LitRPG Podcast 098

 

I’m Ramon Mejia, host of the LitRPG Podcast, I’m here today with Daniel Schinhofen, author of the Alpha World series, Apocalypse Gate series, and the Last Horizon novels. 
 
( Show Amazon Author Page)
 
We’re doing a live Q&A session celebrating Daniel hitting a goal on his author facebook page. 
 
So the two of us will be chatting and I’ll be asking him questions sent in from his readers as well as reading any comments or questions from the live audience.

**Be aware that the author may decline to answer a question if it’s going to spoil something or if he just doesn’t want to.**

Contact the Author

Blog: http://schinhofenbooks.blogspot.com/

Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/daniel.schinhofen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DJSchinhofen

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Daniel-Schinhofen/e/B01LXQWPZA/

Book Links:

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/DJSchinhofen

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15925577.Daniel_Schinhofen

Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.

You can follow us on

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/litrpgpodcast/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3-eBvpm-g7IkjfVktObGAA

Patreon:  https://www.patreon.com/geekbytespodcast

 

If you enjoy the podcast and want to support us you can also find all the other ways to support the podcast at www.litrpgpodcast.com/support  

 

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/

LitRPG Podcast 097

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 097

 

Feb. 23th, 2018

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 97 of the LitRPG podcast.

 

I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews. This week I have 4 new LitRPG reviews for you. Now, that might be the fewest reviews I’ve ever done but to be fair, one of those novels is over 2,200 pages long.

 

I’ll also have our first winners of the LitRPG Podcast Giveaway in LitRPG News.


 

New Releases and Reviews:

 

  1. Trolls Traps and Treachery: A LitRPG Thriller (Kings and Conquests Book 2) (10:00)

http://amzn.to/2EK1c7U

  1. The Trash Tier Dungeon  (10:58)

http://amzn.to/2ChV68S

  1. IMMORtAL_Kalika Episode 1 (LitRPG): The Speedrunner (Episodic Kalika) (16:00)

http://amzn.to/2Cl6LDy

  1. The Land: Predators: A LitRPG Saga (Chaos Seeds Book 7) (20:42)

http://amzn.to/2CEorKF

 

 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News


 

 

Big congrats to Aleron Kong, he finally released book 7 in the Chaos Seed series and it’s done wonderfully. It’s a been in the top 50 of all Amazon novels all week and #1 in multiple categories, and it has over 250 reviews. Congrats man!

 

 

Luke Luke Chmilenko, author of Ascend Online, released a gorgeous map of part of Lower Aurelia from Ascend Online. Thank you man for commissioning something special like this. I love it and I’m sure a lot of your other fans do too.

 

.


 

 

LitRPG Podcast is running a contest to celebrate 100 episodes

 

1st winners - James Roberts, James lee, Philip Holt; Each of them gets to choose between a free ebook or an Audible credit.

 

  • R.A. Mejia - Adventures on Terra, Project Alpha;

  • Apollos Thorne - Codename Freedom, Underworld: Level Up or Die;

  • Daniel Schinhofen - Alpha World, Apocalypse Gates, Last Horizon;

  • Dave Willmarth- The Greystone Chronicles


 

Ways to get a chance to win:

 

  1. Sign up for our LitRPG Podcast newsletter. http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-newsletter

  2. Like/follow our Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube pages

    1. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/litrpgpodcast/

    2. Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

    3. YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/c/GeekBytesPodcast  

  3. Send us an e-mail (litrpgpodcast@gmail.com ) or post on our Facebook/Twitter page with your favorite LitRPG Podcast story: maybe it’s a particular review, or a LitRPG news story, or anything else.

 

Each one of those things that you do will get you a chance to win our prizes. Which include:

  • Audible codes,

  • an ebook from me or another LitRPG author,

  • Signed Print editions of either Project Alpha, Adventures on Terra, or another LitRPG authors work.

  • Grand Prize: A $100 Amazon gift card which will be given out on episode 100 of the podcast.

 

I’ll be giving away prizes each week until episode 100.



 

Out Now!  

 

 

Into the Black (A Sci-Fi LitRPG Story): Book VIII: War Stories

http://amzn.to/2sMIxTp

 

 

New Eden Royale: An Apocalyptic LitRPG Series

http://amzn.to/2GEbbs6

 

 

Soulstone: Oblivion (World of Ruul Book 3)

http://amzn.to/2F0FwUg

 

 

Chrysalis: The Crucible of Immortality Book 2

http://amzn.to/2FnjsRG

 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

The Builder's Throne: The Legendary Builder, Book 5

http://amzn.to/2Fm5lfp  

 

 

Desert Storm - Puatera Online, Book 3

http://amzn.to/2CDnZfy

Our review of the ebook: http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/12/14/desert-storm-puatera-online-book-3?rq=Desert%20Storm

 

 

Redeemer of the Dead: A LitRPG Apocalypse (The System Apocalypse, Book 2)

http://amzn.to/2FmjkBJ

Our review of the ebook: http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/11/2/redeemer-of-the-dead-a-litrpg-apocalypse-the-system-apocalypse-book-2?rq=Redeemer%20of%20the%20Dead


 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

 

Unbound Deathlord: Obliteration (Feb. 25th, 2018)

 

 

The Lionheart: a LitRPG Novel (No Respawn Book 1) (Feb. 27th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2Cjie6T

 

 

Kingdom Level Four: LitRPG (Feb. 28th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2CNiPiS

 

 

Dragon Seed: A LitRPG Dragonrider Adventure (The Archemi Online Chronicles Book 1) (Feb. 28th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2DvWdmD

 

 

Avatars Rising: SILOS I (Feb. 28th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2E6WHR2

 

 

Duel Reality 2071: A Dystopian LitRPG Cyberpunk War Novel (Feb. 28th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2Co7oN2

 

 

Restart (Dark Paladin Book #3) LitRPG Series ( March 6, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2mI2XGT

 

 

Outpost: A LitRPG Adventure (Monsters, Maces and Magic Book 1) (March 7th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2CmUP4t


 

 

The Crown and the Key (Epic LitRPG Adventure - Book 8) (Fayroll)  (March 12th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GhFLqZ

 

 

Perma-Death Online: A LitRPG adventure: Book 2 (March 15, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2Dy0k1v


 

 

Akillia's Reign (Puatera Online Book 4) (March 16th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2CAfe6G

 

 

Ghost in the Game (Dream State Saga book 3) (March 19th)

http://amzn.to/2GCr1Du

 

 

Mightier Still: A LitRPG/GameLit Novella (Enter The louVRe Side Quest) (Becoming Death Book 1) (May 10, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2HE26Rp

 

 

Blind Gambit: A GameLit LitRPG novel (May 10, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2HFfS60

 

 

World of Karik 2: (The First Crusade) The LitRPG series (May 17th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GCQDQq

 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

 

Trolls Traps and Treachery: A LitRPG Thriller (Kings and Conquests Book 2)

 

 

Simple review. This isn’t LitRPG. It wasn’t LitRPG when the author originally published it. It isn’t LitRPG after the author pulled that copy down and put this one up with some added content and a new cover art.

 

Score: 4 out of 10

 

Trolls Traps and Treachery: A LitRPG Thriller (Kings and Conquests Book 2)

http://amzn.to/2EK1c7U


 

(Picture 2)

The Trash Tier Dungeon

 

For these two, getting along means life or death.

 

Minette, the lowest ranked sentient dungeon in Bellstrang, deserves her Trash Tier title. She's more interested in playing with her cats and having fun than being a proper dungeon.

 

Scorned by recent experiences, Arden the Dungeon Pixie doesn't have time for fun. The only thing she likes on her schedule is beheading her enemies.

 

Following a treacherous act against her last dungeon, the Overseer of Dungeons reassigns Arden to work with Minette. If she fails to lift Minette to the Overseer's standards within a month's time, he'll smite her.

 

Complicating things further is a revenge-seeking rogue who wants Arden dead.

 

My Opinion: 279 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The Trash Tier Dungeon is a mashup of other dungeon core stories. It takes the sarcastic fairy guide from the slime dungeon chronicles, the tech tree from Futuristic Dungeon, and the town relationship from the Divine Dungeon and combines it with a smart sense of humor and lots of snark.

 

The author freely acknowledges these influences. There is even a passage referencing them. “Every dungeon has their humble origins, whether they’re soul stealing, slime-based, divine, science-focused, classically focused, or any permutation of all of the above.” One of the dungeon minions is even named Daccota.

 

While the author doesn’t bring anything new to the genre in terms of game mechanics, that doesn't mean the story isn’t interesting. The relationship between the the female dungeon Minette and the dungeon pixie Arden is initially goes through several phases of dysfunction, emotional outbursts, and then eventual reconciliation to the two becoming BFFs. It’s a dynamic you’ll either enjoy or hate.

 

Beyond that you still have the room building, trap building, minion spawning, and adventurer fighting. Good stuff, though things get a bit repetitive later in the story because of a lack of variety of both minions defending the dungeon and adventurers trying to beat it.

 

One of the few complaints I have with the story is that is sometimes ignores it’s resource mechanic. Initially, it’s made a big deal over. That resources are finite and take time and some luck to find. But for most of the story, anytime anything needs to be build or purchased, there’s no shortage of resources needed. Even to the point of some magic wand waving to get the duo out of trouble a few times.

 

Overall, I had a good enough time reading it. The sense of humor, the snarky characters, and the cat themed dungeon made it interesting enough. Though don’t expect the depth of either game mechanic or world building that you’d find with the other dungeon master stories mentioned.

 

Score: 7 out of 10.

The Trash Tier Dungeon

http://amzn.to/2ChV68S

 

(Picture 3)

IMMORtAL_Kalika Episode 1 (LitRPG): The Speedrunner (Episodic Kalika)

 

Genre Bending LitRPG, RPG GameLit with an emphasis on its Grimdark tone, active combat, and protagonist skill building and power acquisition. Features a no-nonsense protagonist with a tragic past and a reason to want to live in a videogame, even one as gritty and dark as the demon and revenant infested Project_DH.

 

You've previously known of her accomplishments as the #1 player of the death game Project_DH. To many, her gameplay stats and skill have made her an enigma to the hundreds of alpha testers imprisoned in the game as well as the developers assisting them. Now, you'll get to see the player behind the infamous avatar of IMMORtAL_Kalika, a determined young woman who carries the burden of a great tragedy within her, a tragedy that gives her strength, but one that also threatens to crush her from the inside out.

 

IMMORtAL_Kalika Episode 1 features an Alchemist class playthrough with spellcraftes utilizing the power of man and nature in tandem.

 

My Opinion: 195 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

First, you need to know that the main character in this story (MC), Ximana/IMMORtAL_Kalika, is a side character in the author’s other series Hell’s Glitch. This is supposed to be set in the same universe with this character playing an alpha build of that same game. If you’ve read that series, much of what occurs in this story will feel familiar and that’s a big problem.

 

This story, even though it has a completely different beginning, feels like it’s recycled material from Hell’s Glitch. It’s technically not. It’s more like two different people playing the same Dark Souls game and making different game choices. However, because there are so many similarities, it feels like a recycled story.

 

Both characters are game testers. Both play the same Dark Souls inspired game. Both character go through the same land and fight the same monsters. They both go on the same quests and meet the same NPCs. Both characters get to use the same weapons and the game mechanics are the same in both stories.

 

The differences come with the choices the two characters make. In this story, the MC, chooses a different starting class and uses magic. Though she eventually chooses a different build. She also makes different quest decisions, aligning with a different faction than the MC in Hell’s Glitch did. Also, the character in this story is kind of boring. Everything comes easy and there’s almost no challenge for her, which means there aren’t really any stakes. So, not that interesting.

 

Because of both the feeling that I’ve read this story already, and also that even those things that are different don’t provide any kind of character growth, I just didn’t have a good time with the story. It was predictable since I’d read Hell’s Glitch and there were no stakes with the character since I knew she’d always win.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

IMMORtAL_Kalika Episode 1 (LitRPG): The Speedrunner (Episodic Kalika)

http://amzn.to/2Cl6LDy


 

(Picture 4)

The Land: Predators: A LitRPG Saga (Chaos Seeds Book 7)

 

In The Land:Predators, the Mist Village has harnessed its power. Core buildings, Professional fighters and now, their own Dungeon, the settlement is primed to grow into a kingdom of true power and magic. The path to power has not been without risk, however. The Mist Village has been noticed.

 

Evil nobles from the Kingdom of Law, bloodthirsty goblins from the Serrated Mountains, an undead lord with a penchant for human sacrifice and fanatical kobolds from the Depths, all plot the village's destruction. The predators are circling. Richter's people are horribly outnumbered by foes whose own power has been entrenched for thousands of years.

 

Richter and Sion need to be stronger than ever before. Luckily, they are. New skills have been learned, stronger enchantments have been wrought and the hundreds of villagers have answered the call to adventure. The Companions do not stand alone. While many eyes have turned towards the mists, wanting to take the treasures within, the Mist Village stares back with a simple message.

 

Come and get it!

 

My Opinion: 2202 pages, $8.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This novel may seem a bit on the expensive side at $8.99 but per page it’s really at a cost of 4/10th of a cent per page. Another way to look at it is that this is seven 300 page books long.

 

That’s more than all the other novels on the podcast added together.

 

The review: This is a fun novel in line with the rest of the series. It’s roughly broken in half between kingdom building and action adventure.

 

One thing that is a common comment in the reviews, the beginning has a lot of upkeep. A bunch of notifications (like pages and pages worth), dealing with the results of the last battle of book 6, there’s the introduction of a dungeon and a bunch of new info on that. There is upkeep with town building stuff, crafting, and managing citizens.

 

Starting around 20%, the action starts again as Richter and his companions explore the new bloody chaos dungeon. After that the story just switches regularly between the action-adventure and kingdom building.

 

Some cool things that I was really glad to finally see: Finally get to meet another Chaos Seed, more info on how many there are and why they were all sent there from earth. You get some resolution to some outstanding quests, including some pretty epic fights. The dungeon is a great add on that provides local monster hunting without having to go traipsing off into the forest.

 

Overall, a good read. I personally think there is easily enough content in the story to have broken it up into 3-4 novels. It took me 3 solid days of reading to finish this guy.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

The Land: Predators: A LitRPG Saga (Chaos Seeds Book 7)

http://amzn.to/2CEorKF




 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/litrpgpodcast/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3-eBvpm-g7IkjfVktObGAA

Patreon:  https://www.patreon.com/geekbytespodcast

 

If you enjoy the podcast and want to support us you can also find all the other ways to support the podcast at www.litrpgpodcast.com/support  

 

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/


 

LitRPG Podcast 096

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 096

Feb. 16th, 2018

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 96 of the LitRPG podcast.

 

I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews. This week I have 7 new LitRPG reviews for you.


 

New Releases and Reviews:

  1. Clans War (The Way of the Shaman: Book #7) LitRPG Series  

http://amzn.to/2Ec0P5Z

  1. Seventh Talon I: Dragonrider's Fury

http://amzn.to/2BMjaVy

  1. Respawn: Lives 1-5  

http://amzn.to/2E6Vjhx

  1. Sicora Online: The Ringer: A LitRPG Adventure

http://amzn.to/2Cf2thn

  1. Eloria's Beginning: A LitRPG/GameLit Epic (Enter The louVRe Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2ExICiz

  1. Rogue Online: The Devil's Gate: A LitRPG adventure (The Rogue Lands Chronicle Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2ssbpA1

  1. The Grind

http://amzn.to/2BKicJb

 

 

 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News

 

 

(Play Video)

Jeffrey Falcon Logan, author of the Slime Dungeon Chronicles, is making a video game based on his story. It’s still very much in the development stages but it is really exciting to see someone do this.

https://youtu.be/dkyTLj8OUFs

 

 

(Play Video)

Charles Dean - LitRPG author had this YouTube thing this past weekend. He, Jeff Hays, and Blaise Corvin talked and drank together.  They all got really drunk and it became highly entertaining.

https://youtu.be/a8npdjtnlPw

Charles also has another one with Harmon Cooper

https://youtu.be/nCqnQNHjsGY



 

 

LitRPG Podcast is running a contest to celebrate 100 episodes

 

Ways to get a chance to win:

 

  1. Sign up for our LitRPG Podcast newsletter. http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-newsletter

  2. Like/follow our Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube pages

    1. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/litrpgpodcast/

    2. Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

    3. YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/c/GeekBytesPodcast  

  3. Send us an e-mail (litrpgpodcast@gmail.com ) or post on our Facebook/Twitter page with your favorite LitRPG Podcast story: maybe it’s a particular review, or a LitRPG news story, or anything else.

 

Each one of those things that you do will get you a chance to win our prizes. Which include:

  • Audible codes,

  • an ebook from me or another LitRPG author,

  • Signed Print editions of either Project Alpha, Adventures on Terra, or another LitRPG authors work.

  • Grand Prize: A $100 Amazon gift card which will be given out on episode 100 of the podcast.

 

I’ll be giving away prizes each week until episode 100.



 

Out Now!  


 

 

Fantasy Online: The Runestones of Tritinakh: A LitRPG Saga

http://amzn.to/2BjIwJr


 

 

Halcyon Rising: Bastion of Hope (Book 2)

http://amzn.to/2EyvUA5

*look up original review. Might skip*

441 pages


 

 

The Trash Tier Dungeon

http://amzn.to/2ChV68S

279 pg

 

 

Fragged 8 (Fragged (A LitRPG Short Story Series))

http://amzn.to/2HkL5LR


 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

World Keeper: The Dawn of an Era: World Keeper, Book 2

http://amzn.to/2EsP3nN

 

 

Desert Born: Puatera Online, Book 2

http://amzn.to/2BtPgo4

 

 

Life in the North: An Apocalyptic LitRPG

The System Apocalypse, Book 1

http://amzn.to/2BrdeAl

 

 

Continue Online Part Four: Crash

http://amzn.to/2CobLrh

 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

 

IMMORtAL_Kalika Episode 1 (LitRPG): The Speedrunner (Episodic Kalika) (Feb. 16th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2Cl6LDy

 

 

The Lionheart: a LitRPG Novel (No Respawn Book 1) (Feb. 27th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2Cjie6T

 

 

Kingdom Level Four: LitRPG (Feb. 28th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2CNiPiS

 

 

Dragon Seed: A LitRPG Dragonrider Adventure (The Archemi Online Chronicles Book 1) (Feb. 28th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2DvWdmD

 

 

Avatars Rising: SILOS I (Feb. 28th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2E6WHR2

 

 

Duel Reality 2071: A Dystopian LitRPG Cyberpunk War Novel (Feb. 28th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2Co7oN2

 

 

Restart (Dark Paladin Book #3) LitRPG Series ( March 6, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2mI2XGT

 

 

Outpost: A LitRPG Adventure (Monsters, Maces and Magic Book 1) (March 7th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2CmUP4t


 

 

Sicora Online: The Sorting: A GameLit Adventure (March 9th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2Gd0oEN

 

 

The Crown and the Key (Epic LitRPG Adventure - Book 8) (Fayroll)  (March 12th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GhFLqZ

 

 

Perma-Death Online: A LitRPG adventure: Book 2 (March 15, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2Dy0k1v


 

 

Akillia's Reign (Puatera Online Book 4) (March 16th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2CAfe6G

 

 

Ghost in the Game (Dream State Saga book 3) (March 19th)

 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

 

Clans War (The Way of the Shaman: Book #7) LitRPG Series

 

Not long ago, Daniel Mahan, known to everyone as Shaman Mahan, thought that he had taken his sixth and final step in the Barliona gameworld. Yet life has other ideas. The Corporation decides to resurrect the Lord of Shadow and his entire host. The Corporation's CEO personally pushes the reset button. Geranika and his Dragon of Shadow spring back to life as, meanwhile, the Corporation makes an offer the Shaman can't refuse.

 

My Opinion: 341 pages, $5.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is the final novel in the Way of the Shaman series. According to the author and the company that publishes them in english, there will be more stories set in Barliona, but that will come after the author finishes some other projects.

 

This novel however, is a rollercoaster ride of plot twists and story development. To me, book 6 in the series capped off the series wonderfully with a happily ever after kind of ending. Sure, there were some unfinished story threads but overall it was a good ending. It was a lot like the scripted ending of a favorite RPG game.

 

However, Book 7 is the downloadable DLC that changes that ending and gives you one last crazy adventure with the characters you love. There are so many new big quests, revelations, Mahan finally uses that spider eye he got in book 1, and more that an invasion from a rival continent is the smallest event in the story.

 

Overall, I had a good time with the story. There’s some not entirely justifiable twists both in game and IRL but it’s an interesting last ride with my favorite shaman.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Clans War (The Way of the Shaman: Book #7) LitRPG Series  

http://amzn.to/2Ec0P5Z

 

(Picture 2)

Seventh Talon I: Dragonrider's Fury

 

Beware the Dragonrider’s Fury; even the gods fear its justice. - The First Dragonrider

 

-Boh’s Journal, March 13th, N167

 

It started with a card in a cafe. An invitation to an exclusive world called Seventh Talon, and it only asked one question before I agreed. Do you want to be a Dragonrider?

 

It said nothing about guns, magic, or heavy metal, those were just added incentive. It also said nothing about the secrets, betrayals, and politics of a dragon run society. Dragons that would rather eat me than listen to what I had to say, horrible way to win an argument in my opinion.

 

Nor did it tell me that the biggest enemy I would have to fight was myself.

 

Author Note: The main character of this book does not leave Seventh Talon. If you are curious about the first chapter, Odditek Online, and Neuroma, then please read my Office War series. Office Wars takes place in the same world, just a different part of Odditek Online and follows a different character arc. It provides a lot more information about Neuroma, Odditek, and the sectors.

Also, I do add in easter eggs from the various books too. It is a fun way to reward my readers.

 

My Opinion: 444 pages, $4.99, Kindle Unlimited

 

Note: An unusual number of spelling and grammar errors. Even some unfinished sentences. It may bother some people.

 

Just a quick warning. If you’re expecting anything like Office Wars, you’re going to be disappointed. It’s set in the same Odditek universe, but is in a separate VR world that the main character never leaves.

 

Having said that, I would have liked a little more connection or explanation about what the Odditek universe was in the story. Even just a paragraph in the beginning about it being a VR multiverse would have made the introduction into the story a little smoother. Having read Office Wars, I got it but someone new to the series might have a harder time understanding what’s happening.

 

In general there are some really good things in this story. The magic system and game mechanics are in depth and rather cool. I loved that there’s a kind of starter zone where the Champions are tested to see who they are and how that affects their stats. It was sort of disappointing that none of the antagonists from that starter island show up in the rest of the story, they were pretty unlikable and I would have liked to see them get their just desserts. Still, there are dragons and dragon riding, and it’s hard to beat that.

 

Much of the story after the testing island reminds me of Naomi Novak’s Temeraire series, since it combines dragon riding and guns. Though magic is a big thing in this world and it veers more heavily towards fantasy. Still the threat from evil forces creates a good excuse for some great fights against some unusual monsters.

 

Now, those are the good things I really liked about the story. Unfortunately, the thing that I didn’t like, stopped me from really enjoying the story as a whole. The main character (MC), Boh, is really tough, stubborn, and sometimes grating.  These attributes would normally be part of a character development arc where a MC becomes a bit softer or shows some vulnerability over the course of the story, balancing out their personality. You know, the jerk with the heart of gold. While that show of vulnerability comes, it doesn’t occur until more than half way into the story, and then it never really happens again. Yeah, Boh is supposed to have MS but it’s not something the reader ever sees. It's just something referred to and it’s not something that impacts her game play at all, so it’s not something that softens her character at all.

 

**note: Turns out that there’s a reason the reader doesn’t see her with MS. The author messaged me after he read my review on Amazon and let me know, Boh is totally cured. I just missed the paragraph in the story that reveals it.**

 

I like strong characters, but it’s hard for me to love them if there’s no vulnerability to show their humanity. Think of all those Clint Eastwood characters. Strong, gruff, even jerks. But somewhere along the way there’s something that shows their actions in another light and some kind of vulnerability to them that softens their behavior bit. That just didn’t happen here with Boh.

 

Additionally, the whole relationship between Boh and Malinite felt, no pun intended, forced. I liked the story so much more before their stories came together for the 2nd time. Her forgiveness of his part in what amounts to a kind of magical invasion and assault of her, seemed uncharacteristic. Their reconciliation feels like it occurred so there would be some weight to what Malinite’s does in the last scene of the story (I know I’m being vague, I don’t want to spoil things).

 

Overall, a fine story that a lot of people are going to like. The issues I mentioned with the main character’s development and a few forced plot points just stopped it from being good for me.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Seventh Talon I: Dragonrider's Fury

http://amzn.to/2BMjaVy

 

(Picture 3)

Respawn: Lives 1-5  

 

You are no one. Level zero. Empty of mind and memory. Even your past has been stripped from your brain by the inscrutable System.

 

A long, difficult road lies between you and remembering any part of who you are. A road punctuated with one death after another. You are too puny to survive by might alone. Information is the single resource that might keep you alive, but the brainless “digis” have none of it. Only those with experience can give you what you need, but most care nothing about you or your plight. In fact, some make it their mission to kill you.

 

So die you will, again and again, your life counter clicking lower and lower. Even the creators do not know what happens when your counter reaches zero, but many are sure that your last life here is just that. No more respawns.

 

You are not the first player in the world of S.T.Y.X., and you will not be the last. You can only hope luck will be on your side. The luckiest players are those who find a vulnerability in the System. Those they call cheaters.

 

Perhaps cheating is the only way to win.

 

Enjoy your game

 

My Opinion: 329 pages, $5.92, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The story starts out with the man with no memories setup. The main character (MC) doesn’t know who or where he is.  He quickly dies fighting a monster only to be respawn in the same place he woke up. While the MC tries to figure out what’s happening he gets strange messages about stats, levels, XP, and a bunch of other RPG mechanics he doesn’t understand.

 

Welcome to a story I best describe as digital apocalyptic groundhog day with RPG powers.

 

The first half of the story focuses on the MC trying to figure out the many RPG rules of this world he finds himself in. He gets some help from other people like him but mostly he has to figure it out through trial and error (dying and respawning). However, with the aid from a woman who’s managed to level up more than him, he starts to get the hang of surviving and how to increase his power.

 

The second half of the story is more about the relationship of these two survivors and a group of evil players that hurt others.

 

The novel is a weird mix of apocalypse survival, monster killing, and RPG progression that won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. But I enjoyed it.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Respawn: Lives 1-5  

http://amzn.to/2E6Vjhx

 

(Picture 4)

Sicora Online: The Ringer: A LitRPG Adventure

 

What do you do when your game is too tough? Bring in a ringer.

 

On his first night as a beta tester for Sicora Online, twenty-one-year-old Galen Cole meets the clone: Prairie 'Ringer' Powell. He isn't sure what to make of Prairie; she's engineered for violence, a maestro with a bow, and a real wild card. But they need each other. Galen and Prairie are two of the first batch of testers for the game that has a tendency to stomp its players.

 

Fresh from debugging, Sicora Online is an ever-shifting world whose AI has been programmed to alter its level based on the personalities inside it. But Sicora needs to feed before she can blossom into an MMORPG: she must learn human behavior, motivations, and reactions to setback.

 

Enter the level crawl.

 

Ten days. Ten unpredictable worlds. If Galen survives, he’ll be granted his heart's desire: a lifetime of free access to Sicora Online.

 

But first he has to survive.

 

My Opinion: 149 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


 

Galen, a guy, is the main character (MC) of this story, not the lady on the cover. He is one of 24 testers of a new full immersion game called Sicora. They’re supposed to test the game in some way and if they make it through all 10 levels they win a lifetime subscription. Honestly, this part of the premise is pretty thin and is described very poorly. After all no directions about what it takes to beat the 3 levels is shown. The MC is just dropped somewhere and he has to do stuff.

 

The early part of the story introduces this premise and describes the MC’s infatuation with Prairie a clone and I can only assume, the lady on the cover. She partners with him for no reason that is ever given.

 

By the 8% mark, the MC is dropped in game world and he finds himself meeting magical creatures and helping them to stop the bad guys killing them. Along the way, Prairie is found and joins him. This part of the story is also where both the MC and the reader get most of the information about the RPG game mechanics of the world. Character sheets, stats, health and mana bars, item and skill descriptions. Nothing special but it’s at least thoroughly used in this section.

 

Unfortunately, even though there’s a bunch of info given, it also seems like the game mechanics don’t mean much when it conflicts with desired story progress. At one point an NPC centaur one shot kills 5 players with a bow and arrows, even though he struggled mightily to kill the MC, a level one player only a few hours before.

 

The entire scene in this fantasy game world is abruptly shifted forward in time without any transition to suddenly find the NPC centaur dead, and the MC, and prairie at 1 HP. This kind of sudden time jumping is an annoying event that happens repeatedly in the novel.

 

After that the MC is pulled out of the game because someone else beat the level (not explained how). After the 33%, the novel ceases to be a LitRPG story. Instead, its becomes this poorly executed attempt at creating a VR version of West World. NPCs being repeatedly killed in game then their characters being recycled in the next level/ temporal scenario. A threat to Prairie getting stuck in the game as another NPC character. Heck, the 2nd level of the game is set in the Wild West which really doesn’t make sense when character sheets are clearly geared towards a fantasy magic world.

 

Also, starting with this 2nd world, Outside the character sheet update and distribution of stat points, most of the RPG game mechanics disappear. You see an occasional item description or loss of health. From this point on, the mechanics of the game world don’t matter to the story and almost feel inserted after the story was written.

 

The 3rd level is a modern world set in the year 2102, but again, the game mechanics disappear mostly. Instead, anything in the game world feels more like a VR simulation with a few game notifications added in post.

 

I sort of liked the first 30% of the story and think that part had potential to be very interesting. But after that the story loses me when it stops feeling like a LitRPG story and becomes a VR simulation that’s mimicking West World. Had the game mechanics continued to matter in the rest of the story or even been more present, it would have improved the score. But the shifting rules and time settings of the story still would have been an issue.

 

Score: 4 out of 10

Sicora Online: The Ringer: A LitRPG Adventure

http://amzn.to/2Cf2thn

 

(Picture 5)

Eloria's Beginning: A LitRPG/GameLit Epic (Enter The louVRe Book 1)

 

One life, stolen memories. Gaming has consequences when the AI won’t let you leave.

In the battle to save his race, Scarhoof is the last guard standing. If the old shaman fails to protect Sunset Cove, the defenseless minotaurs in his care will fall into the enemy’s scaly clutches. But on the other side of the VR console, far more than Scarhoof's game world is at stake…

 

Adrianna and her team of programmers are in for some long nights on the job. Epoch International’s latest immersive game wasn’t supposed to release for months, but the AI had other plans. Now, it's trapped players in the simulation and holds their memories hostage. If Adrianna can’t hack her way back in, Scarhoof and the other players could be lost forever…

 

My Opinion: 491 pages, $5.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

There are two stories here. They don’t ever interact or crossover either. They’re separate the entire novel.

 

The first story is a thriller about an A.I. that was created by a game company to create the next generation of full immersion VR. This A.I. takes over the company and launches their planned game ahead of schedule. This story is about the company trying to spin the launch and them learning just how much control the A.I. has, even trapping and memory wiping players. This is roughly 8% of the overall story.

 

Everything else is the second story, which takes place in the game world launched by the A.I. It’s told from the perspective of a player whose mind has been wiped and whose memories has been replaced with game backstory. He thinks he’s lived in this world his whole life and is only now being blessed to become a shaman. He goes on adventures, quests, and fights in some pretty neat battles later in the story.

 

Not a bad concept for the 2nd story. But the actual execution is not as neat. Because the MC believes he’s been apart of the world and he has a whole life of memories as this cow-person, the story ends up reading like fan fiction for Tauren race from World of Warcraft. Only it’s written as a straight fantasy story with game notifications that feel like they were inserted sometime later during the 2nd draft. This is mostly because while the game mechanics are present in the game storyline, they’re often not acknowledge by the main character. This shifts a bit later in the story and when the MC is forced to group with other players, but for the most part that’s how it felt.

 

The author makes quite a bit of effort to create an interesting backstory for the MC and he even creates history and culture. But all that feeds into the feeling that the story is more fantasy.

 

The two stories also don’t ever interact or crossover either. They’re separate the entire novel.

 

Overall, I liked the 1st story better, the 2nd just didn’t work for me and honestly most of the early part of the game storyline was boring slice of life adventuring. Pick flowers, collect item, talk to so and so. It eventually gets a bit more focused and action driven but that doesn’t happen till well after the 50% mark. Past the point where many people would lose interest.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Eloria's Beginning: A LitRPG/GameLit Epic (Enter The louVRe Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2ExICiz

 

(Picture 6)

Rogue Online: The Devil's Gate: A LitRPG adventure (The Rogue Lands Chronicle Book 1)

 

To survive you must win. Nothing else matters.

 

Max is a top-level gamer, a battle mage with enough fire-power to level a city. Or a small village at least. Lots of people want to be him. A few want to hire him.

 

But most just want to kill him.

 

At least, in the game. Things in real life aren't so easy.

 

After double-crossing the all-powerful Corporation, the shadowy tech company that runs the world’s biggest gaming tournaments, Max finds himself on the run. His only chance of escape is to enter the world of Rogue Online, a prototype full-immersion game that just might let him evade his enemies.

 

But he soon discovers that Rogue Online isn’t the safe haven he’d hoped. Especially when he’s been stripped of all the abilities he’s worked so hard to build.

 

If he wants to get home, Max must use all his skills and ingenuity to level up and uncover the dark conspiracy at the heart of the Corporation. A conspiracy that threatens not only Rogue Online but all of humanity as well.

 

My Opinion: 198 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The first 10% of the story is the best part of the novel. It recounts a big raid fight led by the main character (MC), Max, against the reigning champ Nightshade. Anyone that’s played an MMO will find things well described and relatable.

 

The story becomes RPG portal fiction after that. Max is supposed to throw the match and when he doesn’t he’s chased down by people that want to kill him. He meets a mysterious stranger that offers to help him escape by sending him to a new world where he can be ‘the chosen one’. (Actually what it says)

 

May agrees and is sent to the Rogue Lands, also called Rogue Online for some reason. Unfortunately, this is where the story falls apart. In this new world governed by RPG mechanics, Max finds a bunch of familiar RPG mechanics: A character sheet, stats, mana, etc. There’s a lot of text devoted to the description of how the game mechanics work in this world. It’s a shame that none of that really matters because the game mechanics don’t really matter to the story. Additionally, the story itself is very ‘on the rails’ and the MC is just led from one event to another and makes almost no decisions the entire novel.

 

Game Mechanics:

 

The RPG Game Mechanics in a LitRPG should feel like they’re an important part of the story and like they affect the world. In this story however, even though things like character sheets, stats, quest notifications and item descriptions occur throughout the novel, they don’t feel meaningful.  A good example of this is how health is treated. Even though there are actual stat numbers used on character sheets, health is represented in a fight as a percentage. There’s no reference point to what each characters actual health is, just that a % is lost from an attack in a fight. It doesn’t matter who’s attacking or who’s defending or what that characters shown stats are, it’s always a % lost in health. And often that percent doesn’t even make sense. One chapter, the MC one-shot kills a bunch of mercenaries with a bow and arrow when he has stats of 1-3. But when the MC fights a troll with str 25, he magically avoids all attacks or only takes 10% health damage.

 

The mechanics in the story have a host of other issues including: never giving the reader a baseline for a good attack damage, stat increases never reflecting any change in the character, item descriptions not making sense, and much more. It almost feels like someone either wrote the story first and added in RPG notifications after, or they just got tired of the creating a RPG system half way through.

 

Story:

 

The first 10% is a nice section. The game play in the MMO raid feels like it’s based on someone’s personal experience. Authentic.

 

The premise of transporting the MC to a new world, is a little looser. He didn’t lose the game, so now the game company wants to murder him and a stranger sends him to a new world? Sure, I guess.

 

Once there in the Rogue Lands, the MC is told he’s the chosen one and can’t go back home till he beats the game and saves everyone. Only he’s given no direction, no quest, not told who he’s saving or from whom, and literally told ‘it’s something you’ll have to figure out on your own.’ So, it’s understandable that the story feels like the MC is wandering around just doing what people tell him.

 

Worst of all, is that I was never given any reason to care about any of the characters in the story. Not a single one. There’s almost no character development.

 

For me, it wasn’t necessarily bad. It just felt half done. So, it wasn’t entertaining.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

Rogue Online: The Devil's Gate: A LitRPG adventure (The Rogue Lands Chronicle Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2ssbpA1

 

(Picture 7)

The Grind

 

One young woman hungers for status in a harsh, feudal future—but her greed could become her downfall.

 

In the desolate future city-state of Verre, King Leopold and his lords rule with absolute authority. There’s only one way for oppressed serfs to rise in rank: the MMORPG called ‘The Grind’. Once a year, players in this virtual game can fight for the opportunity to raise their standing by gathering as many points as possible. Peasants can become Nobles, Lords and, with enough skill, sometimes Kings…

 

Savannah “Savvy” deForge is a Grinder—the lowest of the low, who earns a living racking up points for players by “ghosting” them in the game. When a wealthy client named Timon comes calling, she sees him as her ticket out of the classless limbo of Grinder life.

 

But when her father vanishes into the game, Savvy will have to choose between the advancement she craves and reclaiming the one she loves. As virtual deaths start to become terribly real, Savvy realizes there is much more at stake than status, and it may be too late to save anyone, including herself.

 

My Opinion: 558 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

From author Dante Doom, who is presented to readers and the LitRPG community as a gamer and LitRPG lover who wrote his first novel in two weeks, self published, then put out a whole trilogy within a couple of months.

 

Who I heavily suspect is a person made up by Relay Publishing as a ‘gamer author’ to appeal to readers. Which I wouldn’t have a problem with except if the company were honest about it.

 

-See episode 71 of the podcast, where I lay out the evidence for that. A link in the show notes  (https://youtu.be/LJFVz_DbVa8?t=2587 )

---

Now, putting that aside, the review for this novel is a little mixed.

 

The novel starts out wonderfully. It has a great opening scene that not only catches the reader’s attention with a mix of sarcasm and action but at the same time describes some of the gaming elements in the story.

 

The main character (MC), Savannah, is a Grinder. Someone in this future post rebuilt society that illegally power levels anyone that can pay for the service. In the society she lives in, ranks earned in the game determine one's place in society. If you do well during your game run and get enough experience orbs, you can even be king.

 

It’s a great setup for not just the game, but also for why it matters in this society. I was genuinely surprised by how much I liked this beginning. Which made my disappointment with the rest of the novel that much worse.

 

As the novel continues, the MC gets a new client. This noble needs to get a good rank in the game to help maintain his family’s power at court. It’s a way for the author to take the reader on a newb journey and explain more about how the game works and how it matters to this society. Unfortunately, it turns into this argument between the two about whether it’s good to be a noble and how the MC wants to be one of them to live the good life.

 

Afterwards, the story devolves into this Wizard of Oz kind of story where she goes through a series of decently described fights and collects a group of magical friends (one of whom is a total tin man rip) to defeat the evil king before he can take control of the game.  Now, that on it’s own wouldn’t be a bad plot. But the story then tries to mix in so many other ideas and plots that the whole thing gets muddled and uninteresting. The author adds a plot to kill nobles opposing the king, then the MC is forced to try to kill the king, then back to killing the nobles, then she’s looking for her father who’s been stuck in game for 30 years in game time. Then it shifts again to the MC trying to reset the game world. Then a political trial. Then a test to stop the city from killing everyone during a rebellion. So. Many. Plots. By the end I was just struggling to stay interested in the novel and finish it.

 

The game mechanics, while consistently used in the game, don’t have much depth. The experience orbs that convey rank don’t mean much in game. Powers that the characters use can be purchased and are not earned. Same with the weapons, though those can be loot drops. There’s a health bar. But that’s about it.

 

Overall, this was a disappointing read after such a good start. That  mostly has to do with the unfocused nature of the plot. It just couldn’t seem to stick to one storyline or purpose and just kept shifting around.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

The Grind

http://amzn.to/2BKicJb



 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

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If you enjoy the podcast and want to support us you can also find all the other ways to support the podcast at www.litrpgpodcast.com/support  

 

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/


 

LitRPG Podcast 095

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 095

Feb. 9th, 2018

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 95 of the LitRPG podcast.

 

I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews. This week I have 9 new LitRPG reviews for you.


 

New Releases and Reviews:

 

Dungeon Lord: Otherworldly Powers (The Wraith's Haunt - A litRPG series Book 2) (08:20)

http://amzn.to/2EFSZi1

Legends of Tarthirious : Book Five of Kylia's Story (Legends of Tarthirious (A LitRPG) 5)  (12:10)

http://amzn.to/2Ed3Cea

But Death is Not Forbidden (The Twenty-Sided Eye Series Book 2) (16:20)

http://amzn.to/2GIt0qx

Ghost Platoon: a mech LitRPG novel (Armored Souls Book 2) (20:17)

http://amzn.to/2DXvZK8

Fairwind's Fortune (24:43)

http://amzn.to/2EaEtln

Demon's Quest (Grimdark Adventures Online Book 1) (28:28)

http://amzn.to/2GXwfe6

The Omega Dream (34:45)

http://amzn.to/2DVCyNm

The New Party: VirTim LitRPG Episode 1 (42:17)

http://amzn.to/2EteRPE

Level Up (45:30)

http://amzn.to/2BT5ZNV

 



 

 

 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News

 

 

Audio Book Review is a site that does free honest reviews a lot of  audiobooks and also has a paid upgrade option for promotional work too. The site has started an awards program this year for audiobooks. There are 18 categories, one of which is LitRPG this year.

 

Finalists include:

  • Awaken Online: Precipice, written by Travis Bagwell and read b David Stifel

  • Delvers LLC: Welcome to Ludus, written by Blaise Corvin and read by Jeff Hays

  • Dominion of Blades, written by Matt Dinniman and read by Andrea Parsneau

  • Hero of Thera written by Eric Nylund and read by Jeff Hays; Reboot, written by Domino Finn and read by Justin Thomas James

  • Super Sales on Super Heroes, written by William D. Arand and read by Jeff Hays.

 

It’s a nice that a special category for LitRPG audiobooks are up for an award from the site.

https://audiobookreviewer.com/abr-listeners-award/litrpg-2018-voting/

 

 

Aleron sent a public message via his Patreon, that the Land book 7 should be out by 2/18 or before. But, I won't be adding the title to upcoming LitRPG list. Too many broken release dates. Still, here's hoping!

https://www.patreon.com/AleronKong

 

 

Recently, Jeff Hays, friend of the podcast and audiobook narrator, had a livestream on Youtube where he and 5 LitRPG authors hung out, drank, gamed a little, and then drank some more. I was lucky enough to be invited to join them when I showed up to watch. It was a good time. Go watch it on Jeff’s Youtube page and don’t forget to subscribe so you can see him do narrations for audiobook.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfQSwCGpCfA


 

Out Now!  

 

 

Seventh Talon I: Dragonrider's Fury

http://amzn.to/2BMjaVy

444 pages


 

 

The Grind

http://amzn.to/2BKicJb

558 pages


 

 

Respawn: Lives 1-5  

http://amzn.to/2E6Vjhx

338 pages



 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

Viridian Gate Online: Imperial Legion - The Viridian Gate Archives, Book 4

http://amzn.to/2C40dt9

Our review of the ebook version: http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/11/22/viridian-gate-online-imperial-legion-the-viridian-gate-archives-book-4


 

 

The Builder's Wrath- The Legendary Builder, Book 4

http://amzn.to/2BNwdWK

Our review of the ebook version: http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/11/2/the-builders-wrath-the-legendary-builder-book-4

 

 

The Twilight Obelisk: Mirror World, Book 4

http://amzn.to/2C5glKZ

Our review of the ebook version: http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/12/7/the-twilight-obelisk-mirror-world-book-4

 

 

The Airship: A Futuristic Dungeon Core- The Laboratory, Book 2

http://amzn.to/2nM7dpY

Our review of the ebook version: http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/11/22/the-airship-a-futuristic-dungeon-core-the-laboratory-book-2




 

Upcoming LitRPG:


 

 

Clans War (The Way of the Shaman: Book #7) LitRPG Series  (Feb. 12th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2Ec0P5Z

 

 

Fantasy Online: The Runestones of Tritinakh: A LitRPG Saga (Feb. 16th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2BjIwJr

 

 

Kingdom Level Four: LitRPG (Feb. 28th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2CNiPiS

 

 

Dragon Seed: A LitRPG Dragonrider Adventure (The Archemi Online Chronicles Book 1) (Feb. 28th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2DvWdmD

 

 

Avatars Rising: SILOS I (Feb. 28th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2E6WHR2

 

 

Restart (Dark Paladin Book #3) LitRPG Series ( March 6, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2mI2XGT


 

 

Perma-Death Online: A LitRPG adventure: Book 2 (March 15, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2Dy0k1v


 

 

Akillia's Reign (Puatera Online Book 4) (March 16th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2CAfe6G

 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

 

Dungeon Lord: Otherworldly Powers (The Wraith's Haunt - A litRPG series Book 2)

 

Dark forces are threatening everything that Dungeon Lord Edward Wright cares about… and they don’t expect what they’re about to get.

 

Only a few weeks have passed since the Battle of Burrova, and Edward and his friends are busier than ever improving the Haunt and protecting the surviving villagers.

 

Sadly, time is a scarce commodity in the world of Ivalis. Soon enough, Ed finds himself thrown in conflict against the man behind the mindbrood’s attack, a man who is seemingly capable of shrugging off mortal wounds and who is willing to unleash a devastating plague of undead against the Haunt and everyone inside.

 

Only the otherworldly powers of a Dungeon Lord may be capable of protecting the Haunt against the rapidly approaching danger… but can Edward remain the same man if he exposes himself to the corrupting influence of that very same power?

 

My Opinion: 462 pages, $5.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The description tells you almost nothing about what happens in the novel. It’s a combination adventure outside the dungeon, some dungeon building, and dungeon defense. It all hinges around the beginning when the Ed, the dungeon lord, is sent to help a thief named Katalyn escape from a group trying to sacrifice her to her evil dad who has been summoned from the dead as a monster. From there bad people start to realize Ed, the dungeon lord, should be killed and they become a threat to him and the dungeon. There’s also this sort of odd middle section that reminds me of a 1920’s rum running story. Then more fighting!

 

Along the way there’s finally some dungeon building. Well, more like dungeon housing projects but at least there’s some building and crafting going on. I really do like crafting. Though I feel like the dungeon building side of things will always feel more like town building because the main character has no intention of being evil and killing creatures or people for resources.

 

Overall, aside from a few translation snage (Like calling Chicken Coops, Chicken Dens??), a good read.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Dungeon Lord: Otherworldly Powers (The Wraith's Haunt - A litRPG series Book 2)

http://amzn.to/2EFSZi1

 

(Picture 2)

Legends of Tarthirious : Book Five of Kylia's Story (Legends of Tarthirious (A LitRPG) 5)

 

Kylia is struggling to deal with the recent death of her fiance, Gerald, and decides to do the only sane and sensible thing.

Throw herself into the virtual world of Tarthirious.

In Tarthirious, Kylia's avatar, Armelia, is having struggles with morality and whether or not the pesky thing is actually important when it comes to having a good time and completing quests.

In this, the fast-paced, action-packed conclusion to the Legends of Tarthirious saga, the story twists, turns, and surprises at every corner as it reaches its stunning climax, whether Kylia's ready for it or not.

 

My Opinion: 197 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Kylia, the main character (MC), has hit a bit of a depression and is playing the game non-stop. In game, she chooses the path of the evil, just for something new to do and finds it fun.

 

Most of the story is her just doing things in game. You can tell the author is rushing a bit to end the series and tie up all the loose game quests. It’s done in an entertaining way, but it all honestly feels like filler since nothing done in the game world matters.

 

Outside the 1st book, when playing the game was a way for the MC to earn a living, all that content has not mattered to the story. It’s been a way for the MC to kill time, hang out with her boyfriend, or just tell an interesting short story.

 

The last 15% of the novel finishes up the real life story line and then ends. If you just want to know what happens with Kylia, skip to the 85% mark.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Legends of Tarthirious : Book Five of Kylia's Story (Legends of Tarthirious (A LitRPG) 5)

http://amzn.to/2Ed3Cea

 

(Picture 3)

But Death is Not Forbidden (The Twenty-Sided Eye Series Book 2)

 

Spooky and Joe are in a gaming reality that is quickly becoming clear, is quite real. They are forced to fight monsters, dungeons, and betrayal but their greatest enemy might be denial. Both Joe and Spooky are now nearly immortal, but how will Joe react when the facts of the situation can no longer be denied? He may never see his late wife in the afterlife. How will Spooky deal with the changes within herself? Neither she nor her co-Champion have the option to become mere mortals again. Watch as Joe and Spooky continue to grow their capital in people, skills, equipment, and magic.

 

My Opinion: 349 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The first novel in the series was a lot of setup and it hinted at the addition of other game mechanics besides fighting in the series including: dungeon diving, town building, crafting, and community building. All that starts to get fleshed out in book 2. It just mostly doesn’t happen from the main character (MC), Joe. Instead, much of the novel focuses on Spooky, the AI fairy companion. She dungeon dives, crafts, and town builds. She also goes a little multiple personality, but I won’t spoil that.

 

The MC on the other hand mostly just fights, levels, gets new powers, and does some community relations. But he really does fall asleep on the job here, leaving the opportunity for other characters to get some character development time. You get to learn more about minor characters from book 1 and some other influences in this world, but it's mostly about Spooky. The MC basically bookends her story (20% beginning, 20% end).

 

It’s an interesting story but some people are going to be disappointed because the MC isn’t in more of it.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

But Death is Not Forbidden (The Twenty-Sided Eye Series Book 2)

http://amzn.to/2GIt0qx


 

(Picture 4)

Ghost Platoon: a mech LitRPG novel (Armored Souls Book 2)

 

A dying game. A tournament for the ages. One last chance for glory.

 

After a glorious run as the world’s first full-immersion VR mega-game, Armored Souls is on its last legs. Competitors are on the rise, and the company’s own projects are surpassing it. In a last-ditch effort to inject new life into the game, Valhalla West announces a tournament with such an awesome prize that no player can resist.

 

Reggie has led Wounded Legion to the top ranks of the factions on the Armored Souls servers, but the game has gotten easy for him. Too easy. When Valhalla West announces their tournament plans, Reggie springs into action to prepare for it. His motives are twofold. First, it’s the most excitement he’s felt in years.

 

But more importantly, Armored Souls is Reggie’s entire world. He’s willing to fight to keep it going as long as he can.

 

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

 

Note: Currently listed as book 2 in the series but is actually book 3.

 

This is the end and it feels like it. Not only does the story tell the tale of a MMO that’s become stagnant, but a last gasp at getting new players by running a tournament with an OP Mech rig as a prize. For Reggie, it’s a signal that the game is on its last legs but he plans to win the tournament anyways.

 

There are some very meta themes about a game series ending, when it’s also evident that the novel series we’re reading is ending.

 

The novel is heavy on the mech combat and if you liked the fights in books 1 and 2, you’ll like it in this one too. However, because the reader knows both the game and the novel are ending there’s this odd feeling of entropy as you read. There’s a feeling that it all doesn’t matter because you know the end is near. That ruined a bit of the fun for me.

 

Still, it’s a good ending that wraps things up nicely, even if it did go in the direction I thought it would.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Ghost Platoon: a mech LitRPG novel (Armored Souls Book 2)

http://amzn.to/2DXvZK8

 

(Picture 5)

Fairwind's Fortune

 

In 2038, Gail plays "Thousand Tales", a game run by a watchful AI. In there, she's exploring an endless sea to gain aquatic powers and master the rare skill of combat origami. In the real world she helps run an ice cream company and is starting to see robots sneaking around the place, because the AI's plans go beyond keeping players entertained.

 

Her real and fantasy lives collide one night when she has a bout of extremely good luck, and the chance to have her brain permanently relocated to the game's world. Is digital heaven too good an offer to pass up?

 

"Fairwind's Fortune" is part of the larger "Thousand Tales" setting, though no knowledge of it is required. A friendly artificial intelligence is seeking allies to cross between worlds, offering magic and transformation and immortality in return. What can Gail do to help befriend the young race of AIs raised inside a game, and make sure they understand what humans really want?

 

My Opinion: 111 pages, $0.99, Not available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is mostly a slice of life story where the main character (MC), Gail, is an explorer, crafter, and mentor. Then she wins the lottery and decides to upload her mind to the game she’s playing, a kind of virtual heaven where just about anything is possible.

 

The story is fine, but the RPG mechanics are pretty minimal. Like the larger Thousand Tales series, the story focuses on the adventures possible in this digital heaven, where any kind of world is possible and people can be anything they want.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Fairwind's Fortune

http://amzn.to/2EaEtln

 

(Picture 6)

Demon's Quest (Grimdark Adventures Online Book 1)

 

A gamer girl plays for her life.

 

There are seven stages of grief. Tatiana finds herself stuck in anger. Diagnosed with an inoperable, terminal brain cancer, she rails against fate as her choices get taken away one by one. Only two things prevent her from falling into the sixth stage – depression. The first is Grimdark Adventures Online, where she has two characters/avatars, one a brutal male Battle-Knight, the other a gorgeous Rogue. The second liberating thing: insurance.

 

When her real-life body dies, the insurance will allow her to escape extinction by paying for her upload into the game as a perma-player, ensuring that she will never reach the seventh stage – acceptance. She need only choose which character her consciousness will inhabit.

 

Perma-players can’t level up as quickly or easily as Players, so Tatiana spends her last days in the hospital playing the game, leveling up where she can and venting her rage in battle and mayhem.

 

When a demon in the game threatens to steal from her her final choices by permanently killing both of her characters, forcing her to upload as an unknown at Level 1, Tatiana knows desperation. She must either accede to the demon’s wishes by going on a quest, or meekly accept the unacceptable.

 

Backed by a flying dragon, she sends her Rogue character into the unknown to battle orcs, mages, and cannibalistic goblins. Determined to win through despite the odds, she refuses to accept any possibility other than victory. But, even should she win through, she can only hope that the demon will keep his word, freeing her to make her final choice before it gets made for her.

 

My Opinion: 248 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Easy review. This is a boring story. The core premise of the entire novel hinges on a player believing that some random voice in her character’s head is a demon that is aware he’s a character in a game and has the power to delete her main and alt characters. None of which is established in the story as being possible before.

 

So, instead of logging out and reporting a bug or even commenting on the fact that this NPC demon is self aware, the woman believes him and lets the demon possess her body.  

 

This sets the tone for the novel. The woman just does everything this demon tells her and goes on this adventure to collect three talismans and beat a high level guild, all by herself. Any time things get tough, there’s some magic wand waving and things just somehow work out. This level of unrealistic response just makes the whole story boring because no matter what happens, you know the main character is going to win. Even if she, as a low level character, is facing a guild full of high level characters. Or as happens early in the story, she magically beats a room full of armed men, even though she is naked and unarmed.

 

On the game mechanics side, things are light too. There’s plenty of gamer references but the actual mechanics are limited to an occasional character description, short character sheet, and a health bar that appears during combat. Everything else is written as fantasy.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

Demon's Quest (Grimdark Adventures Online Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2GXwfe6

 

(Picture 7)

The Omega Dream

 

With the innovation of fully immersive virtual technology that links directly to the user's mind, the world of console gaming has evolved in five years beyond what all but the most ambitious of gamers could imagine. Unfortunately, that technology comes with a few... quirks.

 

When a young boy named Aaron Marcus got his hands on his first Neural Console it was a dream come true. He could finally join his other friends who had long since delved into the virtual MMO known as Omega Dream. It all turns to a nightmare when a tragedy strikes and he becomes unable to return back to the real world.

 

Discovering he is but another in a long line of players trapped inside the artificial realm, he resolves himself to do whatever it takes to make it out. He begins his journey through Purgatory, the server built to house the damned players cursed to spend the rest of their days inside “Omega Dream”. It isn’t long before he finds out just how difficult his quest may be. Only one player has ever escaped the virtual prison. Only time will tell if Aaron has what it takes to be the second.

 

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

 

This is the debut novel from author Tyson Pernitzky as such, it’s understandable that not everything is going to be perfect and this isn’t. The game mechanics in the story aren’t the big draw and while consistently used through the story, they have issues. I’ll say that this story has all the pieces to be good, they’re just in the wrong order.

---

Game Mechanics

 

The game mechanics in the story are rushed and much of the information is presented in such a way that they feel like they’re being made up as the story goes. I’m not saying that the author didn’t put forethought or planning but rather that how they’re revealed to the reader feels rushed. The main character starts out in the story already in the level 30s, so there’s no opportunity to gradually reveal the mechanics the same way you would if the character had been freshly created and the player were discovering things with the reader. Instead, the main character call out his various powers as he uses them and sometimes also throws out an explanation. This becomes better as the story goes on but even game mechanics like factions and resource node capture, though cool, are presented as info dumps.

---

 

Story

 

Fundamentally, this is an action story.  Fight scenes dominate the first 75% of the novel and they’re pretty decent. The fights are the novels strength but also its biggest weakness.

 

As a strength, the fights are well written. There’s a nice variety of opponents. The types of fights the main character is involved with are also varied and go from tournament style, to infiltration, to flag defense, to full raids, and guild vs guild battles.

 

It’s the story’s weakness in the sense that that’s all much of this story is. A series of fights. The connective story tissue between fights doesn't provide a more interesting story or give you any reason to care about the outcome of those fights.

 

The story outside the fights is also a bit fractured. It goes from obsessed gamer to trapped in game, to virtually uploaded, then to die in game die forever. That lack of focus and planning in the story makes it hard to care about the characters. There’s an attempt at character development about 75% into the story when faction stuff is introduced but by that time it’s kind of late.

 

Additionally about this time the main character tries to be the hero suddenly by proposing a fundamentally different way of life for those perma players and it becomes a story about him convincing them by word or strength of arm. It’s a shift in the story that’s a welcome change from just action but again, it comes so late many people won’t have stuck around for it.

 

This could have been a good story had there been character development earlier in the story and more plot, for the majority of the story, than kill things for XP.

 

Score: 5 out 10

The Omega Dream

http://amzn.to/2DVCyNm

 

(Picture 8)

The New Party: VirTim LitRPG Episode 1

 

The sirens are blaring. The nuclear missiles are on their way. You have only minutes left to live. What do you do? Play an online fantasy RPG, of course.

 

Virtual time dilation (VirTim) means that even a few minutes of real time can become weeks, months or years of subjective game time. Ryan is one of those who flee the holocaust to a VirTim world.

 

But something in the Realms of Ralonus is very wrong...

 

My Opinion: 29 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

For the number of pages this is a good KU read but not as a straight purchase. It sets up the premise of Ryan choosing to use time compression in a MMO to extend the last minutes of his life as long as possible. Only when he gets into the game, he finds the place has changed. He feels extreme pain when hit, and safe zones aren’t so safe. Thankfully he meets a sexy rogue that he can team up with.

 

A story has a good setup. The RPG mechanics are consistent and death has real meaning since respawning means losing precious time compression minutes.  The combat isn’t great but the idea that this guy’s last refuge has turned into something bad is intriguing enough to get me to read the next episode.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

The New Party: VirTim LitRPG Episode 1

http://amzn.to/2EteRPE


 

(Picture 9)

Level Up

 

Virtual is Reality.

 

What would the world be like if video game rules suddenly applied?

 

Marcus is about to find out. After a freak accident he finds himself stuck between a game and the real world. He’ll need to fight his way through football hooligans, carnies and the dreaded RNG to get to the final boss and save the world. Anything less means it’s game over for good.

 

Along the way he’ll learn new skills, chase epic loot and most importantly of all, Level Up!

 

My Opinion: 306 pages, $2.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

A parody novel that crosses Office Space with the Gamer.

 

The RPG mechanics in the story aren’t anything to write home about. They consist of the main character (MC) getting undefined amounts of XP and gaining levels to get new abilities. There’s no real depth there.

 

That’s fine though, this is a parody/humor novel. It makes fun of just about every genre of video game and silly mechanics used in them: Beat Em Ups, Stealth, Base Building, Card Games, mini games, quick time events, escort missions, and so much more. It combines that with an Office Space type subplot where the MC uses his new game powers to stand up to his jerk co-workers and boss. My favorite fight is the one he has with HR. Anyone that’s ever worked in an office will feel a cathartic connection.

 

There are a few flaws. The combat gets a bit over the top and becomes repetitive and predictable sometimes. Some of the parody jokes also get a little repetitive. Some people also may not like the rush from genre to genre because of the inconsistency world building.

 

Overall, I had a fun time reading the novel. Don’t take it too seriously and you’ll have fine time too.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Level Up

http://amzn.to/2BT5ZNV



 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

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If you enjoy the podcast and want to support us you can also find all the other ways to support the podcast at www.litrpgpodcast.com/support  

 

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/


 

LitRPG Podcast 094

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 094

Feb. 2nd, 2018

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 94 of the LitRPG podcast.

 

I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews. This week I have 7 new LitRPG reviews for you.


 

New Releases and Reviews:

Threadbare Volume 2: Sew You Want to be a Hero

http://amzn.to/2FxIvAk

The Cost of Survival: A LitRPG Apocalypse (The System Apocalypse Book 3)

http://amzn.to/2FmcYkH

The Greystone Chronicles Book Three: Darkness Fallen

http://amzn.to/2Gk12Bk

Perma-Death Online: A LitRPG adventure: Book 1 http://amzn.to/2GaefN0

Return to Dungeon: A Monster MC LitRPG (Kobold's Quest Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2FsiD9Z

A Fist Full of Sand: A Book of Cerulea (Sam's Song 1)

http://amzn.to/2DLMhWg

Inside Out (Bloodfeast Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2DRMfMI  


 

 

 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News

 

 

Travis Bagwell, author of Awaken Online series, released the 3D images for a figurine he might be selling soon. It’s a figure of Jason the necromancer raising the undead.

 

His team is moving to the test printing phase and it might be ready to buy in just a couple of weeks. This thing looks gorgeous!

 

Personally, I think Alain Viesca rocked this.

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10111105319966640&id=7964205


 

Out Now!  

 

 

Last Horizon Omnibus: Beta and Live

http://amzn.to/2EsxDnT

 

 

Bushido Online: Friends and Foes: A LitRPG Saga

http://amzn.to/2FqTZGz


 

 

The Omega Dream

http://amzn.to/2DVCyNm


 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

New Horizons: Emerilia, Book 4

http://amzn.to/2DUrSyx

 

 

War Aeternus: The Beginning

http://amzn.to/2DTNMBO



 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

 

Respawn: Lives 1-5  (Feb. 7th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2E6Vjhx


 

 

Kingdom Level Four: LitRPG (Feb. 28th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2CNiPiS

 

 

Dragon Seed: A LitRPG Dragonrider Adventure (The Archemi Online Chronicles Book 1) (Feb. 28th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2DvWdmD

 

 

Avatars Rising: SILOS I (Feb. 28th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2E6WHR2

 

 

Clan Wars (Way of the Shaman book 7) (Feb. 2018)

 

 

Restart (Dark Paladin Book #3) LitRPG Series ( March 6, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2mI2XGT


 

 

Perma-Death Online: A LitRPG adventure: Book 2 (March 15, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2Dy0k1v


 

 

Akillia's Reign (Puatera Online Book 4) (March 16th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2CAfe6G

 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

 

Threadbare Volume 2: Sew You Want to be a Hero

 

Threadbare has not had a very good time of it, recently. His little girl has been taken from him, and he must travel the kingdom, finding allies old and new, living and dead, to help him rescue Celia.

 

Fortunately, he's got a voice now, and access to all those fun skills he couldn't use before. He may only be a very small teddy bear, but he's got the persistence to plow through dungeons of rascally raccoon monsters, the wiles to turn a town full of undead on its ear, and the sanity to survive an encounter with a mediocre old one.

 

However, Threadbare's little girl is growing up now, and her own path is hard, and brutal. Will she even have a use for her old teddy bear, when they meet again? Will they both survive the encounter?

 

Warning: Contains profanity and violence, and a creepy villain who likes tentacles way too much.

 

My Opinion: 345 pages, $4.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Threadbare is back and now he’s made some friends. Everything you loved about book 1 has returned but now there’s more of it. There’s loads of action, adventure, crafting, leveling, skill gains, and it’s all told from the point of view of a teddy bear that’s come to life as a golem.

 

Things that change in book 2. The story is set 5 years past the end of book 1. This is sort of necessary to reset the story world and give Threadbare the needed space to grow and discover. Also, Threadbare can talk now. This is a big improvement and opens up all kinds of storytelling opportunities now that he can engage with other people. There’s also a growing cast of other golems that join threadbare in his quests. However, the biggest improvement over book 1 is that the story stays with Threadbare most of the novel. In book 1, towards the end of the novel, Threadbare almost became a secondary character in his owner’s story. Yes, there are places where the POV shifts but when it’s on Threadbare, it’s definitely his story.

 

I had a great time reading this and I read just about the entire thing in one sitting.

 

Score: 8 out of 10.

Threadbare Volume 2: Sew You Want to be a Hero

http://amzn.to/2FxIvAk

 

(Picture 2)

The Cost of Survival: A LitRPG Apocalypse (The System Apocalypse Book 3)

 

The Onlivik Spores have been defeated, the dungeon tamed but at great cost. John and his friends are reeling from the losses, but the countdown to full integration to the System continues. Threatened by System-integrated races and new, more powerful monsters, John will need to get creative if he and the city are to survive.

The Cost of Survival is Book 3 of the System Apocalypse, a LitRPG / GameLit Apocalypse book that combines modern day life, science fiction and fantasy elements along with game mechanics.

 

My Opinion: 286 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Book 3 of the System Apocalypse ends the first arc of the series and it does it well. There’s a great deal of action, adventure, and RPG power ups. It’s been interesting to see how John and his friends have dealt with and protected Whitehall from monsters, the swarms, and now politics.

 

The only small note of annoyance with the novel would be the sudden transitions between scenes. One paragraph the MC would be in town, the next paragraph he’d be hundreds of miles away and there was no transition or chapter break showing the two paragraphs weren’t connected.

 

Overall, I had a good time reading it and can’t wait to see what adventures await our heroes in the future.

 

Score: 7 out of 10.

The Cost of Survival: A LitRPG Apocalypse (The System Apocalypse Book 3)

http://amzn.to/2FmcYkH

 

(Picture 3)

The Greystone Chronicles Book Three: Darkness Fallen

 

Alexander and the Greystone Guild are expanding their territory. Building up the keep, conquering new lands, and recruiting citizens of all races. And when they've prepared enough, they plan on taking the fight to the minions of the Dark One in their own strongholds. .

 

New friends are discovered, and alliances are made. Tragedy befalls one of the group, and the Dark One's identity is finally discovered. A new, yet at the same time ancient enemy makes itself known, threatening to change the face of Io forever.

 

My Opinion: 413 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

I had to laugh when I read the Forward. It’s a nice summary of the last book but it read like it should have been titled, “Last Time on the Greystone Chronicles.”

 

Book 3 in the series picks right up where book 2 left us dangling. Facing an unexpected army of demons and a Lich. The situation is quickly resolved and then the story gets back to town building, recruiting, and social stuff.

 

That sets the tone for the novel in general.  Yes there’s action and adventure but overall, the story feels more daily adventure and slice of life. There are fewer epic battles and much more city building, crafting, and town management stuff. There’s still some development of the story and advancement with the real world attacks on the game company but they felt forced at times. Especially the big reveal with the Dark One, there wasn’t much foreshadowing of it through book 1 and 2 so the reveal felt a bit sudden.

 

Though the cast of characters is becoming super long, we still spend time with fan favorites like Fibble the goblin. Those moments when it’s just the core group are definitely my favorite. Those relationships are the big character development draw for me.

 

I still have the same old complaint about how death is treated in the series. The main character and his group get super upset and angry any time one of them dies, even though they know they’re friend is going to resurrect soon. It’s explained that because these immersion players feel like they're there, their emotional responses are just as knee jerk. So to them it’s like they saw their friend die for real. Only this doesn’t make sense to me. There’s no permadeath for players, so this always seemed like a weird reaction.  Also, if it’s the case that death feels real, then why doesn’t the main character or his group have any problem sneaking into an enemy's base and slitting the throats of other players while they sleep? It’s just an inconsistency in a view of death that keeps bothering me. Though I will acknowledge that the author’s been consistent with the view through the series.

 

Overall, this is still an enjoyable story. I liked where the kingdom building in the story goes but I’m also ok with a slice of life story.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

The Greystone Chronicles Book Three: Darkness Fallen

http://amzn.to/2Gk12Bk

 

(Picture 4)

Perma-Death Online: A LitRPG adventure: Book 1

 

Rohan is an NPC in the real world, stuck at a job he despises. His only escape is the fantasy paperbacks that share his bed at night.

 

Once a gaming addict, Rohan renounced gaming ten years back, thanks to a painful incident in his life. When Prithvi Online—a VRMMORPG unlike any other—is unleashed, Rohan does his best to avoid it. That he cannot “afford” the game helps as well.

 

But when a friend brings an opportunity to play Prithvi Online for free, Rohan can resist no more. He lets his resolution slip.

 

However, something fishy is going on in the world of Prithvi. And strange notifications asking to maintain a distance from hooded people only deepen the mystery.

 

Soon Rohan’s life in the game is turned upside down as he uncovers a plot that can have deadly consequences to the world of Prithvi… and the real world as well.

 

My Opinion: 151 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The writing in the novel reflects non-native American speaking patterns. Which makes sense considering the story takes place in India but the shift might bother some people. Here are a couple examples.

 

“My eyes had been losing it…”

“Don’t you ever want to leave this blasted job…”

“the man also told me…”

 

I got used to it and honestly I think it adds a nice flare of cultural perspective to the novel. The story gets credit for trying to use Indian mythology in the game part of the story but it’s unfortunately a minor aspect of the game mythology. There’s very little world building for the game and the descriptions of the game world felt flat. I felt more connected to the real world story which is set in India.  That part was really quite interesting as it gave me a glimpse into a culture I’m not used to reading about. However, the real world sections only make up about 15% of the story.

 

The main character (MC) is interesting up until the time he enters the game. Then it gets less interesting. The game mechanics aren’t anything special and overall are rather minimal. The game story is mostly slice of life with the MC wondering from fight to fight against the Rak, a warrior demon race. Who also appear to be the only kind of monster to kill the entire novel.  So understandably, combat gets repetitive fairly quickly. Even the introduction of permadeath isn’t that interesting because it doesn't affect the MC since it only applies to digitized citizens.

 

The end is a cliffhanger that has no setup or foreshadowing. And frankly doesn't make any sense.

 

Still, it’s not bad. It just that the novel never grabbed me and caught my attention so it never became particularly interesting for me.

 

5 out of 10

Perma-Death Online: A LitRPG adventure: Book 1 http://amzn.to/2GaefN0

 

(Picture 5)

Return to Dungeon: A Monster MC LitRPG (Kobold's Quest Book 1)

 

This downtrodden kobold finds himself with one hell of a quest ...

 

Kek has spent his life being treated like a dog, but he's only dog-like in appearance. You see, he's a kobold who originally came from a dungeon. And he's spent most of his life enslaved to a gang of exiled mercenaries hiding out in a deadly jungle. When Kek gains the power to see the hidden mechanics of reality and learns to "game" them to expand his skills and find hidden meanings, he is soon entrusted with a noble quest. He must return to the dungeon where he came from and rescue his people from servitude to the dungeon lord!

 

Faced with untold dangers, Kek is going to need allies—such as a sweet muck fairy with a killer streak, a deadly-beautiful siren who fights best au natural, and a sensual cat woman with lightning quick moves. They are sure going to keep this lone kobold on his toes.

Throughout this quest, Kek will learn the hard way that one of the greatest opponents a hero confronts is his own self-doubt.

 

My Opinion: 173 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

From the cover art and from the novel description, you’d think that this novel is going to be interesting story that is told from the point of view of a kobold. You might think you’re going to see the world through the eyes of what most stories consider a monster and how the world is different for those monsters.

 

Unfortunately, the novel is huge disappointment on many levels.

 

First, I’ll concede that this story is technically LitRPG. There’s a sublayer of game mechanics that the main character (MC), Kek, eventually gets access to. He’s a rare individual that does see things like stats, character sheets, HP bars, and more. He gets skills and gains levels according to those rules. So, totally LitRPG.

 

However, the game mechanics in the story are pretty minimal. Yes, they are there, even though there’s no explanation of why they exists in this fantasy world if no one else can usually see them. But with the exception of one character sheet, you don’t ever see any numbers or get any real detail about how the mechanics work. There are just occasional vague references to someones Str being low or a monster’s Dex being high. But no actual points of reference for what that means. It feels like the author just didn’t want to get into the nitty gritty of the game stuff but knew it needed to be there for the story to be LitRPG.

 

There’s also a serious lack of world building in the story. Over the course of the entire novel, the author tells the reader surprising little about the world. The reader never really knows if this is some VR world and everyone is an NPC, or if it’s a fantasy world with hidden RPG mechanics. That lack of understanding makes much of the novel confusing because characters seem to know about or speak about many modern conventions and it feels out of place. For example, there’s a druid early in the story that discovers a potion that lets him see the ‘Game Mechanics’ of the world and gain ‘Gamer Powers’. He starts spouting off about all the game mechanics he can now see. Except it doesn’t make sense that he’d know what all that information means automatically. How would he know what a gamer is or what the Cha stat does if it’s the first time he’d ever seen that? This kind of foreknowledge extends to several characters that refer to modern conventions like ‘redemption through philanthropy’ or jokes that depend on pop culture references. Things these fantasy characters wouldn’t know about.

 

However, the biggest disappointment of the novel is likely the key promise that this is going to be a story told from a monster’s perspective. The main character is technically a kobold. But the only reason you’d know it is because other characters go out of their way to call him that. There’s nothing inherent in the writing or the MC’s thinking, culture, or dialogue that makes the reader feel like they’re seeing the world through a monster’s perspective. Instead, it feels like the MC is another regular human.

 

There are a lot of other stories out there that do the Monster Class story better: Life Reset, A Goblin's Tale, Everybody Loves Large Chests, Re: Monster or anything online with the Re: tag which usually indicates reincarnation as a monster.

 

This one was a disappointment. The great cover art drew me in and raised my expectations but just didn’t fulfill them.

 

Score: 4 out of 10

Return to Dungeon: A Monster MC LitRPG (Kobold's Quest Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2FsiD9Z

 

(Picture 6)

A Fist Full of Sand: A Book of Cerulea (Sam's Song 1)

 

I really, really hate falling. Falling is stupid. Gravity is stupid. Orks are stupid.

 

Maybe if the Voice hadn’t dumped Sam’s Strength she wouldn’t have ended up chained to a post, waiting to be two orks’ lunch. Maybe if the Voice hadn’t dumped Charisma, she could have talked her way out. Maybe if the Voice had maxed Dexterity completely, she could have escaped without hurting herself. At least, as a halfling, Sam was able to hide easily. Sam wasn’t sure how big people managed in life. They couldn’t fit in to half the places they wanted.

 

Not that Sam was where she wanted. The Desert where she’d grown up no longer welcomed her, so she made her way to the city-state of Triport. She’d never seen a city before. Once there, she uncovers a danger lurking in the ancient ruins beneath the city, and it will take all of Sam’s Wisdom, Skills, and pint-sized audacity to save Triport from utter ruin.

 

My Opinion: 358 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Most of the game mechanics in the story appear in the first 10% of the novel. There’s definitions of stats, skills, and the main character (MC) even has a voice in her head explaining everything. Yet, from the very first pages of the story you can tell that the author is more than willing to fudge the numbers of the game world. There are several fights with a couple of orks that have captured the MC but despite being described as creatures that can ‘one-shot’ the MC, she only takes 1 damage from each punch and stab. At one point, the MC is stabbed, then punched and takes a total of 1 damage. The MC wins the fight by one-shot stabbing each ork, despite being shown to have 6 Strength (very below average according to the story) and surviving with a single hit point left. Which explains why a stab and punch earlier only did one damage, otherwise the MC would have died.

 

This number fudging sets the tone for how the game mechanics in the story are treated. After the 10% mark, most of the notifications and other established mechanics sort of disappear or at least become much rarer. When they are shown, or the voice in the MC head talks about them, there is often no acknowledgment by the MC or the narrative. It almost feels like this is mostly a fantasy story that had these gaming elements inserted in later.

 

There are hints in the story that this world, which is well described, may be a MMO or some game, but nothing is ever concretely said one way or the other. So, expectations for what’s possible are never established either. After all, I expect different thing to be possible from a VRMMO world than I do from a fantasy world with RPG mechanics governing it. Different levels of realism and modern knowledge.

 

As far as the story goes, it’s mostly slice of life, with the MC going on adventures with a gamer’s voice in her head. But because the game stuff seemed so inserted and often unacknowledged by the MC, it also ended up feeling unimportant and I could not get past that. If you don’t care about numbers making sense or the other issues that bothered me, you may have a much better time with the story.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

A Fist Full of Sand: A Book of Cerulea (Sam's Song 1)

http://amzn.to/2DLMhWg

 

(Picture 7)

Inside Out (Bloodfeast Book 1)

 

It's just another day in Boston for Mitch, Luke, Alyssa, and Stephanie. They're four college-aged friends who like to play the popular online game Bloodfeast MMO together. But when they log in to the game, none of their characters are where they'd last saved them and Mitch's character has two new items - a mysterious orb and a scroll.

 

Before the friends can figure out why, they're blinded by a bright flash of light. When their vision finally returns, they're shocked to find that they're now inside the game in their characters' bodies. But the friends are even more surprised when they learn that their characters somehow left the game and are now in their bodies back in Boston.

 

Trapped in the fantastic world of Bloodfeast, the friends embark on a quest to try and get back to their reality. In this world filled with magic, shifters, and monsters, they face one challenge after the next as they look for a way home.

 

Meanwhile, the Bloodfeast characters try to find their way around modern-day Boston. With no magic or shifting abilities, the characters have a hard time adjusting to life in 21st century America.

 

WARNING: This book contains extreme violence, sexual situations, bad language, worse language, vandalism, drinking, blood and gore, gore and blood, bloody gore (but don't worry - no gory blood), six of the seven deadly sins, animals that shouldn't exist, mildly disturbing behavior, seriously disturbing behavior, destruction of property, multiple decapitations, and a crazy lady who just might have all the answers.

 

My Opinion: 187 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

A bit over priced at $3.99, this a decent kindle unlimited read. It takes the Freaky Friday concept and applies it to an MMO. Four friends find themselves trapped the bodies of their game characters while those suddenly self aware characters are in their bodies in Boston.

 

There are two stories here. One, the four friends search for a way to get back into their real bodies while killing monsters, talking to wacky NPCs, bantering. This part of the story is decent. The action isn’t great but if the humor lands with you, you should enjoy it. There’s a lot of insider gamer jokes, puns, and just silly humor. There is also a lot of filler here as the group travels around. I feel like if the story in game could have been a bit tighter and focused and I would have enjoyed it more. Instead it wanders in places.

 

The second story is about how the game characters, now in the modern world, deal with a suddenly more advanced society and all the tech stuff involved with that. There’s plenty of Stranger in a Strange land stuff. This part of the story is relatively small part of the novel. Unfortunately, the four brave adventurer’s stay in the apartments they find themselves in instead of exploring the larger world. I feel like there’s a missed opportunity to explore different social structures and lots of missed joke opportunities.

 

Overall, this was decently entertaining. Not everyone is going to like the jokes and several of the characters are complete jerks but it worked well enough for me.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Inside Out (Bloodfeast Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2DRMfMI


 

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 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/


 

LitRPG Podcast 093

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 093

 

Jan. 26th, 2018

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 93 of the LitRPG podcast.

 

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


 

New Releases and Reviews:

 

The District: A Futuristic Dungeon Core (The Laboratory Book 3)

http://amzn.to/2Cnenqb

The Reapers (The Neuro Book #3) LitRPG Series

http://amzn.to/2y91UrZ

SLIME: Call of Tuatha (Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2DzUiBC

Bitter: Book Two

http://amzn.to/2Dynwg8

Bitter: Book Three

http://amzn.to/2FblSld

Devils Demons and Dead Men: A LitRPG Thriller (Kings and Conquests Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2ER7A9b  


 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News

 

 

Daniel Schinhofen was nice enough to reveal the cover art for his upcoming 4th book in the Alpha World series.




 

Out Now!  

 

 

The Builder's Throne (The Legendary Builder Book 5)

http://amzn.to/2Dy1tX5

(Not reviewing - lost interest)


 

 

Different Sides (Epic LitRPG Adventure - Book 7) (Fayroll)

http://amzn.to/2FrRIe5


 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

You're Not Allowed to Die: Twenty-Sided Eye, Book 1

http://amzn.to/2FbFZ2G

 

 

Dungeon Lord: The Wraith's Haunt: A LitRPG Series, Book 1

http://amzn.to/2DyN6Bx

 

 

Accidental Thief: LitRPG Accidental Traveler Adventure, Book 1

http://amzn.to/2Dy4mHg

 

 

Crystalfire Keep: Elements of Wrath Online, Book 3

http://amzn.to/2DIBNtS

 

 

Infinite Assassins: Daggerland Online Novel 2

http://amzn.to/2DwvoPi

 

 

Dungeon Calamity: Divine Dungeon, Book 3

http://amzn.to/2EaWXim

 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

 

Perma-Death Online: A LitRPG adventure: Book 1 (Jan. 26th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GaefN0

 

 

Return to Dungeon: A Monster MC LitRPG (Kobold's Quest Book 1) (Jan. 26th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2FsiD9Z

 

 

Darkness Fallen - Greystone Chronicles book 3 (Jan. 31, 2018)

 

 

Bushido Online: Friends and Foes: A LitRPG Saga (Feb. 1st, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2FqTZGz

 

 

Respawn: Lives 1-5  (Feb. 7th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2E6Vjhx


 

 

Kingdom Level Four: LitRPG (Feb. 28th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2CNiPiS

 

 

Dragon Seed: A LitRPG Dragonrider Adventure (The Archemi Online Chronicles Book 1) (Feb. 28th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2DvWdmD

 

 

Clan Wars (Way of the Shaman book 7) (Feb. 2018)

 

 

Restart (Dark Paladin Book #3) LitRPG Series ( March 6, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2mI2XGT

 

 

Avatars Rising: SILOS I (March 12th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2E6WHR2

 

 

Perma-Death Online: A LitRPG adventure: Book 2 (March 15, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2Dy0k1v


 

 

Akillia's Reign (Puatera Online Book 4) (March 16th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2CAfe6G

 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

 

The District: A Futuristic Dungeon Core (The Laboratory Book 3)

 

Emma has gained control of one district of a city run by a woman that she tried to kill. While her new position has improved her upgrade abilities the other district heads have had theirs enhanced as well. More of what the series is known for: more super-powered action, more insults, and more upgrades in a struggle to survive.

 

My Opinion: 206 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

A small note. There are some semi-regular grammar and spelling errors.

 

A lot of the story is honestly just meh. There’s nothing wrong with it, but nothing new is brought to the table either. It’s very much a repeat of books 1 and 2 in terms of what Emma is capable of. This one also has no dungeon building. There’s upgrade stuff for Emma and some minions but that it. Even those upgrades become less interesting because Emma seems to have an unlimited resource pool so she doesn’t have to make any hard choices about resource management.

 

Everything else is just action. Emma versus a bunch of new characters with their own powers. The fights themselves are decently described and the end is interesting enough to keep the novel from getting a 5. But just barely.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

The District: A Futuristic Dungeon Core (The Laboratory Book 3)

http://amzn.to/2Cnenqb

 

(Picture 2)

The Reapers (The Neuro Book #3) LitRPG Series

 

Alex and Enea are back in the Crystal Sphere where in their absence a catastrophe has struck. Virtual reality is now controlled by the Reapers: hybrid identities evolved from high-level NPCs who kill human players to harvest their neurograms.

 

Reapers are constantly on the prowl for more neurograms. No one is safe from their cannibalistic greed.

 

Survival in this new world becomes an ever-increasing challenge. A Reaper army is about to invade the Agrion cluster. Rion Castle has become the players' last outpost - but the struggle is too unequal.

 

My Opinion: 461 pages, $5.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

If you’ve been following the series, this one may throw you off a little. It’s set three years after the last book, though for Alex and Enea it’s only moments. The time jump is explained, repeatedly, and it’s just something you’re going to have to accept otherwise the whole story is going to bug you.

 

Another big shift in the story is that it gets more Sci-Fi. With the connection to the author’s other LitRPG Sci-Fi series, The Phantom Server, becoming bigger and more apparent, that makes sense. But since this series started out as a fantasy story, it may be a bit jarring to read about.

 

Still, the story is entertaining. It resolves just about every story thread I can think of. All the questions you may have had about things are answered: Where did the reapers come from? What’s happening with the real world? What the neuro enhancing devices are? What’s the connection to the Phantom Server? You get answers, though some of those explanations may feel a bit rushed.

 

There’s plenty of action and adventure in the story as the guild and the remnants of the human players try to defend themselves from the reapers that can kill them in game and in real life, permanently.

 

The ending wraps things up well enough to end the series but also leaves an opportunity for more story if the author wants to continue later.

 

Overall, I had a good time reading it.

Score: 7 out of 10.

The Reapers (The Neuro Book #3) LitRPG Series

http://amzn.to/2y91UrZ

 

(Picture 3)

SLIME: Call of Tuatha (Book 1)

 

Lysander Blacknail invested forty hard years of his life in service to the boar god, Tuatha, but in Lysander's greatest act of service to his god, he is betrayed. He finds himself in the body of a slime, inheriting odd abilities and an overwhelming circumstance. His only drive for survival is revenge. As a slime, the weakest monster in the world, he must discover a way to gain enough power and get his humanity back.

 

My Opinion: 268 pages, $3.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Originally a story on the royal road, the first two arcs are now a novel.

 

This is a slice of life story where the main character is a slime.  The first arc, about half the story, is all about Lysander being betrayed by his god in this RPG fantasy world and finding himself in the body of a slime. He has all the RPG potential he did as a human: notifications that describe powers, health, and skills that can be learned and improved. Though, how all this works is different for him now that he’s a monster. He spends the first half of the story learning the rules and killing other slimes to become more powerful. His ultimate goal-- kill the god who betrayed him.

The slime killing gets a little repetitive about 20% in, but push past it, it gets more varied.

 

The 2nd arc, is a more traditional fantasy story. The main character leaves the area he started out in to help his cat friend. I won’t spoil the the story but there’s some pretty epic fighting near the end. There are fewer RPG power ups but more world building and character development. It’s actually a nice change from the slice of life story in the first arc.

 

Overall, I this is an entertaining read. There are small errors and little plot holes throughout the story, but none of that takes away from the the story much.

 

Score: 7 out of 10.

SLIME: Call of Tuatha (Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2DzUiBC

 

(Picture 4)

Bitter: Book Two

 

VRMMORPG has arrived, along with: bugs, exploits, OP classes, over the top nerfs, p2w, ridiculous RNG, lockboxes, raging players, broken mechanics, limited bag space, tedious crafting... and then there are the goblins and ogres.

 

Bitter is an ongoing slice-of-life story about a girl who finds her life isn't what she wanted. So she gets another one.

 

Bitter started as a daily online serial, available to read at MoodyLit.com. This book collects chapters 101-200 in an edited form.

 

My Opinion: 327 pages, $3.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The author’s description of the story isn’t very good and is copy and pasted for each book. So here’s a reminder of book 1 and a better description of book 2.

 

Book 1: Britta, a teenage girl, is curious to understand why her dad is always playing some VR game. Late at night one day, she decides to use his expensive VR gear to create her own character and see what all the fuss is about. She doesn’t care about what character she has and randomly chooses to be a gnome illusionist, one of the games weakest builds. Yet, something goes awry. Instead of the standard MMO experience, the teen seems to have some mysterious connection with the AI governing the game and each NPC interaction is as full and detailed as it would be IRL. Is it because of her unique non-violent play style? Or her random build? The developers want to find out.

 

Book 2: Britta is back. Fresh off her deal with the developers, she’ll be monitored to see how her unique interactions with the game world change things. Britta however, is only interested in having fun in the game and decides to try her hand at a beginner level dungeon. Only nothing unfolds as it should. Instead, she finds a possessed dwarf chasing her and her backstabbing group through a kobold filled mine. Can she defeat the dwarf and free the kobolds from its terrifying presence?

---

This is a slice of life story that was originally published online as a serial story. However, of all the books in the series so far, this one has the most coherent plot. Mostly.

 

About 80% of the story revolves directly around the beginning dungeon, The Mines of Korlath, and the Britta’s attempt to beat it. Because the game world interacts differently with Britta, the main character (MC), she gets a different experience with the dungeon. Her and Stan get involved in a unique storyline involving a possessed dwarf, kobold miners, the town crime family, and a corrupt mayor.

 

Part of the story is about how big a jerk Stan is, since he can’t get that same quest line when he tries to run the dungeon on his own and tries to force the MC to group with him again.

 

The other main part of the story is actually about figuring out different tactics to beat this high level possessed dwarf in an almost Groundhog Day cycle of death. It’s neat.

 

I could feel the story arc coming to a resolution, then near the end of the novel, it just swerves onto a different story path away from the dungeon directly. Instead, it focuses on her normal life and a murder mystery thing.

 

Overall, I was a little disappointed that the arc seemed like it was so close to finishing and didn’t. Then I remembered this story is a serial online and it warns in advance it’s a slice of life story. It is what it is and I still had a good time reading it. But be aware of what this is before you expect normal plotlines and resolutions in each book.

 

Score:  7 out of 10.

Bitter: Book Two

http://amzn.to/2Dynwg8

 

(Picture 5)

Bitter: Book Three

 

VRMMORPG has arrived, along with: bugs, exploits, OP classes, over the top nerfs, p2w, ridiculous RNG, lockboxes, raging players, broken mechanics, limited bag space, tedious crafting... and then there are the goblins and ogres.

 

Bitter is an ongoing slice-of-life story about a girl who finds her life isn't what she wanted. So she gets another one.

 

Bitter started as a daily online serial, available to read at MoodyLit.com. This book collects chapters 201-300 in an edited form.

 

My Opinion: 354 pages, $3.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The author’s description of the story isn’t very good and is copy and pasted for each book.

 

Book 3: Stan, the backstabbing psycho, and Britta’s unexpected ally, is trapped in the game. He’s been arrested and imprisoned for murdering an NPC. If Britta doesn’t figure out what’s really happening and prove who really killed the NPC, Stan may just end up trapped in the game permanently or worse.

---

The story shifts again into a slice of life story. The in-game story revolves around Britta, the main character (MC), investigating the truth about the corrupt Mayor, some dwarves, and how they all connect to the kobold mine. In addition to that there are more slice of life aspects, like the MC exploring crafting, catching up with characters from book 1, doing random town quests, and more. In real life, the story also expands as the MC learns some truths about the game company and the AI controlling the game.

 

There are some interesting story threads here but a lot of the time they are only followed for a short period then they’re abandoned. It’s just the nature of a serial story that’s been turned into novel.

 

Overall, the story is still entertaining, but only if you can make peace with the format of the story. Don’t expect any resolutions. Don’t expect a fully coherent completely fleshed out plot. Just enjoy the journey as Britta goes on her adventures.

 

Note: There’s totally a cliffhanger ending with this one.

 

Score: 7 out of 10.

Bitter: Book Three

http://amzn.to/2FblSld

 

(Picture 6)

Devils Demons and Dead Men: A LitRPG Thriller (Kings and Conquests Book 1)

 

By the time most people have heard of the newest multiplayer fantasy role-playing game Kings and Conquests, developer Fairly Unusual Games has been overwhelmed by a $200 million crowdfunding haul.

 

Founders Accounts are going to six-figure contributors. There is talk of an augmented reality mobile accessory app and 3D printable treasures that can be sold for real money. The hype is beyond belief. Gaming fans go berzerk.

 

With contributors and the media eagerly anticipating a release date announcement, Fairly Unusual's stock suddenly and inexplicably plunges. CEO Garrett Wyland, once a darling of both Silicon Valley and Wall Street, is indicted by a federal Grand Jury for insider trading the day before his company files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

 

Less than 48 hours later, Wyland is shot and killed by officers of the Mississippi Highway Patrol attempting to execute a fugitive warrant. A briefcase full of cash, a fake ID and an airline ticket are found in his car.

 

Weeks pass.

 

With accusations flying, lawsuits being filed nationwide and revelation after revelation rocking the online and offline media, a fourth-rate host of a little-known game streaming channel receives an e-mailed gift marked "Kings and Conquests News" from one of his subscribers.

 

Thinking it's some kind of prank, Jordan Hall opens it and discovers a Founder's account login to a fully functional Kings and Conquests server, a 100-year pre-paid subscription and map coordinates marking a dangerously isolated in-game location labeled "Safekeep."

 

The e-mail is from Garrett Wyland.

 

Portions of this novel were previously published under the title Overpowered: A LitRPG Thriller by Shane Lochlann Black.

 

My Opinion: 216 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

In the novel description the author acknowledges to the reader that “Portions of this novel were previously published under the title Overpowered: A LitRPG Thriller by Shane Lochlann Black.” That story got a score of 4 out of 10 for not actually being LitRPG.

 

However, after a side by side comparison of the two stories, it’s evident that this is the same story with added text ( approx. 13,440 words). So, 5/6 of this novel is the novel Overpowered: A LitRPG Thriller.

 

I sent a message off to Palace in the Sky publishing in regards to their novel asking what the changes to the new story are and why the author chose to pull the original and replace it with a new novel with a new name.

 

The author’s response was mostly fluff but he did answer the questions and wrote, “Alas, I wasn't happy with the way the story turned out.  The game elements I needed to do my world building weren't at the quality level I wanted.  The story's plot didn't have the punch I was working towards when I started.”

 

“I went back through the first book and mapped out a better plot, drew better personalities and motivations for my main characters, altered a number of scenes, did some better world-building (with the gracious assistance of my fantasy-minded colleagues and their wonderful ideas) and most importantly changed the ending so book one could serve as a better jumping off point for book two and the rest of the series.  I also think the new book has a much better title and cover.”

 

“...my most important motivation for re-working the novels was the fact readers didn't seem happy with my first attempts.”

--

 

However, comparing a copy I have of the old novel to the new one there’s really not much difference between the two. The beginning of the novel is the most different with a new chapter zero doing more character development for Wyland and trying to show that he’s not a greedy jerk but instead a kind of genius.


The remaining changes to the story are mostly added connective tissue. Additional text is added to the end of some chapters providing a smoother transition into the next chapter. The text also adds more descriptive information and minor character building for the No Name Game group, and Wyland.

 

After the 67% mark, with the exception of eliminated curse words, the changes stop and the rest of the novel is identical to the old version. This includes the ending, which the author claimed he’d changed to be a “a better jumping off point for book two and the rest of the series.” So that wasn’t true at all.

 

Overall, this version of the novel has the same issues I’d pointed out with the first one. The original issues will be in noted with *, with excerpts from the original review in quotations and notes about changes in the new version after.

 

*The entire first section of the story is entirely hype about the game. No actual game play.

-This changes slightly as a new scene is added with the NNG group briefly playing a demo. But this lasts less than a 1% of the story. But actual play from the character doesn’t start until 41% mark.

 

*Most of the story isn’t about the game and doesn’t even take place in the game world.

 

“However, only about 13% of the story is actually in- game. I went back and counted and in-game story places can be found at the 33-35% 44-45%, 46-47%, 47-52%, 54%-54%, 57%-60%. Even then, it’s people looking at a computer screen commentating on what’s happening.”

-In the new version the percentage of the story that takes place in the game is bumped up all the way to 16%.

 

About the “...65% mark, the No Name Guild finds out that people are hunting them in real life and they have to flee. They don’t enter the game again until the very end of the story and even then it’s for a few paragraphs.”

-In the new version this just happens at about the 67% mark.

 

So, still not LitRPG. The author seems to be trying to take another bite at the apple by deleting the original version with it’s negative reviews and poor average review score and replacing it with this slightly longer one (total added words: 13,440).

 

*Note: The review I left on Amazon seems to have disappeared. So feel free to copy and past the review there if you’ve read the book.*

 

Score: 4 out of 10

 

--You can see the Actual noted changes to story in the show notes if you’re curious, it may contain mild spoilers--

Changes to original story. Total of 13,440 new words.

 

1-2% New chapter zero- New backstory material that paints a young Garrett Wyland as a child genius.

-Slight reorganization of early chapters putting all Wyland scenes together.

8% Two new paragraphs about a theme park simulator. How their game won't be like that.

9% New scene where Wyland admits to closest team members the company will run out of money soon. Whole controversy thing just for marketing.

*Attempt to make Wyland seem like less of a jerk.*

13-16% Added material to the end of this scene

- Fluff. Attempt to better connect No Name Games group (NNG) to previous hype about game. Shows them at a convention where they get info and hype about it. Them eating. Some character building. New info read by characters about building/hiring armies. Game info not apart previous version.

*Old version had group just suddenly playing at 11% mark.*

19-20% Added material to the end of this scene. No Name group plays demo of game for first time. More info on races. Cut scene teasing group about story in game.

21-2% New scene. Group pulled into another both as special guests. Sovereign booth. They look at cars. Fancy cars. They can win them if they get to lvl 75.

*Fluff. No effect on story, minor character development. Feels like padding.*

30% New intro paragraph but back to old story. Correspond to 22.15% mark of original.

37% Few added lines saying Wyland put shares of company in game.*Foreshadowing. Rest of section same.*

44-45% Added material to chapter.

-MC creates new character. More info on races and attributes. -MC answers a series of game questions that alter his character. Personality and role playing rewarded.

-Deletes character and starts over to test theory that Wyland trying to communicate something.

*Meant to better connect to next chapter where MC reveals to team he made lvl 2 by answering questions in character creation.*

48-49% Added material after Yancy threatens to sue.

-More fluff. Argument between company lawyer and company man. False bankruptcy.  Decision for sales over high quality.

55% added list of spell names and possible mage classes. Few lines. Returns to old story immediately after.

66% Added section to scene. NNG group checks progress pages. (Not shown, just says they checked) Banter between characters.

*Fluff*

67% Back to old story. Corresponds to 59.37% of original.

-With the exception of curse words being replaced or eliminated, the rest of the story is exactly the same as the old version. This includes the exact same ending.

 

Score: 4 out of 10.

Devils Demons and Dead Men: A LitRPG Thriller (Kings and Conquests Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2ER7A9b


 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

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If you enjoy the podcast and want to support us you can also find all the other ways to support the podcast at www.litrpgpodcast.com/support  

 

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

 

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/


 

LitRPG Podcast 092

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 092

 

Jan. 19th, 2018

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 92 of the LitRPG podcast.

 

I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews. This week I have 7 new LitRPG reviews for you.


 

New Releases and Reviews:

 

War God's Mantle: Ascension: A litRPG Adventure (The War God Saga Book 1) (17:02)

http://amzn.to/2lZ05oN

Aetheria Offline: A LITRPG Saga (26:49)

http://amzn.to/2CRBJ7C

Down She Falls: A Lit-RPG (The World Ingot Series Book 1) (39:30)

http://amzn.to/2qVNCb2

Dungeon Crisis: A LitRPG Dungeon Core Adventure (Glendaria Awakens Trilogy Book 2) (50:40)

http://amzn.to/2FsXRXq

Soul Reckoning: A LitRPG Adventure (Veilwalkers Book 2) (54:14)

http://amzn.to/2CfRO7C

Headshot: Two in the Head (Book 2 of a Zombie litRPG Trilogy) (52:54)

http://amzn.to/2Dt6QHu

A Trap for the Potentate (The Dark Herbalist Book #3) LitRPG series (01:04:20)

http://amzn.to/2hCtEhG

 



 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News


 

 

A big congratulations to Dakota Krout. The audiobook version of his novel Dungeon Born made it to the top 5 of Audible’s Fantasy Audiobooks! CONGRATULATIONS BUDDY!!

https://www.audible.com/ep/BOTY-2017_Fantasy?ref

 

 

Luke Chmilenko, author of the Ascend Online series, and his latest novel Legacy of the Fallen (Ascend Online Book 2) is doing great and is currently in the 100s on Amazon Best Seller ranks.

 

He is also doing an AMA on the LitRPG subreddit. It will be Jan. 20th at 1pm. You can go there now though and write questions on the thread.

https://www.reddit.com/r/litrpg/comments/7r3nmr/brothers_and_sisters_of_litrpg_upcoming_ama_from/  

 

 

Vasily Mahanenko, author of the Way of the Shaman series, Galacticon, and The Dark Paladin series, has written his 2nd article on “how to write LitRPG.” The title of this article is “Game mechanics. Part 2. Designing a fantasy game world.” It gives some great world building advice that is specifically tailored to creating a believable LitRPG world.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPG.books/permalink/1690258317664164/

 

 

Every year at Dragon Con, a convention in Atlanta, there are given The Dragon Awards. This is a completely fan driven award. Fans nominate and vote for their favorite authors. No fee or membership is needed. You just register, confirm your email and nominate the authors you love.

 

A number of LitRPG authors will be at Dragon Con this year. So, go nominate your favorite authors. Pay special attention to the rules and that you can only nominate a book in one category.

http://application.dragoncon.org/dc_fan_awards_nominations.php

 

Out Now!  


 

 

Devils Demons and Dead Men: A LitRPG Thriller (Kings and Conquests Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2ER7A9b

 

 

Fragged 7 (Fragged (A LitRPG Short Story Series))

http://amzn.to/2Dnioib

(Not reviewing, the last few entries haven’t been LitRPG)





 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

The Way of the Clan 3

http://amzn.to/2FQhQ2y

 

 

The Weirdest Noob

http://amzn.to/2DIwSH5

Our review of the ebook: http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/3/31/the-weirdest-noob

 

 

A Slave in the Locked Lands: LitRPG

http://amzn.to/2EP8uD1

Our review of the ebook version: http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/8/10/a-slave-in-the-locked-lands-litrpg-the-weirdest-noob-book-2

 

 

For the Guild: Emerilia, Book 3

http://amzn.to/2FOnXVf

Our review of the ebook version: http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/3/10/for-the-guild-emerilia-book-3

 

 

Hellions: Sigil Online, Book 2

http://amzn.to/2DLDp3y

Our review of the ebook version: http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2018/1/11/sigil-online-hellions

(Play sample)

 

 

Project Alpha

http://amzn.to/2DKm7Eh

(Play Sample)

(Full disclosure: The novel was written by the host of the LitRPG Podcast)

 

Upcoming LitRPG:


 

 

The District: A Futuristic Dungeon Core (The Laboratory Book 3) (Jan. 19th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2Cnenqb

 

 

Different Sides (Epic LitRPG Adventure - Book 7) (Fayroll) (Jan. 22nd, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2FrRIe5


 

 

The Reapers (The Neuro Book #3) LitRPG Series (Jan. 24th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2y91UrZ

 

 

Return to Dungeon: A Monster MC LitRPG (Kobold's Quest Book 1) (Jan. 30th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2FsiD9Z

 

**Darkness Fallen - Greystone Chronicles book 3 (Jan. 31, 2018)**

 

 

Bushido Online: Friends and Foes: A LitRPG Saga (Feb. 1st, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2FqTZGz

 

 

Kingdom Level Four: LitRPG (Feb. 28th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2CNiPiS

 

 

Clan Wars (Way of the Shaman book 7) (Feb. 2018)

 

 

Restart (Dark Paladin Book #3) LitRPG Series ( March 6, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2mI2XGT

 

 

Avatars Rising: SILOS I (March 12th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2E6WHR2


 

 

Akillia's Reign (Puatera Online Book 4) (March 16th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2CAfe6G

 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

 

War God's Mantle: Ascension: A litRPG Adventure (The War God Saga Book 1)

 

The gods walk again …

 

When Marine Corps pilot Jacob Merely crashes during a routine mission off the coast of Cyprus, he was sure it was game over.

 

After surviving the crash and pulling himself onto the sandy shores of a long-abandoned island, however, Jacob unwittingly stumbles headfirst into the ancient ruins of a dead city. Unfortunately, he also stumbles into an age-old battle between good and evil—and he is now its newest recruit.

 

The island once belonged to the Amazons, daughters of Ares, the God of War, and stood as the final bastion between the human world and the monstrosities of the Great Below. But Jacob’s arrival has awakened the old gods and disturbed the seal holding the ravaging darkness at bay.

 

Now, with the help of a sacred gem containing Ares’ power, Jacob must recreate the Amazonian defenders of humanity and fortify the island stronghold. And if he fails, Hades will unleash his army of the damned and the world of men will fall, giving rise to an age of walking nightmares.

 

My Opinion: 345 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The first 14% of the story is a little rough. It’s very military action oriented but once you get past that and into the RPG game mechanic stuff, the novel really picks up. The novel then starts to feel like a mix of the Wrath of the Titans (1981), Wonder Woman, God of War, and a good RTS game.

 

This greek mythology themed LitRPG story tries to balance an action adventure story with city building, RPG leveling, crafting, and resource management.

 

There are great battles between Amazonian women against monsters sent by Hades himself with the stakes being no less than mankind's survival. The action combat is definitely a highlight of the novel.

 

The RPG leveling of the main character is detailed. There are multiple graphics devoted to showing the three skill trees that are available to the main character (MC) and there are multiple other game mechanic options to show progression for him and the Amazonians. The only tiny complaint here would be that some of the levels seem to come a bit easy for the MC. But that may be because, outside the few character sheets, no XP is shown gained for killing monsters, crafting, or completing quests. That lack of detail in the narrative, along with no levels for monsters, is a missed chance to tell the reader how powerful/difficult the monsters are relative to the MC who has a level.

 

The RTS aspects, like creating Amazonians, repairing and upgrading buildings, crafting weapons, and collecting and managing special resources is a nice addition to the story. It provides a great break from the action and adds another layer of interest for litRPG readers. Though, again, occasionally there are a lack of consistency in this resource management. Sometimes the resources used are detailed in clear numbers. Making an Amazonian general for example, costs 3-4 divine essence points. On another occasion, the MC magically plants and grows multiple fields of crops, and summons herds of cows and chickens, all for the vaguely defined cost of ‘some divine essence and a splash of Thymos Crystals’.

 

These tiny inconsistencies don’t take away much, if anything, from the enjoyment of the story and are likely just a result of two authors combining their work. But it does reflect the less RPG gameness, especially in the combat scenes, of this story compared to Viridian Gate Online.

 

Still, this is a good story with plenty of numbers and detailed information to satisfy most LitRPG fans. The action, though less game mechanic detailed, is fast paced and thrilling. Especially the last 15% of the story. Woah, those battles are great and a bit over the top in a God of War kind of way.

 

Overall, I had a good time reading the story and personally loved the Mountain Dew jokes.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

War God's Mantle: Ascension: A litRPG Adventure (The War God Saga Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2lZ05oN

 

(Picture 2)

Aetheria Offline: A LITRPG Saga

 

The Aetheria server has come to life!

Join the Lost Legion and the Knights of Aetheria as they wage war against the forces of the Unseeing.

 

With each installment, one reader will be selected to join an ever growing character cast. They must create their own character, whose progress will be tracked throughout the story with a character sheet. Such characters are not entirely under the control of the author; the author will ensure that each reader's character behaves according to settings provided by the readers, as well as feedback provided in further reviews.

 

Readers who are part of the cast will be given the opportunity to vote on important decisions such as the direction of the story and what quests to pursue. In other words, the story is not set in stone.

 

My Opinion: 138 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The Author has over 30 Minecraft based game stories that target the 7-12 year old age groups.  The author claims to have been writing stories with RPG elements for years but this is the first title that I could find tagged as LitRPG.

 

A unique aspect to the story is its ‘interactiveness’.

 

With each installment, one reader will be selected to join an ever growing character cast. They must create their own character, whose progress will be tracked throughout the story with a character sheet. Such characters are not entirely under the control of the author; the author will ensure that each reader's character behaves according to settings provided by the readers, as well as feedback provided in further reviews.

 

Readers are supposed to submit their characters as reviews of the story on Amazon and then they can help determine the course of the story on a special Discord channel.

 

This artificially inflates the review count.

 

So the author takes characters and story ideas given by readers and incorporates them into their own work. Some reviewers accuse the author of stealing these kid’s ideas and characters but reading the reviews where kids submit their characters, they seem happy to do it.

---

The actual novel is six short stories that are loosely related and marginally LitRPG. There story takes place in Minecraft, a game, there are things like levels, abilities, and character sheets but there’s no actual RPG progression. But that’s sort of the nature of stories that are sometimes only a couple pages long.

 

There’s a lot of information thrown at the reader that likely relates to a specific Minecraft reference but it’s never explained. For example, the first story for Elric notes he’s a Knight 10/Initiate of Eight Winds 10/ Wayward Swordsman 3/ Purifier 15/ Retainer of Icehollow 6/ Disciple of the Silver Flame 15/ Twilight Shepard 1. Only there’s no explanation of what any of those classes mean or do.

 

The stories themselves are sort of boring. At least for me, a grown up. The story is very clearly geared towards 7-11 year olds and it may be more entertaining to someone who loves minecraft. For me, most of the stories fell flat. There’s rarely setup for plot or foreshadowing. Characters have no background so it’s hard to care for them.  Also, most of the stories just describe stuff happening and nothing else.

 

1-21% Elric. Just a combat scene with very loose and unexplained backstory. Fight between Elric and Underlord.

 

22- 27 % Kolb (Player) who dates an NPC. They eat pizza together a rare item that has to be crafted while the method is lost to players. (Actually kind of cute)

 

28- 41% Faolan (NPC), magician and humanoid wolf. Tries to cure the Mayor of a level 25 poison. When a player looking for a secret quest interrupts, things get crafty. (Cute actually)

 

42-46 % Becca (Player) supposed to unlock a black box. (Really that’s it)

 

47- 55 % Kae (Player) provides a key for the box. They get some items. (Yup, that’s it again)

 

56- 63 % Rubinia (Player) gives out enchantments.

 

63-70% Cobalt. Conversation with a noob player new to the guild. Introduce several players with character sheets.

 

71-81% Author explaining the rules of the story game and how reviewers can get a character added to the novel in future versions.

 

81-100% Glossary of items.

 

Overall, an interesting experiment on collaborative storytelling. Except the part where the author keeps all the money from sales. Also, note that a good 30% of the novel is just the author explaining the rules for submitting characters and stories to readers. The nature of the stories themselves and the vaguely exploitive way the author is coming up with the stories left me not liking the product.

 

*Note: The author has sent me a couple messages saying he thinks the review is unfair. Beyond arguing about semantics, he was upset I didn't talk about his prose and that he disagrees with the use of the word exploitive in the review.

-The way the story is written doesn’t matter to me if the story is not entertaining.

-The author actively solicits characters and story ideas from kids, writes this novel using those characters and ideas but keeps all the money.  Yup exploitive.*

 

Score: 4 out of 10.

Aetheria Offline: A LITRPG Saga

http://amzn.to/2CRBJ7C

 

(Picture 3)

Down She Falls: A Lit-RPG (The World Ingot Series Book 1)

 

Solace Online, a game world where the rich excel and the poor are tasked with proving themselves. On the outside it may seem like an escape from life in the Stations, giant skyscrapers that loom above the landfills suffocating Earth. Unfortunately, a system defined by class exists in both realities. Deaun, a girl from the bottom rung, must prove herself not only in Solace Online but also in the Stations. Mydon, a boy from the top tier, will do all he can to stay under the radar; especially a particular person's. The emergence of a Quest Chain will affect both sides; Solace Online and the Stations will have their hopes resting on a small group of Players. Will the Players be able to prove themselves?

Welcome to Solace Online, where realities collide and quests are king!

 

My Opinion: 212 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is multi narrative story that switches between characters every few pages. It’s hard to invest in some of the character when you spend so little time with them at any one section.

 

The stand out character is of course the one on the cover, Deaun. She’s really the only one, besides the squirrel, that I even mildly liked. She’s from the slums and is unjustly imprisoned inside a VR game but thanks to a weird quirk doesn’t become a monster that rich players kill repeatedly. Instead, she’d dropped off somewhere else and has a chance to level, craft, and be drawn into a big plot.

 

That’s sort of the only good thing about the novel. Everything else is pretty bland. Not bad or anything but not particularly interesting either.

 

The real world is described in the first 10% of the novel as this dystopian colony where everything has been stratified. Tech, wealth, resources, and power. The only way to move up in society is to do well playing the VR game Solace Online. Only the folks at the bottom, who literally live in trash, never get a shot at getting the expensive VR gear needed to play. Except when they break the law or even just annoy a guard. Then they’re thrown into a VR world as monsters for players to kill, feeling every wound and death.

 

Honestly, that description I just wrote is much clearer and more understandable than the entire first 10% of the novel. It’s honestly a bit of a mess. On the technical side, the writing is awkward and there’s a constant mix of present and past tenses.

 

Some early examples,

 

“The people that went against the Enforcers and are succumbed to this are called the Helmed…”

“Not even one of them is without their gas-mask on.”

“Their stomachs grumble as they sprint down the spiral staircase, a wrapping of DNA.”

 

The writing improves as the novel gets to the game world and the descriptions become simpler and more fantasy based. However,  there were still awkward moments where I was left scratching my head wondering what the author meant.

 

Something that doesn’t improve much as the novel goes on is the logic of the story and game system. The explanation for divided social and economic systems aren’t well described nor is much of the plot to get three of the characters in game as criminals. A lot of the plot generally devolves into wand waving as a way to move the plot forward. For example, three characters are dropped into VR as prisoners. How did they get there? Guards found them. Why were they imprisoned? No reason. How did the guards find them? No explanation. It just happened because the plot needed them trapped in the game.

 

The game system itself doesn’t follow a logical path. Yes, it’s an RPG system that uses stats, character sheets, skills, items, etc. Yes, it’s LitRPG. The characters level and increase in power. However, the fundamental logic of some of the things the characters do just doesn’t make sense. For example, at level 1, Deaun is dropped in an area described as ‘a high level monster area’. Yet, she’s able to kill multiple wildlife including a baby cub, rabbits, squirrels, and cats with little trouble. Not a particular problem except her stats for most of this are set at 1 or 2 each and these creatures are supposed to be high level. Another easy math example of this lack of logic is that during this same kill fest, she gets a variety of XP rewards, yet no matter what she kills or the XP, she always levels. 200XP = level, 75 XP=level, 75 XP=level, 150 XP = level, 150 XP = level.

 

It’s very clear from the skill descriptions, item descriptions, crafting system, and character sheets that the author took a lot of time to make a RPG system for the story. It's equally clear that it’s thrown to the side when the author wants the plot to go a certain way. And there are multiple more examples of this kind of wand waving with the story itself. Whether it’s a character magically discovering a needed clue or a unique ability, there’s no logical justification for many events. Except that’s what the story needs to move forward.

 

Overall, between the early problems with the writing, the lack of logic throughout the story, and lack of connection to most of the characters, I was never invested in the story. Some places were fun and interesting. I’m always a sucker for crafting. But most of the story was not entertaining for me and the lack of logical explanations in some places was genuinely frustrating.

 

Score: 5 out of 10.

Down She Falls: A Lit-RPG (The World Ingot Series Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2qVNCb2

 

(Picture 4)

Dungeon Crisis: A LitRPG Dungeon Core Adventure (Glendaria Awakens Trilogy Book 2)

 

When Krista and Devin first started playing Glendaria Awakens, they had no idea that they would end up in charge of operating a dungeon. Now, after leveling up, they have a crisis on their hands.

 

A new item, a Dungeon Core, is now the target of every guild in the game. If the Core is stolen and kept away for a length of time, they will cease to exist. Devin must find enough powerful monsters to put into the dungeon while Krista has to build the perfect floor to keep them away from their only hope of surviving.

 

All of this and they have to try to co-exist with their new guardian.

 

My Opinion: 157 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is a dungeon master story. The two people trapped in the game must use their skills to build and run a dungeon  and defeat the hordes of players looking to take their dungeon core.

 

The first half of the novel is completely preparation as Krista and Devin create new dungeon levels, plan out new traps, lure in monsters, and experiment with new monster placements and monster hybrid creations. Lots of cool dungeon building stuff.

 

The last half of the novel is the dungeon being run by a variety groups with a various degrees of success.

 

There’s a love triangle thing going on between the two trapped people who grew up together and the newly released guardian, a hot chesty witch with a major case of crazy. However, other than that variation there’s not much more to the novel.

 

If you like dungeon master stories, this is a fun read.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Dungeon Crisis: A LitRPG Dungeon Core Adventure (Glendaria Awakens Trilogy Book 2)

http://amzn.to/2FsXRXq

 

(Picture 5)

Soul Reckoning: A LitRPG Adventure (Veilwalkers Book 2)

 

Winston Beckett is a man of two worlds. There’s the one he lives in, and the parallel game universe called The Veil.

 

His adventure is far from over.

 

When remnants of The Veil start leaking into everyday life and causing universe-rending Tears, Winston may be the only one that can save Earth. But can he rescue his friends and stop the Tears before it’s too late?

 

Join Winston as he solves new mysteries, makes new friends, and fights for the very existence of both the game world…and their own.

 

My Opinion: 270 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

In book 2, our hero Winston/Cael sees his friend Laurie kidnapped by a monster and taken through a rift into the Veil. The story shifts between both characters as it moves forward. Laurie is forced into a gnome character and has to figure out where she is and how to survive. Winston/Cael magically finds some other way into the world and looks for his friend. Together they have to figure out why The Veil is acting so weird and stop whatever The Author has planned for them.

 

---

 

My biggest issue with book 1 was that the hero never felt like he earned anything. Everything seemed handed to him. Including his power and the advancements of the plot.

 

Some of that still exists in book 2 but there’s less of it. There are still a couple of groan inducing moments where the story seems stuck and then someone just happens to find the magic clue that tells them what’s really happening, thus advancing the plot.

 

The single biggest and most welcomed improvement in book 2 is that the hero can and does fail in the story. There are several instances where Winston/Cael just flat out fails a quest and in one case it’s kind of a sad loss. But it also makes the story more interesting. It informs the reader that the hero may fail the big quest to save the world, and that adds stakes.

 

The ending of the story has a nice puzzle dungeon dive aspect which was a nice break from the fights with the one kind of monster in the story.

 

Overall, the improvement in the story makes up for the some of the flaws and I had a good time. I was especially happy to see Tris, who’s short story i really like.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Soul Reckoning: A LitRPG Adventure (Veilwalkers Book 2)

http://amzn.to/2CfRO7C

 

(Picture 6)

Headshot: Two in the Head (Book 2 of a Zombie litRPG Trilogy)

 

Last week was equal parts action-packed thrill ride and waking nightmare. Ryan's plan to save himself from the server wipe may have succeeded, but at what cost. He's willing to sacrifice a lot to get even with the people that betrayed him, but when a larger, darker and far more complicated world opens up before him, will he make his own destiny or frantically attempt to log out for the final time?

 

And once he decides, what happens when he isn't in control either way?

 

My Opinion: 308 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is a very different story from book 1. Readers are either going to really like the changes or not.

 

The Game:

 

This is not the same zombie MMO story you read about in book 1. In book 2, the main character (MC) from book 1, Ryan is stuck as a ghost who follows an antagonist character from book 1, Sasha. This novel is mostly about her. It’s more introspective and much less combat oriented than the zombie action fest of book 1.

 

As a matter of fact, you don’t see a zombie for the majority of this story. Instead, it takes place on Survivor Sunday, a day where all the zombies are kicked off the server and the human survivors get a chance to grind skills, gather resources, and prepare for when the zombie return. There’s PVP and the human survivors can kill each other but permadeath is turned off for the day too.

 

The game mechanics of the story are also completely different because they’re from the human survivor side. The mechanics are a combination of stuff from Fallout and Elder Scrolls. During character creation the survivors get to choose characteristics that give bonuses to particular skills, they can choose classes that give them a set of initial skills, there are stats, and all the normal RPG stuff. However, there are no levels. Instead, everything has a skill based percentage to succeed or fail. These skills can be increased from practice or by reading special books. All items either have to be found through salvage or crafted if a character has the skills.

 

So, lots of good new game mechanics.

 

The Story:

 

If  you’ve seen the movie Ghost (1990) the main character takes a Patrick Swayze kind of role as a ghost that can not interact with the physical world but is instead forced to passively watch Sasha as she creates her latest survivor character. For most of the story, the MC narrates and gives the reader insight into her thinking and gives glimpses of her past. The story is really about Sasha as she plays the game, tries to deal with traumas from her past, deal with loss, and take her revenge on the game company that wronged her.

 

Outside of the end of the novel, there are only a handful of action scenes in the story. Instead the novel focuses on the survival aspects of game for humans. Scurrying around scavenging for resources. Finding a safe place to practice skills. Trying to avoid PVP players who want to take what you have. There’s also the thread for Sasha of finding ways to hurt the game company and the company's counter moves. There also lots of introspective moments where the MC gets glimpses into Sasha’s thinking and even gets glimpses into her past. It’s a lot of character development.

 

Overall, I enjoyed the story. However, because it’s so different from what book 1 presented, not everyone will. Folks that can appreciate a slower, introspective story with less action and almost none of the zombie stuff from book 1 will like this. Anyone expecting the same zombie MMO stuff from book 1 will be disappointed.

 

Score: 7 out of 10.

Headshot: Two in the Head (Book 2 of a Zombie litRPG Trilogy)

http://amzn.to/2Dt6QHu

 

(Picture 7)

A Trap for the Potentate (The Dark Herbalist Book #3) LitRPG series

 

The great hunt is over. In the end, Timothy managed to keep his invaluable prize. A victory? Perhaps. But glory and adrenaline are very powerful narcotics, and tolerance builds quickly. Once deprived of them, life immediately becomes gray and bleak. What’s more, his beautiful lover (to be more accurate, both of them) is beginning to transparently hint that she could find herself a more interesting beau.

 

What is a talented player to do in this case? The solution suggests itself: rush headlong into the most dangerous adventures, taking risks and walking the blade of a knife. Timothy must do everything in his power to survive in places where making a clean escape is entirely impossible, delighting the viewers with his utterly unique playing style and proving decisively to his lady (to be more accurate both of them), that his previous success was no mere coincidence.

 

Will it be hard?

 

Very!

 

But old reliable friends are still by his side, and that means victory is possible!

 

My Opinion: 291 pages, $5.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

All I have to say is, “Woah!”. This is easily the best novel in the series so far.

 

Book 1 in the series felt fresh and interesting with it’s non-human main character and unusual combination of class as an herbalist. The main character (MC) was forced to think and solve problems in a very unique way. He needed allies to help shore up his deficiencies and it was that clever problem solving that made him a unique character.

 

Book 2 felt like it drifted away from that a little and focused more on straight combat and action. Not bad but not what I loved about book 1.

 

Book 3 returns to those great out of the box problem solving skills and outside of a few large battles there’s almost no combat in the story. Instead, each problem or plot thread is resolved in other creative ways. I really loved seeing our goblin hero figure out the solutions to problems, whether they be IRL or in game.

 

I won’t spoil any of the great plot twists in the story (there are some really good ones) but there were multiple instances where I ended up saying to myself, “Oh, that’s cool! I didn’t see things going that way.”

 

There are a couple places where there’s some magic wand waving to move the plot in a specific direction but the resulting stories were so interesting I didn’t mind.

 

Overall, a great read. Even if you didn’t pick up book 2 in the series you can still read book 3. It does a good job of recapping things.

 

Score: 8 out of 10

A Trap for the Potentate (The Dark Herbalist Book #3) LitRPG series

http://amzn.to/2hCtEhG








 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/litrpgpodcast/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3-eBvpm-g7IkjfVktObGAA

Patreon:  https://www.patreon.com/geekbytespodcast

 

If you enjoy the podcast and want to support us you can also find all the other ways to support the podcast at www.litrpgpodcast.com/support  

 

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

 

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/


 

LitRPG Podcast 091

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 091

 

Jan. 12th, 2017

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 91 of the LitRPG podcast.

 

I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews. This week I have 5 new LitRPG reviews for you. Yeah, one of the novels is over 1000 pages.

 

Also, don’t forget to check out the interview I did with Jeff Sproul, author of Sigil Online: Hellions which just came out.

http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-podcast-01/2018/1/6/litrpg-podcast-090-author-interview-jeff-sproul


 

New Releases and Reviews:

 

  1. Sigil Online: Hellions (08:27)

http://amzn.to/2CUnlPm

  1. The Dungeon's Burden (The Slime Dungeon Chronicles Book 4) (16:06)

http://amzn.to/2E8VaZB

  1. Legacy of the Fallen (Ascend Online Book 2)  (19:07)

http://amzn.to/2DhuuXu

  1. Transcendental Misappropriation: (Book One of the Pentacle Series) (23:42)

http://amzn.to/2CA8Z6k

  1. Logout of Cthulhu: A Lovecraftian LitRPG novel (Cthulhu World Book 1) (32:03)

http://amzn.to/2lR3Cp1

 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News

 

 

Blaise Corvin, author of Delvers LLC and SOO, is planning to create a whole new website dedicated to helping people find good game and litRPG stories.

 

If you want to support the endeavor, he’s setup a Patreon page that he hopes to use to get the funds to make a well organized and streamlined site,

 

https://www.patreon.com/GameLitRPG



 

Out Now!  


 

 

Soul Reckoning: A LitRPG Adventure (Veilwalkers Book 2)

http://amzn.to/2CfRO7C


 

 

Aetheria Offline: A LITRPG Saga

http://amzn.to/2CRBJ7C

 

 

Down She Falls: A Lit-RPG (The World Ingot Series Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2qVNCb2


 

 

War God's Mantle: Ascension: A litRPG Adventure (The War God Saga Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2lZ05oN




 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

Critical Failures V: Caverns and Creatures, Book 5

http://amzn.to/2miMp88

Our review of the ebook version: http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/4/21/critical-failures-v-caverns-and-creatures-book-5

 

 

The Last Warrior of Unigaea: The Drachma Killers, Book 2

http://amzn.to/2FrcPxc

Our review of the ebook version: http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/11/30/the-drachma-killers-the-last-warrior-of-unigaea-book-2

 

 

Eden's Gate: The Sands: A LitRPG Adventure, Book 3

http://amzn.to/2qYWIUA

Our review of the ebook version: http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/11/30/edens-gate-the-sands-a-litrpg-adventure

 

 

The Artificer: A LitRPG Adventure: The Imperial Initiative, Book 1

http://amzn.to/2Dk3Pth

Our review of the ebook version: http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/9/19/the-artificer-a-viridian-gate-online-novel-the-imperial-initiative-dlc-1

 

 

End Code - The Nextworld Series book 3

http://amzn.to/2qTGyLX

 

 

Desert Runner - Puatera Online, Book 1

http://amzn.to/2ExTN75

Our review of the ebook version: http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/10/12/desert-runner-puatera-online-book-1


 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

**Headshot - Two in the Head** (Jan. 12th, 2018)

 

 

Dungeon Crisis: A LitRPG Dungeon Core Adventure (Glendaria Awakens Trilogy Book 2) (Jan. 15th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2FsXRXq

 

 

A Trap for the Potentate (The Dark Herbalist Book #3) LitRPG series (Jan.17th, 2017)

http://amzn.to/2hCtEhG

 

 

Different Sides (Epic LitRPG Adventure - Book 7) (Fayroll) (Jan. 22nd, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2FrRIe5

 

 

The District: A Futuristic Dungeon Core (The Laboratory Book 3) (Jan. 22nd, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2Cnenqb

 

 

The Reapers (The Neuro Book #3) LitRPG Series (Jan. 24th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2y91UrZ

 

 

Return to Dungeon: A Monster MC LitRPG (Kobold's Quest Book 1) (Jan. 30th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2FsiD9Z

 

 

Bushido Online: Friends and Foes: A LitRPG Saga (Feb. 1st, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2FqTZGz

 

 

Kingdom Level Four: LitRPG (Feb. 28th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2CNiPiS

 

 

Clan Wars (Way of the Shaman book 7) (Feb. 2018)



 

 

Avatars Rising: SILOS I (March 12th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2E6WHR2


 

 

Akillia's Reign (Puatera Online Book 4) (March 16th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2CAfe6G

 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

 

Sigil Online: Hellions

 

For Riley and his friends, Sigil Online has never been more real. With the latest expansion, pain has been enabled and will now affect all players in-game.

 

Aptly named ‘Hellions,’ the expansion introduces monsters, but not the kind that paragons have been fighting for the past several years. This time, players can be the monsters they once sought to destroy.

But in a game where playing means having the money to survive in the real world, what will Riley do when death in the game doesn’t just mean an end to his character, but an end to his life?

 

Warning: Reading this novel may cause an uncontrollable desire to play Superhero MMOs.

 

My Opinion: 303 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Full disclosure: The author sent me an advance copy for review. I purchased the novel when it became available.

 

An action filled transition into a huge world expansion. Book 1 tells the story of the the newb experience of Riley as he restarts his character in a permadeath enabled super hero VRMMO. It has some very interesting progression mechanics where items play a huge role in providing variation to powers and modifies and expands their usefulness.

 

Book 2, while less focused on the individual progression of the main character, ratchets up the action and the novel is almost one fight after another as Riley and his friends deal with weird invasion events and the new Hellion expansion that lets players restart as monsters instead of heros. If you want superhero action then this is definitely the novel for you. There are some seriously epic battles here.

 

However, there are also some negatives. There’s almost no real world plot development. In book 1, Riley making a living off the game was a really big deal. In book 2, it’s almost a forgotten issue. Also, there are a few story plots that just get a little muddled. One is the introduction of pain. it’s an interesting idea that raises the stakes in a very Sword Art Online kind of way, but later on the effects of the pain are often forgotten as heros battle monsters and are severely injured yet continue on as if the pain setting is off. Yet, the biggest issue though it probably the ending. It’s a huge twist that I won’t spoil but you’ll either love it or hate it. For me, it came out of left field with no foreshadowing and left me shaking my head in confusion. I know in my heart that it’s a great lead into book 3 where the game is supposed to change again but the sudden introduction of characters and behavior changes of others was just so sudden and abrupt it dropped my enjoyment of the story.

 

Overall, book 2 is a good read if you’re looking for something action focused or an MMO story that focuses on PVP battles. There’s huge potential in what book 3 may bring to the storyline. However, for me,  book 2 has some issues that just dropped my enjoyment level a bit. Especially that ending.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Sigil Online: Hellions

http://amzn.to/2CUnlPm

 

The Dungeon's Burden (The Slime Dungeon Chronicles Book 4)

 

It's the final battle.

 

The Empire's plans have come to fruition. Duran has fallen, and with it the other city-states of Nehatra. Only the dungeon town remains safe, but for how long? While the leadership struggle to deal with the crisis, the dungeon dwellers watch on. As Doc continues to unlock new slime evolutions, Rowen deepens his bond with Milly, and the two experience much together. When the final attack begins, will Rowen and Doc stand with the townspeople? Why has Doc been framed for murder? Who is the traitor lurking in the shadows?

Everything comes together in this final, epic tale of dungeon glory. The chronicles end here, but the war, and the dungeon, have only just begun.

 

-Includes complete list of slimes.

 

My Opinion: 540 pages, $4.49, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

As of this review the novel is listed as #1 Spine-Chilling Horror ?? I guess amazon thinks this is a horror novel. Though in the first couple chapters some guys do get graphically devoured by the dungeon monsters.

--

This is a pretty easy review. The slime dungeon chronicles has long been a favorite series of mine and this is an enjoyable ending to the series. That’s right. This is the end for this series.  You have to read the end of the novel to learn the author’s future plans.

 

There are some nice sub storylines in the novel. Some that are funny, sad, and even a little romantic. There’s political intrigue and some nice new slime evolutions. However, there is very little dungeon diving this time but it’s explained why in the story.

 

Instead, most of the story is a huge setup for some majorly awesome fights that occur in the last 25% on the novel. But boy is the wait worth it. That last 25% is a near constant stream of action and cool plot twists. Really good stuff and a good way to end the series.

 

Score: 7 out of 10.

The Dungeon's Burden (The Slime Dungeon Chronicles Book 4)

http://amzn.to/2E8VaZB


 

Legacy of the Fallen (Ascend Online Book 2)

 

Fresh off their victory over Graves and his followers, Marcus and his friends have managed to enjoy a few weeks of relative calm and peace as they continue to build Aldford, preparing the town for a new wave of settlers coming from Eberia. But as the days wear on with no new arrivals in sight, they begin to fear the worse, eventually setting out to search for their promised reinforcements and soon realizing that they weren’t as alone on the frontier as they thought they were.

 

Just managing to rescue a caravan of settlers in the nick of time from a horde of bandits, Marcus and the rest of Virtus barely have a chance to catch their breath before they find themselves thrust into the middle of Eberian politics, revealing a plot that threatens to not only take away their hard-won independence.

 

But to destroy Aldford completely.

 

My Opinion: 731 pages, $6.00, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Full disclosure: The author sent me an advanced copy for review. I purchased the novel when it came out.

 

*Page count seems off. It’s likely at least 1,000 pages.*


 

A great 2nd book in the Ascend Online series. There is some good action, adventure, and leveling in the novel. Yet, what always makes this series stand out for me is the author’s gift with dialogue. Each time I read the conversations and banter between Lyrian and his group I always feel like I’m hanging out with old friends. It’s like I’m there, worried for the town and I’m invested in these character’s success.

 

There’s also a huge variety of interesting fights, some old enemies return, and new threats abound. Book 2 also introduces some political intrigue to the story. There are also some very interesting developments for the town as more Players (a few from another Ascend Online book) finally arrive. Some of whom are not very nice people.

 

Besides a maybe too long dungeon run in the middle of the story, I loved reading this novel and only wish book 3 was ready.

 

Score: 8 out of 10

Legacy of the Fallen (Ascend Online Book 2)

http://amzn.to/2DhuuXu



 

Transcendental Misappropriation: (Book One of the Pentacle Series)

 

Danny's life was going well. He had a steady job and plans to buy his own place. That was until some rogue junk mail decided he needed a change of scenery.

 

Now Danny's got a new start in another world and he needs to make sure he doesn't squander this opportunity at making the most of this new life.

 

My Opinion: 380 pages, $3.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

A slice of life, reincarnated into a RPG world story.

 

Danny, the main character (MC), dies in our world and finds himself reborn into a medieval fantasy world that has RPG mechanics. Danny, unlike most other folks, has a complete memory of his past life and this gives he spends his infant and early childhood using that knowledge to try and learn about the world around him, his family, the local language, and of course how to do magic.

 

It’s a good story if you enjoy the slice of life genre.

 

--- Spoilers Ahead---

 

This is a slice of life story. There’s no major plots though the novel can be divided into three distinct story arcs as the MC grows up. The RPG system, an inner mind palace that records growth in a cool RPG fashion is consistently used throughout the story.

 

(1-25%) The first arc - Infancy. The MC realizes he’s reborn and the story is really just about him seeing this new fantasy world through the eyes of his newborn to young child self or the MC trying to figure out how magic works and experimenting with it.

-This is easily my favorite part of the novel. It’s a very relaxing story where you know nothing too threatening is going to happen but it’s still exciting to learn about the magic and RPG system.

 

(25-50%) The second arc- Magical Academy. The title says it all. At a young age, the MC is sent away to a magical academy where he has a rich rival who is a jerk, learns more about the culture and history of the larger world, and does lots more magical experiments.

-It’s fun to see the larger magical theory explanations and get more world building. The continued magical experiments are my favorite part though.

 

(50-100%) The last arc - Adventure time. This last arc of the story starts out rather interesting but then sort of devolves into normal action adventure stuff. There’s still a little magical theorizing and experimentation but not nearly as much as the first two arcs. Instead, there’s a not sexual harem aspect introduced and most of the time in this section is spent fighting various monsters.

-Not my favorite section. It leaves behind some of the things I thought were the most original about the story.

 

--

 

Overall, I had a good time reading the novel. I especially like the ‘Sanctuary’ inner mind palace aspect that is used as an RPG mechanic. Because it’s a slice of life story, not everyone is going to like it. I did because it was just relaxing to know that I was following this character through his new life and that there wasn’t going to be some evil overlord to defeat. Be aware that like most slice of life stories, this started out as a serial and at the end it sort of just suddenly ends.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Transcendental Misappropriation: (Book One of the Pentacle Series)

http://amzn.to/2CA8Z6k

 

Logout of Cthulhu: A Lovecraftian LitRPG novel (Cthulhu World Book 1)

 

Some knowledge cannot be unknown

 

Reeling from the loss of his family, game tester Bobby Walmore is contracted to work his way through an augmented reality park. The headset reveals a virtual world inspired by the horror works of H.P. Lovecraft.

 

The game rapidly turns into more than a paycheck--it's an addiction Bobby cannot turn away from.

 

Every clue he uncovers and every mystery he solves leads him deeper the twisted lore of forces lurking in the shadows.

 

And Cthulhu World holds darker secrets than Bobby was ever prepared for ...

 

My Opinion: 197 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is a Augmented Reality LitRPG horror story based on a Lovecraft lore.

 

Bobby has been hired by a game company to test their Lovecraft theme park. Instead of using fully immersive VR, the park uses augmented reality (AR) goggles to add game elements to this theme park. This includes a user interface that has character stats, game powers, and items. Players can feel the items as long as they have the goggles on and can even feel pain.

 

The game mechanics in the story are pretty basic but consistent. The main character (MC), Bobby, gains stats from interacting with the game world and performing actions. Not that the stats actually seem to do anything. Like most Lovecraft game designs, when the MC sees strange or horrible things he loses Sanity points.

 

The use of AR in the story is different from other LitRPG. It’s a nice attempt at overlaying game stuff over our normal reality. Unfortunately, this idea is ruined a bit because the MC constantly takes off the goggles to assure himself that what he’s seeing isn’t real. So the reader gets a description of a lot of empty dark rooms. I understand it’s a way to try increase tension but it breaks the immersion in the game/story when it happens.

 

The story, especially early on relies heavily on the Lovecraft name to try and establish a semblance of atmosphere. There’s a lot of , ‘woah, this is so Lovecraft’ and ‘that’s just like the Lovecraft novel’. Honestly, it’s kind of boring, how much effort is put into saying the setting is like a Lovecraft story and not showing it.

 

The MC is pretty hard to root for. He was so broody and maudlin I almost wanted to see him lose.

 

Overall, the story lags in the horror department and while there are a few thrill moments, the story was kind of boring.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

Logout of Cthulhu: A Lovecraftian LitRPG novel (Cthulhu World Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2lR3Cp1



 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/litrpgpodcast/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3-eBvpm-g7IkjfVktObGAA

Patreon:  https://www.patreon.com/geekbytespodcast

 

If you enjoy the podcast and want to support us you can also find all the other ways to support the podcast at www.litrpgpodcast.com/support  

 

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

 

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/



 

LitRPG Podcast 090

 

Welcome everyone. I’m Ramon Mejia from the LitRPG Podcast. I bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews.

 

This week I’m talking to Jeff Sproul author of multiple novels and short stories. Including the Permadeath Legacy series, Demon Bane, Grimoire Bound, and of course the Sigil Online series. Jeff is publishing the second book in the Sigil Online series, Hellions.

 

Welcome to the show, Jeff Sproul.

 

Website: https://jeffsproul.net/

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/jeffsproul

Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010218039265

Twitter: @Jeff_Sproul

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Jeff-Sproul/e/B00W2ABRM6

Book Links:

Sigil Online: Hellions http://amzn.to/2CRfXFe

Sigil Online: Paragons http://amzn.to/2CyjxQ2

Grimoire Bound http://amzn.to/2m1McpQ

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14135244.Jeff_Sproul

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/litrpgpodcast/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3-eBvpm-g7IkjfVktObGAA

Patreon:  https://www.patreon.com/geekbytespodcast

 

If you enjoy the podcast and want to support us you can also find all the other ways to support the podcast at www.litrpgpodcast.com/support  

 

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

 

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/


 

LitRPG Podcast 089

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 089

 

Jan. 5th, 2017

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 89 of the LitRPG podcast.

 

I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews. This week I have 9 new LitRPG reviews for you.

 

A quick shoutout to a very generous donator to the podcast, Jeff Hollingsworth, he made a big old donation and I just want to thank him.

www.litrpgpodcast.com/support


 

New Releases and Reviews:

 

  1. Dodge Tank: A LitRPG Novel (Crystal Shards Online Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2BtCQJM

 

  1. Press Start: A litRPG Saga (SOL: Tutorial Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2CqmvX3

 

  1. Camelot Defiant: An Arthurian LitRPG (Camelot LitRPG Book 4)

http://amzn.to/2ixvdKQ

 

  1. Accidental Mage: Book Three in the LitRPG Accidental Traveler Adventure

http://amzn.to/2CgpcLz

 

  1. Change (The Stork Tower Book 3)

http://amzn.to/2E0Ijto

 

  1. Jatla is not a Sh*thole: A Fantasy Online Novella

http://amzn.to/2lQa8fE

 

  1. Warrior Level 1 Silica Junction Quests: a LitRPG short story (Opal Chronicles)

http://amzn.to/2AjirFZ

 

  1. Mage Level 1 Silica Junction Quests: a LitRPG short story (Opal Chronicles Book 2)

http://amzn.to/2CNGCiP

 

  1. Rogue Level 1 Silica Junction Quests: a LitRPG short story (Opal Chronicles Book 3)

http://amzn.to/2lQ6RNB



 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News

 

 

Travis Bagwell, author of Awaken Online, has announced something neat called Book Brawl:

 

Hey guys. So a few buddies and I have built this fancy new site for publishing serial stories (link below). We all started out publishing our stuff as web serials and were pretty unhappy with the other websites out there, so this is our attempt at a different (and hopefully better) version.

 

If you all want to post stuff on the site (serial or published) or give it a shoutout, we'd really appreciate it. We made it easy to designate whether a story is published already (in contrast to other sites which are primarily serial only). This also gives readers the ability to find your other work.

 

Travis Bagwell also announced that he’ll be publishing his latest novel, A War of One, and his Awaken Online short story, Apathy,  on the site on a weekly basis.

 

Luke Chmilenko has also posted the first 6 chapters of Ascend Online: Legacy of the Fallen there too.

www.bookbrawl.com


 

Out Now!  

 

 

The Dungeon's Burden (The Slime Dungeon Chronicles Book 4)

http://amzn.to/2E8VaZB

 

 

Bitter: Book Three

http://amzn.to/2AiYmjl

 

 

Into the Black (A Sci-Fi LitRPG Story): Book VII: War Drums

http://amzn.to/2CNYlXn

 

 

Transcendental Misappropriation: (Book One of the Pentacle Series)

http://amzn.to/2CA8Z6k

You wouldn’t know it from the description but this is a reincarnation LitRPG. At least it seems that way from my brief skim through the first 15%. It’s not on KU, so it’s going to be hard for people to take a chance on. I’d suggest downloading a sample.

 

 

Logout of Cthulhu: A Lovecraftian LitRPG novel (Cthulhu World Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2lR3Cp1


 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

World Seed: Endgame: World Seed Series, Book 4

http://amzn.to/2EPKuAt

Our review of the ebook: http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/9/14/world-seed-endgame

 

 

The Land: Raiders: A LitRPG Saga: Chaos Seeds, Book 6

http://amzn.to/2COKBvD

Our review of the ebook: http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/2/2/the-land-raiders-a-litrpg-saga-chaos-seeds-book-6




 

Upcoming LitRPG:


 

 

Sigil Online: Hellions (Jan. 7th, 2018)

 

 

Soul Reckoning: A LitRPG Adventure (Veilwalkers Book 2) (Jan. 8th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2CfRO7C


 

 

A Trap for the Potentate (The Dark Herbalist Book #3) LitRPG series (Jan.17th, 2017)

http://amzn.to/2hCtEhG

 

 

The District: A Futuristic Dungeon Core (The Laboratory Book 3) (Jan. 22nd, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2Cnenqb

 

 

The Reapers (The Neuro Book #3) LitRPG Series (Jan. 24th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2y91UrZ

 

Kingdom Level Four: LitRPG (Feb. 28th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2CNiPiS

 

 

Clan Wars (Way of the Shaman book 7) (Feb. 2018)



 

 

Avatars Rising: SILOS I (March 12th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2E6WHR2


 

 

Akillia's Reign (Puatera Online Book 4) (March 16th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2CAfe6G

 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

Dodge Tank: A LitRPG Novel (Crystal Shards Online Book 1)

 

"There's only one rule...don't get hit."

 

Ryan's life sucks.

 

His brother is a jerk, his mom is sick, and his legs are next to useless thanks to a neurological disorder. Plus the world ended two centuries ago from nuclear war. Now, what's left of humanity live below ground, with the only escape from reality being the massive VR world of Crystal Shards Online.

 

But even ingame, Ryan's life sucks. Unable to play a combat class due to his condition, he works as a miner, earning barely enough to get by and not nearly enough to afford the operation that will save his mom's life.

 

When Ryan discovers an item that grants the ability to dodge any attack, however, he has the chance to become one of the game world's most elite and sought after players: a Dodge Tank.

 

But for someone who's never played a combat class, success isn't so easily had.

 

To save his mom, Ryan will have to overcome his disability and level his way to the top. But the real-world consequences are more far reaching than he ever could have imagined and the fate of not just his mother, but humanity itself, may be resting in his hands...


 

My Opinion: 339 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Full disclosure: The author sent me a copy of the novel for review. I purchased it when it became available.

 

This is a good, fun, action intense story with a bit of romance.

 

It’s not without its small flaws though. The obstacle the main character (MC) has to overcome, his inability to play a combat class, doesn’t make sense. I mean, why would the game stop him from swinging a sword or casting a spell but have no problem with the MC swinging a pickaxe?

 

The middle of the story also has XP grinding that gets a bit tedious and there are some serious level skips. Sometimes as much as 10-15 levels a fight. But the real life story motivation is interesting and the romance helps break up the grind. Yet, even these small inconsistencies can be ignored in favor of the quick story pace and interesting story line.

 

The game world uses the Final Fantasy Tactics approach to multiclassing. Classes can be switched when out of combat. Advanced classes have prerequisites that need to be unlocked. These mechanics set the novel apart from other LitRPG stories that force characters to only chose a single class the entire story. The author also does a great job highlighting an unusual play style like the dodge tank.

 

Overall, this is a good LitRPG story that has a really interesting twist ending.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Dodge Tank: A LitRPG Novel (Crystal Shards Online Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2BtCQJM

 

(Picture 2)

Press Start: A litRPG Saga (SOL: Tutorial Book 1)

 

Unique spells. Strange companions. Unforgettable adventure.

 

After her brother's death, Terra was going through his things when she finds an old gaming gear. Logging into his account out of curiosity, she was tossed into the vast new world of SOL for the very first time.

 

Playing as her brother's male character was awkward, but SOL was the perfect way to add fun to her boring and routine life. She goes on exciting quests, defeats powerful monsters, and explores exhilarating new environments.

 

But as Terra discovers the secrets her brother was hiding, she must deal with the problems he caused, and survive the countless players that want her dead, because there are consequences to being known as a legendary player killer…

 

My Opinion: 141 pages, $0.99 till 1/13, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Full disclosure: The author sent me an advanced copy for review, I purchased the book as soon as it was released.

 

This is a was a super frustrating read. Mostly because the game mechanics in the story just don’t make sense or weren’t explained enough to make sense. There were so many times that I would read something in the story and think “This doesn’t make sense.” After I finished my notes on the story I went back and counted how many times I wrote that down, 27 times. I wrote that about the story 27 times all the way through the entire story. There were several times I wanted to stop reading the novel, I felt so frustrated.

 

The first 2% of the story is a great. It has an efficient setup that establishes empathy with the main character (MC) Terra. She uses her brothers VR immersion game rig to log into his account and access his character, a dude. The jokes in the story start from the very beginning. Load time and patch time jokes, then jokes about the MC suddenly having a penis because she’s using her brother’s male game character. Then finding her doppleganger since her brother made a AI companion modeled after her. Funny stuff that I liked.


Unfortunately, once the MC steps out of her brother’s home in game, things get super confusing. It’s a mixture of the MC exploring this new immersive world with superman like strength and the awkwardness of a newly born giraffe. So many things just happening and never getting explained.

 

-For example, in the starting city, the MC gets a charm spell laid on her that forces her to adore a player vendor. The MC calls the vendor a cheater, saying it’s a cheat to use spells like that on players. Except, the MC has literally never played this game before and it’s explicitly stated that she doesn’t even like these kinds of games. So, how can she make this kinds of judgment? She’s given knowledge she shouldn’t have.

-At another point, the MC runs forward but goes so fast that she crashes into a tree crushing her character’s nuts and causing herself 500 damage. I get that it’s a joke but self inflicted damage doesn't make sense in game terms.

-A little later the MC accidently snaps a level 0 rabbit’s neck for 5,547 points while petting it. Again, no context and it doesn’t make sense. Especially, when you compare it to later in the story when some high level characters are attacking level 15 hogs for 99,999 damage, the max possible. Again, something the MC shouldn’t know.

-Later the MC is attacked by a player and almost killed in real life because he ‘disabled the safety protocols and she’ll die for real if she doesn’t answer him.’ Again, this event almost kills her but nothing like it is seen in the story again and it’s never explained how it was  possible in the first place.

 

It’s not until the 30% mark that you get any kind of explanation for any game mechanic in the story. Yet, even after that, there were lots of places where the story just didn’t make game logic and it lessens what would have been a really enjoyable story.

 

For example,

 

-Reset to level 1, the MC kills a group of level 10 monsters without taking damage and evades every attack because she has a level 1 enchanter’s haste spell. She’s able to kill the monsters because she knocks off their mushrooms, each doing a static 10% damage to the monster.

-One, this is not an MMO or RPG mechanic. It’s something you’d see in a Mario or Zelda game. Two, there’s no way two level 1 characters with starter gear should be able to kill a group of level 10 and 15 monsters.

-There’s a lot more things that don’t make sense game mechanic wise but it all sort of amounts to the same frustration that stems from a game world that never got the setup it deserved.

 

Now, some positives to the story. The author has a sense of humor and there are jokes galore in the story. Some funny, others odd, but there are lots of jokes.

 

I really liked the real world described in the novel. The MC lives in the future on another world under a dome that turns the sun blue. Resources are scarce and she lives in the Junkyard which was only intended for the other domes trash. But the plucky people that live there now used that trash to make buildings, build teleporters, and sustain life for the poor people that live there. It’s honestly better described and makes more sense than the game world of SOL that the MC plays.

 

I mean, even this part has its flaws though. The biggest being that after describing how poor the dome is and how crowded everyone gets trying to get to work, the MC doesn’t go to some job doing menial work like I expected. Instead, she goes to a gym where she works out, chats with some cyborg friends, practices boxing, and then goes home. She gets free food, has a free home, free power to play her game and use a holographic entertainment center, and doesn’t seem to work. Yet, she complains about how bad she has it.

 

My frustration with the novel likely stems from the opinion that the story could have gotten a 8 out of 10 had it been developed more. There are some really cool themes in the story. The most unique, is that the MC, a girl, plays the game as a guy. The opportunity to explore gender relations, stereotypes, and social dynamics is only touched upon and mostly just as  a joke. The opportunity for the MC to live in her deceased brothers shoes by playing a game he loved. Exploring the future domed world and how it connects to the game or players ability to generate real world money. Even the game play had potential but it could have been a great adventure with cool fight scenes.

 

Overall, I can’t say I had a good time with the story. Even if it’s for the sake of parody and joking around, much of the story doesn’t make game sense. There’s no foundation setup for the game world that makes sense so even through there’s plenty of humor and parody in the story it’s frustrating to read about because my gamer brain keeps yelling ‘that doesn’t make sense’ as I read. Also, if the 7% of the story that describes the real world is more interesting, detailed, and makes more sense than the other 93% RPG world your story uses, there’s a problem. At least for me.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

Press Start: A litRPG Saga (SOL: Tutorial Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2CqmvX3

 

(Picture 3)

Camelot Defiant: An Arthurian LitRPG (Camelot LitRPG Book 4)

 

A Dangerous Quest For A Chivalrous Knight.

 

Sir Gorrow, a Knight of King Arthur’s Round Table, steals mysterious crystals from the enemy, but he still doesn’t know what they’re for. The only thing he does know is the massive effort the enemy puts into mining them.

 

Meanwhile, the enemy have burned Camelot and driven King Arthur south, leaving Gorrow lurking behind the walls of his dungeon, planning his fightback.

 

And then Gorrow suddenly realizes that these strange crystals might actually give King Arthur a chance at victory. Maybe their only chance now the enemy armies are swarming everywhere across the land and threatening to conquer the whole island.

 

But to make this chance at victory a reality, Gorrow and his friends (fire-mage, an alchemist and a saint) must embark on a quest and journey through a hundred miles of enemy territory to reach the holy island of Lindisfarne.

 

And even if they get there, there’s going to be an even bigger problem to solve.

 

My Opinion: 260 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The fourth book in the Camelot LitRPG series, this one combines aspects from books 1 and 2. You get the dungeon creation stuff from book 2 and the action adventure from book 1. You also get some nice large scale combat later in the novel as Sir Gorrow and his friends race to be the first to find the ingredients for the fabled Vorpal blades. Whatever army gets it first will have the edge they need to conquer the game..or.. Britannia..or whatever.

 

If you enjoyed the other books in the series you’ll likely enjoy this one too. I did.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Camelot Defiant: An Arthurian LitRPG (Camelot LitRPG Book 4)

http://amzn.to/2ixvdKQ


 

(Picture 4)

Accidental Mage: Book Three in the LitRPG Accidental Traveler Adventure

 

Dragged Back To The Game, It's Personal This Time

 

Hal Dix returns home from Fantasma to find his greatest nightmare has come true. A personal tragedy drags him back into the game world of Fantasma one last time.

 

Seeking help from his comrades in Fantasma, Hal must master the art of magic, gaining abilities and training under four different and cantankerous archmages to complete his quest. Does Hal have the discipline to stick with the training and reach the end of his chosen path before it's too late?

 

Return to the game with the third action-packed book of the Accidental Traveler LitRPG fantasy trilogy. Journey along with Hal and his friends in the world of Fantasma, as he becomes the Accidental Mage and fulfills his role as the hero of prophecy.

 

My Opinion: 354 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

If you’ve read the other novels in this series you sort of know how the formula goes. Hal is forced to go back to Fantasma, all the great powers he got in the last book are reset as he picks up another class, he goes to train his new class and has some adventures along the way, he faces off against the big bad guy and by the end all is right once again in the universe.

 

The third book in the series does not stray from that formula. But just because the big plot points are fairly predictable, doesn’t mean that the journey is not worth taking. The novel is a good conclusion to this trilogy. There’s all the predictable stuff and forced plot points that the other books have but this time there’s also magic. Yes, Hal learns magic finally. Honestly the journey really reminded me of Avatar the Last Airbender. Hal has to master the five magical elements and most of the story revolves around him finding masters of each element to teach him. Yeah, I knew what was going to happen mostly but it was still an entertaining ride.

 

The end is satisfying and all the big plot threads were tied up. There’s still room for a return to the series if the author wants it but this is also a good place to end it too. I had an overall good time reading the story.

 

Score: 7 out of 10.

Accidental Mage: Book Three in the LitRPG Accidental Traveler Adventure

http://amzn.to/2CgpcLz

 

(Picture 5)

Change (The Stork Tower Book 3)

 

Atherleah grew up in the gang-controlled suburbs of Brisbane at the end of the twenty-first century. From the age of six, she decided that she wanted more, and with the help of her local gang-leader, Leah learned the skills to escape a life of mediocrity. On her sixteenth birthday, she was inadvertently implanted with a Neural Enhancement Chip instead of the free Government provided basic level chip. This mistake removed the limits placed on the AI that was uploaded, broke some of the Government controls and began making changes to Leah's body. Leah’s life rapidly becomes a battle, both in the virtual-multiverse and in real life.

 

My Opinion: 387 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Another good addition of this slice of life multiverse LitRPG.  All the stuff I liked from book 2 is here. And a few of the pet peeves are gone. There are still dungeon dives, but they’re much smaller, independant, and spaced out by lots of other story.

 

Much of the story is a cycle between the real world, the fantasy game world, the sci fi space game world, and the main character’s (MC) private VR home.  The story cycles through quests, training, and real life problems. There are smaller sub plots about AI becoming self aware and the possible ramifications of that for the world, a new fantasy game world expansion, and romance for the MC. However, most of the story just sticks to that cycle.

 

There are a few review complaints about the MC becoming overpowered. She has lots of money, rare items, pets, and skills. Even in real life she’s gaining enhancements to her strength and perception. Also while talking to the MIT professors, the MC suddenly seems to be a genius. That’s all true, but the story was always setup for the MC to be overpowered.  It’s going to get worse in future novels.

 

Overall, a good read. I’d hoped for more resolution of some of the storylines and not just new ones being added, but it seems like the author is planning a rather long series.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Change (The Stork Tower Book 3)

http://amzn.to/2E0Ijto

 

(Picture 6)

Jatla is not a Sh*thole: A Fantasy Online Novella

 

A goblin. His proof of manhood. The bad hombre who wants it.

 

What starts as an innocent game of three cards with an ink shadow quickly escalates into Hiccup (the goblin, not the bodily function) stupidly betting his proof of manhood.

 

To save himself from possible castration, Hiccup has less than twenty-four hours to put on a parade, arrange a sensual massage, get a table at a Michelin star restaurant, and book a night at the most expensive hotel in Jatla, all with the hopes of appeasing the ink shadow (yes, the one whom he bet his penis to), and proving to the shadow that Jatla, the infamous goblin city, is not a sh*thole.

 

Of course, everyone knows Jatla is a sh*thole, including Hiccup, which only makes his task that much harder.

 

You didn't ask for it, but here it is. A goblin tale of deception filled with action, orcs, magic, ogres, a weretiger in a leather jacket, toilet humor, and utter fickery set in the Fantasy Online universe.

 

My Opinion: 97 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The story is as funny as it promises to be, especially if you’re already a fan of Hiccup from the Fantasy Online series. However, it’s not $2.99 entertaining. That’s the price of a full novel not something less than 100 pages. I’d say to pick this up only if you have KU or if you a super huge Hiccup fan.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Jatla is not a Sh*thole: A Fantasy Online Novella

http://amzn.to/2lQa8fE


 

**The next three short stories are in the same series and I’ll review them together for the podcast but they’ll get individual written reviews.*

 

(Picture 7)

Warrior Level 1 Silica Junction Quests: a LitRPG short story (Opal Chronicles)

 

Even the greatest warrior started at Level 1 with a wooden sword.

 

Meet Whalen, newly spawned in the town of Silica Junction. Armed with a wooden sword and shield, he stumbles into his first quest and gets more than he bargained for. Solo, with no healing and no ranged support, how does a warrior survive delving deeper into a dungeon than any first-level probably ought to?

 

The tank's way.

 

My Opinion: 27 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

A quick jaunt of a tale of a warrior created in an RPG world who goes on a simple quest to get some ore so the blacksmith can make him a new sword. It’s simple and has a funny twist ending. I enjoyed it.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Warrior Level 1 Silica Junction Quests: a LitRPG short story (Opal Chronicles)

http://amzn.to/2AjirFZ

 

(Picture 8)

Mage Level 1 Silica Junction Quests: a LitRPG short story (Opal Chronicles Book 2)

 

Knowledge is power, and Miralyn is confused.

 

Silica Junction native Miralyn discovers that she has mystic powers. But everyone is acting so strangely all of a sudden. Piecing together clues from her friends, neighbors, and a new mentor, Miralyn sets out to puzzle through not only the limits of her abilities but what's going on in the world. Ominous tidings foretell a dark future for the Opal Kingdom, and there's no one better to alter that fate than an experienced Mage.

 

Time to become one.

 

My Opinion: 37 pages (feels like a lot more), $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Book 2 feels like it was written by someone other than the author of books 1 and 3. It features a main character that seems to be an awakened NPC, which is different than the characters created and self aware in books 1 and 3. Additionally, the notifications in book 2 are different as are the number of repetitive and rote dialogue.

 

I’m usually a big fan of mages but this one was boring and the spells did so little damage it was laughable.  Most of the story feels either tedious because of the repetitive NPC dialogue or just plain boring. The other two stories seemed to go by in a flash, this one felt like it was 100 pages.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

Mage Level 1 Silica Junction Quests: a LitRPG short story (Opal Chronicles Book 2)

http://amzn.to/2CNGCiP

 

(Picture 9)

Rogue Level 1 Silica Junction Quests: a LitRPG short story (Opal Chronicles Book 3)

 

A rogue doesn't follow society's rules. Why should she obey the game's?

 

Rhynda spawned in an alley, her natural environment. But rather than accept a whispered invitation to join the local thieves' guild, she sets out to carve her own path to riches. Lying, cheating, and backstabbing, Rhynda refuses to play any way but her own. See what awaits a character who doesn't accept the limitations of the narrative.

 

My Opinion: 20 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Another good short story that feels like it was written by the author of book 1. Good descriptions of the town, fun jaunty attitude towards the game. The main character is also aware than they were created and doesn’t have to go through a slog of game mechanic explanations.

 

This time the MC is a thief and she bucks the trend of traditional game play and and not only finds some fun exploits in the game but finds unique and deadly ways to level. My favorite of the three currently out.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Rogue Level 1 Silica Junction Quests: a LitRPG short story (Opal Chronicles Book 3)

http://amzn.to/2lQ6RNB



 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/litrpgpodcast/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3-eBvpm-g7IkjfVktObGAA

Patreon:  https://www.patreon.com/geekbytespodcast

 

If you enjoy the podcast and want to support us you can also find all the other ways to support the podcast at www.litrpgpodcast.com/support  

 

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

 

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/


 

LitRPG Podcast 088

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 088

 

Dec. 29th, 2017

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 88 of the LitRPG podcast.

 

I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews. This week I have 9 new LitRPG reviews for you.

 

A quick thank you to James Taveras who donated $10 via paypal to the podcast to help support us. Thank you James for helping to keep the podcast running.


 

New Releases and Reviews:

 

  1. Warrior Academy: A Hiro's Journey - Episode 1 (Warrior Academy) (09:46)

http://amzn.to/2zhAP1D

  1. Know Thy Enemy (13:35)

http://amzn.to/2DkFQKb

  1. VERITAS Online: Godmode: OFF (LITRPG SCI-FI Book 1) (23:22)

http://amzn.to/2C3QqHx

  1. POWERLESS: The Reborn Saga (27:53)

http://amzn.to/2DEFUo4

  1. Avatar Online Launch (31:58)

http://amzn.to/2BIkMMb

  1. Threadbare Volume 1: Stuff and Nonsense (37:48)

http://amzn.to/2C5gqlG

  1. Galactic Fist of Legend: Volume 3  (40:00)

http://amzn.to/2DM1kzA

  1. Depths of Camlan: A LitRPG Adventure (Camlan Realm Book 2) (43:37)

http://amzn.to/2jyCgms

  1. Odyssey (The Stork Tower Book 2) (46:23)

http://amzn.to/2DJP8PS


 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News

 

 

Jeffrey Falcon Logue, the author of the Slime Dungeon Chronicles, made his own book trailer for the 4th novel in the series. I think it’s neat, but the only thing that bothers me is that it was filmed in portrait mode and not landscape mode.

https://youtu.be/ImfHl4UcfjM

 

 

There’s also an new motion comic book trailer for the Fayroll series from the folks that translate and publish it in English, LitWorld. It honestly feels like a trailer for a fun new MMO and not a LitRPG series. But maybe that’s what they were going for.

https://www.facebook.com/Litworldclub/videos/2032393840324391/


 

Out Now!  

 

 

Camelot Defiant: An Arthurian LitRPG (Camelot LitRPG Book 4)

http://amzn.to/2ixvdKQ

 

 

Dodge Tank: A LitRPG Novel (Crystal Shards Online Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2BtCQJM

 

 

Accidental Mage: Book Three in the LitRPG Accidental Traveler Adventure

http://amzn.to/2CgpcLz

 

 

Change (The Stork Tower Book 3)

http://amzn.to/2E0Ijto


 

 

The Eternal: Hellbringer - A LitRPG Saga (World of Ga'em Book 5)

http://amzn.to/2CiEAab

(Not reviewing, just behind on the series)

 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

Alpha Company: Alpha World, Book 3

http://amzn.to/2CeCquw

Our review of the ebook: http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/9/29/alpha-company-alpha-world-book-3

 

 

The Runesmith: The Greenwood, Book 2

http://amzn.to/2E39i7v

Our review of the ebook: http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/3/17/the-runesmith-a-litrpg-short-story-the-greenwood-book-2

 

 

Travail Online: Soulkeeper: A LitRPG Series

http://amzn.to/2zIRUl2

Our review of the ebook: http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/2/24/travail-online-soulkeeper-book-1

 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

Dropping the Land 7 and Slime Dungeon Chronicles 4 from upcoming list because the authors missed the release dates they gave and don’t have a new one. I hope to read them soon though.


 

 

Press Start (Jan. 5th, 2018)

 

 

Sigil Online: Hellions (Jan. 7th, 2018)

 

 

Soul Reckoning: A LitRPG Adventure (Veilwalkers Book 2) (Jan. 8th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2CfRO7C


 

 

A Trap for the Potentate (The Dark Herbalist Book #3) LitRPG series (Jan.17th, 2017)

http://amzn.to/2hCtEhG

 

 

The Reapers (The Neuro Book #3) LitRPG Series (Jan. 24th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2y91UrZ

 

 

Clan Wars (Way of the Shaman book 7) (Feb. 2018)

 

 

Avatars Rising: SILOS I (March 12th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2E6WHR2


 

 

Akillia's Reign (Puatera Online Book 4) (March 16th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2CAfe6G

 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

Warrior Academy: A Hiro's Journey - Episode 1 (Warrior Academy)

 

After the world is destroyed earth's last 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.

 

Hiro begins his journey and starts his first year at WA. Join him for adventure, romance, and revenge.

 

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 first episode in an as yet to be determined long series, at least 13 episodes, I’m debating on 26…

 

(P.S. There is an attached Youtube and/or Spotify playlist meant to be listened to with the episode. Think of it as a Soundtrack.)

 

My Opinion: 326 pages, $2.99, Not available on Kindle Unlimited

 

From the author of the hilarious Eryth Online series comes a more mature slice of high school life LitRPG. The author describes it as Its Harry Potter meets Naruto with a little Dragon Ball Z and Dungeons and Dragons thrown in for fun. As odd as it may seem, that’s pretty accurate.

 

The novel combines a magical ninja academy story with tournament style fighting and RPG descriptions of powers. It’s a fun read with lots of pop culture references.

 

The only downside for me was the lack of definite RPG progression for most of this first novel. There’s lots of setup in this first episode of the various powers, their descriptions, how the school works, who’s who. But very little power growth occurs. It’s still an action filled adventure but I’d hoped to see some skills and powers evolve or grow more.

 

Still, a good read that is a bit more mainstream than the author’s other series.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Warrior Academy: A Hiro's Journey - Episode 1 (Warrior Academy)

http://amzn.to/2zhAP1D

 

(Picture 2)

Know Thy Enemy

 

Trapped in a broken body, Pierce earns the right to enter the hottest new game. Following his warrior instincts, he’s determined to annihilate the enemy, whoever it may be.

 

With the hopes of winning the ultimate prize, respect of his peers, and protection for his brother, Drayk joins the Guild in the fight of his life, not realizing what’s truly at stake.

 

To save New Ararat, they must commit to their quests. Yet, the planet’s residents aren’t all they seem, and enemies must become friends and fight together.

 

My Opinion: 333 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This  is a multi-narrative story told mostly through the eyes of two characters. Drayk is a lizardman alien who hopes to join a good guild and play the game to earn enough to support his twin brother and prevent him from getting drafted. Pierce is a human from earth. He was a professional gamer and was training to become a soldier. Now he’s humanity's last hope to win the right to colonize an alien world before earth dies. Each narrative is independent and the story switches between the two every 2-3% of the novel. The two stories cross about the 66% mark but even after that the chapters continue to switch between the characters.

---

Things I like:

 

The novel has a strong start. There’s good character development, the character’s backstories are interesting, and the stories emphasize how important the game is for each character.

 

The early game parts of the Drayk storyline are interesting. It’s in his storyline that we first get a glimpse into the game and the story teases some neat sci-fi sub plots. Unfortunately after this brief peek it takes entirely too long to Drayk back into the game (36% mark). Pierce doesn’t have any game time until the 24% mark of the story.However once the characters get to the game, they’re there the rest of the story.

 

The action is well written and the last 20% of the novel is a huge series of battles.

 

Things I think could be improved:

 

I’d describe this story as SciFi LitRPG, heavy emphasis on SciFi. Yes, the story is absolutely LitRPG. The majority of the story is set in a obviously stated game world with RPG mechanics and the characters progress according to those RPG mechanics. Once the characters eventually get to the game, there are regular game notifications, level ups, and XP gives from completed quests.

 

Yet, the story surrounding those things often ignores them or gives a two word recognition, ‘he read’. In other LitRPG, characters interact with the game system, study it to figure out a way to progress, or make skill/ability/magic choices. That doesn't exist here. The RPG progression is automatic leveling and honestly the increased levels don't seem to affect the story. There’s a sci-fi twist near the end of the story that explains why this is the case but it doesn’t take away from the lack of interaction before that.

 

Additionally, there are inconsistencies in the game mechanics. Early on in the Pierce storyline, he notes that he can either pay for new skills with money or just practice endlessly to get them. Yet, in the Drayk story, the character is given a card that gives him a new skill and later he gets a skill through touch by another character. There are also issues with the respawn system. One, it’s not even mentioned until the characters are deep into the game story and then later it suddenly becomes die in the game die in real life.

 

The Drayk storyline, in the game, is pretty boring from the 30% until about the 66% mark. It feels like filler with only one notable story revelation.

 

As the story progresses past the 75% mark the SciFi twists makes the game stuff feel irrelevant. While these revelations explain why the game stuff never got particularly in depth, it also shifts the story almost entirely into the Sci-fi and away from the LitRPG.

 

Also, note that there’s a seriously dangly cliffhanger to this story.

 

Overall, a good sci-fi read with weak RPG game mechanics. If you’re looking for a LitRPG story that makes you feel like you’re in a great Sci-Fi game, this isn’t it. It just doesn’t do that. But it is a fairly interesting Sci-Fi novel that uses a RPG VR game to tell a story.

 

Score: 6 out of 10.

Know Thy Enemy

http://amzn.to/2DkFQKb

 

(Picture 3)

VERITAS Online: Godmode: OFF (LITRPG SCI-FI Book 1)

 

In this intense, heart-pounding LITRPG SCI-FI SERIES, you meet a young man named Russett who works for a company called Ver2Real, which is in the is responsible for creating and maintaining different virtual reality systems. Their newest VR system is called Virtual Environment, Remote—Induction and Training System; also known as VERITAS. Russett is the civilian contractor in charge of their biggest project yet, which is with the United States Department of Defense.

 

The military basically has us building virtual environments for their soldiers to train in. The company’s technology is cutting edge. We can put any healthy adult in one of the immersion pods and send them into these digital worlds that, to them, are indistinguishable from reality. The edge that VERITAS has over the other VR systems is that it actually hooks into the user’s brain and puts them into a kind of RPG system. Their attributes are measured by the system and hundreds of variables are fed into the simulation. While the users feel like they’re engaged in real-time combat, the results are all simulated too, just like in RPG games.

 

UNFORTUNATELY - VERITAS doesn't have sufficient power to handle real-time combat in such VRMMORPG, which leads to a whole slew of problems that Russett must fix!

 

My Opinion: 44 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

A super short story at 44 pages. Even at .99, expensive for the page count. But also on KU. The beginning seems to be a big push to collect email addresses for a mailing list. Not my favorite move.

 

The story itself takes a good long while to get to anything resembling LitRPG. There’s lots of talk early in the short story about RPG mechanics existing in the game but you don’t actually see any until the 65% mark. However, once they show up, it does become an entertaining read with the characters training, improving stats, and leveling. Everything before that is a sometimes implausible justification to get everyone trapped in the game and setup the stakes for the story.

 

Two small things that bothered me. 1) The early parts of the story have combat logs that don’t mean anything because the reader isn’t given context for what the numbers mean yet. It’s annoying. 2) The automatic time compression feature just doesn’t make sense. Unless the computer is using the player’s brains to run the game, why would it matter if more or less people are playing? Why would that affect how long the players feel like they’re in the game?

 

Overall, a good read once the RPG mechanics showed up. The cliffhanger ending is going to bother some people but I didn’t mind. The story has decent action scenes and it could use more world and character development. But I still plan to pick up the next episode in the series. It’s a nice start that I hope develops into something really good.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

VERITAS Online: Godmode: OFF (LITRPG SCI-FI Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2C3QqHx

 

(Picture 4)

POWERLESS: The Reborn Saga

 

What happens when we die? The answer to this question becomes personal for a teenage boy who named himself, "Schmendrick," when he is reborn in a world called the Sanctum. As a Reborn, he is thrust into an unforgiving society splintered between the Gifted, those blessed with Aether-fueled Powers, and the Powerless, who are treated as outcasts and forced to live in the dangerous Recovered Land.

 

When Schmendrick discovers a hidden secret in Rezdi City and the system seeks his capture and extermination, the teenager is forced to leave Rezdi City and makes his way to the wasteland known as The Shar. There, he makes another discovery which will change his life as a Reborn forever.

 

During his sleep, Smendrick is plagued by dreams and memories of his past life. Who was he before he died and was reborn? How will these revelations affect his new life as a Reborn?

 

My Opinion: 177 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The beginning of the story drops the main character (MC), Schmendrick, and a group of others into a RPG world as reborn where they’re supposed to serve the game system. The next 33% of the novel is a tedious of forced Noob schooling where the newly Reborn learn how to access the game stuff and train in basic combat. Yes the MC gets XP and levels but he has no agency and makes virtually no decisions. Instead, everything is dictated by the instructors.

 

That’s pretty much how the rest of the story ends up too. To put it plainly, it’s boring. It feels like the MC is being led by the nose through the entire story and doesn’t make a single decision. Not only that but the character himself lacks depth and emotional range.

 

The occasional combat scene is decent but it doesn’t make up for the rest of the story. Even though the MC goes on a variety of quests, gains specialized skills, and abilities, what he never seems to gain is any character development that makes me care about him or the ability to make a decision. Instead, he goes along with anything anyone tells him to do and is apathetic about it.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

POWERLESS: The Reborn Saga

http://amzn.to/2DEFUo4

 

(Picture 5)

Avatar Online Launch

 

Forced to work together while trapped in a game, alliances are forged and love is born from the ashes of old resentments. Redemption is possible for one, but another is doomed to follow a dark path.

This is a novella of almost 22,000 words and is Book One of the Avatar Online Series.

 

My Opinion: 69 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The first LitRPG short story written by W.D. Nix, is a mixed bag. On the game mechanics side, it’s pretty light. The story is set in the beta version of an MMORPG and a character levels once. Additionally, there a look at the skills one character has. It also, quest notifications. But that’s it.

 

However, the author freely admits that the story focuses on the relationships between the characters. I’d agree. The dynamics between characters is the focus of the story. Redemption for a brother, a fall from grace for another, long standing emotional issues for one of the women in the story and her best friend that is fiercely loyal. Good ideas.

 

There are some places I think could focus more on RPG mechanics, and action instead of character development but that’s a personal preference. I would have loved to have seen a character creation section where the options for what’s possible where shown. I would have also liked a little more consistency about the game stuff. In one scene in particular a ranger character suddenly has the spells of a mage. This might be a setup for something in a later book but in this one it doesn’t make sense because it hasn’t been established that cross class skills like that are possible.  Instead, it’s justified with ‘the game must have read my mind that I play mages sometimes.’

 

Also, there are just too many scenes where the character, Logan, apologizes for who he was instead of showing who he is now.

 

Overall, not a bad story but it just falls short for me of good. If you just have to have tons of stats in your LitRPG, this is not the story for you. The author says he plans to develop the game mechanics in the story more in future stories and I hope that’s the case.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Avatar Online Launch

http://amzn.to/2BIkMMb

 

(Picture 6)

Threadbare Volume 1: Stuff and Nonsense

 

Meet Threadbare. He is twelve inches tall, full of fluff, and really, really bad at being a hero.

 

Magically animated and discarded by his maker as a failed experiment, he is saved by a little girl. But she's got problems of her own, and he might not be able to help her.

 

Fortunately for the little golem, he's quick to find allies, learn skills, gain levels, and survive horrible predicaments. Which is good, because his creator has a whole lot of enemies...

 

My Opinion: 261 pages, $4.99, Not available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This story is rather good. It’s like Paddington Bear or the Velveteen Rabbit got a character sheet and leveled up from their adventures. It’s a quite a cute story.

 

Threadbare, the golem teddy bear, has to survive his creators experiments, the rough attention of a child, and the destructive vengeance of the household cat. Each challenge he overcomes builds Threadbare’s stats, levels and skills. Soon he becomes more than just a clumsy golem.

 

Eventually Threadbare even accompanies his human on her adventures as the larger RPG world opens up to her. There’s plenty of action and adventure in the story as well as great RPG game mechanics and rather decent world building.  

 

The only thing that I’d say needs work is the transition between characters. One moment you're reading about Threadbare’s actions, the next sentence your reading about an enemy's thoughts, or the cats, and there’s no transition statement.

 

Also note the last 6% of the novel are character sheets and a glossary of abilities and skills.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Threadbare Volume 1: Stuff and Nonsense

http://amzn.to/2C5gqlG

 

(Picture 7)

Galactic Fist of Legend: Volume 3

 

The legendary fisting journeys of Scott and his team continue in this next exciting installment of Galactic Fist of Legend. During their first team building mission Scott's grab bag group of modern pop-culture icons stumbles across a dire situation involving a familiar tunic-clad hero. Can Scott lead his team to pull off the most dangerous mission he's ever faced, or will they fail and doom entire worlds to ruin? Stay tuned and find out!

 

Warning: This story depicts graphic violence, gore, occasional gratuitous nudity, the power of friendship, and strangely adult interactions with sentient plants. You're welcome.

 

My Opinion: 302 pages, $3.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

A good third book in the Galactic Fist of Legend series. The story returns to the zombie apocalypse world of the first book and finishes off the storyline with that world.

 

There’s all the action, adventure, humor, and sexual innuendo you’ve come to expect from the series. In addition there are finally some answers about the larger reasons for the whole interdimensional mission thing and you get to meets some of the entities behind the scenes.

 

The parody is top notch and I certainly appreciated the Dragon Ball Z references. I also have to admit that I think ‘Friendly drunk zombie’ is a great subspecies for the undead.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Galactic Fist of Legend: Volume 3

http://amzn.to/2DM1kzA

 

(Picture 8)

Depths of Camlan: A LitRPG Adventure (Camlan Realm Book 2)

 

Asher is back in Camlan Realm, this time at the special request of Toterra Online’s developers. He and a party of five other players must go deep into the game to recover what is causing all the errors and glitches before time runs out.

 

My Opinion: 245 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The premise of the story is that after the contest of book 1, the same beta players are hired to help isolate a rogue AI and some corrupt code in the VR game. They have 18 hours to find and defeat this corrupt code while it has barricaded itself inside of a dungeon.

---

Not only does the premise of the story not make sense but it’s a bit of a disappointed to be honest. There’s a tease of rogue AI subplot but that’s not fleshed out at all. Instead this is a straight dungeon dive with some whiney team dynamic issues that get worked out in the story. That’s it. The dungeon itself gets a bit repetitive because it’s a straight slog through. No breaks. No periods where the group goes back to town to do other quests, train, or anything else.

 

As a dungeon dive story it’s not bad on its own, but the novel sort of promises more and it doesn't deliver.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Depths of Camlan: A LitRPG Adventure (Camlan Realm Book 2)

http://amzn.to/2jyCgms

 

(Picture 9)

Odyssey (The Stork Tower Book 2)

 

Atherleah Carroll grew up in a negative-tax family in the gang-controlled suburbs of Brisbane at the end of the twenty-first century. From the age of six, she decided that she wanted more and with the help of her local gang-leader, she learned the skills to escape the relentless pressure to accept a life of mediocrity. On her sixteenth birthday, she was inadvertently implanted with a Neural Enhancement Chip instead of the free Government provided basic level personal AI. This mistake not only removed the limits placed on the AI but also broke some of the Government instigated control parameters. Leah’s life rapidly becomes a battle, both in the virtual-multiverse and in real life.

On the advice of the local ‘boss’, Leah began playing the virtual fantasy game Dunyanin to earn the money she needed to live at the local POD facility and help with her education. With the help of her rapidly evolving AI, she has not only thwarted attempts by the government to limit her opportunities but evaded kidnapping by virtual slavers. Co-opted by several Virtual Security AI Leah has helped shut down a virtual sweat-shop which used mind-controlled players to farm for resources. The family, which runs the virtual crime syndicate, has cornered Leah in the depths of a virtual-mine and sent twenty player-mercenaries to capture her. Fleeing through a hidden doorway into a mirror mine operated by goblins Leah hopes to escape her pursuers.

 

My Opinion: 391 pages, $3.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

I’m reviewing this one a bit late. I totally missed its release. But I’m glad someone reminded me of it. It’s one of my favorite reads this week.

 

I reviewed book 1 in the series and gave it a 6 out of 10 as a review score. The novel setup some great sci-fi stuff with AI, implants, advanced VR learning, and game to real world money stuff. I thought the novel had real potential but just didn’t realize it in book 1.

 

I’m happy to say that book 2 realizes that potential and more. There are multiple story threads in the novel that weave together a narrative that makes the game and real life stuff flow well.

 

The early part of the novel focuses on the main character (MC), Leah, getting access to a rare dungeon series quest in the fantasy VR game. She pulls in the friends she made in book 1 and they do that for the first 40% of the novel. It’s honestly not particularly exciting but that section provides a vast amount of wealth for the MC and sets up some great stuff later in the novel. Later there are more interesting game storylines that involve lost elven kingdoms, goblins, and more cool cultural stuff that expands on the world building of the fantasy game. Also, there’s the introduction of a sci-fi space game that has its own stories.

 

However, the really interesting parts of the novel are the events that take place outside of the game stuff. The MC made some seriously powerful enemies and now they’re trying to ruin her life by trying to stop her access to the VR pods, her education, and they’re are even threats to her life. How the MC deals with these threats is the really interesting part of the story to me.

 

Be aware that the MC is becoming overpowered in this story and that there are a few places game logic is overridden in favor of story advancement. Also, the end just kind of ends. It feels more like a ‘to be continued’ leading directly to book 3. These things might bother some people.

 

Overall, this is a good book and you honestly don’t need to read book 1 to understand to get into the story here. I look forward to reading book 3 soon.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Odyssey (The Stork Tower Book 2)

http://amzn.to/2DJP8PS


 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

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Patreon:  https://www.patreon.com/geekbytespodcast

 

If you enjoy the podcast and want to support us you can also find all the other ways to support the podcast at www.litrpgpodcast.com/support  

 

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

 

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/


 

LitRPG Podcast 087

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 087

 

Dec. 22nd, 2017

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 87 of the LitRPG podcast.

 

I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews. This week I have 8 new LitRPG reviews for you.

 

A quick shout out to a couple folks for supporting the podcast on Patreon. Emma Moore with a $10/month pledge, and Kyle J. Smith at $20/month. Thank you both for your amazing support.

https://www.patreon.com/geekbytespodcast

 

New Releases and Reviews:

Fragged 6 (Fragged (A LitRPG Short Story Series)) (07:00)

http://amzn.to/2CyOcww

Crystalfire Keep: A LITRPG Saga (Elements of Wrath Online Book 3) (09:15)

http://amzn.to/2nYlWkc

The Red Plague (The Last Warrior of Unigaea Book 3) (12:08)

http://amzn.to/2BqhfVQ

Teenage Kings: A Western LitRPG Novella (15:00)

http://amzn.to/2Cfau6Z

One Life (Dec. 22nd, 2017) (16:44)

http://amzn.to/2ypQGLc

Dark Infinity Online: Hunter's Bounty: A LitRPG Scifi Adventure (DIO Book 1) (31:13)

http://amzn.to/2B1ugly

World of Karik: (The First Player) LitRPG series (43:15)

http://amzn.to/2B9BrYU

Bitter: Book One (49:42)

http://amzn.to/2BAg8ka

 



 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News

 

 

Vasily Mahanenko, author of the Way of the Shaman series, released the cover art for the last novel in the series, Clan Wars.  It is supposed to be released Feb. 2018, and he hopes everyone enjoys all the surprises he has in store for them. He also shared a link to the first 2 chapters in English for the novel. We’ll have that link in the shownotes.

https://yadi.sk/i/A5pJLYXN3QpkCb



 

Out Now!  

 

Depths of Camlan: A LitRPG Adventure (Camlan Realm Book 2)

http://amzn.to/2jyCgms

 

 

Know Thy Enemy

http://amzn.to/2DkFQKb


 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

Survive Week One: Codename: Freedom, Book 1

http://amzn.to/2yZPhLD

Our ebook review: http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2016/7/19/codename-freedom


 

 

Continue Online Part 3: Realities

http://amzn.to/2z7WHfH


 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

 

Camelot Defiant: An Arthurian LitRPG (Camelot LitRPG Book 4) (Dec. 26th, 2017)

http://amzn.to/2ixvdKQ

 

 

The Dungeon’s Burden (Slime Dungeon Chronicles Book Book 4) (Dec. ??, 2017)


 

 

The Land: Predators (Chaos Seeds: Book 7) (Dec. ??, 2017)

 

 

Press Start (Jan. 5th, 2018)

 

 

Sigil Online: Hellions (Jan. 7th, 2018)


 

 

A Trap for the Potentate (The Dark Herbalist Book #3) LitRPG series (Jan.17th, 2017)

http://amzn.to/2hCtEhG

 

 

The Reapers (The Neuro Book #3) LitRPG Series (Jan. 24th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2y91UrZ

 

 

Akillia's Reign (Puatera Online Book 4) (March 16th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2CAfe6G

 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews


 

Fragged 6 (Fragged (A LitRPG Short Story Series))

 

The Metois are closing in, Zoey's clan is growing, and it looks like the Fighters' luck is about to change.

 

Following the events of Issue Five which saw Zoey and her clan deciding it was time to take the fight to the Metois, the budding group is starting to have internal trust issues, not that that matters to Zoey, who's recently decided that life just isn't that bad, but at the same time is struggling to stay out of her head.

 

In this, the sixth issue of Fragged, Zoey and her friends start to push back against the seemingly unstoppable Metois while at the same time narrowly avoiding encounters with massive dinosaurs and struggling to keep each other alive.

 

My Opinion: 49 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

While the current title of Fragged 6 has the title "A LitRPG Short Story", it is not LitRPG. There are really only 2 sentences that having anything to do with any kind of progression. One has to do with crafting. The other is a single skill progression. Everything else is action and snark.

 

The series on the whole has recently dropped all the town building and rpg mechanics the last few episodes and I feel like the author just wants to write a video game story and not LitRPG. Which is fine, but it’s just not interesting to me.

 

Score: 4 out of 10

Fragged 6 (Fragged (A LitRPG Short Story Series))

http://amzn.to/2CyOcww

 

Crystalfire Keep: A LITRPG Saga (Elements of Wrath Online Book 3)

 

With the opening of Crystalfire Keep, Max, Kayla, and the rest of the crew find themselves in a race against time to gather a force strong enough to beat the timed raid dungeon in time to secure the big cash prize.

 

With rival guilds causing trouble within the game and a dangerous wager in the real world looming, what begins as a difficult trial turns into a near-impossible mission with consequences far out reaching a simple contest.

 

The futures of not only Max and Kayla, but that of their friends, family, and possibly the whole game are at stake. Worse, their only hope to save the day may just lie with the mysterious return of a lost legend.

 

My Opinion: 544 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The satisfying conclusion to this story arc. The third book in the Elements of Wrath series is essentially an underdog tale. A group of misfits that don’t play the game like everyone else, get their chance at the big prize if they can get the fastest time beating the new raid content. They’re going up against better funded and larger guilds. For the main character and some of his group, there are also dire real world consequences if his group loses.

 

**Quick Reminder: the randomly bolded words aren't just random insertions. They’re the game filtering curse words and personal info. I totally forgot and thought that I got a bad copy of the book. Lol.**

 

Overall, a good ending to this story arc. There’s the same MMO action, customization through gems, and romance that readers have come to enjoy. The added consequences IRL raised the stakes of the contest quite nicely. Everything is completely resolved by the end of the novel. That includes the game and real life stuff. Nice.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Crystalfire Keep: A LITRPG Saga (Elements of Wrath Online Book 3)

http://amzn.to/2nYlWkc

 

The Red Plague (The Last Warrior of Unigaea Book 3)

 

The third and final installment in the Last Warrior of Unigaea Trilogy!

 

Following his massive personal loss in the second book, Oric Rune reaches the city of Tael to join Lothar and Sam Raid.

 

Battered and bruised, but not yet ready to give up on his quest to save Unigaea, Oric and company set off for Tagvornin to address the Red Plague. With a newfound mission, and time running out as the Red Plague continues to spread, the moment for Oric to make his mark on Unigaea is now. But will he be able to? And is it even possible?

 

Tight, brutal, and incredibly intense, the final installment in the Last Warrior Trilogy has all the electrifying gamer action, tongue-in-cheek humor, emotion, and plot twists that have made this an Amazon best-selling series.

 

My Opinion: 243 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Don’t worry. This is not actually where the story ends. Instead this is the end of this story arc involving Unigaea. If you’re a fan of the series you’ll enjoy the story.

 

There’s a bit of a magic wand waving and with the first 20% of the novel. The sacrifice Wolf made at the end of book 2 is completely erased, which is annoying to me since something of consequence happened to character I liked.

 

On the bright side, the story has the same good action and humor. It also introduces the reader to the larger Proxima Multiverse, including spaceships and ways to travel to other game worlds.

 

A good ending to the trilogy.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

The Red Plague (The Last Warrior of Unigaea Book 3)

http://amzn.to/2BqhfVQ

 

Teenage Kings: A Western LitRPG Novella

 

Being a successful independent rapper isn't what Dick Dashing thought it would be. The pressure to deliver fresh material combined with unexpected personality changes are making him question his choices and doubt his future in the industry.

 

When something related to Dick's forgotten hometown is mentioned in an unexpected way, it sets off a journey that will make him question his own reality.

 

My Opinion: 79 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Note: the author mentions the story will be more expensive after the 25th.

 

Not LitRPG. A few game mechanics about 67% in, but even then it’s a minor point of the story. No RPG mechanics at all.

 

Score: 4 out of 10

Teenage Kings: A Western LitRPG Novella

http://amzn.to/2Cfau6Z


 

One Life

 

One Life is a Massively Multiplayer Online game where players can escape the reality of the classist wasteland that is the real world, and enter a realm filled with fantasy and adventure. However, when a terrorist organisation called the Shadow Prophets realise that they can manipulate the game to help fund their own dark ventures, they try to take control.

 

Now, a special quest has been activated and Lucas finds himself thrust into situations that are way over his head, both in the real and digital worlds. Strap in for a race against time as Lucas and his party must uncover the secrets of One Life before the game falls entirely into the wrong hands.

 

My Opinion: 187 pages, $3.80, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Full disclosure: The author sent me an advanced copy of the novel for review

 

The first 15% of the novel is a muddled mix of world building, explanation of what the game One Life is, and a bit of backstory of the main character (MC), Lucas.

 

The world has become an unemployable mess. Thankfully, One Life has taken over and given people the opportunity to turn there in game money into real world money. Most people are still only able to earn enough to not die of starvation.

 

The game is initially described as a permadeath fantasy survival game with zombies. Most people stay in the starter newb zone that’s only PVE. The MC makes his living selling starter gear and also being a game guide.

 

The MC ends up following another player that insulted him and intends to PK her once outside town. Only he inadvertently becomes involved in this big quest to save the game from an evil group of bad guys.

 

---

 

The story on its own is only ok. It suffers from an over influence of Ready Player One. The MC and his group follow a series to clues to find and protect the one object that will give control of the game. They’re opposed by a shadowy organization with seemingly limitless resources that sends identical agents to capture or kill them in the game and out. There are also pop culture references galore from the 80s and 90s.

 

Only most of the setup for the MC to enter this quest doesn’t make sense. He sneaks off after a high level player and seeing her fighting a high level monster, makes one non-damaging attack, yet is rewarded with half the XP for the fight and gets the magic quest everyone is looking for.

 

The pop culture references in the story also don’t make sense contextually. In Ready Player One, there’s a shared fascination with 80’s culture because the guy who made the game grew up in that time and all the clues were based on 80’s culture and trivia. So people that wanted to win immersed themselves in the culture. In this story, that premise doesn’t exists. Instead the reader is expected to accept that a bunch of 20 year olds in the far future make 80s and 90s pop culture/tech references like: DOS chat programs, dial up modems, and various movie references.

 

Now, this next part is just a pet peeve. The author references a bunch of pop culture topics. However, he often gets the details wrong. For instance, Doctor Who is referenced when one of the characters, for no explained reason, flips a coin that turns into her spaceship which looks like the TARDIS. Only the author misspells Doctor Who as Dr Who and the TARDIS as Tardis. They may seem like small details but they reflect a lack of appreciation for those fandoms.

 

Also, another small pet peeve. The big threat to the game and real world, is that if the bad guys get this magic item, they’ll get all the players User data including their IP addresses which would let them find anyone in real life. Except, in reality, someones IP address is not the same as their physical address. There are a variety of VPN programs and other ways to spoof or show any IP address. Additionally, having this info is supposed to somehow let the bad guys drain User’s in game accounts and control the game. This is tantamount to saying that if someone finds your home address they will magically have access to your bank account and suddenly control the city you live in. It just doesn’t make sense.

 

Oh, sorry. One more pet peeve. The main character plays this game, in the far flung future, with a mouse and keyboard while looking at a computer monitor. That’s right, not VR. Not console. But normal a normal PC. This sort of dates the author’s experience with gaming and limits the believability of it being in the future. Plus, a late story threat of not being able to log out of the game is severely lessoned when the MC can just step away from the computer.

 

Finally, the game mechanics in the story disappear mostly after the 20% mark. There are still references to high level opponents but the main character never again gains a level, at least not a number, for the rest of the story. Instead, the story turns into a sci-fi VR adventure. It’s this lack of consistent RPG mechanics that is the most disappointing. It really felt like the author had good intentions but after the 20% mark just stopped caring about that part of the story or didn’t feel like keeping track of things like levels.

 

While these things lessened my enjoyment of the story there are good things about it too. The action is decent. There are a big variety of settings that the characters go through. There’s a legitimate attempt to pull in ideas from a variety of games including stealth, survival, RPG, and action. Even if they don’t work because a severe lack of detail, it’s a good attempt. Also, a few of the characters are interesting and I really did like the attempt to explain the dangers of a society dependent on a game for economic growth.

 

Overall, the story just wasn’t particularly enjoyable for me. It wasn’t terrible either but I kept comparing it to Ready Player One and found this novel lacking. While there were some good things about it, they were overshadowed by the many things that bothered me.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

One Life (Dec. 22nd, 2017)

http://amzn.to/2ypQGLc


 

Dark Infinity Online: Hunter's Bounty: A LitRPG Scifi Adventure (DIO Book 1)

 

Warley’s days as a bounty hunter are numbered. Ever since the government put those darn police robots on the streets, criminality has seen a huge drop and he’s now struggling to even find a shoplifter to apprehend.

 

With rent to pay, no money in the bank and a serious drinking problem to fund, the situation is getting desperate for him. But where is a man of his particular skills supposed to turn to? Chasing criminals is all he knows; it’s all he’s ever done.

 

That’s when Warley will learn about Dark Infinity Online, a game where criminality still runs rampant and money, real money can be made for those with enough guts to join in.

 

With nothing to lose, Warley will spend his last credits buying the game. But in a world without laws and rules, the line blurs between good and evil, and there’s no more telling which side is which.

 

Torn between two rival factions fighting for control over the server, will Warley make the right choice?

 

My Opinion: 244 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is a story set in the far flung future where robots have take over many jobs and cities have become multileveled behemoths.

The author does a good job of describing this world and giving a nice description of the space faring civilization of the VR game the main character (MC), Warley/Exxu, plays.

 

The SciFi elements of the story are definitely it’s strong suit. Where it lacks is in the game mechanics and a logical storyline that connects the game and real world.

 

The first 8% of this novel is good. The author describes a real world that is bursting with SciFi character. The MC has flaws galore to work on and empathy for his situation is quickly established. Once in the game world (4%) there’s a good, if dated, attempt to describe the newb experience at playing an MMO. The issues with learning a control scheme, how to control the game camera, what to do in the world, and how not to die so much.

 

However, after the 12% mark, when the MC gains his first level and it doesn’t seem to mean anything, the game stuff switches to something that more and more feels like normal SciFi. As the story continues, the charm of playing the game disappears as the in game story is described the same as the real life one.

 

--

 

This is technically a LitRPG novel. Throughout the story the main character (MC), Warley/Exxu, completes missions for experience which gain him levels. However, none of the experience is ever shown and the levels don’t seem to mean anything. The story almost doesn’t care about the RPG side of the game world. More text is spent in the novel describing to the main character how to pilot a special spaceship he gets than giving details about the game mechanics of the VRMMO world.

 

The way the MC interacts with the game world is also rather unusual and often contradictory. The game world is described as a ‘Space survival VRMMO’. Yet, if the game world is in virtual reality, why is it then that the MC plays it while staring at a normal computer screen and using a mouse and keyboard? It’s emphasised throughout the beginning part of the story that the MC is using a keyboard and mouse. Even going so far as to describe WASD movement controls. Yet, the contradictory experience occurs when the MC starts to feel and emote unrealistically. He gets scared, even terrified on several occasions from intimidating spaceships that pass him by. The MC has to learn how to pilot each ship he uses, each button, toggle and switch. The text describes him as grasping, and flipping these controls with his hands. Which would make sense if he were in a VR pod or something but he’s using normal mouse and keyboard.

 

“His heart thumped in his chest. His palms grew sweaty. And his hands pushed forward on the wheel, hard. ...his eyes remained fixed on threat giant ship, almost like a monster from the dreams of a child...his mind frozen in its flight of terror. This is what it felt like to be prey. He had never felt small and powerless before.” -(34% mark of story)

 

This is a very emotive scene. However, it has a lot less impact because in the back of my mind I know the MC is just staring at a computer screen and not really feeling those emotions as their described.

 

It may just be me, but I’m guessing that the author wrote this story as straight SciFi, but then adapted it as LitRPG. It sort of shows when the MC is described as being cold in his spaceship, despite the fact that he’s playing the game in front of a monitor and not in VR.

 

That this may be an adapted story isn’t bad. But it does also explain why there’s more emphasis on all the SciFi space stuff and not on the game parts. They were likely added in later.

 

Additionally, story wise there is just an oddity that just didn’t make sense. The stories tension in the real world relies on the fact that players can cash out game credits for real world money. That’s cool, that’s done now. But the oddity occurs when people get arrested IRL for doing bad things in-game, like stealing, just because the credits could be turned into real money. That leap of logic just never made sense and the rest of the story that is built on that didn’t either.

 

Overall, as a SciFi story this would be a decent read. Yeah, there are some pretty big plot holes but the action and intrigue sort of makes up for it. But as LitRPG, I just didn’t get any depth in the game stuff. Which is disappointing, but not unexpected if the novel is a adapted SciFi story as I suspect.

 

There are better SciFi LitRPG stories: The Gam3, World Seed, Futuristic Dungeon Core, Continue Online, Phantom Server, Office Wars and more

 

Score: 5 out of 10

Dark Infinity Online: Hunter's Bounty: A LitRPG Scifi Adventure (DIO Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2B1ugly


 

World of Karik: (The First Player) LitRPG series

 

Welcome to the new world. People around were killed, but you and group of strangers could get to this dangerous place by the will of mysterious creatures.

 

Imagine a community of liars and scoundrels who were able to survive by killing their friends and fellows.

 

These people surround you; everyone is lying, trying to get an advantage. Everyone has a secret.

The World of Karik is similar to the game. You can get levels, increase your stats, and even rise from the dead in case of failure. However, if you do make a mistake, if you do believe the wrong person, you will die forever.

 

Everyone knows where is the way out of this world; it seems that you can return home, but not a single person did ever come back. Do you want to be the first? Then you have to decide, who is standing next to you? The friend or the foe? The creature of the abyss or an innocent victim?

 

The translation has been faithfully made by a non-profit agency "Cowabunga."

 

My Opinion: 681 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

**Warning: There are some serious issues with the translation of the work into english. If the following sentences hurt your brain, don’t read this novel.

 

"It's great," Olga said, as I thought, a little disappointed. "I think we have come." The path led us to a clearing, surrounded by a rock on one side. On the left, there was a small brook; on the right, a forest. "We came," Andrei announced. **

 

First I want to say at $2.99, this is a great price for the amount of content and it’s on KU.

 

The novel is best described as a Apocalypse Survival Slice of Life LitRPG. So, similar stories would be The Arcane Survivalist, Life in the North, Gamer of the Dead, or Survival World.

 

People are being taken from earth by powerful beings and dropped onto another planet. This planet works with RPG game rules. Each person is given one skill or ability to help them survive and tobestone that they resurrect at if they die. If the tombstone is broken, they die permanently.

 

The main character (MC) convinces the god of chaos to give him mastery of magic and thus he has an OP ability among all the other players on this world. While there’s a way to exit the world, it’s so difficult no one has yet succeeded.

 

The story is basically a slice of life power up story. There’s no huge plot. It’s more about the MC learning about the rules of the world, leveling up, some betrayals that force him to power up more, and then repeating all that. There’s enough variety of monsters to fight, plot twist betrayals, and way to power up that the story is interesting even with it being over 600 pages long.

 

The biggest drawbacks to the story are the translation issues and the sheer length of the story makes some parts feel like filler. Those two things don’t ruin the story for me but they will for other people.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

World of Karik: (The First Player) LitRPG series

http://amzn.to/2B9BrYU


 

Bitter: Book One

 

VRMMORPG has arrived, along with: bugs, exploits, OP classes, over the top nerfs, p2w, ridiculous RNG, lockboxes, raging players, broken mechanics, limited bag space, tedious crafting... and then there are the goblins and ogres.

 

Bitter is the story of a girl who finds her life isn't what she wanted. So she gets another one.

 

My Opinion: 296 pages, $3.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

From the author of the How To Avoid Death On A Daily Basis series, which is a nice portal fiction series. This is a published version of the online serial of the same name. Book 1 has the first 100 chapters, book 2 continues the story.

 

First off. This is totally LitRPG. Plenty of RPG progression, though the game system isn’t anything amazing. Also, in my opinion way too much time is spent in the real world but the main character (MC), Britta is a high school kid so it makes sense that she can’t play 24/7.

 

Ok. This is a slice of life story with a teen girl who is a huge complainer. She gets access to her dad’s new VR game rig. She’s not supposed to use it but she’s a sneaky kid. She only intends to take a little trip in the game world to see what’s so cool about it but through a series of poor character creation choices finds herself with a very unique character. One that has to find new and interesting ways to fight and interact with the NPCs.

 

Most of the game story is about the MC exploring the starting parts of this VR fantasy game, learning about the game mechanics, and early quests. What’s interesting about the story is how this teen manages to get around the game’s standard events and bend the AI rules for some interesting effects.

 

The real life storyline is pretty boring and is mostly the MC complaining about her life, her parents, school, and other students.

 

Overall, a good story. Though it takes some time to get past the whiney complaints of the MC, about 20%. Once she’s in the game world it’s interesting. I had a fun time reading it but I also like slice of life stories. Be aware that the end of book 1 is just a pause in the story. But book 2 is also out now.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Bitter: Book One

http://amzn.to/2BAg8ka

Bitter: Book Two

http://amzn.to/2BMwade


 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

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If you enjoy the podcast and want to support us you can also find all the other ways to support the podcast at www.litrpgpodcast.com/support  

 

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

 

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/



 

LitRPG Podcast 086

 

LitRPG Podcast 086

 

Dec. 15th, 2017

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 86 of the LitRPG podcast.

 

I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews. This week I have 8 new LitRPG reviews for you.

 

A quick mention, we have a nice LitRPG community member that appreciates the work we do and donated to the podcast recently but asked to remain anonymous. They just asked that I wear a Christmas hat on the show the rest of the month. Thank you supporters.


 

New Releases and Reviews:

 

  1. Halcyon Rising: Breaking Ground

http://amzn.to/2kxadIk

  1. Keeper's World: The Case of the Mad Monk

http://amzn.to/2ADjNAl

  1. City of Champions Online: Issue II: Rising Up

http://amzn.to/2nGDjWI

  1. The Starry Skies of Darkaan (Realm of Arkon Book 6)

http://amzn.to/2hV0nPz

  1. Empire Burning (Emerilia Book 11)

http://amzn.to/2AElrys

  1. Desert Storm (Puatera Online Book 3)

http://amzn.to/2zOaoSx

----

  1. The Hope Engine - Royal Road Story

https://royalroadl.com/fiction/13451/the-hope-engine

 

  1. Fountellion in The Spiral: The Nature of the Game & Progression One (GameLit)

http://amzn.to/2BWj6P6






 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News

 

 

Daniel Schinhofen announced this week that he’s already found a narrator for his latest novel Apocalypse Gate. He’s decided to use the voice talents of Andrea Parsnaeu. She has 6 narration credits on Audible, including Dominion of Blades.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/364674377283655/permalink/407001643050928/

 

 

If you’ve read Super Sales on Super Heroes you know it’s a good book. However, there will be a change with its audiobook edition. The author, William D. Arand, has decided to give the rights to book 2 and 3 to Podium. They’ve arranged to have Nick Podehl do the narration. So, Jeff Hays won’t be returning to the series unfortunately.

https://www.facebook.com/WilliamDArand/posts/528452920871867


 

 

Vasiliy Mahanenko recently wrote a couple articles on writing a LitRPG story. The most recent article titled “Game mechanics. Part 1. Getting started.” It’s a nice little article about the importance of creating your game world and defining what can and cannot be done. Also, the importance of understanding that unlike normal fantasy, if something happens in the story that breaks those rules or breaks game logic, the fans will absolutely notice. It’s a nice read.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPG.books/permalink/1654972957859367/

 

 

Robert Bevan has created a funny and entertaining holiday  poem story. Caverns and Creatures Night Before Christmas was originally published December 20, 2015 but he’s recently shown off an animated like music video for the poem.

https://www.facebook.com/robertbevanbooks/videos/10155850708835030/

http://www.caverns-and-creatures.com/blog/2015/12/19/caverns-and-creatures-night-before-christmas


 

 

Also in Critical Failure news, there’s apparently a mobile game based on the Caverns and Creatures world called Cooper Pooper. It’s being offered as a reward for supporting the Critical Failure TV show Indiegogo campaign.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/critical-failures-tv-round-2-fantasy#/

 

 

I just want to thank everyone that has read Project Alpha, you’ve made it a great launch week. The buys and read through rates have been steady and while I’ve gotten a few critical notes from readers for the most part the reviews have been positive. So, thank you everyone that read the novel and left a review it really does mean a lot. Those reviews help with the Amazon algorithms and get the novel shown to more people. Really, on Amazon best sellers rank, the novel launch was a bit rough but it went from #1000 to #700s once we got about 10 reviews in. Now at 36 reviews the novel is in the #200s on Amazon best sellers rank.

 

Thank you again everyone.



 

Out Now!  

 

Crystalfire Keep: A LITRPG Saga (Elements of Wrath Online Book 3)

http://amzn.to/2nYlWkc

 

 

The Red Plague (The Last Warrior of Unigaea Book 3)

http://amzn.to/2BqhfVQ


 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

(none)


 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

 

Teenage Kings: A Western LitRPG Novella

http://amzn.to/2Cfau6Z

(Dec. 18th, 2017)

 

 

Depths of Camlan: A LitRPG Adventure (Camlan Realm Book 2) (Dec. 21st, 2017)

http://amzn.to/2jyCgms

 

 

One Life (Dec. 22nd, 2017)

http://amzn.to/2ypQGLc

 

 

Camelot Defiant: An Arthurian LitRPG (Camelot LitRPG Book 4) (Dec. 26th, 2017)

http://amzn.to/2ixvdKQ

 

 

The Dungeon’s Burden (Slime Dungeon Chronicles Book Book 4) (Dec. ??, 2017)


 

 

The Land: Predators (Chaos Seeds: Book 7) (Dec. ??, 2017)

 

 

Press Start (Jan. 5th, 2018)

 

 

Sigil Online: Hellions (Jan. 7th, 2018)


 

 

A Trap for the Potentate (The Dark Herbalist Book #3) LitRPG series (Jan.17th, 2017)

http://amzn.to/2hCtEhG

 

 

The Reapers (The Neuro Book #3) LitRPG Series (Jan. 24th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2y91UrZ

 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

Halcyon Rising: Breaking Ground

 

My skill set brings all the girls to the yard.

 

And by yard, I mean, the temple of a young goddess who's using me to build a fortified city around herself before the god of war can finish slaying every deity in the heavens.

 

He'd better not find us before we're ready. Spoiler: We're far from ready.

 

But hey, I get a cool skill out of it. The goddess allows me to view anyone's strength, vivacity, and other attributes as though they were numbers on a menu, and then use their life experiences to make them stronger. I can unlock their special skills too, and it's all stuff no one else can see.

 

Hence the girls: A beastkin builder, a negotiatrix made of slime, a half-elf gypsy that charms snakes — and more — seeking safe refuge and a place to belong.

 

Think our ragtag group can survive a divine onslaught of apocalyptic proportions? I know what I think. Come on in and find out.

 

My Opinion: 233 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is a fantasy harem LitRPG novel where the main character has upgrade powers. He can see his and others character sheets and upgrade their stats and abilities using their accumulated XP.  The RPG stuff is interesting, though I’ve read other stories that do it better. Still, not bad.

 

However, the rest of the story is not as entertaining. Combat is decent. There are some town building aspects of the story but the show up towards the end of the novel. The rest is mostly about collecting a harem of beautiful women that the main character gets to sleep with.

 

Overall, an ok story with good RPG mechanics. However, there are better LitRPG stories with a main character with upgrade powers. The Super Sales on Super Hero series and the 1st book in The Legendary Builder series.

 

Score: 6 out of 10.

Halcyon Rising: Breaking Ground

http://amzn.to/2kxadIk

 

(Picture 2)

Keeper's World: The Case of the Mad Monk

 

Most people can live a peaceful life, not in fear of the monsters of the outside world. Most people don't have to worry about what goes bump in the night. For others, there are the watchmen, the police of the ancient age who wander the streets at night. And when the watchmen are not enough, there are the Hunters, those who will pursue the greatest of villains across any border.

 

Join Hunter Theol as he hunts down the greatest killer known, the Mad Monk.

 

The Case of the Mad Monk is the second short story in the Keeper's World series, based within the world of the World Keeper books. There will be information and references within these short stories that will not be entirely understood without reading the associated book.

 

My Opinion: 60 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

A story set in the world keeper universe. The RPG elements are light and mostly depend on you already understanding stuff from the main series.

 

A murder mystery! OK more like murderer hunt. The MC is a hunter on the trail of a murderer named the Mad Monk. There’s a bit of a procedural elements to it too. A really enjoyable short story.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Keeper's World: The Case of the Mad Monk

http://amzn.to/2ADjNAl


 

(Picture 3)

City of Champions Online: Issue II: Rising Up

 

It is a dark time for the city of Atlanta.

 

In the world of City of Champions Online, a group of white supremacists have taken over the city of Atlanta and are holding the city hostage as they attempt to usurp control of the government. Southern Pride, the local team of 'heroes' have proven to be plants by the villains, using their position to try and give the takeover a look of legitimacy. Those who would stand against them have been declared villains, and are being hunted.

 

But not everyone has given up on Atlanta. Vampyra and the Misfits helped many heroes and civilians to escape the city during the initial chaos. Now, they're taking the fight to Southern Pride, and rallying anyone they can to their side, because the Battle of Atlanta is just getting started.

 

My Opinion: 125 pages, $0.99, Not available on Kindle Unlimited

 

If you liked book 1, you’ll enjoy book 2. Superheroes fighting in a VRMMO. The bad guys are still racist Nazi types but they're starting to fight more intelligently so things are harder for the MC and her group. The team of rogue heroines has a plan to win but nothing ever goes according to plan.

 

Overall, an enjoyable read that is a bit lighter on the RPG stuff than the author’s other works. Though there are a bunch of detailed character sheets and power descriptions at the end of the novel (the entire last 15%).

 

Score: 7 out of 10

City of Champions Online: Issue II: Rising Up

http://amzn.to/2nGDjWI

 

(Picture 4)

The Starry Skies of Darkaan (Realm of Arkon Book 6)

 

The Spectral City of Cathella is shrouded in strange magic of a powerful artifact. Krian must face the Great Dragons of Pangea, an impossible quest on the Ancient Paths, transformed by the Twice Cursed God, a journey through an endless graveyard, the smile of the Goddess of Stealth… And rage. Infinite rage. The path to the higher plane never seems to end, too much for any man to overcome… But not for an Elder Demon. And so he soldiers on, after the black crow and toward the red moon hanging over the valleys of Karn.

 

My Opinion: 239 pages, $5.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Don’t worry. Even though the story begins with Max, most of it is told from the perspective of Krian. This is a multi-phase dungeon dive with the ultimate purpose of finally reuniting Krian with his sister and his friend Max. The action and adventure is all here. If you’re a fan of the series, it’s a must read. However, $5.99 for 239 pages is a bit expensive otherwise.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

The Starry Skies of Darkaan (Realm of Arkon Book 6)

http://amzn.to/2hV0nPz

 

(Picture 5)

Empire Burning (Emerilia Book 11)

 

Pandora’s Box has been opened. The Pantheon of Emerilia has gone through tremendous changes the event of Myths and Legends suppressed.

 

Warships now move in the stars, made of soul gem constructs, built by mages and engineers, crewed by those that lived on Emerilia or within Earth’s Simulation.

 

The Deq’ual system stands with Emerilia, their brothers and sisters, their family and fellow human descendants.

 

The Jukal Empire will not let Emerilia rise peacefully. As Empires grow, so too can they be toppled. Only one can remain, in their biggest gamble yet, they must pass through the fires of war, Empire against Empire.

 

My Opinion: 302 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is it folks. The end of the series. It’s an action filled send off too where the Terran Alliance squares off against the Jukal Empire. There are space battles galore and more. Unfortunately, what there isn’t are RPG mechanics. Which is sad but not unexpected. As the series has gone on more and more of the RPG game stuff has fallen away and with most of this story taking place in space, it’s no surprise all the game stuff is left on Emerilia. There are only 5 place in the entire story with with anything game related (6.87%, 53%,78%, 90%, 98%). The first place is the last recapp of Dave’s character sheet, the rest are quest or title notifications.

 

This doesn’t take away from the grand ending to the series but that does mean the story isn’t LitRPG. Still, it is a good enjoyable read that ties up the series well and may even make some readers get the sniffles at the very end.

 

As space opera sci-fi it would get a score of 7 out of 10.

As LitRPG, it gets a 4 out of 10.

Empire Burning (Emerilia Book 11)

http://amzn.to/2AElrys

 

(Picture 6)

Desert Storm (Puatera Online Book 3)

 

Forging a new quest, Maddie and Alex unite the desert runners in order to find enough food to feed the Tromoal through their birthing. But there’s descent into chaos at the mayor’s farm on the discovery of a stolen Tromoal egg and the fact he’s hoarding zombie cattle. Maddie's choices are limited, but her fight isn’t.

 

My Opinion: 124 pages, $1.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Full disclosure: The author has a link to the podcast in the back of the short story.

 

The started reading this short story very impressed. Finally, the main character (MC) gets a character sheet and the ability to change her stats. I thought that this was going to be the one in the series to finally get that 7 or 8 out of 10. There was a promised huge war coming and I fully expected to see some big battle by the end of the story since this is the final book in this trilogy.

 

Unfortunately, I was disappointed. From the 28-75% mark, the story instead takes some out of left field plot turns that feel like filler. Then even after the 75% mark, the story never delivers on that promised war that was made such a big deal about at the end of book 2 and the beginning of this story.

 

I’ll give more specific details below but they’re a bit spoilery. Suffice it to say that while the middle scenes in the story were interesting they just didn’t make sense and had little to no setup.

 

-----Spoilers Ahead----------

 

Ok. Specifics.

 

The biggest issue I had with the story is that the middle (28-75%) feels unnecessary. You could skip the whole section and you wouldn’t lose much. Additionally, it adds a bunch of stuff that just doesn’t make sense and just seems to come from nowhere. Stuff like a vampire that’s cured of vampirism, portals to other dimensions, time travel, the MC is suddenly an alien, the MC has matrix powers to see the code of the game.

 

Each of these elements is just introduced without any setup. It felt like, *Poof* ‘Hey I’m a rouge that discovered portals in this game that let people visit the past on earth.’ *Poof* ‘I’m a vampire that has a portal under his castle. Want to go through and kill the guy you fell in love with last book?’ *Poof* ‘Hey MC, did you know you’re an alien?’

 

I may be exaggerating a bit but not by a lot.

 

I also expected the last 25% of the novel to have that promised war that had been talked about so much. Instead, the MC decides that killing Dale, who gets his own weird plot twist, is the way to go. Then the MC jumps through a portal and the story ends. That’s it.

 

------

 

I’m not saying the story it bad. Each scene is well written and is interesting in its own way. Also, this story does have the most RPG mechanics in the series. However, the story just took many turns that didn’t make sense to me and had little to no setup. That coupled with the unfulfilled expectations left me feeling disappointed.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Desert Storm (Puatera Online Book 3) (Dec. 13th, 2017)

http://amzn.to/2zOaoSx




 

--------------------------------------------------

Ok. Normally I don’t review really old novels that say they’re suddenly LitRPG or stuff from the Royal Road. Most Royal Road stuff is unfinished and unedited and I don’t think it’s fair to judge a story in that state. Plus I usually have 8-10 novels from Amazon to read every week. But I promised these guys I would if I ever had a week where I didn’t have a full review schedule, and this just happens to be that week.

 

Now to be 100% clear. Both of these authors asked me repeatedly for reviews. So here we go.

 

(Picture 7)

The HOPE Engine

 

When a game has the power to bring peace to the planet, you're damn right everyone plays. Every person on the planet can choose if they want to live their life in the physical world or the digital, and Quentin has been waiting for his chance to go all digital.

 

Once in the game, he chooses a powerful caster, but quickly finds out just how fragile he is. His advisor is a little girl, the village he builds is filled with raving lunatics, and the only edible food for miles around is poisonous to humans. But hey, his friends seem nice.

 

High level players are fleeing from their towns, beaten by a great force in the East. Will Quentin rise to the challenge and fight these evil forces? Will he pledge his allegiance to them instead? Will he find a meal that doesn't make him sick?

 

Find out in The HOPE Engine!

--

My Opinion: As of this article, 17 chapters, but the author publishes about 1 chapter a week.

 

Andrew Lynch has a couple novels under his belt. He’s published two on Amazon. Demi Heros and Sanctuary Fiend but this is his first attempt at writing a LitRPG novel. He’s testing the waters with the genre by on the Royal Road putting out on average a chapter a week.

 

There are some interesting things happening with this story but its biggest issue is that it’s trying to be too many things at once. Especially early on in the story.

 

It’s not until the story gets to chapter 8 that it feels like it’s starting to find its voice. There the MC explores how to build his first buildings, manage his minions, and other resources. Then the MC creates a portal in his town that lets him participates in ‘scenarios’, or stand alone adventures where he can gain more XP, loot, and resources. It’s a nice way to seperate the straight action scenes from the resource management part.

 

When you read the beginning of the story you can tell the author is trying to figure out what kind of game world he wants to use. It starts out as a standard fantasy VRMMO but also hints at possibly mixing in sci-fi later on with a cross MMO update. Then after character creation, the story mixes a single player tutorial with sci-fi elements of all the NPCs being self aware. Then it introduces base building and resource management. Then later, real time strategy elements.

 

It’s great that the author has experience with these games. However, RTS, Resource Management, MMOs, and Single Player games are all different and each focuses on different gaming elements. Trying to mix everything in the same story not only requires a big info dump for each type of game but the story loses focus when the game jumps between so many types of games.

 

There are also random story elements that aren’t consistently implemented. For example, early in the story there’s the revelation that all the NPCs in the game are self aware and know that they’re in a game. But a chapter later, the MC recruits NPCs that are dumb and totally unaware of the game. Then shortly later, more self aware NPCs.

 

Then there are things that feel like they’re dropped in without setup. For example,the introduction of a digital to physical virus called N-Plague. Something never mentioned before.

 

It’s like the story wants to have all these different types of game elements but also wants to be an action story, an AI story, and a sci-fi medical plague story.

 

I think the story has the potential to be good. I was very entertained by the resource management aspects of the novel and the scenario system attached to it. But all that other stuff just cluttered things for me. The story needs to decide what it wants to be and stick to that.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

https://royalroadl.com/fiction/13451/the-hope-engine

 

(Picture 8)

Fountellion in The Spiral: The Nature of the Game & Progression One (GameLit)

 

A gateway to a long-awaited VRMMO game-world has opened for those who have a key. This includes Dan Harvester, a guy who lives in a run-down apartment with his cat and runs a gaming channel. He's almost through playing and testing VR games, but is this his one last chance to – really – level-up? What can it promise to him, and its first 'Beta-pioneers'?

 

'Fountellion' is a nature-world full of artificial life that mimics the laws of 'the Source', our own nature with its force of evolution. It promises to be more than an 'adventure survival experience', for there are six 'Insights' scattered within its 'super-fabric' and every player can find their own path to them. How much will Dan be changed?

 

There is only one way to find out, and that's to tune into and experience his 'avalogs'. For only by completing them, together with fragments from its ambitious development, can you too discover the vision and legacy of 'Fountellion'.

 

The Spiral series unfolds with the mystery of Progression One... What is the nature of the game, both for its developers and for its players?

 

My Opinion: 236 pages, $1.75, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Ok. Brutal truth. I don’t like this novel. I first came across the novel early in the year and it was almost impossible to read. The way the novel was written was almost like free form poetry in it’s format. It also had no RPG stuff in it. There was stuff about a game but it was more like floating without a body VR exploration and the story was about experiencing different existences. Not a big deal, it didn’t say anything in the description at the time about being LitRPG, I’d just picked it up because it mentioned a game and VR.

 

Then the author contacted me and said that he’d published that as an experimental version of the story but that he’d heavily modified it and wanted to get a review. So, I try to re-read it and while it’s more understandable, it’s still difficult to read. I’ve picked it up off and on for 6 months trying to get through it.

 

There are RPGish game mechanics but from what I remember from the 1st addition it feels like they were inserted into the story.  The actual descriptions of the main character are more in line with platforming mechanics. For example, he gets a super jump and the ability to transform into other creatures. The transformation aspects of the story are meant to be used to explore different ways of existing. But it’s pretty clear that the ability has been gamified, explanations for it as a game mechanic have been added in.

 

 

The story is technically LitRPG. In its current form it has clearly defined game mechanics that progress but it feels like the story was heavily adapted to try to make it more appealing to the LitRPG audience. That’s not bad in itself but the story feels like something that was adapted instead of being written specifically for the LitRPG audience which ruins the originality that may have been part of the original version.

 

Score: 4 out of 10

Fountellion in The Spiral: The Nature of the Game & Progression One (GameLit)

http://amzn.to/2BWj6P6




 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

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Patreon:  https://www.patreon.com/geekbytespodcast

 

If you enjoy the podcast and want to support us you can also find all the other ways to support the podcast at www.litrpgpodcast.com/support  

 

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

 

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/


 

LitRPG Podcast 085

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 085

 

Dec. 8th, 2017

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 85 of the LitRPG podcast.

 

I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews. This week I have 8 new LitRPG reviews for you.

 

New Releases and Reviews:

 

Rapture (Apocalypse Gates Author's Cut Book 1) (20:20)

http://amzn.to/2jBOuuz

Rapture (PG-16) (Apocalypse Gates)

http://amzn.to/2zX2eer

Mira & Zoro: Stuck in a Game World? (Vampire Wrath and Incubus Issues): A LitRPG/Fantasy Fun (26:28)

http://amzn.to/2nB5EgX

Lewd Shadowmancer: The Concubine Contract: A Dark Fantasy Digital Adventure (30:49)

http://amzn.to/2AfdRfJ

Super Sales on Super Heroes: Book 2 (39:06)

http://amzn.to/2iksMuQ

The Twilight Obelisk (Mirror World Book #4)  (44:20)

http://amzn.to/2gO5LTr

The Gods of the Second World (LitRPG The Weirdest Noob Book 3) (48:39)

http://amzn.to/2zNF2Mc

A Dungeon's Soul: Book 3 of the Adventures on Brad (52:20)

http://amzn.to/2hXzESh

Infinite Assassins: Daggerland Online Novel 2 A LITRPG Adventure (55:04)

http://amzn.to/2gODsBs



 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News

 

 

I want to give a quick shout out to friend of the podcast Dakota Krout, he recently had his first baby. If you’ve read his latest novel Dungeon Calamity you already know the kid’s name. Congratulations to Dakota and his wife on having a healthy baby girl. (01:49)



 

 

(02:32)

It seems like the trademark for LitRPG has gone through and Aleron Kong is officially the trademark holder. People feel what they feel about the situation. Some are angry. Others happy. Many don’t care. One of the early changes in the community is that the LitRPG Society Facebook page has changed their page name to RPG GameLit Society. Not because Aleron or anyone asked them to but as a proactive step to avoid potential problems.

( https://www.facebook.com/groups/RPGGameLitSociety/  )

 

But here are a couple statements on the issue.

 

When asked to comment on this, Aleron gave this statement,

 

“Hello everyone, Aleron here. I wanted to address the concerns about the trademark of LitRPG before the conversation escalates into unnecessary worries. First, a little history; I started attempting to trademark LitRPG back in 2016 as a way to help not only protect my ability to use the term, but also protect future authors ability to do the same. My concern was that if someone trademarked it, they wouldn’t allow others to use it, or to work towards helping it grow as a genre. However, I realized after some very personal attacks that this wasn’t how it was being taken, and that others may have thought I intended to block other authors from helping the genre grow, this could not be farther from the truth!

 

When my first attempt at obtaining a trademark failed, my lawyers who were under retainer let me know that there were still a few avenues they would like to try before calling it quits. But that they were unaware if those attempts would work. Up until recently, I thought that the trademark was dead in the water, my lawyer had made no progress and had left me feeling certain that it wasn’t going to move forward, and I had no intention of continuing to pursue it after they finished exhausting their final attempts. But A few weeks ago I received quite the surprise, my lawyer called and informed me the trademark was moving forward. I wasn’t sure how to feel about this, as I really didn’t want to stir up any problems. I know some people have questioned how I could be unaware of the action my lawyer recently took that allowed the trademark to go through, and honestly, it is a pretty simple answer; lawyers work off of a retainer at times, prepaid amounts to use as needed for the task given, which is the case here. And when they told me multiple times that it probably would not happen I put it out of my mind and just waited for the process and their retainer to run it's course.

 

Now that I’ve explained this history, I want to clarify what this means going forward. The trademark covers athletic apparel, shirts, pants, jackets, footwear, hats, etc., as well as use for a website featuring entertainment information, such as movies, TV, social media, books, eBooks, etc. The major concern I’ve found is “will other LitRPG authors be able to use “LitRPG” to promote their books, describe their books, etc.?” The simple answer: yes. I have no intention of pursuing royalties from other authors in the genre. I wanted to protect the trademark so that we could all work together to help it grow.

 

What does the future hold now that LitRPG is a trademark? If you visit my website, https://www.litrpg.com/litrpgbooks/ , you will find that I have featured what I refer to as “The List” – a page devoted to highlighting new releases and new authors in the LitRPG field. Without anything being given to me, or being rewarded in any way, I have worked to ensure that all LitRPG authors, new and old, are connected to the awesome LitRPG audience. I try to keep this updated very regularly, and have plans to help it grow moving forward. I have also, again without any recompense, have set up a beta reader list to help new authors hone their craft. This group, which I am so proud of, is literally the best and more supportive group on FB for new authors in my opinion, and was made into such by literally thousands of hours of work by myself and my moderators. Again with no recompense, but just because we love the genre. I feel that my track record, and the track record of the moderators speaks for itself.

 

In addition to what has been done so far, I am currently working on an update to the page, which will allow authors I may have missed or that are new to the genre to submit their information, so that I can be sure to include it on “The List” and in other features. Another plan that I am working to implement is helping all LitRPG authors to gain more social media exposure. As an extension of the list, I plan to Tweet/Post about new releases and new authors from my accounts, tagging the other authors to help increase their exposure to potential fans and readers. I encourage you all to participate in this same way, the more we can help the genre grow, the more we will all succeed!

 

I feel that my efforts to promote all authors who join the genre over the past two years should be evidence of my dedication to growing the genre as a whole. To some, LitRPG may be an enjoyable past time, but to me, its something that is wonderfully personal. I love LitRPG. I want to make sure that it always has room to grow. While I forgot about the trademark until recently, the horrible and personal attacks that were directed at me by angry people, just reminded me of the danger if the wrong person took the trademark. I'm sure many of you have seen the vehemence some have been exhibiting. Having had that targeted at me in a very real and personal way, I assure you it is not pleasant. The idea that the same people might obtain a trademark and then try to strong-arm new authors made me very uncomfortable. Though I was surprised by the fact that the trademark was ongoing, I am now happy I can help keep it safe. Again, I have NO intention of interfering with others helping to grow the LitRPG genre. Just the opposite, I want to continue to help others bring attention to the genre we love! I hope this has brought clarity to the situation, but if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via the website: https://www.litrpg.com/contact/

 

As always, I wish you all Peace, Love and the Perfect Margarita :)

-Aleron Kong”

 

A statement from Magic Dome Books, translators and publishers of several Russian LitRPG series.

 

“Aleron Kong has just registered the acronym LitRPG as a trademark. In order to clarify our position, we wish to state the following:

1) The name LitRPG - as a description of a new genre of Science Fiction - was originally created by Dmitry Rus, Dem Mikhaylov and Vasily Mahanenko in 2012. Less than a year later, Dmitry Malkin - the science fiction editor of EKSMO Publishers - and literary agent Alex Bobl created a book series counting almost a hundred titles which was entitled LitRPG.

2) This term was then brought into the US by LitRPG fans who followed D. Rus’ and V. Mahanenko’s works in Russian (see here for proofs - http://www.jcafe24.net/index.php?board=123.0). But it became very widespread only after the translation and publication of the first books by D. Rus (July 18, 2014) and V. Mahanenko (April 20, 2015) in English whereas the first book by A. Kong was published in November 20, 2015.

3) We have never planned to use our rights as LitRPG pioneers to have it registered as a trademark or do anything of the sort. Not only would that be unethical, but we simply can’t think of it as something that belongs to anyone in particular. It belongs to all of us.

4) We will always support anyone who is willing to use the LitRPG term for his/her own purposes freely and unconditionally. This includes gathering proofs and making statements in court (if necessary).

Dear friends and colleagues! We all agree that Amazon should create an independent LitRPG category. We have asked for this many times but have only received as a response that such a step hasn’t got enough support from readers. But we’re certain that if we persevere with our efforts, at some point Amazon will hear us. So please find some time to send a letter to their customer service in order to bring this subject back to the table.”

 

Magic Dome Books team

 

If you’re angry or upset about how this is turning out then there’s a process to argue the trademark.

 

If you want to oppose the registration of the trademark

or petition to cancel the trademark registrations we have a link in the show notes where you can find out where to send your request.

https://www.uspto.gov/about-us/organizational-offices/trademark-trial-and-appeal-board

 

https://tsdr.uspto.gov/documentviewer?caseId=sn87193675&docId=PRC20171205070415#docIndex=0&page=1


 

Out Now!  

 

 

Halcyon Rising: Breaking Ground

http://amzn.to/2kxadIk

 

 

City of Champions Online: Issue II: Rising Up

http://amzn.to/2nGDjWI

 

 

The Way of the Clan 7 (World of Valdira)

http://amzn.to/2B3by0p

*Not Reviewing*


 

 

The Starry Skies of Darkaan (Realm of Arkon Book 6)

http://amzn.to/2hV0nPz


 

 

Empire Burning (Emerilia Book 11)

http://amzn.to/2AElrys


 

 

Continue Online The Complete Series

http://amzn.to/2B1uFaC

Also on KU!


 

 

Project Alpha out now!! The physical copy of the novel has been uploaded and the audiobook version is already in production.

 

Anthony Tinoco is a just an average guy looking forward to his first day at college.  Unfortunately, he gets lost on the huge campus and when he follows a hot girl to what he thinks may be his first class, he’s accidentally introduced to a new world full of action and adventure. A world that exists in parallel with our own, the System.  Now Anthony is getting new skills for doing everyday tasks, gaining levels from fighting monsters, and experiencing adventures he never thought possible.

 

Not everyone is happy to see someone like Anthony with these new powers and someone is willing to do whatever it takes to stop him from using them. Including murder.

 

Will Anthony be able to handle these strange new powers? Or will his enemies win and force him back to his normal boring life?

 

Project Alpha : Book 1

http://amzn.to/2iYwNcl



 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

SpeedRunner: Tower of Babel, Book 1

http://amzn.to/2AXUUPe

Our review of the ebook: http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/7/6/speedrunner-tower-of-babel-book-1

 

 

The First Player: AlterGame Series, Book 1

http://amzn.to/2kr4t2t

Our review of the ebook:

http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/5/11/the-first-player-altergame-book-1

 

 

Black Hat: Afterlife Online, Book 2

http://amzn.to/2BJqsp2

Our review of the ebook:

http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/11/9/black-hat-afterlife-online-book-2

 

 

The Eternal: Awakening: World of Ga'em, Book 1

http://amzn.to/2kvnelz

Our review of the ebook:

http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/3/23/the-eternal-awakening-a-litrpg-saga-world-of-gaem-book-1

 

 

Unexplored: Into the Wilderwood: Unexplored Cycle, Book 1

http://amzn.to/2BdNKqM

Our review of the ebook:

http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/8/3/unexplored-into-the-wilderwood-a-litrpg-virtual-fantasy-adventure

 

Upcoming LitRPG:



 

 

Desert Storm (Puatera Online Book 3) (Dec. 13th, 2017)

http://amzn.to/2zOaoSx

 

 

Depths of Camlan: A LitRPG Adventure (Camlan Realm Book 2) (Dec. 21st, 2017)

http://amzn.to/2jyCgms

 

 

Camelot Defiant: An Arthurian LitRPG (Camelot LitRPG Book 4) (Dec. 26th, 2017)

http://amzn.to/2ixvdKQ

 

 

The Dungeon’s Burden (Slime Dungeon Chronicles Book Book 4) (Dec. ??, 2017)


 

 

The Land: Predators (Chaos Seeds: Book 7) (Dec. ??, 2017)

 

 

Press Start (Jan. 5th, 2018)


 

 

A Trap for the Potentate (The Dark Herbalist Book #3) LitRPG series (Jan.17th, 2017)

http://amzn.to/2hCtEhG

 

 

The Reapers (The Neuro Book #3) LitRPG Series (Jan. 24th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2y91UrZ

 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

Rapture (Apocalypse Gates Author's Cut Book 1)

(Picture 1)

 

Alvin woke in a room that was not his, to discover that he had died and his brain had been bargained off cheaply to pay off someone else’s debt. It did not sit well with him. It didn’t surprise him that even in death, people were still using him for their own purposes. He had never exactly been a good guy, but everyone had their breaking point, and he had found his.

 

The bastards in charge had uploaded his mind into a virtual death game. The whole world could now pay to see him play it and probably die. Alvin questioned whether he was really a bad guy, if this is how they wanted to treat him. Regardless, he was not about to wait for death to come for him. He would kick open the damn Apocalypse Gates and see about crushing everything that challenged him. It was time to make the world aware that he was done with pretending to be nice.

 

Welcome to Apocalypse Gates!

 

(This book contains adult themes. Including; gore, death, drug use, and graphic sex. GRAPHIC SEX! I don’t want you saying you weren’t warned here, this book has descriptive sex scenes… got it? Good!)

 

My Opinion: 384 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Full disclosure: The author gave me an advance copy for review. I purchased both versions of the novel when they were released.

 

*Warning: The Author’s Cut version of the story has several sex scenes that are rather graphic. These scenes do not exist in the PG16 version but all the rest of the cursing and some sex references do.*

 

The first 30% of the novel is my favorite section. Here you get an almost episodic experience with the zombie apocalypse as the main character (MC) goes on a variety of missions. Some are about killing zombies, others about surviving for a set period, others still are about saving people from the zombie horde in different scenarios. There’s a nice variety of missions that keeps things interesting.

 

Once the world mode opens up, about the 30% mark, the story begins to feel more like a more traditional zombie apocalypse story. Except the MC gets XP for killing zombies and he can use that XP to upgrade himself, his weapons, and a variety of other things later.

 

Most of the story focuses on the MC trying to create a safe place in this world for people to resettle. There are town building game mechanics that come into play, resource management stuff. Like any good zombie apocalypse story, the tension in the story comes from the threat of monsters attacking as people salvage and also from internal drama from the group of survivors.

 

One of the few things I would have liked to have seen in the story is a greater variety of survivors. Especially in the mid part of the story, it felt like character recycling a little.

 

Over all though, it’s a good story that I finished in a single sitting. I’m looking forward to seeing where the story goes in book 2.

 

Score: 7 out of 10.

Rapture (Apocalypse Gates Author's Cut Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2jBOuuz

Rapture (PG-16) (Apocalypse Gates)

http://amzn.to/2zX2eer

 

Mira & Zoro: Stuck in a Game World? (Vampire Wrath and Incubus Issues): A LitRPG/Fantasy Fun

(Picture 2)

 

Everything's a game. Why not play around with a million lives?

 

Mira Flask was in the middle of a grand experiment - With the help of the greatest Virtual Reality Game 'HAIL' in history, where one could feel, hear and explore more worlds than they ever imagined, Mira planned to use the power of games to create a human revolution! The way of learning will never be the same! Now if only her brother could stop playing around and keep it in his pants!

 

Zoro Flask just wanted to play hard and party harder. His sister was serious enough for the both of them - someone had to loosen up! Doesn't the great family business need heirs or something?

 

Life would have been normal - kill brothers and bug sisters and try not to think about the hard things anymore. The siblings have been through too much to care. As long as they had each other, then that was enough. HAIL was going to be Mira's lastest obsession, her legacy.

 

Until a so-called Game God sucked them into HAIL and a million other people whose "talents" he felt worthy enough to plug into his own experiment. Strength, Beauty, Medicine. Dancing, Math, Crafting Origami - whatever was a 'talent' was used to select his chosen ones. To test the limit.

 

Suddenly, Mira and Zoro are forced to play hard just to survive and try to reunite. Well...

 

If Mira could stop getting targeted by ogres and idiots. "I'm not a hero!"

If Zoro could stop crying in a corner. "I can't believe I'm an incubus. W-Wait. You want me to WHAT?"

If the Game God would stop messing around. "Hehehe. Now this is interesting...I should talk to the king."

 

Between a strange orgy- erm, team of a succubus, a dark knight, and a mage latched onto the pathetic incubus...and crazy serial killers and - again, what's with ogres! - plaguing a certain Mulan vampiress, the siblings keep meeting more and more weirdos.

 

My Opinion: 142 pages, $2.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

I really liked the first 12% of the story. The overworked overbearing sister trying to get her rich brother to be responsible while she plays a new VR game for research. Nice idea. I can overlook the grammar and spelling issue in this section because it's interesting.

 

However, after the 12% mark when the two are just randomly teleported to a game world and transformed into their game characters, things fall apart and the story loses coherency and my interest. As a fantasy story, this would be fine. But it's listed as LitRPG which implies some RPG game mechanics and character progression along those lines. The extent that that exists here are the couple of character sheets shown and a couple of levels gained. Everything else is essentially portal fantasy with a video game theme.

 

At the time of this review the story is $2.99 and not available on KU. It's honestly not worth the price.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

Mira & Zoro: Stuck in a Game World? (Vampire Wrath and Incubus Issues): A LitRPG/Fantasy Fun

http://amzn.to/2nB5EgX


 

Lewd Shadowmancer: The Concubine Contract

(Picture 3)

 

Warning: The tale you are about to read is a story of sexual creatures, human or otherwise. This tale is for adults 18 and up.

 

Can becoming the villain change who you are?

 

Nathan's life has been a vile pit for longer then he would like to admit. Searching for an escape, he spends the last of his cash on a VR game called Lewd Saga.

 

Lewd Saga is a Virtual MMORPG, based in the fantasy world of Lukken, home of dragon royalty, human kingdoms and troll masters. Players quest, grow their abilities, join in great battles and find love and lust in whatever form they desire. There is no taboo too great or too intimate.

 

Upon entering the VR world, the player soon discovers he doesn't have to live by society's rules any longer. He quickly realizes players will pay real money to exact revenge on other players. Nathan, who feels like life took everything from him, can now carve out his destiny and make those who ever crossed him know his dark power.

 

Will Nathan succumb to his darkness when there are greater evils trying to infect the virtual fantasy world? Will the love of another breath life into his cynical heart? Will he question if he is the true villain, or something else?

 

My Opinion: 270 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Warning: the novel contains graphic sex scenes.

 

The first 6% of the novel are the ‘woe is me’ part of the story where the main character has a pity party for himself after getting himself fired and is determined to get his revenge in the online world.

 

He creates a troll shadowmancer and is determined to find each of his ex-employees and his former jerk boss and make their lives miserable in this fantasy VR game.

--

Some people will have a problem with the graphic sex scenes in the story. I don’t. I just skip those parts. The biggest problem I have with the story is the lack of logic especially the gaming side of things.

 

For example, early in the VR story part, with a freshly created character, the main character (MC) enters a PVP zone, and sees a group of knights and paladins defeat their opponents. He even hears the group of higher leveled players brag about the expensive and powerful gear they have. Yet, somehow, the MC with his starter dagger and the lone surviving unarmed catwoman are able to defeat the entire group without dying. Then moments later when a backup group of archers almost kills the MC, he’s magically saved by a group of wraiths. Why? Just because.

 

Sure the knights had taken off their armor but it still doesn’t justify the scene. The logic that a level 1 character with just his starter knife could defeat higher level players with expensive PVP gear just doesn’t make game sense. The save afterward by the undead wraiths makes even less sense.

 

This type of magic wand waving occurs repeatedly in the story. Though there are character sheets, stats, item descriptions, and more detailed RPG mechanics. It all seems to mean nothing if the MC needs sudden saving.  

 

Overall, apart from the game mechanic and logic issues, the story isn’t bad. It’s a tale of revenge with themes of digital addiction and corruption. But the semi regular magic saves, even till the very end of the story, just made this hard to read. If you like graphic sex scenes with your LitRPG, you might enjoy this novel and the series in general. However, don’t expect the game stuff to make sense and be prepared for magic wand waving in the story.

 

The story on it’s own get a 6 out of 10. The game side of things gets a 4 out of 10. So for an overall review

 

Score: 5 out of 10

Lewd Shadowmancer: The Concubine Contract: A Dark Fantasy Digital Adventure

http://amzn.to/2AfdRfJ


 

Super Sales on Super Sales 2

(Picture 4)

 

In a world full of super powers, Felix had a pretty crappy one.

 

After learning to harness his ability to modify any item he owns, he now runs a corporation that is rapidly expanding.

 

Legion.

 

After tangling with the local Heroes guild they’ve finally settled into a semblance of stability.

 

Sounds great on paper. Run your company, make money, be your own boss, settle down.

 

Except that with running a business, comes an inordinate amount of responsibilities.

 

Like making sure everything keeps running and your people are paid.

 

Worrying about the longevity of his company, Felix begins to expand into other cities.

 

So they’ve packed up the car, put in all the requisite forms, gotten the approvals, and set out to start Legion up in a new city.

 

The problem though is the local government had no idea who they were selling permits to. Approving forms for.

 

To Felix and Legion.

 

And now they’re about to find out.

 

My Opinion: 382 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Honestly, not a big fan of the first 50% of the story. But boy, does the last 50% rock.Yes, that last half brings in a couple plot lines that aren’t fully developed and there are lots of unanswered questions but it was interesting.


One of the things I really loved about book 1 was the RPG mechanic of upgrade points that was well utilized. At the beginning of book 1, Felix had to carefully manage each point and plan out how to best use upgrade. It was a fine balancing act and if he misstepped, his whole budding business might go under.

 

That aspect of the story is largely gone in book 2. For the most part, Felix no longer has to worry about his daily allotted upgrade points. Or really any resource for that matter. Relative to book 1, Felix barely uses his powers because he has a huge pool of renewed resources to basically do whatever he wants with. If he wants to suddenly build a university, sure that will happen. Felix want to bribe his way into a government position? Sure, doable. It’s because Felix is so powerful at the beginning of the story that the stakes felt lowered.

 

That first half of the story was hard for me to get through. There are a couple of fights. However, mostly it deals with Legion, Felix’s company, expanding into a new city and dealing with the hurdles of trying to gain a foothold there. It’s about politics, intrigue, company expansion problems, and recruitment. The story here honestly feels too big. There are so many people asking for both the main character’s and the reader's attention that it feels overly crowded.

 

Thankfully, that all changes about the 50% mark when the novel’s villain is revealed and some weird stuff starts to happen that takes the novel in some interesting directions. The novel finally focuses on specific events that, even if they come out of left field, are at least interesting and have lots of good action.

 

Overall, this is a good read. I liked book 1 a bit more but this is still fun. However, if you loved the RPG stuff in book 1, it still exists here but there is a lot less of it.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Super Sales on Super Heroes: Book 2

http://amzn.to/2iksMuQ

 

The Twilight Obelisk (Mirror World Book #4)

(Picture 5)

 

Olgerd and his tribal NPC gang have finally discovered the Forbidden City. Problem is, they haven't found what they were looking for. The ancient maps are hopelessly out of date and the Ennan capital city is lying in ruins.

 

In the meantime, their enemies are closing in. Noctean hordes are arriving from the Silver Mountain Valley; the Dark army has already crossed the Back Stream, and the forces of Light have already entered the Icy Woods.

 

The magic protection sphere which Olgerd received from the city's invisible guardians is about to expire... The only way he can save the lives of his trusty NPC friends is by activating the Twilight Obelisk.

 

My Opinion: 435 pages, $5.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Full disclosure: I got an advanced copy for review. I purchased the novel when it was released.

 

This is an entertaining 4th book in the series.  I particularly enjoy the pet raising and upgrades. There are the usual translation snags, odd phrases, and awkward phrases. Nothing that ruins the story but almost gives the novel an accent in places.

 

My favorite translation funny happens in a scene where Olgerd is fighting a villian from book 1 and he remembers what that guys father said about the jerk. Olgerd’s response is funny. At least to me.

 

“ ‘I’ve taught him never to bow his head to any Tom, Dick or Harry…’
Very well. I might be a regular Dick but I wasn’t going to run from him this time.”

 

Most of the novel is great fun and a coherent continuation of the books that came before it. However, the end of the novel has a twist that I’m not sure how to feel about. In a lot of ways it makes much of the plot of the story seem meaningless but it also wraps up the story.

 

The author had previously stated that this was going to be the last book in the series. He’s since changed his mind and intends to write more, but the end of this story feels like it’s informed by the idea that he’d intended it to be a last book. It didn’t ruin things for me but I found myself caring less towards the end of the story.

 

Overall, this is a good read for anyone that’s enjoyed the other 3 books in the series though the end may not be what they were hoping for.

 

Score: 7 out of 10.

The Twilight Obelisk (Mirror World Book #4)  

http://amzn.to/2gO5LTr


 

The Gods of the Second World (LitRPG The Weirdest Noob Book 3)

(Picture 6)

 

One player has managed to upset the game world's balance, and now he's hunted by everyone. Every clan wants to recruit him for his achievements, while other powers want him for their own, more sinister purposes. Now Ros must contend against an unseen enemy backed by the world's most powerful corporation, while relying on only himself and his few trusted allies. The stakes have never been higher…

Don’t miss the final book in The Weirdest Noob trilogy!

 

My Opinion: 304 pages, $5.92, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

There was an issue where the wrong version of the story was uploaded and sent to folks that pre-ordered the novel. The company that translates the novel quickly moved to fix the issue and upload the correct file but there are still a lot of negative reviews on Amazon based on that version of the story.

 

This review is based on the fixed, correct version.

 

The final book in the Weirdest Noob series is my least favorite in the series. A lot of the novel feels like filler and while some of the plot twists are interesting, the ending feels rushed and disappoints.

 

Most of the story revolves around Ros, the main character (MC), running from forces that are kill him both in game and in the real world. However, along the way he’s aided by a mysterious force that seems to have been guiding him the whole series. The novel culminates in a big show down between these two forces.

 

Unfortunately, this showdown is disappointing. It amounts to some magic wand waving from both sides and one just losing for no real explained reason. It’s really a let down.

 

Overall, while the action, crafting, and adventuring in the novel were good there was just too much filler. Way too much of the story was just the main character thinking about stuff or explaining game concepts that had nothing to do with the immediate events happening around him. If you’re an uber fan of the series you may like the novel but I was a bit disappointed.

 

Score: 6 out of 10.

The Gods of the Second World (LitRPG The Weirdest Noob Book 3)

http://amzn.to/2zNF2Mc


 

A Dungeon's Soul: Book 3 of the Adventures on Brad

(Picture 7)

 

The Karlak Dungeon has re-opened with a brand new configuration. A whole new Dungeon awaits Daniel and Asin. Joined by Omrak, the party races to be the first to complete the Dungeon but must face new monsters, new traps and new floor layouts. Will the Adventurers complete the new Dungeon in time?

 

A Dungeon's Soul traditional fantasy story with LitRPG elements.

 

My Opinion: 161 pages, $3.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

A simple review. This is a dungeon crawl novel in line with the previous two in the series. The dungeon at Karlak is open again but has changed. There’s a huge reward for the first team to complete all ten levels and our favorite team is competing against a group of advanced dungeoneers to win. New to our team is a hulking barbarian.

 

There are few places for character development in the story but it’s pretty much a straightforward dungeon dive story. Don’t expect more.

 

While the story is nice and action oriented, at the time of this review, it is not on Kindle Unlimited and is priced at $3.99 for 161 pages. It’s just not worth it at that price unless you’re a super huge fan of the series.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

A Dungeon's Soul: Book 3 of the Adventures on Brad

http://amzn.to/2hXzESh


 

Infinite Assassins: Daggerland Online Novel 2 A LITRPG Adventure

(Picture 8)

 

Two weeks before the trial of Atticus Arching, his radical followers, the Infinite Assassins, decide to take the law into their own hands. Using the bodies of innocent online players these unkillable assassins target the entire prosecution team, including the only witness in the case, FBI Special Agent Daniel Roan.

Escaping by the skin of his teeth, Roan is forced to go on the run. Hounded day and night by the assassins, he finds the only way he can strike back is to go online and infiltrate the very group that’s after him.

The only problem is that they only take the very coldest of killers and Roan is forced to become everything he hates: liar, thief, murderer, Assassin!

 

What reader say about the Daggerland series:

"Captivating! Meredith pulls you in with great characters and rich details..."

"A great story. It reminds me of my days pulling DnD all nighters."

"Meredith takes the LITRPG genre to a whole new level...

 

My Opinion: 412 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The setup of the story is both interesting and annoying. That the bad guy from book 1 has arranged for the murder of everyone involved in his conviction is neat. But that the main character (MC), Daniel Roan, has to go back into the game to investigate is annoying. The premise relies on every police force, the FBI, and everyone else being bad at their jobs. There’s not a single shred of physical or digital evidence for multiple murders? Sure.

 

Putting that aside, most of the story is a good fantasy action story. There’s good pacing and an increased level of action in the story.

 

The MC goes back into Daggerland as a rogue with the alignment Lawful Evil. He finds his thoughts influenced by the game immediately and doing things he would never normally do in life. The longer the game goes on, the more evil he becomes. While I personally don’t like how the character develops and find it kind of a cop out to blame the game for that evil development, I’ll admit that the sci-fi concept of a game changing the minds of it’s players an interesting concept. It just reeks of the excuse, ‘the game made me do it’ to justify the MCs evil deeds.

 

On the downside, the RPG mechanics in the story are minimalized compared to book 1. Essentially what you see the most is the character sheet for the MC and XP gain notifications. However, most of the XP notifications are ignored by the story and I feel like most of the game stuff was added into the story after it was written. 90% of the game portion of the story feels more like a fantasy action story. For some people this is a good thing. However, for anyone expecting a new super detailed game mechanic system, this is not that kind of story.

 

Additionally, like book 1. The detective aspect of the story setup in the beginning of the novel practically doesn’t exist. Much of the story feels like straight fantasy portal fiction and occasionally the MC mentions a game thing or that he’s looking for clues in a game to real life murders.

 

Overall, the fantasy action aspects of the story are really good. The game mechanics are consistent in the story. The story is LitRPG, but those game mechanics are not anything to write home about and are minimized. For me, the detective aspect is a complete disappointment as is the direction the main character develops, especially at the end.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Infinite Assassins: Daggerland Online Novel 2 A LITRPG Adventure

http://amzn.to/2gODsBs


 

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 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/


 

LitRPG Podcast 084