LitRPG Podcast 048
Hello everyone, welcome to episode 48 of the LitRPG podcast.
I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews.
New Releases and Reviews:
Earth Tactics Advance: Volume 1 (15:35)
(Play Music 2)
Magic Dome books announced this week that The Way of the Shaman is going to be released in South Korea, the motherland of LitRPG. May 11 is the first book release date! Congrats to you folks over there for giving back to the LitRPG Motherland.
Magic Dome books has put the first four chapters of their upcoming LitRPG novel, The First Player by Andrew Novak, up on their site for you to enjoy for free. The novel is set to release on Amazon on the 9th of May.
RJ Castiglione, author of the Fjorgyn series, has released the book cover for the second novel in the series. It looks rather pretty and reveals the title of the 2nd novel, The Deep Below. The author posted on Facebook that the novel should be ready about mid-summer.
New LitRPG Audiobooks
Re Release, Narrated by Nick Podehl
Out Now, Will Review next week!
The First Player (AlterGame Book #1) (May 9th 2017)
War in the Greenwood: A LitRPG Novel (May 12th, 2017)
Stuck in an RPG (Sucked into an RPG, Book 2) (May 27th 2017).
The Eternal: Dragonborn - A LitRPG Saga (World of Ga'em Book 2) (May 31st, 2017)
Eden's Gate: The Sparrow: A LitRPG Adventure (May 31st, 2017)
Hero of Thera (June 1st, 2017)
Conquest: A LitRPG Story (The SciFan™ Universe Book 1) (June 1st, 2017)
Fantasy Online: Hyperborea (June 2nd, 2017)
Stay on the Wing (The Dark Herbalist Book #2) (June 2nd, 2017).
Stone Raider's Return (Emerilia Book 6) (June 6th, 2017)
Hero of Naught (July 1st, 2017)
The Curse of Rion Castle (The Neuro Book #2) LitRPG Series (July 6th, 2017)
The First Planet: The Space Masters 1 (July 14th, 2017)
Onto New Releases and Reviews
(Play Music 3)
New Releases and Reviews
This is Our Land (Emerilia Book 5)
The Aleph were nearly wiped out for tampering with technology borne from Jukal Portals. The Demon's of Devil Crater were almost turned to a footnote in history for rebelling against the Dark God. The Beast Kin were seen as a threat with their natural high affinities.
Now all of these races have started to come back, the first stage in Bob's plan to save Emerilia.
With the Stone Raider's help the Aleph have recovered their cities, stepping down the path to reviving their society. Now the Demon's and Beast Kin of Devil's Crater ask the Stone Raiders to once again stand with an exiled race.
This is their land, and they will fight the pantheon and Jukal to the bitter end in order to defend it.
My Opinion: 376 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Good action filled novel. 50% is a huge massive battle scene at the battle of Demon’s Crater. There’s plenty of explosions, magic, and enough killing of bad guys to satisfy just about anyone.
The other 50% of the story is the creation of alliances between the new races, crafting, kingdom building, and some hints at some upcoming storylines. All good stuff.
Score: 8 out of 10.
A New World: Middle Kingdom Book 1
Jun woke up, not knowing what happening to him. All he found out was that he had signed up for a game he couldn't remember. This began the adventure of him discovering himself and the martial prowess path that he would choose.
My Opinion: 173 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Set in unspecified game world. Main character doesn’t remember anything except that he signed up to play full immersion game for the next year. The first 30% of the story is mostly martial arts training. There’s skill and ability advancements, no stats or levels. But there is evident growth of character according to the game mechanics.
There’s lots of action but it doesn’t feel visceral. It often suffers from overly technical explanations of the action moves.
Additionally, there are alot of spelling and grammar errors that are going to bother some people. At least 2-3 in every paragraph.
Overall, the story was just kind of ‘meh’.
Score: 5 out of 10.
Lost Archive: A LitRPG Adventure (Veilwalkers Book 1)
Winston Beckett is a linguistic scholar, poring over musty manuscripts and ancient translations. That is, before he finds a book of ancient runes. Before people start disappearing.
When he deciphers the strange book, Winston discovers a secret so big it throws him into a different world. Literally.
No more grading papers. No more research. No more work. Just him and The Veil, the eerily realistic game world he falls into.
Desperate to find his missing colleagues, Winston must navigate this strange new world, using only his wits to survive. Quests, skills, and loot await him…if he’s up to the task.
Along the way, he’ll need to fight enemies, recruit allies, and go on a journey of magic and adventure. And at the end? Well, let’s just say he won’t be the same person he started as.
My Opinion: 262 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
You can skip the first 10% of the novel, it’s summarized in chapter 3.
Winston is transported to a new world ruled by video game RPG mechanics and he becomes Cael, a dark elf rogue who can read the fundamental code of the world, runes. He’s on a quest to find The Author, the creator of the world and get back to earth.
There are some small jewels of greatness in the story but most of it is just ok. The game mechanics of the world are fine. They’re explained well and in detail. I especially like the idea that there’s a whole class devoted to gathering knowledge and learning, the archivist.
However, a lot of the story feels unnecessary, like it’s filler (ie: the first 10%). The main character doesn’t really struggle through any hardships and just about everything in the story is handed to him. The ending it a bit predictable too.
This isn’t a bad story and I can see a lot of potential in it but it never fulfills that potential to become great.
Score: 6 out of 10.
Earth Tactics Advance: Volume 1
An ordinary day in the life of Scott Keen suddenly turns tactical as the laws of physics are rewritten to force the world to adhere to an apocalyptic change in the very nature of existence. Those who manage to survive the first day of the new world must survive in the wake of a new reality, life lived as a turn-based tactical role playing game.
Feel the horror, and revel in the humor, as battles take place one turn at a time. Can one man survive a world gone tactical? Will he ever understand the need for background music and strange announcer voices? It's your turn... to find out!
My Opinion: 298 pages, $3.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited
Another great LitRPG from Scottie Futch. This time it’s a turn based RPG story set on a apocalyptic earth. Before I read this on the internet, I would have never thought it would have been possible to write turn based game mechanics into a story. But Scottie does it.
There’s action, adventure, and the apocalyptic search for food and allies mashed up with turn based RPG mechanics. I loved every minute of the story.
Score: 8 out of 10.
Wolf Mountain: A litRPG Novel (Adventure Online Book 1)
Indiana Jones meets Ready Player One
Vince is a down and out millennial with an advanced degree in Archaeology and an endless parade of dead end jobs. Crushed by student loan debt and bills he is barely making ends meet, and his one source of relief is gaming. Vince gets a mysterious job offer from a gaming company to be a beta tester for their new full immersion virtual reality system. He doesn't understand why they chose him over literally anyone else on the planet, and is suspicious that he got the offer on the same day he got fired, but he's flat broke. Besides, who wouldn't want to get paid to play?
Soon Vince finds himself taking the role of a treasure hunter immersed in a 1920's pulp adventure filled with deadly bootleggers, spooky caves, lost airships, and a beautiful spear hurling girl who was raised by wolves. It doesn't take long for Vince to realize something fishy is going on, and there's more to this game than meets the eye. He must make his way from plot cache to plot cache as he searches for lost jewels, the truth about the game, and enough ammunition to keep the tommy gun barking.
My Opinion: 352 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Vince gets chosen to be a beta tester for the next great full immersion game. He’s sent to the 1920s where he’s supposed to find a long lost treasure while dodging gangsters and bootleggers.
Sorry, but even though the story is supposed to be set in a virtual reality game, it feels more like a time travel story or at best a choose your own adventure novel. There are character sheets without any described numbers, an adventure log, and supply caches. Unfortunately, all those supposed game mechanics lack details and are not important to the story. Heck, half way through the story the main source of game information, the adventure log is lost and the story loses even that gaming facade.
I can appreciate the authors’ attempt at trying to tell a different type of story. The setting of the 1920s is indeed a unique setting. However, even with the inclusion of mobsters and bootleggers, the story is just not that interesting. While reading it, I kept waiting for the story to get better or feel like some kind of game or RPG and it never did.
Score: As an adventure story set in the 1920s it would get a 5 out of 10. But as LitRPG it gets a 4 out of 10.
Eyrth Online: episode 2 The Los Dos: The Memoirs of Lawrence Wrath (2nd Playlist)
LAST TIME ON EO!
In our last episode Law had received an ESP. Then he met his AI uncle, got an Irish personal assistant. After that he kicked ass in Ninja Warrior! He bashed some zombie Dwayne Johnson’s head in! Then he played a game of Battle Chess with his dead uncle. Oh, did I mention there were, some mother f****** snakes on a mother f****** plane! After that, there was a little bit of man on man throat action, then a naked tiger riding competition.
I think that about sums it up. If there is anything I missed you can blame it on the Lady, Mary Jane. Did you know they just put out a poll that said 50%, that’s fifty percent, of Americans smoke Marijuana? How awesome is that! Party on Dudes!
Oh, there is some drug use, tons of violence, nudity, and just a little bit o sex. Not to mention so much swearing that you might feel like washing your ears and eyes out with soap. Thanks again for joining me on this crazy ride. Let’s have some fun!
My Opinion: 107 pages, $1, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Like the last story the author has included a musical playlist that you can listen to. I think it’s pretty cool that the author has a story soundtrack. This time around I knew some of the songs that were on the playlist, at least the older songs like “I think we’re alone now” and “Let’s hear it for the boy.”
In episode 1, our main character Law, went through the setup process and choice the hardest challenge mode possible for his character. Sure he gained a rocking Adonis body but he also only gets one life on super hard murder mode.
Ok. There are numerous grammar, spelling, tense issue, and the tables are messed up, but none of that stops it from being fun. Which is all it tries to be. There are enough explained game mechanics that it qualifies as LitRPG. FYI, there is the use of marijuana by adult characters in the story. It’s a stoner LitRPG.
What I really I liked about the story is the author’s willingness to experiment with the genre (music, characters) and just write a fun story. I mean there are street sharks in this story for gosh sakes so you know it’s written for fun.
However, this story won't appeal to everyone. If you don't like stoner action adventure comedy movies this may not appeal to you.
Score: 7 out of 10.
Zero God (A LitRPG tale): Awakening (Digital Realms)
Upon awakening in a mysterious forest Izack must come to grips with life inside "Guardians of Atmos", an online MMO. In a world that seems straight out of a video game, the hardest lessons will teach him the way of the world in this LitRPG adventure.
My Opinion: 78 pages, $2.99, Not Available On Kindle Unlimited
One of the major flaws of this short story is that it’s severely over priced. In addition to the price, the story is full of grammar and spelling errors. I’m pretty tolerant of an error here and there but in this case there’s at least one grammar, spelling, or tense error every other paragraph.
Now, putting aside those glaring writing flaws, the story isn’t horrible. It reminds me of a simplified version of Sword Art Online. The main character wakes up not remembering anything and finds out he’s trapped in a game and if his play time counter reaches zero, he dies permanently. The story doesn’t have a cohesive plot, as much as it is a series of events that happen to the main character Izack over the course of 78 pages. There’s pet raising, PKers, permadeath, combat training, and a little crafting.
The game mechanics are skill based without levels. There are no details that describe damage, stats, or any real hard numbers. The closest you get to that are the skill descriptions, which are still rather vague.
Story wise, it’s decent. Not anything amazing but it has potential. There’s an openness to the magic and skill system that has good storytelling potential. If it weren’t for the price I’d be able to recommend it. But at $3.99 for only 78 pages, it’s overpriced for too little story.
Score: 6 out of 10.
Hell to Pay (Ascend Online Book 2)
A new side novel set in the Ascend Online universe! 'Book 1.5'
Lazarus Cain is a member of the Grim Shadows, one of the Thieves Guilds in the city of Eberia. Unfortunately, Lazarus is having a bad day. Waking up in a torture chamber, suffering from amnesia, he’d be pretty much screwed if not for the mysterious, magical sigil burned into his chest.
Sometimes a really bad day should be shared with others, especially professional torturers.
Lazarus will need to use all his cunning and skill to work with his comrades, uncovering schemes within schemes, discovering that The Grim Shadows are not the only Thieves Guild in the city mired in conflict. What’s more, the leaders of the other guilds, the Thief Lords, don’t respond well to treachery…
My Opinion: 344 pages, $6, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Not about the main characters from book 1. Instead, this the story focuses on Lazarus Cain, a level 12 Brawler that’s also a member of the Thieves’ Guild in the city of Eberia, the starting city for Ascend Online. Lazarus wakes up chained up in a cell. Only when he wakes up, he doesn't remember the last 24 hours, has a painful brand of rage burning his chest, and is about to be tortured. He not only has to figure out what happened to him but save the city from imploding from internal conflict.
I really enjoyed this stand alone novel set in the Ascend Online universe. It’s full of action, adventure, and a little bit of mystery. Lazarus Cain is a different kind of character, more of an anti-hero, since he’s chosen the unlawful path of the criminal. It’s a fun story telling opportunity. The game mechanics are solid but they aren’t as detailed as they are in Ascend Online book 1. But they don’t need to be. The story kept me interested and I finished the novel in a couple of sittings.
I had a chance to message the author of Ascend Online, Luke Chmilenko, and he says that he originally had Lazarus as a side character for the main story but felt the character and his friends were too flat and required too much backstory explanation. So, he turned that backstory into a full blown novel. Don’t worry, Luke says you’ll see the two story lines merge in the next book Legacy of the Fallen.
Score: 7 out 10.
That’s it everyone!
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