LitRPG Podcast 153

 

LitRPG Podcast 153

Jan. 18th, 2019

I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews.  I have 4 new reviews just for you.

New Releases and Reviews:

The Idle System (A LitRPG series Book 2): The Rogues

More emphasis on cultivation, but fans wills till enjoy.

Score: 7.3 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2M42rPN

Dungeon Wars

Not LitRPG but not advertising as it. A hard reset on the story that not everyone will like.

Score: 7.1 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2SeYNoj

Shattered City: (A litRPG/LitFPS book) (Call of Reality Book 1)

Good military squad VR combat, but not as much RPG progression as I’d like to have had

Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2Ri6eyG

RE: Alternative World Online: Volume 1 (RE:Alternative World Online)

I had low expectations going in but it was surprisingly entertaining.

Score: 7.3 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2CbXboO



(Play Music 2)


LitRPG News

Blaise Corvin did a cover reveal for Book 3 in the Nora Hazard series called Accounts Payable which is the one that ties into the Delvers LLC storyline. If you want to read the chapters available for this, you can get them on the author’s Patreon page.

https://www.patreon.com/BlaiseCorvin


(Video 0)

Dave Wilmarth’s video ad for the Greystone Chronicles aired this weekend during the Pizza competition on ESPN. Apparently the ad was successful, because that same day the lastest novel hit #1 Bestseller in several categories on Amazon.  

https://youtu.be/Y-ZjTVKRMKQ


On his twitter account, Cosimo Yap posted that he should be finalizing a new novel in a couple of weeks. I personally hope this is the next book in the Gam3 series, but it could be something completely new. Either way fans, just get ready for something awesome hopefully.

https://twitter.com/Perenniality314/status/1085176152858144768




Out Now!

Bitter: Book Five

https://amzn.to/2Vh8aWP

Cleansing Fire: Evolution Online IV (A LitRPG)  

https://amzn.to/2SPeh2B

The Elder Demon's Dilemma (Realm of Arkon, Book 9)  

https://amzn.to/2STt64t

Core of Fear: A Paranormal LitRPG Dungeon Core (Spirit Core Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2STB5yk

The Steel Hounds (The Artar Chronicles Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2BvN9yk

Freedom Online: The Copper Rose: A LitRPG Fantasy

https://amzn.to/2DhjiM0


New LitRPG Audiobooks

The Blade Guardian: A LitRPG Saga Aether Gate Online, Book 2

https://amzn.to/2AT3nlx

Gearing Up - Apocalypse Gates Author's Cut, Book 3

https://amzn.to/2FGb5mi

The Two Week Curse - Ten Realms, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2W2278A

Upcoming LitRPG:

Battle Spire: A Crafting LitRPG Book (Hundred Kingdoms 1) (Jan.18th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2W2hyO3

Apocalypse 2020: Into the Black (Jan. 22nd, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2Frlp1E

Volper (Alfarome. Book 1) LitRPG Series (Jan. 23rd, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2QXsMof

A Thousand Drunken Monkeys: Book 2 in the Hero of Thera series (Jan. 24th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2CmKE1P

Neverfall: Catacombs (Book 2): A Gamelit Lit RPG Series (Jan. 29th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2C7RucC

HOPE Engine (Jan. 30th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2SClMd9  

Viridian Gate Online: Doom Forge: A litRPG Adventure (The Viridian Gate Archives Book 6) (Jan. 30th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2MePEKg

Adventurers Bond (Book 5 of the Adventures on Brad)

(Feb. 1st, 2019)

Four: The Loot: A LitRPG/Gamelit Adventure (The Good Guys Book 4) (Feb. 14th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2EFQQp5

Collide (EvoBorne - A LitRPG Saga Book 2) (Feb. 24th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2BYEHaW

Cat's Game Book 1 (Feb. 26th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2LNaaSf

*Translated work*

The Black Turtle (The Artar Chronicles Book 2) (March 5th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2RTCXdc

Absolute Zero (Adam Online Book #1) LitRPG Series (March 18th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2SS8FET

Max Lagno is the co-author for Level Up: Knockout

The Final Trial (Level Up Book #3) LitRPG Series (March 25th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2LCzrOL



Onto New Releases and Reviews


(Play Music 3)


New Releases and Reviews


(Picture 1)


The Idle System (A LitRPG series Book 2): The Rogues

A man bows only to 3 people in his life: His mother, his father and his master.


As the newest member of the Assassin's sect, John is tasked to go after a new target. Alas, as he is away, things will take a turn in his sect's grounds.


A man with the power to control minds will whisper words of corruption into John's martial brothers and sisters. His power will cause unrest and unbalance, driving the sect into a new direction.


Now it is up to John to take care of it before the other sects in the universe realise the change and take the matter into their own hands.


But... will it be that easy?


This second issue of The Idle System brings a continuation to John's LitPRG-inspired adventures. In this world of Xianxia and Fantasy, it will be time for him to face his biggest challenge: his own allies.


My Opinion: 194 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


Very much the same as book 1. There is slightly less emphasis on the RPG progression with the Idle System. It leans more towards cultivation with the MC trying to progress on the path towards immortality using Life Power. There is still action and slice of life adventure as the MC travels around the immortal Realms growing in power. Lots of fighting, new powers, modified progression system, but still some interesting universe building too. I think most people that like book 1 will like this too.


Score: 7.3 out of 10

The Idle System (A LitRPG series Book 2): The Rogues

https://amzn.to/2M42rPN



Dungeon Wars

Same team, new place, new adventures


In a forest wilderness, a dungeon reappears after surviving a nation ending war. The magical shock has devastated both the dungeon and its occupants, in more ways than one. Doc find himself alone in this new place, surrounded with unknown dangers. Claire, Doc’s partner and guide, finds herself at facing the nightmares she wrought using Doc; having freed herself from her mother’s control. The pressure mounts on both as the damage is made clear.


Even then, the wilderness surrounding them is filled with all manner of danger and traps, everything ruled by the law of the strong. How can a wounded family face such a threat as what has been disturbed? And will they be ready to defend the dungeon core from those who covet its power?


The best-selling series that started it all brings to you a new series where it’s all dungeon, all day.


My Opinion: 381 pages, $4.49, Kindle Unlimited


Surprisingly little war in the Dungeon War novel. This is a hard reboot of the Slime Dungeon Chronicles series. Doc, Claire, and their slime bosses are all thrust forth into a new far flung location and new future. The dungeon, now placed in a location without people must change and learn to grow without the boosts from killing adventurers. Additionally, there are changes to the characters themselves. The author takes great pains to humanize Doc, Claire, and several other characters. There are some very lengthy emotional struggles that go on that honestly probably go on a little too long. Some fans of the series are going to enjoy this hard reset and others aren’t.


I don’t doubt that there will be more straight forward fighting in the next book, but here it’s lacking. Most of the major action happens at the very end of the story. Everything up to that point is setup. Setting up how the dungeon is changing in this new environment, how Doc changes without his human soul, how Claire changes without her memory blocks, new monsters and their natural evolutions.


Additionally, the story loses just about all the RPG elements. The most you could say is that it mentions that monsters are of certain tiers, but even then that’s a minor element of the story. The dungeon itself in the story doesn’t even have the power to sustain any blue screens to show off its potential growth options.


Overall, I still liked the story, but I liked it less than the Slime Dungeon Chronicles and I liked it for different reasons. I personally enjoyed the natural evolution aspect of the story where an ecosystem was developed. But I missed the dungeon action and the emotional exploration went on too long considering it happened all at once for 4 major characters.


This isn’t LitRPG, but it’s also not advertising as such. As a dungeon core story it gets:


Score: 7.1 out of 10

Dungeon Wars

https://amzn.to/2SeYNoj


Shattered City: (A litRPG/LitFPS book) (Call of Reality Book 1)

Roland never wanted to be in the Army. He didn't want to be penniless either. The Army wanted him though.


Roland Mellors couldn't find work. The second industrial revolution had left anyone without high-level qualifications poor and unemployed. When he tries to get just one beer to drown his sorrows he ends up in a recruitment office with an offer he can't refuse.


Shattered City is a LitRPG/LitFPS story. It is the start of a series that follows Roland as he tries to fit in within the army. That army has decided to use a full immersion virtual reality game to fight its wars. He enters the game world to fight and work off his new contract.


Will Roland survive in this virtual world of war or will he suffer for his entire career?

Find out in this first installment of the Call of Reality series.


My Opinion: 190 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


Technically LitRPG, but definitely more LitFPS. The only RPG aspect that exists in the story are the ability to earn points from kills and accurate shots. Those points can be used to ‘lock in’ skills that are practiced, purchase higher tiered weapons, or upgrades for those weapons. That’s the only game like progression in the story and it mostly exists in the training section of the story. As soon as the main character (MC) and his squad get into combat, all the RPG aspects virtually disappear and it becomes straightforward military combat set in VR with some game elements like respawns, objective notifications, health packs, and health notices. The military squad combat is well written and fans of that kind of story will like this, but something like 80% of the story has little to no RPG elements. It didn’t work for me but folks that enjoy military action stories will like it.


Score: 6 out of 10

Shattered City: (A litRPG/LitFPS book) (Call of Reality Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2Ri6eyG



RE: Alternative World Online: Volume 1 (RE:Alternative World Online)

Yun Shi, a postgraduate IT student, didn't manage to score a single job after graduating. After sinking into depression, he became a NEET, and spent two years playing online games and living off of what little savings he had. That is, right until the day the first VRMMO, RE: AWO launched and his world was flipped over.


My Opinion: 307 pages, $2.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited


This story feels like it may be a translated novel or web series. It starts off with a very familiar trapped in the game premise but by the 6% mark becomes its own story. The most unique aspect of the story is that the main character (MC) eventually gets a unique race, vampire, and goes on this kind of slice of life adventure on these vampire/supernatural themed questlines. He doesn’t always make choices that are the good guy ones either. I would not have guessed that’s where the story was going based on the Cover or novel title. While it’s not without its flaws with some grammar issues, slightly overshown stat sheets it is also very crunchy with RPG info and has interesting stories. Maybe it was the low expectations that I had for the novel, but it was surprisingly entertaining.


Score: 7.3 out of 10

RE: Alternative World Online: Volume 1 (RE:Alternative World Online)

https://amzn.to/2CbXboO




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

Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  


Other LitRPG facebook pages

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

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPGsociety/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheFantasyNation/


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 152 - Author Chat: Gabriel Rathweg, Taj El, Jeffrey ‘Falcon’ Logue, R.A. Mejia

 

LitRPG Podcast 152 - Author Chat: Gabriel Wrathweg, Taj El, Jeffrey ‘Falcon’ Logue, R.A. Mejia

Jan. 13th, 2019

I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews.  Today it’s a special impromptu podcast where I talk to three great LitRPG authors: Taj El, Gabriel Wrathweg, and Jeffrey Falcon Logue.  Mostly us just chatting about what  we're working on, what we geek out about,  some Star Wars trivia, and we answer some audience questions.

Gabriel Rathweg https://amzn.to/2AMOQrF

Taj El https://amzn.to/2AJwVSu

Jeffrey ‘Falcon’ Logue https://amzn.to/2AMEmsa

R.A. Mejia https://amzn.to/2sp59WT



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

Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  


Other LitRPG facebook pages

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

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPGsociety/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheFantasyNation/


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 151

 

LitRPG Podcast 151


Jan. 11th, 2019


I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews.  I have 4 new reviews just for you.


New Releases and Reviews:

Level Up: The Knockout (Book #1) LitRPG Series (09:08)

Less social, more action than main series

Score: 7.3 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2CSZ6RV

A Mage Rising: (The Chronicles of Herst 2: A LitRPG Saga) (16:17)

Good kingdom building, but things feel too easy for MC

Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2pKHZZU

Ipseity (The Stork Tower Book 5) (22:40)

It’s getting to be a crowded story, but I want more please

Score: 7.4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2CrbLtS

The Greystone Chronicles Book Five: World At War (26:13)

A great end to the series

Score: 8 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2M5HqnD


(Play Music 2)


LitRPG News

Planet Bound, that sci-fi light LitRPGish, story that I wrote is out as an audiobook. Here’s a little trailer I made showing off a sample of the audiobook.

https://youtu.be/En8hrI3L0ZQ

https://www.audible.com/pd/Planet-Bound-Audiobook/B07MDSK258


Dave Wilmart, author of the Greystone Chronicles and The Dark Elf Chronicles, is running an ad during an ESPN event, the Pizza Bowl. First instance of a LitRPG author running an ad during normal TV thing. Neat. The announcement in his own words :


I’ve commissioned a new book trailer for Greystone 1, and will be running it as a TV commercial on ESPN. As far as I know this will be the first TV commercial for a LitRPG/GameLit book.

No... it’s not during the superbowl! This is where the silly comes in.

Apparently, we have a National Pizza Team. Yup! That’s right! Pizza! And it seems they do acrobatics. 😳

And they are having an event Saturday at noon EST. So don’t make other plans! I’m hoping my trailer runs during the Freestyle Pizza Dough Twirling event!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPGsociety/permalink/1971243399640578/?__tn__=-UCH-R

Watch the pizza event here:

http://www.espn.com/watch/_/id/3475383/us-pizza-team-winter-acrobatic-trials?_ga=2.120521736.1884197888.1547158211-332570184.1547158211


Vasily Mahanenko, author of the Way of the Shaman series, recently posted an update for his 2019 plans:

Hi all!

I'll tell you about my plans for 2019

This year should be the most productive for me. Two books have already been written (Galaktogon-2 and Invasion-1), I immediately write Galaktogon-3 to logically close the series. There will be Invasion-2 and, if everything goes well, the Alchemist-1 (RealRPG). These are the books that I write.

In addition, this year I will present to your attention the works that won in my literary contest "Fantasy" and "LitRPG". It is very likely that Bard-3 will also be in 2019.

Thus, the year 2019 will be for me and my readers the most intense of the books.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2155759924510417&set=gm.2138513286171996&type=3&theater




Out Now!

Towns and Towers II: Artifacts, Allies, and Adventures

https://amzn.to/2SJf1WZ  


The Realm Between: Two Brothers: A LitRPG Saga (Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2RFP39P

Shattered City: (A litRPG/LitFPS book) (Call of Reality Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2Ri6eyG

Undying Sacrifice: A LitRPG/GameLit Adventure Novel (Aelterna Online Book 3)

https://amzn.to/2VHXP6a

The Idle System (A LitRPG series Book 2): The Rogues

https://amzn.to/2M42rPN

RE: Alternative World Online: Volume 1 (RE:Alternative World Online)

https://amzn.to/2CbXboO




New LitRPG Audiobooks

(none)

Upcoming LitRPG:

Dungeon Wars (Jan. 11th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2SeYNoj


Bitter: Book Five (Jan. 14th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2Vh8aWP


The Steel Hounds (The Artar Chronicles Book 1) (Jan. 19th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2BvN9yk


Apocalypse 2020: Into the Black (Jan. 22nd, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2Frlp1E



Volper (Alfarome. Book 1) LitRPG Series (Jan. 23rd, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2QXsMof


Neverfall: Catacombs (Book 2): A Gamelit Lit RPG Series (Jan. 29th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2C7RucC


HOPE Engine (Jan. 30th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2SClMd9  


Four: The Loot: A LitRPG/Gamelit Adventure (The Good Guys Book 4) (Feb. 14th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2EFQQp5


Collide (EvoBorne - A LitRPG Saga Book 2) (Feb. 24th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2BYEHaW


Cat's Game Book 1 (Feb. 26th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2LNaaSf

*Translated work*


The Final Trial (Level Up Book #3) LitRPG Series (March 25th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2LCzrOL



Onto New Releases and Reviews


(Play Music 3)


New Releases and Reviews


(Picture 1)

Level Up: The Knockout (Book #1) LitRPG Series

Mike Hagen, an American nicknamed "Crybaby," became one of those chosen to be given an augmented reality interface. However, his favorite game was an MMA fighter--possibly, for the reason that he'd never fought in real life, and the interface adapted itself to him.


Will Hagen be able to use it right? And will it help him to crawl out of the dreary pit of his existence?


My Opinion: 403 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


Full disclosure: I received an advanced copy for review. I purchased a copy when it became available.


A side story written in the Level Up universe with a different main character (MC), Mike Hagen. The novel is based on the short story written by one of the authors, Dan Sugrallinov, and published in Magic Dome Book’s “You’re In Game: Book 2”. The beginning two chapters of this novel are actually just a slightly modified version of that short story. That’s not actually a bad thing, since that was a pretty good short story and got to all the RPG stuff of the universe much faster than the main series.


This novel differentiates itself from the main series mostly by being much more combat focused. The novel starts off with the normal ‘woe is me’ setup, detailing explicitly just how big a loser the MC is. Then when he gets his RPG interface, he gets the chance to fulfill his fondest dream of learning how to fight. If you’ve read the main series, you’ll recognize that this is an interface that is very different from the one that  MC gets but ties into the universe lore. From there it’s a slice of life story following just how the MC trains in various fighting styles and figure out how to level up by winning fights. Of course, he also gets into a lot of trouble from this practice and some of the twists the story takes are very unexpected.


A small note, neither of the authors had ever been to the USA before writing the novel and they never expected it to get translated or for Americans to read it. So, they readily admit in the end of the novel that some things in the story are going to feel off for American readers. They’re right. The story is written with a lot of stereotypes about Americans, various ethnicities, the American prison system, and culture here. You can tell some of it is just picked up from movies, but it also kind of gives the story a certain charm.


Overall, some people are going to like all the action in this novel. There’s lots of boxing and MMA style fighting with training and leveling up. However, I have to say that I like the main series more. The main series has a mostly non-combat oriented story that forced the author to come up with some very interesting applications for that RPG system. In this story, its fighting and while the story takes some odd turns, its focus on combat feels more familiar and less novel. Still, it’s an entertaining story if you like the Level UP universe.  


Score: 7.3 out of 10

Level Up: The Knockout (Book #1) LitRPG Series

https://amzn.to/2CSZ6RV



A Mage Rising: (The Chronicles of Herst 2: A LitRPG Saga)

Vol has brought the people of Efftin to a new place they can build upon and protect. A new place they can call home. It’s a place others can join them in their freedom of oppression. With this new place to live, Vol understands the responsibility he has to protect those that reside there. But in Herst, if you wish to keep anything you must be willing to fight to hold onto it. What challenges will he face, and will he be strong enough to resist the unknown threats that he will encounter.


My Opinion: 428 pages, $4.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited


I almost like the novel but there were several things that held me back from getting there.


First, no question that it’s LitRPG. All the same game mechanics are carried over from book 1 and there are additional crafting and kingdom building mechanics which are handled well. I enjoyed the character development path the main character (MC) goes through and the intelligent use of his magic skill. Combat is also pretty good when it happens.


However, there are several things that made it challenging for me to get into. One, it had been almost 6 months since I read book 1 and there was little to no recapp of that novel. So I spent the first part of book 2 trying to remember who everyone is. The author does a decent enough job of giving names, descriptions, and sort of contextually saying who everyone is, but it took a while to recall relationships or plot. Additionally, the first part of the novel is full on kingdom building and there’s no action till the story is almost at the 20% mark. Also, outside of combat, there never seemed to be any real challenges for the MC or his plans. There are some good fights that are challenging but that’s almost the only type of conflict. For example, when the MC wants to free some slaves, he just travels to where he wants to go, is opposed by no one and just happens to find the right groups and funding to help him advance his goals. There are minor quests that he has to advance, but no serious struggles for any of the MCs goals, which left me feeling like his successes meant less. Lastly, the added harem aspect feels a little forced. Again, it may feel that way because it took so long for me to even recall all the female characters that end up in the harem, but I don’t recall that being an aspect of book 1 at all. Also, the harem thing doesn’t add anything to the story and in part feels like a trend that is being chased.


Score: 6 out of 10

A Mage Rising: (The Chronicles of Herst 2: A LitRPG Saga)

https://amzn.to/2pKHZZU



Ipseity (The Stork Tower Book 5)

A simple error leaves Leah with a unique Neural Enhancement Chip and a rapidly evolving AI implanted in her brain. In 'Nascent', she evaded kidnapping by virtual slavers and helped shut down some operations of the virtual crime syndicate that uses mind-controlled players as slaves. In 'Odyssey', she not only found a way to escape but she also uncovered deeper plots being carried out in both the virtual multi-universe and reality. In 'Change', Leah began learning how to use the additional connections her chip has made throughout her body. The Pod facility she opened expanded as she helped others from her neighbourhood. She discovered that the crime syndicate has an even greater presence in the virtual multiverse than she’d imagined. As she begins to unravel some of their secrets, they tarnish her reputation and kidnap.


In 'Rescue' Leah hacked the secure Vault where an AI friend of hers had been archived. She not only managed to retrieve her friend but uncovered a deeper conspiracy she has yet to understand. She succeeded in downloading a secure file she'd stolen from the crime syndicate although she hasn't yet managed to understand what it means. Leah also managed to rescue her mother from the crime syndicate but not before her mother had an AI chip inserted in her brain. She not only discovers that her boyfriend's family controls their own crime syndicate, but he is being controlled virtually by his parents.


In 'Ipseity' Leah discovers that the syndicate inserted a dangerously modified AI chip in her mother, the police are actively investigating her activities, her neural architecture is continuing to change, and her enemies are becoming more numerous and determined. Also, she works to rescue her boyfriend, continue her studies at MIT, understand the broader conspiracy, save her mother, complete quests in three virtual worlds, build her growing business empire, and set her AI free.


My Opinion: 575 pages, $4.79, Available on Kindle Unlimited


Another good novel in the series. After the action packed ending of book 4, I wasn’t sure if book 5 would match up but it did. The story is getting more and more  overly complex as the main character (MC) Leah deals with so many issues in real life and in the many games she is playing. There are multiple separate plotlines for each: IRL, Fantasy game, Sci-Fi game, and Steampunk game. My favorite, oddly is the IRL one. Still, they’re all very good plots and I in particular like that the author has not abandoned the sentient AI stuff started in book 1. Like always, the MC’s strength is in her intelligent use of her mind and ability to talk her way past objections and obstacles. Good stuff.


Score: 7.4 out of 10

Ipseity (The Stork Tower Book 5)

https://amzn.to/2CrbLtS


The Greystone Chronicles Book Five: World At War

King Alexander and his guildmates have expanded Elysia into a formidable kingdom. Their ongoing battle against the Dark One and the drow wizards is escalating. Alexander works to bring together the Elves, Dwarves, and Human Kingdoms to establish the alliance proposed by the Dragon King. But the dark magic of the drow has infiltrated even the highest offices, blocking his efforts.


War comes once again to the gates of the keep, and Alexander must find a way to defend his citizens before he can go on the offensive and take the fight to the stronghold of his enemies. All of Io, citizens and players alike, are pulled into war as the forces of darkness strive to destroy or enslave every surface city.


Olympus is still under siege, and the threat intensifies as doctors determine it's necessary to wake Jules from her months-long slumber. Jules and Alexander prepare to meet face to face for the first time, with a little help from their friends.


Join the Greystone Guild for this epic conclusion of a LitRPG tale of magic, monsters, wizards and dragons.


My Opinion: 355 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


Full disclosure: I received an advanced copy for review. I purchased a copy when it became available.


According to the author, this may the last novel in the series. He plans to develop his other series and even start writing some new stories. So, if you want him to continue with this one, buy many many copies so he is forced to write more Greystone Chronicles.


This is a great ending to the series. It has all the stuff fans have come to love: kingdom building, community building, great epic battles, and development of the relationships between the group.  The novel has one of the cutest covers with Fibble and the baby dragons. Also, the author does a good job of resolving all the series plotlines by the end of the story so no one is left hanging. Though not everyone will be 100% satisfied with all the resolutions. It is always a little sad to see an end to a series you’ve enjoyed but it has been a great journey.


Score: 8 out of 10

The Greystone Chronicles Book Five: World At War

https://amzn.to/2M5HqnD



That’s it everyone!


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


(Music 4)


Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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



LitRPG Podcast 150

 

LitRPG Podcast 150

Jan. 4th, 2019

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

New Releases and Reviews:

Gathering Strength (Character Development Book 2)

A bit less engaging, but a good sequel to Beginner’s Luck

Score: 7.4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2So3JY9


Finding a Body (The Dark Herbalist Book #4) LitRPG series

A little rushed in places, but a good ending to the series

Score: 7.8 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2qPcNZU


I AM GAMER II

Alt History LitRPG

Score: 7.2 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2LBQv7F


YAOS 1 - Limitless Adventures - Yet Another OP Story 1: A LitRPG Saga

Never cared about the MC, mostly bored

Score: 5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2CBFArv


Rexus: Side Quest (The Completionist Chronicles Book 3)

To date, The funniest novel written by the author.

Score: 8 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2R4SfLM


Break: EvoBorne: Book One - A LitRPG Saga (EvoBorne - A LitRPG Saga 1)

Bored for most of the story, then the end dropped it to dislike

Score: 4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2E510Q4


World's Unbound: An Apocalyptic LitRPG (System Apocalypse Book 6)

This one has a bit less action and more politics.

Score: 7.2 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2ExU1iR



(Play Music 2)


LitRPG News

Charles Dean released some artwork that he had made for the character Jade, from his War Aeternus series. It looks really good, though the anatomy looks a little off, I’m definitely a fan of the blood created weapon and those high heels. I just thought her hair would be a more striking shade of blue.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10106630804266961&set=gm.692260264504099&type=3&theater

Matt Dinniman has updated the cover art for the 1st book in the Dominion of Blades series. The new art is a bit more action oriented and fits the cover art that the rest of the series ended up using a bit more. Personally, I always liked the ambiguity of the cover art Matt made originally.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10156553088850280&set=a.10151359084605280&type=3&theater



Out Now!


The Stellar Rebellion: A Futuristic Dungeon Core (The Laboratory Book 9)

https://amzn.to/2BW0TTi


Glitch Book Six (The Glitch Series 6)

https://amzn.to/2C2upGP

*Last book in the series*



New LitRPG Audiobooks

Fragments: Somnia Online, Book 3

https://amzn.to/2ADLIyr


Of Myths and Legends: Emerilia, Book 9

https://amzn.to/2SzBSV7


Dan the Barbarian - Gold Girls and Glory, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2SG78lv


Advent : Red Mage, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2COS8Mt


Critical Failures VI : Caverns and Creatures, Book 6

https://amzn.to/2SzvOfl


Neverfall: Mark of the Hero

https://amzn.to/2RA59BW


Accidental Dragoon : Accidental Champion, Book 3

https://amzn.to/2VrblLk



Upcoming LitRPG:


Level Up: The Knockout (Book #1) LitRPG Series (Jan. 9th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2CSZ6RV

*A side story set in the same Level Up universe, different MC*


Dungeon Wars (Jan. 11th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2SeYNoj


Bitter: Book Five (Jan. 14th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2Vh8aWP


The Steel Hounds (The Artar Chronicles Book 1) (Jan. 19th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2BvN9yk


Volper (Alfarome. Book 1) LitRPG Series (Jan. 23rd, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2QXsMof


Neverfall: Catacombs (Book 2): A Gamelit Lit RPG Series (Jan. 29th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2C7RucC


HOPE Engine (Jan. 30th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2SClMd9  


Four: The Loot: A LitRPG/Gamelit Adventure (The Good Guys Book 4) (Feb. 14th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2EFQQp5


Collide (EvoBorne - A LitRPG Saga Book 2) (Feb. 24th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2BYEHaW


Cat's Game Book 1 (Feb. 26th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2LNaaSf

*Translated work*


The Final Trial (Level Up Book #3) LitRPG Series (March 25th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2LCzrOL



Onto New Releases and Reviews


(Play Music 3)


New Releases and Reviews


(Picture 1)

Gathering Strength (Character Development Book 2)

Miles Boone is running out of time. He had one year to solve every beginner’s quest the Game offers or he faces a lifetime of slavery. Now, time is flying by and he can’t even find a safe place to play the Game. His apartment has burned down while he was in it. His secretive father won’t let him enter the Game from his home. Miles’s only choice is to enter the underbelly of society and try to win his bet from anonymous VR pods controlled by an old associate --or is that enemy?--of his father’s.


Meanwhile, the Party’s hunt for him in-Game continues. Surrounded by enemies from without and within, Miles has to keep upping his Game. His lack of a Luck stat makes it impossible for him to play like anyone else. With no luck, Miles will have to gather the strength to survive.


Gathering Strength is the second volume in the Character Development series.


My Opinion: 332 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


The second novel in the character development series is here. A lot of people really seemed to like the 1st book Beginners Luck because it brought these nice real world sci-fi elements to the story that gave consequence to what happened in the RPG game world. That all continues to a degree, though the political rhetoric is toned down and is instead replaced by commentary about how entertainment and especially full immersion VR systems could be the ultimate drug of the far future. Still, it’s one of the things that I really love about the series, that it has a point of view and uses speculative fiction as a way to create conversations and make people think.


Story wise, I’d say this one is a little less engaging that book 1. It starts off with a well done recap of the events in the previous novel and then gets into the action in-game and out fairly quickly. However, things just slow down a bit too much for me mid story, and nothing really advances the big plotline while the MC flounders around trying to figure out how he’s going to solve his problems. The fights in the story range from ok to good. Some of the fights feel flat and little more than XP grinds. There is one fight with some prairie dog creatures that’s a real highlight of the story. I just wish there were more fights like that, where the MC used his intelligence and gamer experience to overcome some steep odds.


Game mechanic wise, things are still good. The author does a really good job of keeping the RPG mechanics consistent, interesting, and detailed. The story could stand to recap a few of the magical elements since they have to be learned the hard way since the MC doesn’t have any luck and plays on hardcore mode, thus eliminating the auto-features. Which readers either like or they don’t.  But the training stuff is fun to me and I only wish they’d been started sooner in the story.


Overall, a good second book in the series. There are some minor pacing issues, but the novel has good action, adventure, and sets up some interesting stuff for the next book.


Score: 7.4 out of 10

Gathering Strength (Character Development Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2So3JY9



Finding a Body (The Dark Herbalist Book #4) LitRPG series

What is it like for a small flap-eared goblin herbalist to play the role of the Dark Sovereign, the main antagonist for Boundless Realm’s hundreds of millions of players? What is it like to find one’s self the standard bearer for an army of man-eating giants, cyclopes, skeletons, ghosts and other hellspawn, who don’t give a damn about their modest little ruler?

Our hero didn’t desire such an unenviable fate, but there is no way back now. He’ll just have to tighten the straps and play the ghastly overlord to the innumerable hordes that now threaten all Boundless Realm. But the longer our hero plays, the better he understands that this world is much more complicated than it seems at first glance and he is just a pawn in someone else’s game. And lots of things depend on whether he can figure all of it out in the short time he has left, including his own life.


My Opinion: 499 pages, $6.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited


This is the final novel in the Dark Herbalist series, though the author has stated that he may return to the universe in the future.


As with any final story, the author goes through great lengths to try and tie up all the major and minor storylines from the series. He does a pretty good job with the major plotlines, but the minor ones feel a bit rushed. The major storylines are resolved in rather epic fashion, both in-game and IRL, and there are several interesting twists I was surprised by. There are some kingdom building elements added to the game world story and some pretty epic fights as the main character’s (MC) new in-game kingdom is attacked from all sides. The plans the MC enacts to counter the many factions trying to beat him are really smart and well thought out. Good stuff.


However, some parts of the story feel a little rushed since the author was trying to tie everything up in this last book. Several minor plot arc from the series are resolved in a couple sentences and the end might not be as epicly satisfying as you’d think with all the buildup that comes before it. Mind you, this doesn’t take away from how enjoyable the novel is on the whole. That's kind of the only minor complaint I had. That basically I wanted more story. Sadly, again, this is the end of the series for now.


Score: 7.8 out of 10

Finding a Body (The Dark Herbalist Book #4) LitRPG series

https://amzn.to/2qPcNZU



I AM GAMER II

Lawrence was having a shitty day after he found out his girlfriend and best friend were cheating on him, together. Then a legendary Native American god, Coyote, to be exact, sent him back in time to 1400's North America. Now he's living in the past, kicking ass, and taking names. Rejoin Moon Flower, Freak, and the rest of the crew, as they save history, by rewriting it.


My Opinion: 355 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


*Semi-regular errors. Usually just wrong or missing words like: life instead of lift, word instead of work. It didn’t bother me much but it will bug some readers.*


An interesting combination of LitRPG and alternative history. There’s some great first act story where the main character deals with the newly arrived conquistadors. Good action, good character development, and good community and kingdom building. Afterwards it’s slice of life questing, crafting, backstory telling, and some smaller fights. The story lost me a little at this point since it just felt less focused and several backstory scenes were completely devoid of RPG elements.


Overall, it is an entertaining story with some unique time and history elements. I personally thought all the citations to wikipedia in the novel for the historical references were very funny. Like the author felt like he had to prove to readers, ‘yeah, this stuff ain’t made up. It really happened.’


Score: 7.2 out of 10

I AM GAMER II

https://amzn.to/2LBQv7F


YAOS 1 - Limitless Adventures - Yet Another OP Story 1: A LitRPG Saga

Shaping the fabric of reality, magic, that drew our genius athlete protagonist into the latest craze, a hyperrealistic VR game, Final Immersion Origin. Stay below level 10, he earns a shot at learning magic, feel alive again after being broken by past events.


An OP harpy, a godking's daughter, godly doors, a dungeon and slimes out of adamantium, crafted items beyond all reason; your willingness to suspend disbelief will be challenged in this wild fast-paced ride crafted to be re-readable, offering a New Game+ experience with a nameless and raceless MC you can shape within the limits of his backstory. Edited throughout 2 busy years, over 69 fully colored concise statdumps, a world built by rules everybody has to follow.


Yet rules are meant to be broken, YAOS tells the story of a rulebreaker exceeding common sense, an apotheosis of sorts. What if it's not just another game?


There are allusions to smut which aren't graphic in nature. Please feel free to sample the beginning of this book, bit.do/YAOS also links to the author's homepage.


My Opinion: 424 pages, $6.78, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited


This is a slice of life LitRPG story set in an MMO with an overpowered (OP) main character (MC).


There are several decisions in regards to the writing style that are going to annoy some readers. The story is in past tense but switches between 1st and 3rd person perspectives. Though this improves after the 30% mark, it really bothered me, especially when it would happen in the same paragraph. Dialogue is not formatted like you’d expect for a novel with dialogue tags (he said, “...”) and is instead formated a bit more like a play (The boy: “...”). In addition to that, there are really few descriptive details for most characters and locations, which left the story feeling a bit empty. The author warns that there are some places where the MC has sex. It’s true but it’s nothing graphic, just that sentences saying that it happens. It really doesn’t even make sense in the context of the story and adds nothing to the narrative.  


On the game mechanic side, things are really detailed. You see the MC’s character sheet very regularly and there are lots of notifications, skill and item descriptions, and loads of leveling. However, the tables use four colors or multiple shades of grey, depending on the device you’re using, which makes them hard to read. Since this is an overpowered MC story, some of the mechanics are broken in that the MC is given many advantages without him having to really earn them. Like super high initial skills and abilities when he creates his character, rare items and training that he’s just given, and bonded companions that buff him even more. Still, the author tries to ground even those overpowered aspects in math.


On the story side, this just didn’t work for me. The beginning of the story was just way too long of a whine fest to get into the game. The premise is a bit flawed in that the MC is supposed to be overpowered because he was an IRL genius and super powerful physically and knew martial arts before going into the game, but at the same time he’s actually scanned into the game with a broken body. Still, I could overlook that if the rest of the story was entertaining. But aside from a few small adventures, it’s not. It’s mostly slice of life, no real plot. You just follow the MC as he figures out how to gain enough power to learn magic without getting to level 11, cause then he gets kicked out for some reason. Then it transitions into a magical academy story and loses most of the RPG elements and then regains them as you just continue to follow the MC as he deals with other players, PvP, and some kingdom building. All this is of course done with the MC always winning as an OP MC.


Overall, I was mostly bored with the story. There are a few good mini stories and the writing improves a little the deeper you get into the story. But fundamentally I never cared about the MC and what he did. I was never given a reason to invest in him since he was so OP and had everything handed to him.


Score: 5 out of 10

YAOS 1 - Limitless Adventures - Yet Another OP Story 1: A LitRPG Saga

https://amzn.to/2CBFArv


(Pic 5)

Rexus: Side Quest (The Completionist Chronicles Book 3)

A side quest in Dakota Krout's best-selling Completionist Chronicles series!


Vengeful assassins. A treacherous companion. T-Rex Head Hands.


After the Wolfman nation is shattered, Jaxon has enough spare time to advance his skills and specialize into a better class. Since Joe and his other teammates are either incapacitated or on a mission Jaxon does not believe in, the misunderstood chiropractor turned gamer strikes out on his own.


The issue with creating your own path is that you have no idea what awaits you, especially when low charisma guarantees legendary misunderstandings. For Jaxon, that’s half the fun.


Rexus is a Completionist Chronicles side quest focused on Jaxon and is meant to be read following Regicide.


My Opinion: 169 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


Probably the funniest thing that the author has written to date. This is a great side story that incorporates so many puns, awkward situations, and humorous banter that it’s a must read if you want to laugh. Getting to see Jaxon’s point of view of the game world that’s filtered through his amazingly low charisma score is worth the price alone. Add to that the buddy aspect and the many scenes that were written just to make a joke or for a pun, and this is just a gem of a story.


Score: 8 out of 10

Rexus: Side Quest (The Completionist Chronicles Book 3)

https://amzn.to/2R4SfLM


(Pic 6)

Break: EvoBorne: Book One - A LitRPG Saga (EvoBorne - A LitRPG Saga 1)

The Gods are dying.


Magic is fading from the world and the nine Lords of Night know that only one can exist less they all die. To give each a chance they form a pact and reluctantly agree that a game will give them the best hope. A game that will be played by humans.


Josh Fell is your average extreme gamer. He spends hours immersing himself in every MMORPG he can get his hands on to avoid the life he hates. When Josh receives a mysterious vanilla envelope offering him one of 297 coveted spots to beta test the all-new Fully Immersive Virtual Reality MMORPG EvoBorne, he jumps at the chance.


Joined by his childhood best friend and secret crush, Olivia, he eagerly logs into EvoBorne for the first and last time.


The Gods have used the last of their magic to create this world and their fate is tied to the choices of their nine chosen champions, but the rules state there can be no interference. The humans must not know of the stakes that rest on the outcome.


What starts at as a simple beta test turns into a fight for his future and the only chance to return home he will ever get. Unknowingly chosen by the Lord of Night Tezcatlipoca, Josh must go on a DEATH level quest to find the relics needed to win and gain him and Liv their way home.


Filled with goblins, orcs, reavers, and countless other enemies that want to see him dead; Josh will have to grow much stronger if he wants any chance at victory.


Join Josh and Liv as they traverse the expanse of EvoBorne in search of nine ancient relics that will grant them any single desire.


Monsters. Dungeons. Loot. Everything an avid RPG gamer craves!


Can they overcome the threats that face them? Can they find the relics in time before the other eight champions beat them to it?


Find out in the first installment of the EvoBorne Saga.


Welcome to EvoBorne!


My Opinion: 230 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


From the novel description it’s not 100% clear that this is a LitRPG story, but it is. By the 13% the main character (MC) is in the game creating his character. There are lots of RPG mechanics including: levels, item and monster descriptions, damage notifications, magic spells with costs, and lots of crunch numbers. That’s the good news, it is LitRPG. However, for me, it was a mostly unentertaining story that drops into dislike because of how frustrating the end was.


The ok to even good parts of the story: Of the 5 or 6 fights, most were well written and used the game mechanics well. There are a couple small adventures that the MC and his group go on that are independently good.  


The novel has a lot of flaws that individually are just minor annoyances. Dialogue is often rather awkwardly written and it feels artificial sometimes. The MC’s backstory done at the beginning didn't endear the MC to me at all. He comes off as an entitled little rich jerk. I felt more for empathy for the romantic interest, who is a scholarship kid who works multiple jobs to care for her grandma. The most interesting game mechanics, the magical alignment system, doesn’t mean anything to the story since the MC never fails to learn other kinds of magic. There are way too many info dumps, and all the character sheets and some important quest notifications are formatted wrong and only half show.


The biggest issue, the one that made the story start on the path to a negative impression, was related to expectations. Most of the story feels like a waste of time where the MC does some slice of life adventuring, makes friends, learns about the world, and gets items. That's fine. But the story is setup with a major plot from the first pages. This competition between champions so that some gods can come back. That plot line is advanced only a couple of times. The first time it doesn't happen till half way through the story and then not again until the very very end. So, my expectations were set for a real plot driven story, but I got slice of life instead and it felt disappointing.


I was also really frustrated by the end of the novel. There is a betrayal that is not foreshadowed at all and it feels like the author just picked a random group member to turn into the last minute bad guy by shifting their personality 180 degrees. Also, the final resolution is really wand wavy for me. All of which dropped my opinion of the story from bored to dislike.


Score: 4 out of 10

Break: EvoBorne: Book One - A LitRPG Saga (EvoBorne - A LitRPG Saga 1)

https://amzn.to/2E510Q4


(Pic 7)

World's Unbound: An Apocalyptic LitRPG (System Apocalypse Book 6)

Four years ago, the Erethran Honor Guard arrived and threw John Lee into a Portal to another world. Since then, Earth has received no word of the intrepid adventurer. Until now.


Finding his way back to Earth through a Portal, John returns to a very changed world. The shackles of Galactic control have bound Earth and humanity ever tighter to the System. Now, John has to find a way to free Earth from Galactic control while battling stronger, more powerful enemies. And worst of all, he will need to indulge in politics.


Good thing he's got a new Class and new allies.


World's Unbound is book six of the System Apocalypse, a LitRPG / GameLit series of post-apocalypse troubles, scifi & fantasy elements, all in a world filled with game mechanics.


This series contains elements of games like level ups, experience, enchanted materials, a sarcastic spirit, mecha, a beguiling dark elf, monsters, minotaurs, a fiery red head and a semi-realistic view on violence and its effects. Does not include harems.


My Opinion: 379 pg, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


One of the more abstract entries in the series. It time jumps the main character (MC) 4 years past the end of the last book and of necessity requires a lot of summaries of what took place in those years.


There is still plenty of action, dungeon crawling, and RPG progression. But it's not the main focus. Instead the story revolves around the goal of getting earth a seat on the Galactic Counsel. The MC and his allies trying to get the needed votes from the highly divided people/aliens of earth to back a candidate. Lots of politics, which personally I’m not a huge fan of. All the talking, compromising, backstabbing, and backroom dealing is just not my thing. Yet, even for me, some of the conversations the MC has were still interesting.


Overall, I had a good time with the novel still, just not as much as the earlier ones. Though you can tell the author is trying to end this arc of the series and set up the next galactic level one.


Score: 7.2 out of 10

World's Unbound: An Apocalyptic LitRPG (System Apocalypse Book 6)

https://amzn.to/2ExU1iR



That’s it everyone!


You can follow us on

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Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  


Other LitRPG facebook pages

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

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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 149

 

LitRPG Podcast 149 - Year in Review


Dec. 28th, 2018

I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews.  I have 4 new reviews just for you.


New Releases and Reviews:


Freehaven Online:  Winter Dungeonland (Book 3)  (14:18)

Brings those MMO Winter/Christmas events to story form

Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2Ime5nh


Small Medium: Big Trouble (18:46)

Slow starts, but good story set in Threadbare Universe

Score: 7.4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2LpkvUb


Blackthorne: A Beautiful Nightmare (24:00)

No wonder everyone likes this one

Score: 7.8 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2Sg8uTq


Refuge (Land of Dreams Book 3) (30:34)

Mostly setup for book 4, but good adventure still

Score: 7.2 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2rWtrYp




(Play Music 2)


LitRPG News


Luke Chmilenko, author of Ascend Online, released new artwork for his series. This time of the character Freya.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10100584921436824&set=a.636517878184&type=3&theater


Year in Review

I want to wish everyone happy holidays, New Year's is coming up and I’m going to be including a list of the top most viewed episodes,  significant LitRPG News, and the top rated LitRPG titles for the year.


The podcast has reviewed over 320 novels this year


The LitRPG Podcast has changed this year, we got this fancy new background



We also added a new LitRPG Audiobook Podcast to our site, hosted by the wonderful and entertaining Ray Johnson.




Most viewed LitRPG Podcast episode: Episode 097 - When we ran our first giveaway contest. Go figure.


Most 3 most viewed reviews on the LitRPG Podcast page this year:

Lions Quest: Duel Wield

The Gam3

Awaken Online: Precipice


Top 3 Searches on the LitRPG Podcast page:

Town Building, Female Protagonists, and Finished Series


The most viewed news article on the LitRPG Podcast website:

The article on Michael-Scott Earle getting suspended from Amazon and the condition of his relationship with Amazon. Including all the documented updates of the situation.

https://litrpgpodcast.com/news/2018/7/21/michael-scott-earle-suspended-from-amazon



Most Significant LitRPG News:


  • MSE and J.A. Cipriano getting perma banned. Other LitRPG authors temporarily banned or warned for suspicious page reads.

  • Dakota Krout launching a publishing company - Mountaindale Press and published 4 books from the company this year.

  • Travis Bagwell launches https://bookbrawl.com/

  • Blaise Corvin launched http://gamelitrpg.com/

  • GameLit Society raising over $6K for St. Jude’s Children’s hospital

  • Dragon Con 2018 - Super fun and got to hang with many litRPG authors and readers

  • A LitRPG novel was featured on The View - Threadbare




Out Now!


Finding a Body (The Dark Herbalist Book #4) LitRPG series

https://amzn.to/2qPcNZU


Polyglot: NPC REVOLUTION

https://amzn.to/2Sf3vCF


I AM GAMER II

https://amzn.to/2LBQv7F


Into the Black: Book XVII: Staking a Claim

https://amzn.to/2QXAkaR


YAOS 1 - Limitless Adventures - Yet Another OP Story 1: A LitRPG Saga

https://amzn.to/2CBFArv



New LitRPG Audiobooks


Guild: A LitRPG Novella - Monsters, Maces and Magic, Book 3

https://amzn.to/2RnEKXy




Upcoming LitRPG:


Break: EvoBorne: Book One - A LitRPG Saga (EvoBorne - A LitRPG Saga 1) (Jan. 1st, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2E510Q4


World's Unbound: An Apocalyptic LitRPG (System Apocalypse Book 6) (Jan. 1st, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2ExU1iR


Rexus: Side Quest (The Completionist Chronicles Book 3)

(Jan. 1st, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2R4SfLM


Gathering Strength (Character Development Book 2) (Jan. 1st, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2So3JY9



Level Up: The Knockout (Book #1) LitRPG Series (Jan. 9th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2CSZ6RV

*A side story set in the same Level Up universe, different MC*


Dungeon Wars (Jan. 11th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2SeYNoj


Bitter: Book Five (Jan. 14th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2Vh8aWP


The Steel Hounds (The Artar Chronicles Book 1) (Jan. 19th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2BvN9yk


Volper (Alfarome. Book 1) LitRPG Series (Jan. 23rd, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2QXsMof


Neverfall: Catacombs (Book 2): A Gamelit Lit RPG Series (Jan. 29th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2C7RucC


Four: The Loot: A LitRPG/Gamelit Adventure (The Good Guys Book 4) (Feb. 14th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2EFQQp5


The Final Trial (Level Up Book #3) LitRPG Series (March 25th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2LCzrOL



Onto New Releases and Reviews


(Play Music 3)


New Releases and Reviews


(Picture 1)

Freehaven Online:  Winter Dungeonland (Book 3)

Great Uncle Winter has a dark secret—milk and cookies. He doesn't just like them, he needs them to maintain his essential goodness. When an abominable snow rat infestation devours his entire stash in the North Pole he starts to turn evil, and Justine's guild must reunite a lost tribe of elves that abandoned the North Pole centuries ago to bring the big man in red the greatest cookies in all the land.


Problem is, the lost tribe doesn't want to be found, and monsters turn up around every corner. They'll battle frost wyrms, frozen rat fiends, and other terrors of the cold in the name of protecting Winter Festival cheer.


Now that the quest to unlock the elusive logout button has been revealed, Justine needs to assemble a team of adventurers to travel to the North Pole before the winter celebration. What they find there could change the holidays in Freehaven Online forever. An end to their imprisonment in virtual reality is at stake, and the only way their holiday wishes of returning to the real world will come true is if they can save a virtual Santa.


My Opinion: 500 pages, $5.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


If you liked the holiday themed adventure modules for your fantasy MMOs, then you’ll enjoy this story. Cause it really does a good job of carrying over that vibe. There’s not a ton of main storyline advancement. Instead, it’s a bunch of special quests and newly opened holiday themed locations for the characters you like from the series to explore. The quests are cute, and there’s lots of gear for the characters that are Christmas and Thanksgiving themed.


However, for me, the story didn’t work. And that’s not because the story was poorly written or anything. It has good action and adventure, nice reliable banter, and there are some good funny moments. I actually did like the take the author did with Santa. For me, I just never liked those temporary holiday quests in my MMOs. They always annoyed me.


However, if you want a LitRPG story that feels really festive, or you loved those holiday quests in MMO’s, I think you will enjoy this one a lot more than me.


Score: 6 out of 10

Freehaven Online:  Winter Dungeonland (Book 3)

https://amzn.to/2Ime5nh


Small Medium: Big Trouble

Chase Berrymore dreams of adventure, excitement, and getting the heck out of her pastoral halven village. But when adventure finds her, she'll be scrambling to save her family and friends from a necromancer's wrath. Outmatched in almost every way, she'll have to use her wits, charisma, and a bit of divine favor to figure out the path to victory.


Even worse, she'll have to figure out ways to deal with the weird and nigh-immortal beings that call themselves "playas..." And she'll have to do it with the most powerful she has available: words.


Violence is not her forte, but cunning, deception, and careful negotiation with unstable and self-centered sociopaths might just win the day, and save herself and her family from this horrible situation which she is absolutely not to blame for in the slightest.


A LitRPG romp from an NPC's point of view!


My Opinion: 295 pages, $4.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited


A very entertaining LitRPG story set in the Threadbare Universe about a havlen (aka halfling/hobbit) girl who yearns for adventure when the rest of her town is content with a boring, slow paced life. Only, when she gets what she wishes for, things get complicated fast. There is good world building, action, and adventure.


Relating to the Threadbare series, if you’ve read that I think you’ll enjoy this story too. It just may take a little while. The story starts off a bit slow and doesn’t grab you right away like Threadbare does but the beginning section does do a good job of world building, RPGing the Havelen race, and developing background and motivation for the main character (MC). However, by the 16% mark the story really picks up and gets much more interesting and develops into something very entertaining. Additionally, there are also cross over story elements between the two series, though I’ll be upfront and say Threadbare does not show up in this story.


Game mechanic wise, this story shares the same RPG mechanics that Threadbare does including the very flexible job system. It does a consistent job of carrying over those game elements and making them part of the world culture.


Overall, I had a pretty good time with the novel once it got past the setup phase. The job system is great and allows for some really neat combo skills and multiclassing. The story also introduces some very cool story elements for the universe that have great storytelling potential.


Score: 7.4 out of 10

Small Medium: Big Trouble

https://amzn.to/2LpkvUb


Blackthorne: A Beautiful Nightmare

A young man with a dark past has come to be filled with self-loathing. Scott Logan spends his days pretending to be a joyful person to mask his soul-crushing loneliness. Intimate human relations seem an impossibility to him, until one day the inexplicable happens. The entire world fell asleep at the same time. The Earth was set to be upgraded by those who supposedly ruled over it, and from that moment on The Dream was born.


Join Scott Logan on his journey into another world linked with his own, one where onions walk on two feet and force people to cry for them... and into a reality where the truth of his very soul is revealed.


This story is one of the more important tales in the Project Scott multi-verse. It is here that people eventually come to understand just why 'Scott' in any iteration seems to constantly be involved in weird shenanigans and draws in the attention of lonely people in need of cuddles and the occasional baked goods.


My Opinion: 516 pages, $5.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited


This is a collection and reworking of the author’s online serial of the same name. Even though I’d read the online version years ago and am happy to read this though. There’s a lot of added content, including: Fleshed out game mechanics, better real world storyline, really good character developments, banter, and that great trademark Scottie Futch humor.


Though the story has a bit of a slow start, once you get past the 15% mark, the story gets really good with interesting developments in both the real world and the dream game world. The story is essentially a noob story, where the whole world suddenly has access to this dream game world they go to when they sleep and they can level, gain RPG powers, fight monsters, and craft. The main character (MC), Scott/Blackthorne, wants to use this chance to become more powerful before the official system is applied to earth too. So, you follow him as he balances his real life retail job and his dream gaming life. It’s all very slice of life but still very interesting, even the real life storylines.


On the game mechanics, things are pretty consistent, save the few places the game rules ‘update’ and change slightly. Fairly normal stats, levels, HP, and stuff. There is a mechanic of prioritized skills that make choosing slots a strategic choice. Crafting is a good part of the story and is handled well. I only wish I had the Synergy skill IRL.


I should warn that there are minor harem elements, mostly in that there are several women that have a romantic interest in the MC eventually. There are also lots of sex jokes, innuendos, sex references, and loads of flirting. However, there is NO SEX in the story. Also, the storyline does get dark in several places, including a couple characters having experienced rape or their family experiencing it. It’s not something that is shown, but is more backstory motivation stuff. But it does get dark sometimes.


Overall, this is a really good story that I was genuinely sad to see end.


Score: 7.8 out of 10

Blackthorne: A Beautiful Nightmare

https://amzn.to/2Sg8uTq


Refuge (Land of Dreams Book 3)

Refuge is no longer safe. The Valda were led there centuries ago by their goddess, Valdis, and now she has gone silent.


After their failure on the Island of Ascension, John and his friends must travel overland to Darkgard and down into the Under to reach Refuge.


Pursued by vengeful players, ancient vampires and suspicious elves, the journey will be anything but pleasant.


They must succeed, for if they don’t Valdis will fall and their friends, the Valda, will be doomed.


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


There’s a nice recapp if it’s been a while since you read the last book that catches you up. After that the story focuses on setting up all the pieces to helping the Valdis. There’s still good adventures, questing, world building, and even a bit of magical enchanting, but the story is mostly setup for the big quest in the next book. Enjoyable if you’ve liked the earlier stories.


Score: 7.2 out of 10

Refuge (Land of Dreams Book 3)

https://amzn.to/2rWtrYp






That’s it everyone!


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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 148

 

LitRPG Podcast 148

Dec. 20th, 2018

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

Before we begin, I want to thank our newest Patreon supporter Steven Miller for helping to support the podcast. Thanks man.


New Releases and Reviews:

The Great Filter: A Post-Apocalyptic Gamelit Novel (14:58)

A good RPG Apocalypse story

Score: 7.6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2PzHNqF


The Song Matron: A LitRPG Journey (Uniworld Online Trilogy

Book 3)  (18:20)

A good ending to the series

Score: 7.4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2QNm5nR


True Hero (Champion Is Playing Book #1) LitRPG Series (20:47)

Russian translation; Combines LitRPG with RTS

Score: 7.7 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2robiCh


Rogue Games: A litRPG Adventure (27:47)

Got bored

Score: 5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2E6gLpT


Realm of Noria. [LitRPG series. Book 1. The Birth] (32:38)

Russian translation, misses for me

Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2Qh3Ibx


Dungeon Mauling - A LitRPG GameLit Novel (The Good Guys Book 3)  (39:20)

A good dungeon crawl

Score: 7.6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2EIDYPP



(Play Music 2)


LitRPG News


The first book in the Endless Online series will be on sale till 12/24 for just $0.99.

https://amzn.to/2UXUCz3


Caverns and Creatures: Volume I (Books 1 - 4) is also on sale for $0.99 till 12/24. That’s right, the omnibus which includes the first 4 books is just $0.99.

https://amzn.to/2rN5pi8


Dave Willmarth, author of the Greystone Chronicles, has put book 1 of the series up for FREE on Amazon from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd.

https://amzn.to/2SdzdjF




In the spirit of giving, I also did a quick search for perma-Free and $0.99 LitRPG that I thought you’d enjoy.


Free LitRPG

AlterWorld: Play to Live. A LitRPG Series (Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2RbC5jN

Patch 17: Epic LitRPG (Realm of Arkon, Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2BzAOJk

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: A LitRPG Novella (King Arthur LitRGP Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2Rf6EVE


$0.99 LitRPG

Desert Runner (Puatera Online Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2BvuqTE

Accidental Thief

https://amzn.to/2RgA3PD

Extraction Protocol

https://amzn.to/2EGhm1A

Dungeon Crawl

https://amzn.to/2rP0Ofw  


Author Interview with Charles Dean, author of War Aeternus and the Bathrobe Knight series, is now available on the LitRPG Podcast Facebook page and our YouTube Page. It was really fun. We talked about his writing philosophy, beards, his dislike of goatees, which muppet he looks like, and more.  Though I should warn that Charles uses adult language.

https://www.facebook.com/litrpgpodcast/videos/359963651250460/

https://youtu.be/Mo930EY6WwE


Mountaindale Press interviews Jay Boyce, Author of A Touch of Power: Siphon

https://www.facebook.com/MountaindalePress/videos/395925044490828/


Christmas Themed LitRPG stories


The Goblin that stole XMas by Apollos Thorne

https://bookbrawl.com/books/5a274811bbb20f0a7298409a

Freehaven Online:  Winter Dungeonland (Book 3)

https://amzn.to/2Ime5nh

Cooper's Christmas Carol (Caverns and Creatures)

https://amzn.to/2EFLryo

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: A LitRPG Novella (King Arthur LitRGP Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2Rf6EVE





Out Now!


Freehaven Online:  Winter Dungeonland (Book 3)

https://amzn.to/2Ime5nh

-The author asked that we mention that the story does have some winter/christmas themes for those looking for something holiday oriented.



Small Medium: Big Trouble

https://amzn.to/2LpkvUb

-Set in the Threadbare Universe


Blackthorne: A Beautiful Nightmare

https://amzn.to/2Sg8uTq

-One of Scottie Futch’s oldest series is finally on Amazon!


Refuge (Land of Dreams Book 3)

https://amzn.to/2rWtrYp



Ipseity (The Stork Tower Book 5)

https://amzn.to/2CrbLtS


Beyond the Boss, A LitRPG Adventure (The Adventures of Horc Book 3)

https://amzn.to/2QEUwxM


Rules-Free VRMMO Life: Volume XVIII - Divine Favor

https://amzn.to/2BuTAl9


New LitRPG Audiobooks


Betrayal: A LitRPG Adventure (Monsters, Maces and Magic, Volume 2)

https://amzn.to/2EAKQxT


Back in the Game: Bloodfeast, Book 2

https://amzn.to/2SdtFFY


First Login: Chronicle, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2ScTkP7


Gestation

https://amzn.to/2Cq5HBT


Upcoming LitRPG:


Finding a Body (The Dark Herbalist Book #4) LitRPG series (Dec. 27th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2qPcNZU


Break: EvoBorne: Book One - A LitRPG Saga (EvoBorne - A LitRPG Saga 1) (Jan. 1st, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2E510Q4


World's Unbound: An Apocalyptic LitRPG (System Apocalypse Book 6) (Jan. 1st, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2ExU1iR


Rexus: Side Quest (The Completionist Chronicles Book 3)

(Jan. 1st, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2R4SfLM


Level Up: The Knockout (Book #1) LitRPG Series (Jan. 9th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2CSZ6RV

*A side story set in the same Level Up universe, different MC*


Dungeon Wars (Jan. 11th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2SeYNoj


The Steel Hounds (The Artar Chronicles Book 1) (Jan. 19th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2BvN9yk


Neverfall: Catacombs (Book 2): A Gamelit Lit RPG Series (Jan. 29th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2C7RucC


Four: The Loot: A LitRPG/Gamelit Adventure (The Good Guys Book 4) (Feb. 14th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2EFQQp5



Onto New Releases and Reviews


(Play Music 3)


New Releases and Reviews


(Picture 1)


The Great Filter: A Post-Apocalyptic Gamelit Novel

The end of the world had arrived just as many had predicted, in a global exchange of nuclear weapons.


What no one predicted was the sudden message that appeared before every living soul moments before impact, a message from 'The Administrators' revealing our entire world and everything in it to be a species simulation. According to the message, Humanity had been reset over a million times and every single time we could not prevent our own extinction.


No more resets for humanity. No more chances.


They would leave our world an irradiated disaster, but to keep things interesting, they would convert our species simulation to a game for their twisted entertainment.

Digital or not, real or not, I have a family to protect. A wife and daughter who need me, universe be damned. I say bring it on. Welcome to the end of the world.


Welcome to The Great Filter.


My Opinion: 214 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


This is an LitRPG apocalypse story. The game portion of the story is divided into two sections: the Assessment section, and the RPG Apocalypse. I only mention the division because a lot of the RPG aspects, like the character sheet, stats, perks, etc., don’t start until after the Assessment section. However, the entire novel does a really good job of bringing the zombie apocalypse vibe out in the story. There are survival elements, monsters to fight, survivors to recruit, and survivors to fear. These elements are combined with RPG mechanics that are pulled from Fallout, and Metro: Last Light.  


Game mechanic wise, things are pretty thorough after the Assessment section. There’s XP, skills, stats, and item descriptions, and some base building mechanics. Additionally, there are purchasable perks that are very reminiscent from Fallout and a slug currency system that reminds me of something pulled from the apocalypse Metro series. In particular, I liked that XP felt like a precious resource and could be earned from non-combat activities like crafting or exploration.


Overall, this is a pretty good RPG apocalypse story. Though be aware that things get kinda dark at times in the story.


Score: 7.6 out of 10

The Great Filter: A Post-Apocalyptic Gamelit Novel

https://amzn.to/2PzHNqF


(Picture 2)

The Song Matron: A LitRPG Journey (Uniworld Online Trilogy Book 3)

Cadence, the extraordinarily-powerful Bard-based Song Mistress, is back for the final installment of the Uniworld Online Trilogy! Joined by her friends, she embarks on a journey to – somehow – bring peace to Uniworld, all while avoiding attempts from her own faction to kill her.


Now knowing who brutally attacked her – if not his real-life persona – Cadence must get stronger, learn more about her abilities, and devise a strategy for him to confess to his involvement. To do that, however, she needs to survive long enough; which is going to be hard with the entirety of the Light faction out to get her.


With the only avenue for escape among their “enemies”, Cadence and her friends travel to the Dark faction, where she learns much-needed information regarding one of her oldest and most important quests. From that information stems an expedition into the unknown, which will bring her closer to her goal…and her destiny.


Is Cadence strong enough to embrace her fate and bring justice to her attackers? Find out – in the thrilling conclusion to the Uniworld Online Trilogy today!


Contains LitRPG elements such as stat tables and character leveling.


My Opinion: 300 pg??, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


This is end of the Uniworld Online trilogy and it does a good resolving all the story threads. There are a few pieces of the story felt a little forced and a couple items were clearly OP but the big resolution at the end made it worthwhile and things wrap up satisfactorily.


Score: 7.4 out of 10

The Song Matron: A LitRPG Journey (Uniworld Online Trilogy Book 3)

https://amzn.to/2QNm5nR


(Picture 3)

True Hero Champion Is Playing

A simple man, lacking in knowledge, but quick of wit. He is flung into the future, where everything is different. Now, he has to make a name for himself, carve his own path in life. He decides to play a game, the biggest one in the world. A strategy game, focused on tactics, used to select the top managers of the largest international corporation. Now, he has to prove his mettle and earn a place for himself in the future...

Watch as he enters the competition, chooses his class, creates an army, and shows everyone in this new, future world the spirit of a player from the 2010s. Will he be the champion in the end?


My Opinion: 243 pages, $3.00, Available on Kindle Unlimited


Full disclosure: I received an advanced copy of the novel for review, I purchased a copy when it became available.


This is a translation of a popular Russian LitRPG novel, that incorporates real time strategy (RTS) elements, competitive play, as well as more traditional RPG elements like levels, classes, HP, and Mana. According to the translator, the story is also considered rather humorous in Russia. Some of that may be lost in translation but there are definitely some good humorous moments.


The story revolves around a massive full immersion competitive RTS game where success means getting a good paying job in this future society. Even doing moderately well means doubling your current salary. Of course the front runners are the rich and power aristocrats who have trained their whole lives for tournaments like this. Unfortunately, they’ve never met someone like our main character (MC), who is willing to try the most unconventional of tactics to get an edge. The story cycles around the MC and his unusual and often lucky strategies. Then tells the same events from his defeated opponents POV, who often attribute their defeat to the MCs genius and not just him taking advantage of lucky situations. The story cycles through this, with each battle getting progressively bigger and more epic. Eventually becoming something requiring multiple alliances, legions of powerful troops, and complex tactics from both sides. Even though the story does cycle through the same setups, it’s not ever boring. There are always new powers, new minions, upgrades, new tactics, new allies or enemies, and of course the fights increase in their epicness.


Game mechanic wise, this does a good job of bringing RTS mechanics to life without the tedious resource gathering. The MC initially has to choose his class option and starting strategy and since he chooses an unconventional path, new options open up to him that give him an edge. He gets unique units that he can upgrade, his stat choices affect his place in battle, eventually there are even kingdom building elements to the game. There are still the expected RPG elements too: Levels, HP, Mana, Armor, Damage notifications, Classes, special skills and abilities, etc. Though at higher levels the MCs personal level growth is not the main focuses of the story since he has an entire army to manage and use in battle.


The action is a little light in the beginning as the story gets setup, but quickly becomes pretty epic. The switching POVs are initially a little confusing but once you recognize them, it’s a neat way to show things in the battle that the MC didn’t personally see. Plus I think it’s a running gag that his enemies think he’s a genius.


Overall, this is a really good story with some very nice large scale action that just draws you in and makes you stay up late to see how it plays out.


Score: 7.7 out of 10

True Hero (Champion Is Playing Book #1) LitRPG Series

https://amzn.to/2robiCh


(Picture 4)

Rogue Games: A litRPG Adventure

Matthew Morgan used to be the best thief in the business. No lock was too hard to pick; no safe was too secure for him to crack. But when he was double-crossed by an associate and sent to the penitentiary, he didn’t just lose decades of his life… No, he lost the agility and quick reflexes that made him such a successful professional.


Now freshly out of prison, old Matthew has to find a way to survive in a world that has evolved without him. Robbing art galleries was all he knew, but if his mind is still sharp, his body is no longer what it used to be. So he tries to find an honest job, something to pay the rent and secure him some food, but who’s going to hire an ex-con? No option seems opened to him… That is until he learns about some virtual game called Federation Feud. According to an old acquaintance of his, there’s money to be made there for people with their kind of ‘expertise.’


Skeptical, Matthew gives it a go as all other venues seem closed for the time being. He figures he has nothing to lose, and so he joins the game as a rogue. The very first sessions leave him perplexed as, being a low-level character, he’s still limited in what he can do. But as he sticks with it and gains enough experience, he finds that his former occupation does give him an edge over other players.


Soon, he’s raiding dungeons solo, using his stealth to navigate the dangerous grounds and his lockpicking skills to unlock the treasure chests. Soon, he’s making real money…


But still, he needs to act fast. Whatever small cash he had left is dwindling fast. And with rent to pay and food to put on the table, he needs to up his game if he is to ensure his survival both in and outside the game.


My Opinion: 313 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


This is one of the most tedious stories I’ve read in a while. The main character (MC) kind of just wanders around the game world exploring, fighting monsters occasionally, and leveling up so that he can hit level 10 and unlock the ability to transfer game currency into real money. Unfortunately, with the exception of the occasional times he meets another player, the story itself is mostly described as a fantasy not as an MMO. Additionally, though game notifications are seen regularly, they don’t matter to the story and 90% of the time aren’t even acknowledged by the story or the MC. It really felt like most of the notifications were inserted after the story was already written. Another thing that just didn’t make sense was all the times the MC logged out of the game. It broke immersion, and served no purpose in the story.


Score: 5 out of 10

Rogue Games: A litRPG Adventure

https://amzn.to/2E6gLpT


(Picture 5)

Realm of Noria. [LitRPG series. Book 1. The Birth]

The vast forests of the elven kingdom, full of wild animals; the wastelands of the orcs, with everpresent drought and death; the dwarven mountains, on top of which the wyverns and harpies have built their nests; the majestic Ilian ridge that protects the great lands from the evil of the Sunset Empire, cursed by all the gods.


Kraven has a new home now, the World of Noria. It would be great if he were just a carefree traveler in this beautiful world.

But it's not that simple. His body is imprisoned in a regeneration capsule, an imprisonment he needs to live, and his mind is now part of this new, virtual world. Who is he now? What is he? He's become an unusual player, a unique bit of code that has appeared as the result of a system error.


All he has now is his character and his will to go on. His goal is to become stronger and survive in this cruel world. And who could be stronger than the “Shadows”, the most famous assassin's guild in Noria?


My Opinion: 266 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


This is a translation of a Russian series and according to the author, it has 5 books in the series that he plans to get translated as well as another scifi Litrpg series. As a translation, be aware that there are some semi-regular issues associated with that. Some phrases don't translate perfectly from Russian. Like Ring-Ring instead of Ding for notifications. Or slightly odd translations of colloquialisms like: A happy 13.


Now, as for the review, the story just misses being good for me. The setup is trapped in the game with the main character (MC) not being able to access the outside world through game features. There are some minor storylines with outside family and girlfriend looking for him in game, but it doesn’t really amount to much. The in game storyline is a little confusing, not in what happens but in how it’s able to happen. Without getting spoilery, the main storyline with the MC feels more like something that belongs in a normal fantasy story or a transported to a game world story, not one set in an VRMMO.


The game mechanics in the story are fairly detailed and there are some very believable MMO moments on the rare occasions when the MC interacts with players. Fairly normal MMO stuff: Character sheets, stats, item descriptions, quests, XP, etc. There are a couple things that feel out of place, but I’ve already mentioned that.


Overall, the story is decent. Good action. Lots of RPG stuff. It ends up being rather slice of life, where you follow the MC around as he trains and some stuff happens to him, but besides a couple interesting mini story arcs, that’s kind of all that happens. Additionally, the end is just left in the air without much resolution to the big plotlines.


Score: 6 out of 10

Realm of Noria. [LitRPG series. Book 1. The Birth]

https://amzn.to/2Qh3Ibx


(Picture 6)

Dungeon Mauling - A LitRPG GameLit Novel (The Good Guys Book 3)

What do you do when the game resets around you?



Just when Montana thought he had life in Vuldranni figured out, the rug is pulled out from under him. He’s alone once again, but now he's in the crosshairs of the man who would be emperor, and a whole host of people are counting on Montana to provide a safe haven for them.


Montana has one hope of actually completing his quest of forming a dukedom: he needs to bust Nikolai out of prison.


A prison that no one has ever escaped from alive.


A prison whose only exit is little more than rumor and probably doesn't even exist — through a sentient dungeon, hell-bent on causing torture, inflicting pain, and extracting the ultimate price: life.


Montana and his hirðmen are down to their last chance. So they get themselves arrested and enter Osterstadt prison. Can the Good Guys do good by going bad?


Dungeon Mauling is LItRPG adventure cruising at breakneck speed. There are epic hobgoblin battles, hordes of monsters, insane leveling, otter hammer throws, relentless mimics, the most revolting water slide you’ll ever hear of, and one cocktail you can only hope to forget.


My Opinion: 308 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


Full disclosure: I received an advanced copy for review but purchased a copy when it became available.


A very good continuation of a good LitRPG series, thought it’s a little light on RPG in the early part of the novel. This is a transition novel, it does a good job of transitioning the story between two big plotlines. It’s still very entertaining, but most of the story is about the dungeon crawl with a little clean up from the big event at the end of book 2. This is a good action filled dungeon dive with monsters, mazes, and some neat twists, but it doesn't advance the storyline much.


Score: 7.6 out of 10

Dungeon Mauling - A LitRPG GameLit Novel (The Good Guys Book 3)

https://amzn.to/2EIDYPP





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

Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  


Other LitRPG facebook pages

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

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPGsociety/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheFantasyNation/


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 147 - Author Interview: Charles Dean

 

LitRPG Podcast 147 - Author interview: Charles Dean

Dec. 16th, 2018

I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews.  

Today I have the pleasure of talking to Charles Dean, author of such amazing LitRPG series as:

The Bathrobe Knight  (https://amzn.to/2CeZt7D ),

Merchant of Tiqpa (https://amzn.to/2Bkpn8j ),

and War Aeternus (https://amzn.to/2QAwnIS ).


Now Charles and I have been friends for a while. He and I first started talking when I made a error with the name of one of his series in the review I gave it on the LitRPG Podcast recommendation page. I called it the Bathroom Knight, and he e-mailed me and pointed out that while a story about a a plumber who fought evil would be great, the series was called the Bathrobe Knight. We’ve been friends ever since.


Charles is hands down not only one of the saltiest guys I know, he’s also one of the kindest human beings I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. He’s gone out of his way to help me personally become a better writer by beta reading with brutal honesty and even extended writing resources to me.


As a writer, he’s one of the best in the community, and people love his LitRPG stuff, everything he’s published has an average review score of no less than 4 stars and often it’s closer to 5:


Jessie: “As I sit here writing this review in my own bathrobe, I must smile. This is a good read. “

Mike Garrett: “My biggest disappointment was the lack of available sequel.”

D. Miller: “All hail the Augustus, God of Alcohol and Bacon!”

David: Absolutely loved the Merchant of Tiqpa”


So, thank you so much for being on the podcast man!!




Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/541733016223492/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Charles-Dean/e/B013WTE074/

Book Links:

The Bathrobe Knight  (https://amzn.to/2CeZt7D ),

Merchant of Tiqpa (https://amzn.to/2Bkpn8j ),

and War Aeternus (https://amzn.to/2QAwnIS ).


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14151022.Charles_Dean



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




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

Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  


Other LitRPG facebook pages

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

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPGsociety/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheFantasyNation/


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 146

 

LitRPG Podcast 146

Dec. 14th, 2018

Before we begin, I want to thank a couple new Patreon supporter: John. Thank you John for helping to keep the podcast free and ad free for everyone.

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

New Releases and Reviews:

War Aeternus 4: Harbinger of Ash (11:35)

Walk towards the Dark side

Score: 7.7 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2L8uEUV

Hero (Level Up Book #2) LitRPG Series (15:29)

Epitome of Slice of Life, but so interesting

Score: 7.8 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2xdfMhs

Redemption: The Rise of Resurgence Book III  (19:18)

It is entertaining, but there aren’t a lot of surprises.

Score: 7.1 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2RchmsO

Wild Worlds: World 1: Crash Course: A LitRPG Novel (23:00)

Most of the RPG is hidden, story so predictable

Score: 5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2QBV9rb

Realmstrider: The Multiverse Awaits (28:00)

Card Game RPG mechanics

Score: 7.1 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2E10phs

Sentenced to Troll (34:00)

Good monster MC story

Score: 7.3 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2Enb6vt


(Play Music 2)

LitRPG News

Shepherd Moon: Singularity Point 01 (LitRPG), is on sale for the holidays for $0.99. It’s a fun sci-fi LitRPG. It just got new series name and cover art, so you might have already read it as the Omegaverse series but if you haven’t, go pick it up. It’s also on KU.

https://amzn.to/2EiNmb2

Dave Wilmarth released the new cover art for book 5 of the Greystone Chronicles and it’s just too cute not to share. The book is not available yet, but hopefully before the end of the year.

James Hunter, LitRPG author and head of Shadow Alley Press will be moderating an online panel on the Fantasy Nation Page.

Online Panel: New Authors Anonymous

Publishing is a crazy business and it can be daunting for would-be word smiths to break in. Come hear from first-time authors Richard Hummel, author of Radioactive Evolution (Indie published); Michael Haspil, author of Graveyard Shift (traditionally published through Tor); and Xander Boyce, author of Advent, Red Mage Book 1 (Small press published, through Mountaindale Press).

They’ll share about their experience as new authors in the publishing industry as well as some of the ups, downs, and potential pitfalls in this business. Panel moderated by James Hunter, author of Viridian Gate Online, Rogue Dungeon, and the Yancy Lazarus series. Come join us Friday 8:30 EST here on Fantasy Nation and be sure to bring your questions!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheFantasyNation/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheFantasyNation/permalink/1950939785200214/

Hello everyone, I'll be talking to Charles Dean about his latest release War Aeternus 4: Harbinger of Ash and asking him a bunch of questions LIVE on YouTube. If you're a fan of his work or the man himself or you just want to ask him embarrassing beard/bacon related questions you can join us on Sunday 12/16 3pm PST. If you click the link below you can set yourself a reminder so you don't miss a single moment with this amazing author.

https://youtu.be/JERxBCFiln0

Michael Scott Earle has sent out some information to people on his newsletter list asking for help with Amazon. According to the letter, which is long, he’s fairly close getting his publishing account reinstated. There’s a whole long explanation, but what it comes down to is that for a long time Amazon wouldn’t say why they suspended him, but thanks to lawyers, Amazon lawyers finally said that  "Readers were going through MSE's books faster than humanly possible, so we think he was cheating our Kindle Unlimited system."

This is BS, but isn’t limited to MSE. Every month for almost half a year, authors on KU have been getting letters saying that they’ve detected unusual page reads. Before, they just suspended authors but more recently they’ve just been taking away any KU reads they think are suspicious without any evidence of wrongdoing. Heck, I just put my novels back on KU, and with in a week got a letter telling me that Amazon was not paying me for suspicious page reads. It’s a huge flaw in their algorithms that think veracious LitRPG readers are bots.

Now, back to MSE and his request to fans and supporters:

Amazon has asked to talk again with my lawyers in early January. They've asked me to provide a list of places where I have marketed my books and a list of any botting services I use. What I'm going to show them is a list of the Facebook ads I've run for the last year (it's the only advertising I do) and a huge stack of emails that you all have sent to Jeff Bezos (jeff@amazon.com).

So can you help me out?

Please email jeff@amazon.com and copy me on the email (m-s@michaelscottearle.com) so my lawyers and I can track them.

If my lawyers come to the meeting with a three foot tall stack of printed emails from my 22,000 fans. Amazon's lawyers will have to reconsider the whole cheating angle. It will be obvious that I'm just a great writer with a bunch of hungry fans, and not someone trying to game their broken system.

So, go help the guy out, he’s been banned unfairly and he’s a LitRPG author.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPG.books/permalink/2103072796382712/?__tn__=-UC-R



Out Now!

The Great Filter: A Post-Apocalyptic Gamelit Novel

https://amzn.to/2PzHNqF

New LitRPG Audiobooks

Through the Belly of the Beast: Underworld, Book 2

https://amzn.to/2EjXZdZ

Steam Whistle Alley - An Adventure in Augmented Reality

https://amzn.to/2PAQSj0

The System: A Futuristic Dungeon Core - The Laboratory, Book 8

https://amzn.to/2LiFE2o

Path to Peace - Alpha World, Book 6

https://amzn.to/2ryaJpt

Raiya: Starter Zone: Archon's Chosen, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2ruKKiW


Upcoming LitRPG:

The Song Matron: A LitRPG Journey (Uniworld Online Trilogy Book 3) (Dec. 14th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2QNm5nR


Freehaven Online:  Winter Dungeonland (Book 3) (Dec. 16th, 2108)

https://amzn.to/2Ime5nh


True Hero (Champion Is Playing Book #1) LitRPG Series (Dec. 17th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2robiCh


Realm of Noria. [LitRPG series. Book 1. The Birth] (Dec. 17th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2Qh3Ibx


Dungeon Mauling - A LitRPG GameLit Novel (The Good Guys Book 3) (Dec. 19th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2EIDYPP


Finding a Body (The Dark Herbalist Book #4) LitRPG series (Dec. 27th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2qPcNZU


Break: EvoBorne: Book One - A LitRPG Saga (EvoBorne - A LitRPG Saga 1) (Jan. 1st, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2E510Q4


Level Up: The Knockout (Book #1) LitRPG Series (Jan. 9th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2CSZ6RV

*A side story set in the same Level Up universe, different MC*


Neverfall: Catacombs (Book 2): A Gamelit Lit RPG Series (Jan. 29th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2C7RucC



Onto New Releases and Reviews


(Play Music 3)


New Releases and Reviews


(Picture 1)

War Aeternus 4: Harbinger of Ash

Lee has managed to survive encounters with the Heralds of three different gods, but the price he that has paid has been tremendous. Every step he takes leads him closer to victory in the cruel game that he had been forced to play, but it also takes him further down a dark path and away from the man he used to be.


After receiving a request for aid from a beautiful and mysterious messenger, Lee and his inner circle travel to nearby Birnefeld, a large and prosperous city ruled by the Dragon King. Before he ever arrives, however, Lee encounters a group of marauders ransacking the countryside, meets a strange new Herald who has set up camp in the region, and receives the dire news that the hero Brigid of Kildare has gone missing. To make things worse, a powerful new enemy is stalking him from the shadows, toying with his dreams and striking at his closest relationships. With the seeds of doubt sown, Lee has to choose whom he can trust before his nightmares become reality and everything he has worked so hard for goes up in flames.


My Opinion: 526 pages, $3.99, Kindle Unlimited


Full disclosure: I read an advanced copy of the story. I purchased the novel when it came out.


One of the best novels of the series. The depths to which Lee sinks is both inspiring and terrifying. It’s genuinely fun to see the character arc for Lee take this morally ambiguous or almost evil path. It’s like he is starting his journey towards the dark side and this book is where he starts crossing the line more. Of course it’s in the name of good that it’s done. Still, an interesting character development.


Other than that, there’s a better villain this time that I thought was done well. Same good action and adventure. Town building is a bit on the backburner but still exists, and those characters you may or may not like (Jade) are back to banter with.


Overall, this is a good action adventure story that is starting to lean towards the dark side which keeps things interesting.


Score: 7.7 out of 10

War Aeternus 4: Harbinger of Ash

https://amzn.to/2L8uEUV


(Picture 2)

Hero (Level Up Book #2) LitRPG Series

A lazy and wussy ex-gamer, Phil becomes one of the few humans who receive a mysterious alien piece of wetware which allows them to see the world through an augmented-reality interface very similar to those used in a MMORPG game. Guided by its stats and messages, Phil begins to level up, gradually transforming himself and his life. He even opens his own business in order to help his friends and complete strangers who acquire a newfound respect for him, assisting him in his travails. As Phil continues on the road to self-improvement, guided by his own conscience rather than system messages, he tries to find out more about the mysterious third party which has bestowed such superhuman abilities upon him.


My Opinion: 593 pages, $6.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


This novel is the epitome of slice of life.  You're basically following a guy around as he gets his life together in a modern setting. He does things that you’d think would be boring to read about, like: Working out at the gym, spending time with his girlfriend, and starting a business. But the addition of RPG mechanics makes it all so fascinating. There are social game mechanics, stats increases, special skills that give bonuses, and item bonuses. It’s just so interesting how the main character (MC) uses his RPG interface to plan out and improve his life. I also like that there are negative consequences for failure and unintended consequences for poorly thought out actions. The MC loses XP if he fails an accepted quest or does something with negative social impact.


There’s also a sub story about alien time travelers judging the MC as to whether he can keep the interface system he uses, but that’s a minor arc for most of this book. Mid way there's a distinct theme change as the game mechanics start to have a bigger impact on the MCs life. Which is all I can say without spoiling things too much.


Overall, this is a story that I found entrancing enough to read through in a single sitting. For some reason I just really like this story even more than book 1. Probably because it just jumps into the Real Life RPG stuff from the first chapter without having to do any setup.


Score: 7.8 out of 10

Hero (Level Up Book #2) LitRPG Series

https://amzn.to/2xdfMhs


(Picture 3)

Redemption: The Rise of Resurgence Book III

Resurgence is hiding a secret. It’s taken Alex months to find it…but find it he has! There is only one problem: it might just be an unbeatable force that he can’t defeat on his own. Luckily, Alex has never been without his group of friends, ready to join him for any challenge.


Fighting through a quest that shouldn’t exist – and acquiring items that no one else has access to – Alex thinks there may be hope. However, it will take more than a few pieces of unique gear to conquer the lands of Resurgence.


Say what you will about Alex – his teammates certainly do – but Chance is usually on his side, even when he doesn’t know it. While Alex pushes the boundaries inside of Resurgence, a cadre of special agents works on the outside to uncover any advantage to use against AltCon, the company behind the game.


Alex will face new foes, use his unique abilities in ways he never imagined, and maybe – just maybe – find a way to win!


My Opinion: 494 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


Full disclosure: I received an advanced copy for review, I purchased the novel when it became available.


It took me a little while, like 15% of the story, to really remember all the details about who everyone was, their powers, roles, storylines, etc. It’s been over a year since the last book came out.


Book 3 in the series has solid writing, it is entertaining, but there aren’t a lot of surprises. The good things from the series are still there: the group banter, good MMO fights, and adventuring. There’s a minor amount of advancement of the evil corporation vs government arc for most of the story. The cyber thriller aspects in the novel don’t really exist anymore, and while the in game stories are entertaining, they feel a little disconnected from the real world storyline.


Overall,  it is entertaining if you’re a fan of the series but it doesn’t really try to do anything new and instead coasts a bit on what worked with book 2.


Score: 7.1 out of 10

Redemption: The Rise of Resurgence Book III  

https://amzn.to/2RchmsO


(Picture 4)

Wild Worlds: World 1: Crash Course: A LitRPG Novel

Uriel is having a bad day.


Ambushed by pirates, the legendary Valiant finds herself wrecked and alone on a hostile planet.


Bairn is having a bad day.


Lost on some strange, backwater planet, this inexperienced adventurer finds himself at death's door, surrounded by strange beasts and monsters.


Together, these two must join forces to survive on this unforgiving planet. Which means Uriel must take the inexperienced Bairn under her wing and try to level the fool up before he gets the two of them killed.


Can the two set aside their differences to overcome secrets of their pasts and new, overwhelming enemies to conquer the Wild Worlds?


My Opinion: 245 page, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


This is a multi-narrative novel that feels more Sci-fan than LitRPG.


Ok, this is technically LitRPG since one of the two main characters (MC), Bairn, does gain some levels at some point and having combat levels is part of the novel’s universe. Unfortunately, that’s about the extent of any RPG stuff in the novel. Yes, other RPG words are mentioned in a couple of places: HP, stats, AR, stamina, mana, but nothing is ever shown to the reader. All of the details are hidden away. The only exception would be Bairn’s class Gadgeteer, which is only explained so that the reader understands why he can fix a ship and why bad people want him. The class could really be called a job though, and would actually make more sense since he literally has no levels in that class but can still use special abilities and magically knows how to repair complicated ships he’s never seen before. The story feels more like a sci-fan story that was modified to include MMO terms or the author wanted to write LitRPG but just didn't want to deal with any real RPG mechanics.


The story was predictable and without any real tension. The two main characters Uriel and Bairn train for almost half the book and it honestly doesn’t matter to the story. Not even to the plotline to get Bairn levels, since he ultimately doesn’t earn them himself but gets power leveled by the Uriel who is infinitely more powerful than anyone else in the story. Which is also how all the story problems are solved, by the overpowered Uriel. There’s never any tension, because she is so powerful that there’s no real risk of her ever losing and the story unfolds just like you’d think once the pirates are even mentioned.


Overall, the story isn’t badly written on a technical level. But as LitRPG it left much to be desired. There’s a serious lack of any detail to the RPG mechanics and I felt like they were really hidden from the reader. Some of the fights are good, but up till the 45% mark it feels like filler and it’s hard to push past that without seeing why it’s important in the story. So I, like other reviewers, got bored. While I pushed myself to finish the story and it improved a little, it wasn’t enough because Uriel was just so OP there wasn’t tension or real risk she’d ever lose.


Score: 5 out of 10

Wild Worlds: World 1: Crash Course: A LitRPG Novel

https://amzn.to/2QBV9rb


(Picture 5)

Realmstrider: The Multiverse Awaits

For one year Scott Duelman has experienced a peculiar delusion, his life has operated like a video game. Yet, despite the innumerable status windows and unlocked achievements visited upon him, he never gained anything tangible from his exploits. Each success was met with a disappointing lack of a usable reward.


It is said that video games rot the mind. Certain that he has lost his mind due to playing too many freemium games on certain websites, he is nearly at the breaking point. Little does he know that what came before was only the prologue. Things are about to get sexy.... Collectible card game cross-world LitRPG waifu adventure harem sexy.


Sanity is overrated. All power to the blue mullet!


Collect the cards. Conquer the multiverse! Get the girl! Get all the girls! Dial it back a little and realize that you can't handle all of the girls, and thus get only the best girls as nature intended!


A new story in the Project Scott multiverse unfolds!


All power to the blue mullet! Praise it!


My Opinion: 203 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


The author is never afraid to take a risk writing a story that uses unusual RPG mechanics. In other novels he’s used RTS, and even Turn Based mechanics to great effect. This time, he’s incorporating Card Game mechanics and when they’re used in the story, it’s very interesting. There are cards that summon minions, trap cards, resource cards. Lots of the cards pull from the Scottie universe so you get cameos if you've read the authors other stuff.


Unfortunately, after the 50% mark, the card game mechanics mostly disappear as main character accepts a mission and the story shifts to a action, zombie apocalypse.


Overall, the author takes a risk with a new kind of RPG game system. I’m already a Scottie Futch fan, so I'm entertained but I don't know that everyone else will be.


Score: 7.1 out of 10

Realmstrider: The Multiverse Awaits

https://amzn.to/2E10phs


(Picture 6)

Sentenced to Troll

Punished for his toxic online behavior, Chad faces a thirty-day sentence of full-immersion therapy designed to improve his anger issues. For his endless trolling in real life, he's forced to play the most hated race in Isle of Mythos so that he can finally experience what it's like to be on the other side.


To make matters worse, the heroes sent to rid the world of evil aren't heroes at all—they're violent felons on their own twisted paths to redemption.


Now, Chad must survive his one-month sentence in a world where anything goes.


My Opinion: 274 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


This is a trapped in the game story, where the main character (MC) is sentenced to 30 days as a troll in a full immersion VRMMO, for toxic behavior online. A troll becoming a troll. The action adventure side of things in the story is well done. There is good pacing, dungeon crawling, the fights are well thought out and described, and there is some nice character development for the MC. The only minor complaints with the story would be how rushed the last act of the story felt. I would have enjoyed a little more struggle for those final resolutions. Also, I would have personally liked to have seen a more striking cultural POV for the trolls. There is still some nice backstory for the race, but they felt a lot like a normal human barbarian tribe and not uniquely monster outside their appearance.


On the game side, things are mostly really good. There are loads of detail about the MC’s race, class, abilities, and the various skills he learns. The class choices the MC makes feel a bit planned out, but still contain good gamer reasoning and progression.


There are a few places in the story where things break down and feel a bit wand wavy. Story moments where it feels more like a fantasy story and less MMO. For example, when describing the trolls ability to manipulate magic, it’s described as imposing one’s will or suggestion instead of any hard coded RPG ability with set boundaries. Same for some cursed weapons, and spells. But the one that threw me off the most was when the MC talks to some NPC humans when he has a severe penalty to his reputation, but somehow still convinces them of his point. The reputation thing was made a huge deal of in the story yet, it didn’t ultimately end up mattering to the story. But these are only minor things. On the whole, most of the RPG mechanics felt like they were integral part of the story.


Overall, a nice entertaining story. Making the MC a troll adds some variety to character progression, though I would have loved to have seen that aspect pushed further. Still, good stuff.


Score: 7.3 out of 10

Sentenced to Troll

https://amzn.to/2Enb6vt



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

Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  


Other LitRPG facebook pages

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

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPGsociety/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheFantasyNation/


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 145

 


LitRPG Podcast 145


Dec. 7th, 2018


Hello everyone, welcome to episode 145 of the LitRPG podcast. For the full show notes visit us at: https://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-podcast-145


Before we begin, I want to thank a couple new Patreon supporters: Willie Williams and Michael Reynolds. They both have decided to donate to the podcast on monthly basis. Thank you both for your amazing support.  


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



New Releases and Reviews:


Gearing Up (Apocalypse Gates Author's Cut Book 3)  (11:11)

Bit slice of life, but it still quite good.

Score: 7.4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2E8cq5s


The Sleeper Must Awaken (The Twenty-Sided Eye Series Book 3)  (16:22)

Less Spooky, More Joe, and some good dungeon diving

Score: 7.5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2BuAJrA


Dead Must Die - A Novella of The Realms: A Humorous GameLit Adventure (The Realms Shorts Book 1) (20:32)

Light LitRPG dungeon master story

Score: 7.2 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2Qep0GR


Cultivating Chaos (VeilVerse: Cultivating Chaos Book 1) (28:05)

Wuxia, LitRPG, Cultivation..oh, my.

Score: 7.6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2qOrL2A


Asgard Awakening (VeilVerse: Asgard Awakening Book 1) (36:38)

Good action portal fiction, but not LitRPG this time

https://amzn.to/2UhTNRw



(Play Music 2)


LitRPG News


This week on Facebook Live, Mountain Dale Press talked to one of their authors, Xander Boyce, about Advent - Red Mage: book 1 and what may be in the pipeline with Advent book 2.

https://www.facebook.com/MountaindalePress/videos/266423280709955/



Someone talking about LitRPG in the wild! No, it is actually Tao Wong's narrator for Adventures on Brad talking on the DnD podcast. But for several minutes he mentions his work narrating LitRPG. And you can tell the other people have no idea what he's talking about, but it was still neat. It's the episode that came out 11/21/18, DnD and Improv Comedy, at about the 48 min mark.

http://dnd.wizards.com/dragon-talk/podcast-hub#submenu-page



Aleron Kong’s The Land: Raiders, book 6 in the Chaos Seeds series was voted Customer Favorite on Audible for 2018. Congrats to both Aleron and the narrator Nick Podehl.

https://www.audible.com/ep/best-of-the-year-audiobooks-2018-customer-favorite



Paul Campbell Jr., author of Peaks of Power, has started a Patreon for fans that want to support him. He’s offering some good rewards depending on the tier of support: custom stickers, ebooks, early chapters, signed book copies, merch, he’ll even fly out to you and take you to dinner if you pay enough. Go support the author if you love his stuff!

https://www.patreon.com/Paulcampbelljr


If you’ve been craving some merchandise based on the hit LitRPG novel, Life Reset, you can now get it. There are several t-shirts and mugs that the author has setup to get made and shipped out.

https://tictail.com/shemerk


The GameLit Society’s annual charity drive did great and raised $6000 for St. Jude’s Children Hospital in just a month. Yaay!! Thank you everyone, but especially Daniel Schinhofen who gave over $2,000 by himself. He’s one of the most generous bearded men I know. Wait, that sounds weird.

https://www.gofundme.com/gamelit-society-philanthropy-pt-2




Out Now!


Citadel of Smoke: A LitRPG and GameLit Adventure (Stonehaven League Book 4)

https://amzn.to/2E6WosL


A Squire's Wish: A GameLit novel (Hidden Wishes Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2rn4TaI

222


Nova Terra: Titan (The Titan Series Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2Plxvu8

329


Survive: the Game of Death: A LitRPG Survival Thriller

https://amzn.to/2Qj5MzK


Wild Worlds: World 1: Crash Course: A LitRPG Novel

https://amzn.to/2QBV9rb



New LitRPG Audiobooks


Cultivating Chaos - VeilVerse: Cultivating Chaos, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2QcTvwJ


The Greystone Chronicles, Book Two: The Dire Lands

The Greystone Chronicles Series, Book 2

https://www.audible.com/pd/B07L5YDFJK

*No cover art on the audible page*



Upcoming LitRPG:




Hero (Level Up Book #2) LitRPG Series (Dec. 10th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2xdfMhs


Redemption: The Rise of Resurgence Book III  (Dec. 14th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2RchmsO


Freehaven Online:  Winter Dungeonland (Book 3) (Dec. 16th, 2108)

https://amzn.to/2Ime5nh


True Hero (Champion Is Playing Book #1) LitRPG Series (Dec. 17th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2robiCh


Realm of Noria. [LitRPG series. Book 1. The Birth] (Dec. 17th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2Qh3Ibx


Dungeon Mauling - A LitRPG GameLit Novel (The Good Guys Book 3) (Dec. 19th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2EIDYPP


Finding a Body (The Dark Herbalist Book #4) LitRPG series (Dec. 27th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2qPcNZU


Break: EvoBorne: Book One - A LitRPG Saga (EvoBorne - A LitRPG Saga 1) (Jan. 1st, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2E510Q4


Level Up: The Knockout (Book #1) LitRPG Series (Jan. 9th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2CSZ6RV

*A side story set in the same Level Up universe, different MC*




Onto New Releases and Reviews


(Play Music 3)


New Releases and Reviews


(Picture 1)

Gearing Up (Apocalypse Gates Author's Cut Book 3)

Alvin had another rough week, but this time, he had Gothy with him.


Travelling from Utah to Nevada, they were able to set up two more Settlements. Then they had to visit the world of Fey to rescue the kids of the Beatty, Nevada Settlement. Just when things looked like they were going well, the Developers got involved.


With the very rules of the game changing, Alvin found himself in a new position. Gothy pledged herself to him through the game system, leaving her collared and bound to obey his every whim. Coming to terms with their new relationship, Alvin wondered what would come next.


He wasn’t expecting a road trip north to loot an abandoned town, nor the Dragon that guarded it. What came as the biggest surprise was the chance encounter with a fantasy race whose gate had opened. What would come of this fateful meeting?


(This book contains adult situations, in all their horror and glory, including; sex, abuse, drug use, and murder. It also contains graphic sex scenes, which portray elements of BDSM. You’ve been warned.)


My Opinion: 395 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


Full disclosure: I received an advanced copy for review, but purchased it when it became available.


Warning: Graphic sexual content. Including BDSM and bondage. It makes up less than 10% of the novel, but some of it is not skippable and is woven into the narrative as part of the MCs relationship.


Book 3 continues all the things you may love or not love about the Apocalypse Gate series. All the good RPG action, upgrading, leveling, monster and man fighting. However, the sex, intimacy, and relationship stuff also seems to be a more open part of the story now that Gothy is in a relationship with the MC. It makes sense since they’re in an adult relationship but it will be a turn off for some readers.


There's a new rune system in the novel that lets people upgrade weapons and items. It allows for some really interesting bonuses when the runes are stacked correctly. The settlement system changes due to some updates to the game world and it was a neat feature of the story to see all the exploits the MC could come up with and then the devs patch them.


Most of the story is still really good action-adventure, but out of all the books in the series, this one feels the least focused on a clear goal. Book 1 had the introduction of the system and the RPG apocalypse, the MC has quests to fulfill certain scenarios, and then it opens to the main sandbox story world. Book 2 focused on settlements. Developing them, expanding them, and finding new ones to start. But book 3 doesn't have any clear goals beyond ‘lets see the forest’ and ends up feeling more slice of life. Which isn't bad, but is a change in the storytelling. There are definitely some good stories here and is setup for some better ones in upcoming books. But still, very slice of life where you’re just following the MC and Gothy as they adventure this time.


Score: 7.4 out of 10

Gearing Up (Apocalypse Gates Author's Cut Book 3)

https://amzn.to/2E8cq5s


(Picture 2)

The Sleeper Must Awaken (The Twenty-Sided Eye Series Book 3)

Joe has the power. The question is, can he hold on to it?


The malevolent kingdom of the night is now aware of his presence. A confrontation is guaranteed, just as Rook intended.


Joe provides freedom to the oppressed and enslaved. They flock to his banner. His nine-to-five job is gone forever, for a ruler of a kingdom never sleeps.


He believes this magical world is a game designed for fun, with no real consequences, but he couldn't be more wrong. His AI partner is starting to see this new reality for what it is.


Will Joe, in his ignorance, continue to defeat every opponent? Or, in order to survive, must he be awakened?


Someone's going to die the final death, there's no way around that. Only who?


My Opinion: 457 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


Book 3 in the series continues the good LitRPG storytelling. Though a few things do change that I think most fans will enjoy. Joe, the main character (MC), finally knows that the world he is in is not a game. That one change really improves the story because now the MC isn’t limited by that confining POV. Additionally, one of the most common complaints about book 2 was the way Spooky was handled and seemed to change. Well, that’s been modified too. I won’t say how, but the character feels more like she did in book 1. Also, the novel focuses around Joe, though you still get some smaller chapters showing what is happening with the other kingdoms and villains.


Other than those changes, the story still has the same good action adventure stuff it always had. There are some very funny scenes, my favorite being the one with the love sick troll. There are some good dungeon crawls, minor politics, and a storyline towards the end that felt a little rushed but had some surprising twists.


Overall, a good entertaining read.


Score: 7.5 out of 10

The Sleeper Must Awaken (The Twenty-Sided Eye Series Book 3)

https://amzn.to/2BuAJrA


(Picture 3)

Dead Must Die - A Novella of The Realms: A Humorous GameLit Adventure (The Realms Shorts Book 1)

Simon died once. He'll be damned before he dies twice.


Simon never asked to become the new dungeon master of the Barrow, but a millennia-old teenager stuck in the skull of a dead lich has few life options. After bonding with the Barrow’s dungeon core, he learns they are near death from hunger and only by consuming the life energy and experiences of sentient beings can they survive.


Lucky for Simon a party of murderous adventurers invades the Barrow in search of treasure and glory. They look to be a perfectly tasty meal until one transforms into a mentally unstable fanatic whose specialty is killing the undead in all its forms, especially teenagers stuck in skulls bonded to dungeons.


If Simon can’t master his new powers, defeat invaders bent on plunder and convince the Barrow to take a kinder, gentler approach to feeding, then he will die a second time. And this time it’ll be permanent.


Dead Must Die is a Short Novella set in the Bestselling The Realms universe. It takes place sometime after Barrow King but before the soon to be released Scourge of Souls - Book Three of the Realms.


My Opinion: 62 pages, $2.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited


A nice dungeon master story. There aren’t a lot of RPG mechanics in the the story, but dungeon has tiers of growth, HP, status ailments, and can grow and change as it absorbs the essence from deceased adventurers. Half the story is from the sneaky dungeon divers POV and the other half sets up the new dungeon master and the two groups eventual interactions. It’s a neat story. Very pricey at almost $3 for 62 pages though.


Score: 7.2 out of 10

Dead Must Die - A Novella of The Realms: A Humorous GameLit Adventure (The Realms Shorts Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2Qep0GR





VeilVerse Novels written by Blaise Corvin and William D. Arand

Ok. I’ll be reviewing the first two novels written in the new VeilVerse Universe. The universe is created by both William D. Arand and Blaise Corvin. The forward of the Asgard Awakening does the better job of explaining how the two decided to create and write in this shared universe and are open to other authors writing in it too.


Having read both novels back to back, I don’t know that I’d call this a shared universe as much as I would a shared multi-verse with good cross over possibilities. Cultivating Chaos and Asgard Awakening are both set on different planets/alternate realities, it’s not 100% clear which it is. Each novel has its own magic/qi system, time lines, unique cultures, writing styles, and sub themes. If I hadn’t been told in advance by the shared cover art design and forwards, I’m not sure that I would have known they’re in a shared multi-verse. The story universe is setup so that there are an infinite number of planets that exist and grow independently but sometimes, either by accident or on purpose, a rift in time and space occurs connecting these worlds. This is called a rip in the Veil. That’s what has allowed for some cross over between residents of these worlds.


However, they do have some things that cross. The two novels have the same prologue. They are both kind of slice of life. They both have the same types of creatures: Humans, and Kin (beast people). Though they’re treated a bit differently in each novel. People from both novels are aware of the other worlds. The two main characters of each novel are cousins and were both transported from earth at the same time, just to different worlds. There is one scene in each book, where both characters exist in the same place but it’s really only for an instant. There are definitely story threads in both that make a crossover easy and almost inevitable in future books. Other than that, at least for now, each novel really feels like it’s own thing.

----

(Picture 4)

Cultivating Chaos (VeilVerse: Cultivating Chaos Book 1)

Ash led a very normal life by his own standards. It had its ups and downs, much like anyone else’s.


Being a talented martial artist had definitely been an up, while high-school as a whole was a down. His own father not being a great role model, and his uncle being everything he wanted to be.


To Ash it felt like a very normal life.


Right up until he was literally pulled into a portal that spat him out into another world.


One that was full of martial arts. Martial arts that the practitioners of such used magic to employ. To set the very air on fire with a punch, or to turn their skin hard as diamonds.


To fly through the air, if they had enough power.


A world where the strong ruled, and the weak died.


Three years of living his life as one of the citizens, those without power, and Ash has figured out how to survive. With his adoptive family and a lot of persistence.


His goals in life have become to give back to those who gave to him. And he’d do whatever he had to, to do that.


Except Ash is about to get his life turned around again. Turned around and altered completely. He’s about to discover a treasure from a time long lost. Forgotten.


A treasure that is going to change his destiny and give him another direction to go. If he wants it.


A Cultivator.


This is a VeilVerse novel.


Warning and minor spoiler: This novel contains graphic violence, undefined relationships/a full harem, unconventional opinions/beliefs, and a hero who is tactful as a dog at a cat show. Read at your own risk.


My Opinion: 225 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


A light LitRPG action oriented novel with cultivation, wuxia, martial arts, and a PG harem.


The story side of things is essentially slice of life. You follow the main character (MC) as he lives in this Wuxia inspired, cultivation, world. He trains as a martial artist, seeks to help his adopted family, fights in tournaments, and gives just desserts to the arrogant pompous bullies. There are also some nice story arcs but I won't ruin them.


On the game mechanic side, things are pretty light. There is a cultivation based progression system. People increase their cultivation by levels, there is a distinct power curve for the MC, and eventually the MC even gets a game like UI to see people's health and qi levels. However, the progression system, and cultivation in general, isn't particularly deep or detailed. Cultivation levels are mostly used to differentiate the relative power levels of characters.


Cultivation in the novel, while the key way to increasing power, is among the least detailed of what I've read as Litrpg. The Divine Dungeon uses cultivation, but gives fine detail about specific steps and geometric patterns mana has to be shaped into and there are definite guided principles to that mana cultivation based on elemental affinities. The Ten Realms, also uses cultivation and there are whole long sections detailing the different techniques to cultivate the body and spirit. Including hardening organs, opening meridians, refining and condensing mana. In this novel, cultivation often amounts to mediating and imaging your Qi pool, then folding and condensing it until it can't any more. That’s it. Not a bad description, but of the cultivation stories I've read that are also LitRPG, it’s one of the least detailed.


Combat is the big highlight of the novel. The action is frenetic and fast paced. The combination of martial arts and qi based abilities gives the fights a Hunter X Hunter vibe, one of my favorite animes.


The harem aspect is very PG and while there is the inference of sex in the novel, it is very fade to black. Otherwise this aspect is handled like it is in Super Sales on Super Heroes, another novel of the authors. There are lots of women that care for the MC who ultimately specialize themselves in particular areas to fill out a balanced team for him.


The few drawbacks in the story: 1) All the power the MC gets feels unearned. Literally every skill, technique, power boost, and even his ability to cultivate come from his magic ring. The MC just does makes a search query and then all the info is downloaded into his brain and he's a master of that skill, trade, technique, or whatever. Even though the MC uses those skills in intelligent ways, spars, cultivates and makes the most of what he gets, it all stems from what is basically a wish ring.


Overall, this is a good entertaining story. There are a few things that bring it down for me in small ways but the great action, and interesting story kept me turning pages.


Score: 7.6 out of 10

Cultivating Chaos (VeilVerse: Cultivating Chaos Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2qOrL2A


(Picture 5)

Asgard Awakening (VeilVerse: Asgard Awakening Book 1)

After years of slavery, subjected to torments of body and spirit by the inhuman Kin, Travis Sterling can barely recall his old life. Memories of Earth, and of disappointing his family barely seem real anymore.


But even without the occasional voice in his head, Trav knows he’s different. A vast amount of rune crafting knowledge has mysteriously taken up residence in his mind; too bad he doesn’t have any mystical power. If he could find a way to actually use any rune magic, his situation could change.


The stubborn, unbroken man burns for justice, but despite his strange abilities, he stands no chance against the Kin. In the near future, when Trav comes face to face with complete destruction, his mettle and creativity will be tested. Will he perish, or will he grasp a chance to shake the foundations of his new world?


A VeilVerse Story


*Note: This series was written for adults. Asgard Awakening contains morally grey situations, polyamory, fantasy violence, and slavery. Please do not attempt dangerous rune magic at home.


My Opinion: 240 pages, $4.98, Available on Kindle Unlimited


A more brutal slice of life novel than expected. It starts with the main character (MC), Trav, as a slave in a mine for the last 3 years and recently had his wife murdered. Gritty stuff. The story from there is mostly slice of life with the MC picking up new women/kin for his harem. There are lots of Norse themes of power and some storylines with other gods. But it’s mostly about the MC traveling, getting into many fights and adventures, and expanding his powers as he expands his group of friends/Valkyries/lovers.


I really loved the opening storyline where the MC mourns for his wife. It’s a great way to humanize the character even through he does some brutal stuff to survive in the mines. It doesn’t follow through the rest of the story, but it’s good while you get it.


I also really liked the rune crafting system. It’s a great flexible magic system that is gradually developed and expanded by the author as the story goes on. Personally, I would have loved even more details, including quantified mana costs and capabilities for runes vs glyphys vs whatever. The system is a little OP by the end of the story, but it really is a fun magic system and all the things that can be done with it.


Now, here is the big question, is this LitRPG? Unfortunately, no. There is no RPG progression system in the story. The closest you get is at the 56% and 70% marks. At the 56% mark the MC chooses to think of his mana in terms of mana bars that increase every time he binds a woman as a Valkyrie. This is an internal visualization for the MC and no one else in this world views mana in these terms. Other people often see mana as a pool or something else less quantifiable. At the 70% mark, he uses his newly increased mana bars to decide how much he can upgrade his body using runic magic since the upgrades will require full time use of some of those magic bars. The thought process the MC goes through here is very much of a gamer mentality, considering whether it’s best to go with melee buff, or be a ranged caster, or something else. Good stuff, but in total it only makes up 5% of the entire novel and those mechanics and gamer mentality aren’t really even mentioned most of the rest of the story. There are many other places where the magic the MC uses doesn’t even seem to have a quantified cost. There is an exception at the 84% when the MC mentions in one sentence that his fight/spell slinging costing him a whole bar of mana.


Now, the author is very very clear in his forward to say that he thinks the novel is GameLit and that some people may see it as LitRPG. He is not advertising it as LitRPG, so there’s no negative score. I genuinely think book 2 in the series may pick up more LitRPG elements consistently but I’ll have to wait and see.


Overall, this is a good story. As portal fiction it easy gets a 7.4 out of 10. Good action, good stories, with some potential for some really need crossover stuff with Cultivating Chaos, and other shared multiverse stories.


Asgard Awakening (VeilVerse: Asgard Awakening Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2UhTNRw







That’s it everyone!


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


(Music 4)


Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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



LitRPG Podcast 144

 

LitRPG Podcast 144

Nov. 30th, 2018

Before we begin, I want to thanks our anonymous supporter who made a generous donation to the podcast to help keep it funded. Thank You. Starting next week, I’ll be wearing my holiday cap.

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

New Releases and Reviews:


Civil War: A litRPG Adventure (The Rogue Dungeon Book 2) (08:00)

Book 2 is even better than book 1

Score: 7.7 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2RNKyq2


Changing Faces (New Game Minus Book 1) (10:48)

Interesting premise: an NPC villain body swapped with a player and then got reset.

Score: 7.8 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2FPUrmb


Crota (The Gods Game, Volume I): An epic fantasy, LitRPG and GameLit novel  (15:54)

Pretty good slice of life story about a guy accidentally summoned to a RPG game world to partake in a game of some trapped gods.

Score: 7.4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2qWg1eb


Irrelevant Jack (19:58)

Convoluted storyline, but think of it as a dungeon dive story and it’s fine.

Score: 7.1 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2KrOwC5


First Dungeon (Replay Book 2) (24:50)

Short Story. Childish characters. Got bored.

Score: 5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2r29te6


Guild: A LitRPG Novella (Monsters, Maces and Magic Book 3) (28:38)

Short story done right. Good world building, action, trapped in a table top game.

Score: 7.6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2DGs0oS




(Play Music 2)


LitRPG News


A quick shout out to Richard Hummel and his novel Radioactive Evolution. Since his first published novel came out a couple of weeks ago it has consistently been in the top 600 and on a couple of individual days been as high 205 on all Amazon paid store. It’s honestly much harder to be consistently in the top 600 for weeks than it is to do super well for a single day. It is again the author’s 1st published novel, so congratulations to him on doing well.

https://amzn.to/2QtXXXe


Aleron Kong did a cover reveal for the next Chaos Seeds series, Book 8: Monsters. No release date, but it’s a very nice cover.



Daniel Schinhofen, author of the Alpha World series and Apocalypse Gate LitRPG series, recently did an interview with Nevada Public Radio about his success as an indie author. It’s about 10 minutes, but it’s neat to hear one of authors do something like this.

https://knpr.org/knpr/2018-11/pahrump-author-finds-success-books-set-video-game-worlds



George Fisher, long time member of the LitRPG reader community and great supporter of many authors, has started a GoFundMe Campaign to raise money for his wife’s cancer treatment. His wife, Blythe, was diagnosed September 30, 2018 with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and they are doing everything they can to fight right now. If you can give to help pay for treatments, please consider it, if you can’t that’s ok. He asks that you keep his family in mind if you’re the praying sort.

https://www.gofundme.com/blythe-haynes-cancer-treatment-support



Out Now!


Absalom’s Trials: A GameLit/LitRPG Quest (The Everlands Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2Qndxno


Limitless Lands Book 2: Conquest (A LitRPG Adventure)

https://amzn.to/2RHpeCo


Glitch Book Five (The Glitch Series 5)

https://amzn.to/2TEicAt


She Demon: BlackFlame Online Book 2 (LitRpg Adventure)

https://amzn.to/2reZh1P

*Book 1 came out not that long ago, Cursemancer*


The Blade Guardian: A litRPG Saga (Aether Gate Online Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2Q7IvAY


Rogue Games: A litRPG Adventure

https://amzn.to/2E6gLpT


New LitRPG Audiobooks

Trojan: Afterlife Online, Book 3

https://amzn.to/2Q1KuXi


Path to Peace - Alpha World, Book 6

https://amzn.to/2She5Zt


Dragon Seed: Archemi Online, Volume 1

https://amzn.to/2TZYTBs


Shard Wraith: Crystal Shards Online, Book 3

https://amzn.to/2SlukVr


Kingdom of the Dead: An NPC’s Path Series, Book 2

https://amzn.to/2SlxXe1



Upcoming LitRPG:


Eden's Gate: The Omen: A LitRPG Adventure (Nov. 30th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2CSgBl5


The Sleeper Must Awaken (The Twenty-Sided Eye Series Book 3) (Nov. 30th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2BuAJrA


Cultivating Chaos (VeilVerse: Cultivating Chaos Book 1) (Dec. 1st, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2qOrL2A


Gearing Up (Apocalypse Gates Author's Cut Book 3) (Dec. 1st, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2E8cq5s


Citadel of Smoke: A LitRPG and GameLit Adventure (Stonehaven League Book 4) (Dec. 4th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2E6WosL



Hero (Level Up Book #2) LitRPG Series (Dec. 10th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2xdfMhs


Redemption: The Rise of Resurgence Book III  (Dec. 14th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2RchmsO


Freehaven Online:  Winter Dungeonland (Book 3) (Dec. 16th, 2108)

https://amzn.to/2Ime5nh


Dungeon Mauling - A LitRPG GameLit Novel (The Good Guys Book 3) (Dec. 19th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2EIDYPP


Finding a Body (The Dark Herbalist Book #4) LitRPG series (Dec. 27th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2qPcNZU


Break: EvoBorne: Book One - A LitRPG Saga (EvoBorne - A LitRPG Saga 1) (Jan. 1st, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2E510Q4


Level Up: The Knockout (Book #1) LitRPG Series (Jan. 9th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2CSZ6RV

*A side story set in the same Level Up universe, different MC*



Onto New Releases and Reviews


(Play Music 3)


New Releases and Reviews


(Picture 1)

Civil War: A litRPG Adventure (The Rogue Dungeon Book 2)

Build. Evolve. Conquer. Welcome to the Civil War ...


Roark von Graf—former noble and hedge-mage, current mid-level mob in a MMORPG—has his sights set on taking down the tyrannical Dungeon Lord. But the reigning Troll despot is nearly as devious as Roark, and his followers are much higher level.


With forever-death on the line, civil war breaks out in the Citadel, pitting Roark’s new regime against Azibek’s horde of loyalists. To survive, Roark will have to outfox the Dungeon Lord, forge new, dirtier weapons and shady alliances, and above all, Evolve …


But while the Trolls are entrenched in their civil war, an outside threat is growing. Eyes from the IRL world are beginning to turn toward the Citadel. There’s something strange about this Roark, and they intend to find out what.


My Opinion: 238 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


I enjoyed book 1 in the series, but like book 2 even more. The authors really improved upon making the RPG world feel like more of an MMO by incorporating a few more POVs. Including player’s views outside of the game, and the game company’s. It adds a nice layer of complexity to the story and amps up the MMO aspect.


The other aspects I liked from book 1 are all still there: fast paced action, RPG monster evolutions, and crafting. Additionally, there are some kingdom building aspects as the MC tries to form alliances with the other dungeon level bosses, bring in outside NPC resources, and form a community out of the mobs on his level. Good stuff all around.


Score: 7.7 out of 10

Civil War: A litRPG Adventure (The Rogue Dungeon Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2RNKyq2



(Picture 2)

Changing Faces (New Game Minus Book 1)

Bloodwraith thought of himself as an effective villain, until a single adventurer destroyed his entire lair. With his last breath, he switched bodies with the adventurer and discovered that his world was built on lies. Alien beings from another dimension were using his world as a game... and now he was one of them.


The problem is, Bloodwraith has no experience being an adventurer. He was a mage, but his new body is only good at hitting things. He relied on undead minions, but now he has no choice but to depend on other people. And worst of all, strange boxes are constantly appearing in his vision, describing the world in unfamiliar, nonsensical terms.


Taking over the world is off the table, because the alien gods might be watching. To survive, Bloodwraith will need to learn the truth about himself and his world. And that means acting like an adventurer, at least for now.


My Opinion: 366 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


The premise is that an NPC villain body swapped with a player and then got reset. Only from the villain's perspective it was more of a fantasy magic spell he cast at the last minute before his lich body was going to be destroyed. The novel goes through the entire noob experience of learning about RPG game mechanics but it's all from the perspective of this fantasy villain who thinks of it in his cultural terms. The blue boxes are sent from some mysterious gods who know everything and have strange powers to improve the body of the adventurer he is in. Gaining power from XP is viewed as some strange necromancer magic that steals the soul power of defeated enemies. The main character (MC) constantly fights with his bodies inclination to do good versus his pragmatic evil viewpoint of doing things like: murdering the quest giver and stealing everything, or poisoning a whole town for the XP.


The game mechanics are solid and consistent through the story. Fairly standards D&D style character sheet with leveling giving 5 stat points to assign and various skills that can be learned, and improved through use or practice.  The MC is never over powered and when faced with tough odds the author never breaks the game rules established to get him out of a jam.


Overall, I had a really good time with the story. Though I’ll admit, most of the stuff that happens is familiar LitRPG slice of life adventuring, it’s told through a unique lens that gives it a fresh feel. I was only a little disappointed that the story didn’t take more of a villain's approach. Still, good action, good RPG mechanics, and some very good story twists.


Score: 7.8 out of 10

Changing Faces (New Game Minus Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2FPUrmb


(Picture 3)

Crota (The Gods Game, Volume I): An epic fantasy, LitRPG and GameLit novel

A Game, played between Gods… where the playing field is the world itself… and the pieces, living beings.


A young man caught unwittingly between… in a strange world, without allies or help… must battle for survival…using his wits and magic alone.


Pawn or Player… his fate is his to decide… which will he prove to be?


Accidentally summoned from Earth to the world of Myelad, Kyran becomes embroiled in a thousand-year war between the Gods. Through no fault of his own, Kyran earns their ire and is trapped in Crota, an abandoned city haunted by undead, and infested with all manner of beasts and monsters. To escape the Gods’ trap, Kyran must become a Player that even the Gods would learn to fear…


My Opinion: 223 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


*Note: There are minor formatting issues noted: A persistent grey background, and sometimes heavily shrunken tables. The author has said he’s fixed it, but the corrections may not have pushed to everyone.


This is a pretty good slice of life story about a guy accidentally summoned to a RPG game world to partake in a game of some trapped gods. That last part doesn’t really come into play in book 1 but is setup for the series. This novel is mostly about how the main character (MC) survives on this hostile world, figures out best to use the RPG progression system, and levels. He is dropped in hostile territory, starts out at level 1, but has to figure out a way to beat monsters that are level 7 and higher.


The game mechanics in the story are pretty detailed and there are lots of notifications, character sheets, spell descriptions, item descriptions, and loads of info about the game mechanics. Even more important, the author does a good job of describing the MCs reasoning for choosing one power over another that gives insight into his gaming choices and preferred play-style.


The only real minor complaints about the story: 1) It takes an awfully long time to get to the RPG game world. The main character (MC) doesn’t get there till about the 30% mark. Everything prior to that is either setup of the premise or details about character creation. 2) The author introduces a lot of characters in cut aways from the MCs story. But most of those characters aren’t ever seen again, at least in book 1. They may be developed later in the series, but here they just feel a bit abandoned. Neither issue ruins the story or anything though.


Overall, a fairly fun slice of life story about a guy dropped into an RPG world and seeing how he survives.


Score: 7.4 out of 10

Crota (The Gods Game, Volume I): An epic fantasy, LitRPG and GameLit novel

https://amzn.to/2qWg1eb


(Picture 4)

Irrelevant Jack

Jack is violently pulled into a game-like universe and dumped into a seaside town on the brink of destruction. When the people of Blackmoor Cove begin to ask about his combat role, Jack discovers his odd Hero Class and finds that parts of his game interface are riddled with exposed coding errors.

He quickly learns that the only way the town can grow and push back the unknown substance threatening to consume it is if brave Heroes venture into an infinitely high, ever-changing tower, kill bizarre monsters for their valuable equipment drops, and then deposit those items into a special chest.

As Jack struggles to level up and help save the people he has grown to care for, he learns the true nature of this simulated word and his destiny... But can he overcome his reckless nature and become the leader this strange world needs?


My Opinion: 316 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


An entertaining tower crawl, which is just a dungeon crawl in a tower. There are some sci-fi subplots but it’s just an excuse to kill monsters and get new gear.


Game mechanic wise, the story tries to be a little different by omitting the XP in the progression system and instead basing the main characters (MC) level solely on clearing levels in the tower. MC beats the level 2 boss, he’s now level 3, gets upgrades to HP, Mana, and can use up to level 3 gear. Progression isn’t tied directly to killing monsters and increased damage and def is more gear oriented with level restrictions. The MC has a couple of cheat abilities, but he’s not over powered.


The storyline is a bit convoluted and comes down to clearing tower levels and feeding items to the RPG town to help it grow so it is not be overcome by the ‘corruption’. There’s supposed to be a bigger sci-fi impact on the universe for defeating these monsters too, but it’s all just an excuse to kill stuff. There are some character development sub plots which include a minor romance, but they feel forced and there are some big plot holes in the story if you look too hard. But just treat this as a slice of life dungeon crawl and it’s entertaining enough.


Score: 7.1 out of 10

Irrelevant Jack

https://amzn.to/2KrOwC5


(Picture 5)

First Dungeon (Replay Book 2)

Lana’s life has gone from bad to worse ever since waking up with no memories in a strange land with Peter. From the very start, Peter had to be saved from one situation after another. In fact, if it hadn’t been for their mysterious new ally, Frost, both would probably be dead by now! Even being rescued by a stranger isn’t enough to make Lana trust anyone. Not the shady Wilshire agent they contract as an outfitter for a dungeon; not the gorgeous Defender with the big Lion shield that takes a fancy to her and certainly not Frost who seems to have more secrets than answers.


Things are almost looking up when Lana and her party complete the dungeon and finally have some coin in their purse. That goes suddenly sour when they’re caught in a House Valor trap meant for their illegal agent who vanishes, leaving them in the lurch. Not knowing that they’ve captured the first true Heroes in decades gives them time as House Valor mounts a search for the elusive agent but it’s only a matter of time before the Valor warriors discover the prize they really have. Against the clock, will the trio be able to work together to free themselves and escape or is their adventure going to be cut short? Find out in this month’s installment of Replay: First Dungeon!


First Dungeon is the second installment in the Replay serial (releasing every 2 months)


My Opinion: 78 pages, $1.00, Available on Kindle Unlimited


The 2nd book in this serial is a bit of a disappointment. It feels more like a portal fantasy story than a LitRPG one. That’s mostly because the RPG stuff fades into the background. At least in book 1, you got to see the character sheets with stats, HP, and other details. I completely understand why the author eliminated them since they were inserted as images and those are expensive to have in a short story at this price. But that’s also where most of the RPG info was in the story. Sure, there is still mentions of levels and abilities, but it’s a minor part and it’s not really important to the story.


Overall, the story was kind of boring to me. The characters are still very child-like, both in their dialogue and behaviors. Which isn’t necessarily bad, but it wasn’t appealing to me. There’s not much combat to make up for that either. The story has the characters face a puzzle dungeon and some guild opposition. I just wasn’t engaged reading it.


Score: 5 out of 10

First Dungeon (Replay Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2r29te6


(Picture 6)

Guild: A LitRPG Novella (Monsters, Maces and Magic Book 3)

You can’t hide in an RPG forever.

Eighteen years ago Tom, a barber college student, got trapped in the Monsters, Maces and Magic game world as Josiah the thief.

The first two adventures saw all of Tom’s party members, also trapped within the game world, perish within the fetid depths of the Dark Heart Swamp. His subsequent stint adventuring with NPCs proved short lived. He preferred survival.


Over time, Tom became Josiah, adopting a life blending in with the game world’s NPCs. He gave up advancing as a thief, trained as a lay healer, and works as a barber, cutting hair, pulling teeth, lancing boils and functioning as a low-level operative within the local thieves’ guild.


But life, even one lived as a faux NPC, can get interesting. Such happens when a young half-goblin thief named Gurk shows up in Josiah’s shop, looking for information.

Little did the pair know that the unobtrusive barber shop would become a focal point in a brewing guild war.


My Opinion: 94 pages, $0.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited


This is a short story and a side story in the Monsters, Maces, and Magic series. The author does a great job of efficiently setting up the story in the first 10%. You get enough background info to care about the main character (MC), and good details that make the world feel full. The story has action and ties nicely to the main series with that group being a larger part of the story than I thought they’d be. Overall, though light on RPG stuff, pretty darn entertaining.


Score: 7.6 out of 10

Guild: A LitRPG Novella (Monsters, Maces and Magic Book 3)

https://amzn.to/2DGs0oS



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


(Music 4)


Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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



LitRPG Podcast 143

 

LitRPG Podcast 143

Nov. 23rd, 2018

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 143 of the LitRPG podcast.

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

New Releases and Reviews:

Radioactive Evolution (04:35)

Almost good for me but just misses.

Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2ONELyR

The Third Realm (Ten Realms Book 3) (16:58)

More good action and crafting.

Score: 7.5 out of 10

http://books2read.com/u/mqZJDd

A Song of Shadow (The Bard from Barliona Book #2) LitRPG series  (20:00)

Who knew a plant based bard could be this badass

Score: 7.4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2Ph0Dn1

Arcane Hazards: A LitRPG Adventure (Demonic Summoner Serial Book 1) (22:35)

Not much here. Slice of life adventure, trapped in game, then suddenly the end.

Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2RUWO8j

Steel Soul: Hub World Book 1  (26:23)

Cyberthriller element doesn’t work for me

Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2RnWsGU

Tournament Lord (Champions of MythRune Book 1) (31:12)

Nice beginning, but lost me mid-story

Score: 5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2qPMClT

Bard to the Bone (39:59)

Good well balanced bard adventure.

Score: 7.4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2Fiaj07




(Play Music 2)


LitRPG News


(None - It’s Thanksgiving)



Out Now!

Fate of Camlan: A LitRPG Adventure (Camlan Realm Book 4)

https://amzn.to/2D566LD


Guardians Of The Round Table 3: Singed Feathers

https://amzn.to/2xzTDdL


Island Kingdoms' War: Evolution Online III (A LitRPG)

https://amzn.to/2xpCV1o


Crota (The Gods Game, Volume I): An epic fantasy, LitRPG and GameLit novel

https://amzn.to/2qWg1eb

*Formatting issues that make the game stuff off and on super unreadable or look like they were highlighted. The author says he’ll get those fixed.*


Changing Faces (New Game Minus Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2qXglto


Irrelevant Jack

https://amzn.to/2KrOwC5




New LitRPG Audiobooks


Game Changer - Reality Benders, Book 3

https://amzn.to/2S8dlWC



Upcoming LitRPG:


Limitless Lands Book 2: Conquest (A LitRPG Adventure) (Nov. 23rd, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2RHpeCo


Guild: A LitRPG Novella (Monsters, Maces and Magic Book 3) (Nov. 26th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2DGs0oS


Civil War: A litRPG Adventure (The Rogue Dungeon Book 2) (Nov. 27th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2RNKyq2


Eden's Gate: The Omen: A LitRPG Adventure (Nov. 30th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2CSgBl5



Cultivating Chaos (VeilVerse: Cultivating Chaos Book 1) (Dec. 1st, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2qOrL2A



Hero (Level Up Book #2) LitRPG Series (Dec. 10th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2xdfMhs


Redemption (The Rise Of Resurgence #3) (Dec. 15th, 2018)


Freehaven Online:  Winter Dungeonland (Book 3) (Dec. 16th, 2108)

https://amzn.to/2Ime5nh


Dungeon Mauling - A LitRPG GameLit Novel (The Good Guys Book 3) (Dec. 19th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2EIDYPP


Finding a Body (The Dark Herbalist Book #4) LitRPG series (Dec. 27th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2qPcNZU


Level Up: The Knockout (Book #1) LitRPG Series (Jan. 9th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2CSZ6RV

*A side story set in the same Level Up universe, different MC*



Onto New Releases and Reviews


(Play Music 3)


New Releases and Reviews


(Picture 1)

Radioactive Evolution

How far would you go to change humanity's fate?


Jared Cartwright has spent the last two years delving into the twisted, scarred wastelands of an earth ravaged by nuclear war. The rich and powerful have taken to the oceans and skies on floating utopias, escaping destruction and leaving the rest of humanity to fend off the mutated creatures that roam the earth.


To face his new reality, Jared must become an apex predator if he hopes to survive. He must evolve beyond human limitations to confront those that left mankind to die.


Jared’s quest takes a new turn when he discovers dragons are real.


My Opinion: 390 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


Full disclosure: I received an advanced copy for review. I purchased a copy when it became available.


The story tries to be a lot of things: post apocalypse, fantasy dragon riding, and LitRPG. But expectations for each of those are different and the story doesn't fulfill any completely.


First, let me say that this is LitRPG. There's a progression system that appears regularly that uses nanites to upgrade the MC and his dragon. There are options to improve physical or psionic/mental attributes. Nanites are gained from killing mutated monsters and the main character (MC) can also absorb some monster powers. It's not a deep progression system and unfortunately has no hard numbers. Instead it uses percentages to apply nanites to traits but those percentages have no relatable connection. For example, early in the story the MC gets 90% nanites after killing a bunch of mutated rats, and then later gets 95% nanites from killing a giant worm the size of a freight train. I would have much rather have seen actual nanite numbers be gained depending on size and power of the monster defeated as well as a gradually increasing cost to the powers or upgrades. It would have made progression choices more meaningful and it really doesn't seem that hard to implement.


The story is set in a post apocalypse world with the rich and powerful living in floating cities. The MC is a survivor on the world below who has to constantly search for new nanite sources to keep the radiation from killing him. However the survivalist aspects that I expected to see in that setting never appear. There is some scavenging but little survivalist attitude or conflict from anyone that's living in the world. The MCs is determined to never hurt or kill innocents and let's people who try to murder him go multiple times.


The fantasy dragon stuff is the oddest part. Apparently in alternative earth world dragons existed since before the dinosaurs, though there no evidence in history.  But they went into hibernation/hiding rather than fight with the humans that had started to hunt them down. Now though the MC accidentally binds with a new dragon and can upgrade himself to superhuman levels by absorbing nanites from defeated monsters. Now his dragon companion’s goal is to prepare a place for all the dragons to come back. The banter and character development between the MC and his dragon is well done and the most charming part of the story.


Though the novel starts out with clear and defined plot arcs, it surprisingly becomes a slice life story that wanders around a lot and kind of focuses on fights with monsters that lead to those upgrades. There are multiple storylines that appear, and while mostly entertaining, they often just get abandoned. I’m sure the author has plans for all the loose story threads, but most of them are left dangling in the first book. The best story telling takes place at about the 45% when the MC finds a journal detailing how a citizen of a now empty town was creepily turned because of this insidious influence from a local monster. It's not a big section but it's a complete little story with a definite conclusion. Which is more than happens with most of the storylines. In a number of ways the novel feels like a series of short stories connected by killing monsters.


Overall, though the author asked me repeatedly not to give his story a bad review score because his story wasn't LitRP, it is. The progression mechanics hit the minimum requirements for me. They could have been better RPG mechanics and I'd consider them pretty light, but it's still LitRPG. However, the story, while well written,  just lacked focus and just tried to be too many kinds of stories all at once. It just hits shy of good for me.


Score: 6 out of 10

Radioactive Evolution

https://amzn.to/2ONELyR


(Picture 2)

The Third Realm (Ten Realms Book 3)

With the third realm new challenges arise.


Erik searches for Old Hei while Rugrat deals with his broken mana system. For both, their path takes them towards the alchemist association's trial.


They didn't mean to get into trouble, they swear, but in the ten realms trouble is not far behind the duo. They'll have to fight across the third realm to complete the alchemist association's trial.


All isn't peaceful in the first realm as Alva and Vermire will face one of their greatest challenges yet.


Chaos or creation, there's no knowing what might happen in the ten realms.


My Opinion: 666 pages, $5.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited


By the third book in the series, you’re either on board by now or not. So, the review is much simpler. This is a good addition to the series. Compared to book 2, there more good action in the front half of the story. There are still plenty of jerks trying to take advantage or bully our heroes and they get their comeuppance. The novel doesn’t forget the crafting either. There are good sections dedicated to Erik's Alchemy progression, Rugrat's smithing, the dungeon group development, and other crafting. The only part that take a bit of a backseat this time is the cultivation. It’s all part of the story, but our MCs have hit a snag there that’s part of the plot. Overall, good stuff and a good value for the page count.


Score: 7.5 out of 10

The Third Realm (Ten Realms Book 3)

http://books2read.com/u/mqZJDd


(Picture 3)

A Song of Shadow (The Bard from Barliona Book #2) LitRPG series

Every player in Barliona has heard of the Gray Lands—the land of the dead. Few have managed to travel there and speak with the heroes and villains of old. And of this miniscule number, only one bard has managed to bring the souls of the dead back to the world of the living: The Bard of Shadow. Now it is up to her to determine the future of her race. Shall the Biota race become full-fledged members of Barliona or will they oppose all that lives?


My Opinion: 555 pages, $5.99, Not available on Kindle Unlimited


Full disclosure: I received an advanced copy for review. I purchased it when it became available.


A good sequel. I was genuinely surprised by some of the places the storyline went but it was a pleasant surprise. The action and slice life adventure keep me entertained the entire read, especially some of the larger battles.  Many of the musical references were lost on me but if you’re into music more than me, you might like them. Overall, quite the good read.


Score: 7.4 out of 10

A Song of Shadow (The Bard from Barliona Book #2) LitRPG series

https://amzn.to/2Ph0Dn1


(Picture 4)

Arcane Hazards: A LitRPG Adventure (Demonic Summoner Serial Book 1)

The most anticipated game of the century. A Dive VRMMORPG more ambitious than any previous attempt. Millions log in on launch day, ecstatic and marveling at the vast new world of ArcaneHazards. But there's something the players miss until they started coming back from the tutorial...


“Where's the logout button? It was there before, right?”


Confusion turns to panic, and days later it breaks into full-blown chaos. Violence ensues, unchecked and unstopped by absent game masters. At their wits end, a few try the only way out left to them. New player Felix is going to need every ounce of luck, wit and strength to survive. Will he find a way to get home? Will he discover whatever caused all this and put a stop to it? Or will he give in... and spend the rest of his days inside a video game?


Join Felix as he ventures across monster-ridden plains, scorching deserts, lush living forests, through the unforgiving world of ArcaneHazards. To survive, Felix will need to defeat monsters, contend with rival players, acquire allies, and uncover the mysteries behind this deadly game.


My Opinion: ???150 pg, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


There currently isn’t a page count for the story, but it’s a short story. I’d estimate it at somewhere about 150 pages. According to the back material, this is the first entry in a LitRPG serial. It jumps right into the game world with little time spent on character creation. Instead, game mechanics are explained as the main character (MC) adventures. There is enough information for the reader to understand the game mechanics but there are no damage notifications or mana costs that the author had to keep track of.


The story is ok. It ends up being almost entirely slice of life. The MC logs in, joins a group, does some quests, kills some monsters and then when he gets back to town learns that he’s trapped in the game, the end. There honestly isn’t much to grab hold of you as as reader. There’s no tension in the story till the very very end. The MC in his group never really struggles and there is almost no character development. Part of that is just due to the fact that this is a short story and maybe that’s something that is planned for later entries in the series. However, this first novel is very much the tutorial section and many gamers skip that.


Overall, while this didn’t end up being particularly good, it’s also not bad and I think there might be potential in the serial story. I plan to at least try out the next entry when it comes out.


Score: 6 out of 10

Arcane Hazards: A LitRPG Adventure (Demonic Summoner Serial Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2RUWO8j



(Picture 5)

Steel Soul: Hub World Book 1

Can a disease infect a virtual world?


Jupiter finally got his hands on the newest immersive virtual reality system, and he’s logging into Yevelia along with his best friend, Cas. Yevelia has everything he wanted; magic, monsters, and a chance to level up. Everything he doesn’t have offline.


But there’s something odd about the first quest, and the NPC’s. And why did the developers include a plague that is slowly spreading across the game?


Something’s wrong with Yevelia, and the AI seems determined to use Jupiter to right the wrong.


A fast paced litRPG set in The Hub World.


My Opinion: 81 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


Full Disclosure: I received an advanced copy for review. I purchased a copy when it became available.


This is a short story in a planned serial and overall it is just shy of good for me.


The introduction to the main characters (MC) is well done and the banter between the protagonists is nice and snarky. The game world is described well enough that you can tell that the author is a gamer. There’s a decent amount of RPG details. The reader is shown character sheets, stats, HP, Mana, there is ability and skill advancement as the characters level. World game mechanics also felt pretty solid.


Combat, is a good bit of the questing in the story but is only ok. It felt a little lackluster.


The thing that lost me were the cyber thriller elements introduced in the end of the story. They made the game mechanics feel unimportant and honestly unapplied. It’s one of those things where I suspect, had damage numbers or mana or stamina costs been shown the story would have fallen apart a bit. This is mostly because the big villian just doesn’t follow the rules of the game so overcoming that requires a certain level of ignoring or conveniently not showing info.


Otherwise, a decent story. Interesting characters, good banter between them, decent combat descriptions, ok game mechanic descriptions. Do plan to read the 2nd story in the series when it comes out. If you like cyberthriller elements more than I do, you’ll probably like the story more.


Score: 6 out of 10

Steel Soul: Hub World Book 1  

https://amzn.to/2RnWsGU


(Picture 6)

Tournament Lord (Champions of MythRune Book 1)

Zane may be a loser, but he’s no nerd.


Zane Cunningham was a high school football star until an injury derailed his hopes to go pro. Now he wanders through his life with no goals and even fewer prospects,. Until, that is, the day his ex-best friend Danny offers him an opportunity that could turn Zane’s life around. All he has to do is play Danny’s smash hit MMORPG, Mythrune.


How hard can that be?


But there’s more going on in Mythrune than Zane could have anticipated, and he soon finds himself trapped inside the game. Some guys could take that in stride, but Zane has never been a gamer, and is completely out of his element.


Now, if he wants to get back to the real world, Zane will not only have to learn to play the game ... he’ll have to win it.


My Opinion: 285 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


The early parts of the story are actually pretty good. The main character (MC) is in game by the 5% mark and stays there the rest of the story. It starts off with the MC, a guy who is hard to like because he’s rude selfish, and seems to dislike gamers and often comments about them wasting their time playing games, being trapped in the game with the unique power to not ever die. The downside for him is that he feels every single injury as if it were real. His goal, win a tournament and be rewarded with a special wish, his of course is to either log out or talk to his friend the CEO of the game he’s in to get him out. He picks up a partner, a level 10 rogue and together they adventure, quest, and fight monsters. There’s genuinely good mean-friend banter between the two and it’s their relationship is the best part of the story.  The early part of the novel is a noobs tale, where the MC has to figure out or is told how the game works and his goal is revealed. He and his companion go on some pretty quirky quests and kind of just have interesting adventures.


The game mechanics are a mixed bag. Early in the story, there’s a good effort to describe how leveling works. Gain a level, choose to increase either HP, MP, or SP and get 2 ability points to spend on skills, abilities, or traits. There is mention that stats exists and are seen by the MC but it’s not something that is ever shown to the reader even though the other parts of the character sheet are. While damage is shown in the beginning of the story, it conveniently disappears as the story goes on never to be tracked again. You can kind of tell the author make choices about what would be a hassle to track in the story or what game mechanics might interrupt where the story went. The mechanics that are shown are fairly consistent, at least until the end of the story when the MC somehow obliterates opponents twice his level and you can tell the game mechanics are ignored to further the story in a certain direction.


Unfortunately, as the story goes on things get a bit repetitive and the lack of tension or risk really starts to show. The MC is immortal and uses that to win against every obstacle, or is just power leveled by his companion through most situations. Some of the quests mid-story are entertaining, but they don’t feel like they’re important and sometimes feel like filler. Even worse, the big resolutions to the story at the end are not accomplished by the MC but by sudden intervention by third party influences or magical items that have no foundation in the game stuff. Making all the preceding story seem a bit pointless.


Overall, though the beginning is entertaining it really lost me in the middle and I was just frustrated with that ending. I don’t actively dislike the story but after the halfway mark, it was not entertaining for me.


Score: 5 out of 10

Tournament Lord (Champions of MythRune Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2qPMClT


(Picture 7)

Bard to the Bone

What would you do if you were trapped in a game as a bard?


Would you take on a demon-worshiping cult? Would you charm beautiful women? Team up with said women to storm a castle and overthrow a tyrant?


Hell yes, you would.


James didn't expect a quick foray into an MMO game to last this long. He's fantasized about being a rock star but has never held a tune. Now he's stuck as a bard. Forever.


Lesser mortals would despair, but there's only one option: Becoming the most kickass bard ever.


Armed with just his wits and a lute, James must survive in a game world where everything wants to kill him. Teaming up with a pair of gorgeous, lethal women is first on the list. Next is conquering the world.


My Opinion: 304 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


The novel starts right off in the game world and stays there the whole story. The main character (MC), trying to distract himself from his personal problems logs into a highly anticipated VR game with his friends (who you never see again). He chooses the bard class, almost on a whim, but makes the most of his squishy character when he finds out he’s trapped in the game.


I think one of the early parts of the story that solidifies the game mechanics, is exactly how different the MC has to play because of his class. The author hits all the right notes about how challenging the class can be early on, with only one song, few spells, and fewer hit points. The MC has to approach his adventures differently than a fighter class and play more intelligently. The other game mechanics are fairly standard: stats, HP, MP, character sheets, item and monster descriptions. Progression happens when the MC levels and is given stat points to spend and is able to choose new songs and eventually spells. Additionally, that there are actually damage notifications helps solidify how non-combat oriented the MC is compared to the warriors in the story.


The story itself is fairly slice of life with the MC and his lady companions adventuring until about the halfway point when a little cyber thriller element is introduced. It’s more of a series story thread, but it serves as a turning point in the story where the MC gets more serious about facing his challenges and the antagonist in the story using his unique skill set as a bard.


One of the few places that the story fails for me is in describing music. I may have been ruined by other Bard LitRPG stories, but this one doesn’t quite capture that love of music. The MC plays pop songs that he remembers but never had IRL music skills or seemed to love music that much. He just plays them cause they’re moment appropriate. Nothing that ruins the story in anyway, just a small thing that I’d expected to come across better.


Overall, this is a good story. There is good action, some unique and sometimes funny quests, nice character development with between the MC and his romantic interests. There is one sex scene at the 82% mark. It’s not graphic and is only really a paragraph long, and is really skippable. Before that there is plenty of flirting between the MC and the romantic interests, and even some passionate kissing, but no sex, much to the frustration of the MC.


Score: 7.4 out of 10

Bard to the Bone

https://amzn.to/2Fiaj07



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

Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  


Other LitRPG facebook pages

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPGGroup/

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

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPGsociety/


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 142

 

LitRPG Podcast 142

Nov. 16th, 2018

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 142 of the LitRPG podcast.

I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews.  I have 4 new LitRPG reviews just for you.

Before we begin I want to give a shoutout to a Richard Van Scherpenzeel for making a donation to the podcast via Paypal. Thank you Richard for helping to keep the podcast going and keeping it ad free.

https://litrpgpodcast.com/support  



New Releases and Reviews:

Transformation LitRPG (09:00)

Russian translation. Slice of life RPG apocalypse with a lucky MC.

Score: 7.1 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2OBqncR

HereAfter: Dragons Rising (14:23)

Not a bad story, but RPG stuff doesn’t really matter

Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2SWaVvr

Save Point: Upload (Book 1 - Sci-Fi litRPG Series) (20:47)

Weird but entertaining

Score: 7.3 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2Fk6yHC

Dungeon Lord: Abominable Creatures (The Wraith's Haunt - A litRPG series Book 3) (23:55)

Interesting to see the IRL storyline come back.

Score: 7.5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2DoqiHq


(Play Music 2)


LitRPG News

The good folks at Soundbooth Theatre have created The Official 'Dragon Seed' Soundtrack. jRPG inspired music 🐉🧙‍♂️🎶 composed using the EastWest studios sample libraries, have been sprinkled in throughout the audiobook for the Dragon Seed, which should be out any day for you to enjoy.

https://youtu.be/jQ1t2hkvF2s

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1822629184684006/


Out Now!

Bard to the Bone

https://amzn.to/2Fiaj07

The Third Realm (Ten Realms Book 3)

http://books2read.com/u/mqZJDd

Steel Soul: Hub World Book 1  

https://amzn.to/2RnWsGU

For A Few Minutes More: A Book of Cerulea (Sam's Song 2)

https://amzn.to/2JXiqhG



New LitRPG Audiobooks

The Arena's Call - Adventures on Brad, Book 4

https://amzn.to/2K6CtKy

Re-Start - Level UP Series, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2Td000B

Lewd Kingdoms: Shadow's Edge: A High Fantasy Digital Adventure

https://amzn.to/2DEpkbh



Upcoming LitRPG:

Guardians Of The Round Table 3: Singed Feathers (Nov. 18th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2xzTDdL


A Song of Shadow (The Bard from Barliona Book #2) LitRPG series (Nov. 19th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2Ph0Dn1


Island Kingdoms' War: Evolution Online III (A LitRPG) (Nov. 20th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2xpCV1o


Fate of Camlan: A LitRPG Adventure (Camlan Realm Book 4)

(Nov. 22nd, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2D566LD


Limitless Lands Book 2: Conquest (A LitRPG Adventure) (Nov. 23rd, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2RHpeCo


Guild: A LitRPG Novella (Monsters, Maces and Magic Book 3) (Nov. 26th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2DGs0oS


Civil War: A litRPG Adventure (The Rogue Dungeon Book 2) (Nov. 27th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2RNKyq2


Eden's Gate: The Omen: A LitRPG Adventure (Nov. 30th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2CSgBl5



Cultivating Chaos (VeilVerse: Cultivating Chaos Book 1) (Dec. 1st, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2qOrL2A



Hero (Level Up Book #2) LitRPG Series (Dec. 10th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2xdfMhs


Redemption (The Rise Of Resurgence #3) (Dec. 15th, 2018)


Freehaven Online:  Winter Dungeonland (Book 3) (Dec. 16th, 2108)

https://amzn.to/2Ime5nh


Dungeon Mauling - A LitRPG GameLit Novel (The Good Guys Book 3) (Dec. 19th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2EIDYPP


Finding a Body (The Dark Herbalist Book #4) LitRPG series (Dec. 27th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2qPcNZU


Level Up: The Knockout (Book #1) LitRPG Series (Jan. 9th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2CSZ6RV

*A side story set in the same Level Up universe, different MC*



Onto New Releases and Reviews


(Play Music 3)


New Releases and Reviews


(Picture 1)


Transformation LitRPG

The familiar world collapsed overnight. As the Game Transformation progressed, disasters occurred throughout the Earth. Materials changed their properties, new species of flora and fauna appeared, and there was no more electricity. The Game was massive, spread across multiple worlds, and when a new planet was added, it was converted into a huge dungeon, completely replacing the previous civilization.

However, the alien plans for Earth began to go awry from the very beginning. The conversion was less successful than expected and then an ordinary young man stole the bonus for the first gaming action in the new dungeon, depriving the invaders of their perk.

How can he manage the situation? Which of the aliens will become his ally? Which ones are his enemy? Dare they rebel against the all-powerful invaders, regain their land and even create a new world?


My Opinion: 306 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


Note: The story is translated from Russian and it shows sometimes. There are small semi-regular technical writing issues and some phrases that just don’t translate at all. The author says he plans to update the novel soon with a better translation.


This is a slice of life RPG apocalypse story. The main character (MC), Yaroslav, is caught up in it all when the whole world is transformed by space elves. He lucks out and gets some early bonuses for first kills and rides that streak of luck as far as it will take him. The story really just follows the MC as he lucks into or follows his intuition through adventures, finds allies, and kills his way to power.


The game mechanics are shown throughout the story but are mostly notification based as the MC gets bonus after bonus for his lucky achievements. Much of the power progress comes from this luck and not necessarily hard work on the MCs part, especially early on in the novel. It’s explained in the story why he’s so lucky, but that doesn’t mean the MC doesn’t use what he has effectively.


Overall, there’s good action, some interesting stories, and even a bit of intrigue between the various alien/fantasy factions. But, some people may be turned off by the lack of hard work on the part of the MC for his power or the wandering slice of life nature of the story. Me? I don’t mind either and had a pretty decent time seeing where the Russian story went.


Score: 7.1 out of 10

Transformation LitRPG

https://amzn.to/2OBqncR


HereAfter: Dragons Rising

Nash Evers has never played a video game in his life…he didn’t intend to start after death.


These days, most people have their minds uploaded to HereAfter when they die and keep living into eternity. For Nash this means infinite opportunities to grow his wealth and power. A perfect death.

That is, until he gets drawn into a game he can't escape, with rules he doesn't understand, and stakes he never imagined.

Dragons Rising is the name of the game and the humble HereAfter citizens fill the role of NPCs in wealthy gamers' VRMMO experience.

The experience points are real, the magic is real, and death—for NPCs like Nash— is real.

Nash teams up with his hacker son to try to survive and bring down the corrupt organization that started all of this. But it's going to take more than a few potions and some grinding to teach this old dog new tricks. Nash has destroyed men and corporations, even conquered entire nations—but he's never faced anything like Dragons Rising.


My Opinion: 269 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


There are some nice character development moments in the story. The relationships and behaviors of the characters feels realistic and interesting. The well developed characters are the best part of the story.


The game stuff, while shown throughout the story, doesn’t make math sense and the  RPG rules that are established aren’t followed. The main character (MC) dumps all his stats into a non-combat stat, charm, and leaves all other stats at low levels. Yet he’s repeatedly the bad ass fighter for most of the story able to beat monsters many levels higher than him, sometimes double his level. It was fairly obvious even from the first time the MC gains a level and his health jumps from something like 15 to 60 despite him only having a couple points in the stats that relate to health. It became super evident the stats and levels in the story didn’t matter when the reader stopped seeing stat points applied at all. There’s even a point in the story where the MC reveals he’s been hoarding stat point and not using them so that he can see where he really needs to put them, which is fine. But that means the MC, whose combat stats are penalized as a merchant class, has been fighting monsters 5-15 levels higher than him with the same stats he’s had since he was level 4 and winning. There’s about 5% of the story where the author uses an interesting leveling mechanic related to the MC’s class, merchant, but even that loses specificity and is used as a way to justify the MC leveling without ever giving details. Eventually, the RPG stuff just disappears in regards to both the main character (MC) and the villain in the story. Instead they’re described in more fantasy like terms throwing around never before established powers and abilities.


Ultimately, the resolution in the story occurs not by any earned levels or power, but from suddenly introduced artifacts of power that solve everyone’s problems magically/hackingly.


Overall, the story is well written on a technical level, and the good character development and interesting interactions between them is almost enough to carry the story. There are nice themes of love, loss, redemption, the emptiness of wealth, and the sacrifices we’re willing to make when we love. However, I read the story because the author told me it was LitRPG and I lost enjoyment because the RPG game stuff ultimately doesn’t matter in the story. The VR game world definitely matters, but none of the RPG rules do since their ignored or conveniently missing when the story needs to progress in a certain direction. However, if that stuff matters to you less, you might end up liking this more than me.


Score: 6 out of 10

HereAfter: Dragons Rising

https://amzn.to/2SWaVvr


Save Point: Upload (Book 1 - Sci-Fi litRPG Series)

Adam Harris’s name has just appeared on a top secret list of extraterrestrial origin. Unbeknownst to him, he’s one of a handful of individuals capable of implementing a Save Point, a static moment in time he’s able to revisit over and over upon death.


It’s a good thing, too. Brain cancer was turning into a real drag…


The government owns the list though, and they’ve wasted no time snapping him up. According to them, he has thirteen days in an alien realm to learn as much as he can before the inevitable, at which point his memories, Skill Progressions and Weapon Proficiencies will endure despite his body resetting.


Then it’s rinse and repeat.


But there are unwritten rules to the game he’s about to play, and unseen forces acting in judgment. Adam will have to learn the hard way that dying is the easiest thing he’s going to do today.


My Opinion: 450 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


This is a weird story. It’s a good story that was interesting enough to read it all 450 pages in one sitting. But it’s definitely weird. It’s kind of like the hunger games, except with some super weird aliens, RPG mechanics, and respawns. Like I said weird, but interesting.


On the game mechanic side, things are fairly light. You see the main character’s (MC) sheet fairly early in the story and get notifications about the new skills and abilities he learns and grows. But the mechanic that really play a bit part in the story is the respawn system. That’s the one that is the core of the story and is well used to dictate the pacing.


Overall, I can’t really say much about the storyline without ruining the sheer oddness of it.  It definitely feels slice of life sometimes but then just takes some turns that left me scratching my head. Still, I liked it. But then again, I like weird stories.


Score: 7.3 out of 10

Save Point: Upload (Book 1 - Sci-Fi litRPG Series)

https://amzn.to/2Fk6yHC


Dungeon Lord: Abominable Creatures (The Wraith's Haunt - A litRPG series Book 3)

The Light strives to purify the kingdom of Starevos from evil... and only Dungeon Lord Edward Wright stands in their way.


The Heroes of the Militant Church, led by Inquisitor Gallio, scour the forest in search of the Haunt, while Ed desperately attempts to uncover the secret behind the Heroes' origin.


Can Ed and his friends defeat the Inquisition and secure their own place in the world, or are they destined to become the monsters of their own tale?


All over Ivalis, the portents announce blood and fire as the ancient traditions return and abominable creatures long thought forgotten stir in their tombs. Both the Dark and the Light loom hungrily over the Haunt, and only one thing

is certain...


If pushed, Dungeon Lord Edward Wright will fight against them all.


My Opinion: 618 pages, $5.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


Though there are a few translation snags again, the story was entertaining and expands on the good stuff from books 1 and 2. Personally, I liked the little moments where the lore of the world was told. It makes the story world feel fuller and gives context to some social behaviors. The fights when you get there, are good. It was also nice to see a change of scenery and that the real world comes back into the story. There is good RPG progress with the main character’s (MC) dungeon lord powers and while I’m not a fan of the latest minion add, her inclusion stirs things up amongst the group.


Score: 7.5 out of 10

Dungeon Lord: Abominable Creatures (The Wraith's Haunt - A litRPG series Book 3)

https://amzn.to/2DoqiHq



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

Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  


Other LitRPG facebook pages

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPGGroup/

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

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPGsociety/


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 141

 


LitRPG Podcast 141


Nov. 10th, 2018


Hello everyone, welcome to episode 141 of the LitRPG podcast.

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



New Releases and Reviews:


World Tree Online: The Duchess of Hammers: 2nd Dive Begins (09:37)

It captures all the adventure from book 1 and kicks it up a notch with better pacing.

Score: 7.6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2ABx3UI


Neverfall: Mark of the Hero (Book 1): (A Gamelit Lit RPG Series) (12:46)

There are hints at a good novel here but as LitRPG it was supremely disappointing and frustrating.

Score: 4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2NBUgxs


Vortena: Everybody Loves Large Chests (Vol.3) (22:38)

It lost me when the MC rapes his companion

Score: 4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2SaWhzW


Sorcerer's Quest: A LitRPG Adventure (29:03)

Good aspects, but lost me at the end when it becomes more fantasy than LitRPG.

Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2D3Xiph   


Death Awoken: A GameLit Series (Death God System - Book #1) (37:07)

Has flaws but entertaining slice of life cultivation LitRPG.

Score: 7.2 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2DfbStX


Cursemancer: BlackFlame Online Book 1 (LitRpg Adventure) (44:14)

I fell asleep reading this, twice.

Score: 5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2OhbrR3


Super Sales on Super Heroes 3 (50:43)

No review, just a note about it.

https://amzn.to/2DdiOry


(Play Music 2)


LitRPG News


Dave Wilmarth had a video promotion for The Dark Elf Chronicles book 2 made. Give it a watch.

https://youtu.be/yUqi7gVqqUo


Dungeon Desolation (The Divine Dungeon Book 4) came out recently and did amazingly well. On launch day it hit the #15 spot on all of amazon and make #1 in like seven genre categories. The novel even temporarily displaced big names like Brandon Sanderson or JK Rowling in some categories. So congrats to Dakota Krout for writing such a good book and having such a great launch.

https://amzn.to/2qFD4K7


Lastly, I went to a writers conference in Las Vegas this week, which is why the podcast is out a little later than normal. I learned a few things there about marketing and analytics. But I met up with some wonderful LitRPG authors while I was there including: Matt Dinniman, Thom Hansen, Chris Carney, Dakota Krout, Rory Stathos, Daniel Schinhofen, Kevin McLaughlin, James Baldwin, and more. It turned into a kind of impromptu LitRPG meetup and I just wanted to thank everyone I met for being so cool. We have amazing people in our genre.



Out Now!


HereAfter: Dragons Rising

https://amzn.to/2SWaVvr



Fragments (Somnia Online Book 3)

https://amzn.to/2FgfSwg


6d6 (Caverns and Creatures)

https://amzn.to/2Fh5mF0


The Goat King's Wives Online

https://amzn.to/2T2pWvO


New LitRPG Audiobooks


The Lost City: An Epic LitRPG Adventure: The Realms Series, Book Two

https://amzn.to/2Dv8N9i


The Long Road to Karn (Realm of Arkon, Book 5)

https://amzn.to/2qDORsB


The Merchant of Tiqpa - The Bathrobe Knight, Book 4

https://amzn.to/2AYIrKt


How to Train Your Kaiju - Kaiju Wars Offline, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2FoCf2O


The Planet: A Futuristic Dungeon Core

https://amzn.to/2FoQR1M




Upcoming LitRPG:



The Third Realm (Ten Realms Book 3) (Nov. 13th, 2018)


Apotheosis Boom (The Feedback Loop Book 8) (Nov. 14th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2JTMH0F  


For A Few Minutes More: A Book of Cerulea (Sam's Song 2)

(Nov. 15th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2JXiqhG



Steel Soul: Yevelia Book 1  (Nov. 16th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2RnWsGU


Guardians Of The Round Table 3: Singed Feathers (Nov. 18th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2xzTDdL


A Song of Shadow (The Bard from Barliona Book #2) LitRPG series (Nov. 19th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2Ph0Dn1


Island Kingdoms' War: Evolution Online III (A LitRPG) (Nov. 20th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2xpCV1o


Fate of Camlan: A LitRPG Adventure (Camlan Realm Book 4)

(Nov. 22nd, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2D566LD


Limitless Lands Book 2: Conquest (A LitRPG Adventure) (Nov. 23rd, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2RHpeCo



Civil War: A litRPG Adventure (The Rogue Dungeon Book 2) (Nov. 27th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2RNKyq2


Eden's Gate: The Omen: A LitRPG Adventure (Nov. 30th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2CSgBl5


Hero (Level Up Book #2) LitRPG Series (Dec. 10th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2xdfMhs


Redemption (The Rise Of Resurgence #3) (Dec. 15th, 2018)


Freehaven Online:  Winter Dungeonland (Book 3) (Dec. 16th, 2108)

https://amzn.to/2Ime5nh


Dungeon Mauling - A LitRPG GameLit Novel (The Good Guys Book 3) (Dec. 19th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2EIDYPP


Level Up: The Knockout (Book #1) LitRPG Series (Jan. 9th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2CSZ6RV

*A side story set in the same Level Up universe, different MC*



Onto New Releases and Reviews


(Play Music 3)


New Releases and Reviews


(Picture 1)

World Tree Online: The Duchess of Hammers: 2nd Dive Begins

Bye-bye is back! Just a week since the 1st Dive came to an end, Bye-bye and his friends find themselves in Root City, a city built-up around the World Tree itself. This sprawling metropolis is filled with potential and danger in equal measure.


Barely logged in and just starting to put plans in place for the month-long dive into the World Tree Online, they are quickly entangled in a quest with far-reaching consequences should they fail. Charged with ensuring Duchess of Hammerton survives the next week to make it home. Standing in their way, a love cult bound and determined to kidnap her. If that wasn’t enough, there are those who plot in the dark places hidden just under the surface of Root City.


Can Bye-bye and his friends survive the aptly nicknamed Duchess of Hammers and the trouble that follows her?


My Opinion: 483 pages, $3.49, Available on Kindle Unlimited


A fine sequel. It captures all the adventure from book 1 and kicks it up a notch with better pacing. The storytelling in book 2 is much tighter and though the plot arc sometimes gets a little twisty as you follow the characters on their many side quests, the path always leads you back to the main storyline. There’s good level and skill training, good group banter, and of course good LitRPG action-adventure.


Score: 7.6 out of 10

World Tree Online: The Duchess of Hammers: 2nd Dive Begins

https://amzn.to/2ABx3UI


(Picture 2)

Neverfall: Mark of the Hero (Book 1): (A Gamelit Lit RPG Series)

Four friends go on a quest to save players trapped in Neverfall Online, a virtual reality MMORPG, in this multi-book adventure saga.


Luke Stephens’ three best friends are leaving their hometown for college, but he must stay home to care for his mother, who is dying of cancer.


He has accepted his fate, but just as in the video games they love, Luke and his friends are given a real-life quest that changes their lives forever. Dr. Armitage, a secretive man linked with an immersive fantasy roleplaying technology, has tracked Luke down to give him a dangerous mission: to rescue the several-hundred beta testers who cannot log out of the cyber world, and believe that their in-game lives are real.


Luke’s companions won’t let him go alone. All four students are assured that they will be transported into the game at the highest level so they can easily defeat the Dark Lord and reset the world of Neverfall.


But when they enter the game, Luke and his friends all begin at Level 1: defenseless, poor, and powerless. The party must level up as though their lives depend on it, for it’s not just a game.


Luke, Cassie, Mack, and Christopher must stay alive because though the world is virtual, the deaths are very real…


My Opinion: 369 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


There are hints at a good novel here but as LitRPG it was supremely disappointing and frustrating. The best parts of the story are the character developments moments. Especially the relationship between the main character (MC) and his mom at the beginning. Unfortunately, most of the other characters in the story come off as flat and two-dimensional.


Most of the novel however is just frustrating, mostly because you can almost see that it could have been good. The premise of the story is one that I’ve read at least a dozen times this year, and like most of those times, it’s not done well. People are trapped in a full immersion game and if they die in the game they die in real life. The only person able to save them is the MC. Why? Cause it’s suddenly discovered his dad is the CEO of the company and coded his only recently discovered son’s DNA into the game to give him access. Oh, the MCs dad is also trapped in the game and thinks he’s his character, a bad guy fantasy version of Darth Vader. Oh, also the only way to save everyone is to defeat his father, which for no explained reason ever, is supposed to reset the game. Yeah, that old premise. Also, the fact that the MC is named Luke and the dad thinks he’s a fantasy version of Darth Vader make their interaction pretty predictable. The added twist with Darth Vader dad aside, the premise doesn’t work and only serves to setup the fact that no one in the main cast is ever going to die because if they did, they’d die in real life.


The game mechanics in the story are shown throughout with character sheets, stats, HP, mana, and even damage notifications. However, they don’t really matter to the story. Time and again, the rules established are broken to stop someone from dying, or just cause it makes a fight more exciting. The MC is given gear that power levels him for fights he should never win, or in one particularly bad example, the MC just seems to fire off an stream of fireball spells when the reader was just shown he should only be able to fire off 3 at most according to spell cost and mana supply. Other squishy characters should die in several places but are saved because of conveniently missing damage notifications and a magically infinite healing mana supply from the healer.


Ultimately, as the story goes on, the part that made me actively dislike the story is that all the game stuff that was written just doesn’t matter and is basically filler. The MC discovers ‘Matrix’ like powers that let him create spells, portals, and other effects that have no basis in the game mechanics and that’s how he solves all the conflicts by the end. Also, the only real progress on the main arc of the story, confronting Darth Vader Dad, is accomplished with these sci-fi powers and have nothing to do with the RPG game. You could literally skip from the 35% mark (which is when the game stuff starts) to that point and the story would be the same. The adventuring game stuff before and after that point just seem to be there to fill space.


Overall, while I liked the character development of several characters the rest of the story was actively frustrating since the game stuff didn’t matter.


Score: 4 out of 10

Neverfall: Mark of the Hero (Book 1): (A Gamelit Lit RPG Series)

https://amzn.to/2NBUgxs


(Picture 3)

Vortena: Everybody Loves Large Chests (Vol.3)

What happens when one takes a murderous psychopath and forces them to team up with a cowardly tinkerer? Though not a question that Jeremiah ever expected to ponder, he is nevertheless looking forward to seeing what the aforementioned duo will cook up. Success or failure does not matter to Richard, only that the journey be entertaining.


Things are far less jovial for the one under Tom's 'care,' however. Stuck in the monster-infested wilderness, lacking the usual backup, hunted by the Empire's top brass and tasked with an incredibly vague and obtuse Quest, Boxxy will face a world of uncertainty and adversity. However, this is nothing new. Pain, suffering and loss are things that have been commonplace since day one, and Boxxy is not only entirely undaunted, but also eager to share those valuable lessons with its new 'companion.' With things both shiny and tasty on the line, the crafty killer has every intention of showing that lich who's boss.


Assuming Boxxy manages to find it, of course.


CONTENT WARNING: Profanity, gore, violence, explicit adult content


My Opinion: 444 pages, $3.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited


Note: Lots of violence, but also graphic sex and rape.


I’m afraid I’m going to have to drop this series. I really enjoyed the beginning of this novel when it was just Boxxy and the gnome tinker-paladin, Fizzy. But once Boxxy got his warlock class back and summoned his demons the sex started back up, I just lost interest. Add into that the rape that is added to the story and it really lost me. The slice of life adventuring and is still going to be enjoyable for most people, but the novel lost me with the graphic sex and rape by the MC.


The author in the back of the novel says that he had Fizzy get raped by the MC so that she could become a better character. “I grew a bit attached and wanted to keep her around, but to do that she had to undergo some...unpleasantness.” “I did my best to make her transition from wimpy tinkerer to heavy metal badass as believable as possible.” This true for the story. The rape is an inciting incident for that character’s development. But there were a lot of ways that could have been done and for me it was such a turn off that I’m dropping the entire series.


Score: 4 out of 10

Vortena: Everybody Loves Large Chests (Vol.3)

https://amzn.to/2SaWhzW


(Picture 4)

Sorcerer's Quest: A LitRPG Adventure

With the real world in ruins, Arantor is the place of refuge: A virtual game world set in fantasy that anyone can play, but not everyone is equal. Jane has played for years but by no fault of her own is hamstrung compared to other players. All she wanted was to not be a burden on her friends. One day a glitch changes everything, but her new found power comes with a price, and soon Jane finds that there are plenty of guilds and players that will try to use her for their own gain.


Follow Jane as she navigates - and tries to avoid - the world of guild politics, and as she quests to the far ends of Arantor, to places where the rules of the game can change.


My Opinion: 265 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


This story has a rough start but I ended up enjoying the first part more than I thought I would. Unfortunately, it lost me near the end when it becomes more fantasy than LitRPG.


This is a LitRPG story with a strong female lead. The main character (MC) and most of the world plays a FIVR game because the world in ruins. She has played for years and never been able to do well though because of an issue with her low alignment, a game mechanic that is frustratingly ill defined but serves the purpose of creating a flaw beyond her control. When an update seems to reset her character with a good looking avatar and a new rare class, she becomes in demand. Most of the first part of the story is about her dealing with this change in dynamics. It has a definite “She’s all that” kind of vibe where the MC was ugly and underpowered and a sudden reversal in that changes her life. She has to deal with the emotional developments that brings her as well as the new attention from competitive guilds including a Mean Girl type guild.


The game mechanics in the story are mostly solid. The MMO world that the story takes place in is detailed and the MCs character is well balanced with detriments that balance out her classes potential power. There is also lots of details about player behaviors, guild tricks, and gamer culture that shows the author has real experience with MMOs and guild politics. The few issues I noticed are that the XP calculations are off for companion leveling, and the alignment mechanic is so frustratingly vague and contradictory I almost put the novel down at one point.


I will note that while the story does a good job detailing RPG stuff, that’s not the focus of development. The story is mostly about the MCs emotional, personal growth, and some minor romance threads. There are lots of fights and XP grinds but the action is never well described, the majority of the fights are summarized, and there are several big level jumps without any details.


Additionally, the story takes a hard turn into a fantasy chosen one plot after the 60% mark. It’s all very much in line with the story and is foreshadowed, but it loses me because all the powers, including ones used to advance to plot, are suddenly wand wavy fantasy and have more to do with feeling the magic and imagination than anything game related. Additionally multiple story threads, prominent characters, and romantic interests from the first half the novel are just abandoned after the 50% mark.


Overall, this was almost a good story. Though RPG stuff isn’t as important as I’d like it to be, the character development and plot lines with the guilds almost made up for it. However, a definite lack of any well described action and the fantasy turn at the end stopped me from enjoying as much as I could have. However, if you don’t care as much about those issues or you just want a story focused primarily on character development, you might enjoy this more than I did.


Score: 6 out of 10

Sorcerer's Quest: A LitRPG Adventure

https://amzn.to/2D3Xiph


(Picture 5)

Death Awoken: A GameLit Series (Death God System - Book #1)

On a small planet, an unknown presence was stirring.


With no physical body, all of its previous memories messed up and without a clear name, our MC starts his journey. Fused on its soul a strange System that will help him be stronger on this strange unknown new world.


To claim back all that has been stripped away, he must first generate a body. For this, the system reveals that it needs to collect sufficient XP points by absorbing forces, death auras, regaining fundamental skills like talking and weapon wielding to go on dangerous missions. One kill equals one death point.


Name: Unknown XP: 0 Death points: 0


The more quests he goes on, and the strong beasts and humans slew – the more the Death Core whispers in his ear and torments his soul.


The child, still without a name, falls into the company of Demon Ye (Ye Qing). He was a raging executioner, who tragically lost control when the family he loved were killed. Ye Qing names him Ye Bai, much the Death God’s annoyance, but no matter the trial or task at hand, the child’s thoughts don’t stray far from the next kill. Once down Hell’s Path, it drives his soul to the brink of insanity, and he’s not sure he can restrain himself from earning another XP point.


“I know one thing, Death brings me peace.”


This tale is a GameLit adventure that will have you rolling over the pages to see what consequences lie ahead! It is not for the fainthearted, it requires a steady hand, a strategic mind – and a strong stomach.


My Opinion: 388 pages, $2.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited


Note: There are noticeable technical writing issues that are mostly seen in the beginning and end of the novel. Issues: tense mixing, missing or misspelled words being the most common. It’s not a huge issue but it will bug some people.


This is an OP reincarnation slice of life story with a cultivation power progression system. You still see lots of notifications though. The story starts off a bit differently than most reincarnation with the main character (MC) being an amorphous ball of energy for the first 12% and figuring out the RPG progression system and you can tell that the author was trying to figure out the kind of story he wanted to tell. But once it hits the 12% mark the MC gets a human body and it becomes a more familiar cultivation story with a wider look at the world and some human characters to interact with. The MC has some OP skills and most of the story from there on is about him traveling, adventuring, training, and doing slice of life stuff. No real plot or save the world stuff here.


On the game mechanics side, though it’s cultivation based there are lots of familiar notifications that give it a regular game vibe. There’s an XP system the MC can use to advance his various death themed powers and to cultivate Qi and Body aspects. There’s a whole well described cultivation ranking system and it’s a well thought out progression system. It’s neat.


Overall, I enjoyed the story. The story isn’t perfect. It loses some enjoyment because of the technical writing issues, that it gets a bit repetitive in the middle a bit, and that  ends on a rather odd note. But if you’re in the mood for a slice of life cultivation story with an OP main character, this is something I think you’ll enjoy.


Score: 7.2 out of 10

Death Awoken: A GameLit Series (Death God System - Book #1)

https://amzn.to/2DfbStX


(Picture 6)

Cursemancer: BlackFlame Online Book 1 (LitRpg Adventure)

What would you do if you woke from a magical coma and found out you’d lost forty years of your memories?


Noah woke from a magical coma, losing 40 years of his memories. Even his body is not up to coping with this, so his only choice is to live in a VR-MMORPG game that would heal his brain and mind and help him recover his memories.


He accepts reality and decides to enter the game, but instead of a lush, beautiful human town, Noah is thrown into a cursed demon town.


Now every demon wants to kill him. There is no going back or hope of re-spawn in a human town. His starting location is fixed, and he has to somehow make his way through the nasty demon towns that sprawl between the cursed demon town and the nearest human city.


Join Noah in his epic adventure in BlackFlame Online.


My Opinion: 203 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


Note: Technical writing issues. Nothing too bad but stilted, awkward phrasing, missing words, spelling errors. Stuff that may throw you off because it does appear semi-regularly.


This is a slice of life, trapped in the game story. Huge emphasis on the slice of life element. It starts out with an odd premise and then kind of devolves into a slice of life story without any real purpose or direction.


The main character wakes, chained up and imprisoned. He’s told he’s been in a coma for 40 years after he went crazy in this magical world and started flinging magic killing his fellow researchers. He’s then thrown in a fantasy VR game and told to play it until his memories come back. Only something goes wrong and he ends up on the demon side of the world. He has to take a new class of cursemancer and side with the demons or he’ll feel the pain of death for eternity. The rest of the story is him adventuring, talking to demon residents, and XP grinding.


On the game mechanic side, things aren’t bad. There are lots of regular notifications that show the MCs RPG progress. His cursemancer class has some interesting features like turning opponent’s attacks into curses to be used later.


However, the really big issue with the story is that it’s frankly boring. The writing style is really dry and it put me to sleep, twice. The premise, while unique, doesn’t make sense. In a world of magic and technology why would dropping someone in a VR game restore their memory? Also, why would you make a game with fantasy magic when the real world has real magic? There’s not really a plot since it’s a slice of life story. Which is not necessarily bad, but if there’s no plot to keep readers interested then there is usually great world building, action, or character development to give the reader a reason to stick with the story.         None of that happens here. All the characters are rather flat and lack personality and I was never given a reason to care about any of them. Both the game and real world feel empty. Action is ok but not good enough to carry the story on its own.


Overall, though there are a couple of good aspects to the story, I was mostly just bored reading it.


Score: 5 out of 10

Cursemancer: BlackFlame Online Book 1 (LitRpg Adventure)

https://amzn.to/2OhbrR3


(Picture 7)

Super Sales on Super Heroes 3


My Opinion:


I could not finish this story, I was just so confused all the time about who everyone was, why there was such huge time jumps. Several other reviews mentioned that you’ll only really understand what is going on in you’ve read the all the author’s other novels, including the ones that he writes under a different pen name.


This is apparently a huge cross-over that requires that you've read about 6-7 other novels to understand what's happening and who everyone is. I hadn’t so I was just lost. Especially since it didn’t really feel like a Super Sales on Super Heroes novel either.


No real review since I didn’t finish the novel but just a heads up.


Super Sales on Super Heroes 3

https://amzn.to/2DdiOry






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(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 140