LitRPG Podcast 163 - Absolute Zero, The Fourth Realm, Vindication, The Idle System Bk 3, Comet Rider, Lydia: Awakening, The Mayor of Noobtown

 

LitRPG Podcast 163 - Absolute Zero, The Fourth Realm, Vindication, The Idle System Bk 3, Comet Rider, Lydia: Awakening, The Mayor of Noobtown



March 22nd, 2019


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


New Releases and Reviews:

Absolute Zero (Adam Online Book #1) LitRPG Series (07:20)

Good sci-fi RPG action-adventure here. But be warned that while there are lots of story threads started here, there are relatively few resolutions.

Score: 7.6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2YbjrcC

The Fourth Realm (The Ten Realms Book 4)  (14:25)

The story still has all the good elements I’ve enjoyed and this time lots more large scale action.

Score: 7.6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2SRPFFQ

Vindication (The Alchemic Weaponeer - Book 1)  (20:09)

It’s not bad by any means, it just didn’t hit good for me either because there weren’t any real surprises in the story.

Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2IJa7ch

The Idle System (A LitRPG series Book 3): The Birth (26:01)

New companion, but the same Idle System leveling stuff from the previous books and there are lots of new abilities, skills, and powers that come into play and train.

Score: 7.5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2T9sJCh

Comet Rider: A Scifi Lit-RPG Series (29:12)

A decent sci-fi action story with some spaceships. But it's NOT LitRPG.

Score: 4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2ucgb2B

Lydia: Awakening (32:03)

A bit of a rough beginning, but improves and gets pretty good as it goes on.

Score: 7.4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2U2m9BO

The Mayor of Noobtown: A LitRPG Adventure (37:00)

A very entertaining story that has a snarky wit, good banter, good action, and an intelligent use of gamer knowledge to exploit the systems described. Fun stuff.

Score: 7.7 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2VZs7Rd


(Play Music 2)

LitRPG News

Robert Bevin, author of Critical Failures series, has setup a mini-con in Las Vegas this September 21-22. It’ll be centered around the hilarious Author’s & Dragons podcast, where a group of authors that play D&D online together and then podcast about it. Super funny podcast that’s also worth a listen.

The Authors & Dragons crew is headed to Vegas, baby! Come join us for two days and nights of fun, frolic, and festivities in the City of Sin! Thank you Twareg!

We'll have panels, gaming, books to buy, prizes, autograph sessions, opportunities for you to game with the A&D cast, and a very special episode of Authors & Dragons as we record our 100th episode LIVE IN LAS VEGAS!

https://www.facebook.com/events/565187860659464/

https://www.authorsanddragons.com/


A quick reminder that the submission deadline for the Divine Dungeon short story collection is March 29th, 2019. Rules and place to submit are detailed at the link below or visit the Mountaindale Press facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/TheDivineDungeon/photos/a.1612167695744356/1993518677609254/?type=3&theater



Out Now!



Gun Blade (Crystal Shards Online Book 4)  

https://amzn.to/2EUHK5N


Protectors: Evolution Online V (A LitRPG)

https://amzn.to/2VFjV8E


Greyblood: Adventurer Academy: A LitRPG Series

https://amzn.to/2OfBLwo


Bone Dungeon (Elemental Dungeon #1) - A Dungeon Core LitRPG

https://amzn.to/2Jv0u1f


Critical Failures VII (Caverns and Creatures Book 7)

https://amzn.to/2USn7Os


Soulcatcher. LitRPG series "Universe ICS": Book I

https://amzn.to/2EbsK4o


New LitRPG Audiobooks


Radioactive Evolution - A Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic Adventure

https://amzn.to/2UJEoZX


The Adventurers Bond: Book 5 of the Adventures on Brad

https://amzn.to/2UP0IkO


The Sleeper Must Awaken: Twenty-Sided Eye, Book 3

https://amzn.to/2upXnNr



Upcoming LitRPG:


Dragon Heart: Stone Will. LitRPG wuxia series: Book 1

(March 22nd, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2tj3dzU



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

https://amzn.to/2LCzrOL





Dark World [Transformation. Book II] (March 27th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2FZVn5w


Lost Portals: Czarzakian Multiverse Online (LitRPG Omniverse 1) (Czarzakian Multiverse Online: LitRPG Omnverse) (March 27th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2XTtkLP



Viridian Gate Online: Dead Man’s Tide: A litRPG Adventure (The Illusionist Book 2) (March 28th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2IHEkbq


Vault of the Magi: A LitRPG Adventure (Stonehaven League Book 5)  (March 28th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2Oh91DG



Shyft - Book 1 - Defender of Gallowind: (A LitRPG Adventure) (March 29th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2u8Kes0


Into The Game: Dungeon Crawl Quest: A LitRPG Adventure (Wizard Warrior Quest) (April 1st, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2BMiUnX


Dark Hand (Alpha World Book 7) (April 1st, 2019)



Djinn Tamer: Rivals: A Monster Battling GameLit Adventure (Djinn Tamer - Bronze League Book 2) (April 5th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2N7yLld


Edge of the Abyss (Respawn Trials Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 10th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2FJK4zf


Dukes and Ladders: A LitRPG/Gamelit Adventure (The Good Guys Book 5) (April 11th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2tovN2G


Class-A Threat (Disgardium Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 22nd, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2TwckbG


In Search of the Uldans (Galactogon: Book #2) LitRPG Series

(April 25th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2TzxMwF


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

https://amzn.to/2J0VIrV



Onto New Releases and Reviews


(Play Music 3)


New Releases and Reviews


(Picture 1)

Absolute Zero (Adam Online Book #1) LitRPG Series

The days when people played for entertainment have passed. Welcome to the future. The virtual world of Adam Online is a place where humanity lives. The former champion has returned to the game to find the Mentors — systems of artificial intelligence that bestow digital immortality on humans.


But do they truly work for the benefit of mankind? To learn the truth and reach the Mentors who inhabit places undiscovered, the hero must begin from level zero.


My Opinion: 307 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


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


I’ll be honest,  I wasn’t sure what to make of the story from the description. This is a translation of a Russian LitRPG story. Written by one of the co-authors of Level Up -Knockout. However, outside of it being LitRPG and eventually slice of life, there’s little in common with that novel. Instead, you get an original story set in the far flung future where the world, or at least this part of it, is irradiated from some war and most people spend their time in a full immersion game called Adam Online. Our main character (MC) has some long term secret mission that he’s supposed to be on that’s tied to the real world and the game’s tech, but it’s a premise that fizzles out past the 15% mark and the big exciting introduction and battle scene.


Instead, what the story turns into is a dual narrative. One story following the MC as his character is reset and he has to start all over at level 1, choosing a new class, and going on some slice of life adventures in this sci-fi themed game world. The adventures are interesting, there are neat characters, and many game mechanics are explained along the way. The other story is told from the antagonists POV, the guys trying to kill the MC in the first 15%. Their story is a little more high level, and gives the reader insight into PvP, Guild stuff, crafting, and a story thread that relates to the secret mission stuff potentially. But even here, the adventuring is kind of slice of life.  I mean, both stories have these goals, but you’re really just following them as they do a bunch of stuff. Quest, PvP, explain various game mechanics, and develop backstory.


The action is pretty good and there is a good variety of types of fighting between the two storylines. Questing is interesting and individual questlines have some neat story components.


The game mechanics are fairly well developed. I mean, the game world has tons of sci-fi lore and lots of information about races, classes, how quests are generated, various skills, and abilities. But at its core, it’s leveling up and advancing skills.


Where the story kind of shines is in the development of the story world. There are some breaks in the narrative that tell both backstory for characters and for the game world. The backstory for characters is very well done and creates some places readers will empathise with. The backstory for the game world and the tech that is involved in it’s creation and management is almost like a speculative treatise on where VR tech could head and some of the dangers it could pose to civilization. It made me pause and think, which is always a sign of an interesting story.


Overall, the story is very entertaining. It feels like the author is much more comfortable writing in his own world and the depth of the world building and game mechanics show it. There is good sci-fi action-adventure here. But be warned that while there are lots of story threads started here, there are relatively few resolutions. It feels like a lot of the big resolutions are planned for future books.


Score: 7.6 out of 10

Absolute Zero (Adam Online Book #1) LitRPG Series

https://amzn.to/2YbjrcC


(Picture 2)

The Fourth Realm (The Ten Realms Book 4)

The Battlefield Realm. A realm where sects rise and fall where the ground trembles under the feet of fighters from the higher realms.


Where riches are gained and Empires lost.


This is where Erik and Rugrat must go if they want to increase their strength, to increase the strength of Alva. They say that fortune favors the bold. This is the Ten Realms. To the Victor go the spoils.


The Fourth Realm will change their lives, or end them.


My Opinion: 862 pages, $5.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited


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


A massive adventure story with a page count that is beat by few. While the story is book ended by crafting, training, and cultivation, city building, and other story threads, the majority of the novel focuses on the main characters (MCs) and their group’s advancement to the 4th realm. A place of constant fighting, wars, rare resources, and battle. There is some dungeon diving, as well as dungeon building. But the story gets a bit of a military combat vibe as the MC’s team, who have been trained in modern military techniques and who are armed with versions of modern military weapons, go up against some well established forces that use magic, and cultivation.


This section of the story is filled with action, adventure as the groups use tactics and their various weapons/magic to fight. It kind of reminds  me of books 3-4 of the author’s other series, Emerilia, when the story started to get bigger with various factions and groups fighting on a large scale.


Overall, the story still has all the good elements I’ve enjoyed and this time lots more action.


Score: 7.6 out of 10

The Fourth Realm (The Ten Realms Book 4) (March 22nd, 2109)

https://amzn.to/2SRPFFQ


(Picture 3)

Vindication (The Alchemic Weaponeer - Book 1)

The end of the world is not such a bad thing for Russian weapons engineer Vlad Nardoir.


Really his world ended six months ago when his wife died, and ever since then, things have been downhill. Soul-crushing medical debt. Favors to the Russian mafia. Now, asteroid. For Vlad, this is life in a nutshell.


But, in a wild twist of fate, he has found a way out. A chance to start fresh in a brand-new ultra-immersive MMORPG called Viridian Gate Online. Making the leap might kill him, but again, death is not such a bad thing for a man with nothing to live for. Even in the virtual world, however, old grudges burn true, and the past is not as far gone as it seems. He must use his quick wits, rugged persistence, and peculiar set of skills as a weapons engineer to make a place for himself in this new world, or be forcibly dragged back into the very life he fought so hard to escape.


My Opinion: 297 pg, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


Another origin story for another character from the main series. This time it is Vlad, the Russian weapons engineer.


There's a bit of touching backstory at the beginning, which kinda has a huge flaw, but serves as a way to create emotional motivation for the main character (MC). The use of this hook is done well and the first 15% of the story, though super light on RPG stuff is probably my favorite part of the story since it’s the most original.


However, past that point things just aren’t surprising because they involve the main plot of the VGO series and if you’ve read that, then what happens in this story won’t really be a surprise. Questions like: Will Ina survive this fight? When will Vlad meet Grim Jack? Will Vlad fix the cannons in time? Or will the good guys win a fight?  All those things are supposed to be places of tension, but they’re not. Because if you’ve read the main VGO series, you already have the answers to all the big plot questions. There is new material that tells you about the MCs class, how he uses his abilities and real world knowledge to craft, and some small adventures. But it wasn’t enough to push the story into good for me. It’s not bad by any means, it just didn’t hit good for me either because there weren’t any real surprises in the story.


Score: 6 out of 10

Vindication (The Alchemic Weaponeer - Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2IJa7ch


(Picture 4)

The Idle System (A LitRPG series Book 3): The Birth

Running away is never the answer.


After escaping from the Rogue Sect, John and Sarah find something new about each other. They're both Siders. Their path of loneliness will now take a turn, finding new allies in the most unexpected of places.


But good things come hand-in-hand with the bad.


Elder Han and his son are not willing to give up their chase. Chris's obsession over possessing Sarah's body for himself is not to be taken lightly. Nor is his father's.


Fight or flight, it's now their choice.


Join John and Sarah in a new issue of The Idle System to find out what happens next!


My Opinion: 264 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


While the story is still pretty slice of life, now that the main character (MC) has someone like him, from earth and with her own unique system, it’s more interesting. The story takes on a buddy aspect which is a nice break from all the solo adventures. It also gives a chance for dialogue and romance. There are definitely some points in the new characters backstory that feel forced just to justify her place in the immortal universe but it doesn't ruin things.


The novel still has the same Idle System leveling stuff from the previous books and there are lots of new abilities, skills, and powers that come into play and train. Oh, a little bit of crafting too.


Score: 7.5 out of 10

The Idle System (A LitRPG series Book 3): The Birth

https://amzn.to/2T9sJCh


(Picture 5)

Comet Rider: A Scifi Lit-RPG Series

Comets have hammered the earth, and the impacts bring more than just ice and rock.


There is a virus loose on the planet, changing humans into alien killing machines.


The earth needs a hero, and Deacon Gray is the man for the job.


With his cutting edge Extant Armor, he will land and rally the last human fighters as they try to take back our planet, one battle at a time.


Overmatched and outgunned, Deacon must build an army, rediscover forgotten military bases, and unlock the secrets hidden inside his Extant armor.


The future has arrived.


My Opinion: 257 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


Not LitRPG as described in the title. There's a augmented combat suit with a HUD that estimates threats, and damage. It drops notifications in front of the main character (MC) on a regular basis but there is no RPG progression. This is a decent sci-fi action story with some spaceships. But it's NOT LitRPG.


Score: 4 out of 10

Comet Rider: A Scifi Lit-RPG Series

https://amzn.to/2ucgb2B


(Picture 6)

Lydia: Awakening

When Arcturus opens his eyes in the strange and beautiful world of Lydia, his first quest is to recover his memories, and learn how he ended up inside of an RPG.


But the others don’t think of it as a game, and they warn him that when players die they must wait for many decades before it’s their turn to be reborn again.


This is a story that starts with an answer and works its way back to life’s most important question. He will encounter steamy vampire love, flower-picking goblins, rare magic, and cute, cuddly dogs.


But none of these things can distract him from what he has never truly forgotten, which is how much he is willing to do for the sake of love.


My Opinion: 188 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


I’ll be honest. The beginning of the novel will be the hardest to get through because of how it’s written. Awkward dialogue, overly detailed descriptions, some plot holes and tiny game mechanic issues. But if you can get past it, you’ll find that all that improves as the author finds his legs and there’s eventually a pretty good story here.


From the very first pages, the story is absolutely LitRPG and as it progresses it introduces crafting, unique world building, lots of neat magic, training, and good power ups. The basic game mechanics are familiar with levels, hp, mana, abilities. The only new thing for the character screen are Traits that help define a character and give bonuses, but the MC can only have 4. So he has to choose which to keep eventually. Personally, I liked the adventure, power up, and train cycle the story eventually gets.


Storywise, the first 40% is explanations about the game mechanics, world building, and slice of life adventures. The rest of it actually has a plot with some neat revelations about the MC and some very clear goals, setbacks, twists, and good fights.


Overall, this is a good story that I enjoyed. While I did have to force myself to push past the beginning a bit, it much better as it went on.


Score: 7.4 out of 10

Lydia: Awakening

https://amzn.to/2U2m9BO



(Picture 7)

The Mayor of Noobtown: A LitRPG Adventure

It could be worse. You could be stuck with a literal shoulder demon.


After dying and being reborn into a world that's built like a video game, Jim has found himself stuck in a very old world style new player zone for low level adventurers. Unfortunately, the zone fell out of use centuries ago, and no one told the monsters they were supposed to take it easy on the Noobs. Even worse, the only new player around is Jim.


Jim has been given an opportunity, and he'll do his best to take advantage of it.


My Opinion: 226 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


This is a very fun story that has good humor and intelligent exploiting of the game mechanics in this RPG world. There’s a very neat reincarnation/tabletop beginning gets a unique talent that opens up many leveling opportunities. But his real special skill, is that his mind wasn’t wiped like it was supposed to when he was reincarnated. Now he’s using his past earthly experiences with RPG gaming to game this world as hard as he can.


Game mechanic wise, the story has leveling, stats, HP, mana, and stamina. But also, many custom rules that add a bit of spice and challenge. Additionally, skills can be learned through use or gained from leveling but must be practiced to increase.  There’s also crafting, a minor bit of town and community building. There’s more than enough information given throughout the novel to roll your own character in this world.


The story is slice of life. You follow the MC as he’s summoned to this world, goes through a unique character creation process, then tries to learn the rules of the fantasy RPG world so that he can exploit them to survive. He goes on adventuress, fights monsters, grinds out skill increases, and uses his intelligence and unique powers to win out against more powerful opponents. Good stuff.


Overall, an entertaining story that has a snarky wit, good banter, good action, and an intelligent use of gamer knowledge to exploit the systems described. Fun stuff.

Score: 7.7 out of 10

The Mayor of Noobtown: A LitRPG Adventure

https://amzn.to/2VZs7Rd



That’s it everyone!


You can follow us on

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Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  


Other LitRPG facebook pages

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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 162 - The Crafting of Chess, Supermage, The Black Turtle , Changing World bk 2, Dungeon World

 

LitRPG Podcast 162 - The Crafting of Chess, Supermage, The Black Turtle , Changing World bk 2, Dungeon World

March 15th, 2019

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

New Releases and Reviews:

The Crafting of Chess: A LitRPG adventure

A good crafting - adventure LitRPG story

Score: 7.5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2EkHj4j

Supermage (Rise to Omniscience Book 1)

Couldn’t help compare it to Dante’s Immortality, which is just so much better.

Score: 5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2tJ8YXF

The Black Turtle (The Artar Chronicles Book 2)

A good continuation of the series

Score:7.4 out of 10  

https://amzn.to/2RTCXdc

Changing World: The Fast Flow

Hard to reconnect to the story and characters

Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2H5xjyK

Dungeon World: A Dungeon Core Experience

Interesting premise of a dungeon-core adventurer, execution misses for me.

Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2TokQxq


(Play Music 2)


LitRPG News



Matt Dinniman, author of the Dominion of Blades series, will be at Emerald City Comic Con this weekend March 14-17 at booth HG307. He’s an artist as well as an author and I believe the art will be the main focus of the booth. But he says he’ll have some print books for fans to buy and is more than happy to sign copies they may have. So, go stop on by say hello to Matt and buy some of his amazing art.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10156713366145280&set=a.68768855279&type=3&theater



Jeffrey Falcon Logue, author of the Slime Dungeon Chronicles, is continuing to work on his side scroller game set in the same universe. This week he released some of the art work he’s commisioned for the design of the sprites and characters. It looks super cool. You can see what some of the monsters and bosses will look like. I’m just telling you cause I liked seeing it and it’s super fun to see the work on a LitRPG inspired game.

https://www.facebook.com/SlimeEvo/



The latest audiobook from the War Aeternus series is out, and Soundbooth Theater has made a really great trailer for it. It not only captures the neat bits about that story but kind of for the series on whole.

(Play video)

https://www.facebook.com/jeff.hays2/videos/10101385921594479/UzpfSTI1MDU2NTUzODY5Nzk5Nzo2MzI4MjYxOTA0NzE5Mjg/

https://youtu.be/wuF7UhtFTe8


Just wanted to give a bit shoutout to Dave Willmarth on the success of his new series, Shadow Sun Survival. It broke through past into the top 200 space and is currently sitting at #159 on all of Amazon and is #1 in several sub categories. Congratulation man, we’re all really proud that you’re doing well. Go check out the novel if you haven’t already.

https://amzn.to/2W0KRQA



We hit 1,000 subscribers on YouTube and to celebrate we’re giving away 10 audiobook codes for Audible. Everyone who has subscribed to the channel or follows us on Facebook is already entered and here are the winners:  Jakob Tanner, Chris Memmott, Logan122881, Timothy Olsen, Drew Cordell, JDbugman, Mathew Montevideo, Steven Michael Berry, Miles Trombley.


I’ve sent off messages to everyone so check your emails and facebook messages.


Additionally, i’ll have hidden one extra Audible code somewhere in the podcast for the 1st viewer to claim it. Thank you everyone that has helped support the podcast to grow.

https://www.youtube.com/c/GeekBytesPodcast




Out Now!


Vindication (The Alchemic Weaponeer - Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2IJa7ch


The Game of Gods: The Beginning

https://amzn.to/2UBCbjh


Istoria Online: Square One: A LitRPG Adventure

https://amzn.to/2F0xd96


Respawn: 18 and Up (Respawn LitRPG series Book 3)

https://amzn.to/2XXQror


The Mayor of Noobtown: A LitRPG Adventure

https://amzn.to/2VZs7Rd


City of Champions Online: Complete

https://amzn.to/2W1VF0v

-Compilation of episodes 1-5 of the series

-Super Hero LitRPG


The Idle System (A LitRPG series Book 3): The Birth

https://amzn.to/2T9sJCh


Comet Rider: A Scifi Lit-RPG Series

https://amzn.to/2ucgb2B


Acrion: Cascade

https://amzn.to/2u5BoLI


Gamer Guy III-Uploaded: A LitRPG lite novel (Gamer Guy Series Book 3)

https://amzn.to/2O79qs7


New LitRPG Audiobooks


Harbinger of Ash: War Aeternus, Book 4

https://amzn.to/2O00BjI


Bunker Core: Core Control, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2ua3wNI


The Starry Skies of Darkaan: Heroic Fantasy (Realm of Arkon, Book 6)

https://amzn.to/2XZgDip


The Path: Just Cause Universe, Book 14

https://amzn.to/2TFELIs


Dan the Adventurer - Gold Girls and Glory, Book 2

https://amzn.to/2UBGhYH

Note: narrated by the amazing Andrea Parsneau (Par-Snow)


Oblivion's Promise - Endless Online: A LitRPG Adventure, Book 2

https://amzn.to/2XXN3dj




Upcoming LitRPG:



Gun Blade (Crystal Shards Online Book 4)  (March 17h, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2EUHK5N


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

https://amzn.to/2SS8FET

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




Protectors: Evolution Online V (A LitRPG) (March 19th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2VFjV8E


The Fourth Realm (The Ten Realms Book 4) (March 22nd, 2109)

https://amzn.to/2SRPFFQ


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

https://amzn.to/2LCzrOL


Soulcatcher. LitRPG series "Universe ICS": Book I

(March 25th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2EbsK4o



Dark World [Transformation. Book II] (March 27th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2FZVn5w


Lost Portals: Czarzakian Multiverse Online (LitRPG Omniverse 1) (Czarzakian Multiverse Online: LitRPG Omnverse) (March 27th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2XTtkLP



Viridian Gate Online: Dead Man’s Tide: A litRPG Adventure (The Illusionist Book 2) (March 28th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2IHEkbq


Shyft - Book 1 - Defender of Gallowind: (A LitRPG Adventure) (March 29th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2u8Kes0


Into The Game: Dungeon Crawl Quest: A LitRPG Adventure (Wizard Warrior Quest) (April 1st, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2BMiUnX



Djinn Tamer: Rivals: A Monster Battling GameLit Adventure (Djinn Tamer - Bronze League Book 2) (April 5th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2N7yLld


Edge of the Abyss (Respawn Trials Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 10th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2FJK4zf


Dukes and Ladders: A LitRPG/Gamelit Adventure (The Good Guys Book 5) (April 11th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2tovN2G





Dragon Heart: Stone Will. LitRPG wuxia series: Book 1

(April 18th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2tj3dzU



Class-A Threat (Disgardium Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 22nd, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2TwckbG


In Search of the Uldans (Galactogon: Book #2) LitRPG Series

(April 25th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2TzxMwF


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

https://amzn.to/2J0VIrV



Onto New Releases and Reviews


(Play Music 3)


New Releases and Reviews


(Picture 1)

The Crafting of Chess: A LitRPG adventure

Nate wants more to life than moving from town to town, hustling chess with his con-man grandfather or wagering pick-up games online. A new immersive game opens up the chance to bring in a steady paycheck. Maybe enough to convince his grandfather to stay straight. Little does he know how his actions will change his life.


A GameLit coming of age story.


My Opinion: 291 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


The story will absolutely appeal to LitRPG readers that like crafting. Like, that’s what most of the story revolves around. There is little to no combat in the story but there is still adventure/conflict as the main character (MC) is put in some interesting positions. He has to navigate politics and factions with NPCs. He has to fend off and manage greedy players that will betray him for a chance at his enchanted gear. NPCs and Players alike want to use him for their own purposes, when all he wants to do is improve his crafting and enchanting skills so that he can make a living selling it at auction.


Overall, a gem of a crafting story. It has great details about crafting and enchantment abilities without it being too realistic. The story still has familiar game mechanics like stats, levels, XP, quest and item notifications. I will note that the crafting storyline minimizes near the last 20% of the novel as the focus shifts to completing the ‘plot’ with the Kingmaker contest and I was just less interested in that aspect.


Score: 7.5 out of 10

The Crafting of Chess: A LitRPG adventure

https://amzn.to/2EkHj4j



(Picture 2)

Supermage (Rise to Omniscience Book 1)

Morgan's life is not easy. Growing up on the streets of City Four, he is constantly shunned by the other citizens. Morgan doesn't mind being ignored. What he does mind, though, are the constant beatings from the city guards due to his friendship with Sarah, the city lord's only daughter. Lord Simon wants him dead, but the laws of the kingdom are on Morgan’s side and even the guards won't kill him, just for being seen near his manor.


Morgan’s time is running out, though. Lord Simon has deep pockets and his last visit to the manor may just have put him over the edge. Worse, he is nearing his sixteenth birthday, and has yet to awaken any abilities. In a world where might makes right, he has never been one of the mighty. What will he do when faced with a life altering decision and just how will his decision impact those around him?


Warning: This book contains profanity, gore and content that may not be suitable for children. This book also contains GameLit elements such as stat sheets, and a form of leveling and experience gain.


My Opinion: 298 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


The novel has been doing well on Amazon hitting sub 200s and I want to congratulate the author on doing well. But honestly, the story didn’t work for me. I feel like I’ve read the premise before and it was done better.


The novel starts a bit like Dante’s Immortality with the main character (MC) worried about his powers showing before his age limit hits. Magically, just when he needs them, they finally show, but he has to hide them and run because he’s just potentially too powerful.


Only in this novel, the MC gets mage powers and super powers and he has to train, kill monsters to advance, and escape from the bad men hunting him. Oh, he also has a lord’s daughter with him for no really ever explained reason. There’s also a bit of magical academy story and a tournament. But honestly, that’s kind of it. There’s not really a complex story here.


Game mechanic wise, this is a pretty sparse and simplified system. Yes, there are ranks, increases in power based on killing, and the powers/magic increase in power as ranks increase. But honestly, most of the numbers in the character sheet felt like they had little real impact on the story. Combat is exaggerated with the MC often killing opponents higher in rank in just a couple of hits. There’s no damage notification or health loss % to show any relationship between character sheet numbers and the rest of the story. Most of the numbers feel like they’re there to tick a box or to show there is some growth as the MCs ranks increase.


Overall, this story just didn’t work for me. There’s little character depth, I never really got a reason to like the MC, there’s only a little world building, and the game mechanics aren’t interesting. The story feels more like a super powered novel set in a fantasy world. Which isn’t bad, it just didn’t work for me. I’d honestly recommend you read Dante’s Immortality, it’s a much better LitRPG novel.


Score: 5 out of 10

Supermage (Rise to Omniscience Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2tJ8YXF


(Picture 3)

The Black Turtle (The Artar Chronicles Book 2)

The brand new LitRPG adventure continues! An instant hit with all genre lovers, adventurers, gamers, and fans of The Land and Awaken Online!


Torn apart by life, both virtual and real, Mongoose has to gain the trust and support of his teammates in The Steel Hounds by completing a perilous quest — and at the same time, become the very first to master the element of Water in Artar while securing a source of real-life income.


But the road he has chosen turns out to be wild and untraveled, his guildmates are assassinated, his real-life abilities are weakened, and he becomes completely broke…


Trying to find a balance between his own ambitions, The Steel Hounds, and real life, Stan embarks on a dangerous venture, and the stakes have never been higher.

***

The Black Turtle is the second book in a new LitRPG series, The Artar Chronicles by Vladimir Vasilenko. The story of a free-spirited and daring Mongoose takes a new turn and gets more and more complicated. His bright and cunning mind, coupled with the desire to have it all, put him in a bind, making him face the entire world — with no guarantee to come out on top.


My Opinion: 321 pages, $5.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited


A good continuation of the series. There are a few formatting issues with missing paragraph indentations and paragraph spacing, but it probably won’t bother most people. Other than that, if you liked book 1, book 2 is much the same. The story is bookended with monk class stuff and the middle with more adventuring with the guild. There is good martial arts action-adventure, regular RPG progression with increasing powers and stats, and this time there is actually some significant character development with some interesting real world events. Overall, good stuff.


Score:7.4 out of 10  

The Black Turtle (The Artar Chronicles Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2RTCXdc


(Picture 4)

Changing World: The Fast Flow

Alder's life has become a mad race against those who want him out of the world. One wrong step, one small error, and he may lose everything he has achieved, his patron will disappear from this world, and his newly acquired friends will lose their lives.


My Opinion: 359 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


A slight miss for me this time. The beginning was a struggle to get through. The main character kind of just floats around and there was no summary or call back to book 1 so it was rather challenging to reconnect to the story. Eventually enough details came through that I remembered the plot, but it took like 15% of the novel. From there on, it is a very similar slice of life/Alice in wonderland like experience where you follow the MC as he goes on adventures, gets randomly portaled, and defeats other godly followers. The story has the same RPG stuff from book 1 and there are lots of new skills and abilities that the MC gets. But overall, I just found it harder to engage with the story and it came up just shy of good for me. Though the last twist ending does show potential for the next book.


Score: 6 out of 10

Changing World: The Fast Flow

https://amzn.to/2H5xjyK


(Picture 5)

Dungeon World: A Dungeon Core Experience

In a distant world five times the size of planet Earth, dungeons and their dungeon cores have become the top of the food chain.


Millions of dungeons inhabit the planet, utilizing the various human kingdoms as a source of much-needed mana to facilitate their own growth; in turn, the humans delve into the dungeons and acquire their own power in the form of Essence, which allows them to develop and enhance themselves in a multitude of different ways. It is a symbiotic relationship that has lasted centuries and has brought about a measure of peace.


Far in the northern wilds where no humans (and therefore – no dungeons) regularly frequent, a young man is left alone when his parents are murdered suddenly and unexpectedly. Now, without friends, family, or even supplies, he embarks on a journey to find out who targeted his parents – and who he needs to enact his revenge upon. Along the way, he discovers something about himself that his parents said was impossible from the moment he was born.


Will he learn to control the new powers he has gained, or will his newly awakened dungeon core abilities consume him?


Contains LitRPG elements such as statistics and leveling. No harems and no profanity.


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


There are some really interesting concepts here but some feel like they have unfulfilled potential. The main character is a being that was born of two dungeon cores and while he looks human, he has the creation powers of a dungeon core, only without even needing a dungeon. This seems like it could be a pretty cool concept except culturally the MC is raised like a human with their same values instead of a murderous dungeon whose life depends on killing adventurers. Additionally, the MCs ability to recreate anything he learns the pattern for leads to the most OP ability ever, infinite money. Which he eventually uses to solve his problems.


Oddly, as a dungeon core I’d expected him to instinctively want to make a dungeon but that doesn’t happen in this book. Instead, he’s trying to become strong enough to question another dungeon to figure out why his parents were killed. So, he goes dungeon diving. The dungeon dives are actually pretty good when they’re not summarized, but after that’s kind of the problem. The story tends to shift directions after building up characters or story paths. Characters are developed, given history, personality, then just kind of abandoned as events get summarized and the story focus shifts.


On the game mechanics, things are a mix of dungeon core and adventurer status screens and there are some neat mechanics for several classes. But you can tell the emphasis isn’t on creating a balanced system, but something fun for the story.


Overall, not a bad story. A very interesting premise. But the OP ability to make infinite amounts of money made the big wins for the MC feel a little cheap. Still, there are some good action scenes, neat character builds, and I liked the idea of a dungeon adventurer, it just didn’t unfold well for me.


Score: 6 out of 10

Dungeon World: A Dungeon Core Experience

https://amzn.to/2TokQxq



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 161

 

LitRPG Podcast 161 - Shadow Sun Survival, VGO:Firebrand, Awaken Online 4, Small Medium 2, Cat’s Quest


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


New Releases and Reviews:

Shadow Sun Survival: Shadow Sun Book One (08:41)

A good RPG apocalypse story with really good base/town building

Score: 7.4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2EPGEJP


Viridian Gate Online: Firebrand: A litRPG Adventure (The Firebrand Series Book 1)  (15:20)

Familiar MC, familiar events

Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2H0peeZ


Cat's Quest Book 1 (20:10)

Russian Translation. A good OP story with trade stuff

Score: 7.4

https://amzn.to/2LNaaSf


Small Medium: At Large (25:45)

Good 2nd book that adds a nice investigation/mystery

Score: 7.3 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2IE0FGW


Awaken Online: Dominion  (28:58)

Enjoyed the real life storyline a bit more than the game one

Score: 7.2 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2IJgjkj



(Play Music 2)


LitRPG News


Ascend Online commision and fan art!

All the metal reminds me of FF

Fanart from LunarLillith

https://www.facebook.com/LukeChmilenko/


Michael Chatfield recently did a Facebook Live stream where he outlined some of the publication goals he has and updates where his series are. He includes the pre-order link for the Fourth Realm book which will be out March 22nd.

https://www.facebook.com/michaelchatfieldsbooks/videos/354861965359315/


Out Now!


The Black Turtle (The Artar Chronicles Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2RTCXdc


Changing World: The Fast Flow (Feb 21st, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2H5xjyK

**Totally missed this coming out, sorry**


Endless Online: Oblivion's Crown: A LitRPG Adventure - Book 5

https://amzn.to/2HhDfow


Rules-Free VRMMO Life: Volume XX - Ascension

https://amzn.to/2HkNQz0


Bushido Online: War Games: A LitRPG Saga

https://amzn.to/2tVD8r1


New LitRPG Audiobooks


Pangea Online 2: Magic and Mayhem

https://amzn.to/2CjXejl


Siphon - A Touch of Power, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2VM4lZ3


The Mists of Erantia

https://amzn.to/2tVwdOg




Upcoming LitRPG:


Dungeon World: A Dungeon Core Experience (March 11th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2TokQxq


Vindication (The Alchemic Weaponeer - Book 1) (March 14th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2IJa7ch



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

https://amzn.to/2SS8FET

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


Protectors: Evolution Online V (A LitRPG) (March 19th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2VFjV8E


The Fourth Realm (The Ten Realms Book 4) (March 22nd, 2109)

https://amzn.to/2SRPFFQ


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

https://amzn.to/2LCzrOL



Dark World [Transformation. Book II] (March 27th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2FZVn5w


Viridian Gate Online: Dead Man’s Tide: A litRPG Adventure (The Illusionist Book 2) (March 28th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2IHEkbq


Into The Game: Dungeon Crawl Quest: A LitRPG Adventure (Wizard Warrior Quest) (April 1st, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2BMiUnX



Djinn Tamer: Rivals: A Monster Battling GameLit Adventure (Djinn Tamer - Bronze League Book 2) (April 5th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2N7yLld


Edge of the Abyss (Respawn Trials Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 10th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2FJK4zf


Dukes and Ladders: A LitRPG/Gamelit Adventure (The Good Guys Book 5) (April 11th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2tovN2G


Soulcatcher. LitRPG series "Universe ICS": Book I

(April 16th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2EbsK4o



Dragon Heart: Stone Will. LitRPG wuxia series: Book 1

(April 18th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2tj3dzU



Class-A Threat (Disgardium Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 22nd, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2TwckbG


In Search of the Uldans (Galactogon: Book #2) LitRPG Series

(April 25th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2TzxMwF


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

https://amzn.to/2J0VIrV



Onto New Releases and Reviews


(Play Music 3)


New Releases and Reviews


(Picture 1)

Shadow Sun Survival: Shadow Sun Book One

How well would you fare if the apocalypse fell upon you? Could you survive more than a few days? Would you be able to feed yourself? Find clean water? Safe shelter? Heal your wounds?


Allistor is a gamer geek who has spent most of his life indoors, playing virtual reality MMORPGS and reading classic LitRPG books. But when Earth is seized by an ancient race wielding incredibly advanced tech, who transport the entire planet to a new location with twin suns, he finds himself fighting to survive in real life. The human race is declared a contaminant, and the new overlords decree that 90% of us will be exterminated. Creatures out of myth and legend are sent to do the killing. Dragons, titans, alien creatures big and small, all with a hunger for human flesh. Humans who survive the first year will be rewarded.


After seeing his family killed in the first week, Allistor leads a small group of survivors in their struggle to stay alive. Not satisfied with simple survival, he strives to make himself and his people stronger. The new 'magic' RPG system that now governs the planet is something he can work with, and teach others to exploit. Thrust into a leadership position, and with vengeance in his heart, Allistor aims to establish a stronghold, then take the fight to the monsters who seek to enslave his people.


My Opinion: 404 pages, $3.99, Available On Kindle Unlimited


A slice of life RPG apocalypse story with town building and community building aspects. It is setup a bit like System Apocalypse in that aliens have started the RPG apocalypse but in this case humanity is being targeted with the goal of reducing the population 90% by spawning monsters everywhere. Also, humanity has one year to try and survive and claim any territory on earth before other aliens come to immigrate.


The story plays out in a slice of life way, with the MC recounting the first days of the RPG apocalypse and how he had an edge with the system since it is like the RPG games he loves. Then it's just about him surviving, gathering resources and survivors to figure out how to make a place for everyone with so many deadly monsters everywhere.


The game mechanics are similar to what you see in other RPG apocalypse stories including a system store where items, spells, and loot can be bought and sold. There's also crafting but the most unique aspect will be the town building stuff. Good crunchy stuff.


Overall, the story is rather entertaining. There's good regular action, lots of different monsters that are fought, survivalist stuff, real risk since characters die permanently, and some good character building with the survivors.


Score: 7.4 out of 10

Shadow Sun Survival: Shadow Sun Book One

https://amzn.to/2EPGEJP


(Picture 2)

Viridian Gate Online: Firebrand: A litRPG Adventure (The Firebrand Series Book 1)

New worlds get new kings, and that’s exactly what Abby thinks she’s found in her boss’ hacked code.


With a cataclysmic asteroid careening toward Earth, the VRMMORPG project Viridian Gate Online has become more than just a game, and Abby thinks her boss, Robert Osmark, wants to be more than just its founding father.


Now, Abby holds a hacked key to the kingdom that could earn her a punishment worse than death. To uncover the secret that drug lords and corrupt politicians paid millions for, Abby must dive into the game she helped create and team up with one of its AI creations. It’s a race against the clock as she tries to discover what’s hidden in the secret code before Osmark can crown himself ruler over all that remains of humanity.


From James A. Hunter—author of Viridian Gate Online, Rogue Dungeon, War God's Mantle, and the Yancy Lazarus Series—and debut author J.D. Astra, comes an epic new entry into the Expanded Universe of Viridian Gate Online that you won't want to put down!


My Opinions: 295 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


The main character (MC) Abby is featured in the main VGO series, but now she has her own. The story follows Abby’s search for what Osmark has hidden in the game, her class quests, and the events of the main VGO series right up to where Grim Jack gets the Imperial Seal, but just from Abby’s point of view. I’ll be honest, the novel wasn’t bad but it didn’t work for me. I liked seeing what neat powers Abby’s firebrand class has and some of the quests, but there wasn’t any tension because I knew that she was always going to be ok since I’ve already read the main VGO series and I already knew where the big plot points of the story were going.


Score: 6 out of 10

Viridian Gate Online: Firebrand: A litRPG Adventure (The Firebrand Series Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2H0peeZ


(Picture 3)

Cat's Quest Book 1

When a tricky merchant player called Cat finds a mysterious magic sword, it quickly draws the attention of both the administration and the other players inside the virtual reality of a top-of-the-line full-immersion MMORPG. This discovery sets off a special event and starts a deadly intercontinental war, all arranged by long-gone developers.

Now, Oleg, the man behind Cat, has to collect all the unique weapons left in the game by its creators before the tragic accident claimed their lives and to complete the new challenge that nobody on the new developer team has any idea about, all the while being accused of cheating and hunted by the most dangerous guild in the game world, led by a dark goddess and one of the top PvP players.

Once, he was a professional player earning real money in another game. He fell from his pedestal into a debt pit: his account got blocked, his savings got burnt, his friends left him behind, and dangerous people appeared at his doorstep, wanting their money back. To get back on his feet, he decided to enter a new game and find a new source of income.

***

Cat’s Quest is a highly-rated LitRPG new adult series by Roman Prokofiev. The protagonist is one of a kind: more of a trickster and a merchant than a classic adventuring hero—even if he has to become the one to finish what the original developers of the game started.

The setting is the future, around 2070. The Earth has changed: climate, coastlines, even countries. The Sphere is a game ruled by supercomputers…but not everything inside it is controlled by AI, and Cat, whose only interest is earning money to survive in real life, becomes embroiled in the long-gestating plan that will change the face of the entire in-game world.


My Opinion: 377 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


Translated from Russian, the story reminds me a bit of the 2nd Way of the Shaman where things start to get guild heavy. The early part is a little hard to get into but it is supposed to explain how the MC makes his living from gaming and why he needs to play this new one. I actually liked the trade/merchant stuff and the explanations about trading schemes, interesting info on trading, local game marketplaces versus world markets. Some interesting stuff, there just wasn't enough for me. There's more slice of life adventuring mixed with this OP story, then it shifts to a larger conflict between guilds and realms. Overall good stuff but be aware it ends on a bit of a cliff hanger.


Score: 7.4

Cat's Quest Book 1

https://amzn.to/2LNaaSf


(Picture 4)

Small Medium: At Large

It's tough being a country girl in the big city, especially when werewolves are murdering their way through the underworld! Chase Berrymore must bring all her divination skills to bear in order to survive both wild werewolves and murderous mafiosos.


She's got a shot at finding steadfast allies along the way, but at great cost; the mysterious entities that call themselves 'players' are involved. And where they go, chaos follows...


The sequel to a new litrpg saga, Small Medium: At Large serves up a large helping of action, cunning plans, and mystery...


My Opinion: 332 pages, $4.99, Not Available On Kindle Unlimited


This is a delightful sequel in the Small Medium series that keeps the action adventure going but also adds a nice mystery to solve. MC and Traveler Thomasi go to a larger city and get mixed up in a crime families problems with werewolves killing in the city.

-MC uses her Oracle and Grifter class skills to navigate fine line between independent operator and lackey. It was fun to see the halfling fight against more powerful opponents using her wits and unique non-combat skills.


Score: 7.3 out of 10

Small Medium: At Large

https://amzn.to/2IE0FGW


(Picture 5)

Awaken Online: Dominion

The fourth installment in the best selling Awaken Online series!


Following Jason's evolution into a Keeper, he finds his fledgling city once again in turmoil. A new and deadly enemy threatens the Twilight Throne -- one that has no difficulty contending with Jason and the members of Original Sin.


Jason must work quickly to consolidate his city's power. That means securing the villages within the Twilight Throne's influence, finding a steady stream of income, and growing the city's military strength. Even as the group grapples with these changes, they notice that something is stirring up the native undead around the city, although the source of this strange influence is uncertain.


One thing is clear, however. Jason might have evolved, but his enemies have adapted with him. If the Twilight Throne is to survive, the group must grow stronger and Jason must learn to control his newfound abilities.


Otherwise, the darkness may very well claim them all.


My Opinion: 690 pages, $6.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


The reviews are mostly positive for the story and you definitely can’t argue with the popularity with the novel sitting in the top 100 on Amazon for over a week. For me, this is a good story but I’m starting to get a little bored with the in-game storyline. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t bad. There’s still lots of action-adventure and a great grand battle scene at the end. But the in-game villain in the story feels very ‘monster of the week’ to me. Just someone introduced to show the MC that he’s weak and force him to train and then see the MC beat him at the end. A very Dragon Ball Z kind of thing. There’s nothing wrong with that, I really like DBZ, but it’s a little predictable.


The real life storyline, for me, was actually more interesting. It was good to see some real resolution to the MCs feelings towards his parents, and all those threats about emergent AI come to some kind of resolution.


A few things that were actually annoying: The Jason-Riley misunderstanding in the first part of the story was just bothersome. I know it’s there so that the resolution feels better later, but the misunderstanding feels forced. Alex/Alexion as a villain just feels too weak and all the easy wins he gets feel cheap.


Overall, still a good entertaining story. A little predictable. But still a solid read for most fans of the series.


Score: 7.2 out of 10

Awaken Online: Dominion

https://amzn.to/2IJgjkj



That’s it everyone!


You can follow us on

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

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Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  


Other LitRPG facebook pages

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

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

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


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



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


(Music 4)


Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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



LitRPG Podcast 160

 


LitRPG Podcast 160


March 1st, 2019


Hello everyone, welcome to episode 160 of the LitRPG podcast. For the full show notes visit us at: https://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-podcast-160



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



New Releases and Reviews:


Four: The Loot: A LitRPG/Gamelit Adventure (The Good Guys Book 4)

Now with a bit of town building.

Score: 7.5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2EFQQp5


Quest Accepted (XP: Unlocked Book One) A LitRPG Fantasy Series

Some good parts, but the story felt forced and while LitRPG it had more of a portal fantasy vibe.

Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2T3MeA7


Code of the Necromancer : A LitRPG Series (Book 2)

Light LitRPG, but good storytelling and world building.

Score: 7.3 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2BOmFsK


Occultist (Saga Online #1) - A Fantasy LitRPG

A pretty good action focused LitRPG story. Lots of good fights with a mix of PvE and PvP battles.

Score: 7.3 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2X4PCJW


Hunter's Choice: A LitRPG Adventure (Apex Chronicles Book 2)

A good sequel, heavy Monster Hunter influence.

Score: 7.4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2EdRJCR


VOID LEGION: A LitRPG/Gamelit Saga (The Frost Files Book 1)

Good action, but not enough to carry the story

Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2Ir7OKE




(Play Music 2)


LitRPG News


Dave Wilmarths upcoming book had a slight name change. The title is now Shadow Sun Survival , while it was Dark Sun Survival before. It is still going to release March the 5th.


Jeffrey Falcon Logue, author of the Slime Dungeon Chronicles, has been working on a slime platformer based on that LitRPG world. He announced this week that he is almost done with the new demo which will have a new boss. Also, that he’s setup social media for the game project. So, go follow/like/whatever if you want to support him and get updates on the game.

https://twitter.com/SlimeEvo

https://www.instagram.com/slimeevo_game/

https://www.facebook.com/SlimeEvo/



Daniel Schinhofen announced this week that he finally got his merchandising setup. He is selling t-shirts and hats with images and logos of his various novel properties if you want to go buy them.

https://schinhofenbooks.myshopify.com/


There is a new LitRPG reviewer, Lavelle Jackson, on YouTube who publishes under the name LitRPG Re-Roll, just wanted to give a shout out to the reviewer. He’s taken the time to not only read but put together his thoughts on the story and game mechanics. He’s only done a few reviews so far but I’m sure he plans to do more. Good luck to you man and keep putting up those video reviews!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKDmJTWb-GzmGBo-usWzPnA



Mountaindale Press is taking submissions for an anthology set in the Divine Dungeon Universe. There are a bunch of details you’ll have to be aware of including a deadline for submission of March 25th. But this is a chance to write in your favorite story universe.


Details:

☑️Four stories (besides mine) will be selected for the anthology

☑️Stories should be 8,000-12,000 words

☑️Stories must be original

☑️Authors are limited to one submission

☑️Stories MUST fit within the established world

☑️Stories must follow a character C rank or below – one that you create or a canon character, but if writing about a member of Dale’s party you must stick to their back story

☑️Stories should have little to no sexual content

☑️Because these stories are set in the Divine Dungeon world, unaccepted submissions cannot be published for monetary compensation of any form by the author

☑️Stories should have a strong ending (i.e. no cliffhanger)


All stories will be read by me and several other super fans. The four stories we like the best will be published and monetary compensation for the contributing authors discussed once selected! Deadline for submission is March 25th. Email your submission in using this link and under "reason for message" select "anthology": https://www.mountaindalepress.com/contact . Looking forward to reading your work!!


I’m speculating a little here, but this also may be a way for Mountaindale press to check out talent for an expanded universe too. Recently, the publishers of Viridian Gate Online released several expanded universe novels. Stories set in the VGO universe but written by new authors with original characters. However, they started with anthology submissions too. Mountaindale Press might be doing something similar. I don’t know that they are, this is speculation.

https://www.facebook.com/TheDivineDungeon/photos/a.1612167695744356/1993518677609254/?type=3&theater




The interview with Dan Sugralinov, author of Level UP series,  I did last week has been edited so that the parts where translation occurs is a more streamlined. But please check it out, it was a really fun and insightful conversation. We talked about Dan’s writing process, how he balances writing and family time, inspiration for his stories, and how when he was a kid he wrote an alternate 3rd Lord of the Rings novel cause in Russia they only translated two of the books.


Also, note that Dan actually sent in written responses to all the pre-interview questions I sent him so you have the unique opportunity to read his answers. Even a few to questions he didn’t get asked in the video interview.

https://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-podcast-159

https://youtu.be/t6_36Yr85Y0



Out Now!



Viridian Gate Online: Firebrand: A litRPG Adventure (The Firebrand Series Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2H0peeZ


Cat's Quest Book 1

https://amzn.to/2LNaaSf



Awaken Online: Dominion

https://amzn.to/2IJgjkj


Small Medium: At Large

https://amzn.to/2IE0FGW


The Crafting of Chess: A LitRPG adventure

https://amzn.to/2EkHj4j


Supermage (Rise to Omniscience Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2tJ8YXF


The Plague Barrens: A Fantasy LitRPG Gamelit Adventure (Enora Online Book 3)  

https://amzn.to/2TYyeVx


Town of Sumara: BlackFlame Online Book 3 (LitRpg Adventure)

https://amzn.to/2ElXrTf



New LitRPG Audiobooks


Endless Online: Oblivion's Blade

Endless Online Series, A LitRPG Adventure, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2SzhqD0


The Merchant of Tiqpa 2 - The Bathrobe Knight, Book 5

https://amzn.to/2NAWJWj


Sentenced to Troll

https://amzn.to/2EDiIJo


Viridian Gate Online: Side Quests: A litRPG Anthology

https://amzn.to/2NypvH2




Upcoming LitRPG:




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

https://amzn.to/2RTCXdc


Shadow Sun Survival (March 5th, 2019)


Vindication (The Alchemic Weaponeer - Book 1) (March 14th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2IJa7ch



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

https://amzn.to/2SS8FET

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


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

https://amzn.to/2LCzrOL



Dark World [Transformation. Book II] (March 27th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2FZVn5w


Viridian Gate Online: Dead Man’s Tide: A litRPG Adventure (The Illusionist Book 2) (March 28th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2IHEkbq


Into The Game: Dungeon Crawl Quest: A LitRPG Adventure (Wizard Warrior Quest) (April 1st, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2BMiUnX



Djinn Tamer: Rivals: A Monster Battling GameLit Adventure (Djinn Tamer - Bronze League Book 2) (April 5th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2N7yLld


Edge of the Abyss (Respawn Trials Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 10th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2FJK4zf


Dukes and Ladders: A LitRPG/Gamelit Adventure (The Good Guys Book 5) (April 11th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2tovN2G


Soulcatcher. LitRPG series "Universe ICS": Book I

(April 16th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2EbsK4o



Dragon Heart: Stone Will. LitRPG wuxia series: Book 1

(April 18th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2tj3dzU



Class-A Threat (Disgardium Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 22nd, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2TwckbG


In Search of the Uldans (Galactogon: Book #2) LitRPG Series

(April 25th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2TzxMwF



Onto New Releases and Reviews


(Play Music 3)


New Releases and Reviews


(Picture 1)

Four: The Loot: A LitRPG/Gamelit Adventure (The Good Guys Book 4)

Montana Coggeshall, duke of Coggeshall, defeater of dungeons, he of far fewer intelligence points than is probably recommended, is finally ready to start building his dukedom. He just needs one more thing before he can leave Osterstadt: a few hardworking friends to join him on this adventure.


Well, and some lumber. And nails and whatnot. And enough food to get through the winter. And probably some more gold.


All Montana needs before he can leave Osterstadt are some friends, some building materials, food, and money.


But he did promise to retrieve some magic texts from a cemetery for Emmeline. And he really should try to help the lost little boy who keeps following him around. And all the undead in that basement crypt aren’t going to re-kill themselves.


Maybe Montana’s taken on a few too many side quests.


My Opinion: 312 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


Another good read. Slice of life. Good action adventure. A good amount of town building as the MC establishes his dukedom.


Score: 7.5 out of 10

Four: The Loot: A LitRPG/Gamelit Adventure (The Good Guys Book 4)

https://amzn.to/2EFQQp5


(Picture 2)

Quest Accepted (XP: Unlocked Book One) A LitRPG Fantasy Series

Getting in was easy. Getting out will be the challenge of their lives.


Trapped on opposite ends of an immersive virtual reality fantasy game world, Evan and his sister Audyn embark on a quest where the choices they make can tip the scales of life and death. Their only hope lies in learning magic, crafting, skills, and forming unlikely alliances, to confront an evil intent on destroying them.


They must rely on the power they find both within the world and themselves to survive, before they are locked in forever.


My Opinion: 377 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


A bit of a miss for me. The story feels pretty forced sometimes and the cyberpunk reason for the main characters (MCs) to be trapped in the game in the first place was such a waste. It really doesn’t impact the story and is explained in a rush at the end. Ultimately the story is pretty slice of life with the MCs getting trapped in a game and going on adventures that kill them repeatedly, without consequence, until they get some levels. Then a ‘chosen one’ plot is forced on them and that plays out pretty predictably. The action ok, but not great.


Game mechanic wise there are character sheets, stats, skill increases, levels. But it all doesn't feel like it matters. Like increases on strength or intelligence don't seem to have an appreciable effect on combat or the story. Oh, there are notifications galore and characters acknowledge them but there aren't damage notifications or details that show stat increases mean anything. This gives the story more more of a portal fantasy vibe sometimes even though there are notifications and character sheets.


Overall, even though it had an good sense of humor and decent character development, the story as a whole didn’t work for me. However, if you prefer more of a fantasy novel vibe to your LitRPG, this may work better for you.


Score: 6 out of 10

Quest Accepted (XP: Unlocked Book One) A LitRPG Fantasy Series

https://amzn.to/2T3MeA7


(Picture 3)

Code of the Necromancer : A LitRPG Series (Book 2)

Cast your spells. Earn EXP. Bring the dead back to life.


Death fears the men who can use magic against it, but what are those guys scared of?


Well, necromancers are only human. Jakub Russo has a big heart but a dark past, and when he's banished from the magical academy for failure in his first assignment, he finds himself needing new allies, new spells, and new weapons.


A world of secrets and spells awaits outside the academy doors, and Jakub knows that one day, he'll master them all. If he can find his own code, he'll become the best necromancer who ever lived.


This is book 2 in the Necromancer series. It can be read as a standalone, but I recommend starting with book 1, Path of the Necromancer.


My Opinion: 275 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


This one is even lighter on LitRPG than book 1 and leans more towards fantasy. This is especially true for the beginning part of the novel which deals with the fallout from the events of book 1 and setup for the intrigue/thriller aspects of the story. This is completely in line with how the magic system works in the story universe with necromancer XP only being gained when the MC uses his spells or gathers death essence. There’s more RPG progression by the middle of the story but it is pretty light before that. Still, it’s an entertaining story with good action, tension, murderous bad guys that are pretty bad. The story gets a little dark sometimes but there’s lots of good character development and world building.


Score: 7.3 out of 10

Code of the Necromancer : A LitRPG Series (Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2BOmFsK


(Picture 4)

Occultist (Saga Online #1) - A Fantasy LitRPG

Damien thought his exams would be bad enough. Then his mother collapsed with a failing heart.


In a desperate move Damien throws himself into the Streamer Contest of Saga Online, the latest fantasy VR-MMORPG. Winning will provide the funds for his mom's surgery. Yet early betrayal and a close run in with a vampire almost ruin his attempt before he even begins.


Stuck at the bottom of a dungeon with no gear, no allies and little hope, Damien must embrace the undiscovered Occultist class, master control of his new demon companions and take the contest by storm.


His plan is simple enough. Topple the most famous player in Saga Online.


Summon your imps. Prepare for battle!


My Opinion: 482 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


A pretty good action focused LitRPG story. Lots of good fights with a mix of PvE and PvP battles. There’s some interesting summoner class stuff with the RPG progression but nothing I haven’t seen before.


The IRL storyline is probably the weakest aspect and I didn’t like it at all with the exception of meeting the romantic interest. But the ‘gaming to save his sick mom’ by winning the streaming competition felt like a forced plotline that wasn’t needed and often didn’t make sense. The game stuff was good enough on its own.


Overall, a good action-adventure story with consistent game mechanics. Sure, there are a couple places the story feels forced down a particular path, but it’s not anything that ruins the story for me.


Score: 7.3 out of 10

Occultist (Saga Online #1) - A Fantasy LitRPG

https://amzn.to/2X4PCJW


(Picture 5)

Hunter's Choice: A LitRPG Adventure (Apex Chronicles Book 2)

It's only been a couple of weeks since Arheis and his friends took down the Nepondus Queen and already they're starved for work. If they want to test their new skills and grow stronger, Arheis knows they'll have to get out of their comfort zone and leave the tutorial area behind.


Following a lead that could help them destroy more beast-frenzying crystals, Arheis and his companions make their way to Iskaral. Little do they know a dangerous beast lurks in the caverns beneath the city, gorging itself on those same crystals, threatening the lives of those above.


And this creature is just the beginning of their troubles. The world of Estalia is ever-evolving and Arheis is starting to believe it's more than just a game. When push comes to shove, he'll have to let go of the world he knows and exist in the moment.


His friends' lives may very well depend on it.


My Opinion: 437 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


This can actually be read as a stand alone novel. It does a really good job of quickly telling the reader about the main character (MC), his relationship with other characters, and the game world. The novel is definitely inspired by the Monster Hunter games and is very faithful to the feel of those games. Like book 1, most of the action takes place on hunts. The MC and his group get a bounty, research the monster, track it, plan a specific way to hunt, and struggle in the fight barely winning. Or just dying and trying something new next time. I always like that the author carries over that aspect of the Monster Hunter game, dying alot till you learn how to hunt a specific monster.


This novel there is more interpersonal relation building and a bit of romance, some intrigue, and a mystery that pushed the MC and his group to new locations.


Overall, anyone that likes the Monster Hunter franchise will appreciate all the nods the author has to those games in the novel. Even folks that aren’t familiar with those games will like this though. Good action, nice world building, but a unique emphasis on semi-realistic monster hunting as a game mechanic.


Score: 7.4 out of 10

Hunter's Choice: A LitRPG Adventure (Apex Chronicles Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2EdRJCR


(Picture 6)

VOID LEGION: A LitRPG/Gamelit Saga (The Frost Files Book 1)

Misfortune comes in fours for sixteen-year-old Andre Taylor. Each one worse than the next. He had to quit school, quit gaming, and his father died. Life sucked. It couldn’t get worse. Until a car accident left his pregnant mother in a coma and his little sister a hostage.


To save them, Dre must excel at Ataxia Online 2: Void Legion, a Simulated Reality Multiplayer Online Game. Now, powerful factions want him dead, Player Killers hunt him, a lethal plague sweeps across the land, and nightmare creatures from a voidstorm stand in his path.


Can Dre survive against overwhelming odds and unearth the secrets of the Void Legion? Can he convince a girl who wants to duel him to the death to fight on his side? He must. Or a fate worse than death awaits.


Note: Includes some profanity, adult themes, and graphic situations.


My Opinion: 377 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


This is a LitRPG novel that tries to do a lot of stuff. The novel does a good job on the RPG sections. There are detailed game mechanics, the main character (MC) feels like a true gamer, the MC has an interesting class, the fights feel like the RPG powers matter, and there is good RPG progression. Additionally, the fights are well described and feel very actiony. Good stuff.


Where the novel loses me, is in much of the rest of the story. There’s a cyberpunk/cyber thriller real world storyline that I just never liked or bought into. It just didn’t make sense to me. But I could almost ignore that if I connected with either the real world or game world. But that never happened for me either because of the way that the world building was done.


Both the real life and game world lore and world building felt kind of flat to me. The information about both was always presented as an info dump. The MC would just rattle off statements that could have been really interesting, but instead they were just kind of thrown out there with a bunch of names but no context or depth about why events happen. I mean, in this novel, the USA doesn’t exist. There was a civil war and some foreign powers were involved and there’s now two countries and for some reason there’s an organization that controls how many kids get born. All that seems like it would make for some great stories, but the author never goes into depth about it. There are just statements that these things exist and then the story moves on.


The same is true for the game world building, only it’s even harder to connect to that world. Instead of the MC gradually learning the history of the world, races, or factions by talking to NPCs or through his own research, he just automatically knows everything about the world because the game implants the knowledge. It’s conveyed by MC as recollections, but again, it’s all spit out as statements with no context given or depth. It came across to me as a very awkward way to convey details. You lose a sense of discovery because the MC describes it like he remembers it but there is this dissonance because you know he can't have. Details about battles he, even as as his character, wouldn't have been in and bits of history or lore he wouldn't have been privy to as a child or adolescent in that world. He would talk to other people as his character, referencing implanted fantasy/background history, but it never felt genuine.


Overall, I liked the action, how much of a gamer the MC came across as, and the RPG stuff. However, I never connected with the motivation for the MC, the real world, or game world.


Score: 6 out of 10

VOID LEGION: A LitRPG/Gamelit Saga (The Frost Files Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2Ir7OKE


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 159 - Dan Sugralinov Interview

 

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 one of your favorite Russian authors. He’s the author of the Level Up! Series, co-authors the Knockout series, and has an upcoming new series called Class-A Threat (Disgardium Book #1).

Welcome to the show Dan Sugralinov  (Soo - gra - lee - nof)

Also, note that Dan actually sent in written responses to all the pre-interview questions I sent him so you have the unique opportunity to read his answers. Even a few to questions he didn’t get asked in the video interview.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I was born in the USSR in one of the fifteen Soviet republics, which is called Kazakhstan. My country is in 9th place in the world by territory. What about me, I'm forty years old, I'm married and raising a son. All my life I have been doing business in IT and web-development, until I admitted to myself that I want to be a writer.

Education background

I have a master’s degree in economics and an MBA degree.

Gaming background

I have an extensive gaming background. I can say I grew up in games. But most of all I played World of Warcraft — more than 10 years playing for the same character. My character is a worgen rogue from Alliance. During the Cataclysm, I even became the first in the world by Wowprogress.

Writing background

When I was 24, I wrote a motivational novel titled Bricks. For more than ten years, this book has more than 3 million reads. Two years ago, my mom had a stroke, and sitting near the intensive care unit, not knowing if she would survive, I thought about my life. And I decided that life is short, but I never tried to become a writer. The next day I started writing Level Up.

 

So, tell me about your series?

Level Up —

The idea of augmented reality isn’t new. The Google Glass project is in fact nearing its completion even as we speak. But the idea of digitized real-life stats, that’s a bit different. I had it in summer 2014. At the time, I was working hard trying to lose weight from my original “too-fat-to-tie-laces” 242 lb. to my current 175 lb. These days, I can’t even imagine my life without going to the gym.

It was in the gym that I first realized how effective weight training could be. Today you lift 45 lb, a week later it’s 55 lb, and six months later, it’s already 175! Or, speaking in RPG terms, you level up Strength from 2 to 8.

Then an idea struck me. What if we could see all these status bars, skills and characteristics in real life just as we can in MMORPG? It’s one thing to know you’ve learned something from a book — and it’s something quite different if you can clearly see that it’s added +2% to your Intellect. Or that a visit to a swimming pool gives you +5% to Stamina. Would that motivate you more?

I’m absolutely sure it would. This is exactly why I’ve always loved RPG and LitRPG as well as weight training. Six years ago, I couldn’t do a single pull up. Now I can do fifteen easily. It’s the same in business: whether you work your backside off or just go through the motions, your company’s earnings are the only accurate barometer of your activity.

I spent some time thinking about it until it all fell into a pattern. That’s when I came up with my main character Phil Panfilov and his story. I mapped out his development arc, added some key scenes, came up with support characters and started writing.

That’s how I finished "Level Up. Re-Start", the first book in a series which tells the story of a gamer who’s been a bit too lax with his life. By the time he’s thirty-something, he has a wife, a string of one-off freelance gigs, a powerful computer, a level 110 rogue character in a popular RPG game and a beer gut.

 

Class A Threat—

My new fantasy LitRPG series, Disgardium was voted the best Russian LitRPG release of 2018. Its English version is already available for preorder on Amazon.

Alex is a fifteen-year-old student dreaming of a career as a space guide. He eats, sleeps and breathes stars — but life has other plans. That’s how Disgardium, a new online game, becomes his only means of reaching his goal.

Alex is lucky enough to achieve what amounts to God mode complete with absolute immunity — but that’s only one side of the coin. As an imba player, he becomes a “global threat” — one of the few fellow wayward players whom the game company views as a danger to itself, paying a lot of money to the so-called prevention clans for their elimination.

 

 

Have you written anything else?

(*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)

Bricks — Motivational novella

I think this book will never be translated into English. This is a very Russian book. The protagonist goes to work, suffers bullying by superiors and colleagues, has no friends, and he does not even have a girlfriend. Then something happens, and he decides that he does not want to live like this, and he needs to change his whole life.

In addition to these series (Level Up and Disgardium), I finished the first book of another series this year, which I called the “Ninety-ninth World”, and also, together with my co-author Max Lagno, we have finished Level Up. Knockout. Book 2.

 

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?

Phil (Level Up!) — He is very kind. He used to be selfish, but he changed his mind, in beginning following by interface and after — by himself.

Fifteen-year-old schoolboy Alex (Class-A Threat ) — He is very kind, too. Like Phil. But if Phil was drifting, Alex has a clear dream and goal — to graduate from the university to become a space guide. He is a teenager, and he is new to the game, and we explore both the world of Disgardium and the adult life with him.

 

What are you working on at the minute?

I need about two more weeks to finish my work on the second book of Disgardium, after which I will proceed to Level Up 4. Selection.

 

What’s it about? (*if relevant)

Phil's adventures will continue, but I can’t tell you without spoilers — because you haven’t read the third book yet.

 

What genre are your books?

Level Up and Ninety Ninth World in Russia are called RealRPG. Disgardium is a very classic LitRPG, setting is in a fantasy world with orcs, elves and dwarves. If for the Ninety Ninth World I was inspired by Fallout, then Disgardium influenced by World of Warcraft and Skyrim.

What draws you to this genre?

I love reading and I love videogames. Especially RPG-games. This is the answer.

How much research do you do?

A lot. Actually I do research on many things. For example, today I spent several hours researching martial arts just to choose a pair of new abilities for Alex in a second Disgardium book.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

It seems I have already answered this question.

Which writers inspire you?

Too many names to list at least a part. I have read and read almost all the books in literg in Russia, but since childhood I have a great love for Stephen King, Robert Sheckley, Kurt Vonnegut, Eric Frank Russell, Pierce Anthony and Robert Asprin. Of the more modern ones, I really like George Martin and Joe Abercrombie.

When did you decide to become a writer?

When I was 12 years old, I wrote a sequel to The Lord of the Rings. In the USSR, only the first two books were published at that time, and, dying of impatience, I wrote my version of “The Return of the King”.

Why do you write?

I will be honest. Books allow me to live the way I want. I managed a business for 20 years, and the opportunity to be with my family, raise my son, invent and tell stories is just a dream come true. And the money, of course. We all have to pay bills.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

As I said, since childhood I loved inventing stories. Any story requires a listener, and the book provides an opportunity to get thousands of readers.

Do you write full-time or part-time?

Since last summer — full time.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

At 8 in the morning I take my son to school and write until the moment when he should be picked up. But January-March of this year are very saturated. I will tell you in confidence that at the same time I am working on 4 projects, and I often make sketches in the evenings. It happens like this: I go to my son's room, we play some game together, but he controls the character, and I manage to write more than a thousand words during these 2 hours.

 

Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?

Every day. But at the weekend, I usually just edit the text and think through the plot.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

Yes of course. The minimum plan is two thousand words a day.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

I use Chromebook for mobile writing — on the road, on the street, in the Universal Park, while my son plays in the children's area. Full work begins at home on my gaming laptop. But it happens, I write even on my iPhone.

Where do your ideas come from?

I don’t know. Ideas just come.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

The first two books I wrote without any plan. I started a new chapter and did not know what would be in it. But now, without a plan, I will not even start writing an episode — I must understand why this scene is needed and what it will change for the characters

When you started your series did you have a plan for where it was going? Did you plot out the whole series or just the first book?

I have a global plan of ten to twelve pages for the entire series and a detailed one for the first book.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

The most difficult thing in writing for me is two things. Make yourself start and manage to stop. When I'm in the stream, I don't notice the time and can't even eat.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

Exactly a week ago, I put an end to the book Ninety-ninth World. But I still had so much to tell! It was difficult, and I wanted to continue the story immediately, but I cannot afford it. My readers are waiting for Level Up 4, and they are already demanding the third book of the Disgardium series.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

Dialogues. Easiest part of writing for me

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Three to four months on average.

Do you ever get writer’s Block?

Nether. Maybe because I am a novice author.

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

Try to get around the obstacle on the other side. Start writing on another topic, and in the stream go to the right.

What are your thoughts on writing a book series.

I love the series. I quickly read and really do not like to part with my favorite characters.

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors.

I have been reading since I was 5 years old and I read several books a week.

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

Ebooks on my iPhone. The reason is — all my books are always with me in my pocket. All of my books!

What book/s are you reading at present?

Reality Benders, book 4 by Michael Atamanov.

How are you publishing this book and why?

Both.

 

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

This topic is now being vigorously debated by Russian writers. Since I am from a new generation, but at the same time I grew up on paper books, I see advantages here and there.

-Includes Audiobooks: Why did you decide to make audiobooks? Self publish? Use big company? How was that experience?

It is a question of the Magic Dome. I just do my part of work — writing.

How do you market your books?

I use LitRPG-communities. And that’s all.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?

I have only one piece of advice. Write interesting stories about heroes that the reader wants to empathize with. Then the readers will do everything themselves with the promo of your book.

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?

Maybe an hour per week answering my reader’s question.

What do you do to get book reviews?

Nothing.

Questions from Readers

What are your plans for the Level Up series? How long will it continue?

Do you have other LitRPG novels that you plan to write?

What inspired Level Up? It is unique as a real life LitRPG.

Pat Drew: Ramon can you please ask Dan if - 1) he can work to get the English translations out faster. 2) If books 4 & 5 of Level Up will be focused on Phil or a difference character as Dan mentioned that Book 3 will end Phil's adventure in the 21st century or are Book 4 & 5 focused on Phil but in the future, maybe relating to the battle with the other races 3) Is Dan planning on a English translation of Bricks 2 & the new 99 World Series?


Author contact info:

Website: http://md-books.com/author/dan-sugralinov

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

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Dan-Sugralinov/e/B07BK7PLSN

Litnet.com : https://litnet.com/authors/DanSugralinov-t30897

Level Up series: https://amzn.to/2BJqPT0

Knockout series: https://amzn.to/2E0D7GB

Class A Threat: https://amzn.to/2E42Aiq

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17834386.Dan_Sugralinov


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 158

 


LitRPG Podcast 158


Feb. 22nd, 2019


Hello everyone, welcome to episode 158 of the LitRPG podcast.

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



New Releases and Reviews:


Histaff: A Sci-Fi LitRPG (Skeleton in Space Book 1)  (12:35)

The the story just makes ‘good’ for me, but just barely.

Score: 7.1 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2NbAxSo


Viridian Gate Online: Nomad Soul: A litRPG Adventure (The Illusionist Book 1)  (22:21)

A good addition to the VGO universe that is light on action and RPG but does good stuff with the world building and intrigue.

Score: 7.3 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2Mts0tL


Beta Life: Digital Sorcery Book 1 (A LitRPG Series) (30:06)

A fairly standard fantasy RPG story that is set apart by its bawdy and irreverent humor.

Score: 7.4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2SJ7Ame


Star Exile: Singularity (a Scifi LitRPG Adventure) (34:38)

An entertaining sci-fi LitRPG that pulls from games like Mass Effect.

Score: 7.3 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2GbW10V


Scourge of Souls - The Realms Book Four: (An Epic LitRPG Gamelit Adventure ) (40:10)

Advances the storyline with lots of action and adventure.

Score: 7.5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2CE9BpE


Gemini's Crossing: A Fantasy LitRPG Gamelit Adventure (Enora Online Book 1)  (43:35)

The novel setups an expectation it doesn’t fulfill, also not a fan of the harem aspect.

Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2t6bTte


The Dungeon Traveler  (53:21)

A good dungeon core story.

Score: 7.6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2GFAQDU



(Play Music 2)


LitRPG News


According to Magic Dome books, the latest novel from Dan Sugralinov (Soo - gra - lee - nof), Class A Threat, will be available on a new Russian subscription service Litnet.com and will be published a chapter a day. So if you want to read it early, you can get it there.


By the middle of April the book is going to be removed from Litnet and uploaded to Amazon (it is now available for pre-order).

https://litnet.com/en/book/class-a-threat-b118604



Dakota Krout and Mountaindale Press is talking to Andries Louws, about the release of Histaff with special guest Michael Chatfield!

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


Mountaindale Press interviewed their author Ryan DeBruyn about Equalize which was published last week.

https://www.facebook.com/MountaindalePress/videos/503780446815029/


Dakota Krout also talked to the three authors that are writing novels in the expanded universe of Viridian Gate Online, which is published by Shadow Alley Press:  D.J. Bodden (Illusionist series), J.D. Astra (Firebrand series), N.H. Paxton (The Alchemic Weaponeer series).

https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheFantasyNation/permalink/1985325568428302/



Out Now!


Occultist (Saga Online #1) - A Fantasy LitRPG

(Feb. 21st, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2X4PCJW




Dissonance (Somnia Online Book 4)

https://amzn.to/2I4N1wu


The Guardian Guild: A Dungeon Core Epic (Station Cores Book 3)  

https://amzn.to/2MY4xBl


Hunter’s Choice (Apex Chronicles - Book 2) (Feb. 22nd, 2019)


Quest For Roshan: A Fantasy LitRPG Gamelit Adventure (Enora Online Book 2) (Feb. 22nd, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2SYCGq7


Quest Accepted (XP: Unlocked Book One) A LitRPG Fantasy Series

https://amzn.to/2T3MeA7


A Demon Lord's Virtual [Magic Life]: First War

https://amzn.to/2EmC0me


VOID LEGION: A LitRPG/Gamelit Saga (The Frost Files Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2Ir7OKE


First Forest (Replay Book 3)

https://amzn.to/2U1E3Bw


Dungeon Bringer 1: A litRPG Adventure

https://amzn.to/2U275Rl

-A dungeon core story with light harem from Shadow Alley Press the folks that bring you VGO.


Code of the Necromancer : A LitRPG Series (Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2BOmFsK


The Goblin Horde: A LitRPG Adventure (Tower of Power Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2TXiqC9



New LitRPG Audiobooks


The Curse: The Realm Between, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2EnVI0Q


Occultist: Saga Online #1: A LitRPG series

https://amzn.to/2GTT1pr


The Idle System: The New Journey

https://amzn.to/2U11pY2




Upcoming LitRPG:



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

https://amzn.to/2BYEHaW


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

https://amzn.to/2LNaaSf

*Translated work*


Viridian Gate Online: Firebrand: A litRPG Adventure (The Firebrand Series Book 1) (Feb. 26th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2H0peeZ



Awaken Online: Dominion (Feb. 28th, 2019)



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

https://amzn.to/2RTCXdc


Dark Sun Survival (March 5th, 2019)


Vindication (The Alchemic Weaponeer - Book 1) (March 12th, 2019)


The Plague Barrens: A Fantasy LitRPG Gamelit Adventure (Enora Online Book 3)  (March 15th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2TYyeVx


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

https://amzn.to/2SS8FET

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


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

https://amzn.to/2LCzrOL


Viridian Gate Online: Dead Man’s Tide: A litRPG Adventure (The Illusionist Book 2) (March 26th, 2019)



Dark World [Transformation. Book II] (March 27th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2FZVn5w


Into The Game: Dungeon Crawl Quest: A LitRPG Adventure (Wizard Warrior Quest) (April 1st, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2BMiUnX



Djinn Tamer: Rivals: A Monster Battling GameLit Adventure (Djinn Tamer - Bronze League Book 2) (April 5th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2N7yLld


Edge of the Abyss (Respawn Trials Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 10th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2FJK4zf


Dukes and Ladders: A LitRPG/Gamelit Adventure (The Good Guys Book 5) (April 11th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2tovN2G


Soulcatcher. LitRPG series "Universe ICS": Book I

(April 16th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2EbsK4o



Dragon Heart: Stone Will. LitRPG wuxia series: Book 1

(April 18th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2tj3dzU



Class-A Threat (Disgardium Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 22nd, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2TwckbG


In Search of the Uldans (Galactogon: Book #2) LitRPG Series

(April 25th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2TzxMwF



Onto New Releases and Reviews


(Play Music 3)


New Releases and Reviews


(Picture 1)


Histaff: A Sci-Fi LitRPG (Skeleton in Space Book 1) (Feb. 22nd, 2019)

Lots of broken bones, a dim-witted RPG system, and a dash of magic; Skeleton in Space.


Douglas is a simple summoned skeleton, formed from an old battlefield when some ancient fossil of a necromancer raised him for a nefarious purpose.


His memories are a bit foggy, but who cares about remembering when there is walking to be done! Or stabbing cows! Douglas loves life, the simple joy of doing repetitive tasks - like battering down a large tower door - is all that's needed to keep his clacking bones satisfied.


But just after he completed his most recent task, the wizard he was fighting took out a weird crystal… and now there are stars everywhere. Will the floating, freezing skeleton find out what happened? Or will that wrecked spaceship on a collision path be the last thing going through his empty skull?


Come join Douglas the magical skeleton as he tries to live a fulfilling life in a sci-fi universe!


My Opinion: 314 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


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


Honestly, I was a little torn about this one. It has a certain charm and sense of humor, but it’s not going to work for everyone.


This is a slice of life story where the main character (MC) is an undead skeleton is summoned on a sword and sorcery RPG fantasy world and by some weird conflux of events (this part is a little confusing) ends up in this sci-fi universe. He becomes self aware and uses the RPG system to evolve into different skeleton forms, gain skills, a class, and magic. The story focuses mostly on the skeleton MC exploring, and training his magic. He explores a derelict ship, then a space station full of Dead Space inspired monsters. He eventually gets a companion but there's little communication between then and the story is only a little less lonely than when the MC was by himself. There's a little combat but it is not exciting. Either the MC blast away the monsters in an instant or the he gets smacked around, his skeleton body is crushed, and he spends the next few pages putting himself back together. This honestly happens way too much and is likely a running gag, but the reading the details of each reforming process gets a little repetitive.


The RPG game mechanics are pretty standard but are seen regularly. Character sheets, XP, levels, mana, stats, skills. The MC is a monster so he gets evolutions once he hits his current max level. It is unfortunately none of the evolutions the MC chooses are particularly striking or different and it's kind of a wasted mechanic. Also, the RPG stuff feels a bit unimportant through much of the story. It is consistently used, and is seen regularly but I got the feeling that if it was removed, the story wouldn't be that different. Sure, there would be a couple scenes that would have to be rewritten, but a majority the story focuses more on the rune magic system not RPG progression, which seems pretty wand wavy most of the time. With XP being given fairly randomly and used to force some evolution. The seemingly random way XP is given is eventually explained really late in the story but it feels arbitrary most of the story.


Overall, the the story just makes good for me, but just barely. I like the interesting mix of fantasy and sci-fi. I'm ok with the slice of life story where you just follow the MC around. But early in the story things are a bit tedious with the MC floating around in space for like 16% of the novel reading and reforming his skeletal body. The magical theorizing is good and I thought the magic system is neat. However, other readers may not enjoy the slower pacing and lack of good combat.


Score: 7.1 out of 10

Histaff: A Sci-Fi LitRPG (Skeleton in Space Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2NbAxSo


(Picture 2)

Viridian Gate Online: Nomad Soul: A litRPG Adventure (The Illusionist Book 1)

If you had to choose between your life and your dreams, would you ever wake up?


Alan Campbell thought he’d gotten his dream job working on a revolutionary VRMMORPG with Osmark Technologies, until the project was canceled. He has one weekend to dive into an untested world full of intrigue, violence, and corruption to prove that Viridian Gate Online works, but the AIs running the game have their own plans for his soul.


Set a year before the events of “Viridian Gate Online: Cataclysm,” The Illusionist: Nomad Soul takes you back to when VGO was just a game, or so it seemed.


From James A. Hunter—author of Viridian Gate Online, Rogue Dungeon, and War God's Mantle—and D.J. Bodden, author of The Black Year Series, comes an epic new entry into the Expanded Universe of Viridian Gate Online that you won't want to put down!


My Opinion: 329 pages, $4.99, Available On Kindle Unlimited


This is an expanded universe series, set in the Viridian Gate Online universe. It is set one year before the 1st book in that main series. Initially, I was a little unsure how much it would feel like a VGO novel, and if it would be consistent with the established cannon and RPG game mechanics. Thankfully, after reading the story I’m glad to say this fits right in with all the other novels. I was honestly pretty impressed how much trust and leeway the publishers gave to the author. They let him use major series characters and not just for cameos, but serious cannon stuff.


The story, is set before the asteroid hits the earth and the Viridian Gate MMO world is still in the alpha stages, just starting it’s testing phase. The main character (MC) is trying to save the project and prove that the interface issues can be worked out by staying in game for over the weekend. In-game (IG), it’s a fairly slice of life story that focuses on world building, character development, and intrigue. The MC has to navigate a world the controlling AI gods have been influencing and building as the very first player/Traveler. You get lots of new information about the Imperial side: history, small personal stories, architectural details, and customs. Some readers have complained there’s too much of this. Also, there’s some IG intrigue between different imperial factions the MC has to deal with. The author really does a good job describing a faction/place that the VGO series has been sparse about. One aspect that is lacking in the game story is action. When there is an action scene, it is good, but there’s just not much of it in the story. The IRL story line is more about getting the game to work right and proving it can be popular.


On the game mechanics side, things are relatively light. There are only a few times the reader even sees a character sheet. There are semi-regular notifications for quests, skills, and items. But the story does not focus on the RPG progression. It's more of an incidental effect of the adventuring the MC does with quest playing a hand in guiding that adventure. Instead the story focuses on world building, character development, and story intrigue. This is completely in line with the story setup, as this takes place a year before the 1st VGO book in an alpha phase of the game world. However, readers that love all the crunchiness of the main VGO series may be a little disappointed with the lack of it here.


Overall, it is a good story that is light on action and RPG but does good stuff with the world building and intrigue.


Score: 7.3 out of 10

Viridian Gate Online: Nomad Soul: A litRPG Adventure (The Illusionist Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2Mts0tL


(Picture 3)

Beta Life: Digital Sorcery Book 1 (A LitRPG Series)

Old and about to die, Christopher Ryland is digitized in the new beta program offered by the Everlast Corporation. The beta promises eternal life in a video game, but as Ryland is soon to discover, he should’ve read the instruction manual first.


The corporation failed to mention that it populated his new world with slavers, sadists, supremacists, and one very trollish elf. All right, that last one isn’t really their fault. Sure, he might live forever but with a serious lack of RPG knowledge this isn’t going to be the fun and relaxing retirement he imagined.


He might not be the world’s greatest gamer, but he won’t let anything keep him down-not even fish herpes.


My Opinion: 282 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


The beginning is a little bit of an unneeded info dump, but once the MC is in the game world the story is good. The RPG stuff is well described, detailed, and has an impact on the story. It’s a bit slice of life but that’s good with me.


The thing that sets this story apart is going to be the humor. There’s a good gamer vibe and the character Eldertits is definetly the main source of the jokes. There’s actually a pretty funny side to the story that I wasn’t expecting. It’s a specific kind of irreverent, bawdy, adult humor that might not work for everyone.


Score: 7.4 out of 10

Beta Life: Digital Sorcery Book 1 (A LitRPG Series)

https://amzn.to/2SJ7Ame


(Picture 4)

Star Exile: Singularity (a Scifi LitRPG Adventure)

The isolated Eternity System is alone, overpopulated, starved of resources, and dying…


A 500-year-old peace treaty between the Dalthaxian Alliance and Salgon Empire is expiring and the war to end all wars looms.


The Eternity System will not survive another war.


A GRIM STRUGGLE FOR SURVIVAL

When the Eternity Treaty expires, an uninhabited and coveted no-man’s-land with enough resources to sustain one faction indefinitely is up for grabs—the Eternity Planet. It is the key to survival.


DIGITAL WAR IGNITES

The next generation of warfare ignites—a digital, bloodless war set in the new game universe of Eternity Online: the brainchild of the combined AI neural nets and technological prowess of both Dalthaxia and Salgon. Everything is changing. The war in this game universe will decide which faction will take the Eternity Planet and which will have to forge a grim exodus through the unknown to find a new home.


ON THE FRINGES OF GALACTIC CIVILIZATION AND ON THE RUN

Kyle Gennan, a drone operator working for a mining company on the wild fringes of civilization, finds himself on the run from the ghosts of his past and the two most powerful governments in the Eternity System. He will have to carve his own path through the stars to forge his new life if he wants any chance of experiencing Eternity.


IMMERSIVE SCI-FI LITRPG/GAMELIT

Delve into a gritty, immersive Scifi Gamelit/LitRPG adventure from Amazon Bestselling Author Drew Cordell featuring alien magic, engaging characters, massive starship battles, and a dangerous treasure hunt.


My Opinion: 533 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


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


From the author of Stratus Online, comes a new sci-fi LitRPG. The game world reminds me a bit of Mass Effect, combining sci-fi space storytelling and setting with RPG action-adventure. There are aliens, techno-magic, laser guns, and spaceship battles. The author doesn't bother with character creation, instead he drops you into the action. From there the main character (MC) goes on adventures and gets drawn deeper into questline that may determine who wins the proxy war between galactic powers.


IRL, it's futuristic space mining with a side of gaming for extra money. The MC and his friend play the game hoping to earn enough transferable wealth to change vocations from space miners. With a background of waring human factions vying for dominance through the game, a proxy of their real war for the sparse resources of the galaxy.


On the RPG side, things are a little lighter than I’d like. More of the story is spent world building and much of the early half of the story feels more directly sci-fi. Still, there are character sheets, stats, item descriptions, quest notification, XP, and levels. After the 60% mark, there is even some class progression and crafting.


Overall, this is an entertaining sci-fi LitRPG story that definitely leans more towards sci-fi. The fights in general are good, though the spaceship battles didn’t do it for me. Character development was also nicely done with some neat flashbacks.


Score: 7.3 out of 10

Star Exile: Singularity (a Scifi LitRPG Adventure)

https://amzn.to/2GbW10V


(Picture 5)

Scourge of Souls - The Realms Book Four: (An Epic LitRPG Gamelit Adventure )

Gryph would give his life for his sister but saving her could cost him his soul.


Gryph entered the Realms with one mission, to save his sister Brynn. He didn’t want friends. He didn’t want responsibilities. He didn’t want to care. But even the best-laid plans go awry, and after escaping a sentient dungeon and defeating a would-be world conqueror, Gryph is no closer to finding Brynn.


Then, while mourning the tragic death of a friend and grappling with the burdens of leadership, an ally, thought long dead, returns offering the slimmest of hopes.


This hope takes Gryph and his friends on a journey through strange lands where they must outwit a mystical crime syndicate, evade an infallible bounty hunter and face-off against Brynn herself, now a goddess with no memory of her true self.


Gryph must triumph over them all. If he fails, both he and his sister will not only lose their lives, they will lose their souls.


My Opinion: 576 pages, $5.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


Gryph is now the ruler and not only must he secure his throne against deadly forces but a god intent on destroying him. The story also brings the Dead Must Die side story into the narrative with a group dungeon dive. It was also good to see some progression with the soul magic. It was nice to see an expansion of the Lore skill and the perk market were pretty cool.


Overall, a entertaining story for fans of the series. A bit less epic scale than the last book but but more RPG progression and still entertaining.


Score: 7.5 out of 10

Scourge of Souls - The Realms Book Four: (An Epic LitRPG Gamelit Adventure )

https://amzn.to/2CE9BpE


(Picture 6)

Gemini's Crossing: A Fantasy LitRPG Gamelit Adventure (Enora Online Book 1)

After learning he has just months to live, Gemini Fowler is granted one shot to cheat death when a billionaire game-developer offers to transfer his consciousness into a virtual realm.

The catch:

The only current VR with the capability to receive him is the unreleased video game, Enora Online, and Gemini must survive until level ten or be completely wiped from the servers… and existence.

Welcome to Enora Online, where virtual is reality.


My Opinion: 504 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


This story is definitely better than the cover makes it seem. The most unique aspect of the game mechanics is definitely the ability to switch between classes by switching weapons. The other RPG mechanics are pretty standard but seen throughout the story pretty consistently. There is pretty good action and a nice dungeon dive mid story.


However, I have to be honest that the first 25% of the story is almost entirely setup and gave me an impression that the rest of the novel was going to be...more...than it ended up being. I mean, it is heavily beaten into the reader repeatedly that the RPG game world is created by this amazing superior and advanced AI that is not only sentient but has created an entire world so realistic that the programmers who looked at it practically resigned realizing their jobs were redundant.  This game world was supposed to be full of dynamic quests, rich culture, and independent AI creatures with thousands of years of history to inform who they were as people. Yet, once there, the opposite feels true. The world feels culturally empty. Part of this is undoubtedly due to the lack of big cities or societies in book 1 but even the few people the MC talks to feel flat. There are also many places where the story feels more game like than I thought it would be based on early descriptions. I don't mean game mechanics but rather how the story feels on rails sort of, with quests leading the MC down particular paths and him getting obviously unearned gear, skills, and magic. Just some forced situations that feel like they should have played out differently if the game mechanics where strictly followed. Like facing native level 9 NPC hunters that don't see him hiding with his non-existent or level 1 hide skill. In addition to that, the last 25% is mostly harem (no explicit sex) with some quest clean up and a hook for book 2. But that aspect was also a turn off for me.


Overall, I enjoyed the setup of the story. Even if much of it doesn’t matter once the MC is uploaded to the game. However, it setup an expectation that wasn’t fulfilled. That plus the harem stuff that just wasn’t interesting for me, (I mean it felt like every woman that the MC saved just fell in love with him even though they only knew him for minutes or hours). This first book was just shy of good for me.


Score: 6 out of 10

Gemini's Crossing: A Fantasy LitRPG Gamelit Adventure (Enora Online Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2t6bTte


(Picture 7)

The Dungeon Traveler

I spent most of my life trying to get by with whatever happiness I could, that included alcohol, food, and porn.


My death was unpleasant and humiliating. However, death is something we all need to go through. A bit like a proctology exam; necessary but never anything one wants to go through while it's happening.


However, death was supposed to be the end of it. Either way, the pain, suffering, and failures were supposed to be over. I was supposed to wink out, or perhaps take a trip to a lovely afterlife!


No, I ended up as a small stone, strapped to a table, while a pimple-faced teenager rubbed my facets and told me how 'lovely' I was. Last time I checked, birth wasn't supposed to be as embarrassing as death!


Life as a dungeon core isn't all bad. I like watching lizard love triangles and snooping on militaristic dwarves; though there is that issue where I'm trying to free myself from the entanglements of the Gods....ok, yeah that last one is a bit of a problem.


My Opinion: 282 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


This is a dungeon core story where the dungeon travels around instead of staying in one location. This solves a story bottleneck that a lot of dungeon core stories hit, that they’re stuck in one location with a finite number of locals to interact with. It does create other potential storytelling problems, like having readers invest in characters that may not be seen again or not spending enough time with a group to flesh them out.  Still, I think the author does a good job.


There's also sub plots about gods and goddesses and their domains of worship, also stuff with a human kingdom. But beyond that, it is still a dungeon core story where a sentient core creates a dungeon with traps and challenges. Then rewards adventurers that pass levels or kills those that don’t. All while trying to maintain a balance between drawing in adventurers but not killing so many that people seek to destroy the dungeon.


Overall, good stuff. The game mechanics are seen throughout the story with lots of notifications. I like that space manipulation is the dungeon’s special ability. Even though the groups of adventurers that come to the dungeon rotate as it travels, there’s still time put into fleshing out each race/group so that they feel distinct and interesting.


Score: 7.6 out of 10

The Dungeon Traveler

https://amzn.to/2GFAQDU




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 157

 

LitRPG Podcast 157


Feb. 15th, 2019



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



New Releases and Reviews:


Equalize (Ether Collapse Book 1) (Feb. 15th, 2019)

(10:35)

RPG apocalypse, little harder to get into but it eventually hooked me

Score: 7.7 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2Bpy3es


Underworld - Sanctuary: A LitRPG Series (18:45)

Now with town building

Score: 7.6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2TNaAeE


VampQuest (21:49)

Hoped for something better, got a something bland

Score: 5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2tbjmHE


Legend of the Sword Bearer: Tempest Chronicles Book 1 (26:46)

Feels like the author gave up on the RPG stuff at a certain point

Score: 5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2thG29f


Djinn Tamer: Starter: A Monster Battling GameLit Adventure (Djinn Tamer - Bronze League Book 1)  (33:12)

Good try at writing a pokemon-ish LitRPG, but struggled to stay interested

Score: 5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2tav5pR


Sacrificial Pieces (The Gam3)  (45:12)

Twists and turns and so much RPG greatness

Score: 9 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2GHebHc




(Play Music 2)


LitRPG News



Underworld - Level Up or Die will be on a countdown deal for $1.99 from the 11th to the 18th.
https://amzn.to/2N86URZ







Out Now!


Demon Lords (World-Tree Trilogy Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2E2atGB


Beta Life: Digital Sorcery Book 1 (A LitRPG Series)

https://amzn.to/2SJ7Ame


Viridian Gate Online: Nomad Soul: A litRPG Adventure (The Illusionist Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2Mts0tL

*One of the authors that submitted a short story to the author for their anthology, Viridian Gate Online: Side Quests: A litRPG Anthology*



Four: The Loot: A LitRPG/Gamelit Adventure (The Good Guys Book 4)

https://amzn.to/2EFQQp5


Gemini's Crossing: A Fantasy LitRPG Gamelit Adventure (Enora Online Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2t6bTte


The Dungeon Traveler

https://amzn.to/2GFAQDU


Ghouls'n Guns: A LitRPG Series (Apocalypse Online Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2TO7cA4


Scrambled Lives: A LitRPG Novel

https://amzn.to/2TS2tNK


RE: Alternative World Online: Volume 2 (RE:Alternative World Online)

https://amzn.to/2E9po1r




New LitRPG Audiobooks


Arcane Kingdom Online: The Chosen: LitRPG Adventure Series, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2UY32Ws


Changing Faces: New Game Minus, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2tl8S8v


Breaking Ground: Halcyon Rising, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2TQ0VUu



Upcoming LitRPG:



Scourge of Souls - The Realms Book Four: (An Epic LitRPG Gamelit Adventure ) (Feb. 15th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2CE9BpE


Dissonance (Somnia Online Book 4) (Feb. 15th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2I4N1wu


The Guardian Guild: A Dungeon Core Epic (Station Cores Book 3)  (Feb. 17th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2MY4xBl


Star Exile: Singularity (a Scifi LitRPG Adventure) (Feb. 19th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2GbW10V


Occultist (Saga Online #1) - A Fantasy LitRPG

(Feb. 21st, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2X4PCJW


Hunter’s Choice (Apex Chronicles - Book 2) (Feb. 22nd, 2019)


Histaff (Skeleton in Space - Book 1) (Feb. 22nd, 2019)


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

https://amzn.to/2BYEHaW


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

https://amzn.to/2LNaaSf

*Translated work*


Firebrand (The Firebrand Series - Book 1) (Feb. 26th, 2019)



Awaken Online: Dominion (Feb. 28th, 2019)



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

https://amzn.to/2RTCXdc


Dark Sun Survival (March 5th, 2019)


Vindication (The Alchemic Weaponeer - Book 1) (March 12th, 2019)


Quest For Roshan: A Fantasy LitRPG Gamelit Adventure (Enora Online Book 2) (March 14th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2E9NdWZ


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

https://amzn.to/2SS8FET

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


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

https://amzn.to/2LCzrOL


Dark World [Transformation. Book II] (March 27th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2FZVn5w


Djinn Tamer: Rivals: A Monster Battling GameLit Adventure (Djinn Tamer - Bronze League Book 2) (April 5th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2N7yLld


Edge of the Abyss (Respawn Trials Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 10th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2FJK4zf


Dukes and Ladders: A LitRPG/Gamelit Adventure (The Good Guys Book 5) (April 11th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2tovN2G


Soulcatcher. LitRPG series "Universe ICS": Book I

(April 16th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2EbsK4o



Dragon Heart: Stone Will. LitRPG wuxia series: Book 1

(April 18th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2tj3dzU



Class-A Threat (Disgardium Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 22nd, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2TwckbG


In Search of the Uldans (Galactogon: Book #2) LitRPG Series

(April 25th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2TzxMwF



Onto New Releases and Reviews


(Play Music 3)


New Releases and Reviews


(Picture 1)

Equalize (Ether Collapse Book 1)

Gaia has awakened, and the world will never be the same again.


Rockland Barkclay has had a rough year. On top of everything else, his father has just passed, and Rocky has to go it alone on their annual trip. But his plans for drinking alone in Algonquin Park are rudely interrupted by a sea of cosmic energy that governs the universe. Ether, the driving force of creation, has returned. Now a confused Rocky must navigate odd hovering messages to survive.


With the awakening of the very planet they reside on, humans are in a desperate fight to survive in an evolving world. If only Gaia hadn’t woken up so very… very… unhinged.


My Opinion: 570 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


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


The beginning of the story is a little hard to get into. The setup feels a little loose, the main character (MC) is a little annoying, and if I’m honest some of the game mechanics feel made up along the way with a few number issues. But the story gets better as it progresses and it really starts to shine once the MC starts to interact with other humans again. By the halfway mark in the story, I was completely hooked. There’s a bit more of a fantasy vibe to this RPG apocalypse story, but if you like Tao Wong’s System Apocalypse story, you’ll probably like this too. This story has several commonalities. Earth is transformed by a sudden flood of mana/ether, causing monsters to spawn, dungeons to grow, land masses to shift, and people to gain access to a System store, blue screens, and RPG progression. Also, like many apocalypse stories, it’s not always the monsters but the surviving humans that pose the biggest threat. There’s a lot of good action, interesting RPG class abilities for the MC, and a  bit of town building.


Score: 7.7 out of 10

Equalize (Ether Collapse Book 1) (Feb. 15th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2Bpy3es


(Picture 2)

Underworld - Sanctuary: A LitRPG Series

After coming face to face with death, Elorion and company have found a dungeon to call their own. They’ve fought hard to earn a stint of peace, but Mistress Nava is still out there and her captain is now on the hunt. The impending arrival of the army of minotaurs will be the greatest threat they have faced thus far.


With their new-found freedom comes a myriad of additional dangers. They’re running low on food, the dungeon is in disrepair, and they must find new hunting grounds to continue growing in power. As their chosen leader, Elorion is faced with an impossible task. Will he weaponize their dungeon, develop his party’s strengths, or seek ancient power from the long-forgotten depths of the Underworld?


My Opinion: 400 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


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


The third book in the Underworld series keeps the action and RPG leveling readers have come to enjoy from the series and adds base building, loads of training, crafting, shapeshifting, and even crop growing. The majority of the base building, training, etc. doesn’t show up till the 2nd half of the story, so don’t be disappointed if you don’t see much of it till then. The 1st half is mostly good action-adventure stuff with a bit of resource gathering.


The only minor note I’d have is that all that base building/crafting/training/etc stuff is kind of squished together in one huge section broken up occasionally with small action scenes or interpersonal conversations between group members. If a reader isn’t into town building, this section might feel like it drags a bit.


Still, it was good for me.


Score: 7.6 out of 10

Underworld - Sanctuary: A LitRPG Series

https://amzn.to/2TNaAeE


(Picture 3)

VampQuest

Trapped. Aker is playing a fully immersive virtual reality video game, called VampQuest, but he can’t quit and doesn’t remember his real life.


He starts to raise level and enjoy the perks of being a vampire in a game-world mostly full of humans when a rival guild attacks. The battle leaves Aker bitter and bent on revenge. He completes many missions that take him far from his guild’s base but vows to return and bring peace when he is strong enough.


Can Aker defeat his enemies? Will he ever escape from VampQuest?


My Opinion: 144 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


This is a trapped in the game story where the main character (MC) also has amnesia and is turned into a vampire with in the first few minutes of him arriving in the RPG game world.


Now, I was honestly kind of intrigued by the idea of a LitRPG vampire story. I’ve played some really great vampire RPG games like: Vampire the Masquerade or Vampyr. Those games tell some great stories because they combine great world building with interesting settings, and the inherent moral conflict of taking human life to to live. That plus some of those RPG vampire powers are just cool and you can get lost in the various builds.


Disappointingly, this novel is nothing like those games. Instead, this is a more bland and predictable MMO story where the MC follows a  series of chain quests. The MC himself is unremarkable, and doesn’t remember anything about his life, yet insists that he wants to be a goodie two-shoes vampire and protect all the humans from bad vampires.


This is not a bad story but it also doesn't feel special. It doesn't take advantage of the modern setting, or the vampire aspect. It is not bad. I mean dialogue is stilted in the beginning but by the 30% that gets better. It’s just sort of meh.


Overall, even with the cyberpunk ending, I was never really engaged with the story. It reminded me of a bland MMO that I wouldn’t re-subscribe to after the first month.


Score: 5 out of 10

VampQuest

https://amzn.to/2tbjmHE


(Picture 4)

Legend of the Sword Bearer: Tempest Chronicles Book 1

Steve’s days are numbered.


The illness has consumed him.


Would this stranger’s offer give him a second chance?


It looks like a game. Looks can be deceiving. Paul Nelson, the CEO of Tempest Inc, has developed another world and he’s ready to send in another consciousness. This time, though, things are different. Those that came before have caused some troubles and his world is in peril.


For Steve, it’s a last chance. He’s got nothing to lose. And who knows, it might be fun?


As a warrior named Abalonious, his body gone, Steve must adapt, learn, and grow to survive. But this world isn’t exactly as advertised. There’s a darkness coming. It looks like fun will have to wait.


And there’s a secret nobody wants to talk about.


Will Steve piece together enough to live?


If you like unforgettable fantasy heroes, pop culture references, epic battles, and immersive gaming worlds, then you’ll love this LitRPG adventure.


My Opinion: 324 pages, $5.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


The story starts out pretty good. Nice familiar RPG system, levels, stats, character creation, item and ability descriptions. The story itself is slice of life with the main character (MC) being sent to this fantasy RPG game world where he goes on adventures, gets some simple quests, and gets enough XP to hit level 3.


However, the story shifts about the 35% mark. The entire RPG progression system disappears and you never see the MC gain another level again. No more monster levels, no more player levels, nothing. There are still some notifications that show up but the RPG progression system is completely abandoned. Instead, the story shifts to a fantasy story where the MC is the chosen one, the sword bearer, destined to help beat back the necromancers who want to destroy the world. The story also becomes very wand wavy, with the MC gaining a lot of power that he doesn’t earn, being saved by outside forces instead of saving himself, and for some reason he gets knocked out a lot by bad guys but never killed by them.


Overall, I honestly got bored after the 35% mark. It feels like after that point the author just got tired of tracking RPG progression and gave up on that aspect of the story and instead went back to writing fantasy with some occasional quest or item notifications thrown in.


Score: 5 out of 10

Legend of the Sword Bearer: Tempest Chronicles Book 1

https://amzn.to/2thG29f


(Picture 5)

Djinn Tamer: Starter: A Monster Battling GameLit Adventure (Djinn Tamer - Bronze League Book 1)

Fans of Pokémon, Digimon, and Monster Rancher will love this monster-battling take on the GameLit genre!


Jackson Hunt wants nothing more than to be a professional monster tamer — skilled trainers who raise and battle magical creatures called Djinn. He longs for the day when he comes of age and can leave home to pursue his dreams of taming Djinn.


Unfortunately for Jackson, dreams and reality don’t always coincide.


To help his grandmother make ends meet, Jackson spends his days doing manual labor on a breeder’s ranch — just about as far removed from the bright lights and roaring crowds of the DBL (Djinn Battle League) as it gets. But no matter how hard Jackson and his grandma try, it’s never enough.


Facing bank foreclosure, Jackson is desperate to save his home but has no idea how… until he discovers a young, untrained Djinn left behind for him by his dead mother.


As time runs out, Jackson works tirelessly to raise and develop a bond with his Djinn. But monster taming isn’t as easy as the pros make it look. Along the way, Jackson and his friends will delve into the shady world of underground fighting, experience the agony of defeat and learn what it takes to be a true monster tamer.


Will Jackson and his Djinn level up fast enough or is his dream destined to die before it even truly begins?


My Opinion: 323 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


As of this review, the novel has mostly positive reviews that say it is good YA reading and that fans of pokemon will appreciate it. I think those are true statements. But the novel didn’t really work for me as an adult.  I think the story is geared a bit more towards kids in that it is a coming of age story where the main character is a child/young adult, like Ash from pokemon. He has a goal to save his family house by becoming a good Djinn trainer and also reconciling the issues he’s had since his mom’s death.


I’d say the story is light LitRPG. The monsters that are captured and fight each other, the Djinn, do have character screens with stat and they level and can spend points to increase their powers. However, that’s a relatively minor aspect of the story and it focuses more on the YA coming of age journey.


Personally, I think the authors did a good job in trying to translate that monster battle concept to a novel, but it didn’t work for me on several levels. As an adult, I couldn’t connect with the story. The main character (MC) just felt too young and immature and a little whiny. Also, it’s really hard to translate the visual anime stylization of capturing creatures and making them fight for the amusement of others without it feeling weird conceptually. Personally, anytime I heard the word Djinn, I kept thinking of genies. It was also challenging to visualize each Djinn based on their sometimes not very descriptive names. Though the powers they used were neat.


Overall, I give the author all due credit for trying to bring something new to the LitRPG genre but the story was fairly predictable and I struggled to stay interested. I plan to check out book 2 still, but this one didn’t work for me.


Score: 5 out of 10

Djinn Tamer: Starter: A Monster Battling GameLit Adventure (Djinn Tamer - Bronze League Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2tav5pR


(Picture 6)

Sacrificial Pieces (The Gam3)

After failing to take down the United World Government, Alan is a wanted fugitive on Earth. With nowhere else to go he leads the Black Rose guild into the Abyss Labyrinth. But hidden agendas thrive within the mercenary guild, and Alan soon discovers larger forces at play.


The Game is a war for survival, and a solo victory is virtually impossible—Alan needs to pick a side. But what does winning even mean in the Game? Will Alan be just another sacrificial pawn, or can he find a path to success?


My Opinion: 338 pages, $3.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited


Golly Gee, how to describe the last book in this first trilogy? What the author considers the end of the prequel series. It was an amazing journey full of good fights, twists in the story, sci-fi adventuring, and RPG leveling galore. This is among the best and most entertaining LitRPG series I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Each book was a page turner I spent reading till the wee hours of the morning. This one was no different. Boy did the story take some turns I didn’t see coming right up to the very last pages. It’s the kind of story that I kept thinking about for another hour after finishing the book. Just so amazing.


Score: 9 out of 10

Sacrificial Pieces (The Gam3)

https://amzn.to/2GHebHc




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 156

 

LitRPG Podcast 156

Feb. 8th, 2019

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


New Releases and Reviews:

A Thousand Drunken Monkeys: Book 2 in the Hero of Thera series  (14:08)

Less save the world, but still good

Score: 7.8 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2CmKE1P

Viridian Gate Online: Doom Forge: A litRPG Adventure (The Viridian Gate Archives Book 6)  (17:14)

Another good one in the series

Score: 7.5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2MePEKg

Raising Allies (New Game Minus Book 2) (20:15)

Even better than book 1

Score: 7.9 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2BdrjAt

Path of the Necromancer Book 1 (A LootRPG Series)  (23:54)

An entertaining read that creates a very interesting culture around being a necromancer.

Score: 7.6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2D1BckW

Valhalla Online 4: Hel Hath No Fury: A Ragnarok Saga LitRPG Story (29:23)

Good, but loses that RPG depth

Score: 7.1 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2CYfzSd

The Monolith: A LitRPG Novel (Blood Seekers Book 1) (33:41)

Good action. Pulls from from Dark Souls and Bloodborne

Score: 7.4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2MtweSj



(Play Music 2)


LitRPG News


Travis Bagwell, author of the Awaken Online series, announced this week that the latest book in the series, Awaken Online: Dominion,  will be released on Feb. 28th. However, due to some unforeseen issues, the audiobook won’t come out at the same time. Instead, it’ll come out at a later date. The author has been known for his simultaneous releases in book ebook and audiobook formats, so it’ll be slightly disappointing to some fans. But still, Yaaay, a new Awaken Online book.


If you can’t wait, chapters of the new book are available on the author’s patreon  page.

https://www.patreon.com/da3strikes

https://www.facebook.com/da3strikes/


To help promote the release of the company’s new book, Into the Light, Mountaindale Press did a live stream interview with Christopher Johns the author of the book. It was very fun to watch and get insight into the author’s process and see all the fans that asked questions. Go check it out.

https://www.facebook.com/MountaindalePress/videos/1555151281254377/


James Hunter and Shadow Alley Press made some announcements this week in regards to upcoming projects from the company. Including details about the end of the main VGO series, series set in the same universe but written by other authors, and updates on other stuff written by James A. Hunter


Highlights for LitRPG:

VGO 6 out now. Plans for the end of that series and how there still may be more after book 8 for some characters on a different big questline.

New VGO series written by different authors:

Illusionist series - PreOrder available now for Feb 12th

Firebrand series- Should be available Feb 26th

The Alchemic Weaponeer series - Should be available March 12th


War Gods series- 3rd book almost done, will be titled "Underworld" and will be the last in the series.

Rogue Dungeon - Book 2 audiobook out now, book 3 is a work in progress

Dungeon Bringer - LitRPG Dungeon+light Harem, Available as soon as the cover art is finished

https://www.facebook.com/shadowalleypress/videos/2304640346435638/



Blaise Corvin, author of Delvers LLC, Nora Hazard, Secrets of the Old Ones, First Song, and Asgard Awakening, has announced this week that he’ll be taking a step back from the GameLit Society group that he founded on Facebook. The group was originally founded as alternative place to for authors and readers to meet and talk about genres that they love, LitRPG and GameLit. The group has grown to over 5,000 people and is very active with people posting on a daily basis.


Blaise wrote that while he won’t be an active moderator in the group anymore he’ll still maintain responsibility for: 1)  The GameLit Fiction List, 2) The yearly philanthropy for Shriners.


Blaise plans to focus on his writing, managing his author group, and continuing to build the GameLitRPG website.


There’s a link below if you want to read the full statement, but while it is sad to see Blaise take a step back from the group and sub-genre he helped found, it makes perfect sense that he wants to devote more time to writing.

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

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPGsociety/permalink/2006532022778382/




Out Now!


Adventurers Bond (Book 5 of the Adventures on Brad)

https://amzn.to/2GeRk6B



Arcane Kingdom Online: Dark Magic (A LitRPG Adventure, Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2DM34en


VampQuest

https://amzn.to/2tbjmHE

*Free until 02/08/19, at least in the US*


Legend of the Sword Bearer: Tempest Chronicles Book 1

https://amzn.to/2thG29f





New LitRPG Audiobooks


The Pantheon Moves: Emerilia, Book 10

https://amzn.to/2t85AFp


Empire Burning (Emerilia - Book 11)

https://amzn.to/2HXzM0x


Dungeon Lord: Abominable Creatures: The Wraith's Haunt, Book 3

https://amzn.to/2THBHHC


Dead Must Die - A Novella of the Realms

The Realms: Master of the Dungeon, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2SwVcoZ


Blood Eye - Land of Dreams, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2ta7lC3


Freehaven Online: Lady Thunderlord, Into Hades- A LitRPG Adventure

https://amzn.to/2t6VCEm




Upcoming LitRPG:


Sacrificial Pieces (The Game3 book 3) (Feb. 8th, 2019)

*No pre-order, release date might shift a little*


Underworld - Sanctuary (Feb. 11th, 2019)


Viridian Gate Online: Nomad Soul: A litRPG Adventure (The Illusionist Book 1) (Feb. 12th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2Mts0tL

*One of the authors that submitted a short story to the author for their anthology*


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

https://amzn.to/2EFQQp5


Gemini's Crossing: A Fantasy LitRPG Gamelit Adventure (Enora Online Book 1) (Feb. 14th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2t6bTte



Scourge of Souls - The Realms Book Four: (An Epic LitRPG Gamelit Adventure ) (Feb. 15th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2CE9BpE


Dissonance (Somnia Online Book 4) (Feb. 15th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2I4N1wu


Equalize (Ether Collapse Book 1) (Feb. 15th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2Bpy3es


Star Exile: Singularity (a Scifi LitRPG Adventure) (Feb. 19th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2GbW10V



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

https://amzn.to/2BYEHaW


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

https://amzn.to/2LNaaSf

*Translated work*


Firebrand (The Firebrand Series - Book 1) (Feb. 26th, 2019)



(No Cover Art Yet, Sorry)

Awaken Online: Dominion (Feb. 28th, 2019)



Dark Sun Survival (Feb. 28th, 2019)


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

https://amzn.to/2RTCXdc


Vindication (The Alchemic Weaponeer - Book 1) (March 12th, 2019)


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

https://amzn.to/2SS8FET

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


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

https://amzn.to/2LCzrOL


Dark World [Transformation. Book II] (March 27th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2FZVn5w



Edge of the Abyss (Respawn Trials Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 10th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2FJK4zf


Class-A Threat (Disgardium Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 22nd, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2TwckbG



Onto New Releases and Reviews


(Play Music 3)


New Releases and Reviews


(Picture 1)

A Thousand Drunken Monkeys (Book 2 in the Hero of Thera series)

Continue Playing the Game? Yes / No


The Kingdom of Thera is a crossroads to many worlds and realities. Here a secret war between the gods plays out via their proxy mortal champions. These player-champions use all the augmented-reality interfaces and game mechanics that role-playing and video-gamers know and love.


Join Hektor Saint-Savage, Marine and martial artist extraordinaire; Morgana Nox, shapeshifting druid-thief and trickster; and the cantankerous dwarf, Elmac Arguson—as they punch, blast, stab, and slither their way through the second Hero of Thera novel.


Can they outwit, outfight, and outrun assassins? The Imperial Knight Champion of Chaos? Feisty gnomes with slide rules? A horde of a thousand inebriated simians?


There’s only one way to find out…


My Opinion: 336 pages, $5.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


A very entertaining sequel to Hero of Thera, the first book in the series. This one is not quiet as epic in scale, but still has good action-adventure, RPG leveling, and a great sense of humor. There’s an introduction of plotlines for the rest of the series, but this is mostly a good adventure that wraps up the Thousand Drunken Monkeys quest. It’s funny, the action is well written and the story seems to zip by, it’s that entertaining.


Score: 7.8 out of 10

A Thousand Drunken Monkeys: Book 2 in the Hero of Thera series

https://amzn.to/2CmKE1P


(Picture 2)

Viridian Gate Online: Doom Forge: A litRPG Adventure (The Viridian Gate Archives Book 6)

February, 2043


Jack and the crew of the Crimson Alliance have finally made it back from the Realm of Order, but the threat to Eldgard is deadlier than ever.


Vogthar incursions are increasing, dungeons falling in droves, towns and cities ravaged by Darklings—Players and NPCs who have willingly sided with the Dark Overmind Thanatos. But thanks to a priceless artifact Jack found after defeating the Lich Priest, there might be a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Jack and company have unearthed a Doom-Forged relic, one part of an ancient weapon capable of killing even a god. But to assemble the legendary god-killer, they’ll need to find the other relics and locate the fabled Doom Forge of the Dwarven godling Khalkeús, all while unraveling a mystery five hundred years in the making.


From James A. Hunter the author of the Yancy Lazarus Series, War God's Mantle, the litRPG epic Rogue Dungeon!


My Opinion: 374 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


Another well told story in the VGO series. The story seems to be getting bigger and grander as the group faces larger and larger fights, bosses, and challenges. Yet, the action-adventure still keeps you hanging on and wanting to turn just one more page. The series is taking on a bit of a cyberpunk aspect with rogue AI, and secret code weapons, but it is still very entertaining. There are a few mysterious that I think will be revealed in the last two books in the series, like ‘where the heck did Osmark go?’ but it’s a good, fun, read.


Score: 7.5 out of 10

Viridian Gate Online: Doom Forge: A litRPG Adventure (The Viridian Gate Archives Book 6)

https://amzn.to/2MePEKg


(Picture 3)

Raising Allies (New Game Minus Book 2)

Bloodwraith was a villain who hated adventurers until he found himself transferred into the body of one. Trapped without his magic, he discovered that alien beings were using his reality as a game... and he had just become a player. Teaming up with a glitched NPC and other adventurers, he has no choice but to learn the truth about himself and his world.


Finally free of obligations, Bloodwraith can recover his necromancy and strike back against the beings controlling his world. Little does he know that one of them is now hunting for him: his old adventurer nemesis is still alive in his old body. Not only does the adventurer plan to get his body back, he's not going to play fair to get it.


Journeying to a new city, with new rivals and potential allies, Bloodwraith will be challenged in many ways. But in the end, he will be facing his past life, and this time he will need to decide what it is he really wants.


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


Even better than book 1, this story feels streamlined in so many ways. The premise has been setup, so book 2 just jumps right into the good action-adventure, RPG leveling, and meta commentary on what it would be like to live with notification boxes. All the stuff I liked about book 1 is back, the dungeon diving, the game theorizing, the entertaining group banter, only now the villain is so much more interesting. Such a good read.


Score: 7.9 out of 10

Raising Allies (New Game Minus Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2BdrjAt


(Picture 4)

Path of the Necromancer Book 1 (A LootRPG Series)

They say that death is the end. That isn't true if you're a necromancer...


When Jakub graduates from the Queen's magic academy as a necromancer, he earns a license to raise things from the dead. His instructors believe that his dark childhood makes him too dangerous to be a necromancer, and some didn't want him to graduate. Jakub will do anything to prove them wrong.

His first mission is to recover the corpse of a traitor, resurrect him,and find out what secrets he told their enemy. He knows he's in deep when he learns that the traitor's body is missing, and worse- he isn't the only person looking for it. Mages, necromancers, cannibals, and warriors all stand in his way as he fights to find the truth.


Trapped in a deadly land and surrounded by hostiles, Jakub will have to scavenge weapons and loot from the enemies he kills, learn new necromancy spells, and use them in ways other necromancers have never dreamed of.


My Opinion: 246 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


An entertaining read that creates a very interesting culture around being a necromancer.


The story leans a bit more towards fantasy than LitRPG. The story revolves around a fantasy world where necromancy is part of a particular nation’s culture and is no different than being a blacksmith or soldier. The MC is sent by his government as a new necromancer with his mentor to recover the body of a traitor to see what info he sold to the government’s enemies. Of course, things don't go as planned.


The author does a good job of world building and makes both the necromancer and the Killeshi groups feel culturally well fleshed out. The story itself is well written with good adventure elements and clear goals for the MC. The author does a good job of showing the antagonists POV and giving enough backstory that they're not one dimensional villains, but more complex and even relatable to a degree.


The RPG stuff is not the main focus of the story but is a consistent element and is used to describe how the MC grows in power. The MC increases his necromancer powers by gathering energy from the dead and using that energy to fuel his spells, for which he gains necromancy XP which eventually raises his level and gives him access to more potent spells. There are also spell and item descriptions.


Even though the end of the story felt a little rushed in how it was resolved, overall it's an entertaining read.


Score: 7.6 out of 10

Path of the Necromancer Book 1 (A LootRPG Series)

https://amzn.to/2D1BckW



(Picture 5)

Valhalla Online 4: Hel Hath No Fury: A Ragnarok Saga LitRPG Story

Trapped between two goddesses is the worst 'rock and a hard place' Samantha has ever run into.


The fourth book in the Valhalla Online series from a USA Today bestselling author.


Even worse, the 'goddesses' are really advanced AIs - artificial intelligences. One of them is plotting to go all 'Skynet' on the world, and it's up to Sam and her friends to put a stop to it.


Winning this battle isn't just about staying alive or solving a mystery. This time, everything is at stake. If Samantha fails, the outside world will burn, and everyone she ever knew or loved outside Valhalla will die.


My Opinion: 205 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


The entire Valhalla Online series has new cover art for the series, and this is the 4th book. The author says in the back matter, it was originally planned to be the last in the series but he decided one more book was needed to knock out  the last storyline and tie it into his military sci-fi space series, the Ragnarok Saga.


Book 3 was originally released almost 1.5 years ago and it shows in a lot of ways going into book 4. This story feels tonally different than the other books in the series. It is the lightest in terms of RPG mechanics with mentions that skills and levels increase and some notifications but it's not a big part the story.  The big revelations in book 3 regarding the MC really shifted the story from ‘a game’ with the objective to reach the ninth realm and escape. Instead, there's a dominate cyberpunk theme of defeating the bad AI before it is strong enough to escape Valhalla Online and possibly wipe out mankind.


Overall, this is still an entertaining story, just not for the RPG elements. There’s enough here, that I’d say it barely qualifies as LitRPG, but you can tell those elements are likely to disappear completely in the next book as the author transitions the MC to his sci-fi space series. Still, good action-adventure, just no more ‘game’ or much in the RPG department.


Score: 7.1 out of 10

Valhalla Online 4: Hel Hath No Fury: A Ragnarok Saga LitRPG Story

https://amzn.to/2CYfzSd


(Picture 6)

The Monolith: A LitRPG Novel (Blood Seekers Book 1)

“You will die!”



That's what the developers of Blood Seekers promised…


The most challenging MMO ever created—that’s what they said. Taglines like, “Not your granddaddy’s game,” and, “Only for the hardest of the hardcore,” had gamers going crazy. Set in a dark, gothic, Lovecraftian world, with fully realized A.I. NPCs, gamers were desperate to get their hands on the game and dive in, and Clay was one of them. It was going to be tough, but he was ready for it.


What he wasn’t ready for, was countless players having their minds hijacked and being transformed into hostile, zombie-like creatures filled with nothing but hate, who attack anyone on sight. They became known as the Bloodless, and now, Clay’s best friend is among them.


Rey moved across the country when they were twelve, but they kept in touch online, and when Blood Seekers was released, they were both ready to face the new challenge together. But now, Rey has been possessed by the mysterious plague, her mind held hostage with no sign of a cure.


To make things worse, Clay’s mind is plagued by visions of a mysterious black monolith that has appeared at the center of the highest level zone in the game, a place no one has even come close to reaching. Some think it will provide answers—others say it will only lead to more questions:


Who is behind all of this? Why are people’s minds being taken and what will it take to bring them back? How many more people will be lost when no one is able to log out?


Nothing is certain, but if there’s any chance that reaching the monolith will bring Rey back, then Clay will do everything he can to reach it.


My Opinion: 484 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


From the author of Call of Carrethen comes a new LitRPG story inspired by video games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne. The story revolves around a Clay/Rand, who is one of the few players of Blood Seekers that is immune to the ‘trapped in the game’ issue that arises on launch day. Only his best friend Rey isn’t so lucky. So, he goes back in and faces all the challenges of this intentionally difficult game world so that he can level up and figure out how to save his friend.


The early part of the story is mostly monster grinding so that the game mechanics can be explained and the main character (MC) can level and become more powerful. As the story progresses, it becomes a bit more cyberpunk as the story secrets are revealed but it’s still  mostly action-adventure with lots of fights with a wide variety of pretty creepy monsters. The action is good though, with good descriptions, smart use of powers, and good group work.


The game mechanics are going to feel pretty familiar to anyone that has played Dark Souls and Bloodborne. There are stats and levels that can be increased by gathering Quintessence, the games version of XP, by defeating monsters and completing quests. It can also be spent on special items, new weapons, health potions, and other things. There are lots of item, skills, and ability descriptions as well as damage notices. A good bit of crunchy RPG-ness here.


Overall, the story is entertaining. The pulls from Dark Souls and Bloodborne are good. There’s even a bit of the matrix mixed into the story for laughs that I thought was neat. It’s a very action focused story, which worked for me, but might not for everyone. Also, there is a bit of a cliff hanger.


Score: 7.4 out of 10

The Monolith: A LitRPG Novel (Blood Seekers Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2MtweSj




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 155

 


LitRPG Podcast 155


Jan. 31st, 2019

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

New Releases and Reviews:

Into the Light (Axe Druid Book 1) (Feb. 1st, 2019) (11:07)

Good action, but lost me at about the 65% mark

Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2T7adLm

Reborn: Apprentice: A LitRPG Adventure (Reclamation Book 1) (24:22)

Feels like it was written by a write to market author that doesn’t understand LitRPG.

Score: 4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2TeCPTe

Life Reset: Hobnobbing (New Era Online Book 3) (33:05)

Lots of good action and adventure. A little less town building.

Score: 7.8 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2T7aKgk

HOPE Engine  (36:10)

Slice of life story that bounces around between, adventuring, RTS town building, chosen one stuff, and cyberpunk digital plague stuff

Score: 7.3 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2SClMd9  

Volper (Alfarome. Book 1) LitRPG Series (41:45)

Russian translation. Sci-fi, slice of life MMO. Good action, lots of guns.

Score: 7.7 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2QXsMof




(Play Music 2)


LitRPG News

A big congrats to Xander Boyce, author of Advent: Red Mage, his audiobook was listed on Audible as one of the Listener Favorites for Jan 2019. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a great story with Luke Daniels narrating.

https://www.audible.com/ep/s/Jan19_Listener_Favorites


Shermer Kuznits recently announced on his Facebook page that he’s putting the Life Reset series aside for now and working on a new project Earth Force.


I'm currently working on a new gameLit sci-fi series (not Life Reset).

The first three chapters are available on my website:

https://www.shemerk.com/earth-force


Early access for the rest of the chapters will be available on my Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/shemerk

.

p.s.

the cover is just a temporary amateur art I threw together for fun :)


https://www.facebook.com/Liferesetlitrpg/photos/a.2263299337229792/2587559294803793/




Last week Jeffrey ‘Falcon’ Logue, author of the Slime Dungeon Chronicles and Dungeon Wars, played a D&D game based on his LitRPG universe with friends and other LitRPG authors. This week, guests in the dungeon include Gabriel Rathweg, Charles Dean, and myself R. A. Mejia.  

Episode 1 https://youtu.be/Kd8h_v967LI

Episode 2 (this weeks) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBp4hj6sQFyoKXQ2jiGkUcw




Out Now!


Viridian Gate Online: Doom Forge: A litRPG Adventure (The Viridian Gate Archives Book 6)

https://amzn.to/2MePEKg


Rabbit Online (Rabbit and Girls Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2Tqqpra


Path of the Necromancer Book 1 (A LootRPG Series)

https://amzn.to/2D1BckW



Raising Allies (New Game Minus Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2BdrjAt


Valhalla Online 4: Hel Hath No Fury: A Ragnarok Saga LitRPG Story

https://amzn.to/2CYfzSd

*Redone Cover art for the series, but this is a new book*


The Way of the Shaman. Step 2: The First Day: Volume Two (The Way of the Shaman Comic Book)

https://amzn.to/2Tpxh8m

*Out on KU*



New LitRPG Audiobooks


Couch Potato Chaos: Gamebound

https://amzn.to/2WsfNKx


A Squire's Wish: A GameLit Novel: Hidden Wishes, Book 2

https://amzn.to/2MK8Kbm


First Song: Anthem of Infinity Series, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2Sgx21X


The Song Maiden: A LitRPG Journey: The Uniworld Online Trilogy, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2WxGgq4


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

https://amzn.to/2Bb489S


Rules Free VRMMO Life - Omnibus I, Volumes 1-4

https://amzn.to/2SlNSfS


Conquest - A LitRPG Adventure (Limitless Lands, Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2sZyEz2





Upcoming LitRPG:


Adventurers Bond (Book 5 of the Adventures on Brad)

(Feb. 1st, 2019)


Arcane Kingdom Online: Dark Magic (A LitRPG Adventure, Book 2) (Feb. 5th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2DM34en


Sacrificial Pieces (The Game3 book 3) (Feb. 8th, 2019)

*No pre-order, release date might shift a little*


Viridian Gate Online: Nomad Soul: A litRPG Adventure (The Illusionist Book 1) (Feb. 12th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2Mts0tL

*One of the authors that submitted a short story to the author for their anthology*


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

https://amzn.to/2EFQQp5


Scourge of Souls - The Realms Book Four: (An Epic LitRPG Gamelit Adventure ) (Feb. 15th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2CE9BpE



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

https://amzn.to/2BYEHaW


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

https://amzn.to/2LNaaSf

*Translated work*


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

https://amzn.to/2RTCXdc


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

https://amzn.to/2SS8FET

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


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

https://amzn.to/2LCzrOL


Dark World [Transformation. Book II] (March 27th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2FZVn5w



Edge of the Abyss (Respawn Trials Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 10th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2FJK4zf


Class-A Threat (Disgardium Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 22nd, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2TwckbG



Onto New Releases and Reviews


(Play Music 3)


New Releases and Reviews


(Picture 1)

Into the Light (Axe Druid Book 1)

Chris and his friends had been hearing voices begging for help, but aren’t dreams supposed to stay dreams? When they finally answer the call, they’re pulled into a fantastic world with themes similar to modern role-playing games. The world of Brindolla. This is what every gamer has always wanted… right?


There's one major problem: War. The big baddie of the universe has come to collect another planet for his relentless march. The Brindollan Gods only have the power to hold him back for a short while, which they can only hope will be long enough to give Chris and his buddies a fighting chance. Either this team gets rid of War’s vanguard of minions and generals, giving the Gods a chance to keep him out for good... or War comes for Earth.


The group is ready to dive into combat, magic, and any other obstacles that come their way. No matter what needs to be done, Chris and his buddies will always do it together


My Opinion: 524 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


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


The novel on the whole is very slice of life. Even though it’s setup as this save the world with your military buddies by your side, the novel really just follows the main character (MC) as he goes on adventure, gets quests, levels, advances his class, trains, and even crafts eventually. There’s no real plot as much as there are a series of adventures/scenes connected with the vague goal of ‘beating the darkness and saving the world from War’.


The game mechanics aren’t unique but they will feel familiar to RPG gamers and D&D players. They’re fleshed out enough that a reader can speculate about what kind of build he’d make in this world. There are unique races, classes, skills, but most of those aren’t detailed well. The game mechanics that are fleshed out the most relate to the MC and his class. But for most of the story there are loads of notifications, item descriptions, stat sheets, and RPG progression.


Storywise, there’s a bit of a rough start. The MC and the group members are introduced quickly but I’m not given any reason to really care about them. Combine that with the weak premise of just randomly accepting an offer to save some world you think is a dream and the motivation to save a fantasy world and thus your normal world as a vague motivation. Eventually, this is fleshed out a bit more as you get small stories about the MC and his family and it’s at least sort of believable that he’d sacrifice himself to save his son in an abstract way. Still, looser start than I’d like.


The early RPG - world portion of the story is actually decent. Not super grab you by the shirt engaging but the action-adventure is good. Just about all the fights in the story are well thought out and written with good tactics and good description. For some readers, this alone will make the story worth a read. Early after the group in on the fantasy game world though, the moments between fights are frankly lackluster. Still, it’s good enough and by the 35% mark the story seems to find it’s rhythm with a training, action-adventure, and world building cycle. Even the moments between fights start to get interesting as crafting is introduced and developed, and training gets some depth.


Unfortunately, the story loses me after the 65% mark. I won’t spoil things, but it really felt like the RPG progression mostly disappears after this point. There are still quests and some notifications but the story takes on a more fantasy vibe and almost all the new power increases aren’t earned but gifted or forced on the group. Even the couple levels given are literally gifted by powerful beings. The story here isn’t bad or anything and the world building in this section is actually more in depth than earlier section. However the story advancement repeatedly feels really forced by outside forces and not advanced by the group. After the 65% mark, it really reminded me of situation where a group of high level tabletop players start to get bored and the DM whisks them away to new dimensions just to shake things up and forces them down a story path.


Overall, even though the story has good action and adventure, it’s not enough to carry the story for me. I never really understood why most of the group members even exist in the story other than to provide good banter and fill out a balanced group. I was never given much background or reason to care about anyone except the MC. The other group members felt like pulls from someone’s tabletop game with unique races, classes, and ability paths. That’s cool, but I honestly wouldn’t have cared if they all got killed. I had zero connection to them. Add to that the loss of RPG progression near the last act and the feel of a forced storyline, and I just stopped enjoying things.


Not a bad story, but it did lose me at a certain point.


Score: 6 out of 10

Into the Light (Axe Druid Book 1) (Feb. 1st, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2T7adLm


Reborn: Apprentice: A LitRPG Adventure (Reclamation Book 1)

From debut author, Luka Petrov

Reborn: Apprentice Book 1 of the Reclamation Series


Ed White was a college freshman and had moved into the dorm room of his new college with the help of his parents when he was mowed down by a car on his way back from lunch. Being an avid RPG player, Ed excelled at logic and reason, and when he enters the afterworld, he is met with a figure who offers him an appealing proposition, to reincarnate as Edward MacAra, a black magic user.


The only stipulation, Edward must save the universe from being taken over by the Demon Lord, Abraxas. Abraxas is thought to be dormant, but he is slowly taking over the surrounding villages, and Gilmore is next. Ed risks losing his own soul in the process if he is not able to prevent Abraxas from claiming the universe.


After deliberation, Ed reincarnates to the village of Gilmore as Edward MacAra, an 8-year old boy. During the attribute assessment at school, Edward and his family find that he does not have a high enough level in strength to become a blacksmith and to follow in his father's footsteps, but rather possess a uniquely high level of intelligence.


Edward talks his parents into letting him learn magic and to become an apprentice. His parents seek out an archmage named Hamon, who accepts him as his apprentice. Hamon brings Edward to his school, the Draererth, Academy of Spells and Wizardry. There, Edward learns magic and finds his innate attribute threatens the other students.


Meanwhile, Abraxas attacks Gilmore. Edward is the first to find Abraxas as he storms the Draererth, Academy of Spells and Wizards, but no one believes that Abraxas had arrived. Find out if Edward can save the students and the village of Gilmore in Reborn: Apprentice.


My Opinion: 258 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


*Note: Reviews note a lot of spelling errors but the version I read only had a few and they were mostly missing words or slightly off ones. Likely the author addressed the issue.*


The story written by Kore Rigel, a romance writer, using the pen name Luka Petrov. I don’t feel like I’m outing anyone, the author was promoting it with her normal facebook account and telling people she was using the pen name.  This honestly feels like an attempt at write to market, only the author doesn’t understand the market.


This is a reincarnated to a RPG game world story that is mostly a magical academy story with a tiny bit of RPG thrown in. 90% fantasy magical academy.


Between the 36-40% mark is where you see most of the RPG related aspects of the story. That’s where the readers sees the stat cards for the MC, his mentor, and several students. You see character names, stats, and any skills they have. However, that’s really the extend of any RPG aspects in the story. There are a couple of mentions of the MC looking at a spell list and his stat card, but it’s not shown to the reader and there are no details just that the MC did it. Honestly, I dislike the story based on this alone. The most common note I made while reading the novel was, ‘Where is all the RPG stuff?’


Storywise, the novel is written decently and the story is easy to follow. The story is mostly set on a supposed RPG world, with the MC getting the choice to reincarnate on a world that is supposed to be based on his tabletop RPG game. But the reality is that you don’t even see a hint of RPG until the 36% mark and even then it only lasts a little while. The MC is supposed to have some genius intellect score but it doesn’t really show in the story and again and again the story describes him to be mostly average to slightly advanced. His biggest benefit is that he’d memorized the spell list from the D&D manual so he can sometimes cast spells not discovered on this world, though that doesn’t really makes sense. Beyond that, most of the story is a generic Magical Academy story that feels like it’s trying to be a bit too much like Harry Potter on a word budget.


Overall, the story feels like it was written by a write to market author that doesn’t understand LitRPG.


Score: 4 out of 10

Reborn: Apprentice: A LitRPG Adventure (Reclamation Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2TeCPTe



Life Reset: Hobnobbing (New Era Online Book 3)

Having survived the first wave of invading players, Oren now seeks to strengthen his clan. With the Breeder’s Den destroyed and most of Goblin's Gorge's resources devoted to rebuilding, his best hope lies in creating an army of golems. But for that, he needs Viridium, a rare metal that can only be obtained from hobgoblin towns, where Oren and his clan of goblins are viewed as nothing more than potential slaves. To make his way in the game, and to defeat his former guild, Oren’s ingenuity alone will not be enough. He will need to conquer his deepest fears and tap into his inner monster.


My Opinion: 533 pages, $4.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited


A really good book 3. Lots of action and adventure. A little less town building as the MC completes quests and gathers the trade he needs to protect his village. Good stuff all around but that end is definitely interesting.


Score: 7.8 out of 10

Life Reset: Hobnobbing (New Era Online Book 3)

https://amzn.to/2T7aKgk


HOPE Engine

A world on the brink of war, absent parents, and no friends sounds like a disaster unless all you ever wanted was to live inside your virtual reality pod.

Meet Severo, a fresh-eyed graduate, as he joins the ranks of new players in the HOPE engine, but quickly finds out that everything isn’t as advertised. An unnatural enemy is rising, more glitch than feature, that not even the highest level players can stop. A noob like Severo doesn’t stand a chance! Right? But with his starter village in the enemy’s warpath, he better figure something out! Before that, he needs to learn that NPCs are sentient, friends are needed, and food in fantasy games sucks! Oh yeah, and pick a class!

As if all that wasn’t enough to worry about, outside of the VR pod, real life is starting to have its own technical difficulties...


My Opinion: 492 pages, $3.49, Available on Kindle Unlimited


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


Originally a serial story on Royal Road, it's been collected and updated as an Amazon novel. As a serial story, it is going to feel kind of slice of life in that you follow the main character (MC) as he discovers the fantasy game world, the various game mechanics, and how see how he chooses to play and interact with the game, craft, plays scenarios, and levels. The story feels like the MC is in a game where players can choose different scenarios to play, or they can kingdom build. There’s lots of game theory with the MC considering his class options. Loads of detail on game mechanics too.


Overall, the story was entertaining for me. One of the underrated aspects of the story is the snarky sense of humor, which I liked. However, I like slice of life and am ok with how the story bounces around between, adventuring, RTS town building, chosen one stuff, and cyberpunk digital plague stuff.  


Score: 7.3 out of 10

HOPE Engine

https://amzn.to/2SClMd9  


Volper (Alfarome. Book 1) LitRPG Series

Annotation:

What can you do when you only have two years left under the sun? You can, for instance, keep to yourself and lose all contact with reality. You can spend all this remaining time feeling sorry for yourself and crying… But I decided to act in a completely different way: if you have just a few years left to live, then why not enjoy yourself to the fullest? But how would I do that? It’s a piece of cake, since there is a virtual reality I can run to. And, as I’ve found out, there is a new project being launched pretty soon, about which only scarce info has been given by different sources.


"Are you fed up with elves, gnomes and other typical races from fantasy novels for teenagers? Sick and tired of reading about medieval battles and life in those dark times? Then, welcome to Alfarome! What’s in store for you here? It’s a brand new game, in the genre of post-apocalyptic cyberpunk, that tests your endurance! And what else can you hope for? That's top secret, because any information can bring you money and you could make loads of it in the game! "©

The only information available is on the official website of the game Alfarome.

Well, I’d love to go back to the old good days, when I was young and hale. Taking into account my past, this kind of virtual world will be just perfect for me!


My Opinion: 361 pages, $4.77, Available on Kindle Unlimited


*This is a translation of a Russian LitRPG series. There are some translation errors and some unique formating. The most notable being that dialogue does not use quotes, but << >> instead.*


This is a good slice of life LitRPG story where the setting is a sci-fi MMO in the far future. The main character (MC) uses his real life experience as a retired soldier to get a leg up in this full immersion world where there are cyborgs, mutants, psionic abilities, and lots and lots of guns. Storywise, you’re really just following the MC around as he figures out the world, kills monsters, delves dungeons, and makes allies among the NPCs and other players.


Game mechanic wise, things are pretty good. The story has regular gamer jokes, lots of detail about the various game mechanics, and theory crafting about how best to advance. There are also lots of item and skill descriptions.


Overall, this is a good story. Combat is well described and actiony. The story has good pacing and I found myself reading it all in just a couple of sittings. The MC is interesting and the story makes you want to see how he’ll outsmart his opponents next. Good stuff.


Score: 7.7 out of 10

Volper (Alfarome. Book 1) LitRPG Series

https://amzn.to/2QXsMof




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 154

 

LitRPG Podcast 154

Jan. 25th, 2019

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

New Releases and Reviews:

The Steel Hounds (The Artar Chronicles Book 1) (09:48)

Slice of life with an even mix of monk class development, quirky adventures, and guild versus guild conflict.

Score: 7.4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2BvN9yk

Steel Heart: Hub World Book 2 (16:31)

Cyber-thriller bookends with some casual RPG adventuring in the middle

Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2T8rKTG

Apocalypse 2020: Into the Black  (20:10)

Loses that RPG goodness

Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2Frlp1E

Core of Fear: A Paranormal LitRPG Dungeon Core (Spirit Core Book 1) (27:02)

Dungeon Core + Paranormal Activity = Not my thing

Score 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2STB5yk

Battle Spire: A Crafting LitRPG Book (Hundred Kingdoms 1) (31:15)

Pretty good use of a crafting class

Score: 7.5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2W2hyO3

Freedom Online: The Copper Rose: A LitRPG Fantasy (35:14)

Good town building but not much else here

Score: 7.3 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2DhjiM0




(Play Music 2)


LitRPG News


Dakota Krout did an author interview with Steven Rowland, author of Sentenced to Troll and Pangea Online. It’s fun.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheFantasyNation/permalink/1970706996556826/?__tn__=-UC-R



I was on a LitRPG hangout with Charles Dean, Jeff Hays, and Xander Boyce. We talked about Xander’s hit novel Advent: Red Mage and got pretty silly as we hung out. Its over on the Soundbooth Theater YouTube page.

https://youtu.be/vMaDFk1O68E





Update from MSE on Amazon thing.


Update time.


Lawyers have communicated with Amazon. They've asked me to show them all my advertising stuff and places where I've promoted my books. My lawyers have asked them to give us details about the specific reasons they banned me (AKA evidence I was doing anything wrong), since they didn't bring any to the meeting.


Our next meeting is Feb 14th. Fingers crossed it goes well. Thanks for hanging in there.





Out Now!


Volper (Alfarome. Book 1) LitRPG Series

https://amzn.to/2QXsMof


Undead: A World of Ga'em LitRPG (The Chaos Emperor Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2TaBRaz


Reborn: Apprentice: A LitRPG Adventure (Reclamation Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2TeCPTe


The Monolith: A LitRPG Novel (Blood Seekers Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2MtweSj


Life Reset: Hobnobbing (New Era Online Book 3)

https://amzn.to/2T7aKgk


A Thousand Drunken Monkeys: Book 2 in the Hero of Thera series

https://amzn.to/2CmKE1P


The Way of the Shaman. Step 1: The Beginning: Volume One (The Way of the Shaman Comic Book)

https://amzn.to/2MuPcaQ



New LitRPG Audiobooks




Eden's Gate: The Omen: A LitRPG Adventure, Book 5

https://amzn.to/2UebJvr


Dungeon Desolation: Divine Dungeon Series, Book 4

https://amzn.to/2MtRuqN


Desire: A LitRPG Adventure, Volume 3

https://amzn.to/2TahsCq


Zombie Slayer!!: A LitRPG Apocalypse

https://amzn.to/2WbrEwg



Upcoming LitRPG:




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

https://amzn.to/2C7RucC


HOPE Engine (Jan. 30th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2SClMd9  


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

https://amzn.to/2MePEKg


Adventurers Bond (Book 5 of the Adventures on Brad)

(Feb. 1st, 2019)


Into the Light (Axe Druid Book 1) (Feb. 1st, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2T7adLm


Viridian Gate Online: Nomad Soul: A litRPG Adventure (The Illusionist Book 1) (Feb. 12th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2Mts0tL

*One of the authors that submitted a short story to the author for their anthology*


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

https://amzn.to/2EFQQp5


Scourge of Souls - The Realms Book Four: (An Epic LitRPG Gamelit Adventure ) (Feb. 15th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2CE9BpE



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

https://amzn.to/2BYEHaW


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

https://amzn.to/2LNaaSf

*Translated work*


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

https://amzn.to/2RTCXdc


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

https://amzn.to/2SS8FET

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


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

https://amzn.to/2LCzrOL


Dark World [Transformation. Book II] (March 27th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2FZVn5w



Edge of the Abyss (Respawn Trials Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 10th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2FJK4zf



Onto New Releases and Reviews


(Play Music 3)


New Releases and Reviews


(Picture 1)

The Steel Hounds (The Artar Chronicles Book 1)

Stan, also known as Mongoose, is an extreme traceur and a freerunner, whose real-life talents attracted the attention of The Steel Hounds, the most notorious and private clan of the virtual world of Artar, famous for serving the grey cardinal. While the political landscape for this new world is yet to form, intrigues, conspiracy, daring raids, and sabotage are the main weapons of the Hounds, and his evaluation has just begun.


To complete it successfully and become a full-fledged member of the clan, Stan will have to adapt to working side-by-side with the most unique people with shady backgrounds — even if he is not a team player by nature and has already failed at the very beginning by choosing the least suitable class for teamwork: Battle Monk.


Stan is rebellious, free-spirited, and daring. He risks his life every day just to avoid getting bored of the daily grind. Normally, an expelled student has no hope of entering the virtual world of Artar, an expensive online VR project, but when a suspicious organization offers to pay all expenses to let Stan in for a special purpose, Mongoose gets his chance to become one of the select few. However, to successfully complete his trial, Stan will have to face his main enemy — himself, while finding peace and mastering all five styles of the Battle Monks of Artar.


My Opinion: 374 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


*Underappreciated*


This is a slice of life translated novel from Russia with a Monk as the class for the main character (MC).


Game mechanic wise the story is unique in some respects but intentionally light in others. It’s intentionally light in that there is no HP, Mana bars, damage notifications or numbers to keep track of except the occasional mention of stats increasing which is just about the only RPG progress you’ll see since there aren’t levels either. You can tell the author likely just didn’t want to deal with tracking all that. But there’s lots of gamer and MMO culture in the story. Lots of guild conflict and behaviors from players that sees straight out of someone's experience playing an MMO. There are item descriptions, quest descriptions, MMO vendors, Mobs rubber banding, etc. that give the game world an MMO vibe. Uniquely, the most time is spent developing the MCs Monk elemental view of the game with his class being uniquely able to see and harvest elemental Qi to improve stats, power special abilities, or unlock/improve abilities.


Story-wise, this is pretty slice of life with an even mix of monk class development, quirky adventures, and guild versus guild conflict. There’s a little bit of intrigue in there too, but that ties to the guild stuff. The monk class, while not seen often, isn’t amazing here. Don’t expect the MC to be a kick butt Kung Fu fighter in book 1. Instead I think the guild stuff is likely to be the biggest draw for readers. There are some interesting guild related plays for power, real estate, and alliances that seem to be a focus of the series. Those themes are interweaved fairly well into the action and adventure parts of the MC’s story.


While a little light on RPG progression, it’s an entertaining story that is interesting enough to get me to want to read book 2.


Score: 7.4 out of 10

The Steel Hounds (The Artar Chronicles Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2BvN9yk


(Picture 2)

Steel Heart: Hub World Book 2

There are great dangers in the forest...


Jupiter and Cas have slain the wererat, and freed the inhabitants of Vigil from the deadly plague. Now it's time to get a little more serious about exploring the new world, and leveling up.


There are bandits to slay, and creatures to hunt. And what is lurking out in the ocean?


Follow Jupiter and Cas on a new adventure across the sprawling world of Yevelia.


Book two in the Hub World litRPG series.


My Opinion: 103 pages, $2.99, Available On Kindle Unlimited


The review for this one is kind of the same as it was for book 1. This short story is actually a lot like book 1, at least structurally. Cyber-thriller bookends with some casual RPG adventuring in the middle. A decent short story but not super compelling. Character development is done well in the story with good banter between the two main characters (MC). The adventuring feels a little more focused than it was in book 1 but there’s just not enough space in the short story to really develop much of a really engaging plot. Not boring, and there are some good elements, but overall just didn’t do it for me.


Score: 6 out of 10

Steel Heart: Hub World Book 2

https://amzn.to/2T8rKTG


(Picture 3)

Apocalypse 2020: Into the Black

The leech have begun terraforming the Earth, and the only way for Scarlett and her group to stop them is to leave the planet and venture out into the vastness of space in the the alien ship they found within Area 51. With the leech hunting them, and little direction on where to go, they must find the leech mothership and disable the terraformers before Earth is turned into a place unfit for human life. Also, there is the girl in the box labeled “Goddess,” and whatever mysteries she holds.


Outside of the game, Scarlett and Bran prepare for the first Apocalypse-Con, a convention where all the players from around the world will come to play together.


This finale of the Apocalypse 2020 Trilogy will either see our heroes triumphant over the alien army or dead, with the Earth soon to follow.


My Opinion: 241 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


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


It is a nice conclusion to the series and wraps up the big storylines it started. I personally really liked where the IRL storyline went and how that mixes with the game story. Good stuff.


The story drops you right in the middle of a space battle and quickly differentiates itself from the previous 2 books with lots of space opera tech game stuff. You could actually start the series here. The author gives enough info to tell who everyone is and the setting shifts so much from previous books that all that scifi space stuff has to be setup anyways.


IRL, just remember it's the late 90s so when you see references to LAN parties and other pop culture stuff, that’s why.


The only thing I didn’t like is how the game storyline lost most of the game elements. I completely understand that going from apocalypse to space opera settings would change some game elements, but in-game it often just felt like a sci-fi story. The most common game elements that continue are the use of notifications for: skill use/failures, health loss, and other minor details. Completely gone are the RPG elements. No one gains levels, XP,  or new abilities. Characters get new space weapons, ships, and stuff, but nothing RPG anymore.


Overall, the storyline is good. It’s a lot of action and adventure. But I’ll be honest. Part of my brain checked out when I realized there wasn’t any more RPG stuff. Again and again, I’d expect some leveling or something after a big battle and just feel a little disappointed when it didn’t happen. Still, not a boring story, it just lost that LitRPG goodness that was developed so well in books 1 and 2.


Score: 6 out of 10

Apocalypse 2020: Into the Black

https://amzn.to/2Frlp1E



(Picture 4)

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

Do you ever wonder why spirits take the actions they do? What if there was a system of rules they had to follow?


Clive Logan is a serial killer; or, to be more accurate, Clive Logan was a serial killer. Caught after a record-breaking streak of murders, he was executed by lethal injection by the state, while thousands of his victims' grieving family members watched.


That should’ve been the end of his emotionless and unfeeling existence – but it wasn’t.


Sent to Hell – where he enjoyed himself entirely too much – he was singled out to become a Spirit Core, an invisible spiritual entity that eventually ended up back on Earth. At first unfamiliar to him, his new incarnation slowly revealed itself to have its own set of rules, following something not unlike the video games he used to program back when he was alive. At its root, he was tasked with invoking fear upon his new victims – but there was just one problem.


Having never felt any emotions before, he had no idea what that meant.



Contains LitRPG elements such as level progression and statistics.


My Opinion: 296 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


*Readers are polarized. Some really hate it, others really like it*


Not really my thing. This is a dungeon core story mixed with the movie Paranormal Activity. The premise is that a psychopath is executed and because he's bored being tortured in hell he comes back as a ghost whose job it is to send innocent souls to hell. He has an RPG interface he uses to upgrade his abilities but basically he has to scare people to death then he can move on to more physical means. Solid game mechanics but it’s just not really my thing. Not into horror movies.


Score 6 out of 10

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

https://amzn.to/2STB5yk


(Picture 5)

Battle Spire: A Crafting LitRPG Book (Hundred Kingdoms 1)

Jack Kross only wanted to play the game. Now he's fighting for his life.


When a mysterious hacker takes control of Hundred Kingdoms, Jack is trapped inside the fantasy VR world along with millions of other players. But Jack is in a worse predicament. He's cornered in the very tower the terrorists have taken as their base; the only free player left within its walls. Even worse, in the real world, his body lies in a sweltering room with no hope of relief.


Playing the profession-based Scavenger class, and at a low level, Jack's prospects of fighting his way out are next to impossible. Crafting gear, traps and weapons, allying with a deadly dungeon master and an AI he can't fully trust, Jack is in a race against time to save not just himself but the millions of players held hostage.


Battle Spire is a meeting of World of Warcraft and Die Hard, using crunchy LitRPG mechanics with a heavy focus on crafting. Readers can expect to find in depth item and spell descriptions, along with stat tables and profession recipes.


My Opinion: 408 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


The beginning while not badly written comes across as just another LitRPG story with a wimpy MC with a Sword Art Online premise. I'll be honest, I almost put the novel down when it revealed it was a trapped in the game and die in the game die in real life premise. Still, I’m glad I didn't. It turns into something more original and definitely entertaining.


The game mechanics are solid and consistent and will please lovers of crunchy RPG details.


Overall, it's a fun story with some homages to Die Hard but the story combines a crafting class with a coming of age hero story in a good way.


Score: 7.5 out of 10

Battle Spire: A Crafting LitRPG Book (Hundred Kingdoms 1) https://amzn.to/2W2hyO3


(Picture 7)

Freedom Online: The Copper Rose: A LitRPG Fantasy

Freedom Online: The Copper Rose is the story of a virtual world that is populated by all kinds of mythical beings along with a playership that is somewhat less than savoury. Imagine that you have been placed in a world that rewards actions of all kinds but seldom punishes anything. Without rules and boundaries the human race is left craving a sense of limits, something to rebel or fight against and as that bar is constantly moved or in this case, removed, the results are somewhat alien.My story is that of being placed in an unknown world. where anyone could be friend or foe and I use the mechanics of Role-Playing, Massively Multiplayer, and Strategy games to build a home for my newfound friends and I. Jealousy and revenge are powerful motives for violence though, and ones that I could find difficult to evade.Includes character stats, settlement building, skills & levels and combat statistics.


My Opinion: 332 pages, $3.81, Available On Kindle Unlimited


The beginning of the story is a bit brutal but sets up the bad guys. However, most of the novel is really this slice of life town building story. There's not much plot and only vague threats from the bad guys. Still, the town building elements are well thought out and thorough, if fairly reminiscent of the ones seen in Life Reset.


Overall a good story if you’re in the mood for a town building story, just don't expect much else.


Score: 7.3 out of 10

Freedom Online: The Copper Rose: A LitRPG Fantasy

https://amzn.to/2DhjiM0



That’s it everyone!


You can follow us on

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

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

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

Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  


Other LitRPG facebook pages

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

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

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


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



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


(Music 4)


Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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



LitRPG Podcast 153

 

LitRPG Podcast 153

Jan. 18th, 2019

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

New Releases and Reviews:

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

More emphasis on cultivation, but fans wills till enjoy.

Score: 7.3 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2M42rPN

Dungeon Wars

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

Score: 7.1 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2SeYNoj

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

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

Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2Ri6eyG

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

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

Score: 7.3 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2CbXboO



(Play Music 2)


LitRPG News

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

https://www.patreon.com/BlaiseCorvin


(Video 0)

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

https://youtu.be/Y-ZjTVKRMKQ


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

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




Out Now!

Bitter: Book Five

https://amzn.to/2Vh8aWP

Cleansing Fire: Evolution Online IV (A LitRPG)  

https://amzn.to/2SPeh2B

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

https://amzn.to/2STt64t

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

https://amzn.to/2STB5yk

The Steel Hounds (The Artar Chronicles Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2BvN9yk

Freedom Online: The Copper Rose: A LitRPG Fantasy

https://amzn.to/2DhjiM0


New LitRPG Audiobooks

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

https://amzn.to/2AT3nlx

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

https://amzn.to/2FGb5mi

The Two Week Curse - Ten Realms, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2W2278A

Upcoming LitRPG:

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

https://amzn.to/2W2hyO3

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

https://amzn.to/2Frlp1E

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

https://amzn.to/2QXsMof

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

https://amzn.to/2CmKE1P

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

https://amzn.to/2C7RucC

HOPE Engine (Jan. 30th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2SClMd9  

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

https://amzn.to/2MePEKg

Adventurers Bond (Book 5 of the Adventures on Brad)

(Feb. 1st, 2019)

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

https://amzn.to/2EFQQp5

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

https://amzn.to/2BYEHaW

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

https://amzn.to/2LNaaSf

*Translated work*

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

https://amzn.to/2RTCXdc

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

https://amzn.to/2SS8FET

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

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

https://amzn.to/2LCzrOL



Onto New Releases and Reviews


(Play Music 3)


New Releases and Reviews


(Picture 1)


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

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


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


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


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


But... will it be that easy?


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


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


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


Score: 7.3 out of 10

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

https://amzn.to/2M42rPN



Dungeon Wars

Same team, new place, new adventures


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


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


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


My Opinion: 381 pages, $4.49, Kindle Unlimited


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


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


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


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


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


Score: 7.1 out of 10

Dungeon Wars

https://amzn.to/2SeYNoj


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

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


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


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


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

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


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


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


Score: 6 out of 10

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

https://amzn.to/2Ri6eyG



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

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


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


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


Score: 7.3 out of 10

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

https://amzn.to/2CbXboO




That’s it everyone!


You can follow us on

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Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  


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

 

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

Jan. 13th, 2019

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

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

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

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

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



That’s it everyone!


You can follow us on

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

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

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

Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  


Other LitRPG facebook pages

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

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

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


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



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


(Music 4)


Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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



LitRPG Podcast 151

 

LitRPG Podcast 151


Jan. 11th, 2019


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


New Releases and Reviews:

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

Less social, more action than main series

Score: 7.3 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2CSZ6RV

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

Good kingdom building, but things feel too easy for MC

Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2pKHZZU

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

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

Score: 7.4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2CrbLtS

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

A great end to the series

Score: 8 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2M5HqnD


(Play Music 2)


LitRPG News

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

https://youtu.be/En8hrI3L0ZQ

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

Watch the pizza event here:

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


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

Hi all!

I'll tell you about my plans for 2019

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

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

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

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




Out Now!

Towns and Towers II: Artifacts, Allies, and Adventures

https://amzn.to/2SJf1WZ  


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

https://amzn.to/2RFP39P

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

https://amzn.to/2Ri6eyG

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

https://amzn.to/2VHXP6a

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

https://amzn.to/2M42rPN

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

https://amzn.to/2CbXboO




New LitRPG Audiobooks

(none)

Upcoming LitRPG:

Dungeon Wars (Jan. 11th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2SeYNoj


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

https://amzn.to/2Vh8aWP


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

https://amzn.to/2BvN9yk


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

https://amzn.to/2Frlp1E



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

https://amzn.to/2QXsMof


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

https://amzn.to/2C7RucC


HOPE Engine (Jan. 30th, 2019)

https://amzn.to/2SClMd9  


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

https://amzn.to/2EFQQp5


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

https://amzn.to/2BYEHaW


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

https://amzn.to/2LNaaSf

*Translated work*


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

https://amzn.to/2LCzrOL



Onto New Releases and Reviews


(Play Music 3)


New Releases and Reviews


(Picture 1)

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Score: 7.3 out of 10

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

https://amzn.to/2CSZ6RV



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

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


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


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


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


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


Score: 6 out of 10

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

https://amzn.to/2pKHZZU



Ipseity (The Stork Tower Book 5)

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


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


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


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


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


Score: 7.4 out of 10

Ipseity (The Stork Tower Book 5)

https://amzn.to/2CrbLtS


The Greystone Chronicles Book Five: World At War

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Score: 8 out of 10

The Greystone Chronicles Book Five: World At War

https://amzn.to/2M5HqnD



That’s it everyone!


You can follow us on

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

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

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

Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  


Other LitRPG facebook pages

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

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

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


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



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


(Music 4)


Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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



LitRPG Podcast 150