, this type of super hard quest has the potential to change the balance of power in the game world.
In addition to the many action scenes, there’s also a bit of kingdom building, crafting, pet raising, a even an Ocean’s Eleven style heist. However, the thing I liked the most was that Grim Jack grew a pair by the end of the story and decided what kind of man he’s going to be and just how far he’s willing to go to protect his friends and faction. It’s a good story.
Score: 7 out of 10.
Viridian Gate Online: The Jade Lord (VGO book 3) (June 8th)