LitRPG Podcast 114
LitRPG Podcast 114
May 18th, 2018
Hello everyone, welcome to episode 114 of the LitRPG podcast.
I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews. I have 9 reviews just for you.
I want to give a shout out to a new Patreon supporter, Prax Venter, thank you for being a supporter.
New Releases and Reviews:
Meet the other academies episode. Good though. 7.4 out of 10
An definite improvement over book 1. Score: 7.3 out of 10
A good novella sized tour of the game universe. Score: Score: 7.5 out of 10
Game logic issues lost me. Score: 6 out of 10
New character in Barliona. Plant lady Bard. It works. Score: 7.5 out of 10
Not LitRPG. Score: 4 out of 10
Decent slice of life fantasy story that you can put down and pick up. Score: 7.0 out of 10
Not boring but the language, hyper gore, and pointless violence just didn’t work for me. Score: 6 out of 10
A fun slice of life fantasy story with Psionics. Score: 7.4 out of 10
(Play Music 2)
I recently did an author Interview with Gabriel Rathweg, author of Eyrth Online and the Warrior Academy series. It was really fun to talk to him and compare writing influences and our love of LitRPG.
Blaise Corvin showed off the cover art from the next Delvers LLC novel and said in the post that it would be coming out ‘early next year at the latest’. He still has to write the 4 book Nora Hazard series and several other titles first.
The Dragon's Wrath series is loved by many LitRPG readers and there isn’t a month that goes by when someone doesn't ask on Facebook when a new one is going to come out. However, author Brent Roth and all his novels have disappeared from Amazon.
It’s unclear currently of this is due to the recent Amazon suspensions going around. But there have been rumors for the last year that the author’s health has been in decline.
Update on the Amazon account suspension story from last week. Most of the authors mentioned as having their accounts suspended last week have finally had them restored. But several more have had their accounts suspended. It’s a very frustrating situation.
Many of the author that had their accounts restored have taken their novels out of the Kindle Unlimited program. Thanks to advice from other authors I wrote to Amazons support page through KDP contact us section and was pull my novels out of the KU program before the normal release. I just hope that I won’t get hit with a suspension notice next month.
Remember to support your favorite authors folks. Even just sharing on social media how much you enjoyed their stories or leaving a review on Amazon are really impactful ways of getting the word out about stories you like.
World of Karik 2: (The First Crusade) The LitRPG series (May 17th, 2018)
-Author accidently uploaded an early version w/o tables and while he has since fixed the issue, the earliest purchaser may need to manually update their copy by going to their Content Manager section on Amazon.
New LitRPG Audiobooks
Gestation (Project Chrysalis Book 1) (May 22nd, 2018)
God Mode (AlterGame Book #3) LitRPG Series (May 24th, 2018)
Kingdom Level Five: LitRPG (May 27th, 2018)
Defenders of the Realm (Greystone Chronicles - Book 4) (May 29th, 2018)
The Dead Rogue (An NPC's Path Book #1) LitRPG Series (May 30th, 2018)
The Right to Choose (Fayroll Book 10) (June 5th, 2018)
Restart (Level Up Book #1) LitRPG Series (July 10th, 2018)
External Threat (Reality Benders Book #2) LitRPG Series (July 23rd, 2018)
Death March (Euphoria Online - Book 1) (Aug. 7th, 2018)
Onto New Releases and Reviews
(Play Music 3)
New Releases and Reviews
Warrior Academy - Tournament of Hiroes Episode 3
The other schools are coming…
The Tournament is about to start…
After the world is destroyed humanities survivors start anew. Now in a world forever changed, a place where magic is real, and monsters have come to life. A place where magic and science blend with pop culture… Welcome to Warrior Academy.
Welcome back to Warrior Academy. Rejoin Hiro and friends as they continue their journey. Meet new friends and enemies. More food, fighting, and music.
If you like video games, music, anime, and just pop culture in general… you will love Warrior Academy. Its Harry Potter meets Naruto with a little Dragon Ball Z and Dungeons and Dragons thrown in for fun, oh and don’t forget a smattering of High School Musical…
This is the third episode in a 13 episode series.
My Opinion: 398 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
*There’s a custom spotify playlist for this novel. Each chapter has its own theme music. My favorite songs this time where: Oxford Comma and Play That Song.*
This episode of the series feels a bit like the Tri-Wizard tournament episode since the other schools finally come to compete in the interschool competition. There’s all the pop culture fun, light romance, and action you’ve come to enjoy from the series, but the big highlight for me this time was the progressively challenging fight scene at the end of the story. It was a good gradual increase in action that ended well.
Also note that the last 10% of the novel is a short sample of a project of the author, I Am Gamer. Which on its own is well worth a read.
Score: 7.4 out of 10
Options: A LitRPG Adventure (SOL Saga Book 2)
Player Killers. Bounty Hunters. No Way Out.
After defeating a demon, Terra realizes she needs to change to a new class if she's ever going to survive this game. As it turns out, finding a master that will teach her how to be a monk is not easy. Word has spread quickly about the legendary player killer's return, and every hunter in the city is after her head.
My Opinion: 245 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
An definite improvement over book 1. This is more slice of life adventure, but it highlights the semi OP avatar the MC is using but combines it with her super noobness to funny effect. She’s on the hunt for an unarmed monk trainer and goes about it in on the wrong ways. Her avatar’s previous user, her deceased brother was a notorious PKer and it seems like the whole server is looking to get him. While there’s not as much real life storyline, the action is pretty constant and overall it was an entertaining read.
Score: 7.3 out of 10
Mightier Still: A LitRPG/GameLit Novella (Enter The louVRe Side Quest) (Becoming Death Book 1)
Brock Paddon is a hardcore video gamer. He has structured his entire life around gaming. He surrounds himself with AI’s, robots, and has a customized sleep schedule to maximize his in-game time. In the middle of a workout, Epoch International’s most anticipated fully-immersive game The louVRe Adventure launches, and he does what any good gamer would do: he logs in.
However, he is not prepared for the quirky AI’s unique requirements for the game. He is not prepared at all.
Hijinks and shenanigans abound in this unique look at Eloria with a character that you might just know from other stories.
My Opinion: 115 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
This is a nice novella that I honestly like quite a bit more than the author’s other title in this universe. This one is clearly told from a gamers perspective and there are lot so nice nods to internet memes, gamer culture, and most importantly gamer behavior.
I honestly connect with this main character (MC) more. The MC really pushes the boundaries of the game system. It becomes a kind of mini game for him, which is a very gamer thing to do. That wouldn’t have been possible with the character from the main series.
Additionally, the end of the story is a nice tie in to the author’s other LitRPG novel Eloria's Beginning.
Overall, a good stuff and it provides a nice little tour of what’s possible in the story world.
Score: 7.5 out of 10
Atlas Reign: A LitRPG Saga (The Binding Book 1)
Level-up. Cross the Binding. Save reality.
Die-hard gamer Morrow Adams strives to escape his corporate-controlled existence on Earth. Logging in as Atlas Reign, he plays The Binding as a way to break from the limitations of his real life.
Few have crossed the elusive Binding in the game, but if you do, real-life opportunity awaits—physical passage to a new world.
But the same corporation that Morrow tries to escape from on Earth also controls the virtual game world—a world perfectly designed to drain your credits and enslave you to their workforce.
Everything changes when Morrow meets a beautiful, top-level player from the other side named Raven Vex. She helps him uncover a devious conspiracy within the game that sends them on an unbelievable quest through The Binding's expansive—and dangerous—universe.
My Opinion: 324 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
The story starts out pretty good with a difficult fight for the main character (MC), Atlas Reign, and his group. The battle feels like a real struggle for this group of level 14-15 players and there are a few moments I wasn’t sure they were going to win.
Unfortunately, that’s the last time combat and the game mechanics made logical gamer sense and things weren’t wand wavy to move the story forward. After that fight, the MC manages to wipe the floor with opponent after opponent that’s 20-30 levels higher than him. The MC dies when it’s convenient to show loss from a bounty or to set him back a little, but he still always wins despite the huge level gap, and against every gamer experience I’ve had. I’m not saying that a player can’t get beat a higher level opponent through careful planning or luck. But groups of opponents 20-30 levels higher, all of whom have better gear? It just stretched the bounds of believability.
From there on, I stopped enjoying the story. Though there are other issues with un-foreshadowed self aware AI, shadowy government conspiracies, and a forced love interest. I stopped connecting with the story long before (about the 20% mark).
You can tell the author took time to make the fights detailed in both description and with numbers. The game mechanics presented have interesting details and a sci-fi theme. But ultimately it feels like they’re ignored to shove the plot forward.
Overall, it’s not badly written, fights are nicely detailed, and there’s some good world building. But I just couldn’t get past the wand wavy lack of logic explaining why the MC could beat opponent so much more powerful than himself, often without assistance.
Score: 6 out of 10
The Renegades (The Bard from Barliona Book #1)
Barliona is back! OLD WORLD, NEW HEROES!
What would happen if a professional rock musician joined a virtual MMO in search of inspiration among its gameworld? What would happen if she decided to play as a biota bard, a brand new race of humanoid flora as well as a new class? Whatever would happen, it would surely be fun…
My Opinion: 300 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Full disclosure: I received an advanced copy for review
Written by Vasily Mahanenko and Eugenia Dmitrieva. The two recently published a short story together in You’re In Game Book 2.
This is a new character with a new story set in the familiar world of the Way of the Shaman, Barliona. The main character (MC), Kiera, is a musician in real life and decides to try out the game to create new songs to boost her bands popularity. She chooses to be the new plant race, Biota, and be a bard.
The game mechanics are the same as they’ve been before, but now you get to see all the details of the more generalized bard class. There are some interesting specialty choices for the class.
Story-wise, this is a mostly slice of life story, where you follow a new player figuring how things work in the game, how to build her character, craft, explore, and adventure. There’s some interesting twists, especially towards the end, but it’s mostly just following this character around. Readers get a little better look at the real world in this novel since the MC isn’t stuck in the game. There are also a few cameos made by characters from the Way of the Shaman.
Overall, I liked the story. I’m not a big fan of the race choice but the story was interesting enough to keep me entertained.
Score: 7.5 out of 10
Everwood Falls: A LitRPG Adventure (LARP Gone Wrong Book 1)
Abigail and Madison have been best friends since kindergarten. They share everything and have always been there to support one another, especially since the tragic death of Madison’s parents.
So when Maddy decides to attend a LARP event in order to get closer to her crush from philosophy class, Abby rushes to the rescue. She joins in the adventure, although running around waving foam swords, pretending to cast spells and to be some medieval damsel is not her idea of fun.
Soon after they arrive, however, they find that the event is not as boring or lame as they had expected. In fact, they quickly get caught up in the intrigue and even accept to help in the main quest to secure the Gem of Mistar and keep the realm safe from the Dark King.
They spend the night looking for the mystical artifact. But when they stumble upon a hidden cave in the woods and reach for the glowing bowl that they mistake for the Gem, they’re transported into a new world that’s nothing like Colorado where they had been LARPing. In these lands, people ride horses, wear armor and speak like in ancient times. The difference being that, for those people, there’s no make believe! This is real!
As the two young women try to come to grips with what just happened to them, they meet a pair of mysterious princes and learn that this world is in grave danger. The Cimmerian, a powerful mage who has been locked away for centuries, is about to break free from his jail and leave chaos and death in his wake.
Abby and Maddy will have to discover the true reason behind their arrival if they ever hope to survive this ordeal and return home. Because, if they are to believe the prophecy from the ancients, they might be the key to saving the entire realm! They, the two regular girls from the city who are better at gossiping than at wielding a sword!
They will find that they possess hidden talents which might tip the balance in their favor. To guide them and help unlock those dormant powers, they will receive assistance from the beautiful and mysterious princes.
But they have to hurry. Clock is ticking. Will they make it in time or will they succumb to the Cimmerian’s madness, along with the inhabitants of this world?
My Opinion: 426 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
The entire first 32% of the novel doesn’t have anything even remotely LitRPG. It’s more about LARPing and then getting transported to a fantasy world to fulfill some prophecy. There’s some character development but it’s kind of boring. There’s not even any action. You don’t see anything really RPG related until the 33-37% mark when the two female main characters see their character sheets. Then that’s kind of it. All the rest of the story is described as chosen one fantasy novel. Even when Abby, the caster in the group, is trying to learn how to use spells it’s described as ‘embarrassing her power’ or ‘tapping into her magic.’ There’s no game elements at all besides a rare notification. You don’t even see another character sheet until the very end of the novel.
Overall, this isn’t LitRPG for me. It really felt like someone threw in a few notifications and had the characters level up at the end of the novel. In over 426 pages, there’s really only a handful of sentences game related much less RPG related.
Score: 4 out of 10
The Newb (The Adventures of Horc Book 1)
Friends don’t leave friends to die in dungeons!
Alan Gosling signed up to beta test Halfworld for a little extra cash. He got a lot more than he bargained for.
When disaster strikes, he’s got to fight to stay alive in both the digital world and the real one.
Even with the help of friends, Alan, aka Horc the Half Orc Ranger, isn’t sure if he can make it out of the game before his time runs out in the real world.
In beta testing, Halfworld still has a few bugs to work out, and without a wiki to give them guidance, Horc’s party doesn’t know what they’re getting into as they try to free the area around Stone Helm City from the grip of the Gnoll King. Can they level up and get enough power to take him out before Alan’s real-world problems become terminal?
My Opinion: 300 pg?, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
This is a slice of life, trapped in the game LitRPG story. After a brief introduction of the main character (MC), he’s in the game by the 3% mark and stays in game the rest of the novel. There’s a minor trapped in the game element, but the story mostly follows the MC as he learns about the game, learns about his class, goes on adventures, and dungeon dives.
The game mechanics are going to be familiar to anyone that’s played a fantasy MMO in the last couple but they’re nothing innovative.
Overall, this is better than decent slice of life story that you can pick up and put down at your leisure. Again, no real heavy plot, just some RPG adventuring. If you like that kind of story, you’ll have a nice time with this.
Score: 7.0 out of 10
Trapped in a savage reality I'm a kind and gentle person. Or should I say, I was... As an interstellar surveyor, my job is to find and explore new star systems at the very fringes of humankind's reach. There are no conflicts, or even stress – it's simply a career which allows me to quietly drift through the cosmos, enjoying its endless beauty. Then I found myself trapped on a world like no other. Dark, bloody and brutal, I had to adapt quickly to this new reality, or me and my crew would never get a chance to escape. My life quickly morphed from one of peace, to one of pure savagery. And as I carved a blood-soaked path across this realm of carnage, there was one horrifying fact about myself I needed to confront: Learning to kill was easy, but learning not to love it so much... now that's hard. NOTE: This is a hyper-violent LitRPG dark fantasy. Not for the squeamish.
My Opinion: 284 pages, $10.99, Was Available on Kindle Unlimited
This is a super violent slice of life LitRPG. The premise is that a woman from a spacefaring ship crashes on a game world. She’s forced to kill to survive and accidently creates a character that’s a berserker dedicated to the god of blood.
There are RPG mechanics. She gets blood points for her kills that she can spend on ability trees. She levels and can increase her stats. There’s even a tiny bit of crafting. But this is mostly just a fighting story. Fight, upgrade, fight. That’s all there is to it really.
Overall, not boring but the language, hyper gore, and pointless violence just didn’t work for me.
Score: 6 out of 10
Initializing (Somnia Online Book 1)
Discover the class you were born to play.
Wren, a seasoned healer, is dismayed when Somnia Online automatically assigns her character, Murmur, to the Enchanter class. Determined to overcome the unexpected setback, she assembles her guild, intent on the coveted #1 spot. Twelve keys stand between her and victory, but finding them is only part of the puzzle.
Armed with telepathic abilities, Murmur rises to the challenge. However, old rivals have followed her to Somnia Online desperate for revenge. Intricate quest lines become more dangerous as NPCs absorb powerful artifacts, and Murmur begins to wonder just what sort of AI controls the world.
Murmur questions her sanity as the real and virtual worlds mesh together. Everyone is keeping secrets from her, even the AI, and Murmur’s determined to uncover them.
My Opinion: 562 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
This is a slice of life LitRPG story that mostly focuses on the main character (MC), Wren, and her first week playing the latest and greatest full immersion game that her parents helped develop. She has her character class picked out for her, an enchanter, and goes on adventures, quests, forms a guild, does a bit of crafting, and otherwise has fun. There is a 2nd narrative with regular chapters detailing the development of the VR gear used that has increasingly sinister tones as the novel goes on.
Game mechanic wise, it’s fairly standard MMO stuff. A unique aspect is the psychic abilities that the MC discovers. They’re well thought out and while potentially overpowered are balanced with some potentially debilitating side effects.
Overall, I had a fun time following Wren and her group on their adventures. Combat was always well thought out and tactical. The group banter was fun. There’s good character development.
Though I think that last minute story twists wasn’t setup well, it doesn’t ruin the story or anything.
Score: 7.4 out of 10
That’s it everyone!
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