LitRPG Podcast 109

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 109

April 20th, 2018

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 109 of the LitRPG podcast. If you missed episode 108, it’s a wonderful interview with Apollos Thorne that you can find at: GeekBytes Podcast YouTube https://youtu.be/GeOUzkxb7b0  

 

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

 

Alejandro Amante Romero became a pateron subscriber. Thank you for being a supporter of the podcast.

 

New Releases and Reviews:

Absalom’s Fate: A LitRPG Quest (The Everlands: Book 1) (11:33)

http://amzn.to/2FqEXjG

Dante's Immortality: Beginnings (20:09)

https://amzn.to/2HJxZbl

Digitized Online Book 1 (LitRPG/Gamelit Epic Fantasy Novel Series) (29:07)

https://amzn.to/2GOmjD1

Login Accepted: Incipere Online Book One (34:11)

https://amzn.to/2J3t1pm

Visaria Online: Exile: A litRPG Fantasy Adventure  (40:06)

https://amzn.to/2qH7j2O

Back In The Game: A Fantasy LitRPG GameLit Novel  ((Bloodfeast Book 2) (45:51)

https://amzn.to/2JIbQL4

The Hobgoblin Riot: Dominion of Blades Book 2: A LitRPG Adventure  (52:29)

http://amzn.to/2GiGpIz


 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News

 

 

This past week, Soundbooth Theater Live! Talked to Dave Wilmarth about his latest novel, 'Land of the Undying - Dark Elf Chronicles Book One.’ It’s a combination mini discussion about the book and some live testing of some of the voices for the audiobook narration. It’s a very interesting episode and there’s even a bit where Laurie-Catherine Winkel does an orc impersonation that has everyone laughing.

https://youtu.be/1C8YZjvRgCs

 

 

 

Recently Vasily Mahanenko, author of the Way of the Shaman series, has recently shared some great art made. One features Mahan mining in the prison in book 1 and the other is a cool sketch of the rats and some other tools.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/v.mahanenko/

 

 

 

 

Aleron Kong has also shown off some cool art done for his Chaos Seeds series.

https://www.facebook.com/LitRPGbooks/photos/a.214764818862862.1073741829.212656989073645/635936680079005/?type=3&theater

 

 

Daniel Schinhofen released some early cover art for Book 5 of Alpha World: Fractured Spirit.

https://www.facebook.com/BooksbyDanielSchinhofen/photos/a.221204801736931.1073741828.221190355071709/338925846631492/?type=3&theater

 

Out Now!  

 

 

Cloud Dungeon: Fairy Wonderland

https://amzn.to/2qLFp5V


 

 

The Mists of Erantia (Realm of Arkon Book 7)

https://amzn.to/2JjAotP

302 pages

 

 

The Iron Veil: A LitRPG OmniWorld Adventure

https://amzn.to/2JJ3OSu

 

 

Fragged 13 (Fragged (A LitRPG Short Story Series))

https://amzn.to/2EYEfcB

 

 

The Way of the Clan 8 (World of Valdira)

https://amzn.to/2JVeFsF

 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

Liar King: Tower of Babel, Book 2

https://amzn.to/2vqUDD5

Our review of the ebook: http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/11/2/liar-king-tower-of-babel-book-2

 

 

Inside Out (Bloodfeast)

https://amzn.to/2J9yU4H

Our review of the ebook: http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2018/2/1/inside-out-bloodfeast-book-1

 

 

5d6 (Caverns and Creatures short story collection)

https://amzn.to/2H9tCJz

 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

Countdown (Reality Benders Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 23, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2oRc7m6

 

 

Word and Steel (epic LitRPG Adventure - Book 9) (Fayroll) (April 24th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2uF7v80

 

 

Apocalypse 2020 - Look to the Skies (April 24th, 2018)

-Sequel to the Apocalypse 2020 the Mad Max /Fallout inspired LitRPG story.

 

 

Visaria Online: Void: A litRPG Fantasy Adventure Book 2 (April 26th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2HcNtDL

 

 

You're in Game! Book #2 (Моre LitRPG stories set in your favorite worlds) (April 30th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GOXxn3

 

 

Prison Quest: A Sci-Fi LitRPG Adventure (April 30th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2HxMBgj

 

 

Questmaster: A LitRPG Novella (May 8th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2HhUGpe

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2HE26Rp

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2HFfS60

 

 

Monster Hunter (May 10th, 2018)

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GCQDQq

 

 

God Mode (AlterGame Book #3) LitRPG Series (May 24th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GPikpy

 

 

Kingdom Level Five: LitRPG (May 27th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2oAvq39

 

 

Trial by Fire: A LitRPG Dragonrider Adventure (Archemi Online Chronicles Book 2) (May 28th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2FdgKAE

 

 

The Dead Rogue (An NPC's Path Book #1) LitRPG Series (May 30th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GxZKTZ


 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

 

Absalom’s Fate: A LitRPG Quest (The Everlands: Book 1)

 

Sean Marrow is desperate to enter The Everlands, a recently released, ground-breaking VR game that is all everyone's talking about. He's so desperate that, despite being underage, he sneaks into a gaming lounge just for a chance to play.

 

The Everlands has everything he'd hoped for: daring quests, wicked monsters, and more than a few intriguing women. But Marrow is also in danger. For reasons he doesn’t understand, the gods of the Everlands are in conflict, and he’s caught in the middle of it.

 

Stuck in the game, Marrow has to quickly gain power in order to discover the reason behind the game of the gods, and put an end to it before the Everlands are destroyed — and Marrow along with them.

 

My Opinion: 262 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Full disclosure: The author sent me an advanced copy for review. I purchased it once it became available.

 

The novel opens with this frustrating cyber punk theme where a player in a full immersion game can’t log out. The game company apparently can’t do anything to help, so they send someone into the game to solve the problem from there. It’s a theme I find frustrating to read because it implies that the people that created the game, the AI, and all the code don’t have the power to fix something.

 

Thankfully, that theme doesn’t continue past the 5% of the story. Instead, the novel is a trapped in the game, slice of life story. Where the main character (MC), Marrow, is a teen that breaks into a game club to play this hot new 21 and over only game, Everlands. Once there, he really just goes on a bunch of adventures, gets XP, levels, and explores the kind of build he wants to make. There is a minor theme of him being stuck in the game eventually. But it’s something that we’re reminded of only occasionally.

 

About the 26% mark, the story plot begins to show. The MC gets a dark quest to poison the temple of a rival god. It's the first time in the story that I got interested. Before this the story was ok, but it wasn’t really interesting. It was just a teen doing stuff. But then it returns to the seemingly random quests and introduces an NPC guide, who’s only ultimate purpose is to be a kind of forced romantic interest and a heart string pull near the end of the story. It’s not until the 70% mark that the story gets interesting again and picks up on that dark quest line. There are themes of emergent A.I., plots among the gods, betrayals, and more. The rest of the story is good and interesting and follows up with the consequences of that quest. It has a couple interesting twist.

 

However, outside those places, the story wasn’t particularly interesting. Much of the rest of the story felt like filler, getting the MC levels and doing a minor amount of world building. There was also an unusual amount of times the MC was magically saved from death by some suddenly arriving outside force. Why couldn’t the MC die? I don’t know. But outside the 1st two times he did so at the beginning of the novel, he doesn’t. Which is weird because it’s a game and there weren’t heavy penalties for dying.

 

Overall, I really liked the last 30% of this novel. Also, the game mechanics have the potential for some very interesting builds since they don’t restrict players to the usual class system. But I was sort of bored for a lot of the story. I actually fell asleep twice while reading it. Even though I think the end was good and the series might have some potential, I can’t ignore that a lot of it just put me to sleep.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

Absalom’s Fate: A LitRPG Quest (The Everlands: Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2FqEXjG

 

(Picture 2)

Dante's Immortality: Beginnings

 

For those who reside in the outer regions of Aleria, the day of bestowal is what determines their destiny.

 

It is the holy day of the Goddess. The day that allows those of age to step forward and receive her blessing, to embark on the path that she has chosen for them. To receive their Classification, which dictates their strength and ability. For those people, the holy day of bestowal represents fate itself.

 

For Dante, it represents salvation.

 

Years have past since he found himself abandoned without memories. Years of hunger, ostracization, and solitude on the streets of Alazel without any hope of reprieve. Of entrapment at the hands of the creatures that roamed the wilds beyond the city walls that made leaving impossible.

 

Now, there is a chance for everything to change.

 

In a cruel world where power could be gained through slaughter, strength meant everything. For Dante, that meant that the last his hopes lay in the Goddess’ blessing. A combat Classification would be a lifeline, a way for him to escape the hell he had been living in. Anything else would only mean death.

 

My Opinion: 452 pages, $3.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

***For podcast only: Audiobook production is being done by Jeff Hays and the Soundbooth Theater**

 

This novel started out as a serial story on the Royal Road and this novel contains the first 57 chapters of that 120+ chapter serial story. It’s been cleaned up and edited. The novel description only really describes the first 1% of the story.

 

This is an action LitRPG story set on a world ruled by RPG mechanics it transitions into magical academy stuff with political intrigue.

 

I thought the beginning of this novel was fantastic. It’s quickly introduces you to an character you can empathize with, an antagonist to dislike, and establishes world and RPG rules. The RPG game theory thinking of the main character (MC), Dante, are in depth and was really fun to see such detailed descriptions and well thought out bonuses for the classifications. There’s loads of great action including a unique take on dungeon diving.

 

The novel lost me a little at about the 30% mark when it switched to a more magical academy storyline. It also loses a lot of the RPG progression. However, it brings in a ton of political intrigue, magical theory, lots of great world building, and still keeps the action going. The last arc of the story wanders a little, but the RPG progression and class theory returns in spades.

 

The end shows off the serial roots of the story not really providing a firm resolution but it is a nice break point.

 

Overall, I had a good time reading this in one sitting 8 hour read through. The action is top notch and the RPG mechanics blend wonderfully with the world building. I’m not personally a big fan of political intrigue but this does that pretty well and if you like that stuff, you’ll love this novel.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Dante's Immortality: Beginnings

https://amzn.to/2HJxZbl

 

(Picture 3)

Digitized Online Book 1 (LitRPG/Gamelit Epic Fantasy Novel Series)

 

Ivanhoe Darkwolf

 

He entered the game in a blinding flash of light. He had no memory of who he was, where he came from or why he was here. Where was here, anyway?

 

All he knew was that he had entered an online game full of magic and wonder and fantastical beasts.

 

But something was wrong. The world that he knew was gone. All the people. His family, loved ones, everything had been shattered and stolen from him.

 

And he was tasked with saving the last remnants of the human race.

 

But he wasn't alone.

 

In a race against time, Ivanhoe must overcome his fears and battle his way to victory.

 

But the AI had other plans. She didn't know that there were any survivors. Not at first. Time is NOT on his side. Will he fight and die alone? Or will he pull other digitized players into the game to aid him on his quest?

 

In this epic 100k word novel, you will find adult themes, violence, language, stats and more!

 

My Opinion: 294 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

**There are very graphic sex scenes in this story, not just adult themes**

 

This is a fairly decent  trapped in the game slice of life story with AI sub themes. The main character (MC), Ivanhoe, is stuck in the game trying to level up as quickly as possible so he and the other humans that gets summoned can fight a rogue AI that’s devouring the ones in limbo. It’s really just an excuse to justify all the adventuring and leveling.

 

The game mechanics are what you’d expected from a class based system. The MC is a hunter that gets increases in stats, health, mana as he levels. Every odd level he gets new abilities related to his class. There’s a little bit of crafting but it’s not particularly detailed. Mostly just collecting stuff.

 

Overall, this is a pretty decent slice of life story. Each quest is almost a short story. Some of them dull, others quite entertaining and funny. Towards the end, there’s the introduction of an animal companion that steals the show and I only wish she’d been introduced sooner. However, the graphic sex scenes in the story pull just enough enjoyment from the story for me that it drops into the 6 out of 10. The sex scenes themselves are decently written I guess, but they just don’t make sense in context of the story. The MC has a charisma of like 2, but it seems like every hot NPC wants to bed him and the first act of a newly awakened player is to have sex with him? Also, no idea who that lady on the cover is. The main female character in the story has blue hair and blue eyes.

 

If you like graphic sex mixed with your slice of life story, you may enjoy this novel more than I did.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Digitized Online Book 1 (LitRPG/Gamelit Epic Fantasy Novel Series)

https://amzn.to/2GOmjD1

 

(Picture 4)

Login Accepted: Incipere Online Book One

 

In 2049, the Singularity has emerged from the depths of the internet, and the world is better for it. Earth has entered a golden age of technology, and man and artificial intelligence share the world in peace. For those that aren't satisfied with the physical humdrum of Earth, the Singularity's people eagerly welcome humans into their home of Incipere.

 

But new golden age or not, the world keeps on turning as it always has, and it still isn’t always datum and daisies. Just ask Athos Aramis.

 

After being mugged, stabbed, and left with a critical spinal injury, Athos’s last option is to trade one machine-supported life for another and let his mind be downloaded into the world of Incipere. Thanks in part to some outdated guide books, his journey is less than ideal, and as the newest alchemist of Incipere, Athos must learn to survive as he goes. His biggest lesson? Incipere - and its denizens - shouldn't be taken lightly.

 

My Opinion: 357 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Full disclosure: I received an advanced copy of the novel for review.

 

This is a transported to an A.I. created game world with simplistic crafting mechanics. The main character (MC), Athos, is dying and has to qualify for a brain upload to a virtual world created by self aware artificial intelligence.  The author does a really good job of efficiently establishing why the MC wants to live in this world, while simultaneously creating empathy for the MC and some world building. The MC is in the game world by the 4% mark.

 

Now, once there he creates a character and there’s this Alice in Wonderland section where the MC wanders about learning about the world. The MC is constantly surprised by all the weird and wonderful things he finds in the new world. Like deer with knives on their antlers. It’s probably the slowest section in the story but it reveals the game mechanics of the world and introduces all the important characters in the story.

 

The pace picks up about the 20% mark when the MC goes on his first dungeon dive all by himself. From there the story takes many interesting turns. There’s action, betrayal, failure, PvP combat, and guild intrigue. Good stuff.

 

The game mechanics in the story are moderately detailed. You get plenty of information about the MCs class.  Data integrity takes place of health and stamina bars. Strenuous actions and damage from fighting reduce it. The MC needs to rest to recompile or special items. There are ranks instead of levels for players and native A.I. inhabitants, but nothing like that for the monsters. So, that combined with the lack of damage notifications makes it harder to tell how difficult a fight is. Crafting and gathering are almost automatic. With the most difficult part being collecting new recipes. Information on other classes/monsters/abilities sometimes feels made up on the spot, especially towards the end.

 

The only minor gripe I’d say I had was with the ending. It’s not a bad ending or anything. It’s very interesting. But it’s a lot like the LOTR movie trilogy ending. Just when you think the story ends, there are really like 5 more endings. It really just went on longer than it needed to.

 

Overall, I enjoyed the story once it got a bit more action. I especially liked that not all the problems in the story were solved with violence. It made for some nice variety to problem solving.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Login Accepted: Incipere Online Book One

https://amzn.to/2J3t1pm

 

(Picture 5)

Visaria Online: Exile: A litRPG Fantasy Adventure

 

Grind XP and loot in an ancient land of powerful magic, fierce warriors, fire-breathing dragons, deadly monsters and horny demons.

 

Join the noble Paladin Ajax and his two companions. One a goth chick turned Demon Mage, the other a kink loving succubus with whips and a tail, as they journey through the world of Visaria Online, gaining levels, abilities and phat loot.

 

The real world is a frozen wasteland. Humanity is exiled to Visaria Online, living under the game’s rules and the dreaded specter of its now-defunct pay to win cash shop. Conscripted into the war between the two Visarian factions, Ajax and his companions must survive the brutal player versus player battles and grow in power and prestige.

 

But as the two factions of the game launch massive simultaneous invasions of one another’s lands, a new threat looms on the horizon that threatens to destroy the exiled home of humanity.

 

My Opinion: 169 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

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

 

This story drops you right in the action from it’s first pages. Some of it doesn’t make sense but at least it’s action driven. The first scene in the novel has Ajax, the main character, trying to kill a rogue steampunk player only he ends up being saved by hot demon mage and her succubus minion. The two go off on some slice of life adventuring for a while that not only gets them some XP but also explores the larger game world and it’s politics.

 

That all shifts when they meet a high level player that claims to have seen a bigger threat to the game world. It then turns into a chosen one story where the MC has been picked to unite the kingdoms and save the world. The shift is honestly a bit of a negative for me. It feels like the MC is being forced down a story path because all he really wants to do is get to level 6 and join the kingdoms army. The additional power leveling he goes through makes his progress also feel a bit forced. But hey, it’s all going according to prophecy, right?

 

Thankfully there are hints near the end that everything isn’t predestined and the MC and his team may still lose. That at least keeps the story potentially interesting in future releases.

 

Game mechanic wise, the story has a strict class bases system with limited specialization choices. There’s pretty good information about the MC’s class and his specialization as a middling healer/tank. There’s unfortunately much less info about the other classes and the story only really has three other classes it names. There’s also this odd three lives rule where players can only reincarnate three times after they die in game then they’re locked out of the game to wait till they’re unfrozen IRL.

 

Overall, I liked the story a bit more when it was slice of life. It left me curious about all the things that were being gradually revealed about the game system and the world. The Chosen One thing just feels like it’s taking away the MC’s agency. Also, there was no foreshadowing for that last twist, so it felt a bit odd. Hopefully it all pans out in book 2 when it releases later this month.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Visaria Online: Exile: A litRPG Fantasy Adventure  

https://amzn.to/2qH7j2O

 

(Picture 6)

Back In The Game: A Fantasy LitRPG GameLit Novel (Bloodfeast Book 2)

 

The friends are back!

 

The friends have to get Back In The Game to help a strange woman they meet on the streets of Boston. They embark on a wild quest full of magic, wonder, and rapping hamsters. That's right - rapping hamsters. It's a crazy tale packed with non-stop action and adventure!

 

You'll meet several new zany characters, encounter strange and powerful new monsters, and follow the friends on a fantastic quest to save a woman from a fate worse than death. Will they complete their mission or will she be doomed to spend the rest of her life cursed and trapped in the game?

 

WARNING: This book contains some adult themes that may not be suitable for everyone. If you can't handle a little sex, drugs, violence, and foul language, this book probably isn't for you. But if you're looking for a fun fantasy LitRPG GameLit novel that's packed with R-rated goodness, you're in the right place!

 

My Opinion: 215 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

I really enjoyed book 1 in the series. One of the most interesting aspects of the story was that in addition to the trapped in the game storyline, you also got the perspective of the game characters trapped in the human people’s bodies on earth. It was a fun reverse that added originality to the story.

 

Unfortunately, in book 2 that entire aspect of the story is gone. Instead, you follow the now five friends going back into the game voluntarily as they try to break the curse placed on the crazy crat (cat+rat creature) lady and get her to switch bodies back with the one on earth. It’s a flimsy premise to get the characters from book 1 back in the game and much of the early story seems to repeat itself.

 

Only once you get to the 34% mark and there’s a small scene where the characters buy legal drugs in the game do things start to feel original again. This part of the story might make it a no-go for some people, but I thought it added a bit of fun stoner humor and marks the place where some of the best stories in the novel start. From here on there are new exotic locations and funny mini stories occur. I especially like MC Hamster.

 

Combat still isn’t the stories strong suite but it’s ok. But the humor and banter between characters, if it lands for you, is still the highlight of the story.

 

Overall, I had a decent time reading the novel. However, my favorite part of book 1 is gone and a good part of the premise just feels forced. Also, the ending feels a bit forced to justify book 3. The funny situational comedy stories after the stoner shop keep the novel from being anywhere near boring, but it’s still not as good for me as book 1 was.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Back In The Game: A Fantasy LitRPG GameLit Novel (Bloodfeast Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2JIbQL4

 

(Picture 7)

The Hobgoblin Riot: Dominion of Blades Book 2: A LitRPG Adventure

 

This ain't your daddy's tower defense!

 

Popper, Jonah, Gretchen, and Alice are back! The Hobgoblin Riot, Dominion of Blades, Book 2. A litrpg adventure.

 

CLUSTERF*CK

clus·ter·f*ck

ˈklə-stər-ˌfək

vulgar slang. Noun.

 

1) A disastrously and utterly mishandled situation or undertaking.

2) Popper’s scouting mission to Castellane.

 

It was supposed to be a simple scouting mission. In and out. No fighting. No new quests. Just me, my hippocorn Alice, and a few hired mercenaries. We were going to tiptoe into the Spiral, get the info we needed, and leave. You know, the Spiral? That tower defense run that protects the hobgoblin capital from invaders?

 

Easy, right? Nobody would even know we were there.

 

Yeah, so about that…

 

My Opinion: 587 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Even though it’s a pretty massive book at 587 pages, it all goes by pretty quickly. A sign of an engaging story. The narrative structure of the story has changed from book 1. This time it’s told from multiple perspectives as the team breaks up and goes on their own quests. Each chapter is a ‘note’ from someone in the group or something recovered as a historical document. It’s a neat way to change points of view or add out of the game events to the story.

 

The novel has all the humor, banter, and cursing you’d likely come to enjoy from book 1. The story has greatly improved in feeling less forced. I think part of this is due to the fact that all the setup for the series is done. Character backgrounds are setup. The larger issues with the game world are setup. So the author can just send his characters on fun, crazy, interesting adventures. There are still lots of twists to the story and quests. The author is very fond of those. But there is better setup and foreshadowing, so those twists don’t feel as forced for the most part.  

 

On the game mechanic side, there’s less focus on individual leveling or leveling up skills and more on the larger game play mechanics, the tower defense aspect. It’s fun and incorporates resource management with action battles.

 

Overall, the novel has all the things I liked about book 1 and almost none of the things I didn’t. It was a hard story to put down and I found myself laughing out loud many times. The story almost gets an 8 but some of the tower defense stuff gets a little repetitive and the last boss fight ending was just too wand wavy.

 

Score: 7 out of 10.

The Hobgoblin Riot: Dominion of Blades Book 2: A LitRPG Adventure

http://amzn.to/2GiGpIz


 

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 108

 

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

This week I’m talking to Apollos Thorne about his latest release Codename: Freedom - The Goblin Siege  https://amzn.to/2HvGjeO 

Welcome to the show, Apollos Thorne.

-Countdown deal on Book 1 of Codename Freedom. It will be $0.99  4/15/18 at midnight. It will still have a reduced price of $1.99 until 4/20/18.  https://amzn.to/2HyciuI 

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website: http://apollos-thorne.com/

Blog: https://apollosthorne.wordpress.com/blog/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Apollos.Thorne

Facebook Reader/ Bacon group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/150535052347041/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Apollos_Thorne

Amazon Author Page: https://amzn.to/2qsg297

Royal Road page: http://royalroadl.com/profile/21043/fictions

Book Links

Codename: Freedom: Survive Week One https://amzn.to/2HyciuI

Codename: Freedom - The Goblin Siege  https://amzn.to/2HvGjeO

Underworld - Level Up or Die: A LitRPG Series https://amzn.to/2EH9xnY

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16863060.Apollos_Thorne

 

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

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 107

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 107

April 13th, 2018

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 107 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 reviews just for you.

 

Big shout out to Christopher Thomas, Brad Thomas, and David Petrie.

 

Christopher Thomas made a really generous donation via Paypal to the podcast. Brad Thomas, and David Petrie became a supporters on Patreon. Thank you all for your support.

 

If you want to support us too, you can find out all the ways to do so at www.litrpgpodcast.com/support


 

New Releases and Reviews:

Codename: Freedom - The Goblin Siege (18:22)

https://amzn.to/2GSlol3

Killing Time: The Realms Book 1.5 - (A Humorously Epic LitRPG Adventure)  (26:14)

https://amzn.to/2GJHadM

Desire: A LitRPG Adventure (Volume 1) (30:16)

https://amzn.to/2uSHySu

Dungeon Configuration (36:47)

https://amzn.to/2H9Mqp4

Legacy (Reality Gate Book 1) (43:31)

https://amzn.to/2GGUQXM

Homebrew: a LitRPG novel (Metagamer Chronicles Book 1) (50:32)

https://amzn.to/2GAtyhP

Murder Death Chill: A Slaughter Royale LitRPG (56:42)

https://amzn.to/2qo7Yq1


 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News

 

 

To celebrate and promote the 2nd book in the series, Apollos Thorne has started a countdown deal on Book 1 of Codename Freedom. It will be $0.99  from 4/13 to 4/15/18 midnight. It will still have a reduced price of $1.99 until 4/20/18. https://amzn.to/2HyciuI  


 

Recently on two Podcasts

 

Hey everyone. I was recently on two other podcast.

 

Serious Drinks, Ep 1- Land of the Undying (Dave W.) with Charles Dean, Dave Wilmarth, and Annie Ellicott. Annie did a live reading of a scene from Dave’s latest book The Undying Land. Charles had a few pointed questions about the novel, including one about the scientific accuracy of strangelets.

https://youtu.be/qARDEqg7l-s

 

 

I was also recently on the Sci-Fi Shenanigans Podcast as a guest. The guys there has some questions about what LitRPG was, why people like it, and if I had any recommendations. I did have a couple. It was a fun conversation. http://www.sfshenanigans.com/2018/04/02/sfs-episode-23-ra-mejia/  

 

 

Apollos Thorne, author of the Codename Freedom series, and Underworld series, has finally put up a Patreon page. Some rewards for supporting him there include: copies of his ebooks, early chapter releases, character naming input, private chats, signed paperback copies, and more. Go support him there if you’re a fan of his work.

https://www.patreon.com/apollosthorne

 

 

RJ Castiglione, author of Fjorgyn series also has as Patreon. He only has three reward brackets, the highest of which gets you early access to the latest novel as it’s being written and some exclusive short stories. I really think he needs more rewards, but he’s a good author that’s written interesting LitRPG. Go support him there if you like his work.

https://www.patreon.com/rjcasta?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=creatorshare2

 

 

Recently, Amazon has dropped a lot of Kindle Unlimited page reads from many authors and even suspended some accounts without any real evidence of wrongdoing on the Author's Part. This has even impacted our LitRPG genre. Mars Dorian, author of Crystal Crusade series wrote a post describing his experience that he's letting me share.

 

Posted by Mars Dorian.

 

A bunch of GameLit writers like Jeff Sproul, Johnson Kee, Leto Spirit Blackman, Eden Redd and I (Mars Dorian) have received a warning from Amazon for unusual burrowing and reading activity. Mine was in German (I live in Berlin), but the message is always the same:

 

“We are reaching out to you because we have detected reading or borrowing activity for your books originating from accounts attempting to manipulate Kindle services. These accounts might be related to a third-party marketing service you may have used. Please note that you will not receive royalties associated with illegitimate reading or borrowing activity.”

 

Now I've heard that Amazon is cracking down book stuffers (cheaters who artificially increase page size so they get more page reads and thus more money from KU). But I, and assume the writers I mentioned as well, have mostly used Facebooks ads and/or AMS to promote their books.

 

---Original post ends---

 

It seems to be a case of a broad response by Amazon to combat page stuffers and false or paid for page reading services that inflate page read counts. These services read a broad range of other novels in an attempt to hide their activities and anything they’ve read seems to be getting this notice and potential suspension. This includes innocent people in our community. Author's are losing hundreds (up to $800 in one case) in KU revenue.

 

Author Matt Dinniman, author of Dominion of Blades series,  had his account suspended and only recently reinstated. Amazon seems to have also deleted the pre-orders for the novel he has coming out on the 13th for some reason. So, please check make sure your pre-order wasn’t canceled or just buy it on the 13th when it goes live.

 

Remember to support your favorite authors when you can. They don’t write without your support and love.

 

If you want to let Amazon know that you don’t like what they’re doing as a customer or just need to contact them here are a few contact points.

 

Send Amazon Feedback:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/rsvp/leave-feedback.html   

 

Customer Service 1 (888) 280-4331


 

Out Now!  

 

 

Critical Failures VI (Caverns and Creatures Book 6)

https://amzn.to/2GCnfhS

 

 

Absalom’s Fate: A LitRPG Quest (The Everlands: Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2FqEXjG

 

 

SLIME: Gods: (Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2EGTAy6

 

 

Digitized Online Book 1 (LitRPG/Gamelit Epic Fantasy Novel Series)

https://amzn.to/2GOmjD1

 

 

Back In The Game: A Fantasy LitRPG GameLit Novel (Bloodfeast Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2JIbQL4

 

 

Fragged 12 (Fragged (A LitRPG Short Story Series))

https://amzn.to/2ILC3Ye

 

 

Rules-Free VRMMO Life: Volume X - The Sacred Dungeons

https://amzn.to/2qplSrE

 

 

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

https://amzn.to/2HgWizA


 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

Puatera Online Box Set - Books 1 through 3 - Desert Runner, Desert Born, and Desert Storm

https://amzn.to/2qrJgG5

Our review for each book: http://litrpgpodcast.com/search?q=puatera%20online&f_collectionId=57851ebf893fc03407e4fb6f

 

 

Cherry Blossom Girls

https://amzn.to/2JHtmza

 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

 

The Hobgoblin Riot: Dominion of Blades Book 2: A LitRPG Adventure (April 13th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GiGpIz

 

 

The Mists of Erantia (Realm of Arkon Book 7) (April 17th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2JjAotP

 

 

The Iron Veil: A LitRPG OmniWorld Adventure (April 17th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2JJ3OSu

 

 

Login Accepted (Incipere Online - Book 1) (April 20th, 2018)

 

 

Countdown (Reality Benders Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 23, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2oRc7m6

 

 

Word and Steel (epic LitRPG Adventure - Book 9) (Fayroll) (April 24th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2uF7v80

 

 

You're in Game! Book #2 (Моre LitRPG stories set in your favorite worlds) (April 30th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GOXxn3

 

 

Questmaster: A LitRPG Novella (May 8th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2HhUGpe

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2HE26Rp

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2HFfS60

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GCQDQq

 

 

God Mode (AlterGame Book #3) LitRPG Series (May 24th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GPikpy

 

 

Kingdom Level Five: LitRPG (May 27th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2oAvq39

 

 

Trial by Fire: A LitRPG Dragonrider Adventure (Archemi Online Chronicles Book 2) (May 28th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2FdgKAE

 

 

The Dead Rogue (An NPC's Path Book #1) LitRPG Series (May 30th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GxZKTZ


 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

 

Codename: Freedom - The Goblin Siege

 

After surviving the onslaught of week one, Lucius has something to prove. He seeks to train under a living legend in hopes of being ready for the goblin siege.

 

He isn’t the only one looking to train. As his competition grows in strength, he must push himself harder than ever before.

 

Then, the unexpected happens. Players start to unlock abilities…

 

There is only one thing to do when facing impossible odds. Train harder!

 

My Opinion: 679 pages, $5.98, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

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

 

I’ll admit right off the bat, I’m a fan of this series and the author. I remember reading it on the Royal Road years ago and it’s still among my favorite. The serial online version has been separated into parts, edited, polished, and added content has been created so that each novel has more of a story arc.

 

In this 2nd entry into the series, Lucius, the main character (MC) has just survived a goblin raid on his starter town and now he’s looking to do a bit of training. Thankfully the game provides access to the best weapons and combat trainers the world has to offer.

 

This training, combined with smaller combat scenes, character and story development make up 70% of the novel. If you’re a fan of those training scenes in DBZ or Rocky then you’ll love this part of the story. It’s among the best training  stuff that I’ve read. In addition to general endurance and weight training, there’s philosophy, live combat work, and specialized weapon training. I especially like the spear and shield training. Heck I liked it so much, it became an inspiration for the weapons I had the main character in my own story use.

 

There’s a detailed game system in place that measures growth in not just the standard strength, dexterity, intelligence but rather it uses detailed ranking system for things like speed, quickness, fast twitch muscles, anaerobic, and more. Stuff you’d be more likely to come across in sports medicine or with a professional trainer. It’s an interesting change on measuring growth.

 

The last 30% of the story is this big epic fight against a goblin town. While there’s a lot more combat here, I liked it slightly less than the training stuff. I think that’s because the scope of the majority of the battles here are just too big for me to imagine well. It’s a challenge to picture tens of thousands of people in a battle and not have everything blur together a bit.

 

Overall, a really good novel. The focus on training worked well for me. But I love those training scenes in the Rocky movies. If you don’t like that kind of stuff, you may find all the training less interesting.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Codename: Freedom - The Goblin Siege

https://amzn.to/2GSlol3

 

(Picture 2)

Killing Time: The Realms Book 1.5 - (A Humorously Epic LitRPG Adventure)

 

What the Hell Happened to Lex?

 

All Lex wanted was to help his good buddy Gryph find his sister and maybe save the world along the way. But everything goes wrong from the start when Lex gets separated from Gryph during their transfer into the Realms. Lost, alone, and forced to live the same day over and over, Lex must defeat the agent of a despotic god, uncover hidden truths about himself, and find his way back to his friend. If he fails the Realms face destruction.

 

Killing Time is a short novel that bridges the gap between The Realms Book One: Barrow King and the soon to be released The Realms Book Two: The Lost City. It is a tale of adventure, mayhem and loyalty, filled with crazy action, way too much stupidity and tons of laughs.

 

My Opinion: 290 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is a LitRPG groundhog day side story. It focuses on Lex, the sidekick of the 1st book in the series and describes what’s happened to him before meeting back up with the main character of that story in book 2. Lex basically has a groundhog day experience where he power levels a bunch of skills and reconciles his programming as an NPC with his free will. It’s interesting to read about the clever ways Lex tries to exploit his the time loop to level and gain a bunch of skills and abilities.

 

It might get repetitive for some readers but I enjoyed reading it.

 

Score: 7 out of 10.

Killing Time: The Realms Book 1.5 - (A Humorously Epic LitRPG Adventure)

https://amzn.to/2GJHadM

 

(Picture 3)

Desire: A LitRPG Adventure (Volume 1)

 

A mysterious entity decides to bestow certain individuals with a powerful tattoo. With it, anything becomes possible. The world is changing... and it has yet to be determined if it is for better or worse.

 

Two friends who grew up together, Ace and Vincent, decide to use the tattoo to do what they always dreamed of.

 

My Opinion: 212 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This novel is a real world LitRPG slice of life story. It has two main characters (MC), Ace and Vincent, exploring and fighting a bunch of enemies using a newly discovered RPG system.

 

Some people are going to find the writing really dry. It reads like you’re listening to two people argue and brainstorm about what it would be like if they had RPG powers in real life. What kind of system would it be? What powers would they take? How would that impact the larger social world? What would bad people do with it and what would be good people’s response?

 

The game mechanics are familiar. Quests are called tasks or challenges and can when completed provide points that can be used to purchase numerous rewards. Tasks start out as things like: do 1000 pushups in an hour, or drive for 1000 miles. But as the two unlock advanced features become tasks like: Kill 100 skeletons. Some rewards include: improved stats, new magic powers, buying equipment. Better rewards costs more points. But many of the unused rewards feel like they were just made up on the spot since they also include things like learning how to travel at the speed of light for 1 trillion points.

 

While the story was an interesting speculative exploration in the beginning, after the 50% mark the characters got too overpowered and the story shifts to them just fighting, training, upgrading their powers and repeating that cycle. Which for me, is just a bit boring. There’s an added element of community building but it’s kind of a reason to pump up the points they use to upgrade powers and wasn’t that interesting for me.

 

Overall, I liked the first half of the story. But I’ve been known to chat with friends over what it would be like to have RPG mechanics in real life. Many people will find the writing hard to get through. The last half just wasn’t as interesting for me.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Desire: A LitRPG Adventure (Volume 1)

https://amzn.to/2uSHySu

 

(Picture 4)

Dungeon Configuration

 

Broken and wounded in one of the most dangerous places on Earth, David accidentally makes a deal with something that he has only read about in literature.

 

After a six month long coma he wakes up to find himself crippled and out of work. Driven by forces that are almost outside his control he goes on a quest to learn and understand one of the last things any sane person would wish to know about.

 

Meanwhile, trapped in a boring, dirty, and thankless job another poor soul watches through a computer screen. Day and night he works tirelessly to stop, trap, and destroy any who would attempt to both steal his home and ruin his life.

 

My Opinion: 240 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Don’t let the bad cover art or the novel description fool you. This is a surprisingly good story. This is a LitRPG dungeon master/core story that tries really hard to break the few tropes the sub-sub-genre has. For example, early in the story the main character (MC) has the chance, as a dungeon, to bond with an adorable looking fairy to get some cool bonuses. The dungeon’s response? It questions why anyone would trust a random magical creature they just met and why a fairy would be hanging around a dungeon anyway. Then it murders that thing and reveals it to be an evil monster fairy. Bam, trope blown.

 

That’s the least of the interesting things the author does with dungeon master/core genre. The author also pokes fun at the genre and LitRPG while at the same time firmly establishing some really neat RPG mechanics for the dungeon to use, after the 10% mark. I especially love the dungeon’s ability to convert building materials into coffee which potentially has the power to create an infinite coffee supply. Also, loved the plaque above the coffee machine, “Death for coffee!!” There’s also a rather interesting thread with real world that I don’t want to spoil but a good portion of the story takes place outside of the dungeon as the human core copy of the MC is separated from the dungeon copy of the MC.

 

I almost gave the story an 8 just for the humor and the attempt at being innovative. However, there are a few graphically violent and gory horror movie-ish scenes that I didn’t care for. It’s not that the scenes are badly written, I’m just not into horror or slasher movies. Also, for a dungeon master/core story, there really isn’t a lot of dungeon building, relative to the size of the novel.

 

Overall, even though there are a few places I had to push through, I enjoyed reading the story. I really appreciated the cheeky humor and the irreverent attitude towards established LitRPG and dungeon master/core tropes. You could tell the attitude was coming from someone that likes the genres but sees places to improve so they kind of wrote that story they wanted to read.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Dungeon Configuration

https://amzn.to/2H9Mqp4

 

(Picture 5)

Legacy (Reality Gate Book 1)

 

Aiden Cobb's eighteenth birthday started with him going under the wall, to where the Digits lived. His quest was to find something called a Cyron 3000. His best friend Joel told him he could get insulin for it, for his grandma. Medicine was hard to come by in the forgotten zones, and there was no way he was going to return without it.

 

My Opinion: 273 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

There are a lot of confusing concepts running through this story. It also has a really slow confusing start. It’d say skip to the 6% mark if you want to try this story out, everything before that is very unclear and confusing.

 

The beginning is setup as a dystopian earth where people are divided into two groups, one with all the resources and tech (Digits), and the other who live in the wild and do what they can to survive. Aiden, the main character (MC), breaks into the Digits area and steals tech he plans to sell to get medicine for his grandma. The first time the MC logs into the ‘game’ he just does some light exploring and fights. It’s confusing.

 

About the 20% mark, the story shifts to one about an evil corporation that is trying to take over the galaxy. The MC discovers the tech he stole, conveniently, allows him to log into a remote exploration system that’s setup like a game. This system sends advanced 3D printers out beyond our solar system then transmits the minds of players to control a robot like machine that is to be used to catalog new resources, alien tech, new biology, and anything else the corporation can use to further it’s agenda.

 

Then about the 40% mark, the story shifts again, to a science fiction fantasy thing, where the MC, in this robotic avatar, is trying to help this medieval society free themselves from the rule of the evil king and his sorcerers. The sorcerer's just happen to be other players using their own robotic avatars.

 

The game mechanics in the story are also another thing that’s a bit confusing. I don’t mind the mechanics, but it feels out of place for this sci-fi fantasy story setup. The RPG mechanics in the story: These 3D printer robots are sent to an unexplored world. They start out as these level 1 robots that are only 4 inches tall. As they scan new plant and animal life, accomplish research, defeat aggressive species, or learn about alien tech or societies, they get XP. This XP is converted to credits that can be used to print out anything back on earth or where the 3D printer robot is. As the machine gets more XP it’s abilities expand. It levels up and can grow to the size of a normal human. It can get even larger and can make more complex things later. Additionally, as the avatar explores it unlocks special abilities like Environmental Skill, Communication skill, or Alien Customs skill which can be improved (level 1 to level 2, etc) and confer bonuses.

 

As a concept, I’d say this story is neat. Using 3D printers to build remote controlled robots that people can use like full immersion game. Neat. That these robots can be used to explore the universe? Also neat. But when the story shifts to a fantasy concept it loses me. I mean, why can’t this super powerful and advanced corporation just take over this whole planet if it has the tech to make anything it wants with these 3D printer robots? Why would they need to have their players use swords or transform into dragons?

 

I liked a small section of this story a lot. From 19-33% it’s a really neat sci-fi litRPG where game mechanics are used to incentivise exploration. But the rest of the novel either doesn’t make sense according the tech given or is just confusing in other ways. It’s decent action adventure, but I think the story missed a great opportunity to be really good.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Legacy (Reality Gate Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2GGUQXM

 

(Picture 6)

Homebrew: a LitRPG novel (Metagamer Chronicles Book 1)

 

If Gary had known he'd get trapped in an RPG with his real-life stats, he’d have tried harder in gym class.

 

Gary Burns just wanted to create the greatest RPG campaign of his gaming career. But a freak magical accident sucks him into the very world he created—as himself.

 

Surrounded by heroes who look and sound like his friends, Gary is forced to play out the story he wrote. Worthless in a fight, Gary must prove himself valuable even if it means feeding the team insider knowledge.

 

Because he needs keep his friends close—and himself alive—until he can solve the puzzle he never designed: how to get everyone back home.

 

My Opinion: 349 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Trapped in a tabletop game, slice of life story. I think it’s important to note the slice of life part because I went into reading this expecting some 4 act structure involving this trapped gaming group working together to try and escape the game. It’s not.

 

Instead, the group is transported to the custom made/home brew tabletop game world. Everyone arrives as their characters and doesn't remember being anything else. That is except the Gary, our main character (MC) and the DM that designed the game world. He’s transported into the game wearing his normal jeans, shirt, and sneakers. He’s the only one that sees the dice rolls, gets game notifications, and sees his character sheet.

 

The first half of the story just follows this group as they adventure and begin the quest lines the MC had planned out. The MC feels like he’s just tagging along as a non-combat  bard. It’s not really until the 50% mark that the MC starts to feel like he believes he’s living in the world and not just an observer who gives out hints to his team about questlines. At that point the MC starts to use his knowledge about the game world he created for his own benefit. All that knowledge becomes a kind of superpower that he tries to exploit to survive. It’s a much more interesting story to read about a guy trying to game his own rules than a guy almost just watching others play.

 

Game mechanic-wise, it’s an interesting mix. The gaming elements you see are only through the MCs eyes and he only sees his info or stuff that applies to him. Standard stats, XP, levels, etc. No health or mana info. A few custom advancement mechanics and custom class stuff. But I’ll say that I like seeing the dice rolls. Everything from bluff checks to damage rolls are shown. Including the formulas for bonuses. For example an actual roll for convincing a guard not to arrest the MC. D20: 18+ (Persuade +4) = 22. There are also some very bad rolls that actually seem to impact the flow of the story to some degree. Though I don't doubt there’s a little fudging if the author needs the story to go a certain way or just not murder the MC. Still, the dice rolls feel like they matter.

 

Overall, the series has potential to be really good and interesting. I liked it once I adjusted my expectations and the MC started to be interesting and not just a passive observer who played the lute. Also, there’s a good metal ending.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Homebrew: a LitRPG novel (Metagamer Chronicles Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2GAtyhP

 

(Picture 7)

Murder Death Chill: A Slaughter Royale LitRPG

 

".... I ran a hand over my body, quickly and while on the move. Yes, I was me. Lean and lithe, female but hard. They don't get it wrong too often lately. Back in the day I once manifested in-game as a sumo wrestler, and sumo dude got stuck playing a plucky, 19-year-old gymnast who didn't look like much on the outside but in her skill-set packed over a hundred ways to kill an adversary with her bare hands. Neither of us lasted long that time, as I didn’t really know much about executing ground-and-pound moves, and he was out of his depth doing somersaults and eagle claw eye slashes. Got nowhere near the prize money that time..."

 

Slaughter Royale. 100 enter. Ten survive.

 

"The goober to my left, though – coming right at me. Dude, I wanted to say, it's not like this is a bounty tourney. Some tournaments give a bounty on each kill, which comes out of the prize money at the end, which wasn't really my thing. I killed when I had to, but didn't seek it out, preferring to survive into the prize money as easy-peasy as possible.

Not that I had anything against killing. It's more that I had nothing against not killing, too..."

 

Slaughter Royale. The new litRPG series by W.A. Clunie.

 

My Opinion: 25 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Quick intro into this online competitive combat game, Slaughter Royale Online. Hundreds of players enter, each with their own builds, but only the top 10 win the prize money. Everyone spawns in a random location with nothing except a grey unitard. Players can craft gear and weapons, or loot/trade the stuff others make, if they want equipment. The female main character (MC), Angel O’Death, is witty, snarky, and an aggressive fighter. In combat she combines an elegant leaping style of fighting with ground and pound brutality.

 

The story is about this tournament. She fights against a wide variety of opponents with different playstyles. There’s a little crafting but it’s mostly action oriented. Good combat scenes.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Murder Death Chill: A Slaughter Royale LitRPG

https://amzn.to/2qo7Yq1


 

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 106

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 106

April 5th, 2018

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 106 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 reviews just for you.

 

Big shout out to Gabriel Rathweg and Sean Callahan. They both made donations to the podcast that will help keep the podcast funded and ad free. Gabriel made a one time donation via Paypal and Sean became a regular supporter on Patreon. Thank you both for your support.

 

If you want to support us too, you can find out all the ways to do so at www.litrpgpodcast.com/support


 

New Releases and Reviews:

Rescue (The Stork Tower Book 4) (07:50)

https://amzn.to/2DXM817

Arcane Transmogrification: (Book Two of the Pentacle Series) (14:27)

https://amzn.to/2G3IMzL

Viridian Gate Online: The Lich Priest: A litRPG Adventure (The Viridian Gate Archives Book 5) (17:57)

https://amzn.to/2IpHXxL

Shard Warrior: A LitRPG Novel (Crystal Shards Online Book 2) (21:57)

https://amzn.to/2q1kpII

Alpha Testing: Angromoria LitRPG Adventure (27:09)

https://amzn.to/2Ijr3Rp

Betrayal: A LitRPG Adventure (Monsters, Maces and Magic Book 2)  (35:01)

http://amzn.to/2HfRvuK

A Gamer's Wish: A GameLit Series (Hidden Wishes Book 1) (40:44)

https://amzn.to/2GTbUcy


 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News

 

(none)


 

Out Now!  

 

Killing Time: The Realms Book 1.5 - (A Humorously Epic LitRPG Adventure)

https://amzn.to/2GJHadM

 

 

Desire: A LitRPG Adventure (Volume 1)

https://amzn.to/2uSHySu


 

 

Dungeon Configuration

https://amzn.to/2H9Mqp4

 

 

Into the Black: Book IX: The Battle for Earth

https://amzn.to/2qc9vPA

 

 

Homebrew: a LitRPG novel (Metagamer Chronicles Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2GAtyhP

 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

The Dungeon’s Burden: Slime Dungeon Chronicles Series, Book 4

https://amzn.to/2Jnc8qS

 

(Oddly, it’s listed on audible under children’s books so you might have missed it. Lol)

 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

 

Critical Failures VI (Caverns and Creatures Book 6) (April 7th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2GCnfhS

 

 

Absalom’s Fate: A LitRPG Quest (The Everlands: Book 1) (April 10th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2FqEXjG

 

 

The Hobgoblin Riot: Dominion of Blades Book 2: A LitRPG Adventure (April 13th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GiGpIz

 

 

The Mists of Erantia (Realm of Arkon Book 7) (April 17th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2JjAotP

 

 

Countdown (Reality Benders Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 23, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2oRc7m6

 

 

Word and Steel (epic LitRPG Adventure - Book 9) (Fayroll) (April 24th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2uF7v80

 

 

You're in Game! Book #2 (Моre LitRPG stories set in your favorite worlds) (April 30th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GOXxn3

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2HE26Rp

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2HFfS60

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GCQDQq

 

 

God Mode (AlterGame Book #3) LitRPG Series (May 24th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GPikpy

 

 

Kingdom Level Five: LitRPG (May 27th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2oAvq39

 

 

Trial by Fire: A LitRPG Dragonrider Adventure (Archemi Online Chronicles Book 2) (May 28th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2FdgKAE

 

 

The Dead Rogue (An NPC's Path Book #1) LitRPG Series (May 30th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GxZKTZ


 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

 

Rescue (The Stork Tower Book 4)

 

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 begin removing allies and friends who can help her.

 

In 'Rescue' Leah works to save some of her family and friends who are held captive by the syndicate. Through all of this, she continues to expand her presence, position and power in the virtual multi-verse, in her studies and real life.

 

My Opinion: 400 pages??, $4.49, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is a good addition to the series. If you’ve enjoyed the other novels in the series, this one does not disappoint and you’ll likely enjoy this one too. It has all the action, adventure, intrigue, RPG game play, sci-fi,  AI stuff, that you’ve come to enjoy about the series.

 

The real life storyline is kicked up a notch when one of Leah’s family members is kidnapped. Leah and her expanding crew have to decide how to find her mom and if they’ll have to give into the kidnappers demands. There’s also advancement on several other storylines, including possible traitors in her group, and with the MCs schooling.

 

The game storylines advance as well, with some truly interesting stuff happening in the fantasy game world. The scifi game is on the back burner for the most part but ties directly into the real world kidnapping story. There’s also an introduction to two new game worlds, one a rune discovery game and a steampunk world. The streampunk world definitely has the most time in the novel next to the fantasy world.

 

One of the things I always like about this series is how committed the main character (MC) is to opposing bullies.  I find it so funny when MC uses her understanding of contracts and logic processes to push back against crime lords, academic institutes, the media, and even the big corporations. The extension of bad faith actions from earlier books is having consequences here. It’s great follow through by the author.

 

The only thing I didn’t like about the story is the steampunk stuff. It’s just not my thing. Additionally, this novel is getting very very busy. There are almost no cool down or lull periods in the story. Almost every minute, the MC is doing something to advance one of the dozen storylines in the novel. This anxious pacing may be a turn off for some people. But you’ll probably have figured that out by the 4th book.

 

Overall, I liked this story and stayed up way too late to finish reading it.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Rescue (The Stork Tower Book 4)

https://amzn.to/2DXM817

 

(Picture 2)

Arcane Transmogrification: (Book Two of the Pentacle Series)

 

Book Two of the Pentacle Series

 

Danny died a less than heroic death on Earth, was reincarnated in a new world, gained access to a mental sanctuary that ranks his skills, learned he can do magic, discovered that he can't fly, tricked rich old ladies into buying handbags, crafted himself a crude anti-magic girdle, went to magic school, grew a couple of apple trees, was drafted into a secret paramilitary organization, tamed a pet most people would rather never meet, regrew an elf's ears, gained a split concentration ability in the form of his former Earth self, avoided being kidnapped, was almost eaten by a basalisk, watched an airborn wizard play wack-a-troll, saved his friends from a massive ritualistic magic spell, and did a great impression of a human tree ornament.

 

Then Danny passed out from blood loss and pain.

 

Now it is all up to Cranny, the embodiment of Danny's split concentration, to get Danny fixed up before the slowly approaching zombie goblin has a nice woodland picnic.

 

My Opinion: 402 pages, $4.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

A good second book in the Pentacle series. This slice of life, reincarnated on a game world story, has moved past all the magical academy stuff from book 1. It instead focuses on Danny’s training in his new elemental aspects and his efforts to help the elves with their magical problems. If he can help them, they’ll help the humans fight off the invading goblin army.

 

If you liked book 1, you’ll like book 2. There’s a lot of DBZ style training and transformations, but it still maintains it’s RPG aspect progression. The harem stuff is still here too. You don’t get to the action till the last act, but it’s a good way to show off all that training.

 

Overall, I enjoyed the story, though I’ll admit that book 2 is a hard place to jump into the series. Go read book 1 first.

 

Score: 7 out of 10.

Arcane Transmogrification: (Book Two of the Pentacle Series)

https://amzn.to/2G3IMzL

 

(Picture 3)

Viridian Gate Online: The Lich Priest: A litRPG Adventure (The Viridian Gate Archives Book 5)

 

The Vogthar Horde has come, and they bring real death with them. Not even players are safe from the power of Malware Blades …

 

Worse, the Realm of Order, dominion of the Overmind Sophia, is in danger—slowly being corrupted by an ancient evil, the Lich Priest. And if he is successful, it could mean the end of Sophia and the downfall of the Crimson Alliance. Grim Jack never thought he’d find himself siding with the Empire, but now that this terrible new threat has arrived, making friends of old enemies may be the only way to survive.

 

My Opinion: 289 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 Grim Jack and Osmark, now ostensibly allies still don’t trust each other. The two, along with a small team of allies are transported to the Plane of Order, to help the goddess of Order Sophia. Her realm, is under attack from a evil influence. If she falls, so does the rest of the game. If the Jack and Osmark can’t find someway to genuinely trust each other and work together, the whole world may fall.

 

Even though this is part of the official VGO series, it almost feels like a side story. With the adventurers being whisked away and nothing that happens really impacting the larger war or the main storyline. Yes, there are some character arc advancements, but this story is mostly a series of capture the flag like raid battles. Then when everything is done, everyone is just sent home. No real big story developments.  

 

Overall, I enjoyed the story. Good action adventure. Same things you love about the series are all here. But it almost feels like a bottle episode in a tv series. Fun, interesting, but also something that you could skip and not lose anything with the main story.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Viridian Gate Online: The Lich Priest: A litRPG Adventure (The Viridian Gate Archives Book 5)

https://amzn.to/2IpHXxL

 

(Picture 4)

Shard Warrior: A LitRPG Novel (Crystal Shards Online Book 2)

 

"Becoming a Dodge Tank was just the beginning."

 

The World Boss is defeated, but Ryan's troubles are far from over.

 

Transported to a new world, Ryan and his friends must figure out how to save their home city of Citadel, while learning to survive in a game world where death is now all too real.

 

But first, Ryan must keep his promise to Val Helena, and sets out on a dangerous quest to the Vale of Sorrows to defeat the Shadow King. With an enemy ten times stronger than a world boss, Ryan will have to do some serious leveling up as a Dodge Tank to be fit for task.

 

But when he encounters a fellow gamer with an agenda of his own, Ryan finds his plans not only derailed but his very life threatened by an enemy of his own making!

 

Ryan will have to grow in both level and maturity to face the difficult struggles ahead. But the game has more secrets to reveal and the enemy lying just below the surface, may be more terrifying than anything he could have imagined...  

 

My Opinion: 364 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

At the end of book 1 the dodge tank Ryan helps beat the world boss. He and the winning group are transported to the real world as their avatars. It turns out that whole game is really a test to see who is good enough to fight the monsters above ground and return to their home with the nanites they need to run the city.

 

But Val Helena has another goal, she seeks to rescue her friend trapped in a labyrinth on the surface. Together, Ryan the dodge tank and the group that was sent to the surface must level up and find a way to beat the boss guarding the entrance to the labyrinth.

 

This a good action filled story with minor elements of town building. After the group escapes the powerful monsters hunting them when they transported to the surface, they save a town. Ryan, the main character (MC), claims ownership of the town and starts to use resources collected around there to build it up and improve it. But these town building aspects don’t really amount to much in the story, even if they are a break from all the fighting.

 

The best part of the story, is the twisty section where the group meets another player that’s made a place for himself in the above ground world.

 

The part that I don’t like, is definitely the end. If feels like it comes out of left field a bit, even if it does hit an emotional note with readers.

 

Overall, I had a good time reading the story but not as good as book 1. Unlike the VR game world they were playing in book 1, above ground no one can really die or they die permanently. So, you lose a bit of the feeling of risk, because you know the MC is never really going to die.

 

Score: 7 out of 10.

Shard Warrior: A LitRPG Novel (Crystal Shards Online Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2q1kpII

 

(Picture 5)

Alpha Testing: Angromoria LitRPG Adventure

 

The advertisement offered the ultimate Virtual Reality experience. Using a new technology known as Immersive Virtual Reality or IVR you could truly experience the game as if you were in it. For someone who has been confined to a wheelchair all of his life, the promise was impossible to ignore but only a few would be invited to take part in the Alpha test of the new game. Devon decided he would be one of those few

 

To ensure he would be chosen he took the most unlikely combination of skills specializing primarily as a craftsman and secondarily as a healer. The best race for these skill trees is a Gnome but that further weakens his ability to fight and survive. Still, it is only the Alpha test and once in he can change it when they move to Closed Beta.

 

What could go wrong? Soon he finds out just how weak his choices seem to the developers who figure he will die a lot and always be a Nobody. Name chosen Gnobody sets out to take on Angromoria and it is everything he could hope for until it becomes the only thing he may ever know.

 

My Opinion: 362 pg, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is a trapped in the game, slice of life story with an emphasis on crafting in the first half of the novel. In the second half of the novel, it shifts to a less interesting story about the main character (MC), Gnobody, running from players looking to collect a first kill bounty on him.

 

The story on the whole is very talkie. Like, 40% of the novel is dialogue or summary of some kind. There’s a great opening, that got me hooked by the 3% mark, but the MC doesn’t get into the game until the 12% and doesn’t go full immersion till 21% mark. Just about everything between 3 and 12% is almost entirely dialogue. And while there are interesting speculative thoughts and some game mechanic descriptions, it’s a lot of talking, and that may turn off some readers hoping for more action.

 

Once in the game, the MC has as couple neat fights but the first half of the story is focuses on crafting and a little romance. It’s great if you like that kind of stuff, but not if you’re looking for an action story. I’m a big fan of crafting and world building and this part has that in spades.

 

The last half of the story gets a bit more action oriented. However, in all honesty combat isn’t the strong suit of the story. Crafting, dialogue, punny humor, interpersonal relationships, and world building is. So the attempts to kill the MC for a bounty (which doesn’t really make sense anyways), almost feel like interruptions to an otherwise fun slice of life story.

 

Overall, I liked the story but it dropped what I liked the best about it in the 2nd half. But it is still an nice crafting story with an good punny sense of humor.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Alpha Testing: Angromoria LitRPG Adventure

https://amzn.to/2Ijr3Rp

 

(Picture 6)

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

 

Glenn, a college sophomore, hasn’t gotten used to being a gnome healer, trapped in a world that functions under the rules of Monsters, Maces and Magic. Of course, acclimating isn’t the plan. He, along with the other players drawn into the RPG world in the form of their characters, want to escape and return home.

 

Stephi, Kirby, Ron, Derek and Glenn survived their first adventure into the Dark Heart Swamp, and are approached to once again enter the dismal marshland. An elf maiden, daughter of a baronet, has been taken captive by a band of goblins, and gold is offered for her rescue.

 

Gold is needed, not only if the party hopes to escape the game world, but to live and survive its perils. Glenn and his party take the mission, even though they weren’t the first choice. Beyond that, the foul swamp and its evil denizen may not be the greatest danger. A seer warns that their greatest threat lies in betrayal.

 

My Opinion: $2.99, 273 pages, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

When I read this series. I always feel like I’m reading a fantasy story. It is Litrpg. There’s plenty of game mechanic talk and even though the character’s see their character sheets in their dreams this time around, the reader doesn't. However, much of the this still feels like a fantasy story.

 

I think that’s because the larger world the story is set in, is 100% fantasy. It’s only among this group of people that talk of any of these RPG mechanics takes place. Anytime there’s an interaction with the rest of the world it takes place in a fantasy way. Even when the group of transported players talk to other people they’re forced by the world to speak in fantasy terms. No one ever asks for a +1 vorpal blade or asks for a aoe spell.

 

Because of that, the story just feels less interesting to me. The actual story is very action adventure. Good fights. Decent, if heavily guided, story.  But it just feels like it’s it’s trying hard to be LitRPG when the natural flow of the story is fantasy.

 

Overall, not a bad story. If you liked book 1, you’ll like book 2. If you like much lighter RPG mechanics, you may enjoy this more than me. But it just didn't land with me.

 

Score: 6 out of 10.

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

http://amzn.to/2HfRvuK

 

(Picture 7)

A Gamer's Wish: A GameLit Series (Hidden Wishes Book 1)

 

Given the opportunity to make his dreams comes true, Henry Tsien decides to make a wish that will change his life forever. Now a newly created, low-leveled Mage in a world that has hidden secrets and histories, he'll need to find a way to survive, level up and pay his rent.

 

My Opinion: 250 pages ??, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Henry is making a living purchasing goods at auction and reselling them. He buys an old briefcase and finds a genie inside that is willing to grant him three wishes. So, what’s the first thing he asks for? Magic powers granted to him in an RPG leveling scheme. Now Henry has to not only learn how to use his powers, but quest for experience, while earning a living in this newly exposed urban fantasy setting.

 

This is a urban fantasy LitRPG story. It doesn’t start out that way. It begins fairly normal. But as soon as Henry, the main character (MC), gets his magical powers he learns that magical creatures from every myth and legend exist and have just been using glamours to hide from us. Only, they’re more normal that he expected and mostly just want to live in peace and make a living.

 

The game mechanics in the story are pretty light but consistent. The MCs magical powers are gradually improved and his level of power and knowledge are increased each level he earns doing quests and practicing magic. Each level he gets new spells. He has a minimalist character sheet. There are experience and damage notifications created for the MC to see. But all the RPG stuff only applies to the MC. Magic and the supernatural are for urban fantasy for the rest of the world.

 

Overall, I had a good time reading the story. It’s a good slice of life action adventure story with good well balanced fight scenes. The MC never feels overpowered and struggles with each quest and challenge given. A good mix of urban fantasy with LitRPG.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

A Gamer's Wish: A GameLit Series (Hidden Wishes Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2GTbUcy


 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

(Music 4)

 

Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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


 

LitRPG Podcast 105

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 105

March 29th, 2018

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 105 of the LitRPG podcast.

 

I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews.  I have 8 reviews just for you.


 

New Releases and Reviews:

 

The Marchstone Dale: Omegaverse 6 (LitRPG) (08:13)

http://amzn.to/2FCflEK

A Ghoulish Glitch (A Litrpg short story) (12:08)

https://amzn.to/2J1maNU

Reincarnation:RPG   (13:53)

https://amzn.to/2GgVbAc

From the Beginning (Kingdoms Reborn Book 1) (18:17)

http://amzn.to/2FzGMic

Aeon Chronicles Online: Book 1: Devil's Deal  (22:11)

http://amzn.to/2HU53MW

Orc Glitch: Book 1: The Mad King (27:31)

http://amzn.to/2GQLKEZ

Unlucky Dead: A LitRPG Adventure (Liorel Online Book 1)  (32:48)

http://amzn.to/2ptThBQ

The Land of the Undying: Dark Elf Chronicles Book One (37:23)

https://amzn.to/2uwpz47

 

 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News

 

 

Dakota Krout announced today that he is working with a gaming company, Little Red Goblin Games,  to turn the Divine Dungeon is being made into a d20 compatible game. He chatted with the team working on the project on their twitch channel. It’s a fun video chat to watch.

https://www.twitch.tv/littleredgoblin


 

Out Now!  

 

 

Shard Warrior (Crystal Shards Online - Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2GBCCGB

 

 

Rescue (The Stork Tower Book 4)

https://amzn.to/2DXM817


 

 

Arcane Transmogrification: (Book Two of the Pentacle Series)

https://amzn.to/2G3IMzL

402 pages

 

 

The Province: A Futuristic Dungeon Core (The Laboratory Book 5)

http://amzn.to/2DJmJbu

 

 

Accidental Duelist: A LitRPG Swashbuckler (Accidental Champion Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2HTTrJC

 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

The Lionheart: A LitRPG Novel

https://amzn.to/2E5ImD1

Our review of the ebook: http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2018/3/8/the-lionheart-a-litrpg-novel-no-respawn-book-1

 

 

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

https://amzn.to/2GFea6V

Our review of the ebook: http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2018/1/25/the-district-a-futuristic-dungeon-core-the-laboratory-book-3

 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

 

Betrayal: A LitRPG Adventure (Monsters, Maces and Magic Book 2) (April 4th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2HfRvuK

 

 

Killing Time: The Realms Book 1.5 - (A Humorously Epic LitRPG Adventure) (April 5th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2GJHadM

 

 

Absalom’s Fate: A LitRPG Quest (The Everlands: Book 1) (April 10th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2FqEXjG

 

 

The Hobgoblin Riot: Dominion of Blades Book 2: A LitRPG Adventure (April 13th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GiGpIz

 

 

Countdown (Reality Benders Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 23, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2oRc7m6

 

 

You're in Game! Book #2 (Моre LitRPG stories set in your favorite worlds) (April 30th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GOXxn3

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2HE26Rp

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2HFfS60

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GCQDQq

 

 

God Mode (AlterGame Book #3) LitRPG Series (May 24th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GPikpy

 

 

Kingdom Level Five: LitRPG (May 27th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2oAvq39

 

 

Trial by Fire: A LitRPG Dragonrider Adventure (Archemi Online Chronicles Book 2) (May 28th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2FdgKAE

 

 

The Dead Rogue (An NPC's Path Book #1) LitRPG Series (May 30th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GxZKTZ


 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

The Marchstone Dale: Omegaverse 6 (LitRPG)

 

With word of his rebellion sweeping the city, Wulfgar flees Edonis and makes his way back to his kingdom of Marchstone. He has to prepare his defenses, raise and train an army, and ensure that the kingdoms on his western flanks will ally with him in the coming war with King Clive, a war that is looming over his little alpine domain and threatens to fall on him and his friends. Within days.

 

Author's Note: Please be advised that there are sexually explicit scenes within this tale that are not meant for children.

 

My Opinion: 343 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

*Graphic sex and gore about the 70% mark*

 

If you’ve read the last couple novels in the series, you’ll likely enjoy this one too. It adds in some kingdom/city building aspects as Wulfgar improves his budding kingdom. He has to try to attract new citizens, crafters, merchants, warriors, and build up defenses. He has to do this all quickly because his old rival Tim is working for King Clive and looking to make life miserable for our hero.

 

In addition to the new kingdom building stuff which is mostly seen in the beginning of the novel, Wulfgar has to try to make allies of his neighbors the elves. Which leads him and his friends on a quests that has some graphic gore and sex as the group fights bad people doing bad things. While it all makes contextual sense, it is a mature step for the series.

 

Overall, I had a good time reading this. Good action, familiar game stuff, and I liked how it still ties back into the larger Omegaverse story.

 

Score: 7 out of 10.

The Marchstone Dale: Omegaverse 6 (LitRPG)

http://amzn.to/2FCflEK

 

(Picture 2)

A Ghoulish Glitch (A Litrpg short story)

 

A mysterious glitch in a game draws players into something beyond anything they expected to experience.

Darion discovers an undocumented encounter in the game he and his best friend Cal love playing and decides it would be a good way to spend a few hours before Cal leaves on his new assignment. Little do either know the dangers that lie in wait for them as they track down the Ghoulish Glitch in the game. Will this really be their last quest in more ways than they can imagine?

 

My Opinion: 20 pages??, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is a super short story about two friends who go on one last game run together. They’re trying to find an rumored special mob. There are a couple fights that are decently written. But it’s basically a kind of silly ghost mob story that ends with ‘and no one ever believed they saw it.’

 

An ok way to spend a few minutes if you have kindle unlimited.

 

Score: 6 out of 10.

A Ghoulish Glitch (A Litrpg short story)

https://amzn.to/2J1maNU

 

(Picture 3)

Reincarnation:RPG  

 

John died and was reincarnated into a world that resembles his favorite RPG. His in-game level carried over with him and he is overpowered in this run-down world. Keeping his stats secret he looks for a way home, but there are others, reincarnated with stats from their own games hunting for him.

 

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

 

Transported to a game world LitRPG. This is actually the collection of 4 short stories in the Reincarnation series, put together with additional editing. Half the story is just the finale, part 4. Not everyone is going to like the series and the beginning is the hardest to get through, but I think it has a certain charm.

 

Part 1 - The MC is summoned to this world and learns he has the powers of his max level game character.

 

Part 2 - The MC finds himself in a new village hiding his powers, but he still manages to help some people out.

 

Part 3 - The MC learns of others like him, people with game powers. Only they’re using their powers for evil.

 

Part 4 - The MC learns of a possible way home, but things are never easy. Not only that, but he still has to deal with Chris, the most powerful player sent to this world. Not a nice guy.

 

Overall, I like the story. Good action. Interesting powers. But it is very much a collection of short stories. The connections between them sometimes feel loose. Like there wasn’t a fully planned out arc for the series. The end also feels a bit rushed but it’s a decent read.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Reincarnation:RPG  

https://amzn.to/2GgVbAc

 

(Picture 4)

From the Beginning (Kingdoms Reborn Book 1)

 

Video games are used as an escape to most if not all gamers in one way or another. Kingdoms Reborn was just that to Eric until he slowly became more and more frustrated with the choices of the developers. Just as he had given up on the game and was ready to walk away in search of something else to fill his free time something quite odd happened. He was pulled into the world he'd once loved and adored. No longer trapped in a mediocre existence and now going by his new character name Dante, he has to overcome the changes that have affected the games world two hundred years after the last player left. Some of what he knew of the lore and the layouts of the land are the same while other things have changes so drastically he barely recognizes the world around him. First task set on him by the Higher Beings is to take down each of the great legendary beasts who were once world bosses while growing stronger on. Time seems to be on his side for the moment, but he is unaware of what enemies he will face or how different the enemies of old will be when he is forced to confront them.

 

My Opinion: 313 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is a transported to a game world LitRPG where the main character (MC) is a bit overpowered. He has a bunch of fights that are decently written but there’s no real sense of danger or risk because even if he dies, he comes back immediately with the same level. The most he loses is the XP he’s accumulated towards the next level and possibly an item. He routinely beats World Bosses 3 or 4 times his level. There’s supposed to be a storyline in there about him changing the game world and letting the NPCs die or something but it’s just a justification for more World Boss fights. Kind of a meh story.

 

Oh, and the MC is gay, if that matters. There are no sex scenes, he just happens to like another guy in the world.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

From the Beginning (Kingdoms Reborn Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2FzGMic

 

(Picture 5)

Aeon Chronicles Online: Book 1: Devil's Deal

 

After a deadly encounter with a forest wolf, Rowan Black survives thanks to stem cell therapy and experimental bionic brain implants. Rowan's body recovers but the treatment leaves his memories fragmented and his psyche shattered into something inhumane, irritable, and callous—and a tad bit lustful. When his doctor fails to notice this, his parents reluctantly sends him back to Westwind Highschool, resulting in the murder of Rowan's past bully.

 

Rowan serves two years of juvenile detention in a psychiatric center and after his 18th birthday, he is offered a choice by a powerful corporation: Either spend the next decades in a psychiatric prison or play in their fully-immersive virtual reality game, Aeon Chronicles Online, and grow into the role of the world's next major raid boss that players must defeat.

 

Will Rowan regain his old psyche? How will Aeon Chronicles' AI controller react to Rowan’s unique mind? Will Rowan receive help in a team-oriented game or is he alone? Find out in this 130k+ word, dark LitRPG novel!

 

Warning: Contains gore, profanity, and traumatizing content plus some sexual content and romance.

 

My Opinion: 562 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

*Graphic sex and gore in the story*

 

You can tell that there is an Awaken Online influence in the novel. The main character (MC), Rowan, is tortured by a bully, he has an amoral attitude that lets him make ‘evil’ choices others wouldn’t, he gets a necromancer class, and makes a deal with a dark God to create an undead city. However those are where the similarities end. The rest of the novel is different and there are lots of unique memorable characters.  

 

This is a dark story. The MC has brain damage that is repaired with mechanical implants. The side effects being that his personality shifts and he becomes a psychopath with anger issues. In one early scene having the MC slit a classmate's throat and then stab him in in the eye. While in jail, he gets the offer to become a major upcoming immersive MMO’s villain and he takes the offer. There he can do all the dark, evil things he wants to and all he has to worry about is not getting caught. It’s genuinely fun to read about the MC figure out just the right way to murder his way to his goals.

 

The story relies heavily on this evil storyline and does a good job explaining why you should root for the MC.

 

Overall, I like this novel. Though, I’ll admit game mechanics are decent and I’m not a huge fan of the power leveling of the MC. Still, this is a good novel. Plenty of dark action, some city building/conquering stuff, and PVP.

 

Score: 7 out of 10.

Aeon Chronicles Online: Book 1: Devil's Deal

http://amzn.to/2HU53MW

 

(Picture 6)

Orc Glitch: Book 1: The Mad King

 

The first time Cal logged into ValorVale, something went wrong.

 

Unlike the human soldier everyone else got to be, he was forced to play as an orc fighter. This didn't bother him too much. Not being able to exit after he'd logged in the second time... that was a problem. A big problem.

 

As Cal struggled to escape the game, he realized that just like real life, in ValorVale, nothing was ever easy. Especially when you were never meant to exist in the first place.

 

And especially when an OP arch druid decided that you would become her new plaything.

 

My Opinion: 538 pages, $4.40, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is a trapped in the game LitRPG novel. The evil overlord stuff is a little bit of a stretch. The real life portion (3-6%) is well written and establishes some empathy for the main character (MC), Cal.

 

However, once he gets to the game world things slow down and get a little awkward. It’s not until the 11% mark that the story finds its legs and picks back up. At that point the MC finds purpose in the world and goes on this buddy adventure with a werepanther who doesn’t like him. That’s the part of the story that caught my attention and kept me turning pages. The story of two guys that don’t like each other, but come to respect one another through shared hardship. It’s a good hook that gets you to the first story twist. There’s also some good fighting and a sort of plot to leave the game world or get revenge. But it’s kind of an excuse to fight more, level, and  gain new abilities.

 

The game mechanics in the story are pretty standard. Levels, stats, skill increases, item descriptions. There is an attempt at adding original concepts. There’s this whole mechanic where there’s no sun but four moons on this world. Each of which has some effect on magic and abilities depending on their phases. There’s also a team combo system, that’s honestly rather overpowered and a bit wand wavy. But still, it’s a good attempt at trying to bring something new to the standard RPG system.

 

The only minor complaint I have is with the magical escapes of the big bad evil guy in the story. I mean, I get the need to hold off on the big conflict and increase tension, but how many magical escapes do you need?

 

Overall, I liked the story. Good action oriented story with this buddy adventure aspect.

 

Score: 7 out of 10.

Orc Glitch: Book 1: The Mad King

http://amzn.to/2GQLKEZ

 

(Picture 7)

Unlucky Dead: A LitRPG Adventure (Liorel Online Book 1)

 

Play as the undead they said. It’ll be fun, they said.

 

When the first expansion for Liorel Online was announced, the developers declared that it would come with game-changing new features. That allure was enough to convince me and my best friend to roll up our first characters.

Unfortunately for us, the game-changing feature was the trope that had haunted the FIVR - Full Immersion Virtual Reality - industry for years.

Being trapped in the game.

What was meant to be a relaxing weekend has turned into a struggle for survival. To make matters worse, we’re stuck playing as the most hated race of this fantasy world - the Undead.

Am I unlucky or what?

 

My Opinion: 208 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Slow beginning but once the story finds itself (about the 20% mark) it gets better. There’s a good stream of action.

 

The game mechanics are different. It's a very equipment driven system with abilities being granted by equipment and talismans. The actual abilities you see are pulled from Divinity Original Sin 2. The undead characters are healed from poison and you see the same line of abilities from the polymorph skill tree.

 

The story itself is trapped in the game and die in game die in real life.  After that it’s kind of slice of life as the main character decides what kind of person he’ll be in this new world. Will he play it safe and hide away hoping someone else will save everyone or will he take risks to become stronger and protect the town he only sort of likes.

 

Overall, for a 1st novel it’s not a bad story. Once I got past the slow beginning the story got engaging. Sure, I wish there were more ways to show progression (increasing levels, or stats) but those are choices the author made.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Unlucky Dead: A LitRPG Adventure (Liorel Online Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2ptThBQ

 

(Picture 8)

The Land of the Undying: Dark Elf Chronicles Book One

 

Shari is a med student, months away from being a doctor. Mace is a coder on his first day of an exciting new job. When the world comes to a sudden and horrifying end, none would have expected them to be among the few survivors.

 

Hyper-aggressive undead creatures hunt anything living on the surface, where even the grass and trees can kill you. Hiding underground is safe, but not much of a life. Their only escape is a virtual world where Shari can use her healing skills, and Mace can focus on something other than his fears.

 

But Shari is a light elf, and Mace is a drow. Their people are ancient enemies, and neither would be welcome in the other’s world. Still they strive to come together in the game, while they scavenge for food and fight to stay alive in the real world.

 

The odds are against them, and their food will eventually run out. Is their best hope for survival to find a way to upload themselves to the game permanently?

 

My Opinion: 140K words or about 440 pg, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Full disclosure: I received an advanced copy for review. I also did a minor amount of unpaid consulting for the author.

 

This is a great novel that combines two seemingly disparate genres and does it well. The real life storyline is zombie survival. Mace lucked out getting into a secure facility, and even through he has running water, electricity,and a safe place to sleep, he’s alone. He plays a VR game so that he won’t go crazy from the loneliness. He still has to risk his life against the monsters outside to scavenge for food every couple weeks. Then one day he hears someone over the radio, Sheri, and two meet up so that they can work together to survive. Lots of great survivalist stuff in the real world story and a little romance.

 

The game storyline, is mostly action, adventure MMO stuff. But something that the author is able to do, is make that game stuff relevant to the real world storyline. Mace wants to upload his mind to the game, giving him the possibility of living there as long as the electricity in their geothermal powered facility stays up, possibly centuries. But to do that, he needs to achieve a level of synchronicity with the game by training his mind to think of the game like it’s the real world. This gives the story the excuse to have both characters play the game. But what the author does that I think is interesting, is that he keeps the theme of survival in the game, at least for the drow storyline. In addition to that, the game itself notices that all the players have gone missing and tries to figure out how to adjust, even going so far as to give quests to Shari to bring players back to their world.

 

Overall, I had a great time reading this. Though I’ll admit, I was already partial to the apocalypse survival genre.

 

Score: 8 out of 10

The Land of the Undying: Dark Elf Chronicles Book One

https://amzn.to/2uwpz47


 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

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

 

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

 

(Music 4)

 

Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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


 

LitRPG Podcast 104

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 104

 

March 16th, 2018

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 104 of the LitRPG podcast.

 

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



 

New Releases and Reviews:

  1. Axillon99: A LitRPG Novel (06:27)

http://amzn.to/2FOCtPq

  1. Blademage Beastmaster: A LitRPG Series Book 1 (13:02)

http://amzn.to/2FAZ96x

  1. Warden (Nova Online #1) (16:23)

http://amzn.to/2HShVmr

  1. The Legacy Builder (The Chronicles Of Lincoln Hart Book 1) (22:18)

http://amzn.to/2FOtydu

  1. Ghost in the Game (Dream State Saga book 3)  (26:18)

http://amzn.to/2GCr1Du

  1. Perma-Death Online: A LitRPG adventure: Book 2  (30:57)

http://amzn.to/2Dy0k1v

  1. The Metropolis - Futuristic Dungeon Core (36:16)

http://amzn.to/2FyGhVI

  1. Chronicle of the Eternal: Volume 2 (39:45)

http://amzn.to/2Fhxs2q

  1. Akillia's Reign (Puatera Online Book 4) (43:43)

http://amzn.to/2CAfe6G



 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News

 

 

Episode 103 - An author interview with Christopher Keene about his novel.

http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-podcast-103/



 

Out Now!  

 

 

Aeon Chronicles Online: Book 1: Devil's Deal

http://amzn.to/2HU53MW

 

 

GAME FALL: HAYDEN'S BOOK 2

http://amzn.to/2G7MY0H

 

 

Orc Glitch: Book 1: The Mad King

http://amzn.to/2GQLKEZ

 

 

Fragged 10 (Fragged (A LitRPG Short Story Series))

http://amzn.to/2pvHyD0


 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

Rapture - Apocalypse Gates Author's Cut, Book 1

http://amzn.to/2FXH2rw

 

 

Bushido Online: The Battle Begins

http://amzn.to/2Gc6pW1

 

 

The Way of the Clan 4: World of Valdira, Book 4

http://amzn.to/2HVYaut

 

 

The Reapers: Neuro Series, Book 3

http://amzn.to/2IJHkjB

 

 

Winds of Fate (Fayroll 3)

http://amzn.to/2IEt3Vo

 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

 

Accidental Duelist: A LitRPG Swashbuckler (Accidental Champion Book 1) (March 23th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2HTTrJC

 

 

Unlucky Dead: A LitRPG Adventure (Liorel Online Book 1) (March 24th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2ptThBQ

 

 

The Province: A Futuristic Dungeon Core (The Laboratory Book 5) (March 29th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2DJmJbu

 

 

The Land of the Undying (Dark Elf Chronicles Book 1) (March 30th, 2018)

 

 

Betrayal: A LitRPG Adventure (Monsters, Maces and Magic Book 2) (April 4th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2HfRvuK

 

 

Absalom’s Fate: A LitRPG Quest (The Everlands: Book 1) (April 10th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2FqEXjG

 

 

The Hobgoblin Riot: Dominion of Blades Book 2: A LitRPG Adventure (April 13th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GiGpIz

 

 

Countdown (Reality Benders Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 23, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2oRc7m6

 

 

You're in Game! Book #2 (Моre LitRPG stories set in your favorite worlds) (April 30th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GOXxn3

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2HE26Rp

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2HFfS60

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GCQDQq

 

 

God Mode (AlterGame Book #3) LitRPG Series (May 24th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GPikpy

 

 

Kingdom Level Five: LitRPG (May 27th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2oAvq39

 

 

Trial by Fire: A LitRPG Dragonrider Adventure (Archemi Online Chronicles Book 2) (May 28th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2FdgKAE

 

 

The Dead Rogue (An NPC's Path Book #1) LitRPG Series (May 30th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GxZKTZ


 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

Axillon99: A LitRPG Novel

 

Death isn’t a big deal in the virtual world of online gaming, but after poking her nose where it doesn’t belong, Dakota Marx finds herself running for her life―and reality doesn’t come with a respawn.

 

At twenty-two, she’s still slinging coffee at an Amazon Cafe despite having a degree in programming. It’s not because she’s unlucky, unmotivated, or even that she fancies herself an underground activist crusading against evil corporations… hunting for a ‘real’ job would take time away from her game.

 

Axillon99 is the world’s most popular multiplayer online experience, with a universe containing billions of planets to explore. Ever since video games broke the screen barrier, plunging players fully into their characters, reality just can’t compete.

 

Cognition Systems International announces a ten million dollar prize to celebrate the release of the next generation Neurona 4 interface helmet. After her crew decides to try chasing the money, Dakota discovers a sinister intent behind the new technology. Going public threatens the lives of her friends, but keeping CSI’s secret could destroy the very fabric of society.

 

My Opinion: 568 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Definitely one of the better stories I’ve read this week. An interesting mix of slice of life MMORPG adventuring, video game contest, with a bit of thriller mixed in.

 

The main character (MC), Dakota, is a twenty-something working as a barista. She spends all her free time playing the best sci-fi VRMMORPG, Axilon99, with her crew of friends. When a new immersion helmet is put on the market, the game company also announces a contest with a $10 mill prize. When the MC finds the quest chain it’s no big deal, just about everyone is getting it. But when she figures out the first clue before most people then her friends enter a race to win the contest. Unfortunately, they stumble onto something shady along the way that put their real lives in danger.

 

The game stuff in the novel are completely spot on. The game mechanics are familiar but also fleshed out enough that you can pick out a class you’d like to play in this VR world. Personally, I think I’d go with the technomancer class.

 

There are tons of insider gamer jokes from both sci-fi games and MMOs. Heck the very first quest the MC is shown playing at the 1% mark reminded me of the stealth and sci fi stuff from Deus Ex. From there it’s a lot good world building of both the game universe and the real world. The story jumps from the MC playing the game slowly explaining the various mechanics, and lore, to showing her real life and building up her backstory and creating someone the reader can empathize with.

 

About the 25% mark, the contest stuff kicks in and the pace picks up as the MC and her friends find goal to their level grinding and gaming. This also about the point where you get hints of the thriller aspect in the story.

 

Overall, a good story. I never felt like the story was forced. Every decision, even some bad ones, felt natural for the characters to make. The quests, even the ones not related to the contest, are interesting and I never minded a single side quest. All round fun read. If you’re looking for a sci-fi story with a strong female lead, this is up your alley.

 

Score: 7 out of 10.

Axillon99: A LitRPG Novel

http://amzn.to/2FOCtPq

 

(Picture 2)

Blademage Beastmaster: A LitRPG Series Book 1

 

Charlie Naylor is a good guy, but he's never been great at multi-tasking. When Larynk, the God of Corn, sends Charlie into a fantasy game, he just can't help himself trying. By combining his love of daggers, magic, and animals, he becomes the Blademage Beastmaster.

 

With a dangerous new pet, a deadly selection of daggers, and some awesome spells, he must make allies and kill monsters as he walks his path to glory. If he can do that, then he might just create a legacy for himself.

 

He used work in an office where he pushed paper, filled in spreadsheets, and made coffee. Now, he casts, conjures, stabs, and tames.

 

My Opinion: 272 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is kind of a XP grind story. The main character (MC), Charlie, gets transported to a game world by some gods who have a bet. Once there he grinds for XP. Whether that’s doing quests, killing monsters, or something else that’s mostly what the story is. It’s very slice of life, in that there’s no save the world plot or anything. Just follow the MC as he unlocks skills, increases his magic, gets ever increasingly good loot, makes some allies, and basically grinds out the XP.

 

Fun if you’re in the mood for an uncomplicated action oriented story. I thought things went a little too easy for the MC. Everything just worked out to him without him taking chances or ever failing. Heck, technically the MC can die in this game world and would respawn, but he never does. Still, not bad.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Blademage Beastmaster: A LitRPG Series Book 1

http://amzn.to/2FAZ96x

 

(Picture 3)

Warden (Nova Online #1)

 

Ready Player One meets Halo

 

Imprisoned for a murder he didn't commit, Kaiden's only hope of early release is in serving as a Warden inside the game-world of Nova Online.

 

Playing as a unique class while surrounded by aliens, pirates and warring guilds, he and his squad are tasked with protecting new players and enforcing the rule of law.

 

But Kaiden has other ideas; he is intent on proving his innocence. The keys to his freedom lie hidden in the game's seedy underbelly. And as he'll soon discover, the bloody trail that led to his arrest is more twisted than he could have ever imagined.

 

My Opinion: 384 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

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

 

While I think the novel description Ready Player One meets Halo is a big stretch, on the whole I liked the story.

 

This is a nice action filled space themed novel. It takes place in this semi dystopian future where one group, The Party, controls the government. The main character (MC), Kaiden, comes home one day to find his neighbor dead and then he’s not only arrested for the crime but convicted without getting to defend himself. In prison, he’s found eligible to participate in a program  that can shave off time in jail, the Warden’s program. The MC finds himself in a VRMMORPG game playing a Warden, the MMO’s version of cop. He has to fight in-game for a place in the program and eventually gains allies that are trying to figure out who really killed the neighbor and why. Not only is the MCs freedom at stake but something more.

 

The action is great and are a highlight of novel. The fights are tough and varied. The game mechanics, are decent. While I wished I had more information about other classes (or even seen other classes) besides the Wardens, the info about that class and how it develops is thorough. You get a variety of powers and specializations that make a leveling up feel meaningful.

 

The plot itself is fairly predictable. It ended the way I thought it would but the journey there was fairly entertaining. The only real complaint I have is how forced the story was sometimes.

 

I mean, the MC just happens to qualify for a VR game in prison where he meets the one person who’s interested in proving he didn’t do it? Then she gives him a description of the guy in game that killed the neighbor, and a chapter later, the same guy happens to assassinate someone in front of the MC and his group? Along the same lines, the XP that the MC gets and some of the missions are clearly meant to level grind the MC up to a level where he can face off against the higher leveled antagonists. It’s not something that ruins the story by any means, but it takes away a little something knowing that the MC won’t ever lose or die in the game because then he can’t resolve his situation (he’d be locked out of the game for 7 days).

 

Overall, I liked the story but couldn’t quite give it a 7 because of the issues mentioned. I think alot of that will be resolved in the next novel in the series and I look forward to getting a look at both the larger real and game world when I read it.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Warden (Nova Online #1)

http://amzn.to/2HShVmr

 

(Picture 4)

The Legacy Builder (The Chronicles Of Lincoln Hart Book 1)

 

Barakdor, a virtual fantasyland packed with elves, dwarves, gnomes and trolls.

Barakdor, a world sliding helplessly to war.

 

Lincoln wanted to be a warrior, a rogue or a mage, but he'd made a promise to himself, so he chose builder. He wasn’t supposed to play the game on his own, but now he wanted to build a legacy for Joan, a sanctuary in a virtual world.

 

It was supposed to be a place where folk could come to get away from the terrors that the land held, a utopia he would create with his bare hands. It was supposed to be Joan’s legacy. But as the growling thunderheads of war gather, he begins to think it might be a last refuge. He begins to think it might be the land’s only hope.

 

Fantasy collides with LitRPG in this first novel from The Land of Barakdor.

 

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

 

A pleasant surprise. The cover art is a little off putting but the story is good. The first half of the novel is a lot of introduction to the world, world building, character development. The main character (MC), Lincoln, is in a VR RPG game world and wants to found his own little kingdom. But first he has to find the place, attract some allies, and survive the adventures it will take to get there. The building part of the story doesn’t start until after the 50% mark of the story but the journey there is still fun and full of adventure.

 

The game mechanics in the story are standard. The MC gains experience points, levels, and can assign his stat points when he does. Skills and abilities can be taught or learned from practice but require earnest effort to train up. The town building stuff is more a matter of resource management and follows the path of an RTS. Yet, even once the kingdom building stuff starts, the story is still interesting and there are plenty of problems to solve for the MC, though they are more social quests.

 

While not an action oriented story, overall, a good read. Though if you don’t like a bunch of lore and world building info, the first half may be a bit of a drag for you.

 

Score: 7 out of 10.

The Legacy Builder (The Chronicles Of Lincoln Hart Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2FOtydu

 

(Picture 5)

Ghost in the Game (Dream State Saga book 3)

 

Noah has made a deal with the devil. In return for access to Wona’s inner circle, he must guard their Dream State game. It could be worse. After all, the Dream Engine saved his life, even if it ended so many others’. But his new alliance didn’t come without a cost. It turned many of his friends against him. Luckily, the company has assigned him a new team: Catastrophe.

 

But leading Catastrophe takes a dangerous turn. At the grand opening of a new game zone, a vicious attack puts even the Wona President on edge. As Noah digs deeper, he discovers hacking beyond anything he’s ever imagined.

 

In order to protect his virtual refuge, Noah must repair his broken friendships and work with Wona’s own lackeys. If Noah can't stop the hacker, more than the Dream State is at risk. Dark secrets lurk behind this mystery—secrets that go back to the creation of the Dream Engine itself.

 

My Opinion: 244 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

It’s been a year since book 2 came out and I honestly forgot who everyone is.  Thankfully, the author does a good job of reminding you of not only the ongoing plot of the series but who each character is and their relationship. Though it took a few chapters to sort it all out for me.

 

Book 1 in the series told the story of Noah, who was in a car accident, and had his mind connected to a immersive fantasy VR game. He had to stay there and not die, or he might die in real life while the doctors tried to work out how to wake him from his coma. It introduced a thread about who crashed into him and a evil company hiding secrets.

 

Book 2, shows Noah back on his feet, but trapped in an asylum. He’s rescued by the friends he made in the game and together they search for the evidence to bring down the game company that was doing evil research on beta testers. Only Noah makes a surprise decision to side with the game company, turning the story character a bit evil.

 

Book 3, Noah and Chloe work with the game company to figure out where these new Screamers are coming from, who’s really been behind all the illegal beta tester experiments, who arranged for car crash that killed Noah’s girlfriend. There’ plenty of dungeon diving, fighting, and cyber thriller mystery in this third novel in the Dream State Sage.

 

Basically that’s what this is, a cyber thriller. There’s no real level progression since all the main and secondary characters have maxed out their level to hero class. But all the game stuff from the first two novels is still there. There’s lots of dungeon diving as Noah and his friends try to solve the mysteries they are presented with. The group searches in game and out,  mostly in game for clues, for the people responsible for this whole thing. I won’t spoil the mystery for you but it likely not who you thought it was if you’ve only read book 1.

 

I had a good time going along for the ride.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Ghost in the Game (Dream State Saga book 3)

http://amzn.to/2GCr1Du

 

(Picture 6)

Perma-Death Online: A LitRPG adventure: Book 2

 

Sorry, no logging out

What if the log out button stops working and you get forever stuck in a VRMMORPG?

 

Rohan and his friends continue their struggles against Death13 and the Kartoshi gang, and they must find the pieces of the artefact that can be used to destroy Death13. The odds are against them but their only option is to push on.

 

In this second installment of the PermaDeath Online trilogy, Rohan must deal with mobs, Kartoshi gang members, kill pterodactyls and even fight in a tournament.

 

It's not going to be easy, but Rohan must not lose hope at any cost...

 

My Opinion: 158 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

There are still the same non-native American writing issues. There are also similar technical writing issues. However, I’ll admit, this one is better than book 1. I think a lot of that is that the reader finally gets to understand what the heck is happening with the AI Death13. There whole thing is explained in the first pages of book 2, which starts moments after the cliffhanger ending of book 1.

 

Most of the novel is questing and the main character (MC) and his friends trying to figure out how to beat the AI killing perma players without endangering their own IRL lives. The quests are Indian themed and are fine. Though the end is a little bit forced, I don’t mind because something that I appreciate here is that the MC can fail and still figure out a way to come through.

 

Overall, there’s a kind of charm to the MC’s earnestness and willingness to fail, even if means starting his character over. The technical writing issues are plentiful enough that is does lose a point though.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Perma-Death Online: A LitRPG adventure: Book 2

http://amzn.to/2Dy0k1v

 

(Picture 7)

The Metropolis - Futuristic Dungeon Core

 

Emma has come far since being the artificial intelligence housed in an underground laboratory. A full city is now at her command and with that strength comes the need to maintain it. Resources are in short supply and the threats out there in the world are bigger and more dangerous than ever. It is time for some upgrades.

 

My Opinion: 208 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Now Emma is in charge of a whole city. Not only does she have to now manage a scarcity of resources but she has to deal with the demands of her new district lords, some of whom were enemies only a short time ago.

 

Emma also has to face the attacks of someone that has the ability to rewind time and in avoiding a particularly brutal attack, opens up a pathway to new research opportunities and some godly powerful foes.

 

A good read with the action and pacing you’ve hopefully come to enjoy by now. There’s not really anymore dungeon creation but there are still resource management issues, research projects, and the creation of new weapons and soldiers.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

The Metropolis - Futuristic Dungeon Core

http://amzn.to/2FyGhVI

 

(Picture 8)

Chronicle of the Eternal: Volume 2

 

Departing Grand Theore, Regal and his squad venture out to experience the world. A world where the Immortalis rule through either power or deceit. True intentions are hidden behind a smiling facade and the bandits that riddle the trading routes are the least of their problems.

 

My Opinion: 341 pg, $3.99, Not available on Kindle Unlimited

 

I’m a fan of D. Wolfin. He’s one of the first LitRPG authors I interviewed. End Online is one of the first LitRPG stories I ever read. However, I won’t fib. This story is a little bit jinky. It is written in 3rd person present tense.  That choice plus the semi regular technical writing errors (missing words or tense changes) are going to put off some readers. But after a little while, I stopped noticing and the story grabbed me.

 

I liked this story. It's a bit slice of life. Which is expected of something that started as an online serial story. But it was still fun to read about Regal and his buddies fight, level, craft, and try to avoid the plots of the town leader. The group is growing up. They’ve graduated from the academy and are out looking for a community to learn from. Unfortunately, they find out the hard way that not everyone has their interests at heart. People want to use them or discard them.

 

Overall, good stuff. But this is not the kind of story you can into. You really need to have read Volume 1 to understand the game mechanics, magics system, the whole soulless thing, and even who everyone is.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Chronicle of the Eternal: Volume 2

http://amzn.to/2Fhxs2q

 

(Picture 9)

Akillia's Reign (Puatera Online Book 4)

 

Taking the day off work to surprise, Andy, with a ticket to the hottest fantasy VRMMORPG. Emma returns home to find his cheating ass in bed with her sister. Throwing them both out, Emma sits slugging back the wine they’d just shared. Drunk and devastated she almost blows his gift, but watching the adverts for the amazing fantasy world depicting monster’s mayhem and adventure. Emma keys in her name and details – Akillia-F-22 and decides to take on Puatera Online.


 

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

 

This novel was so frustrating I nearly pulled my hair out. At one point, I just had to put the book down and walk away or my kindle was going to get thrown across the room.

 

Part of my frustration may have to do with my expectations for the story. I enjoyed books 1-3 in the series with the main character,  Maddie, an AI who becomes self aware and fights to break the expectations of others, and her own programming to accomplish a goal and save the dragons and the player she cares for. I could ignore some of the lack of RPG mechanics because she was an NPC and the world she lived in was just a world to her. There were still RPG stuff happening, she got quests and rewards for completing those quests including XP and levels. In book 3, you even get to see her character sheet as she finally gets access to it and spends all the points that had accumulated since her creation.

 

Here, in book 4, the story is about a player Emma/Akilla. She has a bad real life break up. Her husband cheats on her on their anniversary and she uses the amazing VR gift she bought for him for herself. 6 months on an island playing a full immersion game that will feel like 2 years in-game. There’s hints that there’s also a romance thread that will develop, and it does eventually. But the story is about the MC rediscovering herself, building back up her confidence, and finding a way to be happy again (with the help of that hot dude of course). Those parts of the story are done well. The strong female lead, is also written well. She starts off feeling bad and lacks confidence but by the end of the story is leading a whole complement of warriors into battle.

 

Where the story is supremely frustrating is in the game mechanic department. There’s a section early in the story 10-15% mark, where a bunch of game mechanics are explained in detail. Loads of great information about how dice rolls work, actions, abilities, aspects, aptitudes, karma, and more. Lots of stuff.

 

Only none of that stuff really shows up in the rest of the novel. The most you get is one view of the MC’s character sheet at 47%. She spends some karma points a couple times. And there are lots of notifications in the early part of the story about her ‘discovering an action’ that really amount to a running gag. She discovers the actions: breathing, walking, jumping, and projectile vomiting. But even that aspect mostly disappears after the 30% mark.

 

Combat is almost non existent most of the story, with a highlight early on being the MC slowly pushing a sword through a goblin like creature’s chest as it stands there and doesn’t fight back. Combat picks up a bit in the last 10% of the story but this isn’t an action story.

 

The most frustrating part of the story is how forced it feels and how thing occur that just don’t make sense.

 

--Spoilers ahead------

 

Ex 1) This new player, for some reason forces herself into this big quest to get the magic dragon poop. And for some strange reason, becomes a decision maker for where they go and how many people are taken with them over the ocean. Never mind that the other NPCs that live there advise her to do otherwise. Then she decides to take a child with her for some reason on this dangerous journey, cause her ‘feelings’ tell her too.

 

Ex 2) To get access to a ship, the MC must convince come cat people to take them across the ocean. The cat person she meets refuses to give her his name since a person’s name can be used in bad spells (not established in book by the way). Not two paragraphs later, the same being is telling her his name and announcing that she’s now part of their family so of course they’ll help her.

 

Ex 3) Later the same MC saves the grandpa cat guy from a heart attack by telling his granddaughter to use her eclectic spell to jump start his heart. Only, the MC doesn’t actually know anything about how magic in the world works or if the grandpa is having a heart attack (no medical training, she works at a law firm). Of course it works.

 

Ex 4) As a reward for saving his life grandpa then gives the MC a family heirloom, a special necklace whose item description says it lets the wearer talk to sea life and command them (A bit OP but ok). Then in the next scene, the MC used that same item to create a vast magic shield to prevent the ship that’s being put into the ocean from crashing and hurting people. Later this same item is used to contact the dead, speak with guardians of the land, and even talk to the game itself. All of which is not in it’s item description. Basically the necklace becomes the doo-hikey of problem solving.

 

Ex 5) Things get so contrived, that even the other characters in the story have to some up with a reason why it’s all happening. At one point, the MC is thrown off the ship (she could have just talked to the sea creature attacking but she didn’t) and finds herself washed up on shore. Another player eventually finds her and confirms that he talked to the developers and that she should have died falling into the brutal storm ravaged sea full of monsters. But it’s explained away that ‘the game itself seems to be changing to keep her alive, because she’s the chosen one to save things and travel to a special place’. (Oh, also her cheating ex made a bet on her dying and she made a counter bet that she wouldn’t, so of course she can’t die.)

 

There’s a lot more but I think you get the idea.

 

To finish the story without pulling out my hair, I had to think of it as a fantasy story. Where any logic inconsistencies are just waved away as ‘magic’. Which for the record is also never described as a system and is just ‘I want a thing to happen, so it does’. But once I thought of it in those terms, it was easier to read.

 

Overall, as LitRPG, this was supremely frustrating. Not only does that well described game stuff in the beginning disappear as the story goes on, most of the events just don’t make sense logically.

 

As a straight fantasy story, it would maybe get a 6 out of 10.

As LitRPG is gets a 4 out of 10.

Akillia's Reign (Puatera Online Book 4)

http://amzn.to/2CAfe6G



 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

(Music 4)

 

Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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


 

LitRPG Podcast 103

 

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

This week I’m talking to Christopher Keene, author of the LitRPG series Dream State Saga. The third book in the series, Ghost in the Game (Dream State Saga book 3)  will be out (March 19th, 2018)

( http://amzn.to/2GCr1Du ).

Welcome to the podcast Christopher Keene.

 

Blog: https://fantasyandanime.wordpress.com/category/writing/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lazarinth

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ChristoKeene

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Christopher-Keene/e/B06XF9DCKP/

Book Links:

Stuck in the Game (Dream State Saga Book 1)  http://amzn.to/2DzPxTz

Back in the Game (Dream State Saga Book 2) http://amzn.to/2G21VBh

Ghost in the Game (Dream State Saga book 3) http://amzn.to/2GCr1Du

First in the Game (Dream State Saga Book 0)  http://amzn.to/2FMC78R

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15561371.Christopher_Keene


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

 

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 102

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 102

 

March 16th, 2018

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 102 of the LitRPG podcast.


 

I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews.  I have 11 new reviews just for you.


 

New Releases and Reviews:

 

Jerry, God of Morn'a Doon: A LitRPG Adventure (Hellraisers of Morn'a Doon Book 1) (09:12)

http://amzn.to/2FGeh2M

Fizzlesprocket: Everybody Loves Large Chests (Vol.2) (10:07)

http://amzn.to/2FG8s1X

Threadbare Volume 3: The Right to Arm Bears (14:59)

http://amzn.to/2FF5vi5

Dungeon Guild: A LitRPG Dungeon Core Adventure (Glendaria Awakens Trilogy Book 3)  (19:00)

http://amzn.to/2oxpkk1

The Slaver: VirTim LitRPG Episode 2 (22:34)

http://amzn.to/2p4TCuz

Dead Man Gaming: A LitRPG Series (25:00)

http://amzn.to/2GU1MNc

Tales of the Gemsmith - Chapter 01: A LitRPG Adventure Series (Aldaron Worlds) (31:48)

http://amzn.to/2CKMdVt

Outpost: A LitRPG Adventure (Monsters, Maces and Magic Book 1)  (39:44)

http://amzn.to/2CmUP4t

Archaic Venture: The Myth Of Cerberus (A LitRPG Adventure) (Fantasy MMORPG LitRPG Series Book 1) (47:50)

http://amzn.to/2FQIyuV

[New Life+] Young Again in Another World: Volume 1 (54:22)

http://amzn.to/2HtdUVy

Ritualist (The Completionist Chronicles Book 1) (59:59)

http://amzn.to/2FGDWF5

 

 

 

 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News

 

 

Episode 101 - An author interview with Dakota Krout about his novel.

http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-podcast-101/



 

Out Now!  

 

 

Fragged 9 (Fragged (A LitRPG Short Story Series))

http://amzn.to/2Gxwrkq

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2Dy0k1v

 

 

From the Beginning (Kingdoms Reborn Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2FzGMic

 

 

Axillon99: A LitRPG Novel

http://amzn.to/2FOCtPq

568 pages


 

 

The Metropolis - Futuristic Dungeon Core

http://amzn.to/2FyGhVI

208 pages

Came out mid February but I never saw it in my LitRPG amazon searches. Only noticed it as a recommend.

 

 

The Legacy Builder (The Chronicles Of Lincoln Hart Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2FOtydu

 

 

The Marchstone Dale: Omegaverse 6 (LitRPG)

http://amzn.to/2FCflEK

 

 

Blademage Beastmaster: A LitRPG Series Book 1

http://amzn.to/2FAZ96x

 

 

The Crown and the Key (Epic LitRPG Adventure - Book 8) (Fayroll)

http://amzn.to/2DuemjW

 

 

Cherry Blossom Girls: A Superhero Harem Adventure

http://amzn.to/2DvcK9A

-Some series sexual themes in this one according to the authors disclaimer. Currently #1 in Fantasy Erotica.



 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

The Bathrobe Knight: Volume 2

http://amzn.to/2tVxIz8

 

 

Fizzlesprocket: Everybody Loves Large Chests - Vol. 2

http://amzn.to/2FOum20

Our review of the ebook version: http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2018/3/15/fizzlesprocket-everybody-loves-large-chests-vol2

 

 

A Trap for the Potentate -The Dark Herbalist, Book 3

http://amzn.to/2FKdTMw

Our review of the ebook version: http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2018/1/17/a-trap-for-the-potentate-the-dark-herbalist-book-3-litrpg-series

 

 

On the Lost Continent - AlterGame Series, Book 2

http://amzn.to/2tQxclJ

Our review of the ebook version: http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/10/6/on-the-lost-continent-altergame-book-2-litrpg-series


 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

 

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

 

 

Warden Nova Online (March 19th, 2018)

*Publisher Portal, founded recently by Taran Matharu, author of the Summoner series. *

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GCr1Du

I’ll be talking to Christopher Keene this weekend for an author interview.

 

 

The Land of the Undying (Dark Elf Chronicles Book 1) (March 30th, 2018)

 

 

Betrayal: A LitRPG Adventure (Monsters, Maces and Magic Book 2) (April 4th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2HfRvuK

 

 

Absalom’s Fate: A LitRPG Quest (The Everlands: Book 1) (April 10th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2FqEXjG

 

 

Countdown (Reality Benders Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 23, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2oRc7m6

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2HE26Rp

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2HFfS60

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GCQDQq

 

 

God Mode (AlterGame Book #3) LitRPG Series (May 24th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GPikpy

 

 

Kingdom Level Five: LitRPG (May 27th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2oAvq39

 

 

Trial by Fire: A LitRPG Dragonrider Adventure (Archemi Online Chronicles Book 2) (May 28th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2FdgKAE

 

 

The Dead Rogue (An NPC's Path Book #1) LitRPG Series (May 30th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GxZKTZ


 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

 

Jerry, God of Morn'a Doon: A LitRPG Adventure (Hellraisers of Morn'a Doon Book 1)

 

Death had changed.

Dying used to be simple and straightforward, with your avatar crumpling to the ground, trembling a few times, then expiring, often with an arm across the forehead. It was clean and basic, and you spawned back at your binding point immediately and did a corpse run to pick up your gear.

This, though –

This was pretty sick.

 

My Opinion: About 30 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

A complete waste of time. Not LitRPG, though it is set in a game world. But it’s basically two jerks that hurt other players and NPCs complaining that they can’t log out suddenly.

 

Score: 4 out of 10

Jerry, God of Morn'a Doon: A LitRPG Adventure (Hellraisers of Morn'a Doon Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2FGeh2M


 

(Picture 2)

Fizzlesprocket: Everybody Loves Large Chests (Vol.2)

 

Things are not well within the Lodrak Empire. An entire city goes up in smoke and ash, and an entire province is slowly being consumed by an ever-expanding cloud of death.

 

But while the humans rally to contain the fallout of this disaster, they are much quicker to pin the blame for it on their elven neighbors to the north. With centuries’ worth of strife and bad blood between the two nations flaring up, all out war is rapidly becoming an inevitability.

 

Powerful figures are already on the move. Some wish to unravel the mystery behind the dead city in order to bring the perpetrators to justice. Others are more than content enough to use this ‘act of terrorism’ as an excuse to further the Empire’s agenda. A select few are even planning on somehow turning this cataclysm into a weapon for the sake of their ambitions. The elves of the Ishigar Republic are hard at work undermining and sabotaging their old enemy while the international community watches the ongoing situation with a critical eye. Even the Gods themselves are closely monitoring the situation, ready to intervene should they deem it necessary.

 

However, though all these entities have different reasons and methods, they all have the same objective - to find the mastermind responsible for setting all this in motion.

 

The same ‘mastermind’ that is far too busy figuring out how wagons work to notice the world is stirring.

 

CONTENT WARNING: Profanity, gore, violence, explicit adult content

 

My Opinion: 306 pages, $3.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

*Graphic sex at the beginning of the story. More cursing too.*

 

Again, this is a slice of life story where the protagonist is a monster. A mimic that in book 1 became self aware and absorbed class abilities, spells, and powers from the adventurers it ate. Now, it’s free of the dungeon it lived in, and is exploring the larger world.

 

The beginning part of this story is not my favorite. It’s a little aimless and is mostly just the MC killing and exploring his powers. Which is fine, but there’s also graphic and frankly brutal sex that just made this part unappealing to me.

 

The story in general only really gets interesting about the 38% mark, when the mimic MC goes into the big city and disguises himself as an adventurer. He goes on quests, earns loot, XP, and even learns some crafting skills. The story takes some rather interesting turns towards the end even develops something approaching a plot. I know, I was surprised too.

 

Overall, I liked the novel, but I was really turned off by the graphic sex. It fits in the nature of the demons that the MC summons but doesn’t work for me and I ended up skipping whole early sections just to avoid it.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Fizzlesprocket: Everybody Loves Large Chests (Vol.2)

http://amzn.to/2FG8s1X

 

(Picture 3)

Threadbare Volume 3: The Right to Arm Bears

 

Threadbare has reunited with his little girl, even if it didn't go exactly like he'd hoped it would.

 

But war still rages through the kingdom, and the fluffy heroes must stop the tyrant king and restore peace to their home. Celia, Threadbare, and the rest of their allies must join the final resistance, to fight for the fate of everyone within Cylvania.

 

It's a daunting task. Fortunately, they're not alone. Doom comes for the tyrant king, on soft, fuzzy little feet...

 

The epic conclusion to the new litrpg saga!

 

My Opinion: 378 pages, $4.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

I wanted to like this one as much as I did the first two novels in the series but just couldn’t. It’s not that anything really changes, there’s still all the skill gains from the most cuddly looking murder teddy bear golem and his crew. But I just couldn’t get into the premise of the novel, which is to beat the bad king and the conniving demon lady. I mean really, why? The focus in book 1 was an introduction to the world, the mechanics, and to set in motion the reason for the MC to continue gaining power, to save the little girl that owned him. Book 2, set something like 10 years later is the MC fulfilling that goal, which he does. So, if the teddy bear golem has accomplished his goal, getting his person back, why beat the bad king? Why not just leave and live somewhere else. They’re all golems that don’t eat or drink, so they could live in a far off desert or on a deserted mountain. Like I said, I just couldn’t get into the premise this time.

 

That doesn’t mean this story is bad. It’s still well written. It has plenty of RPG advancement, crafting, and fighting. It all just never landed this time with me.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Threadbare Volume 3: The Right to Arm Bears

http://amzn.to/2FF5vi5

 

(Picture 4)

Dungeon Guild: A LitRPG Dungeon Core Adventure (Glendaria Awakens Trilogy Book 3)

 

The long-awaited conclusion to the Glendaria Awakens Trilogy!

 

After their Dungeon Core was stolen, Devin headed out of their dungeon, searching for those who had taken it. Initially confused on where it could be located, he followed a vague feeling in his chest toward a distant destination.

 

Finding help from a guild of players who also wanted to return the Core, they embark on a mission to reacquire and return it before time runs out.

 

My Opinion: 174 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is the conclusion to this series. It brings together many of the loose threads in the series. The romantic issues with the two main characters Devin and Krista, are figured out by the end of the story. The storyline with the dungeon core being stolen is ironed out by the 30% mark. After that it’s back to dungeon level making, monster mashing, and dungeon diving from other players. Much of the same stuff that the other two novels had. There is the introduction of a couple new aspects, 1) the ability to make a dungeon town above grounds adds a minor scene with town conquest, 2) That a guild sides with Devin and the dungeon brings expands the cast of characters making the story a little less lonely.

 

Overall, it was an ok story. Not bad, but nothing really new. It was definitely nice to see the romance come together but it’s still the same story with dungeon making and dungeon diving. Different monsters, and different divers, but basically the same.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Dungeon Guild: A LitRPG Dungeon Core Adventure (Glendaria Awakens Trilogy Book 3)

http://amzn.to/2oxpkk1

 

(Picture 5)

The Slaver: VirTim LitRPG Episode 2

 

In this VirTim LitRPG episode, Reyn and Mianne gain a new party member. They also meet a slaver named Airoc who takes a fancy to Mianne. And Reyn has a strange experience that might help him to understand a little more about what's going wrong with the virtual game world.

 

My Opinion: 31 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Ok. I was interested enough in episode 1 to give episode 2 a try but there’s really no advancement of the story. The story starts off with a new trio of players getting ambushed by a slaver who takes two of the girls. The guy feigns death, until he’s found by the characters from episode 1. There’s another hint that the game is going wrong and a couple of fights. That’s kind of it. Not enough to draw me into another episode unfortunately.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

The Slaver: VirTim LitRPG Episode 2

http://amzn.to/2p4TCuz

 

(Picture 6)

Dead Man Gaming: A LitRPG Series

 

New LitRPG! Ex-safecracker Jimmy Stanislavsky was just trying to help an old friend stay alive when the FBI framed him. But rather than send Jimmy to prison, the Feds have an interesting offer: play the world's largest virtual reality video game MMORPG as an Undead Rogue. Infiltrate the Russian mafia, who have set up an in-game crime empire while masquerading as orcs. And do it all within three weeks.

 

Now Jimmy is racing against the clock - and the FBI's threats to put him behind bars for life. With the help of an elf, a druid, and a goblin he befriends in the game, he might just have a shot at completing the quest... or get killed by the Russian mob in real life.

 

He got framed to play the game.

 

My Opinion: 624 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This story has one of the more silly premises I’ve read. A fresh out of jail safecracker is entrapped by the FBI and recruited to infiltrate the Russian Mafia, inside a fantasy VRMMO. Only this criminal seems like he’s never played a video game his entire life. The beginning of the novel is really quite frustrating and yet, somehow, it won me over and I had a good time reading the story.

 

The first 7% of the novel is this convoluted backstory about how the main character (MC), Jimmy, got into crime and how we went in and out of prison. A bunch of stuff that isn’t important to the story at all.  All you need to know is that the day he gets released from a 6 year prison stint, the MC is convinced by his best friend to do one last job to save his little brother’s life. Instead, the MC is captured by the FBI and forced to do this virtual infiltration thing.

 

The next 30% of the story is a noob’s tale. In this game world, basically WOW focusing on the Undead race, the MC constantly asks question after question about every single gaming term, ability, concept, and action. It’s genuinely the most frustrating part of the story. It’s an accurate representation of the noob experience playing an MMO for the first time but there’s a really good reason why not everyone wants to shepard noobs around while playing games.

 

If you can get through this part, there’s actually a good story here. Once the MC hooks up with a group willing to put up with his questions and whining, then things gets interesting. The quests, combat, and world are well described. There’s loads of good group banter and ‘that’s what she said’ jokes. All the noob stuff gradually peters out until the 50% mark when the story returns to the actual premise and becomes a combination plan to infiltrate the Russian mob and a bank heist. Though don’t expect to see the actual heist stuff till the 80% mark.

 

The group dynamics, and humor (if it lands) in the story are it’s highlight. There’s really good character development as well. The action is good. Though the fundamental premise of the story doesn’t really make sense, somehow it works out. Though I’ll warn you there’s a huge cliffhanger that doesn’t make sense logically at the end of the story.

 

Overall, if you can get past all the noob question frustration, this is a good story. If you can’t ignore that stuff, then don’t pick up this novel, you might end up throwing your kindle across the room.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Dead Man Gaming: A LitRPG Series

http://amzn.to/2GU1MNc

 

(Picture 7)

Tales of the Gemsmith - Chapter 01: A LitRPG Adventure Series (Aldaron Worlds)

 

Could a Mere Crafter Be the World’s Savior?

 

All Dean Winters ever aspired to was to be left in peace and make a living of his passion as a jewelsmith.

Fresh out of College, he managed to open his shop to sell his creations and get a toehold in the business. But like most people who start out in life, the beginnings were rough and he had to struggle. Still, he wouldn’t want it any other way.

 

One evening, while he’s busy in his workshop, three men in balaclavas break in and he’s violently assaulted. That burglary will leave him crippled and traumatized. And after weeks of rehabilitation, he will finally have to accept that he’ll never again be able to use his fingers with enough dexterity to pursue this meticulous occupation.

Dean is devastated. What will he do with himself now?

 

In the unit where he’s treated, a glimmer of hope will emerge when he’ll be introduced to a virtual world that erases your limitations and where no dream is big or wild enough.

He will join Aldaron as a Mage Artificer and he will soon discover that, by drawing from his real life skills, he can progress through the levels much faster.

 

Going from one adventure to the other, Mage Winters will meet legendary players and formidable foes. But right when he thinks he’s found a new purpose, he will learn of the ominous danger that threatens everything he’s come to cherish, and that his peculiar skills might be the only hope to save them all.

 

My Opinion: 469 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

With a title like “Tales of the Gemsmith”, I picked this story up thinking it would be a crafting story. I mean the main character (MC) is a jeweler in real life and an artificer in game. However, I couldn’t have been more disappointed. In the entire 469 pages there are only a couple instances of any type of crafting.

 

Storywise, the entire thing feels forced. The MC gets his hand broken in a robbery and so he should use a VR game as physical therapy? Then once he’s in game, he gets an apprenticeship with a level 28 dwarf artificer who happens to die the next day and he inherited the dwarf’s entire lab and shop.  Then the MC is suddenly swept along on a adventure to find the Rings of Power...sorry, I mean Ouroborax Crystals. I lost interest very quickly in the predictable and forced storyline.

 

Game mechanics wise, it’s a toss up. Much of the story is written like straight fantasy, with an occasional notification. Then in combat or the rare crafting scene, things get a bit more detailed.  You see crafting skill trees, class skill trees, and loads of detail about spells and items. But that’s pretty rare in the novel. This a litRPG story. There’s levels gained, and other RPG mechanics but they often feel forced or unimportant. For example, at one point, when his dwarf mentor dies. The MC and him are facing two orcs. The mentor, level 28 bites the dust, but our hero, level 1, out of magic, beats both the monsters using only his starter quarterstaff.  Then the MC jumps from level 1 to 5 after just crafting his first rings without out any training in how crafting works in the game. It just doesn’t make sense, and I quickly lose interest when I feel like the game stuff is just there for show and doesn’t actually matter to the story.

 

Overall, I was bored reading this. I liked the little crafting and RPG game details I read about but the MC comes off as whiny, cowardly, and unlikable. Yet, for the sake of character advancement he’s forced into a hero role where everything works out for him even though the math says it shouldn’t.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

Tales of the Gemsmith - Chapter 01: A LitRPG Adventure Series (Aldaron Worlds)

http://amzn.to/2CKMdVt

 

(Picture 8)

Outpost: A LitRPG Adventure (Monsters, Maces and Magic Book 1)

 

Glenn, a college sophomore, has a Sociology 102 paper that requires spending time with an unfamiliar group or culture. Luckily, two hot girls from his class have the same idea: Attend the university’s game club to get reaction material for their papers.

A creepy game moderator shows up, ready to start a game of Monsters, Maces and Magic. Glenn doesn’t fret over the GM’s disturbing vibe, figuring it’ll lead to potential fodder for his paper.

Moments after rolling up his character and beginning the adventure, Glenn, his two classmates, and three other players are drawn into the game, literally. How and why they got trapped in the game, transformed into their RPG characters are important questions, sure. But simply surviving a world filled with horrific creatures, unknown magic, and perilous roads is first on the list.

 

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

 

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

 

This is one of the lightest RPG of any LitRPG novels I think I’ve ever read.

 

Essentially, the novel takes the same premise that Critical Failures does, a DM that transports the players to the game world, but leans more towards traditional fantasy. There’s an older series that isn’t LitRPG called Guardians of the Flame that this reminds me of that does something similar.

 

The game mechanics in the story are heavily front loaded. Before being transported to the game world, everyone sitting at the game table makes their characters and you get details about how stats, abilities, races, and classes work. Everyone describes their characters and what rolls they made and what they chose for their classes. After the 9% mark, the players are trapped in the game.

 

In the game world, there are no character sheets, no notifications, no item descriptions, no spell or ability descriptions from pop ups. Instead, additional game mechanics are explained by the players talking to each other or as someone thinking about them. The world and actions of the characters around the players are described strictly as fantasy. Though their behaviors seem to still follow any game rules established. Ie: the hot girl in the group having a high appearance score being treated a lot better than the half goblin with low charisma. Or the gnome healer missing a lot of his attacks because he has a low attack score relative to the fighter classes.  Another drawback is that no one in the group levels or ranks up in this novel. I messaged the author and he confirmed that won’t happen till book 2. So that even that RPG feeling of progression isn’t hit in this one. The author also messaged me saying in book 2, the character dream their character sheets to make changes when they level.

 

The story itself, felt like a decent table top adventure and dungeon crawl. The group has a goal, of earning enough money to afford a resurrection spell to bring back a group member. All their adventures in town or in the dungeon work to further that goal. Ultimately, things feel like they often come down to a die roll, for good or ill. None of that is shown or referenced but that’s the overall impression I got.  But despite that vibe, much of the story is delivered like a fantasy story. Which is what the author has written in the past.

 

Overall, the story just didn’t do it for me. The decision to minimize and mute the mechanics honestly made the story less interesting. It might be a plus for other readers but one of the big things I love about litRPG is that there’s a freedom to put all the UI and notification information that gamers and tabletop players are used to seeing in the story. It’s one of the ways they relate to LitRPG, seeing the same stuff they see while gaming.

 

You might enjoy the story if you don’t like notifications or character sheets in your LitRPG story.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Outpost: A LitRPG Adventure (Monsters, Maces and Magic Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2CmUP4t

 

(Picture 9)

Archaic Venture: The Myth Of Cerberus (A LitRPG Adventure) (Fantasy MMORPG LitRPG Series Book 1)

 

Step inside a new reality... A Virtual Reality

 

A Reality that Could Change Michael Forever!

 

Archaic Venture, a brand new virtual reality video game, is hot off the press and it is selling like hot cakes. However, the creator of the game, Soto Akiyama has thrown in a twist. The game will no longer function correctly until someone defeats the evil spirit plaguing the lands of Archaic Venture. Along with returning Archaic Venture to normal, there is a cash prize that goes with it.

 

For Michael Maddox, a sixteen-year-old that suffers from Cerebral Palsy and a dysfunctional home life, this game, and that money, could turn his entire life around.

 

My Opinion: ?? 100 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The first 20% of the novel is character development for the main character (MC), Michael. It’s not bad. The real life story of a teen with cerebral palsy who feels like a burden to his parents. The costs of his physical therapy are creating both a financial and relationship strain on his parents. The MC buys a VR system with his after school job money hoping to just escape his life and feel normal. It a well written section, that makes the small town the MC lives in feel fleshed out. The judgmental attitude of others, the MCs frustrations with his life and his parents. Empathy for the character is established.

 

However, once he get into the game world, the writing takes a serious nose dive in terms of both quality and content. The game world isn’t described well, the dialogue feels forced and awkward.

(Excerpt: “‘Excuse us, do you mind give us a second to talk privately?” Komodo said politely.” ) Not only that but there’s a lot of technical writing problems. Missing words, wrong words used (Through instead of threw), and bad sentence structure.

 

On the game mechanics side, there’s not really one. The story is definitely set in a VR game world. The word “level” is used, but it doesn’t mean much. In his first fight, at level 2, the MC kills a character much higher level with a single attack. He then skips ahead in the space of a paragraph to level 30. There’s no other game mechanics in the story. No character sheets, stats, health bars, ability descriptions, item descriptions. None.

 

The game story itself is also weak. There’s a contest to defeat this bad monster. Honestly, not even worth mentioning. Fairly boring.

 

Overall, outside the decent real world beginning, the story was boring. The almost non-existent game mechanics and repeated technical errors knocked it down another point for me.

 

Score: 4 out of 10

Archaic Venture: The Myth Of Cerberus (A LitRPG Adventure) (Fantasy MMORPG LitRPG Series Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2FQIyuV

 

(Picture 10)

[New Life+] Young Again in Another World: Volume 1

 

When death tapped Renya Kunugi on the shoulder, he smiled and went willingly. After enjoying a nice, long life of 94 years, he was looking forward to shutting his eyes for the last time. He was, therefore, understandably upset when he woke up again in an empty space, devoid of memories, with a young girl in a tunic rambling on and on about how she’s God. So, he did what any reasonable person would have done under those circumstances: he sent the girl flying with a kick to the face.

 

It turned out that the girl was indeed God, and she was in a pinch. She urgently needed someone to do some interdimensional Resource smuggling, and Renya fit the bill.

 

His mission: cross the boundary into another world, then chill for a few decades. God would handle the rest.

 

To sweeten the deal, she offered him an eighteen-year-old body and a whole laundry list of ludicrously powerful skills, yet he remained hesitant. Then, she mentioned the food — an exotic world comes with exotic delicacies — and this sealed the deal. The next thing he knew, he was standing in a foreign land, younger, stronger, and more clueless than ever. Will he survive this world? And more importantly, will the world survive him?

 

My Opinion: ???200 pages, $6.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

A translated work, this novel incorporated RGP mechanics with a transported to a fantasy world story. There’s good action, a little innuendo, but it’s mostly slice of life. What I was surprised to see, was the humor element to the story. The first 20%, is a comedy scene where a goddess tries to convince a soul she pulled from earth to be reincarnated into this RPG fantasy world (notifications, ranks, levels, item descriptions). If you’ve seen anime or manga, the type of humor used here should be familiar. While I thought it was funny, the humor may not land for everyone.

 

The novel is a bit pricey at over 3 cents a page (estimated, no actual page count as of this review), but translating anything and publishing it in english is an expensive proposition and the price is the same as other translated light novels.

 

Content wise, this is only the first volume, about equivalent to maybe the first two episodes in an anime series. Not a lot happens here. There’s some world building, character development, and a bit of action. But it’s again like the beginning of an anime series in that regards, lots of setup for hopefully something good down the line.

 

Overall, I liked the novel. I thought it was funny and entertaining. It felt fresh compared to the normal LitRPG I read weekly. However, for the price, it may not work for everyone. I’d suggest downloading a sample to see if the humor works for you.

 

Score: 7 out of 10.

[New Life+] Young Again in Another World: Volume 1

http://amzn.to/2HtdUVy

 

(Picture 11)

Ritualist (The Completionist Chronicles Book 1)

 

The decision to start a new life is never an easy one, but for Joe the transition was far from figurative. Becoming a permanent addition to a game world, it doesn't take long to learn that people with his abilities are actively hunted. In fact, if the wrong people gained knowledge of what he was capable of, assassins would appear in droves.

 

In his pursuit of power, Joe fights alongside his team, completes quests, and delves into the mysteries of his class, which he quickly discovers can only be practiced in secret. Ultimately, his goal is to complete every mission, master every ability, and learn all of the world's secrets. All he has to do is survive long enough to make that happen.

 

My Opinion: 323 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

I liked this novel so much, I was already like 10% into it before I remembered I was supposed to be taking notes for the review. Lol.

 

This is mostly a slice of life story that puts an injured field medic in a fantasy VRMMORPG. He’s in the game by the 8% mark, taking virtual tests to see what classes he’ll be eligible for during character creation. During testing he gets an opportunity to get a rare class with some unique benefits. In the game, he’s pretty squishy and uses this restriction to research and develop different ways to advance. And think that’s what I like most about the story. That the main character (MC) doesn’t become this overpowered murder machine, wiping out monsters left and right. Instead, because of his class, he has the possibility to become very powerful late game, but early game he’s pretty weak. He has low strength, low constitution, and low dexterity. Making even running for an extended period a real challenge.

 

Instead, the MC relies lots of research and experimentation to figure out how to even use his class powers. Then more time, to figure out how to use that information to expand his spell repertoire. It’s fun to follow the research.

 

There’s still questing, monster killing, and other XP grinds. But even then, the MC can’t hunt alone so he has to find a group and eventually a guild to work with. That brings in PvP, and even Guild versus Guild conflict into the story.

 

There are hints of a larger plot line for the series but this one is mostly slice of life, until at least the 73% mark when it shifts to dealing with the exclusive mages guild.

 

Overall, I had a good time reading the story.

 

Score: 7 out of 10.

Ritualist (The Completionist Chronicles Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2FGDWF5



 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

(Music 4)

 

Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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



 

LitRPG Podcast 101- Dakota Krout #4

 

Welcome everyone. I’m Ramon Mejia from the LitRPG Podcast. Today I’m talking to the Dakota Krout, author of the Divine Dungeon series (http://amzn.to/2GoPP2O ).

 

He’s here to talk about his novel Ritualist (The Completionist Chronicles Book 1) (http://amzn.to/2FGDWF5 ), which will be available on March 15th, 2018. He’s also kind enough to answer some audience questions.

 

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/TheDivineDungeon/  

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Dakota-Krout/e/B01M2UQD35/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

The Ritualist: Ritualist (The Completionist Chronicles Book 1) (http://amzn.to/2FGDWF5 )

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15946423.Dakota_Krout

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

 

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 100

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 100

 

March 9nd, 2018

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 100 of the LitRPG podcast.

 

I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews.  I have 10 reviews for you.

 

I’ll also our last set of winners of the LitRPG Podcast Giveaway, including the Grand Prize Winner, in LitRPG News.


 

New Releases and Reviews:

  1. Auger & Augment (Blood of The Boundless Book 1) (14:32)

http://amzn.to/2FLGJwS

  1. Dungeon Deposed (21:23)

http://amzn.to/2t3s916

  1. A Game Called Quest: A Retro LitRPG Novel (29:07)

http://amzn.to/2oLwIbL

  1. The Quest: Last Gods Book 1 (34:10)

http://amzn.to/2FWKKhV

  1. The Lionheart: a LitRPG Novel (No Respawn Book 1) (41:16)

http://amzn.to/2Cjie6T

  1. Barrow King: The Realms Book One (A LitRPG Adventure) (52:42)

http://amzn.to/2FzBf8m

  1. Dragon Seed: A LitRPG Dragonrider Adventure (The Archemi Online Chronicles Book 1)  (58:53)

http://amzn.to/2DvWdmD

  1. Mitigating Risk (Nora Hazard Book 1)  (01:08:16)

http://amzn.to/2oPXujl

  1. Warrior Academy: The Hiroic Trio - Episode 2 (01:12:48)

http://amzn.to/2F086G7

  1. Restart (Dark Paladin Book #3) LitRPG Series  (01:16:01)

http://amzn.to/2mI2XGT  

 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News

 

 

Book 1 in the Greystone Chronicles is going to be FREE till 11:59 pm 3/9/18 to promote the release of the audiobook version.

http://amzn.to/2oSSdY2



 

 

LitRPG Podcast is running a contest to celebrate 100 episodes

 

Messages

 

A lot of messages came in over the last few weeks.

  • Many of them pointed out how much they appreciate the reviews and how they help them decide what to buy. Especially folks with limited budgets who don’t have Kindle Unlimited.

  • Plenty of people really like the author interviews, with multiple mentions of the Aleron Kong ones being people favorite.

  • Vasily Mahaneko vs Aleron Kong game I recorded was also popular.

  • Also, viewers seem to appreciate my mad dance skills.

 

“I can't say that I have a favorite podcast moment, however I do have a preferred type of episode and those are the author interviews. Michael-Scott Earle, Daniel Schinhofen and the elusive D. Wolfin in particular were my top picks. Depite D. Wolfins connection issues, seeing the author who introduced me to LitRPG was a treat. Honorable mention goes to the DragonCon vid. Wait, wait. Hold up. I've discovered the 'Real Life RPG - Reputation' video. I hereby add a second honorable mention to the list. OK, time to stop looking at old videos or the list will keep growing. Thank you for the reviews and pretty much helping point the way to the good stuff. Your passion shines through =) “

 

“Over the past couple of episodes you asked us to write in and tell you one of our favorite LitRPG Podcast moments. For me -- hands down -- it's episode 50, your interview with Michael-Scott Earle. This was by far one of the most epic, insightful, and motivational author interviews I've ever heard. It was a total eye-opener, and the kick in the butt I needed to get back to working on my first novel. Hearing both of your perspectives as authors working away at this every day really shed the light on the path ... Episode 50! This is the one that really changed things for me!!”

 

Great messages and I really appreciate all the support you the viewers and listeners have given. Whether it’s on Patreon, or using the links we have on our reviews, or sharing and liking the podcast wherever you find it. This podcast does not exist unless you the viewer/listener support it. So thanks.

 

Ok Now to announce the big winners!!

 

Runner up winners - Chad E Milner, and Marc Robert.

 

  • Signed Copy of Adventures on Terra or Project Alpha by R.A. Mejia

  • Alpha Company T-Shirt from Daniel Schinhofen

 

Grand Prize Winner - Felicity

 

  • Limited Edition Alpha Company T-Shirt

  • Limited Edition LitRPG Podcast T-shirt

  • Limited Edition Adventures on Terra T-Shirt

  • Mist Village sweater

  • Three signed novels from R.A. Mejia

  • $100 Amazon gift card

 

Check your facebook messenger requests and e-mail folders.

Thank you everyone that sent entered the contest and sent in so many great messages.



 

Out Now!  

 

I still plan to review the ones I couldn’t get to from last week. But here are the new ones that came out this week.

 

 

Chronicle of the Eternal: Volume 2

http://amzn.to/2Fhxs2q

 

 

Outpost: A LitRPG Adventure (Monsters, Maces and Magic Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2CmUP4t

 

 

Dungeon Guild: A LitRPG Dungeon Core Adventure (Glendaria Awakens Trilogy Book 3)

http://amzn.to/2oxpkk1

 

 

The Slaver: VirTim LitRPG Episode 2

http://amzn.to/2oTGmZE

 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

The Greystone Chronicles: Book One: Io Online

http://amzn.to/2tp6f8x

 

 

Pangea Online Book One: Death and Axes: A LitRPG Novel

http://amzn.to/2Hf2ynU


 

Upcoming LitRPG:


 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GhFLqZ

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2Dy0k1v


 

 

Ritualist (The Completionist Chronicles Book 1) (March 15th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2FGDWF5


 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2CAfe6G

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GCr1Du

 

 

The Land of the Undying (Dark Elf Chronicles Book 1) (March 30th, 2018)

 

 

Betrayal: A LitRPG Adventure (Monsters, Maces and Magic Book 2) (April 4th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2HfRvuK

 

 

Absalom’s Fate: A LitRPG Quest (The Everlands: Book 1) (April 10th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2FqEXjG

 

 

Countdown (Reality Benders Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 23, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2oRc7m6

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2HE26Rp

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2HFfS60

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GCQDQq

 

 

God Mode (AlterGame Book #3) LitRPG Series (May 24th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GPikpy

 

 

Kingdom Level Five: LitRPG (May 27th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2oAvq39

 

 

Trial by Fire: A LitRPG Dragonrider Adventure (Archemi Online Chronicles Book 2) (May 28th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2FdgKAE


 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

Auger & Augment (Blood of The Boundless Book 1)

 

The Boundless promises the opportunity to escape reality, but those who enter find that what the game offers isn't as simple as it appears. You can escape your job, and you can escape your family, but you can't escape human nature—and you can't escape yourself.

 

Nathan Hill needs out: out of his family and out of his life. When he's offered just such an opportunity, he jumps at the chance. Still, software is still software, and humans are still human, and Nathan finds himself defenseless and facing a wild new world alone, full of danger, and every bit as complicated as the life he left.

 

Content Warning: Profanity, Violence, and just a touch of The Gay.

 

My Opinion: 319 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

*The author tells you there is a ‘Touch of the Gay’ in the story. This amounts to a single kiss between to male characters and a discussion about being gay. So don’t miss a good story.*

 

The setup for how the main character gets into the game world is a bit loose. But he’s in the game by the 5% mark. Once there he finds his setup and character creation process aren’t quite like the other players but he does the best with what he has. The main character (MC) never becomes overpowered but instead makes steady progress as as kind of support character with unique spells and abilities. He’ll become powerful eventually, the setup is all there, but it doesn’t happen in this novel. I really liked how the MC develops his powers though.

 

One of the things that i think make this novel stand out from others is that the RPG game world isn’t setup to cater to players. Instead, the world is rather hostile towards them. Players kill other players, there are tough monsters, and even the NPCs are more than willing to take advantage of the players in the right situation. NPCs can and do lie, cheat, steal, and scam players. There’s a whole world of fully developed NPCs with thousand of years of history.

 

Combat is well described and there are some genuinely good tactics employed by the MC and his group of friends. The game mechanics are familiar but with enough variation in unique skills and ways to progress that it’s interesting to read about.

 

The story is mostly slice of life, following the MC, as he explores this game world. There are dungeon dives, crafting, a little bit of intrigue, and some neat twists in the story. There are also some emotional moments that are touching as the MC comes to grip with his internal conflict between his ingrained belief system, the way he thinks he should be, and who he really is.

 

Overall, a good story that had me sniffling in a couple of places.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Auger & Augment (Blood of The Boundless Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2FLGJwS

 

(Picture 2)

Dungeon Deposed

 

Ryker only has one goal in his life right now:

 

Turn a certain adventuring guild into a flaming wreck while dancing merrily through the smoldering ruins. All for the chance to get back at a handful of people.

 

It isn’t as if they didn’t deserve it either.

 

They had driven him from his home. Chased him physically from the very guild house itself. All the way to the gates of the city.

 

Simply because he wasn’t as strong as they expected him to be.

 

As strong as he’d expected himself to be.

 

He’d returned to the city the next day and left with his means for revenge. Something he’d hidden away and told no one about when he found it in one of his few Dungeon Dives.

 

An inactive Dungeon Core.

 

A crystal the size of a fist with a soul inside. One that could create anything from mana it wanted to. From monsters and complex cave systems to gold coins.

 

Years spent in planning, and unfortunately farming, as he waited. Now it felt like his moment was finally here.

 

The Dungeon Core had been acting strange lately. As if it were finally… coming to life.

 

Watching over the crystal like a hawk for this very event, Ryker impatiently waits. Any day now, it'd start.

 

And he could set about taking his vengeance.

 

Starting with ripping the soul of the Dungeon out.

 

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

 

My Opinion: 382 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

First let me say that there are a lot of people who absolutely love this novel. It hits all their buttons. For me, there are some really good parts that I like a lot. What the author does with the dungeon is innovative. The main character is interesting and not your normal hero type. There’s a variety of good fights. However, overall the story didn’t land with me.

 

The very first thing I ask as someone that reviews LitRPG stories, is this story LitRPG? That was a hard one for me to qualify this time. It has an system in the story but much of the details are hidden away. Adventurer’s and monsters have ‘cards’ that show their stats, level, and skills. But it’s only something that’s referred to in the story, the actual information on those cards is hidden away. That’s kind of the extent of anything RPG related. I was on the fence but i decided that yes, there is an RPG system. It’s referenced several times that characters level and there are classes with specific powers that’s a part of the world. Just because I’d like to see more details, or really any details at all, doesn’t mean that this RPG game world is hidden from the reader or the characters.

 

The dungeon master stuff is interesting. The MC has this detailed plan to use a dungeon he can create and control to get his revenge. The dungeon isn’t your standard hack and slash though. It becomes this story based system that has quest giving NPCs and as more adventures die, the MC absorbs their class skills and abilities that he uses to make more complex and powerful monsters. There’s more interesting stuff that I won’t spoil.

 

However, most of the dungeon master story disappears by the 35% mark. At that point, the story becomes more focused on politics and intrigue as both the Queen of the country and her rivals vie for control of the dungeon through marriage and sex. The story also becomes more harem.

 

Overall, I wanted to like this story. I like that the MC is a bit darker and ok with killing adventurer’s as long as he gets the revenge he wants. The dungeon master stuff is good but the dungeon development becomes a minor part of the story after the 35% mark. I’m also not a particular fan of political intrigue, which becomes a major focus of the story. That coupled with the severe lack of detail on the RPG system in the world just made it less interesting to me. Had even one of those things been more developed: showing the adventurer cards, or more dungeon development in the story, this would have gotten a 7.

 

While the story wasn’t a home run for me, if you like political intrigue or if weren’t expecting a full dungeon master story or if you prefer super super light RPG stuff, you will likely love this story.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Dungeon Deposed

http://amzn.to/2t3s916

 

(Picture 3)

A Game Called Quest: A Retro LitRPG Novel

 

March 16th, 1982, a day that Donny has been waiting and planning for.

 

Launch Day for Pac-Man on the Atari 2600!

 

But an early start, endless queuing and a mad dash comes to nothing when bully Brian, who has been after Donny for years, steals his copy in the store. In an effort to cheer Donny up, his older sister, Amanda, takes him and his newfound compadre, Kevin, to an odd little shop downtown where the shop keep rents them an Atari game called Quest--and it is like nothing the three of them have seen before.

 

They become sensually immersed in the world of Quintarria with the shop keep's 3D controller contraption hooked to Donny's Atari, and in this world, Donny, Amanda, and Kevin must defeat the evil overlord Serranti and bring peace to the land for the Elves, freeing them from the oppression of the dark Elves.

 

While they race to finish the game, Brian and his cohorts try to keep the unlikely trio from finishing the game's quest to free the Elves of Quintarria. Donny must not only save Quintarria and Earth, but find a way to stop Brian's ongoing torment.

 

My Opinion: 126 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Way too pricey for 126 pages.

 

Set in the 1982, this story makes a bid for nostalgia and combines it with a kind of transported to a game world story. It does the nostalgia part well with all the correct references and the descriptions of the town. Pac Man, alligator shirts, and Atari. Unfortunately, the game part just doesn’t do well.

 

The kids are sent to a game world where there’s an evil bad guy they have to beat and they’re sent on a series of quests to gather allies to face him. When they first get there, they’re given roles as a warrior, a mage, and an archer and allowed to choice from three races. And it’s here that you start to see the limitations of the RPG system in place. There’s a distinct lack of agency on the part of the players. They are given a string of ‘on the rail’ quests and they level and then move onto the next quest. The kids are never given any choice about how they develop their characters and are just given abilities and levels as they complete the quests. Whole swaths of levels are skipped in the story. The characters go from level 2 to 21 in the space of a page with no details of how they got there. No choice, no depth. And that, to me is the biggest failing of the story. The game part is frankly boring. I get that it likely references the kinds of games from the 80s, with their limited play choice options and limited ability to customize a character. But if the author can essentially bring a VR game system into the story, why couldn’t he implement a better game system too?

 

Overall, the story had promise. The real world storyline is very engaging and I genuinely felt bad for the kids when they were being bullied and when things turn around at the end. But the RPG game stuff just wasn’t as well developed.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

A Game Called Quest: A Retro LitRPG Novel

http://amzn.to/2oLwIbL

 

(Picture 4)

The Quest: Last Gods Book 1

 

When Jason receives a beta immersive virtual reality game rig he does suspect that he will be transported to a new world with no way to log out or go back home. Nor did he think he would end up a slave forced to fight for his gremlin masters.

 

Will Jason find a way to get free and can he get back home?

 

My Opinion: 197 pages, $1.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

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

 

There are a lot of good things going on with this story. It’s a little ambiguous whether it’s trapped in the game or transported to a game world, but there are definitely RPG rules that everyone is aware of and follows, with the glaring exception of combat.

 

The main character (MC), Jason/Actaeon, tries out the latest VR system and finds himself captured and forced to fight in a fantasy world as a gladiator. The fights are over the top and I’ll mention why that bothers me in  second, but for the most part, this is a really solid story. The MC is only one of many players being captured and enslaved as they come into this world. He makes friends and allies with the other captured players and that relationship building is done well.

 

The story itself doesn’t have a definite conclusion and is a bit slice of life. It feels more like part of a serial story, with some loose threads that are going to be developed later in the series. This includes a whole 2nd narrative about some guy named Larion that doesn’t have anything to do with the MC for now.

 

Game mechanic-wise, the author put quite a bit of effort into creating a balanced system. The MC trains and gains skills, new abilities, and increases his stats. He even learns magic at one point but has to grind out levels in that if he wants it to be useful. When the MC levels, he only has a few stat and skill points, so he has to be careful about where he distributes those points.

 

Unfortunately, this balance disappears as soon as combat is initiated. In his first fight, the level 1 MC is able to one-shot an opponent so much more powerful that his level appears as “lvl. ???” Something the reader later learns means that the opponent is at least 30 levels above them. Not only does this occur here, but in every single fight scene where the MC isn’t training. Later the MC even one-shots a whole group of higher level opponents in full platemail, using a sword he just picked up and has no skills for. It just seems like the author is so focused on making these fight scenes over the top that he’s willing to ignore the RPG game rules he’s established.

 

Which is a shame, because the fact that these fight scenes seem so wand wavy and ignore the rules of the world, are just about the only thing that I don’t like about the story.

 

Overall, a good story with lots of potential. However, the fight scenes just brought down my enjoyment level because of how much they broke the RPG rules that were setup. If you can ignore that kind of stuff or just don’t care if it happens in small doses, then you’ll like the story a bit more than me. My gamer brain just won’t let me ignore it though.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

The Quest: Last Gods Book 1

http://amzn.to/2FWKKhV

 

(Picture 5)

The Lionheart: a LitRPG Novel (No Respawn Book 1)

 

Tharis doesn’t know who he is, what he is, or what he will do. All he knows is that he must fight and kill as that is what his IRL player tells him to do.

 

Soon, Tharis realizes he can taste, feel, and even think on his own! With life becoming more real every second, Tharis finds that he can take control of his own destiny--literally--against the will of his creator. Yet all decisions have consequences, and with awareness comes the fear of death.

 

And for Tharis… there is no respawn.

 

My Opinion: 280 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

From fantasy writer Stevie Collier, this novel tries to unsuccessfully combine an awakened AI story with MMORPG storyline. You can tell the author has lots of gaming experience but he ultimately sacrifices the game parts of world for the Story.

 

As I read the story, it became very evident that the game mechanics and world rules would be ignored anytime a certain story event had to go a particular way. You can genuinely read the first 23%, skip to the 41-44%, then skip to 86-89% for the big reveal about what’s happening in the game world and lose nothing. Everything else feels like RPG themed filler.

 

--Spoilers ahead---

 

The novel starts our with a new character being created in an MMORPG. This character is blank and is somehow aware that someone else is making all the choices about his race, appearance, class, and gender. He’s then dropped into the world as Tharis, a level 1 half -elf warrior, even though he’d rather be an architect. Up until the 23% mark, the story follows this character as he goes on a series of quests to level up, get new gear, and work with other characters to find some way to beat Toxhin. Toxhin is a killer that has taken the starter village hostage, demanding money and killing anyone that gets to high a level.

 

This first 23% is a good story. There are hints that the MC has some ability to see beyond the code and question if someone is controlling him. At the same time, there’s plenty of RPG questing stuff. My only complaint about this section is the lack of depth about XP, and weirdly never seeing a character sheet or getting any numbers for health. There’s a distinct absence of info, especially when compared against the other game details the author provides.

 

However, at the 23%  mark, just as the main character (MC) and his friends are about to be killed by Toxhin, there’s some serious wand waving and MC uses his Neo like game powers to fall through the floor to safety. It’s at this point that I realized that game stuff, the rules, the whole system doesn’t really matter to the story. This is further confirmed as the story suddenly allows the MC to talk to animals, trees, and get quests from them. Then get arrested by his own faction and is forced to power level to 19 (lots of level skipping here too) just to be sent back to the village and face off against Toxhin.

 

Their final conflict really ended my interest in the story, as again, some serious wand waving occurs. Again, just as he’s about to die, he’s forced to kill his friend and it’s just enough to get level 20, refill his health, earn a legendary subclass, auto equip  magically protective armor, and beat the bad guy. And that’s when I realized why the author never showed how much XP characters got or needed to level, otherwise, this exact scene would never be possible.

 

The rest of the story is just filler, getting the MC more levels, some specialized skills, and equipment, and finding more people like him. It all culminated at the 86% mark where the MC gets all the explanations he wants about him being in a game and is told he’s destined to save everyone.

 

The novel actually ends at the 89% mark. The last 11% of the novel is also filler, or rather, the beginning of the authors fantasy novel. Nothing to do with LitRPG.

 

Overall, I liked the first quarter of the story. But once it became evident that the game rules established didn’t matter. That they would be ignored anytime a certain story event had to go a particular way, I honestly lost interest. You can genuinely read the first 23%, skip to the 41-44%, then skip to 86-89% for the big reveal about what’s happening in the game world. Everything else feels like RPG themed filler.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

The Lionheart: a LitRPG Novel (No Respawn Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2Cjie6T

 

(Picture 6)

Barrow King: The Realms Book One (A LitRPG Adventure)

 

Betrayed by those closest to him, Finn Caldwell thought he’d escaped his life of violence and deception. But when a frantic message from his estranged sister draws him into The Realms, the world’s most advanced holographic reality game, Finn is forced to embrace his deadly skills once more.

 

Armed with a mysterious artifact known as a Godhead, Finn becomes the warrior mage Gryph. Yet, things are not as they seem and to save his sister, he must escape a sentient dungeon by defeating its master the Barrow King.

 

My Opinion: 452 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Launch issues: spelling and grammar errors, missing pages, according to reviews but the author assures me they've been fixed.

 

The novel starts out as a cyber thriller where the main character (MC), Finn, former spy is sent a message by his sister. She’s been missing for the last six months and is trapped in a game created by the most immersive VR game creator. It’s all very cyber thrillery. Very. It also doesn’t really matter, except as a long term plot for the series. In this novel, it’s just a way to get the MC trapped in the game.

 

There’s also this whole other subplot that the game is really a portal to an alternate dimension where this world is ruled by game mechanics and the CEO of the company used beta players to take over and then advance the universe by 200 years once he was the god of the world. But this honestly doesn’t make sense and I choose to ignore it.

 

After character creation, which takes way too long (like 40 whole pages). The rest of the story is a dungeon dive. You get a bit of insight into how the MC has a unique abilities and a special item that will make him like a god eventually, but for now has to be leveled up through epic level fights. The MC collects some nice party members but it is still a dungeon dive.

 

The story has flaws. Like a few of the fights being wand wavy and there being no way the MC should have won (like he fights a level 21 character at level 1 and wins). And the loot the MC gets is so overpowered. But beyond that, the story is good. Most of the other fights are balanced and well described. It’s a pretty good dungeon dive story over all.

 

Score: 7 out of 10.

Barrow King: The Realms Book One (A LitRPG Adventure)

http://amzn.to/2FzBf8m

 

(Picture 7)

Dragon Seed: A LitRPG Dragonrider Adventure (The Archemi Online Chronicles Book 1)

 

What would you give to be a dragon rider?

 

Before being conscripted to fight in the Total War, Private Hector Park had a shattered family, a collection of old videogames, and a promising career as a motorcycle stuntman. Now, he is dying from a virus threatening humankind with extinction. He has three days to live.

 

When Hector’s brother contacts him after years of hostile silence, Hector goes to try and make peace. But his brother has an offer even more unbelievable than reconciliation: the chance to cheat death by joining him in Archemi, a full-immersion fantasy VR-RPG video game.

 

Determined to forge a life worth living, Hector undergoes the experimental upload process and chooses the difficult path of the Dragon Knight. To achieve his dream, he must prove himself worthy of imprinting a dragon, a being with whom he will share a telepathic bond more intimate than any human relationship.

 

But at what cost?

 

My Opinion: 426 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The beginning portion of this story, the real world stuff, is a bit slow. I’d suggest skipping it and jumping right to the 12% mark. Just know that the main character (MC), Hector, has disease that is killing him. He and others like him are uploaded into a full immersion game that’s still technically in Beta. Everything else about the real world story is touched on in the rest of the story.

 

Now, the rest of the novel is quiet good. Like surprisingly good. From the cover, I was expecting another high fantasy, barely LitRPG story, that depended on dragons to make it interesting. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Not only is this a crunchy LitRPG story, it’s one that has a surprising amount of depth to the game system and the world building.

 

After character creation the story drops the MC on a magically powered airship as a slave who has to figure out someway to escape. That’s right, a magic powered airship. This novel incorporates magictech. There are hints that there’s a whole magictech civilizations but you don’t get to see them in this novel. Still, that alone told me that this novel wouldn’t be the same old fantasy story.

 

On the game side, there are lots and lots of notifications, ability descriptions, character sheets, damage notifications, and more. The number of skill and ability choices is varied for the MC and there’s more than enough info to roll your own character in this world. In the first half of the story, there’s even an important survival game aspect that I thought was well done. In addition to that crafting plays a very important part of the story since there are no healer classes.

 

Not only is there depth to the game system though. More surprising is the depth to the world building. The author describes distinct cultures with their own histories, influences, and biases. Each has distinctive dress, traditions, and even hairstyles. I was truly surprised at how fleshed out the game world felt.

 

Some of that depth diminishes as the story enters the 2nd arc after the 50% mark. But it just shifts to a smaller story that is a bit more military and focuses on the objective of the MC becoming a dragon rider. However, even in this half, there are plenty of surprises and interesting twists.

 

Overall, I had a very good time reading the story and look forward to seeing where it goes in the next book.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Dragon Seed: A LitRPG Dragonrider Adventure (The Archemi Online Chronicles Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2DvWdmD

 

(Picture 8)

Mitigating Risk (Nora Hazard Book 1)

 

*Nora Hazard's story begins over three years prior to the events of Delvers LLC: Welcome to Ludus.*

 

On Ludus, life is often cheap. Nora’s childhood hadn’t given her many options. With nowhere else to go after losing her family, she had joined an old friend in a street gang and found an unlikely home there.

 

But unfortunately, tragedy is about to befall Nora. Grudges from the distant past and movements of shadowy organizations may take away everything she is familiar with and all that she holds dear…possibly even her life.

 

Danger has never stopped her before, but survival may require escaping her old life and embarking on an insane, desperate journey. On the way, she might even accidentally stumble into both an incredible opportunity, and an incredible burden.

 

Unfortunately for her enemies, Nora was no pushover before...and that was before discovering super powers!

 

My Opinion: 238 pages now says 400, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This almost feels like a short story. I mean that in the best way possible. It’s a very efficient story. Sets up backstory and empathy in the first 25%. Them gets into the Game mechanic and world building explanation. Them straight into the application of those new powers kicking butts. All without ever getting boring or cluttered. It’s one of the most efficient stories I’ve read from the author and, with the exception of parts in the middle,  it just flies by as you read it.

 

You don’t have to have read Delvers LLC to read this. You’ll get more of the references if you have, but the author does a great job of explaining what Ludas is and the orb mechanics. Good stuff that you can see tying into the larger series but still stands alone as a good action story.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Mitigating Risk (Nora Hazard Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2oPXujl

 

(Picture 9)

Warrior Academy: The Hiroic Trio - Episode 2

 

After the world is destroyed humanities survivors start anew. Now in a world forever changed, a place where magic is real, and monsters have come to life. A place where magic and science blend with pop culture… Welcome to Warrior Academy.

 

Welcome back to Warrior Academy. Rejoin Hiro and friends as they continue their journey. Meet new friends and enemies. More food, fighting, and music.

 

If you like video games, music, anime, and just pop culture in general… you will love Warrior Academy. Its Harry Potter meets Naruto with a little Dragon Ball Z and Dungeons and Dragons thrown in for fun, oh and don’t forget a smattering of High School Musical…

 

This is the second episode in a 13 episode series.

 

(P.S. There is an attached Youtube and/or Spotify playlist meant to be listened to with the episode. Think of it as a Soundtrack.)

 

My Opinion: 291 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Fun slice of life that reads a bit like mash up fan fiction. It’s set in a future world were a cataclysmic change occurred bringing monsters and great evils into the world. This same change gave the few human survivors powers and abilities to fight the monsters. These survivors took this raw power and used anime and manga as their inspiration to create controlled powers.

 

Over time the original stories became myth and the clans took on their names. So you have thing like the Belmont Clan, teachers named Professor Strange, and an old wise martial arts instructor named Roshi.

 

The MC has a tragic past that is gradually revealed in flashback chapters. He’s attending this school where he competes and learns with other teens like him. Teens with powers and martial training who are being taught to harness their powers and increase their levels and ranks.

 

In this episode, there’s an introduction of a sport that gets people in teams and an inter school competition.

 

Mostly slice of life stuff, sports, classes, school rivalry, crafting

But about ¾ in you get a development of a larger plot point for the series. Overall, it is fun, parody stuff. If you like the characters and the fighting, it’s fun to follow the MC on his slice of life adventure.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Warrior Academy: The Hiroic Trio - Episode 2

http://amzn.to/2F086G7

 

(Picture 10)

Restart (Dark Paladin Book #3) LitRPG Series

 

The Game is in turmoil. All the players’ strength and resources are invested in preparing for Restart: only twenty percent of the players will make it to the next era. Murders are becoming commonplace; bribes and nepotism are at their height. Betrayal is becoming an inherent part of everyday interactions. The Game has spread its perfidious influence to the farthest corners of the Universe, affecting every sentient being. Will the Dark Judge reach the right verdict? Will he follow the ideals of his class to the end, or will he reject them, becoming an ordinary player? Yaropolk must make a fateful choice: he is the Guide. The one who will launch the Restart.

 

My Opinion: 323 pages, $5.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Took me a little while to remember who everyone is. This is not the kind of series you pick up in the middle. You have to have read books 1 and 2 first. Even then, it’s kind of a complicated story.

 

Basically, our world is actually a game and there’s a whole hidden game system with a bunch of specific rules. The main character (MC) has up till now just been trying to get a grasp of it all, get a class, a job, and grinding out some levels. Only now, the conditions to reset everything and start over have been met. The big question is, if Restart happens, who’s going to get to determine what the new game world is like? Also, only 10% of the existing players will make it through to the new iteration and there’s fierce fighting for those spots.

 

This series in general has been harder to get into than The Way of the Shaman because the game world rules are harder to understand. In this series there are a bunch of custom game rules and complex social/political aspects. There’s even this whole plot with the archetypes of Merlin and the Madonna. The Way of the Shaman was at least in part inspired by World of Warcraft.

 

Overall, I liked the novel, though even for me it’s unnecessarily complex in some places. If you didn't like the first books in the series, this one is going to be just as confusing. The pay off at the end is worth it, if you like the series. This is the last book in the series, for now, according to the author.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Restart (Dark Paladin Book #3) LitRPG Series

http://amzn.to/2mI2XGT


 

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 099

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 099

 

March 2nd, 2018

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 99 of the LitRPG podcast.

 


 

I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews.  This has been the longest week for me. A staggering number of LitRPG novels came out since last week, over 20. I have 11 reviews for you, 10 others I didn’t get to read and 1 plagiarism case in LitRPG news.

 

I’ll also have our 2nd set of winners of the LitRPG Podcast Giveaway in LitRPG News.


 

New Releases and Reviews:

New Eden Royale: An Apocalyptic LitRPG Series (19:58)

http://amzn.to/2GEbbs6

The Park: A LitRPG Novel (The Park Online Book 1) (24:40)

http://amzn.to/2CJR1uc

Avatars Rising: SILOS I  (32:28)

http://amzn.to/2E6WHR2

Duel Reality 2071: A Dystopian LitRPG Cyberpunk War Novel (37:50)

http://amzn.to/2Co7oN2

Bounty Harlot: A World of Brutalia LitRPG (40:41)

http://amzn.to/2CLeYkP

Playing for Keeps  (Alpha World Book 4) (45:13)

http://amzn.to/2CSDzUR

Unbound Deathlord: Obliteration (54:35)

http://amzn.to/2ETUbl6

Crafter's Passion (58:49)

http://amzn.to/2F5wSUO

Chrysalis: The Crucible of Immortality Book 2 (01:07:08)

http://amzn.to/2FnjsRG

Soulstone: Oblivion (World of Ruul Book 3) (01:18:12)

http://amzn.to/2F0FwUg

Kingdom Level Four: LitRPG (01:21:24)

http://amzn.to/2CNiPiS

 

 

 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News


 

 

The God of Leveling

http://amzn.to/2GMsOGa

96 pages

Seems like this is a bad translation of someone's work into English. There are even translator notes.

 

Seems to be a copy of the translations done by Tseirp Translations  for the work titled Growth Cheat ToC. It’s originally written by Yousuke Tokino.

 

This novel appears to be a word for word copy of a Chinese web novel. It also already has a Chinese version from the publisher on Amazon (https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4775314173 ). The author does not have a English publisher and does not publish under the name Greyson Miller (ASIN: B079WBWLMN). The fan translated version can be found here: http://tseirptranslations.com/2016/03/gc-v1c1.html  and is again a word for word copy including the translator notes.

 

As of now, the work has been taken down. Though the author’s other plagiarized story LIFE AS AN OVERPOWERED MAIN CHARACTER is still up. http://amzn.to/2HRMzNY


 

 

Drinking w/Charles: #3 where I drink and play Cards Against Humanity w/author Charles Dean, his wife, and Dave Wilmarth. Everyone drank and said inappropriate things. https://youtu.be/07fPp_IoMVY


 

 

S.L. Rowland, author of Pangea Online, started a Patreon page. Rewards range include a thank you, early chapters, signed print copy of the novel, and even input on character development.

https://www.patreon.com/slrowland


 

 

Blaise Corvin’s 1st book in the Delvers LLC series is on sale $2.99, it’s usually $5.98 which is not bad for a 599 page novel. It’s also on Kindle Unlimited. The author is running this special to promote his upcoming side story novel in the Delvers LLC universe, Nora. It will be on sale until March 4th.

http://amzn.to/2GUN34q


 

 

LitRPG Podcast is running a contest to celebrate 100 episodes

 

2nd winners - Keanu Brown, Georgia Eggers, Charles Hansen. I’ve sent them all messages, so check your e-mail and facebook messenger requests. They get to choose from:

 

Physical

  • Signed Copy of Adventures on Terra or Project Alpha by R.A. Mejia

  • Alpha Company T-Shirt from Daniel Schinhofen

  • LitRPG or The Land Sweater from Aleron Kong

 

Alternate: series ebooks from:

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

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

  • Dave Willmarth- The Greystone Chronicles

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


 

Ways to get a chance to win:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Next week we’ll announce the big prize winners. We’ll have to runner ups and a grand prize winner.

 

Runner Ups get : 1 Signed R.A. Mejia novel, and Daniel Schinhofen - Alpha Company T-shirt

 

Grand Prize winner:   1 Signed R.A. Mejia novel, and Daniel Schinhofen - Alpha Company T-shirt, limited edition LitRPG Podcast shirt, limited edition Adventures on Terra T-shirt, A sweater from Aleron Kong, and $100 Amazon gift card

 

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



 

Out Now!  

 

 

Dungeon Deposed

http://amzn.to/2t3s916

 

 

Warrior Academy: The Hiroic Trio - Episode 2

http://amzn.to/2F086G7

 

 

Threadbare Volume 3: The Right to Arm Bears

http://amzn.to/2FF5vi5

 

 

Tales of the Gemsmith - Chapter 01: A LitRPG Adventure Series (Aldaron Worlds)

http://amzn.to/2CKMdVt

 

 

The Lionheart: a LitRPG Novel (No Respawn Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2Cjie6T

 

 

Dragon Seed: A LitRPG Dragonrider Adventure (The Archemi Online Chronicles Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2DvWdmD

 

 

Barrow King: The Realms Book One (A LitRPG Adventure)

http://amzn.to/2FzBf8m

 

 

Dead Man Gaming: A LitRPG Series

http://amzn.to/2GU1MNc

 

 

Fizzlesprocket: Everybody Loves Large Chests (Vol.2)

http://amzn.to/2FG8s1X

 

 

Dagger Lord: A LitRPG Series

http://amzn.to/2F1wzqI

408

-Originally published by under the title “ The Kingdom Stone”, which I gave a 4 out of 10. The author is honest about republishing in the novel description.

-That cover doesn’t reflect what happens in the story, it seems to be premade.


 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

The Gods of the Second World (Weirdest Noob series, Book 3)

http://amzn.to/2CPVDix

Our review of the ebook: http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/12/7/the-gods-of-the-second-world-litrpg-the-weirdest-noob-book-3

 

 

War God's Mantle: Ascension (The War God Saga, Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2F1HPaB

Our review of the ebook: http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2018/1/18/war-gods-mantle-ascension-a-litrpg-adventure-the-war-god-saga-book-1

 

 

A Dungeon's Soul Adventures on Brad, Book 3

http://amzn.to/2Fdk9iU

Our review of the ebook: http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/12/7/a-dungeons-soul-book-3-of-the-adventures-on-brad

 

 

The Red Plague: A LitRPG Trilogy: The Last Warrior of Unigaea, Book 3

http://amzn.to/2t9De0o  

Our review of the ebook: http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/12/21/the-red-plague-the-last-warrior-of-unigaea-book-3

 

 

Crisis at Clearwater (Unexplored Cycle, Book 2)

http://amzn.to/2ozJOsf

Fyi: This one has graphic sex scenes.

Our review of the ebook: http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/10/6/crisis-at-clearwater-a-litrpg-virtual-fantasy-adventure-book-2-unexplored-cycle




 

Upcoming LitRPG:


 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2mI2XGT

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2CmUP4t

 

 

Dungeon Guild: A LitRPG Dungeon Core Adventure (Glendaria Awakens Trilogy Book 3) (March 8th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2oxpkk1

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GhFLqZ

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2Dy0k1v


 

 

Ritualist (The Completionist Chronicles Book 1) (March 15th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2FGDWF5


 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2CAfe6G

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GCr1Du

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2HE26Rp

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2HFfS60

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GCQDQq

 

 

God Mode (AlterGame Book #3) LitRPG Series (May 24th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GPikpy

 

 

Kingdom Level Five: LitRPG (May 27th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2oAvq39

 

 

Trial by Fire: A LitRPG Dragonrider Adventure (Archemi Online Chronicles Book 2) (May 28th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2FdgKAE

 

 

The Dead Rogue (An NPC's Path Book #1) LitRPG Series (May 30th, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2GVYU2d

-A new translated work from the good folks at Magic Dome Books


 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

 

New Eden Royale: An Apocalyptic LitRPG Series

 

Harry Wollenstein is a regular guy. He loves his ranch, his dogs, and beer. He’s just a normal dude…except that he makes his living fighting in brutal virtual wars. For him, money is short, and like everyone, he needs to make enough to get by.

 

When a huge battle is announced in the capital city New Eden, Harry will do anything to qualify. The only problem is that battles are controlled by Overseers, and Harry has some history with the Overseer of New Eden. Things aren’t going to be easy for him.

 

When fighters enter the battlefield, the real-world cities give way to fantasy lands filled whatever horrific creatures that the Overseers’ cruel minds conjure up. The combatants wield swords, runes, skills and spells in digital death battles.

 

The fights might be virtual, but the danger is real. For Harry, the stakes couldn’t be any higher.

 

My Opinion: 431 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

For me, this is one of the weaker LitRPG stories from author Deck Davis. I much prefer his story Arcane Survivalist: Apocalyptic Fantasy LitRPG.

 

The biggest issue I have with the story is that I never really cared about the MC and the competitive game play. The backstory reason why a game overseer hates the MC doesn’t make sense. There’s a good attempt at character development. But it never landed with me and the motivations for all the character’s felt shallow. Especially the big reveal at the end as to why the antagonist was so determined to ruin the MC’s life.

 

There is a potentially interesting backstory on world and why everyone games but there wasn’t much of a threat from the real world or a substantive reason why the MC plays the game in the first place. Other than, maybe having to move into the city if he runs out of money for his ranch style estate.

 

The game mechanics leaned towards competitive PVP play. Kind of light on the RPG parts. Not bad mechanics but the gameplay isn’t something I’m into. If  you enjoy Online Battle Games, you might like this one more than I did.

 

Overall, I just couldn't get into the story.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

New Eden Royale: An Apocalyptic LitRPG Series

http://amzn.to/2GEbbs6

 

(Picture 2)

The Park: A LitRPG Novel (The Park Online Book 1)

 

First Rule of Haven: Get Out Alive

 

Garrett Jones wants to save his sister, making her an Immortal within the world’s online hub, The Park. The thought of giving her unlimited time with her kids within the world she loved becomes Garrett’s one dream. But the 5 Million credit price for this rare status is more than he or his family can afford.

 

Until a long-abandoned game, Haven, mysteriously comes back online, offering 5 Million Credits for the Guild or Company who can complete the dangerous Questline under an undisclosed deadline. Garrett finds himself in a world that reaches beyond the limits of a game and into his personal life, putting himself in danger, and the fragile life of his sister.

 

Will he and his friends finish Haven before forces within The Park find his sister’s body, or death takes her forever?

 

My Opinion: 246 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The price per page is a bit too expensive at $0.02/page. I usually look for about a penny a page.

 

This is really a techno thriller/Cyberpunk novel with a portion set in a RPG game. In the story, earth has expanded to the stars and a VR hub system called “The Park” connects other virtual worlds in a kind of theme park system. The main character (MC), Garrett, works for the park as a kind of security agent tracking down virtual hackers and trouble makers in game and ‘burning’ or deleting their access to the game. His sister gets run over and he gets the chance to win the money to have her mind uploaded into the system.

 

Technically this is a LitRPG novel. After the 17% mark, a large part of the story is set in an obviously stated RPG game world and none of the mechanics are hidden from either the reader or characters.

 

But honestly, even though there are detailed character sheets, item descriptions, and ability/spell descriptions, none of the RPG stuff or really the game part matter to the story. You know how you can usually tell if this is the case? When large parts of the game progress story are just skipped or if you can just skip any of the game parts and the story doesn’t change. Both are the cases here.

 

For example, the MC in the story accidently chooses the Blue Mage class. There’s a detailed character sheet, a list of skills, spells, the whole shebang. But when it comes to actual RPG content, you know text about him actually playing this game, fighting monsters, quests, leveling up, deciding what to increase each level? Little of that is in the novel. With in the space of a few pages, the main character goes from level 1 to level 4 to level 15. Even when he dies and is supposed to get kicked out of the contest, he magically has the item he needs to not only re-enter the game but also gets bumped to level 30. The relatively few times the novel does follow combat, the numbers used don’t quite match up with level 1 characters magically soloing monsters 3-5 levels higher than them without even dying once. The only reason the levels seem to exist at all is as qualifiers for certain quests to beat the game and win the big prize and maybe to qualify it as LitRPG.

 

However, that entire RPG game part doesn’t really matter to the real story. Which is a techno thriller/cyberpunk story about some rival company wanting to take over The Park (think the Oasis and the bad corporation IOI ), the owners being uploaded into the game, and how the MC’s sister knew too much. You can literally skip every game section and you don’t lose anything.

 

Overall, this just wasn’t an entertaining story for me. When the RPG game stuff doesn’t matter to the story, I stop caring. Plus there’s a major cliffhanger at the end of the story, so you don’t even get any kind of resolution to anything.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

The Park: A LitRPG Novel (The Park Online Book 1)

http://amzn.to/2CJR1uc

 

(Picture 3)

Avatars Rising: SILOS I

 

Emerging Possibilities, Fading Hope

Esa wakes in a dark cement silo with no memory of who she is or how she got there. It doesn’t take long to realize the world she’s in is not what it seems when her body is taken over by an unknown presence and she’s forced to fight.

 

She meets two strangers that reveal an unbelievable truth—Esa is a sentient avatar in a game world.

 

Esa knows she has to level-up to find answers, but in an expansive, dystopian world of kill or be killed, is what she seeks worth the risk?

 

Immerse yourself into this exciting new young adult, gamelit, sci-fi series that asks the question—what if the avatars became self-aware?

 

My Opinion: 278 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Full disclosure: I got an advanced copy for review.

 

This story annoys be a bit and may be using kind of shady practices. When I was pulling information for the review, I noticed that ten days before their novel is set to publish, they already had 5 reviews. While not against any TOS, this feels like review padding.

 

The author asked to be put the novel on our upcoming LitRPG list repeatedly and when I asked if the story was LitRPG, the author assured me that it was. It’s not. There’s absolutely no RPG mechanics in this story and there’s not even really a game.

 

The story starts off with the main character not knowing where or who she is. Then being forced to fight again and again against strangers, until she finds someone like her. Lost, without memory, but not compelled to fight. Then it becomes this story about the two of them actually being self-aware avatars trying to escape their program before the moderators find them and delete them. They’re told if they reach level 10, they can reach salvation. Only “leveling” consists of the MC finding an orb that makes her ‘feel stronger’.  That’s it. That’s as close as it comes to even referencing any kind of game mechanic.

 

Whether the author doesn’t understand what LitRPG is or is something else, this is not LitRPG. Even the techno self aware aspect of the story doesn’t really make sense. The combat isn’t great, most of the characters are flat, and the rest of the story just isn’t interesting. As a techno thriller or cyberpunk story it would get a 5/10, kind of boring.

 

As LitRPG, it gets a 4 out of 10.

Avatars Rising: SILOS I

http://amzn.to/2E6WHR2

 

(Picture 4)

Duel Reality 2071: A Dystopian LitRPG Cyberpunk War Novel

 

It is 2071. Duel Reality is a deadly game where contestants fight for fame and fortune. But the game’s popularity reaches new heights when the latest upgrade known as Terminal, allows players to fight with fatal consequences.

 

World leaders condemn the bloodthirsty games, but the CEO of Terminal refuses to stop them. The only way to end the murderous games is to fight and beat Terminal’s undefeated champion. For former special forces operator Axel Ward, a new war is about to begin, as he battles enemies in both the real and virtual world. A war where his very life is at stake with every passing moment.

 

The fate of America and the free world lies in the hands of a few ordinary citizens. A soldier, a school teacher, and a banker. Can they rise to the challenge, or will they see their country destroyed without a fight?

 

My Opinion: 256 pages, $2.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Easy review. Not LitRPG. Not even really Gamelit. Virtual gladiator arena combat where players can really die if they lose. But it’s described just like normal fantasy combat. No game mechanics, RPG or otherwise. More simulation.

 

There’s also a good bit of military combat in the story, which seems like what the publisher specializes in.

 

Not LitRPG as advertised Score: 4 out of 10

Duel Reality 2071: A Dystopian LitRPG Cyberpunk War Novel

http://amzn.to/2Co7oN2


 

(Picture 5)

Bounty Harlot: A World of Brutalia LitRPG

 

A world unlike any other...

 

A LitRPG unlike any other...

 

"Welcome to Brutalia, the world that lets your inner brute roam free." Tasha skimmed the text quickly, rushing over the history of MMORPGs (she had heard Misha use the term before and had a sense of it), how Brutalia was essentially a very cool RPG, with a twist: It was adult-only, and it had no rules of ethics attached to it. Anything went: Say what you like, and more importantly, do what you like. "Especially with female NPCs and, yes, PLAYER CHARACTERS: Do with them as you wish (they're here because they like it, if you get our drift)." Wow, she thought. Pretty tacky. And she, for one, wasn't here of her own volition. In the section on "Doing with the ladies as you please," she came to a paragraph on her own character class: "You'll especially enjoy the Harlot class of character, and we really do mean enjoy. Her ability to please is non-pareil (another reason for you to look into our patented Full Immersion Experience option), but even if you can't afford her, fear not. In Brutalia, you're allowed to take the Harlot class any way you can get her."

 

Life, death, the nature of reality...and battles with flying monkeys...

 

My Opinion: 114 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Warning: Lots of cursing, some graphic sex, and many attempts to rape.

 

This is a trapped in the game novel set in a game world who’s only distinguishing characteristic is that it allows for rape of all the female NPCs and female players.

 

There are a few poorly written graphic sex scenes but that’s not the main focus of the story though sex is referred to a lot in the novel. The main character (MC) is a girl that gets kidnapped in real life but injures herself when she tries to escape, so the bad guys put her into this game with the character class Harlot. She has to constantly fend off the attempts of other players who try to rape her throughout the entire story. She tries to level up with the help of an NPC she falls in love with and has sex with sometimes. Her goal is to get help from the outside world to find and free her from the bad guys.

 

The game mechanics and action aren’t anything special. Though RPG mechanics are used through the story. The only thing about the game world that is different than any other MMO is that it allows and encourages a rape culture in game.

 

Overall, this story just doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be. Is it a sexy time story? A female driven action story? Because it doesn’t focus on any one of those aspect, it doesn’t do either well.

That just made it unentertaining for me. What pushes into dislike is the message in the novel that if the MC gets raped, it’s her own fault for not fighting hard enough against her attackers, and that she might have secretly wanted it.

 

Score: 4 out of 10

Bounty Harlot: A World of Brutalia LitRPG

http://amzn.to/2CLeYkP

 

(Picture 6)

Playing for Keeps  (Alpha World Book 4)

 

Alpha Company is embarking on a grand mission, crossing the Dead Lands to find and conquer Gwain’s Keep. Led by Alburet, most of the guild embarks on what could be an epic and memorable journey, as they aim at being the first Two-souled guild to capture a keep.

 

Besides safeguarding the members of the guild, Alburet also has to worry about the natives that are with them on their journey. Deidre Crowley, Stacia’s sister, is the one he worries about most, having sworn to see her safely across the lifeless desolation of the Dead Lands.

 

Having to be ultra-vigilant during the day, night brings welcome relief and relaxation to the raid. For Alburet, Karen, and Stacia it also brings their chance to help Fluffball come to grips with her past.

 

Rejoin the group in Alpha World while they “Play for Keeps”.

 

(This book contains adult themes, just like the rest of the series. If you didn’t like those themes there, you won’t like them here. Don’t say I didn’t warn you ahead of time. After all, one of the main supporting characters is a Succubus.)

 

My Opinion: 421 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Full disclosure: I got an advanced copy for review. I bought the novel as soon as it became available

 

Book 4 starts off immediately after the end of book 3 and is almost just a continuation of that story. The main character (MC) , Alburet/Seamus, and the core group join the rest of the guild in the Dead Lands. Their goal? To travel to and conquer one of the abandoned keeps in the high level zone, get a bunch of great loot, and level like crazy.

 

While I’m a fan this story and the series, I also recognize that there are some things about this story that may not mesh well with everyone. This is primarily a travel story. You remember that first LOTR movie? Where most of what they did was walk? Sure, there were some fights, but mostly walking and character and story development? That’s what this is. It’s the fellowship of the succubus.

 

75% of the novel is spent traveling to the abandoned keep through the high level Dead Lands. Yeah, there are regular fights but they’re usually a few paragraphs long each. Most of that 75% is spent traveling, developing the relationships between characters, advancing the memory exploration thing. I found it very entertaining, but in a different way than a primarily action driven novel.

 

Something that may bother some people, there’s more fade to black sex and non-mainstream relationship talk. The MC struggles with loving multiple women and how that doesn’t mesh with his ingrained beliefs about monogamy. The conversations aren’t ‘in your face’ but they’re honest and open with the subject of polyamory. Personally, I found the viewpoints very interesting to read about.

 

Also, there's more memory exploration. Each of the core group members, the MC, Karen, and Fluffy each have issues and traumas. The characters explore and share these moments with the reader through a kind of magical memory thing that replays the memories as they actually happened and not as the person remembers them through the haze of time/self protection. It’s a very cool tool that the author uses to create emotional resonance with the reader and I found myself tearing up sometimes and getting angry when seeing other memories. However, be aware that this is a major portion of the first 75% of the story. This is how a great deal of the character development is done.

 

Only when the group reaches the abandoned keep do you really get any action and fighting. That’s not until the 75% mark.  While I thought a couple fights ended a little wand wavy, overall the action is good and I was just glad that the group was able to wipe and learn from their mistakes. That’s what makes a good MMO raid.

 

Overall, I had a good time with the story. But, I also really like the memory exploration aspect of the story. I think it’s a great story telling tool. I’m a fan of how much character development the author does. If you don’t like that mechanic, or if you’re not into some of the frank relationship exploration conversations, this may not be the novel for you. Personally, I love getting the chance to see the world through someone else's lens (is that the right phrase?). Regardless, that’s one of the things I love the most about fiction. It’s ability to safely explore new concepts (magic, tech, or social) that people may have never had the chance/inclination to in real life.

 

Score: 7 out of 10.

Playing for Keeps  (Alpha World Book 4)

http://amzn.to/2CSDzUR

 

(Picture 7)

Unbound Deathlord: Obliteration

 

Jack is out for blood.

 

After being manipulated by his family most of his life, and believing an even worse lie for the past few years, he has finally learned the truth.

 

Now that he knows what V-Soft has taken from him, he’s going to take everything from them, even if the country is destroyed in the process. The plan is to strike from all sides, so that those who still live can watch their lives, and their life’s work be reduced to ashes.

 

But in digging their grave, will Jack wind up buried alongside them?

 

My Opinion: 735 pages, $5.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

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

 

It’s been over a year since book 1 in the series came out and it’s sometimes hard to remember what happened when there’s that big a gap between books. Thankfully, the author has a nice summary of the events of book 1. So, you get a good refresher before diving into book 2.

 

Book 2 starts with the real life consequences of what the main character (MC), Jack, discovered at the end of book 1. He’s quiet plainly, out for revenge. Not only does he seek revenge IRL but he also seeks to get his revenge by destroying the game from within. At least that’s the justification the author uses to continue his story.

 

In reality, much of the in-game story is just more slice of life adventure. It’s action oriented, there’s the addition of larger group fighting, and even some politics as the MC levels, kills, and looks for a way to destroy the game world. It’s good stuff, but remember that the MC is not a hero. Instead, he’s a bit more selfish. Willing to do whatever it takes to get what he wants regardless of the negative effects it might have on the larger world. So don’t expect a traditional plot with a concrete resolution. It’s mostly good action adventure stuff. Though I’ll admit my favorite part is the end with it’s many twists and turns.

 

The real life storyline is just as good. As Jack gets his revenge, the fallout from what he does impacts the entire world. It was honestly fascinating to see how it all turned out.

 

Overall, I enjoyed the story. There were some slow moments and again the in-game story is very slice of life as you follow the MC through a variety of quests and fights. Good stuff, if you manage your expectations.

 

Score: 7 out of 10.

Unbound Deathlord: Obliteration

http://amzn.to/2ETUbl6

 

(Picture 8)

Crafter's Passion

 

Stan can't afford to have his brain removed. The richest and luckiest players of the video game "Thousand Tales" get their minds uploaded to its virtual paradise world, while Stan can barely buy a handheld console. Instead of sulking he plays, and grows, becoming a skilled craftsman and seafaring explorer. The game's ruling AI, Ludo, helps him find the hope and inspiration missing from his real life.

 

When the AI starts asking for favors and having him reach out between the real and digital worlds, Stan has a chance to turn his life into an actual adventure. But first he needs to earn the most valuable prize of all: his freedom.

 

"Crafter's Passion" is part of the emerging "LitRPG" or "GameLit" genre, combining science fiction with the world of gaming.

 

My Opinion: 321 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Unlike many of the other more side stories in the Thousand Tale universe, this one doesn’t focus on a digital heaven or uploading minds to a full immersion game universe. Instead, it’s a coming of age story combined with fascinating speculative narrative about skills learned in a game transfering to the real world.

 

This one is definitely my favorite of the independent novels from this series. Instead of being another VR heaven story. This one is almost a speculative story. It combines real world backstory of a kid living in a resource sharing collective and him playing the Thousand Tales game on an old tablet he bought. He gets into crafting in the game and gradually becomes interested in it in real life because of the limited money in community.

 

Lessons he learns in game translate to real life woodworking skills. There’s also a gamified system for working in the community, chores and social stuff. But the game also gives him real life quests in town that further his crafting skills and help him accomplish goals. Then as with any kind of education that takes you out of what you grew up with, he starts to see cracks in system he lives with and possibilities for himself he never thought possible.

 

There is still adventuring, monster fighting, and exploration. However, a lot of the story is a coming of age story set in a semi-dystopian future. There is commentary on both the negative and positive aspects of community projects, incentivisation, gamification, communalism, and more. You can tell the author has an opinion here about this digital training/education tech, its possibility, and pitfalls.

 

Now, I’ll be honest, this novel is not for everyone. It’s not a very crunchy or number heavy LitRPG story. The RPG aspects in the game part of the story are rather minimal, but they’re constantly used and the game stuff matters to the story. Yeah, I’d personally love it if there were more numbers or detailed item and ability descriptions but that’s not how the author writes this series. You might like this story more if you like sci-fi stories that make you think a little about technology and where it might take us.

 

For me, this was an enjoyable read and I really did like it. I’m kind of a sucker for crafting. But more than that, I liked that it made me think about where VR and education may go in the future.  Possible social backlashes and how that all  might play out. Neat stuff.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Crafter's Passion

http://amzn.to/2F5wSUO

 

(Picture 9)

Chrysalis: The Crucible of Immortality Book 2

 

Jax and Kala have discovered that they have actually been on Crucible for almost a thousand years. But, they have no memories of that time, only dreams that haunt them. Now, with new allies, they must prepare for The Caste army that is marching towards them.

 

Jax, a man of science, must come to terms that there is so much he does not understand.

 

Kala, a construct build from an ancient mysterious race, a naive, yet headstrong woman, must learn what it means to be human.

 

Jill, a young woman with demons in her past, must find her place in this new, and often cruel world.

 

Doc, a sentient A.I. in a liquid metal body, is a mystery. He now has a part of The Watcher in him, how will he change?

 

Aurelia, a natural-born girl of Crucible. Her parents murdered, has not spoken since. She holds power no one seems to understand, how will she wield it?

 

My Opinion: 375 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The first 16% of the novel is kind of awkwards.

 

There are like 6 or 7 main and secondary characters that converge. When they all start talking to each other , it becomes a bit of a mess. The entire section from 10-15% is actually pretty hard to read. The dialogue becomes stilted, no one seems to have a unique voice and everyone’s dialogue is written the same. There is this weird issue with inconsistent use of contractions that makes everyone's speak switch from formal to casual repeatedly and it’s honestly hard to read. I’d genuinely recommend skipping that whole section and go right to the 16% percent mark.

 

----Spoilers Ahead------

 

After that there’s some dungeon diving that is really fun and interesting. Then at the 32% there’s this huge reset button that’s hit by the author. I won't spoil exactly what happens but it doesn't make sense to me and feels very contrived. Everyone is split up and the novel becomes 3 different stories. 1) Jill on her fairy adventure. 2) Kayla, on her trip to a human city and experience with a cult that worships the MC. 3) The MC, who does some training and for no really explained reason, turns into an unemotional mass murderer that develops sex powers.

 

Many of the changes to the story just drop out of nowhere and don’t really make sense. It almost feels like the independent stories after the 32% mark were written first, then the first third was written later to justify why they were all split up and on their own adventures.

 

The twists in the story just seem to exists for the stories sake and often don’t have any foreshadowing or even make sense in the terms of the game mechanics used. There’s a lot of wand waving happening here that ignores the world rules previously set. ie) The exact old villain from book 1 appearing thousands of years in the future on this alien planet and being able to kill a major character? When that character dies, they can magically remember their past, even though it’s clearly stated that being reborn erases all past memories? Or the MC suddenly having the power to go from level 10 to 300?

 

This same type of unexplained revelation occurs with the character’s powers. Each character just seems to spontaneously develop powers and abilities not based on the world rules setup and sometimes in direct conflict with them. At one point, Jill, suddenly becomes a Kung Fu master and kills bandits 3-4 times her level. The story explains it away as ‘she studied martial arts on earth’, a fact not before in evidence. Even the MC seems to spontaneously know how to grow elemental crystals (gains a new ability too), without instruction, when asked to do so as part of his training.

 

Overall, the story is not boring. The fighting this time was better written. Though there was again a noticeable number of grammar and other technical writing errors in the story. However, I did lose a substantial amount of interest though when all these rule bending events occured making all the RPG stuff pretty meaningless. I  mean, if the story is just going to ignore it when the plot demands something particular needs to happen, what’s the point of having it there in the first place?

 

I don’t think that I’ll be picking up book 3 in the series.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Chrysalis: The Crucible of Immortality Book 2

http://amzn.to/2FnjsRG

 

(Picture 10)

Soulstone: Oblivion (World of Ruul Book 3)

 

Save the girl. Beat the dungeon. Get epic loot.

After a few minor setbacks, Aaron and Crash find themselves all alone in the World of Ruul with only one chance at survival, finding the legendary soulstones before the maelstrom’s forces eat them and their friends.

Worse, the only way to get strong enough to save their friends is to enter a dungeon no one’s ever beaten before, defeat the four elemental bosses who reside inside, and shatter the massive statue trapping them inside.

Sure, it might be impossible, but if it were easy, everyone would have done it, right?

 

My Opinion: 527 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is quite simply a dungeon dive story. There’s some interpersonal relationship stuff with the new people but it’s mostly a good old dungeon dive. There are three returning characters return and two new ones. Like any good dungeon dive, there’s a good variety of monsters and puzzles. And of course of group gets some good XP and loot.

 

This entry in the series doesn't advance the main plot of the series or even the side stuff related to the events at the end of book 2, but it’s still fun.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Soulstone: Oblivion (World of Ruul Book 3)

http://amzn.to/2F0FwUg


 

(Picture 11, Ctrl+1)

Kingdom Level Four: LitRPG

 

Kingdom Building 101

 

Rob's grasp on his fledgling kingdom is tenuous, at best.

 

Expansion is impossible thanks to an angry war-clan of goblins encroaching on the eastern border. Also, monsters and bandits run rampant within the valley threatening his subjects.

 

And since trade is nonexistent and supply lines are dead, the ramshackle village must be kick-started into an economically viable town – one that generates income for the meager royal treasury, instead of sapping it.

 

Solving these problems is his responsibility or the kingdom will never reach level five.

 

But there's a larger concern which casts a dark cloud over everything.

 

His is not the only kingdom and neighboring rulers have started to view this janitor-turned-king as either an exploitable ally...

 

… or easy prey.

 

My Opinion: 332 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

There’s finally some actual kingdom building as the main character (MC), Rob, does a bunch of quests to find a special item that will let him upgrade his village to a kingdom and unlock a bunch of town building options in his ruler interface. However, the small bit of town building doesn’t happen till the very end of the novel.

 

Most of this is slice of life adventuring to get the MC up to level 6 so he can find that special item he needs. You can actually skip everything from 20% to the 79% and the advancement of the plot wouldn’t suffer. Not to say all that questing and adventuring is boring, but it’s nothing that is really needed for the story. It’s good fun slice of life stuff that you can skip if you really just wanted to see what was happening with the bigger plot.

 

Overall, i thought it was a good read. But I also like slice of life stories. I should warn you that the story takes a super dark turn in the last 7% of the novel.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Kingdom Level Four: LitRPG

http://amzn.to/2CNiPiS



 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

(Music 4)

 

Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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


 

LitRPG Podcast 098

 

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

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

Contact the Author

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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DJSchinhofen

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

Book Links:

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

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

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

You can follow us on

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

(Music 4)

 

Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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

LitRPG Podcast 097

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 097

 

Feb. 23th, 2018

 

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

 

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

 

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


 

New Releases and Reviews:

 

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

http://amzn.to/2EK1c7U

  1. The Trash Tier Dungeon  (10:58)

http://amzn.to/2ChV68S

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

http://amzn.to/2Cl6LDy

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

http://amzn.to/2CEorKF

 

 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News


 

 

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

 

 

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

 

.


 

 

LitRPG Podcast is running a contest to celebrate 100 episodes

 

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

 

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

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

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

  • Dave Willmarth- The Greystone Chronicles


 

Ways to get a chance to win:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

  • Audible codes,

  • an ebook from me or another LitRPG author,

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

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

 

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



 

Out Now!  

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2sMIxTp

 

 

New Eden Royale: An Apocalyptic LitRPG Series

http://amzn.to/2GEbbs6

 

 

Soulstone: Oblivion (World of Ruul Book 3)

http://amzn.to/2F0FwUg

 

 

Chrysalis: The Crucible of Immortality Book 2

http://amzn.to/2FnjsRG

 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2Fm5lfp  

 

 

Desert Storm - Puatera Online, Book 3

http://amzn.to/2CDnZfy

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

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2FmjkBJ

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


 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

 

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

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2Cjie6T

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2CNiPiS

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2DvWdmD

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2E6WHR2

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2Co7oN2

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2mI2XGT

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2CmUP4t


 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GhFLqZ

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2Dy0k1v


 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2CAfe6G

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GCr1Du

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2HE26Rp

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2HFfS60

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GCQDQq

 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

 

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

 

 

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

 

Score: 4 out of 10

 

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

http://amzn.to/2EK1c7U


 

(Picture 2)

The Trash Tier Dungeon

 

For these two, getting along means life or death.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Score: 7 out of 10.

The Trash Tier Dungeon

http://amzn.to/2ChV68S

 

(Picture 3)

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Score: 5 out of 10

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

http://amzn.to/2Cl6LDy


 

(Picture 4)

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Come and get it!

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Score: 7 out of 10

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

http://amzn.to/2CEorKF




 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

(Music 4)

 

Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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


 

LitRPG Podcast 096

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 096

Feb. 16th, 2018

 

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

 

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


 

New Releases and Reviews:

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

http://amzn.to/2Ec0P5Z

  1. Seventh Talon I: Dragonrider's Fury

http://amzn.to/2BMjaVy

  1. Respawn: Lives 1-5  

http://amzn.to/2E6Vjhx

  1. Sicora Online: The Ringer: A LitRPG Adventure

http://amzn.to/2Cf2thn

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

http://amzn.to/2ExICiz

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

http://amzn.to/2ssbpA1

  1. The Grind

http://amzn.to/2BKicJb

 

 

 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News

 

 

(Play Video)

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

https://youtu.be/dkyTLj8OUFs

 

 

(Play Video)

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

https://youtu.be/a8npdjtnlPw

Charles also has another one with Harmon Cooper

https://youtu.be/nCqnQNHjsGY



 

 

LitRPG Podcast is running a contest to celebrate 100 episodes

 

Ways to get a chance to win:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

  • Audible codes,

  • an ebook from me or another LitRPG author,

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

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

 

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



 

Out Now!  


 

 

Fantasy Online: The Runestones of Tritinakh: A LitRPG Saga

http://amzn.to/2BjIwJr


 

 

Halcyon Rising: Bastion of Hope (Book 2)

http://amzn.to/2EyvUA5

*look up original review. Might skip*

441 pages


 

 

The Trash Tier Dungeon

http://amzn.to/2ChV68S

279 pg

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2HkL5LR


 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2EsP3nN

 

 

Desert Born: Puatera Online, Book 2

http://amzn.to/2BtPgo4

 

 

Life in the North: An Apocalyptic LitRPG

The System Apocalypse, Book 1

http://amzn.to/2BrdeAl

 

 

Continue Online Part Four: Crash

http://amzn.to/2CobLrh

 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2Cl6LDy

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2Cjie6T

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2CNiPiS

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2DvWdmD

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2E6WHR2

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2Co7oN2

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2mI2XGT

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2CmUP4t


 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2Gd0oEN

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GhFLqZ

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2Dy0k1v


 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2CAfe6G

 

 

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

 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Score: 7 out of 10

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

http://amzn.to/2Ec0P5Z

 

(Picture 2)

Seventh Talon I: Dragonrider's Fury

 

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

 

-Boh’s Journal, March 13th, N167

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

My Opinion: 444 pages, $4.99, Kindle Unlimited

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Seventh Talon I: Dragonrider's Fury

http://amzn.to/2BMjaVy

 

(Picture 3)

Respawn: Lives 1-5  

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Perhaps cheating is the only way to win.

 

Enjoy your game

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Respawn: Lives 1-5  

http://amzn.to/2E6Vjhx

 

(Picture 4)

Sicora Online: The Ringer: A LitRPG Adventure

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Enter the level crawl.

 

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

 

But first he has to survive.

 

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


 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Score: 4 out of 10

Sicora Online: The Ringer: A LitRPG Adventure

http://amzn.to/2Cf2thn

 

(Picture 5)

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Score: 6 out of 10

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

http://amzn.to/2ExICiz

 

(Picture 6)

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

 

To survive you must win. Nothing else matters.

 

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

 

But most just want to kill him.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Game Mechanics:

 

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

 

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

 

Story:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Score: 5 out of 10

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

http://amzn.to/2ssbpA1

 

(Picture 7)

The Grind

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

---

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Score: 5 out of 10

The Grind

http://amzn.to/2BKicJb



 

That’s it everyone!

 

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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 095

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 095

Feb. 9th, 2018

 

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

 

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


 

New Releases and Reviews:

 

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

http://amzn.to/2EFSZi1

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

http://amzn.to/2Ed3Cea

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

http://amzn.to/2GIt0qx

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

http://amzn.to/2DXvZK8

Fairwind's Fortune (24:43)

http://amzn.to/2EaEtln

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

http://amzn.to/2GXwfe6

The Omega Dream (34:45)

http://amzn.to/2DVCyNm

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

http://amzn.to/2EteRPE

Level Up (45:30)

http://amzn.to/2BT5ZNV

 



 

 

 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News

 

 

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

 

Finalists include:

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

https://www.patreon.com/AleronKong

 

 

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

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


 

Out Now!  

 

 

Seventh Talon I: Dragonrider's Fury

http://amzn.to/2BMjaVy

444 pages


 

 

The Grind

http://amzn.to/2BKicJb

558 pages


 

 

Respawn: Lives 1-5  

http://amzn.to/2E6Vjhx

338 pages



 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2C40dt9

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


 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2BNwdWK

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

 

 

The Twilight Obelisk: Mirror World, Book 4

http://amzn.to/2C5glKZ

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

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2nM7dpY

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




 

Upcoming LitRPG:


 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2Ec0P5Z

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2BjIwJr

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2CNiPiS

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2DvWdmD

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2E6WHR2

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2mI2XGT


 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2Dy0k1v


 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2CAfe6G

 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

 

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

 

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

 

Only a few weeks have passed since the Battle of Burrov