LitRPG Podcast 099
LitRPG Podcast 099
March 2nd, 2018
Hello everyone, welcome to episode 99 of the LitRPG podcast.
Episode 98 is the Q&A I did with Daniel Schinhofen. Check that out here: http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-podcast-098/
I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews. This has been the longest week for me. A staggering number of LitRPG novels came out since last week, over 20. I have 11 reviews for you, 10 others I didn’t get to read and 1 plagiarism case in LitRPG news.
I’ll also have our 2nd set of winners of the LitRPG Podcast Giveaway in LitRPG News.
New Releases and Reviews:
Avatars Rising: SILOS I (32:28)
Unbound Deathlord: Obliteration (54:35)
Crafter's Passion (58:49)
Soulstone: Oblivion (World of Ruul Book 3) (01:18:12)
Kingdom Level Four: LitRPG (01:21:24)
(Play Music 2)
Seems like this is a bad translation of someone's work into English. There are even translator notes.
Seems to be a copy of the translations done by Tseirp Translations for the work titled Growth Cheat ToC. It’s originally written by Yousuke Tokino.
This novel appears to be a word for word copy of a Chinese web novel. It also already has a Chinese version from the publisher on Amazon (https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4775314173 ). The author does not have a English publisher and does not publish under the name Greyson Miller (ASIN: B079WBWLMN). The fan translated version can be found here: http://tseirptranslations.com/2016/03/gc-v1c1.html and is again a word for word copy including the translator notes.
As of now, the work has been taken down. Though the author’s other plagiarized story LIFE AS AN OVERPOWERED MAIN CHARACTER is still up. http://amzn.to/2HRMzNY
Drinking w/Charles: #3 where I drink and play Cards Against Humanity w/author Charles Dean, his wife, and Dave Wilmarth. Everyone drank and said inappropriate things. https://youtu.be/07fPp_IoMVY
S.L. Rowland, author of Pangea Online, started a Patreon page. Rewards range include a thank you, early chapters, signed print copy of the novel, and even input on character development.
Blaise Corvin’s 1st book in the Delvers LLC series is on sale $2.99, it’s usually $5.98 which is not bad for a 599 page novel. It’s also on Kindle Unlimited. The author is running this special to promote his upcoming side story novel in the Delvers LLC universe, Nora. It will be on sale until March 4th.
LitRPG Podcast is running a contest to celebrate 100 episodes
2nd winners - Keanu Brown, Georgia Eggers, Charles Hansen. I’ve sent them all messages, so check your e-mail and facebook messenger requests. They get to choose from:
Signed Copy of Adventures on Terra or Project Alpha by R.A. Mejia
Alpha Company T-Shirt from Daniel Schinhofen
LitRPG or The Land Sweater from Aleron Kong
Alternate: series ebooks from:
Apollos Thorne - Codename Freedom, Underworld: Level Up or Die;
Daniel Schinhofen - Alpha World, Apocalypse Gates, Last Horizon;
Dave Willmarth- The Greystone Chronicles
R.A. Mejia - Project Alpha, Adventures on Terra
Ways to get a chance to win:
Sign up for our LitRPG Podcast newsletter. http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-newsletter
Like/follow our Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube pages
Send us an e-mail (email@example.com ) or post on our Facebook/Twitter page with your favorite LitRPG Podcast story: maybe it’s a particular review, or a LitRPG news story, or anything else.
Next week we’ll announce the big prize winners. We’ll have to runner ups and a grand prize winner.
Runner Ups get : 1 Signed R.A. Mejia novel, and Daniel Schinhofen - Alpha Company T-shirt
Grand Prize winner: 1 Signed R.A. Mejia novel, and Daniel Schinhofen - Alpha Company T-shirt, limited edition LitRPG Podcast shirt, limited edition Adventures on Terra T-shirt, A sweater from Aleron Kong, and $100 Amazon gift card
I’ll be giving away prizes each week until episode 100.
-Originally published by under the title “ The Kingdom Stone”, which I gave a 4 out of 10. The author is honest about republishing in the novel description.
-That cover doesn’t reflect what happens in the story, it seems to be premade.
New LitRPG Audiobooks
Our review of the ebook: http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/12/7/a-dungeons-soul-book-3-of-the-adventures-on-brad
Fyi: This one has graphic sex scenes.
Outpost: A LitRPG Adventure (Monsters, Maces and Magic Book 1) (March 7th, 2018)
The Crown and the Key (Epic LitRPG Adventure - Book 8) (Fayroll) (March 12th, 2018)
Perma-Death Online: A LitRPG adventure: Book 2 (March 15, 2018)
Ritualist (The Completionist Chronicles Book 1) (March 15th, 2018)
Akillia's Reign (Puatera Online Book 4) (March 16th, 2018)
Ghost in the Game (Dream State Saga book 3) (March 19th)
Blind Gambit: A GameLit LitRPG novel (May 10, 2018)
World of Karik 2: (The First Crusade) The LitRPG series (May 17th, 2018)
God Mode (AlterGame Book #3) LitRPG Series (May 24th, 2018)
Kingdom Level Five: LitRPG (May 27th, 2018)
The Dead Rogue (An NPC's Path Book #1) LitRPG Series (May 30th, 2018)
-A new translated work from the good folks at Magic Dome Books
Onto New Releases and Reviews
(Play Music 3)
New Releases and Reviews
New Eden Royale: An Apocalyptic LitRPG Series
Harry Wollenstein is a regular guy. He loves his ranch, his dogs, and beer. He’s just a normal dude…except that he makes his living fighting in brutal virtual wars. For him, money is short, and like everyone, he needs to make enough to get by.
When a huge battle is announced in the capital city New Eden, Harry will do anything to qualify. The only problem is that battles are controlled by Overseers, and Harry has some history with the Overseer of New Eden. Things aren’t going to be easy for him.
When fighters enter the battlefield, the real-world cities give way to fantasy lands filled whatever horrific creatures that the Overseers’ cruel minds conjure up. The combatants wield swords, runes, skills and spells in digital death battles.
The fights might be virtual, but the danger is real. For Harry, the stakes couldn’t be any higher.
My Opinion: 431 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
For me, this is one of the weaker LitRPG stories from author Deck Davis. I much prefer his story Arcane Survivalist: Apocalyptic Fantasy LitRPG.
The biggest issue I have with the story is that I never really cared about the MC and the competitive game play. The backstory reason why a game overseer hates the MC doesn’t make sense. There’s a good attempt at character development. But it never landed with me and the motivations for all the character’s felt shallow. Especially the big reveal at the end as to why the antagonist was so determined to ruin the MC’s life.
There is a potentially interesting backstory on world and why everyone games but there wasn’t much of a threat from the real world or a substantive reason why the MC plays the game in the first place. Other than, maybe having to move into the city if he runs out of money for his ranch style estate.
The game mechanics leaned towards competitive PVP play. Kind of light on the RPG parts. Not bad mechanics but the gameplay isn’t something I’m into. If you enjoy Online Battle Games, you might like this one more than I did.
Overall, I just couldn't get into the story.
Score: 5 out of 10
The Park: A LitRPG Novel (The Park Online Book 1)
First Rule of Haven: Get Out Alive
Garrett Jones wants to save his sister, making her an Immortal within the world’s online hub, The Park. The thought of giving her unlimited time with her kids within the world she loved becomes Garrett’s one dream. But the 5 Million credit price for this rare status is more than he or his family can afford.
Until a long-abandoned game, Haven, mysteriously comes back online, offering 5 Million Credits for the Guild or Company who can complete the dangerous Questline under an undisclosed deadline. Garrett finds himself in a world that reaches beyond the limits of a game and into his personal life, putting himself in danger, and the fragile life of his sister.
Will he and his friends finish Haven before forces within The Park find his sister’s body, or death takes her forever?
My Opinion: 246 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
The price per page is a bit too expensive at $0.02/page. I usually look for about a penny a page.
This is really a techno thriller/Cyberpunk novel with a portion set in a RPG game. In the story, earth has expanded to the stars and a VR hub system called “The Park” connects other virtual worlds in a kind of theme park system. The main character (MC), Garrett, works for the park as a kind of security agent tracking down virtual hackers and trouble makers in game and ‘burning’ or deleting their access to the game. His sister gets run over and he gets the chance to win the money to have her mind uploaded into the system.
Technically this is a LitRPG novel. After the 17% mark, a large part of the story is set in an obviously stated RPG game world and none of the mechanics are hidden from either the reader or characters.
But honestly, even though there are detailed character sheets, item descriptions, and ability/spell descriptions, none of the RPG stuff or really the game part matter to the story. You know how you can usually tell if this is the case? When large parts of the game progress story are just skipped or if you can just skip any of the game parts and the story doesn’t change. Both are the cases here.
For example, the MC in the story accidently chooses the Blue Mage class. There’s a detailed character sheet, a list of skills, spells, the whole shebang. But when it comes to actual RPG content, you know text about him actually playing this game, fighting monsters, quests, leveling up, deciding what to increase each level? Little of that is in the novel. With in the space of a few pages, the main character goes from level 1 to level 4 to level 15. Even when he dies and is supposed to get kicked out of the contest, he magically has the item he needs to not only re-enter the game but also gets bumped to level 30. The relatively few times the novel does follow combat, the numbers used don’t quite match up with level 1 characters magically soloing monsters 3-5 levels higher than them without even dying once. The only reason the levels seem to exist at all is as qualifiers for certain quests to beat the game and win the big prize and maybe to qualify it as LitRPG.
However, that entire RPG game part doesn’t really matter to the real story. Which is a techno thriller/cyberpunk story about some rival company wanting to take over The Park (think the Oasis and the bad corporation IOI ), the owners being uploaded into the game, and how the MC’s sister knew too much. You can literally skip every game section and you don’t lose anything.
Overall, this just wasn’t an entertaining story for me. When the RPG game stuff doesn’t matter to the story, I stop caring. Plus there’s a major cliffhanger at the end of the story, so you don’t even get any kind of resolution to anything.
Score: 5 out of 10
Avatars Rising: SILOS I
Emerging Possibilities, Fading Hope
Esa wakes in a dark cement silo with no memory of who she is or how she got there. It doesn’t take long to realize the world she’s in is not what it seems when her body is taken over by an unknown presence and she’s forced to fight.
She meets two strangers that reveal an unbelievable truth—Esa is a sentient avatar in a game world.
Esa knows she has to level-up to find answers, but in an expansive, dystopian world of kill or be killed, is what she seeks worth the risk?
Immerse yourself into this exciting new young adult, gamelit, sci-fi series that asks the question—what if the avatars became self-aware?
My Opinion: 278 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Full disclosure: I got an advanced copy for review.
This story annoys be a bit and may be using kind of shady practices. When I was pulling information for the review, I noticed that ten days before their novel is set to publish, they already had 5 reviews. While not against any TOS, this feels like review padding.
The author asked to be put the novel on our upcoming LitRPG list repeatedly and when I asked if the story was LitRPG, the author assured me that it was. It’s not. There’s absolutely no RPG mechanics in this story and there’s not even really a game.
The story starts off with the main character not knowing where or who she is. Then being forced to fight again and again against strangers, until she finds someone like her. Lost, without memory, but not compelled to fight. Then it becomes this story about the two of them actually being self-aware avatars trying to escape their program before the moderators find them and delete them. They’re told if they reach level 10, they can reach salvation. Only “leveling” consists of the MC finding an orb that makes her ‘feel stronger’. That’s it. That’s as close as it comes to even referencing any kind of game mechanic.
Whether the author doesn’t understand what LitRPG is or is something else, this is not LitRPG. Even the techno self aware aspect of the story doesn’t really make sense. The combat isn’t great, most of the characters are flat, and the rest of the story just isn’t interesting. As a techno thriller or cyberpunk story it would get a 5/10, kind of boring.
As LitRPG, it gets a 4 out of 10.
Duel Reality 2071: A Dystopian LitRPG Cyberpunk War Novel
It is 2071. Duel Reality is a deadly game where contestants fight for fame and fortune. But the game’s popularity reaches new heights when the latest upgrade known as Terminal, allows players to fight with fatal consequences.
World leaders condemn the bloodthirsty games, but the CEO of Terminal refuses to stop them. The only way to end the murderous games is to fight and beat Terminal’s undefeated champion. For former special forces operator Axel Ward, a new war is about to begin, as he battles enemies in both the real and virtual world. A war where his very life is at stake with every passing moment.
The fate of America and the free world lies in the hands of a few ordinary citizens. A soldier, a school teacher, and a banker. Can they rise to the challenge, or will they see their country destroyed without a fight?
My Opinion: 256 pages, $2.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited
Easy review. Not LitRPG. Not even really Gamelit. Virtual gladiator arena combat where players can really die if they lose. But it’s described just like normal fantasy combat. No game mechanics, RPG or otherwise. More simulation.
There’s also a good bit of military combat in the story, which seems like what the publisher specializes in.
Not LitRPG as advertised Score: 4 out of 10
Bounty Harlot: A World of Brutalia LitRPG
A world unlike any other...
A LitRPG unlike any other...
"Welcome to Brutalia, the world that lets your inner brute roam free." Tasha skimmed the text quickly, rushing over the history of MMORPGs (she had heard Misha use the term before and had a sense of it), how Brutalia was essentially a very cool RPG, with a twist: It was adult-only, and it had no rules of ethics attached to it. Anything went: Say what you like, and more importantly, do what you like. "Especially with female NPCs and, yes, PLAYER CHARACTERS: Do with them as you wish (they're here because they like it, if you get our drift)." Wow, she thought. Pretty tacky. And she, for one, wasn't here of her own volition. In the section on "Doing with the ladies as you please," she came to a paragraph on her own character class: "You'll especially enjoy the Harlot class of character, and we really do mean enjoy. Her ability to please is non-pareil (another reason for you to look into our patented Full Immersion Experience option), but even if you can't afford her, fear not. In Brutalia, you're allowed to take the Harlot class any way you can get her."
Life, death, the nature of reality...and battles with flying monkeys...
My Opinion: 114 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Warning: Lots of cursing, some graphic sex, and many attempts to rape.
This is a trapped in the game novel set in a game world who’s only distinguishing characteristic is that it allows for rape of all the female NPCs and female players.
There are a few poorly written graphic sex scenes but that’s not the main focus of the story though sex is referred to a lot in the novel. The main character (MC) is a girl that gets kidnapped in real life but injures herself when she tries to escape, so the bad guys put her into this game with the character class Harlot. She has to constantly fend off the attempts of other players who try to rape her throughout the entire story. She tries to level up with the help of an NPC she falls in love with and has sex with sometimes. Her goal is to get help from the outside world to find and free her from the bad guys.
The game mechanics and action aren’t anything special. Though RPG mechanics are used through the story. The only thing about the game world that is different than any other MMO is that it allows and encourages a rape culture in game.
Overall, this story just doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be. Is it a sexy time story? A female driven action story? Because it doesn’t focus on any one of those aspect, it doesn’t do either well.
That just made it unentertaining for me. What pushes into dislike is the message in the novel that if the MC gets raped, it’s her own fault for not fighting hard enough against her attackers, and that she might have secretly wanted it.
Score: 4 out of 10
Playing for Keeps (Alpha World Book 4)
Alpha Company is embarking on a grand mission, crossing the Dead Lands to find and conquer Gwain’s Keep. Led by Alburet, most of the guild embarks on what could be an epic and memorable journey, as they aim at being the first Two-souled guild to capture a keep.
Besides safeguarding the members of the guild, Alburet also has to worry about the natives that are with them on their journey. Deidre Crowley, Stacia’s sister, is the one he worries about most, having sworn to see her safely across the lifeless desolation of the Dead Lands.
Having to be ultra-vigilant during the day, night brings welcome relief and relaxation to the raid. For Alburet, Karen, and Stacia it also brings their chance to help Fluffball come to grips with her past.
Rejoin the group in Alpha World while they “Play for Keeps”.
(This book contains adult themes, just like the rest of the series. If you didn’t like those themes there, you won’t like them here. Don’t say I didn’t warn you ahead of time. After all, one of the main supporting characters is a Succubus.)
My Opinion: 421 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Full disclosure: I got an advanced copy for review. I bought the novel as soon as it became available
Book 4 starts off immediately after the end of book 3 and is almost just a continuation of that story. The main character (MC) , Alburet/Seamus, and the core group join the rest of the guild in the Dead Lands. Their goal? To travel to and conquer one of the abandoned keeps in the high level zone, get a bunch of great loot, and level like crazy.
While I’m a fan this story and the series, I also recognize that there are some things about this story that may not mesh well with everyone. This is primarily a travel story. You remember that first LOTR movie? Where most of what they did was walk? Sure, there were some fights, but mostly walking and character and story development? That’s what this is. It’s the fellowship of the succubus.
75% of the novel is spent traveling to the abandoned keep through the high level Dead Lands. Yeah, there are regular fights but they’re usually a few paragraphs long each. Most of that 75% is spent traveling, developing the relationships between characters, advancing the memory exploration thing. I found it very entertaining, but in a different way than a primarily action driven novel.
Something that may bother some people, there’s more fade to black sex and non-mainstream relationship talk. The MC struggles with loving multiple women and how that doesn’t mesh with his ingrained beliefs about monogamy. The conversations aren’t ‘in your face’ but they’re honest and open with the subject of polyamory. Personally, I found the viewpoints very interesting to read about.
Also, there's more memory exploration. Each of the core group members, the MC, Karen, and Fluffy each have issues and traumas. The characters explore and share these moments with the reader through a kind of magical memory thing that replays the memories as they actually happened and not as the person remembers them through the haze of time/self protection. It’s a very cool tool that the author uses to create emotional resonance with the reader and I found myself tearing up sometimes and getting angry when seeing other memories. However, be aware that this is a major portion of the first 75% of the story. This is how a great deal of the character development is done.
Only when the group reaches the abandoned keep do you really get any action and fighting. That’s not until the 75% mark. While I thought a couple fights ended a little wand wavy, overall the action is good and I was just glad that the group was able to wipe and learn from their mistakes. That’s what makes a good MMO raid.
Overall, I had a good time with the story. But, I also really like the memory exploration aspect of the story. I think it’s a great story telling tool. I’m a fan of how much character development the author does. If you don’t like that mechanic, or if you’re not into some of the frank relationship exploration conversations, this may not be the novel for you. Personally, I love getting the chance to see the world through someone else's lens (is that the right phrase?). Regardless, that’s one of the things I love the most about fiction. It’s ability to safely explore new concepts (magic, tech, or social) that people may have never had the chance/inclination to in real life.
Score: 7 out of 10.
Unbound Deathlord: Obliteration
Jack is out for blood.
After being manipulated by his family most of his life, and believing an even worse lie for the past few years, he has finally learned the truth.
Now that he knows what V-Soft has taken from him, he’s going to take everything from them, even if the country is destroyed in the process. The plan is to strike from all sides, so that those who still live can watch their lives, and their life’s work be reduced to ashes.
But in digging their grave, will Jack wind up buried alongside them?
My Opinion: 735 pages, $5.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Full disclosure: I got an advanced copy for review. I purchased it when it became available.
It’s been over a year since book 1 in the series came out and it’s sometimes hard to remember what happened when there’s that big a gap between books. Thankfully, the author has a nice summary of the events of book 1. So, you get a good refresher before diving into book 2.
Book 2 starts with the real life consequences of what the main character (MC), Jack, discovered at the end of book 1. He’s quiet plainly, out for revenge. Not only does he seek revenge IRL but he also seeks to get his revenge by destroying the game from within. At least that’s the justification the author uses to continue his story.
In reality, much of the in-game story is just more slice of life adventure. It’s action oriented, there’s the addition of larger group fighting, and even some politics as the MC levels, kills, and looks for a way to destroy the game world. It’s good stuff, but remember that the MC is not a hero. Instead, he’s a bit more selfish. Willing to do whatever it takes to get what he wants regardless of the negative effects it might have on the larger world. So don’t expect a traditional plot with a concrete resolution. It’s mostly good action adventure stuff. Though I’ll admit my favorite part is the end with it’s many twists and turns.
The real life storyline is just as good. As Jack gets his revenge, the fallout from what he does impacts the entire world. It was honestly fascinating to see how it all turned out.
Overall, I enjoyed the story. There were some slow moments and again the in-game story is very slice of life as you follow the MC through a variety of quests and fights. Good stuff, if you manage your expectations.
Score: 7 out of 10.
Stan can't afford to have his brain removed. The richest and luckiest players of the video game "Thousand Tales" get their minds uploaded to its virtual paradise world, while Stan can barely buy a handheld console. Instead of sulking he plays, and grows, becoming a skilled craftsman and seafaring explorer. The game's ruling AI, Ludo, helps him find the hope and inspiration missing from his real life.
When the AI starts asking for favors and having him reach out between the real and digital worlds, Stan has a chance to turn his life into an actual adventure. But first he needs to earn the most valuable prize of all: his freedom.
"Crafter's Passion" is part of the emerging "LitRPG" or "GameLit" genre, combining science fiction with the world of gaming.
My Opinion: 321 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Unlike many of the other more side stories in the Thousand Tale universe, this one doesn’t focus on a digital heaven or uploading minds to a full immersion game universe. Instead, it’s a coming of age story combined with fascinating speculative narrative about skills learned in a game transfering to the real world.
This one is definitely my favorite of the independent novels from this series. Instead of being another VR heaven story. This one is almost a speculative story. It combines real world backstory of a kid living in a resource sharing collective and him playing the Thousand Tales game on an old tablet he bought. He gets into crafting in the game and gradually becomes interested in it in real life because of the limited money in community.
Lessons he learns in game translate to real life woodworking skills. There’s also a gamified system for working in the community, chores and social stuff. But the game also gives him real life quests in town that further his crafting skills and help him accomplish goals. Then as with any kind of education that takes you out of what you grew up with, he starts to see cracks in system he lives with and possibilities for himself he never thought possible.
There is still adventuring, monster fighting, and exploration. However, a lot of the story is a coming of age story set in a semi-dystopian future. There is commentary on both the negative and positive aspects of community projects, incentivisation, gamification, communalism, and more. You can tell the author has an opinion here about this digital training/education tech, its possibility, and pitfalls.
Now, I’ll be honest, this novel is not for everyone. It’s not a very crunchy or number heavy LitRPG story. The RPG aspects in the game part of the story are rather minimal, but they’re constantly used and the game stuff matters to the story. Yeah, I’d personally love it if there were more numbers or detailed item and ability descriptions but that’s not how the author writes this series. You might like this story more if you like sci-fi stories that make you think a little about technology and where it might take us.
For me, this was an enjoyable read and I really did like it. I’m kind of a sucker for crafting. But more than that, I liked that it made me think about where VR and education may go in the future. Possible social backlashes and how that all might play out. Neat stuff.
Score: 7 out of 10
Chrysalis: The Crucible of Immortality Book 2
Jax and Kala have discovered that they have actually been on Crucible for almost a thousand years. But, they have no memories of that time, only dreams that haunt them. Now, with new allies, they must prepare for The Caste army that is marching towards them.
Jax, a man of science, must come to terms that there is so much he does not understand.
Kala, a construct build from an ancient mysterious race, a naive, yet headstrong woman, must learn what it means to be human.
Jill, a young woman with demons in her past, must find her place in this new, and often cruel world.
Doc, a sentient A.I. in a liquid metal body, is a mystery. He now has a part of The Watcher in him, how will he change?
Aurelia, a natural-born girl of Crucible. Her parents murdered, has not spoken since. She holds power no one seems to understand, how will she wield it?
My Opinion: 375 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
The first 16% of the novel is kind of awkwards.
There are like 6 or 7 main and secondary characters that converge. When they all start talking to each other , it becomes a bit of a mess. The entire section from 10-15% is actually pretty hard to read. The dialogue becomes stilted, no one seems to have a unique voice and everyone’s dialogue is written the same. There is this weird issue with inconsistent use of contractions that makes everyone's speak switch from formal to casual repeatedly and it’s honestly hard to read. I’d genuinely recommend skipping that whole section and go right to the 16% percent mark.
After that there’s some dungeon diving that is really fun and interesting. Then at the 32% there’s this huge reset button that’s hit by the author. I won't spoil exactly what happens but it doesn't make sense to me and feels very contrived. Everyone is split up and the novel becomes 3 different stories. 1) Jill on her fairy adventure. 2) Kayla, on her trip to a human city and experience with a cult that worships the MC. 3) The MC, who does some training and for no really explained reason, turns into an unemotional mass murderer that develops sex powers.
Many of the changes to the story just drop out of nowhere and don’t really make sense. It almost feels like the independent stories after the 32% mark were written first, then the first third was written later to justify why they were all split up and on their own adventures.
The twists in the story just seem to exists for the stories sake and often don’t have any foreshadowing or even make sense in the terms of the game mechanics used. There’s a lot of wand waving happening here that ignores the world rules previously set. ie) The exact old villain from book 1 appearing thousands of years in the future on this alien planet and being able to kill a major character? When that character dies, they can magically remember their past, even though it’s clearly stated that being reborn erases all past memories? Or the MC suddenly having the power to go from level 10 to 300?
This same type of unexplained revelation occurs with the character’s powers. Each character just seems to spontaneously develop powers and abilities not based on the world rules setup and sometimes in direct conflict with them. At one point, Jill, suddenly becomes a Kung Fu master and kills bandits 3-4 times her level. The story explains it away as ‘she studied martial arts on earth’, a fact not before in evidence. Even the MC seems to spontaneously know how to grow elemental crystals (gains a new ability too), without instruction, when asked to do so as part of his training.
Overall, the story is not boring. The fighting this time was better written. Though there was again a noticeable number of grammar and other technical writing errors in the story. However, I did lose a substantial amount of interest though when all these rule bending events occured making all the RPG stuff pretty meaningless. I mean, if the story is just going to ignore it when the plot demands something particular needs to happen, what’s the point of having it there in the first place?
I don’t think that I’ll be picking up book 3 in the series.
Score: 6 out of 10
Soulstone: Oblivion (World of Ruul Book 3)
Save the girl. Beat the dungeon. Get epic loot.
After a few minor setbacks, Aaron and Crash find themselves all alone in the World of Ruul with only one chance at survival, finding the legendary soulstones before the maelstrom’s forces eat them and their friends.
Worse, the only way to get strong enough to save their friends is to enter a dungeon no one’s ever beaten before, defeat the four elemental bosses who reside inside, and shatter the massive statue trapping them inside.
Sure, it might be impossible, but if it were easy, everyone would have done it, right?
My Opinion: 527 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
This is quite simply a dungeon dive story. There’s some interpersonal relationship stuff with the new people but it’s mostly a good old dungeon dive. There are three returning characters return and two new ones. Like any good dungeon dive, there’s a good variety of monsters and puzzles. And of course of group gets some good XP and loot.
This entry in the series doesn't advance the main plot of the series or even the side stuff related to the events at the end of book 2, but it’s still fun.
Score: 7 out of 10
(Picture 11, Ctrl+1)
Kingdom Level Four: LitRPG
Kingdom Building 101
Rob's grasp on his fledgling kingdom is tenuous, at best.
Expansion is impossible thanks to an angry war-clan of goblins encroaching on the eastern border. Also, monsters and bandits run rampant within the valley threatening his subjects.
And since trade is nonexistent and supply lines are dead, the ramshackle village must be kick-started into an economically viable town – one that generates income for the meager royal treasury, instead of sapping it.
Solving these problems is his responsibility or the kingdom will never reach level five.
But there's a larger concern which casts a dark cloud over everything.
His is not the only kingdom and neighboring rulers have started to view this janitor-turned-king as either an exploitable ally...
… or easy prey.
My Opinion: 332 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
There’s finally some actual kingdom building as the main character (MC), Rob, does a bunch of quests to find a special item that will let him upgrade his village to a kingdom and unlock a bunch of town building options in his ruler interface. However, the small bit of town building doesn’t happen till the very end of the novel.
Most of this is slice of life adventuring to get the MC up to level 6 so he can find that special item he needs. You can actually skip everything from 20% to the 79% and the advancement of the plot wouldn’t suffer. Not to say all that questing and adventuring is boring, but it’s nothing that is really needed for the story. It’s good fun slice of life stuff that you can skip if you really just wanted to see what was happening with the bigger plot.
Overall, i thought it was a good read. But I also like slice of life stories. I should warn you that the story takes a super dark turn in the last 7% of the novel.
Score: 7 out of 10
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