LitRPG Podcast 093



LitRPG Podcast 093


Jan. 26th, 2018


Hello everyone, welcome to episode 93 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 6 new LitRPG reviews for you.


New Releases and Reviews:


The District: A Futuristic Dungeon Core (The Laboratory Book 3)

The Reapers (The Neuro Book #3) LitRPG Series

SLIME: Call of Tuatha (Book 1)

Bitter: Book Two

Bitter: Book Three

Devils Demons and Dead Men: A LitRPG Thriller (Kings and Conquests Book 1)  


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LitRPG News



Daniel Schinhofen was nice enough to reveal the cover art for his upcoming 4th book in the Alpha World series.


Out Now!  



The Builder's Throne (The Legendary Builder Book 5)

(Not reviewing - lost interest)



Different Sides (Epic LitRPG Adventure - Book 7) (Fayroll)


New LitRPG Audiobooks  



You're Not Allowed to Die: Twenty-Sided Eye, Book 1



Dungeon Lord: The Wraith's Haunt: A LitRPG Series, Book 1



Accidental Thief: LitRPG Accidental Traveler Adventure, Book 1



Crystalfire Keep: Elements of Wrath Online, Book 3



Infinite Assassins: Daggerland Online Novel 2



Dungeon Calamity: Divine Dungeon, Book 3


Upcoming LitRPG:



Perma-Death Online: A LitRPG adventure: Book 1 (Jan. 26th, 2018)



Return to Dungeon: A Monster MC LitRPG (Kobold's Quest Book 1) (Jan. 26th, 2018)



Darkness Fallen - Greystone Chronicles book 3 (Jan. 31, 2018)



Bushido Online: Friends and Foes: A LitRPG Saga (Feb. 1st, 2018)



Respawn: Lives 1-5  (Feb. 7th, 2018)



Kingdom Level Four: LitRPG (Feb. 28th, 2018)



Dragon Seed: A LitRPG Dragonrider Adventure (The Archemi Online Chronicles Book 1) (Feb. 28th, 2018)



Clan Wars (Way of the Shaman book 7) (Feb. 2018)



Restart (Dark Paladin Book #3) LitRPG Series ( March 6, 2018)



Avatars Rising: SILOS I (March 12th, 2018)



Perma-Death Online: A LitRPG adventure: Book 2 (March 15, 2018)



Akillia's Reign (Puatera Online Book 4) (March 16th, 2018)


Onto New Releases and Reviews


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New Releases and Reviews


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The District: A Futuristic Dungeon Core (The Laboratory Book 3)


Emma has gained control of one district of a city run by a woman that she tried to kill. While her new position has improved her upgrade abilities the other district heads have had theirs enhanced as well. More of what the series is known for: more super-powered action, more insults, and more upgrades in a struggle to survive.


My Opinion: 206 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


A small note. There are some semi-regular grammar and spelling errors.


A lot of the story is honestly just meh. There’s nothing wrong with it, but nothing new is brought to the table either. It’s very much a repeat of books 1 and 2 in terms of what Emma is capable of. This one also has no dungeon building. There’s upgrade stuff for Emma and some minions but that it. Even those upgrades become less interesting because Emma seems to have an unlimited resource pool so she doesn’t have to make any hard choices about resource management.


Everything else is just action. Emma versus a bunch of new characters with their own powers. The fights themselves are decently described and the end is interesting enough to keep the novel from getting a 5. But just barely.


Score: 6 out of 10

The District: A Futuristic Dungeon Core (The Laboratory Book 3)


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The Reapers (The Neuro Book #3) LitRPG Series


Alex and Enea are back in the Crystal Sphere where in their absence a catastrophe has struck. Virtual reality is now controlled by the Reapers: hybrid identities evolved from high-level NPCs who kill human players to harvest their neurograms.


Reapers are constantly on the prowl for more neurograms. No one is safe from their cannibalistic greed.


Survival in this new world becomes an ever-increasing challenge. A Reaper army is about to invade the Agrion cluster. Rion Castle has become the players' last outpost - but the struggle is too unequal.


My Opinion: 461 pages, $5.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited


If you’ve been following the series, this one may throw you off a little. It’s set three years after the last book, though for Alex and Enea it’s only moments. The time jump is explained, repeatedly, and it’s just something you’re going to have to accept otherwise the whole story is going to bug you.


Another big shift in the story is that it gets more Sci-Fi. With the connection to the author’s other LitRPG Sci-Fi series, The Phantom Server, becoming bigger and more apparent, that makes sense. But since this series started out as a fantasy story, it may be a bit jarring to read about.


Still, the story is entertaining. It resolves just about every story thread I can think of. All the questions you may have had about things are answered: Where did the reapers come from? What’s happening with the real world? What the neuro enhancing devices are? What’s the connection to the Phantom Server? You get answers, though some of those explanations may feel a bit rushed.


There’s plenty of action and adventure in the story as the guild and the remnants of the human players try to defend themselves from the reapers that can kill them in game and in real life, permanently.


The ending wraps things up well enough to end the series but also leaves an opportunity for more story if the author wants to continue later.


Overall, I had a good time reading it.

Score: 7 out of 10.

The Reapers (The Neuro Book #3) LitRPG Series


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SLIME: Call of Tuatha (Book 1)


Lysander Blacknail invested forty hard years of his life in service to the boar god, Tuatha, but in Lysander's greatest act of service to his god, he is betrayed. He finds himself in the body of a slime, inheriting odd abilities and an overwhelming circumstance. His only drive for survival is revenge. As a slime, the weakest monster in the world, he must discover a way to gain enough power and get his humanity back.


My Opinion: 268 pages, $3.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited


Originally a story on the royal road, the first two arcs are now a novel.


This is a slice of life story where the main character is a slime.  The first arc, about half the story, is all about Lysander being betrayed by his god in this RPG fantasy world and finding himself in the body of a slime. He has all the RPG potential he did as a human: notifications that describe powers, health, and skills that can be learned and improved. Though, how all this works is different for him now that he’s a monster. He spends the first half of the story learning the rules and killing other slimes to become more powerful. His ultimate goal-- kill the god who betrayed him.

The slime killing gets a little repetitive about 20% in, but push past it, it gets more varied.


The 2nd arc, is a more traditional fantasy story. The main character leaves the area he started out in to help his cat friend. I won’t spoil the the story but there’s some pretty epic fighting near the end. There are fewer RPG power ups but more world building and character development. It’s actually a nice change from the slice of life story in the first arc.


Overall, I this is an entertaining read. There are small errors and little plot holes throughout the story, but none of that takes away from the the story much.


Score: 7 out of 10.

SLIME: Call of Tuatha (Book 1)


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Bitter: Book Two


VRMMORPG has arrived, along with: bugs, exploits, OP classes, over the top nerfs, p2w, ridiculous RNG, lockboxes, raging players, broken mechanics, limited bag space, tedious crafting... and then there are the goblins and ogres.


Bitter is an ongoing slice-of-life story about a girl who finds her life isn't what she wanted. So she gets another one.


Bitter started as a daily online serial, available to read at This book collects chapters 101-200 in an edited form.


My Opinion: 327 pages, $3.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited


The author’s description of the story isn’t very good and is copy and pasted for each book. So here’s a reminder of book 1 and a better description of book 2.


Book 1: Britta, a teenage girl, is curious to understand why her dad is always playing some VR game. Late at night one day, she decides to use his expensive VR gear to create her own character and see what all the fuss is about. She doesn’t care about what character she has and randomly chooses to be a gnome illusionist, one of the games weakest builds. Yet, something goes awry. Instead of the standard MMO experience, the teen seems to have some mysterious connection with the AI governing the game and each NPC interaction is as full and detailed as it would be IRL. Is it because of her unique non-violent play style? Or her random build? The developers want to find out.


Book 2: Britta is back. Fresh off her deal with the developers, she’ll be monitored to see how her unique interactions with the game world change things. Britta however, is only interested in having fun in the game and decides to try her hand at a beginner level dungeon. Only nothing unfolds as it should. Instead, she finds a possessed dwarf chasing her and her backstabbing group through a kobold filled mine. Can she defeat the dwarf and free the kobolds from its terrifying presence?


This is a slice of life story that was originally published online as a serial story. However, of all the books in the series so far, this one has the most coherent plot. Mostly.


About 80% of the story revolves directly around the beginning dungeon, The Mines of Korlath, and the Britta’s attempt to beat it. Because the game world interacts differently with Britta, the main character (MC), she gets a different experience with the dungeon. Her and Stan get involved in a unique storyline involving a possessed dwarf, kobold miners, the town crime family, and a corrupt mayor.


Part of the story is about how big a jerk Stan is, since he can’t get that same quest line when he tries to run the dungeon on his own and tries to force the MC to group with him again.


The other main part of the story is actually about figuring out different tactics to beat this high level possessed dwarf in an almost Groundhog Day cycle of death. It’s neat.


I could feel the story arc coming to a resolution, then near the end of the novel, it just swerves onto a different story path away from the dungeon directly. Instead, it focuses on her normal life and a murder mystery thing.


Overall, I was a little disappointed that the arc seemed like it was so close to finishing and didn’t. Then I remembered this story is a serial online and it warns in advance it’s a slice of life story. It is what it is and I still had a good time reading it. But be aware of what this is before you expect normal plotlines and resolutions in each book.


Score:  7 out of 10.

Bitter: Book Two


(Picture 5)

Bitter: Book Three


VRMMORPG has arrived, along with: bugs, exploits, OP classes, over the top nerfs, p2w, ridiculous RNG, lockboxes, raging players, broken mechanics, limited bag space, tedious crafting... and then there are the goblins and ogres.


Bitter is an ongoing slice-of-life story about a girl who finds her life isn't what she wanted. So she gets another one.


Bitter started as a daily online serial, available to read at This book collects chapters 201-300 in an edited form.


My Opinion: 354 pages, $3.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited


The author’s description of the story isn’t very good and is copy and pasted for each book.


Book 3: Stan, the backstabbing psycho, and Britta’s unexpected ally, is trapped in the game. He’s been arrested and imprisoned for murdering an NPC. If Britta doesn’t figure out what’s really happening and prove who really killed the NPC, Stan may just end up trapped in the game permanently or worse.


The story shifts again into a slice of life story. The in-game story revolves around Britta, the main character (MC), investigating the truth about the corrupt Mayor, some dwarves, and how they all connect to the kobold mine. In addition to that there are more slice of life aspects, like the MC exploring crafting, catching up with characters from book 1, doing random town quests, and more. In real life, the story also expands as the MC learns some truths about the game company and the AI controlling the game.


There are some interesting story threads here but a lot of the time they are only followed for a short period then they’re abandoned. It’s just the nature of a serial story that’s been turned into novel.


Overall, the story is still entertaining, but only if you can make peace with the format of the story. Don’t expect any resolutions. Don’t expect a fully coherent completely fleshed out plot. Just enjoy the journey as Britta goes on her adventures.


Note: There’s totally a cliffhanger ending with this one.


Score: 7 out of 10.

Bitter: Book Three


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Devils Demons and Dead Men: A LitRPG Thriller (Kings and Conquests Book 1)


By the time most people have heard of the newest multiplayer fantasy role-playing game Kings and Conquests, developer Fairly Unusual Games has been overwhelmed by a $200 million crowdfunding haul.


Founders Accounts are going to six-figure contributors. There is talk of an augmented reality mobile accessory app and 3D printable treasures that can be sold for real money. The hype is beyond belief. Gaming fans go berzerk.


With contributors and the media eagerly anticipating a release date announcement, Fairly Unusual's stock suddenly and inexplicably plunges. CEO Garrett Wyland, once a darling of both Silicon Valley and Wall Street, is indicted by a federal Grand Jury for insider trading the day before his company files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.


Less than 48 hours later, Wyland is shot and killed by officers of the Mississippi Highway Patrol attempting to execute a fugitive warrant. A briefcase full of cash, a fake ID and an airline ticket are found in his car.


Weeks pass.


With accusations flying, lawsuits being filed nationwide and revelation after revelation rocking the online and offline media, a fourth-rate host of a little-known game streaming channel receives an e-mailed gift marked "Kings and Conquests News" from one of his subscribers.


Thinking it's some kind of prank, Jordan Hall opens it and discovers a Founder's account login to a fully functional Kings and Conquests server, a 100-year pre-paid subscription and map coordinates marking a dangerously isolated in-game location labeled "Safekeep."


The e-mail is from Garrett Wyland.


Portions of this novel were previously published under the title Overpowered: A LitRPG Thriller by Shane Lochlann Black.


My Opinion: 216 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


In the novel description the author acknowledges to the reader that “Portions of this novel were previously published under the title Overpowered: A LitRPG Thriller by Shane Lochlann Black.” That story got a score of 4 out of 10 for not actually being LitRPG.


However, after a side by side comparison of the two stories, it’s evident that this is the same story with added text ( approx. 13,440 words). So, 5/6 of this novel is the novel Overpowered: A LitRPG Thriller.


I sent a message off to Palace in the Sky publishing in regards to their novel asking what the changes to the new story are and why the author chose to pull the original and replace it with a new novel with a new name.


The author’s response was mostly fluff but he did answer the questions and wrote, “Alas, I wasn't happy with the way the story turned out.  The game elements I needed to do my world building weren't at the quality level I wanted.  The story's plot didn't have the punch I was working towards when I started.”


“I went back through the first book and mapped out a better plot, drew better personalities and motivations for my main characters, altered a number of scenes, did some better world-building (with the gracious assistance of my fantasy-minded colleagues and their wonderful ideas) and most importantly changed the ending so book one could serve as a better jumping off point for book two and the rest of the series.  I also think the new book has a much better title and cover.”


“ most important motivation for re-working the novels was the fact readers didn't seem happy with my first attempts.”



However, comparing a copy I have of the old novel to the new one there’s really not much difference between the two. The beginning of the novel is the most different with a new chapter zero doing more character development for Wyland and trying to show that he’s not a greedy jerk but instead a kind of genius.

The remaining changes to the story are mostly added connective tissue. Additional text is added to the end of some chapters providing a smoother transition into the next chapter. The text also adds more descriptive information and minor character building for the No Name Game group, and Wyland.


After the 67% mark, with the exception of eliminated curse words, the changes stop and the rest of the novel is identical to the old version. This includes the ending, which the author claimed he’d changed to be a “a better jumping off point for book two and the rest of the series.” So that wasn’t true at all.


Overall, this version of the novel has the same issues I’d pointed out with the first one. The original issues will be in noted with *, with excerpts from the original review in quotations and notes about changes in the new version after.


*The entire first section of the story is entirely hype about the game. No actual game play.

-This changes slightly as a new scene is added with the NNG group briefly playing a demo. But this lasts less than a 1% of the story. But actual play from the character doesn’t start until 41% mark.


*Most of the story isn’t about the game and doesn’t even take place in the game world.


“However, only about 13% of the story is actually in- game. I went back and counted and in-game story places can be found at the 33-35% 44-45%, 46-47%, 47-52%, 54%-54%, 57%-60%. Even then, it’s people looking at a computer screen commentating on what’s happening.”

-In the new version the percentage of the story that takes place in the game is bumped up all the way to 16%.


About the “...65% mark, the No Name Guild finds out that people are hunting them in real life and they have to flee. They don’t enter the game again until the very end of the story and even then it’s for a few paragraphs.”

-In the new version this just happens at about the 67% mark.


So, still not LitRPG. The author seems to be trying to take another bite at the apple by deleting the original version with it’s negative reviews and poor average review score and replacing it with this slightly longer one (total added words: 13,440).


*Note: The review I left on Amazon seems to have disappeared. So feel free to copy and past the review there if you’ve read the book.*


Score: 4 out of 10


--You can see the Actual noted changes to story in the show notes if you’re curious, it may contain mild spoilers--

Changes to original story. Total of 13,440 new words.


1-2% New chapter zero- New backstory material that paints a young Garrett Wyland as a child genius.

-Slight reorganization of early chapters putting all Wyland scenes together.

8% Two new paragraphs about a theme park simulator. How their game won't be like that.

9% New scene where Wyland admits to closest team members the company will run out of money soon. Whole controversy thing just for marketing.

*Attempt to make Wyland seem like less of a jerk.*

13-16% Added material to the end of this scene

- Fluff. Attempt to better connect No Name Games group (NNG) to previous hype about game. Shows them at a convention where they get info and hype about it. Them eating. Some character building. New info read by characters about building/hiring armies. Game info not apart previous version.

*Old version had group just suddenly playing at 11% mark.*

19-20% Added material to the end of this scene. No Name group plays demo of game for first time. More info on races. Cut scene teasing group about story in game.

21-2% New scene. Group pulled into another both as special guests. Sovereign booth. They look at cars. Fancy cars. They can win them if they get to lvl 75.

*Fluff. No effect on story, minor character development. Feels like padding.*

30% New intro paragraph but back to old story. Correspond to 22.15% mark of original.

37% Few added lines saying Wyland put shares of company in game.*Foreshadowing. Rest of section same.*

44-45% Added material to chapter.

-MC creates new character. More info on races and attributes. -MC answers a series of game questions that alter his character. Personality and role playing rewarded.

-Deletes character and starts over to test theory that Wyland trying to communicate something.

*Meant to better connect to next chapter where MC reveals to team he made lvl 2 by answering questions in character creation.*

48-49% Added material after Yancy threatens to sue.

-More fluff. Argument between company lawyer and company man. False bankruptcy.  Decision for sales over high quality.

55% added list of spell names and possible mage classes. Few lines. Returns to old story immediately after.

66% Added section to scene. NNG group checks progress pages. (Not shown, just says they checked) Banter between characters.


67% Back to old story. Corresponds to 59.37% of original.

-With the exception of curse words being replaced or eliminated, the rest of the story is exactly the same as the old version. This includes the exact same ending.


Score: 4 out of 10.

Devils Demons and Dead Men: A LitRPG Thriller (Kings and Conquests Book 1)


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Music Credits

"Blip Stream" "Mighty Like Us" "Big Shift" "Vivacity"

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