LitRPG Podcast 195- God of Gnomes, Sun God's Game, Dungeon Maker, Drafted: Proxy War, Evolve: The Scourge Wars Book 1, Ian’s Picks of the Week


LitRPG Podcast 195- God of Gnomes, Sun God's Game, Dungeon Maker, Drafted: Proxy War, Evolve: The Scourge Wars Book 1, Ian’s Picks of the Week

Oct. 10th, 2019

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 195 of the LitRPG podcast.

I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews.  I have 5 new reviews just for you.

New Releases and Reviews:

God of Gnomes (God Core #1) - A Dungeon Core LitRPG  (07:56)

Dungeon Core story with God Game mechanics

Score: 7.5 out of 10 

Sun God's Game (GameLit/LitRPG): Level One: Euryale's Maze (The Wildlings of Belangmore (GameLit/LitRPG)) Book 1) (11:33)

Not LitRPG

Score: 4 out of 10 

Dungeon Maker (14:42)

A decent read but don’t see myself reading book 2

Score: 7.2 out of 10  

Drafted: Proxy War: A Sci-Fi LitRPG Adventure (19:39)

Good start but misses on the whole

Score: 6 out of 10 

Evolve: The Scourge Wars Book 1  (27:12)

From Re: Monster to Kingdom Building

Score: 7.3 out of 10 

Ian’s Picks of the Week (32:14)

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New Segment from Ian Mitchell a long time LitRPG community member who reads and reviews as much as me. He was nice enough to agree to join the LitRPG Podcast family as a new reviewer.

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The Crafter's Defense: A Dungeon Core Novel (Dungeon Crafting Book 2)

Great read (like all of his dungeon core books)

8.2 out of 10 stars 

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The Heroic Villain 2

Really takes it up a notch.

9.0 out of 10 stars 

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Dark Wizard's Case

Light LitRPG, Kid Dresden

8.5  out of 10 

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LitRPG News

Magic Dome Books, publishers of many of your favorite Russian LitRPG titles, did an author interview with Michael R. Miller the author of Battle Spire.

Mountaindale Press did a Facebook Live! interview with some of their authors to celebrate their one year anniversary as a publishing company. They talk about why they chose to go with an indie publisher instead of self-publishing, favorite parts of working with Mountaindale Press, what it was like meeting fans at DragonCon, and more. Go give it a listen/watch. 

Out Now!

Seran's Reach: A Fantasy LitRPG (Enora Online Book 5) 

Zones of Alacria: The Dragon Hunters: NOVELLA SIDE QUEST (The Experimental Alchemist) 

Steel Orc: Player Reborn 2 (A LitRPG and Gamelit Adventure) 

The Wandering Inn: Volume 2 

Earth Force 2 (Relict Legacy) 

CivCEO: A 4x Lit Series (The Accidental Champion Book 1) 

New LitRPG Audiobooks

Irrelevant Jack 

Dungeons of the Crooked Mountains: Underdog Series, Book 1 

The Azure Warden - A LitRPG Saga (Aether Gate Online, Book 3) 

Steel Orc: Player Reborn 

War God's Mantle: Underworld - The War God Saga, Book 3 

Level Up: One Up Series  Book 1 

Viridian Gate Online: Embers of Rebellion: A LitRPG Adventure (The Firebrand Series, Book 2) 

Upcoming LitRPG:

GalaxSec: A Sci-Fi LitRPG (Skeleton in Space Book 2) (Oct. 11th, 2019) 

Resurrection Quest 1: Greenways Goblins (Oct. 15th, 2019)

*New LitRPG series from Daniel Schinhofen*

Dungeon Dive: A LitRPG short story (Tales from the Gods' Game Book 1) (Oct. 16th, 2019) 

Second Story Man: A GameLit/LitRPG Adventure (The Bad Guys Book 2) (Oct. 17th, 2019) 

Universe ICS: Keymaster. LitRPG Series. Book 2 (Oct. 17th, 2019) 

RiftWorlds Online: Book 2 - Raiding Fantasy: a LitRPG Fantasy Adventure (Oct. 18st, 2019) 

Deadman's Retinue (An NPC's Path Book #3): LitRPG Series

(Oct. 21st, 2019) 

Sworn Guardian: A LitRPG/GameLit Adventure (Forbidden Magic Book 1)  (Oct. 22nd, 2019) 

A Jump into the Unknown (Reality Benders Book #5): LitRPG Series (Oct. 23rd, 2019) 

Mythian (Chronicles of Ethan Book 1) (Oct. 25th, 2019) 

Silver Peak: (Sky Realms Online Book 2): A LitRPG Series (Oct. 29th, 2019) 

Limitless Lands Book 4: Opposition (A LitRPG Adventure) (Oct. 30th, 2019) 

Varnoth: The Black Blade: Book Two (A LitRPG Story) (Oct. 31st, 2019) 

A Dark Path: Grimdark LitRPG (Forsaken Talents Book 1) (Nov. 1st, 2019) 

The Way of Deception (World of Karik, Book #2, Part 1): LitRPG Series (Nov. 4th, 201) 

Avatar of Light (Interworld Network Book #2): LitRPG Series

(Nov. 7th, 2019) 

The Last Time Loop, Book #1: LitRPG Series (Nov. 11th, 2019) 

Dragon Heart: Blood Will. LitRPG wuxia series: Book 3 (Nov. 22nd, 2019) 

Level Up: Update (The Knockout Book #2): LitRPG Series

(Dec. 9th. 2019) 

The Wastes (Underdog Book #2): LitRPG Series (Dec. 23rd, 2019) 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

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New Releases and Reviews

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God of Gnomes (God Core #1) - A Dungeon Core LitRPG 

What kind of god would you be?

Deep beneath the earth, Corey finds himself reborn as a God Core - a sentient crystal with unusual powers. His new worshipers? A colony of incompetent gnomes, scratching out an existence in their underground grotto.

If that wasn't bad enough, Corey soon realizes that his gnome denizens are about to become extinct. They are threatened by groups of blundering adventurers, and abducted by raiding kobolds to be sacrificed to their own dark god: an ancient, mysterious foe who does not take kindly to Corey's arrival.

With the aid of his helper sprite and a menagerie of newly evolved creatures, Corey must protect and guide his gnomes until they can stand on their own two feet. But the kobold army is on the march, led by his new rival's powerful avatar.

It's a hard rock life, being a God Core.

Inspired by the god sims such as Black & White, dungeon managers like Dungeon Keeper and civ builders like Age of Empires, God of Gnomes is the first in a new generation of LitRPG and Dungeon Core stories -- God Core.

My Opinion: 485 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

This is a LitRPG story that combines dungeon core mechanics with the town and community building from a god game like Black and White. It’s essentially about a reincarnated core that is not a dungeon but rather a god core who has the power to build up and advance a species of gnomes. Only it’s not as easy as just assigning everyone jobs and making buildings. There is another god core near, an evil one that looks to sacrifice the gnomes for his own power. 

The game mechanics in the story are pretty detailed with lots of descriptions of the god core powers: farseeing, the ability to create minions and evolve them, build buildings to create new job options or just to advance the culture, tech and magic trees, and more. 

Overall, this is a pretty good story that will appeal to town building and dungeon core fans. It cycles building, expansion, evolving creations, and then combat as humans or the other god core tries to invade the gnome territory. It is an entertaining cycle of action and community development.

Score: 7.5 out of 10

God of Gnomes (God Core #1) - A Dungeon Core LitRPG 

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Sun God's Game (GameLit/LitRPG): Level One: Euryale's Maze (The Wildlings of Belangmore (GameLit/LitRPG)) Book 1)

What would you risk for a new life?

Born a have-not into a divided Earth, Faydra Morrison does what she can to survive. However, living in a society plagued by Interface addiction and ruled by Ranger Corps means much more than scrounging for food for survival. As resources thin around the globe, the elites have turned to the colonization of Belangmore; a planet promised to be the salvation of mankind. However, passage on the galaxy freighter only comes after surviving the game, and the game is exclusive. Elites can play, have-nots are forbidden -- until now.

Desperate to travel to Belangmore, Faydra risks it all to lead a ragtag team of players into a world where the games are deadly, and nothing is as it seems. When the real world is falling apart, sometimes the only escape is a virtual one.

Will Faydra survive Euryale's Maze and level up as she plays the Sun God's Game? Or, will she lose everything in a game of life and death when the virtual becomes a reality?

Sun God's Game: Euryale's Maze Level One is in the first book in the Wildlings of Belangmore Series and is a GameLit/LitRPG novel.

It's time for you to join the game.

Get your copy of Sun God's Game: Euryale's Maze Level One today!

My Opinion: 115 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

Not actually a LitRPG story since there is no RPG progression. Not even sure it would qualify as GameLit. More of a story where the main character participates in a contest in VR as a ‘player’ but no game mechanics in the story. I think the worst part is that even if the story isn’t told poorly and is little more cyberpunk, there’s no real resolution to the contest with her team. Just a to be continued at the end.

Feels more like a write to market attempt where the author doesn’t know what LitRPG or GameLit is. 

Score: 4 out of 10

Sun God's Game (GameLit/LitRPG): Level One: Euryale's Maze (The Wildlings of Belangmore (GameLit/LitRPG)) Book 1) 

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Dungeon Maker

Ace Cross is not your typical NEET, although he has all the making of one and is recluse, he is still a very outdoor type of person. One day he is killed (by a truck no less even after dodging off the road) his soul was going to white light in the sky (the sun) but before he could arrive a magical circle appears and he is pulled in and given a second chance at life in a magical world under the most cliche trope of anime, as a summoned hero.

He isn't 'the' hero though, he got the most uncommon hero class and something that has been extinct in all the nations blocking the advance of the demon lord. That is the Dungeon Maker. As a very unusual class that makes not only death traps but proper dungeons with ecosystems, this is the life of humanities first dungeon maker in 1,000 years since the demon lord war began. This is not just a story of battling the demon lord but also of how our heroes making a new life force themselves as all of them died in their original worlds.

My Opinion: 281 pages, $3.00, Available on Kindle Unlimited

A fairly decent slice of life story that pokes fun at the transported to a fantasy world genre but at the same time does a fairly entertaining job of showing a neat new class for the summoned hero. The new class, Dungeon Maker, is a dungeon master that can build and store a dungeon in a special book and upgrade it with built traps, mana producing plants, and even puppet monsters. Instead of using the dungeon to lure in adventurers, like a dungeon core or dungeon master would, instead he uses the dungeon to lure in and kill monsters and other enemies. It’s a decent enough twist that it was entertaining to see how the class progresses. There are plenty of notifications, status screens, and class information to satisfy most readers that like interesting LitRPG builds. Combat, is a more mixed bag. The first instance of the dungeon being deployed against goblins was frankly tedious. It just described monsters running to traps and dying, hardly a tense action scene. Thankfully, after that most descriptions of the monsters in dungeons are summarized with resources distributed. Most of the story focuses on either the class progression, with the MC gradually learning more and more about his powers and developing them, or the parody drama from the demon lord, the royal family, or other trope story points. 

Overall, it’s a decent read. I like the places where the author made fun of the tropes of the summoned hero story and the dungeon maker class was interesting enough to keep me reading. The story wasn’t engaging enough though that I’d read a second book though. 

Score: 7.2 out of 10

Dungeon Maker  

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Drafted: Proxy War: A Sci-Fi LitRPG Adventure

When Peter finds himself on a strange planet, drafted into a war by alien abductors, his only goal is to be one of the few to survive the war and return home to Earth.

Peter is one of thousands who get abducted every year, as payment to the aliens. The aliens have given humans portal travel, healing serums, and other advanced alien technology. The quality of life has improved, but everything has a price.

Along with a group of strangers Peter is trained for war by going up against literal monsters. The troll-like aliens won’t give them modern weapons. Humans have to battle monsters with swords and shields, and that is just to get out of boot camp.

His only chance to survive is to use the alien device he is given. The device can increase his strength and speed to superhuman levels. It can even grant him powers that seem like magic. Complicating things is that the device's interface is written in an ever-changing alien language. He will have to figure out its secrets if he wants to keep himself and his team alive.

A Science Fantasy novel with LitRPG elements.

My Opinion: 269 pages, $2.99, Available On Kindle Unlimited

The very beginning of this story was nicely written and very engaging. I was drawn in by the almost concentration camp type tension as the humans were taken from their train, separated from their children and then forced to fight or die. I thought that the story would be grim and dark and full of the same kind of tension. Unfortunately, it’s not. 

Almost immediately after that very good beginning the story takes a more predictable military training camp turn. The main character (MC) and his group learn about why they were taken by aliens and how they will receive training in the alien tech that is used as the basis for the RPG mechanics and progression system. There are a few action scenes in the first half but they lack variety and sparse details about the progression system left me bored. It’s not badly written or anything, but it wasn’t interesting to me as a LitRPG reader. The second half of the story improves things and actually develops a plot, more varied combat, and a much more detailed RPG system. However, this section also has issues with unneeded forced antagonists, vaguely defined powers that are used as magic problem solvers, and several forced story points. Some readers won’t care about those points, but they did make the story less enjoyable for me.

On the game mechanic side, I mentioned that was mostly bored with the first half of the story because of the severe lack of RPG stuff, which doesn't really appear until after the 50% point. It's justified in the story because humans can't read alien language of status screens, then the MC gets around that. But after there are actual status screens with skill and power levels that can be upgraded with orbs looted from monsters killed on these alien planets. But the powers are intentionally poorly defined in what it costs to use them so that they can be shaped and used how the story needs them. Including a few places where the story makes up a power or skill in the moment to get the MC out of a situation. 

There are other places in the novel that felt forced too. A bit with the aliens. But especially the rivalry with Flynn. All their interactions felt forced to make that character an enemy for no real reason. There also wasn't really a payoff to that whole thing so it was extra frustrating.

Overall, the story isn't bad. But for over half the story combat was limited to one type of enemy and some training which wasn't that interesting for me. Only once it got to the upgradable powers did it improve for me but felt forced in several ways which made it less than enjoyable for me.

Readers that don't mind the forced aspects mentioned or who just like military training scenes more, may like this more than me.

Score: 6 out of 10

Drafted: Proxy War: A Sci-Fi LitRPG Adventure 

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Evolve: The Scourge Wars Book 1

Jonathan Slate, former Marine infantry officer and the Governor of Texas, has just won his bid for the presidency. When an assassin's bullet takes his life during his victory speech, he is conscripted from the afterlife by the Lord of Light, Lucidus.

Slate is thrust into the game-like world of Somnium where he has been reincarnated into the body of a parasite and given one mission: evolve or die.

If he can channel the monster inside and utilize his military and political experience to establish Lucidus' personal army, the Scourge, he might have a chance to evolve before his many enemies find him and send him to a permanent death.

My Opinion: 481 pages, $4.99, Available On Kindle Unlimited

The story starts out as a reincarnation as a monster that evolves story, a Re: Monster story, with the main character (MC) dropped on a planet at the behest of a goddess as a snake creature that has to learn how to use his RPG system to evolve and survive. 

It then shifts into something like Invasion of the Body Snatcher horror with some rather gory action, and finally after the mid point of the novel shifts one final time into city building and expansion with notes of the Zerg from Starcraft. 

There are well described RPG mechanics through out, though some of the later evolutions aren’t as interesting as those when the main character is just a snake like creature trying to survive the forest. Also, the city building aspects aren’t particularly detailed, but fans of Starcraft will see the nods to the Zerg. 

Overall, it’s an interesting story, but I was more intrigued by the first half of the story than the last half. The last half gets a bit too big with more importance placed on expanding the Scourge territory to neighboring cities. The action there felt a little more forced and the evolution aspects just didn’t seem as important. Not bad, just not as interesting as the first half. 

Score: 7.3 out of 10

Evolve: The Scourge Wars Book 1 

Ian’s Picks of the Week - New Segment

New Segment from Ian Mitchell a long time LitRPG community member who reads and reviews as much as I do. He was nice enough to agree to join the LitRPG Podcast family as a new reviewer and contributor.

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The Crafter's Defense: A Dungeon Core Novel (Dungeon Crafting Book 2)

I appreciated having a complete adventure. The pacing isn't too fast. I would like a little more about the core's personality. I had a good time reading this one.

8.2 out of 10 stars

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That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Truck That's Also a Death God - Book 1

So, Damon is now the supplier of heroes for the reincarnated in a game world stories. Lot of beautiful goddesses that want his attention. What could go wrong? Tune in next time to find out. It's a fast fun read.

7.7 out of 10 stars

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The Heroic Villain 2

I hope I'm not doing his other books a disservice. I think this is my favorite of Charles Dean's books so far. The pacing was great and it was interesting and varied from the very first page. Bravo on such a well executed book. Heroic Villain 3 is now on my read this first list. Oh and if you liked this, go check out Bathrobe Knight. That's fun too.

9.0 out of 10 stars 

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Dark Wizard's Case 

Great world building and a wonderful MC. Great big battles. Fun with necromancy. A bit of a mystery with a twist. Thoroughly enjoyable reading. I'd be willing to call it light LitRPG since there's a fair number of system notices (usually when he's casting a prohibited spell), they have a magic level and ranking system. There were some signs of progression, they can do a type of identify, they can get info on cast spells.

8.5  out of 10 

That’s it everyone!

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Music Credits

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