LitRPG Podcast 091
LitRPG Podcast 091
Jan. 12th, 2017
Hello everyone, welcome to episode 91 of the LitRPG podcast.
I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews. This week I have 5 new LitRPG reviews for you. Yeah, one of the novels is over 1000 pages.
Also, don’t forget to check out the interview I did with Jeff Sproul, author of Sigil Online: Hellions which just came out.
New Releases and Reviews:
Sigil Online: Hellions (08:27)
(Play Music 2)
Blaise Corvin, author of Delvers LLC and SOO, is planning to create a whole new website dedicated to helping people find good game and litRPG stories.
If you want to support the endeavor, he’s setup a Patreon page that he hopes to use to get the funds to make a well organized and streamlined site,
New LitRPG Audiobooks
Our review of the ebook version: http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/4/21/critical-failures-v-caverns-and-creatures-book-5
Our review of the ebook version: http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/11/30/the-drachma-killers-the-last-warrior-of-unigaea-book-2
Our review of the ebook version: http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/11/30/edens-gate-the-sands-a-litrpg-adventure
Our review of the ebook version: http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/9/19/the-artificer-a-viridian-gate-online-novel-the-imperial-initiative-dlc-1
Our review of the ebook version: http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/10/12/desert-runner-puatera-online-book-1
**Headshot - Two in the Head** (Jan. 12th, 2018)
A Trap for the Potentate (The Dark Herbalist Book #3) LitRPG series (Jan.17th, 2017)
Different Sides (Epic LitRPG Adventure - Book 7) (Fayroll) (Jan. 22nd, 2018)
The District: A Futuristic Dungeon Core (The Laboratory Book 3) (Jan. 22nd, 2018)
The Reapers (The Neuro Book #3) LitRPG Series (Jan. 24th, 2018)
Return to Dungeon: A Monster MC LitRPG (Kobold's Quest Book 1) (Jan. 30th, 2018)
Bushido Online: Friends and Foes: A LitRPG Saga (Feb. 1st, 2018)
Kingdom Level Four: LitRPG (Feb. 28th, 2018)
Clan Wars (Way of the Shaman book 7) (Feb. 2018)
Avatars Rising: SILOS I (March 12th, 2018)
Akillia's Reign (Puatera Online Book 4) (March 16th, 2018)
Onto New Releases and Reviews
(Play Music 3)
New Releases and Reviews
Sigil Online: Hellions
For Riley and his friends, Sigil Online has never been more real. With the latest expansion, pain has been enabled and will now affect all players in-game.
Aptly named ‘Hellions,’ the expansion introduces monsters, but not the kind that paragons have been fighting for the past several years. This time, players can be the monsters they once sought to destroy.
But in a game where playing means having the money to survive in the real world, what will Riley do when death in the game doesn’t just mean an end to his character, but an end to his life?
Warning: Reading this novel may cause an uncontrollable desire to play Superhero MMOs.
My Opinion: 303 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Full disclosure: The author sent me an advance copy for review. I purchased the novel when it became available.
An action filled transition into a huge world expansion. Book 1 tells the story of the the newb experience of Riley as he restarts his character in a permadeath enabled super hero VRMMO. It has some very interesting progression mechanics where items play a huge role in providing variation to powers and modifies and expands their usefulness.
Book 2, while less focused on the individual progression of the main character, ratchets up the action and the novel is almost one fight after another as Riley and his friends deal with weird invasion events and the new Hellion expansion that lets players restart as monsters instead of heros. If you want superhero action then this is definitely the novel for you. There are some seriously epic battles here.
However, there are also some negatives. There’s almost no real world plot development. In book 1, Riley making a living off the game was a really big deal. In book 2, it’s almost a forgotten issue. Also, there are a few story plots that just get a little muddled. One is the introduction of pain. it’s an interesting idea that raises the stakes in a very Sword Art Online kind of way, but later on the effects of the pain are often forgotten as heros battle monsters and are severely injured yet continue on as if the pain setting is off. Yet, the biggest issue though it probably the ending. It’s a huge twist that I won’t spoil but you’ll either love it or hate it. For me, it came out of left field with no foreshadowing and left me shaking my head in confusion. I know in my heart that it’s a great lead into book 3 where the game is supposed to change again but the sudden introduction of characters and behavior changes of others was just so sudden and abrupt it dropped my enjoyment of the story.
Overall, book 2 is a good read if you’re looking for something action focused or an MMO story that focuses on PVP battles. There’s huge potential in what book 3 may bring to the storyline. However, for me, book 2 has some issues that just dropped my enjoyment level a bit. Especially that ending.
Score: 6 out of 10
The Dungeon's Burden (The Slime Dungeon Chronicles Book 4)
It's the final battle.
The Empire's plans have come to fruition. Duran has fallen, and with it the other city-states of Nehatra. Only the dungeon town remains safe, but for how long? While the leadership struggle to deal with the crisis, the dungeon dwellers watch on. As Doc continues to unlock new slime evolutions, Rowen deepens his bond with Milly, and the two experience much together. When the final attack begins, will Rowen and Doc stand with the townspeople? Why has Doc been framed for murder? Who is the traitor lurking in the shadows?
Everything comes together in this final, epic tale of dungeon glory. The chronicles end here, but the war, and the dungeon, have only just begun.
-Includes complete list of slimes.
My Opinion: 540 pages, $4.49, Available on Kindle Unlimited
As of this review the novel is listed as #1 Spine-Chilling Horror ?? I guess amazon thinks this is a horror novel. Though in the first couple chapters some guys do get graphically devoured by the dungeon monsters.
This is a pretty easy review. The slime dungeon chronicles has long been a favorite series of mine and this is an enjoyable ending to the series. That’s right. This is the end for this series. You have to read the end of the novel to learn the author’s future plans.
There are some nice sub storylines in the novel. Some that are funny, sad, and even a little romantic. There’s political intrigue and some nice new slime evolutions. However, there is very little dungeon diving this time but it’s explained why in the story.
Instead, most of the story is a huge setup for some majorly awesome fights that occur in the last 25% on the novel. But boy is the wait worth it. That last 25% is a near constant stream of action and cool plot twists. Really good stuff and a good way to end the series.
Score: 7 out of 10.
Legacy of the Fallen (Ascend Online Book 2)
Fresh off their victory over Graves and his followers, Marcus and his friends have managed to enjoy a few weeks of relative calm and peace as they continue to build Aldford, preparing the town for a new wave of settlers coming from Eberia. But as the days wear on with no new arrivals in sight, they begin to fear the worse, eventually setting out to search for their promised reinforcements and soon realizing that they weren’t as alone on the frontier as they thought they were.
Just managing to rescue a caravan of settlers in the nick of time from a horde of bandits, Marcus and the rest of Virtus barely have a chance to catch their breath before they find themselves thrust into the middle of Eberian politics, revealing a plot that threatens to not only take away their hard-won independence.
But to destroy Aldford completely.
My Opinion: 731 pages, $6.00, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Full disclosure: The author sent me an advanced copy for review. I purchased the novel when it came out.
*Page count seems off. It’s likely at least 1,000 pages.*
A great 2nd book in the Ascend Online series. There is some good action, adventure, and leveling in the novel. Yet, what always makes this series stand out for me is the author’s gift with dialogue. Each time I read the conversations and banter between Lyrian and his group I always feel like I’m hanging out with old friends. It’s like I’m there, worried for the town and I’m invested in these character’s success.
There’s also a huge variety of interesting fights, some old enemies return, and new threats abound. Book 2 also introduces some political intrigue to the story. There are also some very interesting developments for the town as more Players (a few from another Ascend Online book) finally arrive. Some of whom are not very nice people.
Besides a maybe too long dungeon run in the middle of the story, I loved reading this novel and only wish book 3 was ready.
Score: 8 out of 10
Transcendental Misappropriation: (Book One of the Pentacle Series)
Danny's life was going well. He had a steady job and plans to buy his own place. That was until some rogue junk mail decided he needed a change of scenery.
Now Danny's got a new start in another world and he needs to make sure he doesn't squander this opportunity at making the most of this new life.
My Opinion: 380 pages, $3.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited
A slice of life, reincarnated into a RPG world story.
Danny, the main character (MC), dies in our world and finds himself reborn into a medieval fantasy world that has RPG mechanics. Danny, unlike most other folks, has a complete memory of his past life and this gives he spends his infant and early childhood using that knowledge to try and learn about the world around him, his family, the local language, and of course how to do magic.
It’s a good story if you enjoy the slice of life genre.
--- Spoilers Ahead---
This is a slice of life story. There’s no major plots though the novel can be divided into three distinct story arcs as the MC grows up. The RPG system, an inner mind palace that records growth in a cool RPG fashion is consistently used throughout the story.
(1-25%) The first arc - Infancy. The MC realizes he’s reborn and the story is really just about him seeing this new fantasy world through the eyes of his newborn to young child self or the MC trying to figure out how magic works and experimenting with it.
-This is easily my favorite part of the novel. It’s a very relaxing story where you know nothing too threatening is going to happen but it’s still exciting to learn about the magic and RPG system.
(25-50%) The second arc- Magical Academy. The title says it all. At a young age, the MC is sent away to a magical academy where he has a rich rival who is a jerk, learns more about the culture and history of the larger world, and does lots more magical experiments.
-It’s fun to see the larger magical theory explanations and get more world building. The continued magical experiments are my favorite part though.
(50-100%) The last arc - Adventure time. This last arc of the story starts out rather interesting but then sort of devolves into normal action adventure stuff. There’s still a little magical theorizing and experimentation but not nearly as much as the first two arcs. Instead, there’s a not sexual harem aspect introduced and most of the time in this section is spent fighting various monsters.
-Not my favorite section. It leaves behind some of the things I thought were the most original about the story.
Overall, I had a good time reading the novel. I especially like the ‘Sanctuary’ inner mind palace aspect that is used as an RPG mechanic. Because it’s a slice of life story, not everyone is going to like it. I did because it was just relaxing to know that I was following this character through his new life and that there wasn’t going to be some evil overlord to defeat. Be aware that like most slice of life stories, this started out as a serial and at the end it sort of just suddenly ends.
Score: 7 out of 10
Logout of Cthulhu: A Lovecraftian LitRPG novel (Cthulhu World Book 1)
Some knowledge cannot be unknown
Reeling from the loss of his family, game tester Bobby Walmore is contracted to work his way through an augmented reality park. The headset reveals a virtual world inspired by the horror works of H.P. Lovecraft.
The game rapidly turns into more than a paycheck--it's an addiction Bobby cannot turn away from.
Every clue he uncovers and every mystery he solves leads him deeper the twisted lore of forces lurking in the shadows.
And Cthulhu World holds darker secrets than Bobby was ever prepared for ...
My Opinion: 197 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
This is a Augmented Reality LitRPG horror story based on a Lovecraft lore.
Bobby has been hired by a game company to test their Lovecraft theme park. Instead of using fully immersive VR, the park uses augmented reality (AR) goggles to add game elements to this theme park. This includes a user interface that has character stats, game powers, and items. Players can feel the items as long as they have the goggles on and can even feel pain.
The game mechanics in the story are pretty basic but consistent. The main character (MC), Bobby, gains stats from interacting with the game world and performing actions. Not that the stats actually seem to do anything. Like most Lovecraft game designs, when the MC sees strange or horrible things he loses Sanity points.
The use of AR in the story is different from other LitRPG. It’s a nice attempt at overlaying game stuff over our normal reality. Unfortunately, this idea is ruined a bit because the MC constantly takes off the goggles to assure himself that what he’s seeing isn’t real. So the reader gets a description of a lot of empty dark rooms. I understand it’s a way to try increase tension but it breaks the immersion in the game/story when it happens.
The story, especially early on relies heavily on the Lovecraft name to try and establish a semblance of atmosphere. There’s a lot of , ‘woah, this is so Lovecraft’ and ‘that’s just like the Lovecraft novel’. Honestly, it’s kind of boring, how much effort is put into saying the setting is like a Lovecraft story and not showing it.
The MC is pretty hard to root for. He was so broody and maudlin I almost wanted to see him lose.
Overall, the story lags in the horror department and while there are a few thrill moments, the story was kind of boring.
Score: 5 out of 10
That’s it everyone!
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