LitRPG Podcast 129
LitRPG Podcast 129
Aug. 17th, 2018
Hello everyone, welcome to episode 129 of the LitRPG podcast.
I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews. I have 4 new LitRPG reviews just for you. Only 4? Yeah, not a lot of novels were published this last week so I had to go deep diving through Amazon to find these guys.
New Releases and Reviews:
Didn’t realize there was a book 2, but I liked it.
Score: 7.1 out of 10
After the halfway mark, quiet good
Score: 6 out of 10
So many info dumps
Score: 4 out of 10
Even better than book 1
Score: 7.5 out of 10
(Play Music 2)
I have some information about where the LitRPG booth with be at DragonCon this year. Sharing the booth will be Aleron Kong, Dakota Krout, Michael Chatfield, James Hunter, Jeffrey Falcon Logue, and myself. There will be lots of physical books to buy there and several scheduled book signings and several of the authors will also be on panels this year too. I’ll have more details on those schedules when I have them.
But the booth will be in AMERICASMART - BUILDING 2 - WEST WING - 2nd FLOOR
Booth Numbers: 2820/2822
Daniel Schinhofen, author of the Apocalypse Gate and Alpha World series, has a new book out called Morrigan's Bidding. It’s not LitRPG but rather Celtic themed fantasy portal fiction but it’s really pretty good. Go check it out.
Aleron Kong is doing a daily give away until the end of August that he’s calling ‘The Road to Glory’, to celebrate being nominated as a finalist for Best Fantasy Novel for the Dragon Awards.
He’s giving away a bunch of prizes including t-shirts, signed books, audiobooks, and lots of merchandise. Check out the link to the facebook post for all the rules and prizes.
This week Blaise Corvin, author of the Delvers LLC and Nora Hazard litRPG series, talked with Charles Dean on Serious Drinks With Charles. Charles grilled Blaise about issues he had with the latest Nora Hazard novel, then the two got drunk and talked about knives.
Blaise Corvin, author of the Delvers LlC, Nora Hazard, and Secret of the Old Ones. Has launched http://gamelitrpg.com/ . Blaise plans to make it a community place where authors and readers can post, read stories, write reviews, hang out. Go check it out.
Taj McCoy El talks with Sean Callahan at GameReads about Taj’s novel Ruins of Majesta: Blood & Cupcakes! They talk fandoms, writing, and strategy games. Fun stuff.
An update to the Michael Scott Earle story. Previously banned Michael Scott Earle announced that Amazon would let him put his ebooks on the platform, but only if it was through a publisher.
Aug 7th- Publisher started uploading my books, and he got an automated email flagging them for copyright. He replied to the email giving them the licensing agreement.
Aug 8th- Publisher continued to upload my books. He got another email flagging books for copyright. He replied with the licensing agreement again.
Aug 9th- Publisher received an email terminating his account because Amazon thinks he is me. He called their phone number, talked to a live human who said the message was automated, but as long as he sends his proof of ownership of the company, the content team will review it and it should be okay. Should take 24-48 hours
Aug 10th- Publisher got an email from the content review team saying they got his personal/corporate info, and they would review it.
Aug 13th- Publisher received an email saying that since he's never replied to them with the licensing agreement for the copyrighted books- they are terminating the account.
Aug 15th - The publisher was on the phone twice with Amazon today for about an hour total. They assured him that the legal department was looking at his proof of ownership.
https://amzn.to/2vtKoLA (Aug. 17th)
***Underworld - Through the Belly of the Beast (Underworld Book 2) (Aug. 17th, 2018)***
New LitRPG Audiobooks
Our review of the ebook: Score 7 out of 10
Our review of the ebook: Score 8 out of 10
Guardians Of The Round Table 2: Goblin Boots (Aug. 18th, 2018)
Bitter: Book Four (Aug. 24th, 2018)
Hunter's Bond: Apex Chronicles Book 1 (Aug. 28th, 2018)
Coast on Fire (The System Apocalypse Book 5) (Sept. 1st, 2018)
The Path (Just Cause Universe Book 14) (Sept. 3rd, 2018)
Limitless (Project Chrysalis book 4) (Sept. 4th, 2018)
Game Changer (Reality Benders Book #3) LitRPG Series (Sept. 24th, 2018)
(Sept. 26, 2018)
Couch Potato Chaos - Gamebound (Sept. 28th, 2018)
Kingdom of the Dead (An NPC's Path Book #2) LitRPG Series (Oct. 8th, 2018)
(Oct. 25th, 2018)
Freehaven Online: Winter Dungeonland (Book 3) (Nov. 21st, 2108)
Onto New Releases and Reviews
(Play Music 3)
New Releases and Reviews
Trial and Flame (Chronicle Book 2)
It’s easy to get swept up in the current—for the world to pass us by.
An extra 168 hours each day lets us take some of that time back—to do and see more.
Though the fresh time aids and liberates us, it also serves to free the hands of our adversaries.
Still relatively new to the world, Dakkon and Cline are small fish in a very big pond. While hunted for a mark on their heads, they must find a way to live and to grow.
My Opinion: 346 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
The sequel to First Login (Chronicle Book 1), a novel I gave a 7 out of 10. When I first saw this story, I honestly didn’t realize it was part of the same series. The cover art style changed and the novel description doesn’t mention anything about a VR game or being litRPG. So many other people who liked the 1st book might have also missed it.
The 2nd book in the series continues to be mostly slice of life adventuring. Everyone in the team comes back together to complete a couple of dungeon dives with some interesting monsters to beat and some puzzles to solve. There was a thread introduced at the end of book 1, the Tournament of the Gods, that’s explained a bit in book 2, but it’s disappointingly underdeveloped and turns into just an excuse for a small amount of PvP.
Game mechanic-wise, everything is basically the same, though you won’t get the same detailed mechanic explanation that you did in book 1. The most unique aspect here continues to be the ability for players to have multiple classes they can swap in and out and level, though there are power penalties.
The MC still has his unique class that stops him from switching out classes, but potentially eliminates the multiclass penalties. The story loses a little of the big thing I liked in book 1, taking seemingly weak class and making it powerful through hard work and experimentation. Instead the MCs new class feels more standard and predictably powerful.
I warn that the end has a bit of a cliffhanger and while it was genuinely surprising, it does feel like the setup for it was a little rushed.
Overall, I liked book 1 a bit more than this one. But it should be an entertaining read for anyone that liked the 1st book. Characters are interesting, the banter between group members is still a highlight, and there’s decent to good action.
Score: 7.1 out of 10
Blood Eye (Land of Dreams Book 1)
Life has been hard for John. Now he’s facing eviction and the loss of his precious freedom. If he can’t turn things around, he’ll be one of the have-nots living in the brutal Benefits Towers.
A friend gives him the opportunity to enter the fantastic Land of Dreams, a state of the art DreamStateVR game, and he jumps at the opportunity.
However, the idyllic village of Brunewood seems cursed. Innocent young girls are disappearing and the ill-fated conjunction of the three moons approaches—the Blood Eye. Dark magic will be unleashed, can John and his friends save the villagers from a horrible fate?
Blood Eye is a LitRPG/Gamelit novel. There’s no harems in this book, and no sex.
My Opinion: 224 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Full disclosure: I received an advanced copy for review. I purchased a copy of the novel when it became available.
This is the author’s first published book and in many places you can tell. Reading it from beginning to end you can almost see the author finding their groove and becoming more comfortable creating their story. Unfortunately, what this means in a practical sense is that the beginning of the story is kind of rough.
The game mechanics in the story are pretty basic, though they get a bit of upgrade towards the 2nd half of the story. The game mechanics consist of a character sheet with three stats: Body, Mind, Spirit and places for skills or spells. Very simple. Progression is shown consistently throughout the novel with the MC getting XP, character, skill and magic levels. However, even though all those numbers go up, there’s less of a feeling that the main character is impacted by those gains. That’s mostly due to the lack of quantifiable connections to combat from the stats or skills since there are no damage notifications, levels for monsters, health pools, stamina pool, or mana pools. So there are no numeric points of reference.
The economics of the world also feels like a bit of a stretch. The reason the MC plays the game is to make money. In the game game currency can be traded in for real world money, and visa versa. The game is described as having a flood of rich people trying to buy their way to power in which case you’d think there would be severe inflation, reducing the worth of in game currency. But that’s not the case. As a starter character, the MC gets quests that net him tens of silver each, which is worth an in game value of about 100 meals (the MC pays a handful of coppers for his meals) or an exchange of 1 silver for 1 dollar. By the time he’s level 4 though, he’s getting quests worth gold, which equals hundreds of dollars. It just felt like a little bit of a stretch that a game company would give out those rich rewards to beginners. It kind of means that higher level players would be earning thousands and hundred of thousands of dollars per quest.
On the story side, I actually liked the real world development and the description of the increasingly automated world that pushes the MC into trying to make a living playing the game. It wasn’t the best motivation, and you can tell as the story continues that even the author thought so because they added more motivation with additional real world problems.
In-game, there is a larger plotline that’s fleshed out and resolved by the end of the novel, but most of the story ( like 65% of it) is just dungeon dives. They aren’t bad but there's a distinct lack of world building and character development until after the 50% mark that makes the first half drag a little. But after the 50% mark, things markedly improve. In particular, I really liked the in-game cutscene overlay with a certain king, prince, and god influences. I thought it was a great way to add backstory and world build without making the MC leave the game or watch a movie. It added some much needed depth to the game world. Additionally, after the 50% mark, combat descriptions improve a lot too.
There is a last minute cliffhanger I thought was annoying but it is meant to hook you into getting the next book, which is apparently already written and just needs some editing and polishing.
Overall, I liked the last half of the novel. There’s a noticeable improvement in the writing, world building, combat description, and even some added game mechanics. But the first half is going to be hard to get through for some people and in several place I thought it was boring. So I’ll split the difference between a 7 for the last half and a 5 for the first half and give the novel a 6. Though I do plan to read the next book and have high hopes for the series.
Score: 6 out of 10
The Halfling Cleric: A LitRPG Adventure
When firefighter, Rob Saunders, is called to the scene of a raging fire and the floor beneath him collapses, he’s severely injured and rushed to the nearest hospital.
Luckily, the doctors manage to stabilize and ultimately save him. And so begins his slow rehabilitation. But with third-degree burns all over his body, Rob is in constant pain. He has trouble even functioning because of his injuries. That’s when he’s offered a spot in an experimental program that aims to provide relief through immersion in a VRMMORPG.
Rob accepts the proposal and discovers a wonderful world where not only he can find a new purpose in his life but also feel at peace.
However, not all patients using this technology share the same laudable goals. As Rob will quickly realize, the testing is also opened to people from other units…. Units where the disorder that is under treatment is of a psychiatric nature. Soon, Rob—as his in-game avatar Tolsar—will have to deal with griefers set on hurting others and destroying that amazing world.
My Opinion: 272 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
The entire story is one info dump after another. Everything from backstory, to family issues, to character creation info and game mechanics is just told to the reader or paragraphs of description with the main character doing little to nothing. There are some fights, but they are bland. It was so hard to get through the entire story. There are a few good moments but they’re rare and not only was I bored most of the story I was actively annoyed by the sheer amount of info dumps.
Score: 4 out of 10
House Rules: a LitRPG novel (Metagamer Chronicles Book 2)
Games were made to be broken.
Gary Burns has been kidnapped, thrown in a dungeon, and tortured for information. Worst of all, he’s been separated from his friends, so no one even knows where to look for him. Cut off from his support network, Gary uses the only tools at his disposal: a silver tongue and an insider’s knowledge of the game world that’s second to none.
With a makeshift party of former foes, Gary must not only escape his captor but plan for payback. Because nothing passes the time in a dank, lightless prison cell like plotting revenge. And when your adversary is a centuries-old lich with the might of an army at his disposal, death is a starting point, not a victory.
My Opinion: 234 pages, $4.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited
The story starts off following up the cliff hanger from book 1, with the main character (MC) kidnapped and imprisoned by someone seeking information about the nature of this game world. The MC, being a weak squishy bard, has to really think (and charisma check) his way out of the problem. It gets kind of meta but it’s a very smart story. The dialogue, and banter, and humor improves since someone else gets to be from our world too.
Game mechanic-wise, it’s the same as book 1. Standard stats, XP, levels, etc. No health or mana info. Nice weighty feeling dice rolls and formulas showing how the math works out with the rolls.
Overall, good stuff. I like book 2 more than book 1 and I think adding a 2nd character from our world who is aware of the game stuff was a great choice.
Score: 7.5 out of 10
That’s it everyone!
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