LitRPG Podcast 171 -  The Azure Dragon, Rise of the Crimson Order, The Phoenix of Altria, Executioner: Reign of Blood, Sentenced to Troll 2, Monster [LitRPG series: The Beetle]

 

LitRPG Podcast 171 -  The Azure Dragon, Rise of the Crimson Order, The Phoenix of Altria, Executioner: Reign of Blood, Sentenced to Troll 2, Monster [LitRPG series: The Beetle]


May 17th, 2019

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 171 of the LitRPG podcast.

I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews.  I have 6 new reviews just for you.

New Releases and Reviews:

The Azure Dragon: A Heroic Fantasy Saga (The Artar Chronicles Book 3)

Starts to lose the best parts of the story for me.

Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2FOVFKZ


Rise of the Crimson Order: A Crematoria Online LitRPG Novel

Mash of a lot of things, but the fantasy MMO detective thing felt forced to me.

Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2DZir2F


The Phoenix of Altria: Digital Sorcery Book 2 (A LitRPG Series)

Better opening section, but same adult humor.

Score: 7.5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2JxdDoZ


Executioner: Reign of Blood: A LitRPG Novel (Chasms of Corruption Book 2)

A decent read, but a few issues make it hard to reconnect with the story.

Score: 7.1 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2DYyOwo

Sentenced to Troll 2

Same likable MC, but less monster culture. Mostly a setup story.

Score: 7.2 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2LIyBE0


Monster [LitRPG series: The Beetle]

Monster MC. Interesting evolution system, but turns into slice of life adventure.

Score: 7.5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2UfjCVQ


(Play Music 2)

LitRPG News

S.L. Rowland has put book 1 in his Sentenced to Troll series on sale for $0.99 to help promote the release of book 2.

https://amzn.to/2EcPr7I

The author of The God’s Game series, Rohan M. Vider, was nice enough to send the podcast a message about a sale he’s having on book 1 in his series to get people ready for book 2.

Crota, Book 1 of The Gods’ Game, will be on sale on amazon.com from 14th May to 21st May 2019, at https://amzn.to/2VAhpF3

The Labyrinth, Book 2, will be released on 22 May 2019: https://amzn.to/2Q4Dndp

Regards

Rohan


Audible recently changed how they organize and give away promotional audiobook codes which has incentivized a big group of LitRPG and GameLit authors to put together a massive audiobook giveaway contest, organized by Richard Hummel. The group’s intent is to promote their pages: Facebook, Twitter, Newsletters, Websites, etc. while giving people a chance to win 38 audiobooks. There will be a total of 10 winners who each win ALL the audiobooks, 5 in the US, and 5 in the UK.

To enter, just follow the directions on the particular Facebook page or website linked below. But basically, you get entries for liking, following, or signing up for newsletters of the authors that have donated the audiobooks. There are like 51 ways to enter the contest.

https://www.facebook.com/gamelitpromo/app/152351391599356/

https://gleam.io/LWsPp/massive-gamelitlitrpg-audiobook-giveaway-contest


Author M.A. Carlson and narrator Anneliese Rennie were guests on the Anchor podcast talking about World Tree Online: The Curse of Hurlig Ridge 1st Drive. They talk about what gamelit is and what it’s like to narrate it. Go check it out.

https://anchor.fm/matthew-whiteside/episodes/Narrator-Anneliese-and-Author-Marc-Carlson-of-The-World-Tree-Online-The-Curse-of-Hurlig-Ridge--1st-Dive-e412cb


Out Now!

Story Hunters: Corrupted: A LitRPG Adventure

https://amzn.to/2YyeY39

Elven Accord (Apocalypse Gates Author's Cut Book 4)

https://amzn.to/2YBZUBv

Heavy Armor: An Epic Fantasy LitRPG (Killstreak Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2HlRPLf

Manifest (The Fairy's Tale Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2YxqjjD

Code Hero (Champion is Playing Book #2) LitRPG Series

https://amzn.to/2W4nHfH



New LitRPG Audiobooks

Heir Today, Pawn Tomorrow: A LitRPG/GameLit Novel: The Good Guys Series, Book 2

https://amzn.to/2W4gGvn

Awaken Online: Dominion

https://amzn.to/2Q5Ip9w

Survivors - Dark Elf Chronicles, Book 2

https://amzn.to/2VuTGkW

Dan the Destroyer - A Gamelit Harem Fantasy Adventure (Gold Girls and Glory, Book 3)

https://amzn.to/2Hnjf3u

Viridian Gate Online: Firebrand: A litRPG Adventure - The Firebrand Series, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2JHqdlv

Killing Time: A Novel of the Realms - A Humorously Epic LitRPG Adventure

https://amzn.to/2Q8uRtL


Upcoming LitRPG:

Guardians Of The Round Table 5: Crystal Mine (May 18th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2HJ2Asx

Web of Worlds (Reality Benders Book #4): LitRPG Series (May 20th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2THqfLH

Scurfifer (Alfarome. Book 2) LitRPG Series (May 21st, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2UM4ApZ

The Labyrinth (The Gods' Game, Volume II): A LitRPG novel (May 22nd, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2vRByap

Dungeon Eternium (The Divine Dungeon Book 5) (May 31st, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2LMeTas

Realm of Noria [LitRPG series. Book 2. The Life] (June 1st, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2J0VIrV

Kingdom Come: A LitRPG Dragonrider Adventure (The Archemi Online Chronicles Book 3) (June 1st, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2Gh2kxA

Stars Awoken: A LitRPG Apocalypse (The System Apocalypse Book 7) (June 1st, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2H7aYR0

Apostle of the Sleeping Gods (Disgardium Book #2): LitRPG Series (June 10th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2HQ9219

Troll Nation (The Rogue Dungeon Book 3)  (June 11th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2HoqvfG

Home, Siege Home: A LitRPG/GameLit Novel (The Good Guys Book 6) (June 13th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2VlZqy1

Code Hero (Champion is Playing Book #2) LitRPG Series

(June 15th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2G2nDUU

City of Freedom (Adam Online Book #2) LitRPG Series (June 20th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2G1fvDW

Djinn Tamer: Evolution: A Monster Battling GameLit Adventure (Djinn Tamer - Bronze League Book 3) (June 20th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2TTcMQY

Shyft - Book 2 - Stealthcaster: (A LitRPG Adventure) (June 25th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2Ic5iHq

The Time Master (Interworld Network Book I): LitRPG Series (July 18th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2GEOaYw

Cannibal. Demon of the Mind. A Post-Apocalyptic Survival LitRPG Series (July 23rd, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2vXMWBM

Hero GO! (Champion is Playing Book #3) LitRPG Series (Aug. 5th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2Q8tqf5


Onto New Releases and Reviews


(Play Music 3)

New Releases and Reviews

(Picture 1)

The Azure Dragon: A Heroic Fantasy Saga (The Artar Chronicles Book 3)

He woke up at a strange unfamiliar place. Bound.

The Steel Hounds is a clan, filled with the most unique people in the fantasy world of Artar. And Mongoose’s squad is not the only one in it. A real-life mercenary is a leader of it’s most resultative and savage brunch, and now Mongoose’s life is in his hands.


He has to resolve a feud between two old and powerful irreconcilable enemies in his clan with a looming internecine war of NPC's on the background.


Being caught between Scylla and Charybdis, his personal goals are not set aside and he is still mastering his skills as a battle monk. Circumstances have developed fortunately and exactly in the location with their current mission there is the Azure Dragon, the great altar of the elements of the Tree.


My Opinion: 312 pages, $5.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited


This one lost me a little. Mostly because of the lackluster RPG progression when it comes to the monk class. There’s still lots of good action and adventure, with IRL storylines taking some interesting twists. But some of the things I’d come to like about the series are just diminished. The group dynamics of the Steel Hounds is weakened and there’s a weird forced suspicion thing happening in the group.


Also, the monk storyline mimics book 2 with the main character (MC) focused on completing quests to get mastery of an element. Only this time there is less training or exploration of the new element, the monk powers, and the limited RPG aspect there. This feels like a big loss since I’ve been reading the series mostly because of how much I like the monk class.


Overall, the story loses me this time. It minimizes the stuff I love about LitRPG, the RPG progression and monk class details. If you’ve like the action and adventure aspects of the series, the novel still might work for you.


Score: 6 out of 10

The Azure Dragon: A Heroic Fantasy Saga (The Artar Chronicles Book 3)

https://amzn.to/2FOVFKZ



Rise of the Crimson Order: A Crematoria Online LitRPG Novel

Crematoria Online: A new dark fantasy LitRPG series from Matthew J. Barbeler! For fans of Diablo, Bloodborne, and The Elder Scrolls.


Once you log in, you don't log out.


Crematoria Online is the world's first alternate reality game. Players transfer their consciousness into the game world, and 10,000 souls were chosen as the first wave of Crematorians. Once they log in, they find themselves trapped in this gothic horror fantasy world.


Uncover the Secrets of Crematoria


Lucas Hutchins chooses to play as an Investigator, which gives him the ability to find clues to solve cases. But Crematoria is a world where everyone has a skeleton in their closet, and secrets are buried deep. Armed with his sword and flintlock pistol, Lucas must defend himself against those who would kill to keep the truth hidden.


Two Souls. One Destiny.


Lucas teams up with Ellie, a heavy armor-wearing Enforcer for the Eldin Judiciary. She is judge, jury and executioner, all rolled into one. Together, they seek truth and justice, but at what cost?


The Crimson Order rises.


The Crimson Queen is building an army. Citizens from the length and breadth of Crematoria are disappearing, and a mysterious symbol is being left in their wake. The sigil of the Crimson Order.


Lucas and Ellie must fight or die to save a world that is holding them both hostage.


If Crematoria burns, so will they.


A note for readers: Even though the author of this novel is Australian, this work has been written using American spelling and conventions.


My Opinion: 375 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


The story didn’t work for me. It tries to be too many things at once and only meshes a few well.


The story tries to combine LitRPG with detective mechanics. It’s set in a VRMMO, but then kind of switches to a transported to a game world vibe when talking to NPCs. It mashes in a ‘trapped in the game’, ‘die in the game die IRL’, aspect for no real reason, then it is all mixed with this cyberpunk end. The action is ok, but switches between ‘realism’ where landing skilled shots or blows to vital organs means an insta-kill, but the main character (MC) is still magically good with a flintlock gun and sword.


The game mechanics are fairly normal with the most unique being the ones added for the detective elements. While they’re well thought out and match elements from detective games, they kinda ruin the detective part of the story for me. It ends up feeling like all the clues and connections are provided by the game and the MC is lead by the nose to them. It feels like he doesn’t earn the progress on his cases because the game points out everything.


Overall, the story just didn’t work for me and I never really cared about the MC. Many elements didn’t mesh well and both the detective and action elements felt forced.


Score: 6 out of 10

Rise of the Crimson Order: A Crematoria Online LitRPG Novel

https://amzn.to/2DZir2F


The Phoenix of Altria: Digital Sorcery Book 2 (A LitRPG Series)

Witness the rise of a phoenix, or at least the world’s worst gamer, learning to make use of his stat page.


The Altrian town of Roselake suffers from a vanishing villager problem that has gone largely ignored. But now that the guards are going missing and all forms of communication from within the game are blocked, it's time for the Governess to intervene. She'd prefer with someone she won't miss.


Caught illegally crossing the border, Ryland and Co have been "politely ordered" to investigate. However, with this ragtag group of misfits involved, nothing can go smoothly. Eldertits threatens to blow their cover, and half the town along with it; Rondo is desperate to foster a relationship with the clergy, despite being past puberty; Elaria must resist shoving something hard and pointy into everyone's favorite elf; and Ryland faces his greatest challenge yet: achieving a basic level of competence.


Will they succeed? Probably not.


Find out in the latest installment of the Digital Sorcery Series: The Phoenix of Altria.


This book is rated M for Mature. It contains adult humor that may not be suitable for minors or those who are easily offended.


My Opinion: 290 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


This is an improvement over book 1. It gets right to the good stuff, the adult humor that will either make you snort in delight or offend you. There’s still RPG progression, good action and adventure, but the specific humor here is still the big draw. If you’re ok with sex jokes, cursing, potty humor then you might like this one.


I appreciated the faster beginning and the small moments that revealed slightly deeper backstory for the characters.


Score: 7.5 out of 10

The Phoenix of Altria: Digital Sorcery Book 2 (A LitRPG Series)

https://amzn.to/2JxdDoZ


Executioner: Reign of Blood: A LitRPG Novel (Chasms of Corruption Book 2)

Warning!

This description contains spoilers for Warlock: Reign of Blood.


Mark isn’t the only player in Reign of Blood. Arix the Damned has been torn from his real life as a celebrity gamer and enslaved by a reiver Inquisitor.


His agile, axe-wielding Executioner class fits him like a gauntlet, but Arix is helpless to escape the Inquisitor’s collar as she forces him to explore The Barrens in search of three sacrificial altars with apocalyptic powers.


All that changes when his flight from a boss fight puts him in the path of Mark, Vari, Braemar and Citadel. But while the Warlock strives to complete the Chasms of Corruption quest and protect Garland from Inquisitor Karina’s cataclysmic designs, the Executioner has other plans.


Arix just wants to go home. Capturing Karina is the key to that. And though Mark seems determined to live and die in the fantasy land of Reign of Blood, Arix wants him to wake up from his digital delusion. He’s going to make Mark face reality whether the Warlock likes it or not.


If you love…


Visceral combat

Lovecraftian monsters

‘Indiana Jones’ style artifact hunting

Epic loot!

A fresh batch of original spells


...then Executioner: Reign of Blood is for you!


Executioner is Book 2 in the Chasms of Corruption duology. Although more books are planned for the Reign of Blood world, Executioner marks the end of this particular arc.


My Opinion: 330 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


The novel on the whole is enjoyable, though I liked it less than book 1. The story has good character interactions, a separate villain narrative, action, adventure, and RPG progression that you may have liked. However there were a couple of things that just made it less enjoyable than book 1.


1) No recap at the beginning made it hard to remember who everyone was and why I should care about them. This was especially the case with a death in the story. I know it was supposed to be sad but I didn't remember enough about the character for it to have the desired impact. 2) The new character is very hard to like in any way and his arc does not end satisfyingly, especially considering what he does in the story. 3) The ending in general just wasn’t satisfying. The bad guys, while a very dark and bad people, didn’t get the ending that was equal to all the bad stuff and betrayals that occurred. I get that the ending is meant to wrap up this major arc so that the next can start, but it felt forced.


Still, overall it’s a good story. While it took a little while to reconnect with the story and I honestly never remembered some things, eventually the well written characters and general adventuring were enough to keep things entertaining and the RPG progress was detailed enough to keep my interest, if barely.


Score: 7.1 out of 10

Executioner: Reign of Blood: A LitRPG Novel (Chasms of Corruption Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2DYyOwo



Sentenced to Troll 2

Big, blue, and ugly. Who says a troll can’t be the hero?


Chad’s thirty-day sentence may be over, but his trolling has just begun. Forsaking his old ways, he fully embraces a future as Chod, the hero of the forest trolls.


But life in Isle of Mythos isn’t easy for the barbarian summoner. Chod has angered more than one felon on his quest to save his people from extinction, and they’ve sworn vengeance. With a target on his back, Chod is about to find out how difficult the world can be for a hero that looks like a monster.


My Opinion: 290 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


Still have the same characters, but less focus on the troll society aspect that was introduced in book 1. Instead, you get more of a slice of life exploring action adventure story with the main character and his newly introduced friend who is paying as a dwarven druid. You get peeks at other cultures, mountain trolls, and the dwarves, but nothing as focused as book 1. Still good, just more slice of life and setup for the next book.


Score: 7.2 out of 10

Sentenced to Troll 2

https://amzn.to/2LIyBE0


Monster [LitRPG series: The Beetle]

Looking for something new? Here is a new litRPG series with an unusual MC.

The main character is a Virtual Game developer, who forces his way into the game. His character is a beetle who has lost his memory and doesn't consider himself a monster.

He begins to upgrade his skills and get different achievements. He's trying to get to the truth as he pieces together shards of his memories, which he can't completely trust. As his intelligence grows, his memories are coming back.

The realm he falls into is an underground world, which consists of ten levels, with different caves, tunnels, and monsters.


The dungeons are full of hostile beetles of different types, forms, and sizes. There are a clear hierarchy and division between them. At the same time, two endless wars are going on: one between monsters' clans, and the other between monsters and humans.


My Opinion: 459 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


A Re: Monster kind of story where the main character (MC) is a monster that can absorb attributes from other monsters, evolve his body and mind by spending XP, and level. The early part of the story mostly focuses on that, with the MC exploring his world as a new born monster and learning the rules. Then it expands beyond this monster starter zone into the larger world with human players of various classes. It’s all pretty slice of life, but it’s neat to see what evolutions the MC makes and how his view of the world is shaped by being a monster. Not an overly complex story but entertaining.

Score: 7.5 out of 10

Monster [LitRPG series: The Beetle]

https://amzn.to/2UfjCVQ

That’s it everyone!

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Thanks for hanging out with me today. Until we can hangout again, remember to go read some LitRPG!  

(Music 4)

Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/