LitRPG Podcast 149
LitRPG Podcast 149 - Year in Review
Dec. 28th, 2018
I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews. I have 4 new reviews just for you.
New Releases and Reviews:
Brings those MMO Winter/Christmas events to story form
Score: 6 out of 10
Small Medium: Big Trouble (18:46)
Slow starts, but good story set in Threadbare Universe
Score: 7.4 out of 10
No wonder everyone likes this one
Score: 7.8 out of 10
Refuge (Land of Dreams Book 3) (30:34)
Mostly setup for book 4, but good adventure still
Score: 7.2 out of 10
(Play Music 2)
Luke Chmilenko, author of Ascend Online, released new artwork for his series. This time of the character Freya.
Year in Review
I want to wish everyone happy holidays, New Year's is coming up and I’m going to be including a list of the top most viewed episodes, significant LitRPG News, and the top rated LitRPG titles for the year.
The podcast has reviewed over 320 novels this year
The LitRPG Podcast has changed this year, we got this fancy new background
We also added a new LitRPG Audiobook Podcast to our site, hosted by the wonderful and entertaining Ray Johnson.
Most viewed LitRPG Podcast episode: Episode 097 - When we ran our first giveaway contest. Go figure.
Most 3 most viewed reviews on the LitRPG Podcast page this year:
Lions Quest: Duel Wield
Awaken Online: Precipice
Top 3 Searches on the LitRPG Podcast page:
Town Building, Female Protagonists, and Finished Series
The most viewed news article on the LitRPG Podcast website:
The article on Michael-Scott Earle getting suspended from Amazon and the condition of his relationship with Amazon. Including all the documented updates of the situation.
Most Significant LitRPG News:
MSE and J.A. Cipriano getting perma banned. Other LitRPG authors temporarily banned or warned for suspicious page reads.
Dakota Krout launching a publishing company - Mountaindale Press and published 4 books from the company this year.
Travis Bagwell launches https://bookbrawl.com/
Blaise Corvin launched http://gamelitrpg.com/
GameLit Society raising over $6K for St. Jude’s Children’s hospital
Dragon Con 2018 - Super fun and got to hang with many litRPG authors and readers
A LitRPG novel was featured on The View - Threadbare
New LitRPG Audiobooks
World's Unbound: An Apocalyptic LitRPG (System Apocalypse Book 6) (Jan. 1st, 2019)
(Jan. 1st, 2018)
Gathering Strength (Character Development Book 2) (Jan. 1st, 2019)
Level Up: The Knockout (Book #1) LitRPG Series (Jan. 9th, 2019)
*A side story set in the same Level Up universe, different MC*
Dungeon Wars (Jan. 11th, 2019)
Bitter: Book Five (Jan. 14th, 2019)
The Steel Hounds (The Artar Chronicles Book 1) (Jan. 19th, 2019)
Volper (Alfarome. Book 1) LitRPG Series (Jan. 23rd, 2019)
Neverfall: Catacombs (Book 2): A Gamelit Lit RPG Series (Jan. 29th, 2019)
Four: The Loot: A LitRPG/Gamelit Adventure (The Good Guys Book 4) (Feb. 14th, 2019)
The Final Trial (Level Up Book #3) LitRPG Series (March 25th, 2019)
Onto New Releases and Reviews
(Play Music 3)
New Releases and Reviews
Freehaven Online: Winter Dungeonland (Book 3)
Great Uncle Winter has a dark secret—milk and cookies. He doesn't just like them, he needs them to maintain his essential goodness. When an abominable snow rat infestation devours his entire stash in the North Pole he starts to turn evil, and Justine's guild must reunite a lost tribe of elves that abandoned the North Pole centuries ago to bring the big man in red the greatest cookies in all the land.
Problem is, the lost tribe doesn't want to be found, and monsters turn up around every corner. They'll battle frost wyrms, frozen rat fiends, and other terrors of the cold in the name of protecting Winter Festival cheer.
Now that the quest to unlock the elusive logout button has been revealed, Justine needs to assemble a team of adventurers to travel to the North Pole before the winter celebration. What they find there could change the holidays in Freehaven Online forever. An end to their imprisonment in virtual reality is at stake, and the only way their holiday wishes of returning to the real world will come true is if they can save a virtual Santa.
My Opinion: 500 pages, $5.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
If you liked the holiday themed adventure modules for your fantasy MMOs, then you’ll enjoy this story. Cause it really does a good job of carrying over that vibe. There’s not a ton of main storyline advancement. Instead, it’s a bunch of special quests and newly opened holiday themed locations for the characters you like from the series to explore. The quests are cute, and there’s lots of gear for the characters that are Christmas and Thanksgiving themed.
However, for me, the story didn’t work. And that’s not because the story was poorly written or anything. It has good action and adventure, nice reliable banter, and there are some good funny moments. I actually did like the take the author did with Santa. For me, I just never liked those temporary holiday quests in my MMOs. They always annoyed me.
However, if you want a LitRPG story that feels really festive, or you loved those holiday quests in MMO’s, I think you will enjoy this one a lot more than me.
Score: 6 out of 10
Small Medium: Big Trouble
Chase Berrymore dreams of adventure, excitement, and getting the heck out of her pastoral halven village. But when adventure finds her, she'll be scrambling to save her family and friends from a necromancer's wrath. Outmatched in almost every way, she'll have to use her wits, charisma, and a bit of divine favor to figure out the path to victory.
Even worse, she'll have to figure out ways to deal with the weird and nigh-immortal beings that call themselves "playas..." And she'll have to do it with the most powerful she has available: words.
Violence is not her forte, but cunning, deception, and careful negotiation with unstable and self-centered sociopaths might just win the day, and save herself and her family from this horrible situation which she is absolutely not to blame for in the slightest.
A LitRPG romp from an NPC's point of view!
My Opinion: 295 pages, $4.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited
A very entertaining LitRPG story set in the Threadbare Universe about a havlen (aka halfling/hobbit) girl who yearns for adventure when the rest of her town is content with a boring, slow paced life. Only, when she gets what she wishes for, things get complicated fast. There is good world building, action, and adventure.
Relating to the Threadbare series, if you’ve read that I think you’ll enjoy this story too. It just may take a little while. The story starts off a bit slow and doesn’t grab you right away like Threadbare does but the beginning section does do a good job of world building, RPGing the Havelen race, and developing background and motivation for the main character (MC). However, by the 16% mark the story really picks up and gets much more interesting and develops into something very entertaining. Additionally, there are also cross over story elements between the two series, though I’ll be upfront and say Threadbare does not show up in this story.
Game mechanic wise, this story shares the same RPG mechanics that Threadbare does including the very flexible job system. It does a consistent job of carrying over those game elements and making them part of the world culture.
Overall, I had a pretty good time with the novel once it got past the setup phase. The job system is great and allows for some really neat combo skills and multiclassing. The story also introduces some very cool story elements for the universe that have great storytelling potential.
Score: 7.4 out of 10
Blackthorne: A Beautiful Nightmare
A young man with a dark past has come to be filled with self-loathing. Scott Logan spends his days pretending to be a joyful person to mask his soul-crushing loneliness. Intimate human relations seem an impossibility to him, until one day the inexplicable happens. The entire world fell asleep at the same time. The Earth was set to be upgraded by those who supposedly ruled over it, and from that moment on The Dream was born.
Join Scott Logan on his journey into another world linked with his own, one where onions walk on two feet and force people to cry for them... and into a reality where the truth of his very soul is revealed.
This story is one of the more important tales in the Project Scott multi-verse. It is here that people eventually come to understand just why 'Scott' in any iteration seems to constantly be involved in weird shenanigans and draws in the attention of lonely people in need of cuddles and the occasional baked goods.
My Opinion: 516 pages, $5.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited
This is a collection and reworking of the author’s online serial of the same name. Even though I’d read the online version years ago and am happy to read this though. There’s a lot of added content, including: Fleshed out game mechanics, better real world storyline, really good character developments, banter, and that great trademark Scottie Futch humor.
Though the story has a bit of a slow start, once you get past the 15% mark, the story gets really good with interesting developments in both the real world and the dream game world. The story is essentially a noob story, where the whole world suddenly has access to this dream game world they go to when they sleep and they can level, gain RPG powers, fight monsters, and craft. The main character (MC), Scott/Blackthorne, wants to use this chance to become more powerful before the official system is applied to earth too. So, you follow him as he balances his real life retail job and his dream gaming life. It’s all very slice of life but still very interesting, even the real life storylines.
On the game mechanics, things are pretty consistent, save the few places the game rules ‘update’ and change slightly. Fairly normal stats, levels, HP, and stuff. There is a mechanic of prioritized skills that make choosing slots a strategic choice. Crafting is a good part of the story and is handled well. I only wish I had the Synergy skill IRL.
I should warn that there are minor harem elements, mostly in that there are several women that have a romantic interest in the MC eventually. There are also lots of sex jokes, innuendos, sex references, and loads of flirting. However, there is NO SEX in the story. Also, the storyline does get dark in several places, including a couple characters having experienced rape or their family experiencing it. It’s not something that is shown, but is more backstory motivation stuff. But it does get dark sometimes.
Overall, this is a really good story that I was genuinely sad to see end.
Score: 7.8 out of 10
Refuge (Land of Dreams Book 3)
Refuge is no longer safe. The Valda were led there centuries ago by their goddess, Valdis, and now she has gone silent.
After their failure on the Island of Ascension, John and his friends must travel overland to Darkgard and down into the Under to reach Refuge.
Pursued by vengeful players, ancient vampires and suspicious elves, the journey will be anything but pleasant.
They must succeed, for if they don’t Valdis will fall and their friends, the Valda, will be doomed.
My Opinion: 380 pg, $3.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited
There’s a nice recapp if it’s been a while since you read the last book that catches you up. After that the story focuses on setting up all the pieces to helping the Valdis. There’s still good adventures, questing, world building, and even a bit of magical enchanting, but the story is mostly setup for the big quest in the next book. Enjoyable if you’ve liked the earlier stories.
Score: 7.2 out of 10
That’s it everyone!
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