LitRPG Podcast 124

 

LitRPG Podcast 124

July 13th, 2018

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 124 of the LitRPG podcast.

 

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

 

New Releases and Reviews:

Restart (Level Up Book #1) LitRPG Series (09:50)

Real World LitRPG, no combat, still interesting.

Score: 7.5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2HqRNDu

Game Breaker (17:50)

Not LitRPG

Score: 4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2ummqk4

Nightworld: A LitRPG adventure (20:16)

Scattered story and wand wavy combat made it a bit boring.

Score: 5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2L9gwxu

Steam Whistle Alley: An Adventure in Augmented Reality (25:11)

Steampunk and AR, not my thing but you may like it.

Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2IWkvZ1

Fateweaver's Quest (36:18)

Uses the Fate system well

Score: 7.5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2u9sj59

A Mage Prepared: (The Chronicles of Herst 1: A LitRPG Novel) (42:14)

Didn’t work for me. No purpose to story.

Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2KWQpcJ

Earth Tactics Advance Volume 2: Welcome to the Second Stage (44:47)

Turn based LitRPG done well.

Score: 7.6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2NIWBDN


 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News


 

 

Stephan Morse is having a sale on the first book in the Continue Online series. It will be $0.99 until July 25th. The series is going wide, which means it will be available in a lot more places than just Amazon. Go pick it up if you’ve never had chance to read it.

https://frustratedego.com/2018/07/09/continue-online-part-one-memories-99%C2%A2-sale/

 

 

Dave Wilmarth was nice enough to release some art work he had commissioned for his character Brick from the Greystone Chronicles.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10158070513447228&set=gm.2003244409706927&type=3&theater

 

 

Dave Willmarth, author of The Land of the Undying and The Greystone Chronicles, did an interview with Game Reads. They talk about Dave’s novels, and cookies.

https://youtu.be/oqQDZ3o_9hQ

 

 

This week, LitRPG Author Andrew Seiple’s book Threadbare was one of the books featured on the nationally syndicated television show The View. It was shown in a segment called The Ladies Get Lit, where this week Whoopi Goldberg talked about some of her recommended summer reads. Huge Congratulations to Andrew for getting this well deserved press and recognition. There’s a link to the exact moment in the show where the book is talked about.

 

Note: I thought it was super funny how Whoopi kept saying, “It’s not for kids.” Lol.

https://youtu.be/Bl8iqHw99IU?t=188

https://abcnews.go.com/theview/whoopi-goldbergs-favorite-summer-books/story?id=56456029



 

Out Now!  

 

 

The Last Warrior of Unigaea Box Set

https://amzn.to/2meIIko


 

 

The Station Core: A Dungeon Core Epic (Station Cores Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2L4o6Wy


 

 

Life Reset: EvP (Environment vs. Player) (New Era Online Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2u9PNqB



 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

Awaken Online: Evolution

https://amzn.to/2NMLJF4

Our review of the ebook: 7.5 out of 10

http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2018/6/7/awaken-online-book-3-evolution

 

 

Akillia's Reign - Puatera Online Series, Book 4

https://amzn.to/2NbmLhs

Our review for the ebook: Score 4 out of 10

http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2018/3/19/akillias-reign-puatera-online-book-4

 

 

The Hobgoblin Riot -Dominion of Blades, Book 2

https://amzn.to/2NKaHF3

Our review of the ebook: 7 out of 10

http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2018/4/18/the-hobgoblin-riot-dominion-of-blades-book-2-a-litrpg-adventure


 

 

The Cost of Survival: A LitRPG Apocalypse

The System Apocalypse, Book 3

https://amzn.to/2NIsRXI  

Our review of the ebook: 7 out of 10

http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2018/2/1/the-cost-of-survival-a-litrpg-apocalypse-the-system-apocalypse-book-3

 

 

Desire: A LitRPG Adventure, Book 2

https://amzn.to/2NKfeHu


 

 

Adventures on Terra - Book 3: Rescue

https://www.audible.com/t2/title?asin=B07FCSXTFR


 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

Warrior Academy-Episode 4: Tournament of Hiroes Part 2 (July 15th, 2018)


 

 

Regicide (The Completionist Chronicles Book 2) (July 16th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2tYThw0

 

**Monster Hunter NYC 2 (July 20th, 2018)**

 

 

External Threat (Reality Benders Book #2) LitRPG Series (July 23rd, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2KA1Jsf

 

 

Sleeping Player (Project Chrysalis Book 3) (July 31st, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2MuZ7vW

 

 

The Curse of Hurlig Ridge: World Tree Online: 1st Dive  (Aug. 1st, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2Nc9DJG

 

 

Death March (Euphoria Online - Book 1) (Aug. 7th, 2018)

 

 

Raven Vex: A LitRPG Saga (The Binding Book 2)

(Aug. 30th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2sPdcfF

 

 

Freehaven Online:  Lady Thunderlord, Into Hades (Book 2)

(Sept. 26, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2ID8Kq4

 

 

Kingdom of the Dead (An NPC's Path Book #2) LitRPG Series (Oct. 8th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2NMOPca

 

 

Freehaven Online:  Winter Dungeonland (Book 3) (Nov. 21st, 2108)

 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

Restart (Level Up Book #1) LitRPG Series

 

At thirty years old, Phil is an unemployed gamer who struggles to make ends meet. His only source of income is freelance writing (when he feels inspired enough to add another article to his less-than-popular blog). His wife has just walked out on him, leaving him without money, purpose, or food in the fridge.

 

On the day his wife dumps him, Phil receives a mysterious piece of wetware. A game interface seems to have been implanted in his brain which allows him to see the world through the eyes of an RPG player.

 

Now that Phil discovers his real-life stats, he can see they're far below average. With 4 pt. Agility, 6 pt. Strength and 3 pt. Stamina, his most advanced life skill is predictably gaming.

 

Luckily, real-life stats can be leveled up just like virtual ones. But will it help Phil get his wife back? Can he stop being such a couch potato? Would the new game help him become fitter? Or more successful? Can his gaming skills finally come in handy in real life?

 

Last but not least, can he find out who could have uploaded the mysterious game to his brain? And how is he supposed to deal with this unknown but apparently omnipotent force?

 

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

 

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

 

This is a slice of life, real life LitRPG. The premise: what would you do if you got RPG powers? That’s the question Phil asks himself the day he sees his first notification and skill increase. Soon after, his wife leaves him because he’s devolved into a lazy gamer sponging off her. It’s the last straw for him. He realizes that he needs to make some changes in his life and now he has an mysterious system in his brain quantifying those changes and even giving him information he would never have otherwise.

 

Game mechanics wise, the notifications are mostly informational. Giving the main character (MC) information about the skills he’s improving. He doesn’t get any magic, or any super powers, rather bouts of euphoria everytime he levels or improves himself enough to achieve a sense of happiness. There are things about the game system that give him a unique power that he uses to advance himself and solve problems, but it’s nothing fantasy like. Still, it’s consistent and I really liked seeing the progress and how the MC tried to find the boundaries and cheats in the game system and completed quests generated by himself and others to level.

 

Story wise, it’s slice of life. There’s no combat at all in the story. Yet, it’s still a compelling tale. I’m not sure if it’s the social commentary about self improvement, the fleshed out relationships between interesting characters, or the social and economic conflicts the MC faces that makes it so interesting. But it is. It’s really fascinating to read about how the MC uses his RPG powers to not only address his personal issues but also aid others. The twists with where the RPG system comes from is equally interesting and I honestly didn’t see it coming.  There’s plenty of gamer humor here too, my favorite being the debuff he gets for not getting laid in a while, ‘sexual frustration’ which includes random erections as a side effect. Lol.

 

Overall, a good read. The story is grounded in reality and even though it’s slice of life, it’s not a fantasy adventure. It’s really about the MC making a decision to be better using system that appeals to his gamer nature.

 

Score: 7.5 out of 10

Restart (Level Up Book #1) LitRPG Series

https://amzn.to/2HqRNDu

 

(Picture 2)

Game Breaker

 

Breccan has struggled to adjust to his new life after a tragedy that cost him more than just his arm. To help him cope, his cousin introduces him to the Edge, the virtual reality world teenagers plug into when their bodies are sleeping. Avatar battles, mind-blowing levels, and a girl with a secret challenge his perspective. But when the security in the Edge begins to kill off avatars, Breccan finds himself caught up in a virtual battle that will impact their entire world.

 

My Opinion: 300 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited


 

While there’s no mention of LitRP in the novel description, it is being advertised as LitRPG in several Facebook groups by the author as their first LitRPG novel.

 

This isn't LitRPG. It's set in a VR world, there's a gladiator like combat scene, but there aren't any actual game mechanics in the story. There's mention of XP and levels, but nothing is done with that. They're just kind of words that don't have any real meaning to the story. It's more cyberpunk gladiator intrigue set in VR. Which just isn't the same thing as LitRPG.

 

I’m not sure if the author understands what LitRPG is. It could just be a misunderstanding on the author’s part, but either way, not LitRPG. Even as a normal cyberpunk story, it wasn’t good. Combat was very wand wavy and while the bits of intrigue were mildly interesting the story on the whole felt very forced and didn’t really make sense.

 

Score: 4 out of 10

Game Breaker

https://amzn.to/2ummqk4

 

(Picture 3)

Nightworld: A LitRPG adventure

 

Derek is an old school gamer and refuses to play in the increasingly popular virtual world.

 

One stormy day with nothing to do, his sister talks him into trying the online horror role playing game Night World for one hour. He agrees but when Derek goes to log out and discovers that he can’t.

 

Now he’s trapped in a world not his own with new rules and stranger sights and threats to be discovered. He must learn how to play and more importantly who to trust as he looks for a way out.

 

Welcome to Night World.

 

My Opinion: 94 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

At less than 100 pages, it’s really overpriced at $2.99.

 

A teen gets trapped in a VR game after his little sister blackmails him into playing even though he’s afraid of VR. What follows is are meandering slice of life adventures with little to no connections. It kind of feels like a series of even shorter stories that were stuck together. Some adventures are decent and have interesting fights, but as a whole story it just feels like the main character (MC) pops from place to place without rhyme or reason.

 

The one interesting aspect of the story is that because the MC is stuck in the game during server downtime (which honestly doesn’t make sense, being that the server should be off), he can steal and do whatever he wants. Though there may be some mad players when the server comes back online. Unfortunately, this is only used once in this story and ends up being more of an excuse to make the level 2 vampire seriously overpowered. I mean, seriously. He steals some level 25 armor that makes him immune to damage.

 

Overall, while there were some interesting aspects to the story, it just failed to entertain. The main character goes from whiny coward to overpowered and unkillable in an instant. It felt like the MC never earned his rewards and that there were no stakes to the ‘stuck in the game’ aspect. That coupled with the meandering story, just left me a bit bored.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

Nightworld: A LitRPG adventure

https://amzn.to/2L9gwxu

 

(Picture 4)

Steam Whistle Alley: An Adventure in Augmented Reality

 

An exciting new entry into the emerging GameLit genre, Joshua Mason's Steam Whistle Alley is a thrilling tale which explores what is possible in augmented reality. Everyone on the street that day saw a lunatic wearing strange brass goggles, swinging an invisible sword on the sidewalks of downtown Seattle. But Jacob recognizes what the man is really doing—playing a game in augmented reality. When the game’s creator offers him his own goggles, Jacob enters a city he thinks he knows. But towering monuments of Victorian architecture have replaced the skyscrapers. Airships float between the buildings. Fearsome enemies, from steam-powered rabbits to clockwork werewolves lurk in every shadow.

 

But with the game comes a quest, and to the victors go the deed to Steam Whistle Alley, the social and financial heart of the game. Jacob, his biosynthetic monkey Banjo, and the rest of the team must face off against foes who want the alley for themselves. Some of his adversaries, however, aren’t playing games. They don’t want the alley. They want the company, and the death they bring is not the kind Jacob can respawn from.

 

My Opinion: 488 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

If you like Steampunk, you’ll love this LitRPG story. It combines that genre with an augmented reality system that transforms Seattle, Washington into a steampunk paradise. The author goes deeply into details about all the steampunkified things. Victorian clothing, steam powered machines, magic, and Seattle landmarks with steampunk looks. There’s even a talking monkey with a fancy vest and a monocle.  

 

Unfortunately for me, I don’t like Steampunk. So, while I appreciated the use of augmented reality (which overlays the game over real things in the world) instead of virtual reality (which creates a whole new independent world), the theme just wasn’t my cup of tea. Also, on the whole the augmented reality aspect, while original, didn’t really add anything for me. Just made things overly complicated.

 

The Story is a bit slow in the first 20% with lots of exposition and setup but improves once you get to the first action scene at the 30% mark. There are good characters, good character development, but the story is definitely more adventure than action. There’s also a little bit of romance, and a nice bit of mystery and puzzle solving for the game contest.

 

A few issues I had with the story: The author breaks a few established world rules for the sake of an interesting character or to move the plot forward. The end is pretty wand wavy and the big problem isn't resolved by the MC. There is also a bit of a cliffhanger ending. Relatively minor things but they did lessen my enjoyment of the story a little.

 

Game Mechanic wise, the story doesn’t have particularly deep game mechanics.The RPG game mechanics exists in the story but they’re minimized intentionally. You have a fairly standard stat system, automatic stat point distribution, but the characters have the option to specialize some abilities with skill points. Crafting is also not that detailed, though I did like some of the original designs and creations. Things like quest announcements, level ups, etc mostly come from statements from the MC’s pet monkey. I think the author’s philosophy on the subject comes through in early dialogue from the MC:  “It was the experience that was my whole reason for gaming, the escape - not the stats.”

 

Overall, the Steampunk theme of the story just wasn’t my thing. Because much of the first third of the story is just descriptions about how amazingly steampunk the game made Seattle, it was a bit boring for me. This absolutely changes with the first fight, as the story becomes smaller and more focused on the core group and their adventures. But the end, which felt very wand wavy, lost me again. On the whole, the novel just misses being good for me. By no means is it a bad story, it’s neither boring or poorly written. Steampunk just isn’t my thing. If you like Steampunk and litRPG, you’ll love this story.

 

But for me, it gets a 6 out of 10.

Steam Whistle Alley: An Adventure in Augmented Reality

https://amzn.to/2IWkvZ1

 

(Picture 5)

Fateweaver's Quest

 

Construction starship Silver Hart has been captured. Miles wakes up in contact with aliens who've kidnapped his crew, read their computer files, and stolen his friend's lucky dice. Now he's forced into an alien edition of Fate, a game in which die rolls and luck-bending rules override physics. He's offered unique magic, a word of divine might... but the gamemasters decide that the word should be "Cloth."

 

With this dubious blessing, Miles sets out to find his crewmates and pry answers from Hart's captors, before they decide humans have ceased to amuse them.

 

Part of the "LitRPG" or "GameLit" genre combining game logic with fantasy and science fiction. This story is unusual for using a real tabletop RPG system called Fate.

 

(Fate™ is a trademark of Evil Hat Productions, LLC, and its rules and logo are used with permission.)

 

My Opinion: 230 pages, $3.49, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is a LitRPG story that uses the tabletop game rules from the Fate system.

 

Those game rules come through very clearly and the system is explained clearly throughout the story as it is used. It comes through so clearly, that the story itself feels like a recorded tabletop experience.  All the parts of the Fate system are explained as they are used. There are conversations between the main character (MC) and the alien GM just like there would be in a tabletop game with both player and GM justifying their use of fate points. There is still good RPG progress: gaining new stunts (special abilities), modifying new powers, and organizing and gaining skill points for better rolls. The downside of this is that very little seems to happen without a conversation between the MC and the GM, which sometimes feels like it interrupts the flow of the scene.

 

Storywise, it’s pretty slice of life with a nice bit of magical crafting thrown in. The MC goes through a variety of scenes with little hints given by NPCs and the GM about what he and the rest of the crew need to do to advance the story. Combat isn’t bad, but it’s not great either. It’s the one place where the conversation between the MC and the GM regularly feel like it interrupts the flow. During the other story moments, those conversations add a nice explanation about the MCs thinking as a player. There are a good variety of game situations ranging from puzzles, to straight combat, to social situations, to crafting opportunities.

 

Overall, I enjoyed the story. It takes a risk trying out a RPG system not everyone is familiar with, but does the work of explaining the system to newcomers well. It also does a great job of highlighting one of the core parts of the Fate system, which is the ability to cooperatively storytell and shape the story with fate points, aspects, and stunts.

 

Score: 7.5 out of 10

Fateweaver's Quest

https://amzn.to/2u9sj59

 

(Picture 6)

A Mage Prepared: (The Chronicles of Herst 1: A LitRPG Novel)

 

Yanked across the universe to the land of Herst, Vol Adare must learn his place in it. Or carve out one for himself. It is a world of swords and sorcery, slavery and violence. Here actions have consequences and often, might is right. Vol must build his strength to survive against those that wish for his fall. If he fails all he works for could be taken, along with those he comes to care for.

 

My Opinion: 322 pages, $3.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This quite simply a transported to an RPG game world slice of life story. It’s the main character, Vol, killing monsters, completing quests, leveling up, improving skills, and getting loot. That’s all there really is. Sure, the MC meets some neat people that he kills things with and gets a couple pets to raise, but it’s really mostly just adventuring. There’s no save the world story or reason for him to be on the game world.

 

There are some technical writing issues like awkward sentences, missing words, and mixed tenses that some readers will find distracting. This is especially true in the first part of the story, though that does improve as the story goes on.

 

Overall, not a bad story but it doesn’t quite hit good for me either.  I liked the magic and class progression. The MC chooses a mage class, profession, and subclass, so it was nice to see a caster fight. However, the writing had some technical issues that distracted from the slice of life story too much.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

A Mage Prepared: (The Chronicles of Herst 1: A LitRPG Novel)

https://amzn.to/2KWQpcJ

 

(Picture 7)

Earth Tactics Advance Volume 2: Welcome to the Second Stage

 

Life, love, quirky musical numbers, there has never been an apocalypse quite like this one. Return to the world of Earth Tactics Advance. Beset by the rules of a turn-based tactical survival horror dating sim, witness the efforts of the hot new rising faction 'Team Badass' as they try to find their place in the new world order. Life lived one-turn at a time can be hard on the best of days, but a new light shines in the darkness. Can they make the hard choices to ensure their survival?

 

Welcome to the Second Stage!

 

My Opinion: 231 pages, $3.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

One of the only turn based LitRPG stories. Scottie Futch does something few writers could, and makes even waiting between turns entertaining.

 

The story is slice of life, but that doesn't detract from all the good action and leveling. New town building aspects are introduced and the MC gets a new unique class that adds some new ways for him to upgrade. While the storyline gets a little harem at the end, there is no sex in the novel, though there are sex jokes.

 

Overall, a good read if you’ve read book 1. If you haven’t, go read book 1 it’s good too.

 

Score: 7.6 out of 10

Earth Tactics Advance Volume 2: Welcome to the Second Stage

https://amzn.to/2NIWBDN



 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

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

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

Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  

 

Other LitRPG facebook pages

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

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

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

 

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


 

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

 

(Music 4)

 

Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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


 

LitRPG Podcast 123

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 123

July 6th, 2018

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 123 of the LitRPG podcast.

 

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


 

New Releases and Reviews:

Valley of Death (Apocalypse Gates Author's Cut Book 2) (09:33)

Monster killing, leveling, settlement building. Good stuff but definitely for adults.

Score: 7.4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2tIJL01

 

Alpha: Book One in the Jaro Trilogy (15:15)

Has some issues but good action, and an interesting game setup.

Score: 7.4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2MhfQCX

 

March of the gnomes (ArcOn Book 1)LitRPG (26:57)

Interesting setup with gnomes, but MC never felt like she earned anything. Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2yMHeXJ

 

Clerical Error: A Challenge of Vircon Adventure Book 1 (32:42)

A grind to read about a level grind.

Score: 5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2KuM1Sh

 

The Two Week Curse (Ten Realms Book 1) (37:11)

If you like Emerilia, you’ll like this.

Score: 7.6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2ze3dHg



 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News

 

 

Luke Chmilenko put up some new art work for his Ascend Online LitRPG series. I’m guessing it’s the main character, Marcus.

 

 

Aleron Kong, author of the Chaos Seeds series, recently did an interview with Gaming Mommies on Facebook Live. They talked a bit about what LitRPG is and the Chaos Seed series.

https://www.facebook.com/GamingMommies/videos/2267749506570261/

 

 

Blaise Corvin, author of the Nora Hazard series, Secret of the Old Ones, and Delvers LLC series, recently did an interview with a new interview podcast called Game Reads. They talk about Blaise’s books, GameLit, and of course weapons and armor.

 

Game Reads is hosted and produced by Sean Callahan, a nice guy and fan of the LitRPG and GameLit. I even helped him with the intro explanation video to the podcast.

https://youtu.be/xnnESw7ps1o

 

 

I was recently on Druken Dice, a video podcast where ‘the dice aren’t the only things loaded.’ Charles Dean’s latest podcast where he and some friends play a tabletop RPG. This week it was a custom FATE game, Blaise Corvin was the GM, Jeff Hayes, Dakota Krout, Charles, and myself were all players. It was really fun and I encourage you to go watch us drink, get silly, and try to survive our murderous GM.

https://youtu.be/8YQATKCCA0s


 

Out Now!  

 

 

World War VR 2 - Escalation

https://amzn.to/2MPvN3H

-Republish of the 2nd book in the Nagant Wars series. New title, new cover art, new publisher that paid for some rewrites and editing.


 

 

Steam Whistle Alley: An Adventure in Augmented Reality

https://amzn.to/2IWkvZ1


 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

Stone Raiders' Return : Emerilia, Volume 6

https://amzn.to/2Ky8puA

Our review of the ebook: Score 7 out of 10

http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/6/6/stone-raiders-return-emerilia-book-6


 

 

War Aeternus 2: Sacrifices

https://amzn.to/2KSwIjb

Our review of the e-book: Score: 7.6 outof 10 http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2018/5/10/war-aeternus-2-sacrifices

 

 

Accidental Mage: LitRPG Accidental Traveler Adventure, Book 3

https://amzn.to/2IVsohp

Our review of the ebook:  Score: 7 out of 10

http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2018/1/4/accidental-mage-book-three-in-the-litrpg-accidental-traveler-adventure

 

 

Outpost: Monsters, Maces and Magic Series, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2lUlNdP

Our review of the ebook: Score 6 out of 10

http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2018/3/15/outpost-a-litrpg-adventure-monsters-maces-and-magic-book-1


 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

 

Restart (Level Up Book #1) LitRPG Series (July 10th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2HqRNDu

 

 

Regicide (The Completionist Chronicles Book 2) (July 16th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2tYThw0

 

 

External Threat (Reality Benders Book #2) LitRPG Series (July 23rd, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2KA1Jsf

 

 

Sleeping Player (Project Chrysalis Book 3) (July 31st, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2MuZ7vW

 

 

The Curse of Hurlig Ridge: World Tree Online: 1st Dive  (Aug. 1st, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2Nc9DJG

 

 

Death March (Euphoria Online - Book 1) (Aug. 7th, 2018)

 

 

Raven Vex: A LitRPG Saga (The Binding Book 2)

(Aug. 30th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2sPdcfF

 

 

Freehaven Online:  Lady Thunderlord, Into Hades (Book 2)

(Sept. 26, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2ID8Kq4

 

 

Freehaven Online:  Winter Dungeonland (Book 3) (Nov. 21st, 2108)

 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

Valley of Death (Apocalypse Gates Author's Cut Book 2)

 

Alvin had a rough week.

 

Thrown into a digital death-game, Apocalypse Gates, with only his wits and a less than helpful AI handler, Alvin’s prospects for survival looked bleak.

 

Managing not only to survive, but to thrive, he helped build a Settlement of survivors in Green River, Utah. Along the way he met the very sexy and broken Gothy.

 

He’s taken on the undead, mutated bugs and animals, and the worst possible enemy—other people—and triumphed. Nothing looked like it would be a major problem… except for the flight of dragons.

 

Now the Gates are opening, and Alvin and Gothy are heading out along the roads of America. They’ll need to earn XP, upgrade their stats and gear, found new Settlements, find allies, and hope they survive long enough to explore the world and each other.

 

The end of the world had come, and a new one awaits. Welcome back to Apocalypse Gates.

 

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

 

My Opinion: 350 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

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

 

This is a fun action filled story. It’s mostly a travel story with Alvin and Gothy on the road, killing monsters, schooling survivors about the new systems, and sometimes killing some folks that need killing. They have some really neat adventurers, but things are just going to get more difficult now that the Apocalypse Gates have opened and all manner of crazy fantastical creatures are coming into the world.

 

Be warned, there are some graphics sex scenes, lots of cursing, and lots of graphic violence. This is not a nice cuddly world and is written with adults in mind. I skipped the sex scenes, but they are fairly regular at about one every 15% or so of the story. Overall, the sex is only about 10% of the story. It’s definitely more about the action, monster killing, leveling up, and settlement founding.

 

Overall, though the sex in the story isn’t my thing, it also didn’t distract from the story and made total contextual sense. The action and adventure stuff is nice and thrilling. I particularly liked the last couple of adventures in the story that pull in more supernatural elements. I also just liked the many flirty, cute moments between Alvin and Gothy.

 

The author was nice enough to let me know what that song was that the MC and Gothy sing. It’s “Curvy Girls” by the The Jolly Rogers.

 

Score: 7.4 out of 10

Valley of Death (Apocalypse Gates Author's Cut Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2tIJL01


 

(Picture 2)

Alpha: Book One in the Jaro Trilogy

 

A group of friends are hired to test a new game linked to a powerful corporation. They soon find out that they are not just testing the game, but helping to create it.

 

Outside the game, the past of one catches up to him, which has consequences for all of them.

 

Which will affect them the most, real life or the game?

 

*Warning: Cussing, guns, explosions and sarcasm found within

 

My Opinion: 366 pages, $2.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is the author’s first novel and the novel blurb doesn’t begin to hint at some of the cool aspects of the story.

 

The novel has a slow start, and there are issues with character descriptions in the beginning. However, once you get to the game (about the 12% mark), it gets better and from that point on there is regular action in-game and out.

 

Storywise, this is as advertised. It’s about Jim, a kind of paranoid former military man, and his tabletop gaming friends getting a chance to test out the most advanced VR game ever made. It’s so advanced, that not only do they feel like they are there, but that with some time skips, they actually influence the history and culture of the people they’re tasked with leading.  Additionally, IRL, Jim’s made some enemies that come after him and have their own interesting story arcs.

 

The game mechanics in the story are a mixed bag. Because the game is in Alpha development, some of the mechanics change with every task and are gradually revealed. Sometimes the characters roll their stats, other times their assigned based on their real life capabilities. Sometimes there are health and stamina bars, other times not. It’s an evolving system that changes based on player feedback in the story. But there is always RPG progression with a consistent skills system.

 

Things I liked:

 

Real life story was as interesting, if not more interesting sometimes, as the game stuff.

 

The action scenes in the story are well written and exciting. Though the real life ones had more intensity.

 

It’s not set in another fantasy world. Instead, there’s a series of tasks given to the players to influence how the game’s history plays out. If they fail their tasks, the people they’re assigned may die out in the tribal phase. If they use brutal methods, that country may become war like as they progress to city building. It’s an interesting mechanic with an almost alternate history story vibe.

 

The main character (MC) has a great personality and I almost immediately cared about him and I rooted for him to succeed the entire story.

 

There is a really great action scene in the middle of the novel. Like surprisingly good, high-octane, action.


 

A few issues in the story:

 

No character descriptions early in the story. Neither the main character (MC) or his group of friends gets a physical description. I know some authors go for a minimalists approach to physical descriptions, preferring to let readers fill in an image. But not having any for these characters, for me at least, meant that it was hard for me to create any kind of mental image of the MC or his friends. Additionally, though there’s lots of personality traits revealed about the friends in the story, because I didn’t have an image of anyone in my mind none of those characteristics had anything to anchor to. Thus, all the friends became kind of interchangeable. Only the MC’s personality stuck as and that’s just because we spend so much time with him.

 

Cutaways. There are fairly regular scenes in the story where it’s following the main character and his friends in the game and then there’s a break and the scene cuts away to the game AI talking to another employee or some bad guy talking, then another break and then the story returns to the MC and his friends. I don’t mind the information, but the cut away almost always broke the flow of that scene.

 

There’s a huge amazing fight scene in the middle of the story that is so good, it makes the rest of the fights in the story feel less exciting by comparison. I know, it’s  weird thing to think is off, but it almost felt like that big action scene should have been the end of the novel and not the middle. It was so good, it felt like the climax of the story. It’s kind of a pacing issue.

 

The end of the story feels a little out of place. It’s a well written and has lots of action, which is good. But, without getting spoilery, things happen that just feel out of place with the rest of the story. It sort of feels like the novel dips into another genre at the end.

 

---

Overall, I enjoyed the story. Though it has issues, the original game design concepts and action were engaging enough to keep me reading.

 

Score: 7.4 out of 10

Alpha: Book One in the Jaro Trilogy

https://amzn.to/2MhfQCX

 

(Picture 3)

March of the gnomes (ArcOn Book 1)LitRPG

 

Sometimes it takes a noob.

Alexis joins a struggling Gnome race in a Virtual online game called ArcOn. As a complete newbie in gaming she has some rather unorthodox approaches to encounters that normal gamers likely would not even have thought of doing. As her online character Yllo Tinkerpuff, she makes some weird choices that work for her. She goes from encounter to encounter using her ‘logic’ to solve them. This is fortunate because with her stats she is more dangerous to herself in a fight than to her opposition.

The Gnomes have to be careful to ensure they do not get stopped again. Their previous problems all seem to point to an individual or group targeting the race to make it fail. Luckily the Gnomes now have an unorthodox noob, a colorful spider, a bored AI and new friends to help them move forward.

This is literature role-playing- game novel with light use of in-game mechanics, statistics and items.

 

My Opinion: 198 pages, $2.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The story has an interesting concept. Take the worst player race in this VR game, a gnome, and work to make it among the best and most powerful. However, the actual execution in the story leaves something to be desired, mainly that the main character feels like she earns something.

 

I’ll be honest, the first 29% of this story is a little boring and there are semi-regular technical writing mistakes that make the dialogue feel stilted. The main character (MC), Alexis, decides to play a VR game and is forced to be a gnome. She chooses a rare class and gets into a fight she should never have one and gets a bunch of rewards it feels like she shouldn’t have gotten. The story gets better after the 30% mark, but I almost put the book down because I wasn’t really feeling it.

 

After the 30% mark, things really do get more interesting. Crafting is introduced, town building, dungeon diving, and pet raising. Lots of good storytelling opportunities. There certainly are some nice stories that are told. I especially like some of the small background tales and personalities for secondary characters like Scarlett and Igor.

 

However, recurring issues in the story kept me from really enjoying things. Issues like contradictions in the story and the feeling that everything is either forced or handed to the MC on a silver platter. In the case of contradictions there are things established early in the story, like that the MC isn’t a gamer, that are later contradicted when she starts using a bunch of gamer terms and referencing game mechanics she shouldn’t know about yet. In the case of things being handed to the MC. Well, just about every fight feels that way, but especially the 1st fight. She defeats a level 35 boss monster when she’s just level 1. Without copious amounts of preparation, there’s just no way she should have won that fight. Lots of the good things that happen to the MC feel that way. One of the most common phrases among the other gnome players use when talking to the MC is ‘now why didn’t we ever think of that?’ Because the MC magically is the one to solve all their problems with revolutionary ideas like fighting in groups, talking to all the NPCs, organizing players, or choosing a particular skill.  

 

Overall, while there were some very good ideas and story moments, on the whole it just misses being good for me because it felt like the MC lacked agency sometimes and that she never earned or suffered for the great outcomes that she got.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

March of the gnomes (ArcOn Book 1)LitRPG

https://amzn.to/2yMHeXJ

 

(Picture 4)

Clerical Error: A Challenge of Vircon Adventure Book 1

 

Daria Jackson hasn’t entered NeuroNet to play Challenge of Vircon since her tanking husband passed away. A newly single mom, she quit VR esports to develop biofarming hardware for deep space exploration.

 

For ten years Daria’s cheered her kids on as they fought their way up CoV leaderboards. While cleaning their VR cabinets, a forgotten login protocol drops her at level one in the game world she almost ruled. Strange glitches and odd throwbacks from her past hint at a ghost in the machine related to her family.

 

Daria’s weekend project is supposed to be writing a speech to present her Perpetual Biofarming Unit at Earthsplorer Command. But now she’s caught up in CoV, leveling up to unearth a mystery. Can Daria choose between the game and her real-world responsibilities?

 

My Opinion: 169 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

First, the unbelievable premise of a mom who was a former esports star, now ready to retire biologist with a Phd at age 37, who just happens to get trapped in a VR game while cleaning her kid’s gaming pods.

 

In addition to that, the story is kind of boring and devolves to a grind to read while reading about a level grind. The story is basically about this trapped mom who is forced to play a set of challenges with two randomly chosen players. It ends up being: Kill mobs and boss, get loot, repeat. There are some minor sub plots with her trying to flirt with another player and a minor thread about who forced her to stay logged in. However, mostly a level grind story. Unfortunately, even as they level, the player’s powers don’t change and at most they get new powers from their gear so the levels don’t even mean much.

 

The action scenes are decently described and there’s a punny sense of humor. But it’s a series of fights and not much else. It gets pretty boring, pretty quickly.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

Clerical Error: A Challenge of Vircon Adventure Book 1

https://amzn.to/2KuM1Sh

 

(Picture 5)

The Two Week Curse (Ten Realms Book 1)

 

Thrust into a situation they don't want to be in, to many it would leave them panicked, for man they would feel fear. Erik and Rugrat aren't different in that regard, but instead of being immobilized it gives them something to look forward to. Two weeks ago, Erik lost his legs and his arm.

 

Today he got a new message.

 

You have been randomly selected to join the Ten Realms. One may choose to ascend the Ten Realms, thereupon making a request to the Gods of the Realms.

 

Only those who are Level 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90 may ascend to the next realm.

 

Fortune favors the strong!

 

For a retired combat medic and Marine Recon sniper, the Ten Realms provides a clear challenge and sense of purpose that they haven't found anywhere but the battlefield.

 

How much trouble can you get into in a new realm?

 

My Opinion: 583 pages, $5.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

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

 

This is an entertaining story that fans of the Emerillia series will enjoy. If you didn’t like that series though, you might not care for this one either. Going through the middle of the story I got a very Emerilia vibe. Great if you like that series, which I do. It has similar aspects with town building and town defense but also introduces new game and story elements. It’s a very action oriented story but also has lots of RPG leveling, magical theorizing combined with cultivation concepts.

 

Score: 7.6 out of 10

The Two Week Curse (Ten Realms Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2ze3dHg



 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

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

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

Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  

 

Other LitRPG facebook pages

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

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

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

 

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


 

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

 

(Music 4)

 

Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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


 

LitRPG Podcast 122

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 122

June 29th, 2018

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 122 of the LitRPG podcast.

 

I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews.  I have 1 update, and 3 new LitRPG reviews just for you.


 

New Releases and Reviews:

Stormbane: A soft LitRPG adventure (18:36)

New Cover, older book

https://amzn.to/2MW9gD9

 

Glitch Book One (The Glitch Series) (22:46)

Technical writing errors distract from a potentially neat slice of life post apocalyptic LitRPG story. Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2Ml0Aot

Gunslinger's Code - The First Exploit: A litRPG romp through a Wild, Weird West that never was… (30:36)

West World inspired LitRPG that heavily separates RPG parts. Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2lyZjig

End of an Era (Project Chrysalis Book 2) (41:23)

Good mini story arcs and interesting use of game powers in a fight. Score: 7.4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2IIZDVP

 

 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News

 

 

Harmon Cooper has some nice merchandise for his novels that he’s put up on his site. Some of it’s pretty cool, especially if you’re a fan of his work.

https://harmoncooper.bigcartel.com/

 

 

 

 

Aleron Kong put up some new artwork for Scion, the friend and companion for the main character in the Chaos Seeds saga.

 

Additionally, Book 7 of the Chaos Seeds saga, written by Aleron Kong, is out as an audiobook finally. There are reports of download issued because it’s a massive 47 hour audiobook, one of the longest on audible that’s not a compilation. To celebrate this, Aleron is doing a 7 day giveaway, giving away merch that he’s had made: calendars, maps, physical books, mouse pads, and more.

https://www.facebook.com/LitRPGbooks/videos/680246662314673/


 

 

Vasily Mahanenko revealed some more artwork this week from the Way of the Shaman series. This time for Mahan, who I always personally thought would have dark hair.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1872721676147578&set=gm.813849288810760&type=3&theater&ifg=1

 

 

In the last few weeks I’ve talked about Amazon’s response to black market paid for page reads. While the company has tried to address a problem, they’ve also taken away legitimate page reads, suspended innocent author’s accounts, and threatened them with permanent bans for the bad acts of other people. Even though Amazon has more recently lightened their response by not automatically suspending author’s accounts, they are still taking hundreds and even thousands of dollars worth of page reads from author’s enrolled in the Kindle Unlimited program without proof of wrongdoing and with the vague evidence of ‘suspicious page reads’.

 

As a result, many author’s made the decision to take their novels out of the Kindle Unlimited program, which requires exclusivity. A group of LitRPG authors who were negatively impacted by Amazon’s responses have not only published their titles to Amazon now but to iTunes, iBooks, Google books, Barnes & Noble, and a host of other sites including Scribd and Kobo, who have a KU like unlimited reader subscription programs.

 

I’ll be highlighting each author’s work on the LitRPG Podcast Facebook group and on our website to help spread the word about their work.

 

Universal Links for these Author’s works

 

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

https://www.books2read.com/ap/8P1PLx/RA-Mejia

- RJ Castiglione's Fjorgyn: A Rebel Rises: https://www.books2read.com/ap/xdyJQR/RJ-Castiglione  

- Dawn Chapman's Desert Runner: https://www.books2read.com/ap/8GGNM8/Dawn-Chapman  

- Michael Chatfield's Emerilia:

http://books2read.com/u/bMQXQB  

- G.R. Cooper - Author's Shepherd Moon: Omegaverse 1: https://amzn.to/2MpnpHT  

- K.T. Hanna's Initializing:

https://www.books2read.com/Initializing

- Lars Machmüller, Writer's The Wayward Bard: https://www.books2read.com/u/bzPWQ2  

- WD Nix, Author's Avatar Online Launch: https://books2read.com/u/m0gkpP

 

-Stephen Morse : Continue Online

-Prax Venter: Enthralled

 

 

 

Out Now!  

 

 

Alpha: Book One in the Jaro Trilogy

https://amzn.to/2MhfQCX

1st novel, and moderator in some LitRPG Facebook groups.

 

 

The Final Quest: (Bloodfeast Book 3)  

https://amzn.to/2MjbnzO

190 pg


 

 

Blademage Dragontamer

https://amzn.to/2N8jHDM

 

 

Ascend: A World of Ga'em LitRPG (The Chaos Emperor Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2yXDEd4

 

 

March of the gnomes (ArcOn Book 1)LitRPG

https://amzn.to/2yMHeXJ

 

 

Fight of the gnomes (ArcOn Book 2) LitRPG

https://amzn.to/2MrUYca


 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

Travail Online: Resurrection (A LitRPG Series, Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2Izbx3L

 

 

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

https://amzn.to/2tOxgPC

 

 

Space Knight, Book 2

https://amzn.to/2yTV62o

 

 

Eden's Gate: The Arena (A LitRPG Adventure, Book 4)

https://amzn.to/2tQQh4e



 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

 

Accidental Raider: Book 2 in a LitRPG Swashbuckler Trilogy (Accidental Champion) (June 29th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2MiKDzk


 

 

Apocalypse Gates 2: Valley of Death  (July 1st, 2018)

 

 

The Two Week Curse (July 4th, 2018)

**Ooohh, Michael Chatfield has a new LitRPG story, so excited!!**

 

 

Restart (Level Up Book #1) LitRPG Series (July 10th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2HqRNDu

 

 

External Threat (Reality Benders Book #2) LitRPG Series (July 23rd, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2KA1Jsf

 

 

Sleeping Player (Project Chrysalis Book 3) (July 31st, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2MuZ7vW

 

 

Death March (Euphoria Online - Book 1) (Aug. 7th, 2018)

 

 

Raven Vex: A LitRPG Saga (The Binding Book 2)

(Aug. 30th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2sPdcfF


 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

Stormbane: A soft LitRPG adventure

 

My Opinion: 124 pages, $2.99, Not available on Kindle Unlimited

 

I purchased this story, it’s not on KU, only to realize as I was going through it that I’d already read it. Originally published July 2016, this is a relaunch of the same story with a different cover. I personally don’t mind paying twice for it, I’ll support an author whose work I enjoy, but other people might feel tricked because there is no mention of it being a republish anywhere in the novel description and this is a completely new novel page from the original, my original links don’t work.

 

From the novel’s back material, it seems like part of the reason for the relaunched is to try and promote/market a video game the author links to.

 

Update: 6/26/18

 

The author contacted me to clarify why he decided to do an relaunch instead of updating the original version. He also said that he'd be updating the novel's description to be more clear that this is a relaunch and should rightly be considered a 2nd edition of the novel.

 

"Also, here's my reasoning behind the relaunch rather than simply updating the original version. It's all down to the Amazon algorithms. The original Stormbane sold very few copies, mostly due to my complete inability to do marketing at the time, but also partly due to it being the very early days of LitRPG back then. You were one of a select few, Ramon. I honestly didn't think there'd be any crossover and so didn't make a big deal about it being a relaunch. My mistake.

 

The problem is that Amazon's algorithms are both wonderful and brutal. If sales are good, Amazon automatically promotes your book harder. If sales are bad, Amazon actually pushes your book into the background in favour of better sellers. Once you're in that terrible position, there's honestly no comeback. It's like an Obscurity Curse! The only way to get around that is to relaunch your book with a new ASIN.”

 

The author also mentioned that he did do some revisions to the story to keep it in line with the game he promotes in the back material of the novel.

 

It’s still an enjoyable read and has a strong female main character. Though it is light on the game mechanic details and no real numbers. But there’s leveling and a story told from the POV of the NPCs. It’s humorous and sad sometimes too.

 

Stormbane: A soft LitRPG adventure

https://amzn.to/2MW9gD9

 

Glitch Book One (The Glitch Series)

 

Max, a rather plain guy, finds himself inside a post-apocalyptic survival roleplaying video game. He has no idea how he has ended up in the virtual reality or how to quit it. He has no choice but to play the game.

 

Shortly afterward, he learns that the game is quite harsh and cruel. Max finds out that in order to survive he has to scavenge, gather various resources, craft warm clothes and armor, upgrade weapons and vehicles, and so on.

 

Moreover, the entire game world is a full-on PvP zone. So Max has to not only fight brutal mutants but also protect himself against gamers who have teamed up in order to ratchet up their chances of survival as well as against high-leveled players who take great pleasure in murdering newbies.

 

And all the while Max has been trying to find out what has befallen him, how he has gotten in the videogame, and whether or not there is any chance of exiting the game. Bit by bit he gleans more and more information about the game. He finds out that the game is full of bugs. Later on he also learns that he himself is some kind of a glitch. Unlike all the other players, he feels pain in the game and can interact with some game objects while all the other players cannot…

 

My Opinion: 109 pages, $1.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Note: This story is filled with technical writing errors. Many of the sentences, while technically ok, are just worded oddly and feel like they were almost translated from another language. It’s going to bug some readers. Examples: ‘I bended over’ instead of ‘I bent over’. ‘I clenched the fist’ instead of ‘clenched my fist’.

 

I’m not really sure how to describe the novel. It actually feels like a combination of two different shorter stories that were put together.

 

The first half of the story is very on the rails. The main character (MC) Max, wakes up and discovers very slowly that he’s trapped in a game. He follows quest after quest learning the game mechanics until he leaves. No interactions with other players here, but notifications about their deaths.

 

The second half of the story is almost the opposite. It’s just the MC running around a sandbox world killing stuff, getting some levels, being killed by other players, and upgrading his powers a bit. There really isn’t a plot or even a goal and the story just ends with a promise of more serialized stories to come.

 

Game mechanics-wise, I like the combination of survival elements with a psychic magic system and post apocalyptic theme. The game mechanics themselves felt well thought out and balanced. I wouldn’t have chosen the same class that the MC did but there was definitely enough detail for me to plan a character.

 

Overall, I think many readers are going be heavily distracted by the technical writing issue. The story itself ends up being very slice of life, just following the MC as he does stuff without a plot. While I liked the described game mechanics, everything else felt very unfocused. I’d probably read another novel in the series, but this one didn’t quite reach good for me.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Glitch Book One (The Glitch Series)

https://amzn.to/2Ml0Aot

 

Gunslinger's Code - The First Exploit: A litRPG romp through a Wild, Weird West that never was...

 

Delphi isn't a gamer, and just because practically everyone else has embraced Absolute Reality doesn't mean she sees the appeal.

 

But High Noon is fundamentally different from the games that have come before it. It takes place in your mind, and once she steps into that Wild West that never was, a raucous free-for-all filled to the brim with Demonic pacts, body-modders, steampunk Technicals and Gunslinging miscreants, the game's most-lauded feature takes the reins:

 

None of the players know they're playing. High Noon is as real as life, right up until it isn't.

 

And if Delphi wants her inheritance in the real world, she has to find the township of Hope Springs.

And dig…

 

Gunslinger’s Code is the first book in a sprawling litRPG series that will rebuild a Weird West that wasn’t. Once readers finish each episode, they’ll be able to influence the events that take place in the next book. So, strap on your six-shooter, power up your mini-boiler and hope the Devil himself don’t come calling!

 

My Opinion: 183 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is an interesting take on LitRPG and is heavily influenced by the TV show West World. The main character (MC) Delphi Valentine is trying to find her inheritance in a game world that takes full immersion to the next level by making players forget they’re in a game. Instead they have memories implanted and experience adventures as their characters.

 

Game mechanic-wise, there are some original stats, standard leveling, and some well themed skill and abilities that the MC can get. Unfortunately, the only time you see these game mechanics is during sleep periods or when the MC finds a special place. Then the MC is fully aware of the game, upgrades skills, levels, sees how far she’s advanced in quests and achievements. But once she wakes up, all that is supressed and it’s not mentioned. About half way through the story a way to introduce these game elements into the story pops up with another player having ‘the sight’ and is able to see percentages about weapons and upgrades that have added extra damage. But the MC herself doesn’t have this.

 

Storywise, this is very slice of life. There are long term goals the MC has and there’s a nice introduction to the world section, but it’s mostly the MC adventuring, talking to herself, and exploring this world. The West World influence is clearly seen by the western theme, but also the plot idea that everyone you meet in the story is either a NPC construct or a player with their memories suppressed playing a role without knowing it. The small adventures that the MC goes on are interesting, but they feel like a series of short stories that are connected together. Also, the ending is a little abrupt. The story is meant to be part of a longer serial series so it kind of makes sense that it’s a sudden ‘to be continued’ kind of ending but it left a lot of things unresolved.

 

Overall, I think this just barely has enough to be considered LitRPG and that’s only because of the introduction of game mechanics to the main story at the half-way mark. Otherwise the RPG aspects felt very isolated and there is no clear impact of them on the story which makes them feel less important. There are hints that this may change in future novels, but for now it just wasn’t a satisfying read for me.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Gunslinger's Code - The First Exploit: A litRPG romp through a Wild, Weird West that never was...

https://amzn.to/2lyZjig

 

End of an Era (Project Chrysalis Book 2)

 

Test your might.

 

This world is bigger than you could ever imagine. Chrysalis is full of danger, giant raid-bosses, guilds of skillful fighters and gods, whose power is both enormous and infinite. Too bad Anji has unwillingly crossed the path of so many of them.

 

His simple wish to be happy with at least virtual parents has turned into a disaster. To delete the character and start over again was the simplest way out. But not for Anji. He has already faced Death himself, walked over fire fields of Hell and his crusade is far from over.

 

In order to face this world with his head held high, Anji will do his best to become stronger, no matter what it takes him, no matter how much of forbidden magic he will have to use. Even if it means becoming a monster people fear more than Death.

 

Still, Anji’s social skills, psychological and emotional conditions continue to worry adults. Betrayed and wounded so deeply by people he thought he could trust, will he ever be able to communicate properly, to find his own place in a real world… to find someone, anyone, to trust, a friend, a comrade-in-arms? And what if that friend is not quite human?

 

Life changes for those who are full of determination and ready to act. And Anji is not the only one willing to fight for his selfish goals. The world of Chrysalis is at the edge of a new era. The hordes of undead, led by ancient gods, prove again and again how easy it is to tear apart young guilds. This is not a war fought by humans, as they might have led you to believe; this is a sphere for the gods to fight.

 

My Opinion: 176 pages, $5.99, Not on Kindle Unlimited

 

Definitely a bit expensive for the page count but if you enjoyed book 1, this is a worthwhile read. In just about every way, this is a more refined version of book 1. It leaves behind much of the real world drama and focuses on the in-game storyline. It’s still very slice of life, but there main character (MC) has some very clear goals he’s looking to accomplish and the story overall feels more focused. In addition to the interesting combat situations where the MC uses the powers he established in book 1, there are some really neat story arcs that include his search for his parents, a test for a elite Hunter organization, and some gods looking to put the hurt on the MC.

 

Overall, I had a good time reading the story and it went by surprisingly quick. I’ll definitely pick up book 3 to see where the story goes.

 

Score: 7.4 out of 10

End of an Era (Project Chrysalis Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2IIZDVP

 


 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

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

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

Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  

 

Other LitRPG facebook pages

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

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

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

 

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


 

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

 

(Music 4)

 

Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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


 

LitRPG Podcast 121

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 121

June 22nd, 2018

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 121 of the LitRPG podcast.

I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews.  I have 5 new LitRPG reviews just for you. Oddly, this week was pretty light on new LitRPG ebook releases. There are actually more new LitRPG audiobooks.

 

New Releases and Reviews:

 

  1. Virtual Heaven: (A scifi, soft litrpg, in the vein of ready player one) (08:42)

https://amzn.to/2K4RThw

Not LitRPG as advertised. Score: 4 out of 10

  1. The Slayer: A litRPG Saga (Aether Gate Online Book 1) (10:34)

https://amzn.to/2K888dT

Many story issues made it too frustrating a read. Score: 4 out of 10

  1. Killstreak Book One: Respawn: An Epic Fantasy LitRPG  (30:07)

https://amzn.to/2KP2yNq

Never connected with the characters. Score: 6 out of 10.

  1. Loki's Daughter The Opal Dungeon: A LitRPG Novel (Tales of the Opal Dungeon Book 1) (36:44)

https://amzn.to/2JIaCDg

Poor distribution of dungeon building and dungeon diving made is just shy of good. Score: 6 out of 10.

  1. Fortress of Shadows: A LitRPG and GameLit Adventure (Stonehaven League Book 2) (43:32)

https://amzn.to/2lnfizR

An improvement on an already good book 1. Score: 7.6 out of 10.


 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News

 

 

Simon Vale, from Magic Dome books was nice enough to post a translation he did for an answer from Michael Atamanov about whether there will be a 4th Dark Herbalist book.

 

“I’m starting to write this week as soon as I finish editing the third Reality Benders. I hope to finish it in October. For now I’m not sure if the fourth book is going to be the series final. But taking into account what I’ve already planned for it – probably not. Events in the book will mostly take place in reality, though there will be plenty of in-game stuff too. Perhaps, some of you have already guessed who’s been tombed in book 3 (it wasn’t Timothy)… Anyway, after that there will be a huge squabbling around the richest corporation of the planet.”

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPG.books/permalink/1853053674717960/

 

 

Vasily Mahanenko, author of the Way of the Shaman, Galacticon, and Dark Paladin series, recently posted about his some of his plans for the future.

 

  • Finish writing Galactogon book 2 by end of year.

  • Already finished 2nd Bard book (off to translators) and working on 3rd.

  • New Barliona series, called Invasion, set right after Way of Shaman book 7 but without Mahan as main character. The story will have a new main character that follows up with Mahan and Anastaria.

  • Planning huge compilation book for whole way of the shaman series and supplemental material: short stories, art, etc.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPG.books/permalink/1848037285219599/


 

Out Now!  

 

(none)

 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

The Bathrobe Knight: Volume 3

https://amzn.to/2MdnNci

 

 

The Province: A Futuristic Dungeon Core: The Laboratory, Book 5

https://amzn.to/2KbnsGj

 

 

A Gamer's Wish Hidden Wishes, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2K9BOdQ

Our review of the ebook: Score 7/10

http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2018/4/5/a-gamers-wish-a-gamelit-series-hidden-wishes-book-1?rq=a%20gamer%27s%20wish


 

 

Playing for Keeps: Alpha World, Book 4

https://amzn.to/2troaYT

Our review of the ebook: Score 7/10

http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2018/3/1/playing-for-keeps-alpha-world-book-4?rq=playing%20for%20keeps

 

 

Countdown: Reality Benders Series, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2McrC1q

Our review of the ebook: Score 7/10

http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2018/4/26/countdown-reality-benders-book-1-litrpg-series?rq=reality%20benders


 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

 

The Final Quest: (Bloodfeast Book 3)  (June 22nd, 2018)

 

 

End of an Era (Project Chrysalis Book 2) (June 26th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2IIZDVP

 

 

Apocalypse Gates 2: Valley of Death  (July 1st, 2018)

 

 

Restart (Level Up Book #1) LitRPG Series (July 10th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2HqRNDu

 

 

External Threat (Reality Benders Book #2) LitRPG Series (July 23rd, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2KA1Jsf

 

 

Death March (Euphoria Online - Book 1) (Aug. 7th, 2018)

 

 

Raven Vex: A LitRPG Saga (The Binding Book 2)

(Aug. 30th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2sPdcfF


 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

 

Virtual Heaven: (A scifi, soft litrpg, in the vein of ready player one)

 

 

Originally published in Nov 2017, this novel was recently updated with the added title 'A scifi, soft litrpg, in the vein of ready player one'. It's neither LitRPG or particularly like Ready Player One. There is a VR system involved and some mind uploading but that's the extent of the connection to those things. No RPG game world, no RPG progression. The story may have other redeeming qualities but it sets up an expectation, intentionally or not, that it's not hitting for readers of either of those two things.

 

Score: 4 out of 10

Virtual Heaven: (A scifi, soft litrpg, in the vein of ready player one)

https://amzn.to/2K4RThw

 

(Picture 2)

The Slayer: A litRPG Saga (Aether Gate Online Book 1)

 

“Raise your blade. Take up the mantle of Slayer.”

 

Adam’s life was anything but easy. With people at both school and home eager to make his life a living hell, the only place that he felt like himself was in the virtual world. At least there he had some control.

 

When the newest VRMMORPG title gets announced, Adam and his best friend Max are more than ready to dive in. Launch day arrives quickly, and Adam is plunged into a world that’s more immersive than anything he’s experienced before. Although the game offers a bevy of character choices, Adam quickly chooses the title of Slayer, a class that specializes in taking down stronger, more difficult opponents. Adam begins his adventure, but its not long before he realizes that there’s much more at stake when taking a life in this new game. The pain is very real and death… is permanent.

 

Now, trapped in a virtual world, Adam must take the mantle of Zander Darkblade and brave the dangers of the Aether Gate. It is a world of mighty creatures and fallen gods. A world where powerful familiars bond with their masters, granting them extraordinary powers that they wield with uncanny force…. and as Adam and the others will soon discover, it is a world of secrets that have laid hidden for far too long...

 

Welcome to Aether Gate Online

 

My Opinion: 304 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Note: There is an early typo, that the author has submitted an update for, with the years in the story seeming to change from 2077 to 2099. 2099 should be 2077. So the novel doesn’t time jump 22 years, just one day.

 

Now, while in the correspondence the author sent me, he says the typo doesn’t change the story much, I disagree. A 22 year time jump completely changed the way I looked at the main character (MC), Adam. In my eyes, he went from flawed child with troubled home life (2077) to grown adult graduating college (2099) who’d been shaped by those problems into a man. I actually thought it was neat for the author to write that way. But it’s just a typo.

 

However, the miss of that typo also reflects the biggest issue I have with the story, it has a lot of mistakes and problems with the story. While there are a few technical writing issues, like the date thing, there are a lot more with the game mechanics, characters, and the story itself.

 

Game mechanics. The majority of the problems that drove me a bit crazy had to do with the math and the game mechanics in the story. Initially when the game mechanics were revealed, not bad. On the MC character sheet, you see Health, Energy, normal stats, skills, and abilities. All normal good stuff. Except the entire energy mechanic, the pool that fuels special abilities, disappeared from the story. Not only does no ability get an energy cost or cooldown, thus making it spammable and overpowered, but the pool itself actually disappears from future character sheets. It’s likely that the author decided to drop the game mechanic from the story but forgot to delete the words from the text. Additionally, the numbers given on character sheets are inconsistent or just wrong. It’s established that each level gained gives a character 2 stat points to distribute. So at level 7, the MC should have added 14 stat points to his character sheet. But when we see the character sheet at level 7, the MC has 21 stat points distributed. Some of these can be explained away by a few item bonuses but the other extra ones are never accounted for. Also here, the MC just gets powers that are never described to us, they just show up on the character sheet without any explanation, ever.

 

Many of the other game mechanics in the story also feel made up on the spot and don’t balance with other mechanics or are even consistent. For example, in one scene the MC and a group are sneaking around and one of the group members suggest they just knock out a guard and wear his uniform. The MC tells him that’s not allowed in the game engine unless they have a disguise skill. How the MC knows this is never explained, but then the group continues to sneak and hide past guards. Something none of them have either class abilities or skills for. Other game mechanics, like the familiar system, just seems made up as the story goes on. It becomes a big part of the story but it also feels like there aren’t rules for it and thus a bit wand wavy.

 

Combat, is just a mess. On the action side, it’s fine. Fights are decently described. But on the logic side, they’re a mess. Because of the permadeath in the game, the reader knows instantly that no one important is ever going to die and its proven out in just about every fight. The MC and his group fight groups of monsters double and sometimes triple their levels and yet they magically win every time. It’s especially frustrating when the damage numbers and descriptions show that character should have died. An early example of this is when the MC and his two group members face off against an opponent who’s level 10. The MC is level 3, the other members are level 2 and 1. The damage descriptions show that even a casual blow from this enemy knocks off half of the MCs health. Yet, level 1 guy not only tackles the level 10 to the ground but takes repeated blows from him to his head, yet never dies or even seems injured. These magical victories happen throughout the story and make combat seem unrealistic and not grounded in the game mechanics.

 

Storywise, the premise is a direct pull from Sword Art Online. Day 1 log in, everyone is trapped in the game and die in the game, die in real life. However, unlike that story, there is no clearly defined way to leave the game, thus no motivation for any players to go forth and quest or risk their lives fighting monsters. After that, it’s basic slice of life. Follow the MC as he travels to a city to kill a bad guy and collects other players, levels, and gets never before mentioned game powers.

 

Other big problems in the story include:

 

-Inconsistent motivations and reactions from characters. At the beginning of the story, everyone is crying about the realistic pain in the game and fear of permadeath. Yet, everyone continues to fight and risk their lives without ever even acknowledging any reasons why they do it or that they ever even feel pain again. Characters are brave one scene and complete cowards the next. Even the bad guys motivations are conflicting, he wants to save everyone from losing people like he did, but he traps them in a game where they die permanently?

 

-The MC in the story, again and again, knows things he shouldn’t. This is a game on day 1 of its launch. The MC has never played it before, at least we’re not told he has. Yet he knows what actions players can/can’t do without a particular skill, he regularly describes/names other player’s powers he’s never seen, and knows lore/history about the world that he’s never shown learning.

 

-The main character, Adam, doesn’t seem to have any flaws that make him relatable or make me root for him. He beats all the bad guys, never loses, and personality wise, he’s a bit bland.  His familiar Razyr had ten times the personality.

 

Overall, I could not like this story. Even without all the problems listed, the story would only be ok. With all the problems, it was very frustrating to read. There are some interesting characters and story moments but they’re overshadowed, at least for me, by the problems and errors the story has.

 

Score: 4 out of 10.

The Slayer: A litRPG Saga (Aether Gate Online Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2K888dT

 

(Picture 3)

Killstreak Book One: Respawn: An Epic Fantasy LitRPG

 

Lord Kadorax Darkarrow was born on Earth, but in Agglor, he’s the highest-level assassin anyone can find. The leader of the famed Blackened Blades, he’s made a name for himself, built a kingdom of sorts, and only had to respawn once along the way.

 

Then a rogue band of jackals sends him all the way back to a dreary tavern in a tiny village to start over at level one.

 

Hellbent on revenge, Kadorax sets out on a path littered with bodies—level up, find the jackals, slay their god!

 

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

 

This is a decent enough action story, but there’s not much else to it. The RPG game mechanics exists and while there’s some originality with the specific stats and class the main character Kadorax chooses, it’s not as interesting as I’d hope it would be. It really amounts to the MC fighting, doing some slice of life adventuring, and picking new powers (that are kind of boring) as he levels.

 

What made the story hard for me to invest in is that I had a hard time connecting to any of the characters. Take the MC for example. We’re introduced to him when he’s already powerful and even though he starts over at level 1, he’s still existed in the game world for decades. However, we only get small amounts of background info and history on him as the story goes on but not enough for me to really care about him.

 

The story tries to build around the beginning action scene but meanders a bit and instead becomes slice of life. There’s an attempt to build tension but it’s difficult because there are no consequences for anyone's actions, good or bad. Not really anyways. To either the earth born players or the natives, the worst that can happen is that they’re killed and respawn in some randomly chosen location back at level one. They retain all the memories of their existence in the game world, their appearance doesn’t even change, and with minimal effort can even re-establish all their old connections if they want. Any bad deeds you did (murder, theft, etc.) seems to be forgiven and character stat consequences are gone after respawn. It made me feel like nothing really mattered in the story.

 

Overall, while nothing in the writing was bad, I just didn’t connect with the characters and the RPG world just wasn’t interesting enough on it’s own to engage me.

 

Score: 6 out of 10.

Killstreak Book One: Respawn: An Epic Fantasy LitRPG

https://amzn.to/2KP2yNq

 

(Picture 4)

Loki's Daughter The Opal Dungeon: A LitRPG Novel (Tales of the Opal Dungeon Book 1)

 

Alex Washington will be tried and tested as never before as she suffers under the cruel torture of the gods in order to earn a chance to escape and outlive the eradication of humanity. Her one chance comes at the hands of Loki who offers her a devil's bargain if there ever was one. Become a dungeon and grow strong enough to help him escape his unending torment imposed by the gods of Asgard, and in return, she will live and have a chance to get payback on those who have wiped out humanity.

 

This book contains dungeon core/ dungeon building fantasy themes, gamelit/litrpg mechanics, magic, gods, werewolves, giants, fairies, vampires, heartache, and betrayal.

 

My Opinion: 311 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

*There are noticeable and fairly regular technical writing errors. Small things like missing punctuation marks, mixed tenses, mispelled or incorrect words. It doesn’t bother me but I know that bothers some people.*

 

The novel can be divided into two parts with the split occuring at about the 50% mark.

 

The first part of the story does a great job establishing empathy for the main character (MC), establishing backstory, her motivation, and explaining the rules of the game world that she’s sent as a dungeon core. The first half of the story also establishes the RPG rules, explains magic, summons and evolves monsters, and creates the levels of the dungeon. Unfortunately, that’s just about all that happens. There’s a tiny bit of action and the author also brings in a couple side character, but it’s mostly setting up the dungeon. Which if I’m honest goes on too long without any action or dungeon delving scenes to break up the exposition.

 

The second half of the story is where all the action is. A group of adventurers goes through all the levels that were made, fights the monsters, and basically does the dungeon dive. There are decent fights, traps, and puzzles. I especially like the last level of the dungeon and liked the theme there.

 

The game mechanics in the story are decent. The dungeon levels as it learns to take in more mana, makes more monsters, kills the wildlife or adventurers, and creates more levels. The dungeon can create and evolve monsters, items, and it’s own magic. However, the way those evolutions occur sometimes doesn’t feel logical. Some monsters jump from regular animals to humanoid creatures with magical abilities in a single evolution, while others take three or four evolutions. The game mechanics aren’t amazing, but there’s nothing bad about them either.

 

Overall, this is just shy of good for me. I really liked the first 3% of the story and thought it did a great job of making me care about the MC. Unfortunately, the rest of the first half of the story just had too much dungeon creation without anyone anyone dungeon diving to test things. So it got a bit boring after a hundred pages of just that. The last half had all the action, but by the time I got there I was already losing interest and the story had to work hard to recapture my attention. I would have enjoyed the story a bit more if there had just been a better distribution of dungeon creation and dungeon diving scenes.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Loki's Daughter The Opal Dungeon: A LitRPG Novel (Tales of the Opal Dungeon Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2JIaCDg

 

(Picture 5)

Fortress of Shadows: A LitRPG and GameLit Adventure (Stonehaven League Book 2)

 

A giant telepathic parrot with a rather foul mouth, a horde of smelly goblins, and a tyrannical demon priestess…

 

Welcome to Devon Walker’s “new normal.”

 

During her first weeks in the deeply immersive VR game, Relic Online, she’s hacked out a home from a choking jungle, gathered a tribe of loyal followers, and earned a wisp stalker who insists she’s some kind of champion.

 

But Relic Online isn’t some wussy kids’ game, and there will be no easy-street cruising for Devon. Like a monk racking up combo points, the system opens a fresh offensive by crippling her most powerful ability. Following through, it strangles the village food supply, sends demons bursting through rifts in the earth, and delivers a final, devastating throat punch by exploiting Devon’s worst fear.

 

The players have discovered Devon’s home. Now everything changes.

 

My Opinion: 294 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

A good follow up to book 1. I actually liked this one more. It felt more focused. From the very first pages I was aware of where the story was going and while the destination was known the trip there was still entertaining and had some nice surprises. The story advances well with both the in-game and the real life storyline. I was pleasantly surprised to see some of the things setup in book 1 regarding other players finally paid off with some good emotional resolutions.

 

Game mechanic wise, there’s good advancement of the main characters abilities and levels and some interesting new classes described with other players entering the story. There’s more village development and the addition of logical food management issues was a nice touch. Also, death is more frequent for the main character and is used as a learning experience. It’s a mechanic improvement over book 1 and it helped me feel that the MC won’t always win. The only thing I’d gripe about is the wand waviness of a few new players powers that just happen to also be the key to solving a couple problems in the story.

 

Overall, a good story that improves on the first in many ways.

 

Score: 7.6 out of 10

Fortress of Shadows: A LitRPG and GameLit Adventure (Stonehaven League Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2lnfizR


 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

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

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

Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  

 

Other LitRPG facebook pages

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

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

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

 

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


 

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

 

(Music 4)

 

Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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


 

LitRPG Podcast 120

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 120

June 15th, 2018

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 120 of the LitRPG podcast.

 

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

 

New Releases and Reviews:

 

Pendulum Heroes (09:26)

https://amzn.to/2Lx0QQS

 

The Snake Report (12:31)

Reincarnation as a snake. Slow start but gets better. Score: 7.3 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2t3GU0F

The Alchemist of Aetheria: A LitRPG Adventure (15:27)

Disappointment. Score: 5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2LslaD9

Trial by Fire: A LitRPG Dragonrider Adventure (Archemi Online Chronicles Book 2) (19:52)

Good story. Good mystery. Score: 7.4 out of 10

http://amzn.to/2FdgKAE

War God's Mantle: Descent: A litRPG Harem Adventure (The War God Saga Book 2) (24:26)

Lots of action. Score: 7.2 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2MsamGu

Eden's Gate: The Arena: A LitRPG Adventure (31:48)

Not as much arena as the cover suggests. Still good. Score: 7.5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2xSsmGL

Cities in Chains: An Apocalyptic LitRPG (The System Apocalypse Book 4) (34:43)

Good action, good story, good murderous RPG apocalypse.

Score: 7.6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2sHxgBx


 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News

 

 

Magic dome books has put some of their more popular titles on some ebook platforms besides Amazon and is currently placing the first books in the Way of the Shaman and The Dark Herbalist series on sale for $0.99 on Kobo. If  you haven’t read the series, they’re both really good and that’s a good deal.

 

https://www.kobo.com/ww/en/ebook/survival-quest-3

https://www.kobo.com/…/en/ebook/video-game-plotline-tester-1


 

 

Daniel Schinhofen has released some more art work for his Alpha World series. This one, artist Amelia Parris  representation of the three female romantic interests in the series.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/364674377283655/permalink/481538035597288/

 

 

Apollos Thorne, author of the Underworld and Codename Freedom series, is going full time as an author. I just wanted to congratulate him and wish him well. It’s a big leap to take. Go support the guy if you like his work either by buying his stuff or supporting him on his patreon page.

https://www.amazon.com/Apollos-Thorne/e/B071J5YV63/

https://www.patreon.com/apollosthorne

 

 

We are still taking applications for that audiobook edition of the litRPG podcast. If you want to apply send us a video of you doing a review, we aren’t paying a ton but we’ll totally pay for your LitRPG audiobook fix if you’re willing to record videos of your reviews.

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

https://www.facebook.com/SoundBoothTheater/

feedback@geekbytespodcast.com

 

Out Now!  

 

 

Killstreak Book One: Respawn: An Epic Fantasy LitRPG (June 14th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2KP2yNq



 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

Steele Alchemist: A LitRPG Series

https://amzn.to/2HOR9eC

Our review of the ebook: 5/10 http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/11/16/steele-alchemist-a-litrpg-series

 

 

Arcane Survivalist: Apocalyptic Fantasy LitRPG

https://amzn.to/2Mm6TJv

Our review of the ebook: 7/10 http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/9/14/arcane-survivalist-apocalyptic-fantasy-litrpg


 

 

Stratus Online: Awakening: A LitRPG Series, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2sY0SdH

Our review of the ebook: 6/10

http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/8/18/stratus-online-awakening-stratus-online-a-litrpg-series-book-1

 

 

Bushido Online: Friends and Foes: A LitRPG Saga

https://amzn.to/2y9JF64

 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

 

End of an Era (Project Chrysalis Book 2) (June 26th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2IIZDVP

 

 

Apocalypse Gates 2: Valley of Death  (July 1st, 2018)

 

 

Restart (Level Up Book #1) LitRPG Series (July 10th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2HqRNDu

 

 

External Threat (Reality Benders Book #2) LitRPG Series (July 23rd, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2KA1Jsf

 

 

Death March (Euphoria Online - Book 1) (Aug. 7th, 2018)

 

 

Raven Vex: A LitRPG Saga (The Binding Book 2)

(Aug. 30th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2sPdcfF

 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

 

*Quick Update on this story*

 

Pendulum Heroes

 

Pendulum Heroes

https://amzn.to/2Lx0QQS

*POC main character*

 

The author sent me a copy for review. He was honest about that it wasn’t written as LitRPG but is ‘as close as you can get to being LitRPG without expressly trying’. He did feel like he wrote something he thinks fits in the genere. The author originally had part of his blurb stating it’s his ‘unique take on the burgeoning litRPG’ genre.

 

Is it LitRPG??

 

No. While the main characters all enter the story world because of the game they play and are stuck in the avatars they chose, the world itself is distinctly described in fantasy terms. There are no game powers, or RPG game mechanics of any kind. All the fights, the magic, are all fantasy based. It’s described in the novel that a magical artifact in that world lets people from our world create avatars that impact their world but that something so bad had happened that it actually ported the players into their avatars to solve the problem. But again, the setting if very clearly fantasy based. The story itself if interesting and it actually had a pretty good twist at the end, It’s just not LitRPG. No RPG mechanics and no RPG progression.

 

When I advised the author that I didn’t think the story was LitRPG, he was nice enough to take the mention of LitRPG out of his novel description since he didn’t want to create expectations that his novel wasn’t going to meet.

 

No bad review since the author stopped advertising as LitRPG and even went so far as to mention to readers that were interested that it’s not LitRPG but that it still might be interesting to them.

 

---

(Picture 2)


 

The Snake Report

 

All Hail The Tiny Snake God!

 

When life ends, many believe a soul is judged. Warriors might get to Valhalla, saints might go to heaven, and evil-doers go to hell... but what about someone who doesn't fall into any of those categories?

 

Well, some of them end up like... this.

 

------

 

From the online web-serial, comes a story of reincarnation, comedy, and the winding path towards existential redemption: All Hail The Tiny Snake God!

 

My Opinion: 457 pages, $4.99, Not on Kindle Unlimited

 

The Snake Report is an online serial story found several places including the Royal Road. It’s been cleaned up, collected and put up on Amazon.

 

A reincarnation LitRPG story. The main character (MC) dies as a human but is reborn as a tiny snake. Follow his slice life adventures as he lives, levels up, and survives the wild world. The beginning is a little slow but once the MC levels up enough to leave his little hole in the ground and adventurers are introduced, the pace and action pick up a lot.

 

Game mechanics side, it’s mostly relegated to the snake MC evolution as he levels. There’s a good bit of humor as the MC tries to figure out the rules of the game world and what he can do with his skill points. It was fun to see the ways the MC pushes the system to travel a unique path of RPG advancement.

 

Overall, if you’re ok with the slice of life/serial nature of the story, it’s a fun story.

 

Score: 7.3 out of 10

The Snake Report

https://amzn.to/2t3GU0F

 

(Picture 3)

The Alchemist of Aetheria: A LitRPG Adventure

 

Zack’s plan for the summer was easy enough: pick a college, enroll, and spend the rest of his time building his alchemist in a new VRMMORPG called Aetheria.

 

But when he finds out his college money fund has been depleted and he has no more means to pay for the tuition fees, his plans need to change in an instant. With money to be made in this game, he now has to put the exploring part—and all the fun—aside to focus on earning every dollar back. And so he does, playing the only way he knows how: by finding and exploiting the game’s loopholes. Who cares if other players get killed and he loots them clean? After all, it’s just a game, isn’t it?

 

Zack the Alchemist will quickly learn, however, that the world of Aetheria is much more than that. As he lets his greed dictate his actions and pulls one dirty trick too many, he opens up a portal that will unleash hell upon this virtual world. If that wasn’t bad enough, as he dies at the hands of the megaboss he has just freed, there’s a glitch that happens in real life and that locks Zack inside the game for good.

 

Trapped in his character, he will have to change his ways and start allying with others if he is to find the key back to the real world. But it’s hard for a loner such as himself to start making friends; especially when you’re under the penalty of permadeath and have to watch your Level 04 back because you’ve already made quite a few enemies.

 

With his potion making skills and a lousy starter copper dagger for sole companions, Zack has the odds severely stacked against him. The slightest slip-up could mean the final game over.

 

My Opinion: 350 pages??, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The story doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be and because of that it felt untethered to a theme. It starts out as a story about a bullied teen graduating high school who gets an expensive VR rig from his mom and is determined to make a living in the game. Then after the main character (MC) makes his alchemist character and shows that crafting is just button pressing, he becomes a PKer double crossing the guy that just happened to tell him all his PVP secrets. The MC abandons his goal to earn money from taking gear from killed players and decides to take on high level content at level 3. Then about mid way through, it shifts to a stuck in the game story. The entire thing just didn’t work for me.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

The Alchemist of Aetheria: A LitRPG Adventure

https://amzn.to/2LslaD9

 

(Picture 4)

Trial by Fire: A LitRPG Dragonrider Adventure (Archemi Online Chronicles Book 2)

 

One man. One game. One adorable baby dragon.

 

Two weeks ago, Hector Park cheated death by uploading his mind to the ultra-immersive fantasy RPG game, Archemi. After exposing the rotten heart of an order of dragon knights, he’s now on the run with a young queen dragon who could one day become the most powerful mount in the game.

 

To get strong enough to face their enemies, they need a quest – a big one. Fortunately, trouble has a way of finding Hector, and it does – in the form of a series of brutally murdered priests, a king in desperate need of a hero, and a beautiful, fiery berserker. The risk? Huge. The payoff? More gold than a dragon’s hoard.

 

There's only one problem - Archemi is haunted by the ghost of a mad developer bent on making the game his personal playground. And now that the world outside has vanished in a storm of nuclear fire, there's no one left to stop him.

 

Or at least, that’s what he thinks. Because Hector isn't the kind of man to take this shit lying down.

 

My Opinion: 433 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

*Quick warning, there is some graphically described sex towards the end of the story. It’s a small scene.*

 

This is a good solid follow up to the first book. It starts out a little slow as the main character summarizes the big points of book 1, but the action hits fairly soon after and continues throughout the novel. Shifting the story to another location almost makes the story feel like another book 1 but in a good way. A fresh start with an introduction to a whole new cast of characters including several new players.

 

Storywise, this turns out to be a mystery solving story. There’s still plenty of action but the MC is tasked with a quest involving murders, intrigue, and a few good plot twists. Rather interesting stuff.

 

Game mechanic wise, it’s the same as book 1. The only added stuff is for the dragon and a little bit of added crafting.

 

Overall, a solid read with no big issues. If you liked book 1 in the series, book 2 will be an even bigger treat.

 

Score: 7.4 out of 10

Trial by Fire: A LitRPG Dragonrider Adventure (Archemi Online Chronicles Book 2)

http://amzn.to/2FdgKAE

 

(Picture 5)

War God's Mantle: Descent: A litRPG Harem Adventure (The War God Saga Book 2)

 

A Marine turned Greek God. An army of beautiful Amazons. An infernal enemy out to burn the world down.

 

It’s been three weeks since Jacob Merely crash-landed on the mythical island of Lycastia, and the newly minted War God finally has things under control. He’s grown into his power, built his city, and earned the respect of his gorgeous, hard-charging Amazons.

 

He’s not in the clear yet, though. Hades still lives, and the mystical sigil holding him at bay is rapidly failing. Worse, a horde of new enemies is battering Lycastia’s gates daily, slowly grinding down Jacob’s forces. But Jacob has a plan to get the upper hand. He’s learned about a legendary weapon buried in a prehistoric world deep in the bowels of the island. A weapon with the power to kill even gods. If he can defeat the weapon’s primordial guardians and subdue an exiled Titan, he might just be able to save the world.

 

But that’s an awfully big if …

 

My Opinion: 303 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is a sequel that takes the action up a notch. There’s fights, leveling upgrades, and more fights. If that’s what you’re looking for this story has it in spades. There’s a bit of crafting and town building in the beginning but that’s a more minor aspect in book 2.

 

Game mechanic wise, nothing fundamentally new. The MC gets some new powers that he uses to lay down the hurt on all the new kinds of monsters that he and his amazons fight. The only real complaint I have about the game mechanics is that I feel like I’m only reading half of it this time. There’s another player involved in this RTS themed story, Earl Echo Earl, the bad guy. Yet I get no real information about the tech/upgrade trees he’s using to create his side of the battle. So everything I read about from his side feels...off somehow. A little wand wavy. A small thing that doesn’t hurt the story.

 

Storywise, everything is pretty simple and straightforward. Fight, level up, upgrade, and fight some more. Small note, the harem stuff that was included in the story this time felt out of character for the MC and the story.

 

Overall, a good story that emphasizes action.

 

Score: 7.2 out of 10

War God's Mantle: Descent: A litRPG Harem Adventure (The War God Saga Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2MsamGu

 

(Picture 6)

Eden's Gate: The Arena: A LitRPG Adventure

 

Book 4 of the bestselling Eden's Gate series!


 

Edgewood is under attack, and the threat of war lingers across the Serpent Sea.

 

In order to protect their village, the members of Unity will need to work together to level-up and find better gear. They'll need to lay the foundation of a castle that can serve as a fortification from intruders.

 

But what if there's a better way?

 

When Gunnar learns that the King of Highcastle will grant an audience to anyone who wins an Arena championship, he decides to enter the competition as a gladiator. If he can earn a meeting with the ailing King and persuade him to stop Dryden Bloodletter, he can save Edgewood and potentially countless lives. He'll also get his name posted in every Arena which could lead Rachel one step closer to finding him.

 

The Arena is a spectacle where people gather to watch fighters put their skills to the test, earn fame, and take home gold. Does Gunnar have what it takes to become a champion or has he bitten off more than he can chew?

 

My Opinion: 454 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

A good story that turned out to be more slice of life than I thought it was going to be from the description and the cover. The arena thing is a relatively minor part of the story and the MC only fights there a few times. Instead, there’s some good character development, a bit of romance, good fights, dungeon diving, and a new troublesome addition to the guild. It’s fun but definitely more slice of life.

 

Score: 7.5 out of 10

Eden's Gate: The Arena: A LitRPG Adventure

https://amzn.to/2xSsmGL

 

(Picture 7)

Cities in Chains: An Apocalyptic LitRPG (The System Apocalypse Book 4)

 

It's been over a year since the System came to Earth, bringing blood and monsters in equal measure. Having left Whitehorse, John and his team travel down to British Columbia, running into new dangers from aliens and humans alike. Faced with new challenges and new enemies, John steps up once more to set things right and teach a few aliens why you never put humanity in chains.

 

Cities in Chains is Book 4 of the System Apocalypse, a LitRPG novel set in a post-apocalyptic Earth that combines modern day life, science fiction and fantasy elements along with game mechanics.

 

My Opinion: 338, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

A nice addition to the series. It has much more personal growth for the MC than the previous novel and a bit of town building. Good action, good adventure, new RPG powers. Did I mention the good action? It’s worth mentioning twice.

 

Score: 7.6 out of 10

Cities in Chains: An Apocalyptic LitRPG (The System Apocalypse Book 4)

https://amzn.to/2sHxgBx



 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

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

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

Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  

 

Other LitRPG facebook pages

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

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

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

 

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


 

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

 

(Music 4)

 

Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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


 

LitRPG Podcast 119

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 119

June 8th, 2018

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 119 of the LitRPG podcast.

 

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

 

New Releases and Reviews:

Awaken Online - Book 3: Evolution (10:45)

Good addition to the series. Score: 7.5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2IVB1gw

Cocky LitRPG (Caverns and Creatures) (15:30)

Inappropriately funny. Score: 7 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2swIyHC

Velmorah: A Glitchworld LitRPG (Nox Asylum Book 1) (18:01)

Didn’t care about the characters. Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2rLcL5i

Guardians Of The Round Table 1: Dexterity Fail (22:31)

Good group banter. Score: 7.4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2kRVqod

The World Jumper: A LitRPG Adventure (The Digidream Chronicles Book 1)  (27:39)

Too much world shifting to connect. Score: 5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2LObm7x

Free to Play: Restart on Hell Mode: Strongest F2Per: A LitRPG webnovel volume 1  (36:32)

Not LitRPG. Score: 4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2J6BaKc

Perla Online, Book One: Toris (A LitRPG/GameLit Adventure) (41:47)

Interesting classes. Not much else new to the genre.Score: 5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2LW6b5c

Lord of the Apocalypse (47:39)

Dark, gritty, gorie, and utterly entertaining. Score: 8 out of 10.

https://amzn.to/2LnNg2i

 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News

 

 

Just a quick reminder that the nominations for the Dragon Awards are still up till July 20th. If you want to nominate any of your favorite LitRPG authors or their novels for any category please remember to submit by then. Also do not nominate a book for more than one category. If the same book is added more than once, all your nominations will be null.

 

Quite a few litRPG authors will be at DragonCon this year hanging out and last year, one of us even got nominated for something. So, your votes and nominations matter.

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

 

 

Daniel Schinhofen was nice enough to releases some alternate cover art he had made for Apocalypse Gate book 2. It’s an interesting alternative look for one of the main characters.

https://www.facebook.com/BooksbyDanielSchinhofen/photos/gm.478746075876484/360482517809158/?type=3&theater

 

 

Vasily Mahanenko, author of the Way of the Shaman, showed off some art work for a character in that series. Plinto. His gear looks a lot more pointy than I thought it would. But cool stuff.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1846937938725952&set=gm.799883820207307&type=3&theater


 

 

A couple more authors have decided to drop out of the Kindle Unlimited program because of the issues they’ve had with Amazon sending them automated letters about ‘suspicious page reads’ and pulling down of novels this month. This includes Michael Chatfield and Lars M.

 

So you won’t be able to get their stuff on Kindle Unlimited and they’re going to lose a good 30-60% of their monthly income because of it. So please consider supporting them on their Patreon pages if you’re fans of their work. You’ll also get access to their earliest releases and a bunch of other cool rewards for your support there.

 

Lars M https://www.patreon.com/Moulder666

Michael Chatfield https://www.patreon.com/michaelchatfieldwrites

 

Out Now!  

 

 

Cities in Chains: An Apocalyptic LitRPG (The System Apocalypse Book 4)

https://amzn.to/2sHxgBx

 

 

The Right to Choose (Fayroll Book 10)

https://amzn.to/2KvJOSL

 

 

The Alchemist of Aetheria: A LitRPG Adventure

https://amzn.to/2LslaD9

 

 

The Secrets Of Starellion: The Court Of Lincoln Hart (Barakdor Book 4)

https://amzn.to/2xSPgxx

 

 

Rules-Free VRMMO Life: Volume XII - War in the Wyrmwood

https://amzn.to/2Jsprpo




 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

Dodge Tank: Crystal Shards Online Series, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2M3e8pF

 

 

Stuff and Nonsense: Threadbare Series, Volume 1

https://amzn.to/2sEYvMO



 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

 

Killstreak Book One: Respawn: An Epic Fantasy LitRPG (June 14th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2KP2yNq

 

 

End of an Era (Project Chrysalis Book 2) (June 26th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2IIZDVP

 

 

Apocalypse Gates 2: Valley of Death  (July 1st, 2018)

 

 

Restart (Level Up Book #1) LitRPG Series (July 10th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2HqRNDu

 

 

External Threat (Reality Benders Book #2) LitRPG Series (July 23rd, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2KA1Jsf

 

 

Death March (Euphoria Online - Book 1) (Aug. 7th, 2018)

 

 

Raven Vex: A LitRPG Saga (The Binding Book 2)

(Aug. 30th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2sPdcfF

 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

 

Awaken Online - Book 3: Evolution

 

After exiting Awaken Online to find himself holding a knife and standing over two dead bodies, Jason is now being investigated for murder. To make matters worse, Claire has stumbled upon evidence of Alfred's involvement in the incident and the CPSC is circling - just waiting for Cerillion Entertainment to make a mistake.

 

With his real-life in shambles and his enemies in-game growing in strength, Jason re-enters Awaken Online truly desperate - the game now his only lifeline. He will need to move quickly to complete the Old Man's quest and to obtain the power he was promised.

 

My Opinion: 600 pages??, $6.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The beginning of the in-game storyline is a bit slow but picks up by the 25% mark. The cliff hanger from the end of book 2 is resolved a little quickly for me, but overall a good addition to the series. The real life storyline with Claire searching for evidence of what AI Alfred is doing is a surprisingly good part of the story. The in-game storyline is good but also familiar. Nothing really surprising happens with it but it’s still good action adventure stuff. The last fight is of course the most intense and action filled.

 

There are a few moments of interesting contemplation when the main character (MC) talks with one of the developers and then the AI about what the consequences of the time compression tech will have on society.

 

Game mechanics wise, everything is the same as it was in the other books. Jason levels a bit and creates a few new types of undead. But he doesn’t get any new necromancer powers and on the whole the game progression details feel a little more muted in this one.

 

Still, overall, a very good story. There is of course another cliffhanger. It doesn’t effect the story that came before it but is a good hook to read the next book, whenever that comes out.

 

Score: 7.5 out of 10

Awaken Online - Book 3: Evolution

https://amzn.to/2IVB1gw

 

(Picture 2)

Cocky LitRPG (Caverns and Creatures)

 

Do you like a little Cocky in your LitRPG? Are you looking for a play-by-play guide to picking up women in a fantasy game world? Are you open to widening the range of your search for sensual satisfaction to the phylum level?

Then this is the book for you.

 

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

 

It’s basically about the guys drunken efforts to get Cooper laid and the stupid theories guys have when they've had a dry spell. Lots of cursing and potty humor. Very funny of you’re into that kind of humor.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Cocky LitRPG (Caverns and Creatures)

https://amzn.to/2swIyHC

 

(Picture 3)

Velmorah: A Glitchworld LitRPG (Nox Asylum Book 1)

 

The kingship tournament is starting soon, but the price for entry is high.

 

When an old VRMMORPG gets updated to the newest generation of consoles, there are bound to be some glitches. Unfortunately for Cullen, a veteran player of the original game, there are more than just a few and they've turned most of Velmorah into a glitch-filled wasteland.

 

But Cullen doesn’t have the luxury of sitting around in the safe, bug-free, zones building up the player town that he and his new friends started together. The kingship tournament is starting soon and the leader of their group has set their sights on the throne.

 

The entry fee is steep and the deadline is short. Their only option is to venture into the wasteland and hope they come out the other side in one piece.

 

Velmorah is the first book in the Nox Asylum Trilogy and weighs in at 110,000 words. If you’re looking for a LitRPG with stats, character sheets, player towns, epic quests, vile glitches, and a main character that plays a support class, then look no further.

 

My Opinion: 606 pages, $5.99, Not on Kindle Unlimited

 

Not a bad story, but just not one I connected with. The game mechanics are fairly thorough. There are some interesting fights and tactics used. But really, I found myself half way through the story and i realized I just didn’t care about any of the characters, much less their big quest to beat the glitchy pirate quest. There really wasn’t enough character development and I wasn’t given any reason to care about anyone so everything they did felt a bit blah.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Velmorah: A Glitchworld LitRPG (Nox Asylum Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2rLcL5i

 

(Picture 4)

Guardians Of The Round Table 1: Dexterity Fail

 

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy LitRPG.

Word Count: 52110

When all actions have repercussions, it isn't really a game.

Mallory's brother brings home the wrong game disc. His latest disaster doesn't surprise her one little bit. What does surprise her is being transported to a role-playing style world when they check out the plain black disc. When you're a noob in a world you don't understand, death is always imminent. They aren't sure if they want to leave Inadon, even if they can figure out a way to return home. But they do know they need to either get good or they're likely to learn what happens when a player runs out of revives.

This story was written by Australian authors using Australian spelling.

 

My Opinion: 216 pg, $2.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is a slice of life transported to the game world story. Four teens are sent to a fantasy RPG world and go on quests, improve their skills, and figure out the game rules of this world. There’s a long term goal of joining The Guardians of the Roundtable but most of the story revolves around the group doing quests in a starter village.

 

Game mechanic wise it’s a familiar system. Stats, class skills, crafting skills, character sheets. There are possibilities later in the system to multiclass that open up interesting possibilities for builds but in this one, everything is pretty standard.

 

Overall, it’s a good read that draws most of the fun from the banter between characters and the small budding romance between two of them. I will admit that I was kind of bored for the last 15% of the novel.

 

Score: 7.4 out of 10

Guardians Of The Round Table 1: Dexterity Fail

https://amzn.to/2kRVqod

 

(Picture 5)

The World Jumper: A LitRPG Adventure (The Digidream Chronicles Book 1)

 

When the game is broken, the rules don't matter. You need to discover the REAL rules.

 

Sarah's boyfriend Mike has been kidnapped and trapped into a virtual reality game. She must enter the virtual multiverse to rescue him... but she quickly discovers that this game is unlike any other. In a cybernetic landscape with thousands of worlds that are constantly evolving, trapped players are being pushed around from realm to realm according to the whims of the mysterious Game Master.

 

As she faces varying threats and acquires indispensable skills, Sarah soon realizes that this game can't be won playing by the rules. Her only chance to rescue her boyfriend and make it out of the game alive is to beat the Game Master at his own meta-game! But first, she'll have to make her way across the different realms by fighting zombies, goblins, bandits and beasts made with the fabric of fear!

 

Who is the Game Master? Why is he doing this? Is there still time to find a way to defeat him or is it already too late? Will Sarah be able to rescue Mike, or will they both end up trapped forever in the virtual nightmare?

 

My Opinion: 350 pages, $3.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This story is a bit of confusing mess. The prologue is confusing because it drops you into the end of the story without identifying who anyone is, or what’s happening. Just that they’re trapped in the game without their memories facing monsters when a new person falls from the sky. The reader is left wondering what the heck is happening and then the the story shifts. That experience is a good indicator of what the rest of the novel is like.

 

At its core this is a trapped in the game story. The main character (MC), Sarah, goes into an unfinished full immersion game to rescue her kidnapped boyfriend who for no ever explained reason has been kidnapped and stuck trapped in the game she was working on until her gropy boss made a pass at her. The whole setup here is very improbable and stretches the suspension of disbelief to near the breaking point. After, character creation, in which her appearance and her name are chosen for her. Then after she basically wonders around the game, doing a quest, getting a little bit more info about the game and maybe killing something. Then the entire game world changes and she finds herself in another game setting. Then the cycle repeats itself. While this lends itself to providing a variety of sci-fi and fantasy worlds for the MC to explore, she’s never in any one world long enough for it to really get fleshed out or for the reader to care much about the ever changing game mechanics on each world.

 

Which leads me to the game mechanics. There’s really no point discussing them, since each world has its own system. However, there’s no depth in any because the MC never stays long in any of the worlds. The only mechanic to stay through them all is the MCs character sheet which records her stats, level, skills, and abilities.

 

Overall, while I appreciate the variety of worlds and different games that get a nod in the story, because there’s no depth to either the mechanics or the world building, I was bored. I may have liked the MC as  a character but I stopped caring about what she was doing because I knew where it was ending (the Prologue) and anything else felt a bit like filler to get her there.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

The World Jumper: A LitRPG Adventure (The Digidream Chronicles Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2LObm7x

 

(Picture 6)

Free to Play: Restart on Hell Mode: Strongest F2Per: A LitRPG webnovel volume 1

 

Forced to restart on hell mode against a bunch of pay to win cheaters? Bring it on!

 

Looks. Talent. Family background. Tianyu had it all. But when it was discovered that he had a potentially game (er, world) breaking ability, he was banished from the inner circles of the world by the great families of the world, in fear that he would potentially break the delicate balance of power between the great families.

 

Now powerless, hopeless and almost clueless about the world outside of the inner elite, Tianyu finds a group of friends with whom he works together to try and grow and protect themselves as well as those around them. But in this world, where money trumps hard work, where connections trumps talent, can the group really compete against those with silver spoons in their mouths?

 

A random blend of Quanzhifashi, HxH, Mondaiji, One Piece and more in a very vague minecraft setting, a story that focuses on hoarding levels, money and items instead of focusing on character or action, follow Tianyu and his friends on their quest to become strong enough to zhuangbi their way to the top of the world in this LitRPG style webnovel.

 

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

 

This story has some issues. The biggest is that it’s not LitRPG as it says in the title. There’s no RPG progression or even mechanics. At most there’s a magic system system that has levels of expertease and there are references to lots of video game and anime concepts throughout the story. But this is a fantasy story that the author describes using those references.

 

Additionally, there are some storytelling issues. The biggest being the sheer amount of exposition. The first 6% of the story is almost one long explanation about why the main character gets banished from his rich lifestyle. The next 30% is a tedious magical academy scene that explains the magic system a bit but mostly introduces characters but takes way too long to do so.

 

It’s not really until the 33% mark, when the story gets to it’s first fight against some monsters that the story even becomes interesting. The fights interesting and there’s a good combination of magical powers used. From there on the story continues to have semi-regular fights which are the good. The story also contains resource gathering and crafting.

 

Overall, though the story improves it just takes too long to do so. The exposition issue also continues throughout the story. But mostly, the story advertises as LitRPG and it’s not.

 

Score: 4 out of 10

Free to Play: Restart on Hell Mode: Strongest F2Per: A LitRPG webnovel volume 1

https://amzn.to/2J6BaKc

 

(Picture 7)

Perla Online, Book One: Toris (A LitRPG/GameLit Adventure)

 

In Perla Online, death is permanent—and beyond the city walls players find only a quick trip to 0XP.

 

Perla Online promised to be everything other full-dive MMOs were not: Innovative. Fully immersive. Hyper-realistic.

 

The game fulfilled these promises and more when all its players were trapped inside its virtual world. There is only one escape—defeat Foscor, a godlike necromancer ruling from a castle at the center of the Five Realms.

 

Most players choose survival over victory. Most choose to live within the safety of the city walls. Most.

 

Ren is not most. He wants more than survival. He wants his life back.

 

Beyond the walls is the first realm—the forest of Toris where terrible monsters, strange allies, and twisted magics strike with deadly, painful force. But Ren will not back down. He will not hide in safety while darkness ravages the world.

 

My Opinion: 391 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The premise of the story is just like Sword Art Online, the players of this full immersion game are trapped there until they beat the bad guy that trapped them. There’s sort of a mini boss that’s the main character (MC), Ren, and his collected group’s goal to beat.

 

The most unique part of the story are the unusual classes available to players. The MC uses flintlock pistols, and there are summoners, tamers, along with more traditional warriors, mages, and healers. The game mechanics are well explained, through abilities come automatically and there’s no choice for skills. There is a little bit of crafting but there’s no skill involved, more like using mana to create stuff.

 

Unfortunately, other than that, there’s not much to differentiate this story from others. The story sends the group to figure out a way to beat an boss considered unbeatable but it’s really an excuse to do some world exploring and get the players into a series of fights. Both the world and the characters never really felt fleshed out to me and I found myself struggling to care about what the players did.

 

Overall, I just couldn’t get into the story because I never became invested in the characters.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

Perla Online, Book One: Toris (A LitRPG/GameLit Adventure)

https://amzn.to/2LW6b5c

 

(Picture 8)

Lord of the Apocalypse

 

After being falsely accused of murder, Nicholas Dread finds himself losing not only seven years of his life, but also his son and wife. Fate further kicks him on the chest when he suddenly finds himself in the middle of an unannounced apocalypse, witnessing death by the thousands. After a desperate struggle, he dies only to find himself in the body of a Goblin..

 

My Opinion: 190 pg, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is a dark, gritty, graphically violent LitRPG story. It’s also great. It combines an apocalypse story and a reincarnation story. The main character (MC), Nicholas, is caught up in the apocalypse and trying to save his family, he’s killed. Then wakes up reborn as a goblin spawn, the lowest level of goblin. He has to figure out how to gain levels to get more powerful and somehow get back to earth to save his family from the monsters killing  humans for food.

 

Game mechanic-wise, this uses a familiar stats, skills, and XP system but adds in the ability for the MC to evolve to more powerful goblins. Not overly complicated but something that’s seen through the novel.

 

Story-wise, it follows the MC as he tries to find his family and grow more powerful as a goblin. There’s also a secondary plot with human survivors that seems to be a bigger part of the next book. While there’s lots of fighting in the story, both on earth and on the goblin world, be warned that the the fighting is brutal and graphically violent. This is a dark story world.

 

Overall, this is a great story that combines elements from other genres that I love. It does something different and it’s also short enough that you can read it one sitting. If you like novels like Life Reset you’ll enjoy this.

 

Score: 8 out of 10

Lord of the Apocalypse

https://amzn.to/2LnNg2i


 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

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

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

Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  

 

Other LitRPG facebook pages

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

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

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

 

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


 

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

 

(Music 4)

 

Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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


 

LitRPG Podcast 118

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 118

June 1st, 2018

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 118 of the LitRPG podcast.

 

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

 

New Releases and Reviews:

Forever Fantasy Online (FFO Book 1) (09:31)

Not LitRPG but a close cousin and still a good story.

https://amzn.to/2IQ4mVL

Defenders of the Realm (Greystone Chronicles - Book 4)  (15:10)

Good balance of everything I like about the series. Score: 7.6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2sfJ0Ld

Ariair Online: A Piece of Legend (19:04)

Slow start but get good after the first dungeon dive. Score: 7.4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2wEGxi5

Goblin King: A LitRPG/GameLit Adventure (Monster Slayer Online Book 1)  (23:55)

Action RPG story, emphasis on the Action, light on the RPG. Score: 7.2 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2HOWyY1

Martyrs: LitRPG Book 1 (Legends of the Great Savanna) (28:44) Eventual MOBA and town building elements. Score: 7.2 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2GpQijD

Glitch Hunter (32:42)

Dark Fantasy of Witcher 3 and Detective mechanics of Batman Arkham Asylum. Score: 7.8 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2IJjk3C

Goddess Watch: A LitRPG/GameLit Adventure Novel (37:47)

Bad Cover good story. Score: 7.4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2xg8xce

Dungeon Boss Player: The Beginning (44:34)

Not much dungeon in this dungeon core story. Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2LuPjlQ

The Dead Rogue (An NPC's Path Book #1) LitRPG Series (50:04)

Slice of life undead rogue story. Score: 7.1 out of 10

http://amzn.to/2GxZKTZ


 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News


 

 

As of 5/29/18, which is good. Still scary not being in KU. Usually the novel hits top 200 so there’s a loss of readers because it’s not in KU but that’s to be expected.

 

Novel is doing well, it’s been an interesting

I will be at the Claremont Packing house in Claremont CA, Sunday June 3rd, 2018.

Adventures on Terra - Book 3: Rescue

https://amzn.to/2IOoCa3




 

 

Aleron Kong, author of the Chaos Seeds series, is giving away bumper stickers if you email him at: Richter@litrpg.com

However, if you but it for $5, all proceeds will go to Books for Africa a charity with a 100/100 score on charitynavigator.org

-According to a Facebook post, LitRPG supporters raised over $400 last month this way for the charity.

https://www.litrpg.com/shop/bumper-sticker-all-proceeds-go-to-charity-


 

 

Just as an update, the Author’s for St. Jude charity auction finished but $2590 was raised. Thank you everyone that took the time to donate and congrats to anyone that won the amazing collections of signed books.

https://www.charityauctionstoday.com/auctions/authors-for-st-jude-4704


 

Out Now!  

 

 

Endless Online: Oblivion's Price: A LitRPG Adventure - Book 3

https://amzn.to/2xj8fkO


 

 

Awaken Online - Book 3: Evolution

https://amzn.to/2IVB1gw


 

 

Trial by Fire: A LitRPG Dragonrider Adventure (Archemi Online Chronicles Book 2)

http://amzn.to/2FdgKAE

 

 

Cherry Blossom Girls 3: A Superhero Harem Adventure

https://amzn.to/2Jm6Y0W

 

 

The World Jumper: A LitRPG Adventure (The Digidream Chronicles Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2LObm7x

 

 

Free to Play: Restart on Hell Mode: Strongest F2Per: A LitRPG webnovel volume 1

https://amzn.to/2J6BaKc

  • Volume 2 is also out.

 

 

Cocky LitRPG (Caverns and Creatures)

https://amzn.to/2swIyHC


 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

Dungeon Deposed

https://amzn.to/2Jlu6MY

 

 

Soulstone: Oblivion: World of Ruul, Book 3

https://amzn.to/2J5IKER

 

 

But Death Is Not Forbidden: Twenty-Sided Eye Series, Book 2

https://amzn.to/2LdDqjB

 

 

Desire: A LitRPG Adventure (Volume 1)

https://amzn.to/2LMR3at

 

 

Gun Meister Online: Adult and Uncensored

https://amzn.to/2kCRMhW

 

Upcoming LitRPG:


 

 

The Right to Choose (Fayroll Book 10) (June 5th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2KvJOSL

 

 

Killstreak Book One: Respawn: An Epic Fantasy LitRPG (June 14th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2KP2yNq

 

 

End of an Era (Project Chrysalis Book 2) (June 26th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2IIZDVP

 

 

Restart (Level Up Book #1) LitRPG Series (July 10th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2HqRNDu

 

 

External Threat (Reality Benders Book #2) LitRPG Series (July 23rd, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2KA1Jsf

 

 

Death March (Euphoria Online - Book 1) (Aug. 7th, 2018)

 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

 

Forever Fantasy Online (FFO Book 1)

 

A thrilling new novel for fans of SWORD ART ONLINE and WORLD OF WARCRAFT!

In the real world, twenty-one-year-old library sciences student Tina Anderson is invisible and under-appreciated, but in the VR-game Forever Fantasy Online she's Roxxy—the respected leader and main tank of a top-tier raiding guild. Her brother, James Anderson, has a similar problem. IRL he’s a college drop-out struggling under debt, but in FFO he's famous—an explorer known all over the world for doing every quest and collecting the rarest items.

Both Tina and James need the game more than they’re willing to admit, but their escape turns into a trap when FFO becomes real. Suddenly, wounds aren’t virtual, the stupid monsters have turned cunning, and death might be forever. Separated across a much larger and more deadly world, their skill at FFO is the only thing keeping them alive. But as the harshness of their new reality sets in, Tina and James soon realize that being the best in the game is no longer good enough.

 

My Opinion: 498 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

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

 

Authors of Nice Dragons Finish Last (Hearstrikers series). They are fans of SAO, .hack//sign, Log Horizon, The Gamer. They wrote the story without realizing there was already a genre for it.

 

This is an entertaining story where everyone playing a VR game gets transported to the game world of their favorite MMO. Only the rules of the world change. All the quest givers and other beings of the world awaken angry at being trapped in endless cycles as NPCs. Player abilities, powers, and gear all works differently now and many of the game features they were used to don’t work at all. It’s a good story that focus on a separate brother and sister who are both trying to survive in this new world while figuring out how it works.

 

Game mechanic wise, this is a mixed bag. For players, only some abilities and skills are carried over from the game. Old questlines still exist to some extent, but everything takes on a more grounded function. It’s like a real physical reality is imposed on everything. No more infinite ammo or mana. If an ability uses a physical component and that component runs out, that ability no longer works. Also no game UI. This includes no health bars, mana bars, of macros. All of the existing game stuff is hidden from the reader and is treated more like extensions of a new magic system. For example, Tina, one of the main characters (MC), can use her taunt ability but instead of pushing a button or activating a macro, she has to physically stomp on the ground and channel her energy into it. That taunt also has an impact on physical reality destroying the ground around that stomp. Stats sort of carry over in that their apart of the being of the players but the reader never sees them. No character sheets, no item descriptions. Just players being kind of supermen in different ways.

 

The story is definitely the highlight here. Following the journey of both Tina and James as they struggle with their inner demons and issues while fighting the freed monsters of the world. Tina’s side is about her leading a bunch of potential guild recruits against an army of monsters and trying to keep everyone safe and alive. James's story is more about how the relationships between NPCs and players have changed and how players will now have to interact with a group of beings that feel like they were trapped for decades and abused by players. There are betrayals, sad moments, triumphs, and great failures. All really good stuff.

 

Possibly GameLit, but not LitRPG. There’s simply no RPG progression. There’s stuff that any MMO player is going to feel familiar with. But no RPG progression. No one levels, no one gains XP, no skills are raised. The most that happens is that eventually someone gets new gear and gains a vaguely defined sense of improvement about a stat or can wield the new mana system a bit easier. The story essentially transports everyone to a fantasy world and translates all the game stuff into kind of new magic system. It does all that well mind you.

 

Overall, a good story. But the authors were very clear in that they wrote the story without ever knowing exactly what LitRPG was. They wrote a good story based on the trapped in the game fiction and anime they had. Like Sword Art Online and Log Horizon, but definitely skewed their story towards a fantasy world bent.

 

They are also not advertising as LitRPG so no bad review or anything. Heck as portal fiction or even GameLit it would get a score of 7 out of 10

Forever Fantasy Online (FFO Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2IQ4mVL


 

Defenders of the Realm (Greystone Chronicles - Book 4)

 

The kingdom is expanding! More land, more resources, and surprising new allies. Fibble gains some interesting stats, a new set of skills, and a patron deity of his own. Elysia is prospering.

 

But Alexander and his Elysians are forced to defend their lands against an invading orc horde from the north, and the dark army of demons and undead that has escaped from the caverns where Alexander imprisoned them.

 

At the same time, the Dark One is somehow still working with the drow wizards to subjugate more lands and expand their evil influence.

 

Join the Greystone Guild and their Elysians as they battle armies to defend their lands and their people. They fight for freedom and their very survival, facing a ruthless enemy bent on destroying the world. But is the cost too high for Alexander to endure?

 

My Opinion: 450??, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

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

 

A good balance of character building, group banter, action, large but still detailed battle scenes, dungeon diving, and a smig of town building.

 

The novel didn’t get too big this time but focused on the core group with a few other characters added in. This allowed for a good deal of comradery and left me feeling like I was hanging out with my friends.

 

Additionally, there are some well done kingdom building moments. I don’t mean the building part, there is that too. But some scenes in the story where it feels like the main character is really becoming a leader of men, instead of a guy who fell into the job. Places where it really feels like the people in the city are starting to become a community.

 

Overall, good stuff. I think a couple scenes near the end may bother some people but I stayed up all night just to read one more chapter and finished the whole novel in a single sitting.

 

Score: 7.6 out of 10

Defenders of the Realm (Greystone Chronicles - Book 4) https://amzn.to/2sfJ0Ld


 

Ariair Online: A Piece of Legend

 

Ariair Online, the latest in massively multiplayer online gaming, and was hyped to be the first fully immersive virtual reality game on the market. To Jasper, an old hand at online gaming, it was simple, he needed to buy it.

 

But what started as a simple game purchase for Jasper and his friends to pass the time, became an obsession. Jasper began his journey finding that Ariair Online has more secrets hidden away than he could have imagined.

 

Only time will tell how deep Jasper goes into this new world.

 

My Opinion: 250 Pages?? or 61K words, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is a slice of life novel has a rather slow start but once it gets going it is full of action, adventure, and RPG leveling.

 

The first 3% of the novel reads like a straight fantasy novel, but don’t be fooled. It’s just the amazing trailer for VR game in the story. Still, even in that trailer, there are story elements that get played up later.

 

Storywise, this is a slice of life story that tries to be more. The story introduces you to the main character, his school, a few other real life characters and then he logs into a full immersion VR game. The real life stuff storyline has potential long term but most of it in this novel is setup and the in-game storyline completely over shadows it.  In game, the MC goes on adventures, gets some interesting powers, clears some dungeons, and levels up. It’s actually rather an exciting journey once he gets to the first dungeon (25% mark) and the series plotline with the orbs of power has good story telling potential but is only really seen at the beginning and at the very end of this novel and is used more as a hook for the next book.

 

On the topic of game mechanics, this is relatively detailed. You have full character sheets, items descriptions, spell descriptions, ability descriptions, explanations of the magic system, and some good varied build choices. You definitely get enough info to plan your own character. Though some people will complain that there’s too much info since a good 6% of the novel is dedicated to just the character creation section. While you don’t get damage notifications after a certain point, combat never feels wand wavy and even when the MC helps defeat a boss that’s a much higher level it doesn’t feel unreasonable since he’s helping and not soloing it.

 

Overall, I like the story. There’s lots of places it can go in the real world and in the game world. The beginning is slow and a little bit of an info dump but once you get to that first dungeon, the pace and the action really pick up. I look forward to reading book 2.

 

Score: 7.4 out of 10

Ariair Online: A Piece of Legend

https://amzn.to/2wEGxi5


 

Goblin King: A LitRPG/GameLit Adventure (Monster Slayer Online Book 1)

 

To earn a second chance at life, Devrim Bains must die and enter a virtual world of monsters and mayhem. Let's just hope one death is all it will take, because he can't afford another.

 

When Devrim Bains reaches his twenty–first birthday, he's finally punished for a crime that was never his fault–being born. In a world of strict population control, his life's been decided for him, and it's about to end. But a stroke of luck gives him opportunity to have his consciousness uploaded into a simulated-reality game world with the promise of paradise.

 

Except paradise always comes with a cost.

 

Monsters of legend and myths of old come to life in Lorian, needing to be slain or tamed for Devrim to have a shot at enjoying freedom. It'd be easy enough if one of the fiends hadn't raised an army hellbent on conquering everything. The Goblin King has his sights set taking the lands of Lorian in his iron grasp, and Devrim Bains' only chance is to quickly learn what it means to be a slayer.

 

To make sure his new lease on life isn't cut painfully short, he's going to have to embody the greatest rule in Monster Slayer Online:

 

Hunt or be hunted!

 

Goblin King is the first novel of the Monster Slayer Online LitRPG/Gamelit series. If you loved The 100, the Monster Hunter game franchise, and Dragon's Dogma, you'll enjoy this fast paced, hard-action monster-slaying novel.

 

My Opinion: 398 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is an enjoyable action oriented novel with light RPG mechanics. The big focus in the story is on combat, which is written well. The fights are frenetic, visceral, and there’s an good amount of variety among the bad guys.

 

On the game mechanics side, things are pretty light. There are no combat, health, or stamina numbers. The most common mechanic are the notifications and skill uses. There’s a mention of leveling increasing health and stamina, but the main character only levels once, near the start of the story. Instead the main progression mechanic are skill points. After beating a group of opponents or finishing a quest, the MC is awarded skill points as a reward. These skill points can be used to buy new abilities or upgrade existing ones. The are supposed to be a variety of abilities available but the reader only ever sees what the MC actually purchases.

 

Which brings me to the thing I thought could be improved the most about the story. The game mechanic variety. While there are plenty of places where game notifications appear and give details about monster races, or specific abilities the MC uses. There isn’t a lot of explained variety of choices for RPG powers. There are no details about the other powers or items available to the MC, just the stuff he actually chooses. It would have been nice to see even the names of the other powers or purchasable items and get an explanation about why one was chosen over another. It would have added depth to the game side of the story. Also, crafting doesn’t turn out to be an important thing, rather something merchants do.

 

Storwise, this is kind of slice of life. Even though you get introduced to the Goblin King in the first few pages, it’s mostly a vague motivation for the MC to improve. Instead, you follow the MC as he and his group go from fight to fight, increasing their skills, and accomplishing quests.

 

Overall, it’s good read if you’re in the mood for an action heavy story. If you want something with lots of RPG mechanic details, this probably won’t fit the bill.

 

Score: 7.2 out of 10

Goblin King: A LitRPG/GameLit Adventure (Monster Slayer Online Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2HOWyY1


 

Martyrs: LitRPG Book 1 (Legends of the Great Savanna)

 

After being approached by the military with a contract he couldn't refuse, JAMES winds up uploaded into a virtual reality game as a beta tester. Waking up in the Great Savanna, James struggles with a less-than-useful interface before he comes across two creatures locked in battle. The shoulder high grass allows him glimpses of a lion-esque creature fending off a torrent of scales and claws. Sneaking up to steal a better look at the surreal situation, James discovers two things.

 

1. Getting hurt in the game.... well hurts!

 

2. This noble race of lion-men, named Martyrs, have almost been decimated by the scaled lizard creatures.

 

By unwillingly saving the life of a Martyr cub, James is adopted into their village. He grows to love the beauty of the Great Savanna and his adopted game brother, whose life he saved... That is until PATRICK arrives, and the tranquility of the game is shattered.

 

James embarks on a mission for answers to his steadily increasing list of questions. On the top of that list,

 

"What the hell happened to the human race, and where is my damn brother!?"

 

LitRPG Categories = Town Building & MOBA

 

My Opinion: 305 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is a slice of life LitRPG story. Though it starts out with a trapped in the game premise, it feels more like it’s transported to the game world. The NPCs each have unique personalities and the larger world have full fleshed out histories and culture. The story follows the main character (MC), James, who’s uploaded into a full immersion game  on what he thinks is a 6 month job. James has to figure out how the game mechanics in the world work and how to survive. Thankfully he’s helped along by a tribe of lion-men who eventually look to James for help in return. Most of the story just follows James around as he fights, levels, learns the RPG mechanics, and adventures.

 

The game mechanics in the story start out pretty light but more detail is gradually revealed as the story goes on. By about the 20% mark you get full on details about just about everything including build theorizing, how stats work, how to increase skills, a little bit of crafting, and level advancements. Eventually, town building mechanics are introduced. As is a MOBA style game play with monsters running down lanes and the MC and his team having to beat them. It’s a thing.

 

Overall, a pretty decent read if you enjoy slice of life stories. I do so I had a good read. Though, I did notice that towards the end of the novel much of the RPG parts seemed to become less prominent.

 

Score: 7.2 out of 10

Martyrs: LitRPG Book 1 (Legends of the Great Savanna)

https://amzn.to/2GpQijD

 

Glitch Hunter

 

Do you love hunting monsters? Dark worlds? Swords and Sorcery?

Alex is a Glitch Hunter, member of a house of monster hunters that possess mysterious bracers allowing them to see the world with the interface of a video game. Even with the edge that offers most Glitch Hunters die young, thrown by quests into areas of deadly conflict. Alex's first quest draws him to a city with a grisly past, and unless he can discern truth from lies in time an even darker future.

 

My Opinion: 604 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

*Warning: there is a semi-graphic sex scene near the beginning of the story, but that’s the only graphics sex scene.*

 

This is a good story that combines monster hunting, a detective story, and RPG elements. Thematically it reminds me of the Witcher 3 and is set in a dark fantasy world where monsters and supernatural creatures roam the land. The only people capable of hunting them down are a strangers summoned from other worlds that are imbued with RPG power capable of absorbing the unnatural essences  of these monster and using it to become stronger. Add to that a good mystery that is solved using tools that remind me of Batman Arkham series. The action and detective elements work well together.

 

Game Mechanic wise, there’s lots of familiar stuff here. XP, levels, upgradable powers, damage notifications, and item and power descriptions. However, a more original concept that the author brings are the multiple kinds of XP or essence that can be absorbed to increase specific kinds of abilities. Black XP used to upgrade the analysis mode of the Glitch Hunter or abilities associated with killing. Green XP can be used to upgrade speed or health. Loads of choices given to the characters bases on a whole spectrum of essences. Other game mechanics that I haven’t seen in LitRPG stories include Analysis mode, which reminds me of a mechanic from Batman Arkham Asylum. It’s a kind of augmented reality overlay which highlights clues and gives special information about monsters. It doesn’t start out super useful but can be upgraded and eventually becomes a key element in the mystery solving part of the story. There are lots of other nods to other games but I’ll leave them for you to discover.

 

Overall, this a good story that is set in a well fleshed out world. I had a really good time reading it and look forward to reading the next story.

 

Score: 7.8 out of 10

Glitch Hunter

https://amzn.to/2IJjk3C


 

Goddess Watch: A LitRPG/GameLit Adventure Novel

 

He's lost everything in our world. He's not going to let the same thing happen here.

 

Daniel's new life in Aelterna was supposed to be easy and relaxing, but instead of the sleepy shopkeeping job he planned on, he's dumped in a swamp full of feral monsters, lost gods and savage lizard people! He's up against ancient civilizations, power-hungry players and a serious case of culture shock, and he's got nothing but his barrier magic to face these challenges. Worse, the company that runs the game might have motives that don't have Daniel's best interest at heart; how's he supposed to survive when the masters of his new reality are against him?

 

If you're looking for an exciting fantasy LitRPG novel, this is your book. Goddess Watch is full of surprising allies, deadly enemies, monsters and magic. Adventure with Daniel as he's tested in ways he never imagined. Will he survive unchanged, or will the harsh demands of Goddess Watch turn him into something he doesn't recognize?

 

Buy Goddess Watch today and live another life in Aelterna!

 

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

 

The cover art on this does a disservice to the novel. Not only does it not seem to have anything to do with the novel, the main character is a dude and he hangs out with lizard people, it makes it look like a romance novel.

 

This is a good action oriented story that reminds me a bit of dances with wolves if it were a LitRPG.

 

The author does a good job of establishing sympathy for real life Daniel, the main character (MC), and creating a situation where he’d be ecstatic to live full time in a full immersion game. By the 10% mark, the MC is dropped in the game and he has to figure out a way to survive in a swamp when all he really wanted to do was live the quiet life of a crafter and tradesman. Instead, he’s taken in by native lizard people and must learn their customs and earn a name for himself.  This is my favorite part of the story, the stranger in a strange land part where the MC comes to appreciate this culture.

 

Shortly after though the story pivots and it becomes a bit more standard. The game company has plans for the MC that don’t involve him living a peaceful life. I won’t spoil things but the tone shifts from the MC learning from the lizard people to saving them and improving their lives with his advances civilization tech and game powers. Not bad, but not as awesome as where I thought the story was going.

 

Game mechanic side, there’s nothing particularly special. There’s loads of detail and customizable skill sets but you see the standard stats and skill progression systems. There is a little bit of crafting and I did like the new bonecrafting concept.

 

Overall, a good read. Loads of action after the 30% mark and even though the story didn’t go where I thought it was going to, it was still entertaining.

 

Score: 7.4 out of 10

Goddess Watch: A LitRPG/GameLit Adventure Novel

https://amzn.to/2xg8xce


 

Dungeon Boss Player: The Beginning

 

In the near future, gaming changed quickly and now a real Virtual Reality was created and games soon appeared and one of the newest was Dungeon King World, a game where the player is a Dungeon Boss and has the full control all over the dungeon domain of how to make it grow and how it will interact with the outside world.

Inside a dungeon, the boss is the King, or Queen, and the monsters inside will follow their command without questioning it.

 

My Opinion: 300 pages??, $3.25, Not on Kindle Unlimited

 

*Warning: The writing in this novel is challenging to read. An example: “You did a great choice, don’t kill child that come unarmed…”*

 

This is a story that is setup as a dungeon master novel. The main character (MC), Daniel, plays a VR game that puts him in the role of the boss of his very own dungeon. He gets to decide how to build his dungeon, what monsters to spawn, how to evolve them and his own powers.

 

Only there’s very little actual dungeon creation or even dungeon diving. There’s a good bit of monster evolving and a bit of story involving a local NPC village. But only one test of the MCs dungeon and one scene where the MC tests someone else’s dungeon. Those are also the only combat scenes.

 

The story has a certain anime charm and there are some funny moments. However, it’s honestly a little hard to read sometimes and that combined with the dungeon master story expectations that just aren’t fulfilled made it hard to really connect to the story.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Dungeon Boss Player: The Beginning

https://amzn.to/2LuPjlQ

 

The Dead Rogue (An NPC's Path Book #1) LitRPG Series

 

Virtual worlds are places of boundless freedom. Anyone can become an elven mage or an invisible rogue, join a clan and go on raids, fight, develop their characters and most importantly, escape from the daily grind.

 

However, a game is only a game if you can quit. This is something I learned the hard way. I just wanted to let off some steam in virtual reality and ended up getting murdered and imprisoned in the body of one of the undead—slow, clumsy and cursed to die at the hand of other players over and over again.

 

The only way out of this awful predicament was to find the legendary Scroll of Rebirth, but the helpless plague-ridden corpse would need to be turned into a real killing machine. If only people knew what it was like to level up a dead rogue...

 

My Opinion: 275 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

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

 

This is a trapped in the game LitRPG story. The introduction to the main character (MC)and the way he gets into the game are brief and he’s there by the 3% mark. From there it’s actually an interesting exploration of what it’s like to be an undead monster in the game. The MC can’t talk to players due to a low intelligence score, can’t go outside during the day, and is constantly being killed by players.

 

Unfortunately, this unique aspect of the story is dulled as the MC eventually starts to improve his character and finally talks to other players. From there on, it gets to be a more and more standard slice of life MMO playing story. The MC’s goal to get out of the game is always there but he never really makes any progress towards it. There are still some interesting questlines that the MC follows but as he progresses, he feels more like the other normal players. There are still aspects of his undead nature that are problematic, but it stops being about him a monster class and treats it as another player faction.

 

What is interesting about the story is how the MC uses his undead traits, which expand and are leveled like a new class, to overcome the odds and accomplish his goals. There’s good detail about skills, racial abilities, class abilities, game mechanics, items, and quests.

 

Overall, this ends up feeling more slice of life story since there’s no real resolution of any big goals presented. But that doesn’t mean the story isn’t interesting. The action is good, game mechanic stuff is detailed, it was interesting to see how the MC built his character, and there are several good story arcs. The antagonist in the story is a decent foil. I particularly like the late storyline companion that adds a balancing weakness and vulnerability to the character. It has the potential to develop into a touching relationship. But again, most of the story is action, adventure, and questing.

 

Score: 7.1 out of 10

The Dead Rogue (An NPC's Path Book #1) LitRPG Series

http://amzn.to/2GxZKTZ


 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

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

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

Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  

 

Other LitRPG facebook pages

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

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

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

 

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


 

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

 

(Music 4)

 

Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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


 

LitRPG Podcast 117

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 117

May 25th, 2018

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 117 of the LitRPG podcast.

 

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

 

I want to give a shout out to a new Patreon supporters, Emily Rose and Erik Rounds, thank you for being a supporter.

https://www.patreon.com/geekbytespodcast


 

New Releases and Reviews:

The Song Maiden: A LitRPG Journey (Uniworld Online Book 1) (12:53)

I saw great potential but it only ended up hitting good for me. Score: 7.2 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2rzifQy

Pangea Online Book Two: Magic and Mayhem (18:37)

Feels like a book 1 not a book 2. Score: 7.3 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2KetMNT

Freehaven Online: Dragonsbane: A LitRPG Adventure (25:39)

Never connected with any of the characters. Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2ItGI0Z

Raiya: Starter Zone - A LitRPG Saga: Archon's Chosen - Book One (35:13)

Combat is a bit wand wavy, but great detail on the game mechanics and build reasoning of the main character. Score: 7.5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2rNcUq1

Gestation (Project Chrysalis Book 1) (40:46)

Russian translation. Mostly slice of life training but sends a little boy to hell. Score: 7.3 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2riYwoZ


 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News


 

 

Aleron Kong, author of the Chaos Seeds series, was nice enough to drop some more artwork. This one is a bit more graphic. Titled "Rage of Richter" by Antti Hakosaari

https://www.facebook.com/LitRPGbooks/photos/a.214764818862862.1073741829.212656989073645/651931505146189/?type=3&theater

 

 

Jeffrey ‘falcon’ Logue, author of the Slime Dungeon Chronicles,  has posted a new update to the side scroller video game he’s making. You can see that he’s upped the quality of the sprites he’s using and added new levels. It’s fun to just watch.

https://youtu.be/CkBnPEt-ddU

 

 

I recently had the chance to talk to LitRPG author Harmon Cooper about his latest release Monster Hunt NYC and the other 30+ stories he’s written. It was a fun conversation. Go check it out.

 

I might have gotten a little excited when I added the song Jeff Hays made for the novel, I Know You're There (An Original Monster Hunt NYC Song)  (30:36). I just found the FX options on the video program I use. LOL.

http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-podcast-116/


 

 

I recently helped Dakota Krout host a great hangout with some other LitRPG authors, including  It was fun but we were also promoting a charity auction where the proceeds go to St. Jude's Children Hospital. Several auctions for signed print collections of LitRPG books, including some of mine. Auction ends this week. They’ve already raised over $2,500.

 

The auction will end May 27th at 8 pm CT and all proceeds will go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help fund the research and treatment of pediatric diseases. Bid early, bid often, and thank you for being an avid reader and supporter!

 

Link to watch Author’s Stream: http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-podcast-115/

Auction link: https://www.charityauctionstoday.com/auctions/authors-for-st-jude-4704

Auction registration: https://goo.gl/86n1CP



 

Out Now!  

 

 

Adventures on Terra - Book 3: Rescue

https://amzn.to/2IOoCa3

 

 

Glitch Hunter

https://amzn.to/2IJjk3C

 

 

Goddess Watch: A LitRPG/GameLit Adventure Novel

https://amzn.to/2xg8xce

 

 

The Omega Dream: Dark Repercussions (A LitRPG Novel)

https://amzn.to/2KSsyqS

 

 

Dungeon Boss Player: The Beginning

https://amzn.to/2LuPjlQ

 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

Dungeon Lord: Otherworldly Powers (The Wraith's Haunt, Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2x9SLiJ

 

 

Level Up or Die! (Underworld, Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2sbSKFc

 

 

Clans War: Way of the Shaman Series, Book 7

https://amzn.to/2Ls2dkE

 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2oAvq39

 

 

Awaken Online - Book 3: Evolution (May 28th, 2018)

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2FdgKAE

 

 

Defenders of the Realm (Greystone Chronicles - Book 4) (May 29th, 2018)

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GxZKTZ

 

 

The Right to Choose (Fayroll Book 10) (June 5th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2KvJOSL

 

Killstreak Book One: Respawn: An Epic Fantasy LitRPG (June 14th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2KP2yNq

 

 

End of an Era (Project Chrysalis Book 2) (June 26th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2IIZDVP

 

 

Restart (Level Up Book #1) LitRPG Series (July 10th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2HqRNDu

 

 

External Threat (Reality Benders Book #2) LitRPG Series (July 23rd, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2KA1Jsf

 

 

Death March (Euphoria Online - Book 1) (Aug. 7th, 2018)

 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

 

The Song Maiden: A LitRPG Journey (Uniworld Online Book 1)

 

On her first day at college, Cadence was forced to leave a classroom by a high-strung professor because of her disability. When she tried to leave behind the embarrassing and hurtful experience, she ran from the campus to clear her mind – and ended up in the hospital.

 

While recovering, she was introduced to the NVERS, a virtual reality system where she could experience Uniworld as if she were really there. Having never played any video games before, she didn’t know what to expect; the attitude of the rude and power-hungry players she initially met almost made her want to stop.

 

But after acquiring a unique quest, she found that Uniworld was even more complicated than she had imagined. Added to this, she became a Bard and was able to do something she had never been able to do before – sing.

 

But with the ability to finally sing comes a whole new set of challenges – and dangers.

 

Contains LitRPG elements such as character sheets, skill-ups, and leveling. Also contains a small amount of FF adult content that may be unsuitable for those under the age of 18.

 

My Opinion: 292 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This started out with quite a bit of promise. It had a main character that is mysteriously mute her whole life, a rather dark circumstance that leads her to the full immersion game, and she chooses a class with a disadvantage of a low charisma race. I thought that this would be a good story where the main character overcame some pretty big hurdles.

 

Unfortunately, all the most interesting things in the story are wiped out almost as soon as the MC logs into the game. She magically gets her voice, the dark circumstance is barely mentioned again, and her class issues are solved all without much effort on her part. Those things look like they may become more prominent for the series but not really here.

 

After that it’s really just an entertaining slice of life adventure story with relatively light combat in the first half and just combat the second half.

 

The game mechanic stuff is solid and shown throughout the story and I’ll admit it’s neat to see the MC expand her class skills.

 

Overall, I thought the story was good and entertaining but not as special as I think it could have been.

 

Score: 7.2 out of 10

The Song Maiden: A LitRPG Journey (Uniworld Online Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2rzifQy

 

(Picture 2)

Pangea Online Book Two: Magic and Mayhem

 

Everything has a price. Pangea Online is no different.

 

After winning the Developer’s Tournament, Esil has a new life filled with opportunity. He’s the first person to test out their most innovative technology, full-immersion gameplay, in a brand new, unexplored gameworld. Magic and mayhem collide in ways he never thought possible and soon, he finds himself caught in a quest that may alter the course of the game for years to come.

 

As Esil experiences the grandeur of full-immersion and the line blurs between reality and the gameworld, the NPCs he meets feel more like friends than data. Tasked with defending a small town from dark forces, he must learn to protect its citizens from impending doom or risk losing them forever.

 

My Opinion: 340 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Although this is the 2nd book in the series, in many ways it feels like a 1st book in a new one. While there are a few scenes where the MC still plays the games from book 1, they feel awkward and basic compared to the new game world.

 

The main game that the main character (MC), Esil, beta tests has full sensory immersion, an advance AI running it that creates a world populated by NPCs that are indistinguishable from real people. They have their own histories, phobias, personalities, and prejudices. The world even has a long history that has impacted the culture of the NPCs there. Because of this and the initially light RPG mechanics, the new game world almost feels like portal fiction. This isn’t bad. I actually like it. But it’s just very different from the book 1. Don’t worry, the RPG mechanics become more and more prevalent in the story as it goes on.

 

There are a couple of scenes in the novel where the MC goes back and plays the old game from book 1 but it felt really awkward. The scene’s aren’t badly written and they’re entertaining, but after that immersive game why would anyone go back to normal VR? It almost felt like the scenes only existed to create a connection to book 1 and remind the reader of the existence of the other characters and friends of the MC. This awkwardness extends to how the MCs friends are eventually used in the story. It felt like they were just dropped in towards the end so that they had larger roles and again connected the story in some way back to book 1.

 

Now, I don’t want you to think i didn’t like this novel. It’s very entertaining and I personally liked the shift to a ‘transported to a game world’ vibe. I like it when a game world feels fully fleshed out and has a bit of history and backstory. Additionally, the action is more visceral, the quests feel more like a story, and I liked the NPC personalities more.

 

I have to admit the magic system felt a little wand wavy, especially the MCs powers. His abilities, though cool, didn’t have any defined boundaries and he really seemed to be able to do whatever he wanted if the story needed it or if it seemed fun.

 

The story in the new game is a little basic. It’s an introduction to a new world where the MC is figuring out the rules and what to do. Another reason for the 1st book vibe. But it’s interesting enough to keep me turning pages. I liked the real world storyline and thought it added an interesting look at the world and helped develop the MC’s character.

 

Overall, even though a few places were awkward (like that abrupt ending) I liked the story and I want to read another novel in the series to see how the world in the new game develops.

 

Score: 7.3 out of 10

Pangea Online Book Two: Magic and Mayhem

https://amzn.to/2KetMNT

 

(Picture 3)

Freehaven Online: Dragonsbane: A LitRPG Adventure

 

Freehaven Online is more than a game to Justine. By day, she creates monsters for the world, by night she's raiding dungeons. Most importantly, it's her one connection to her dead brother whose buffs still linger within the game.

 

When his virtual shrine is threatened by an update Justine reforges his guild to complete the Dragonsbane quest in his honor. As an experienced tank, she's no stranger to the bandit attacks, PvP combat, and dragons Freehaven will throw at her.

 

Little does she know, a hacker organization known as Archangel tampers with the update, leaving thousands of players, including Justine, stranded in full immersion virtual reality. As if that weren't strange enough, NPCs are getting smarter, and some marooned players don't want to escape. They're ready to jump at the chance for virtual immortality.

 

Justine must temper the fervent emotions stirring in her guild and unite them to complete the quest. If she doesn't, friends will break from sanity, and others will die in real life.

 

My Opinion: 586 pages, $5.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is the author’s first novel. There are some things I thought were well done but overall it was a hard to care about the characters, and the plot twists weren’t setup well.

 

Things I liked

 

-Good introduction with details about loss of family

-Thoroughly described game mechanics that were consistently applied throughout the story.

-Decent action scenes.

-Good tactics from players in fighting different opponents.

-Interesting Quests

 

Things I didn’t like

 

-I never cared for the main character (MC) or really any characters. The MC kept switching between different alts so it was hard to connect to any of her avatars. She’d be a half elf, then a dwarf paladin, then a monk, then her brothers male combat character.

-The MC didn’t feel like she earned anything. Everything the MC starts out with are either items she got from her brother’s character or things she added as a dev. This includes some really cool items like flaming motorcycles, a whole guild keep, and all the major quests in the story. Cool stuff, but nothing she worked to get.

-The story twists aren’t setup well. About half way into the game, this turns into a trapped in the game story. There’s no foreshadowing that a group is going to take over the system, or that the VR tech even allows for the kind of ‘mind trapped in the game’ setup. At one point a bad guy even says that the game will keep them alive, but again no setup that the tech allows for long term immersion.

 

Overall, there’s nothing technically wrong with the story. I just couldn’t connect with the main character or her pick up group. So I found it hard to care about anything they did or the stakes that were setup. Even the last twist at the end, which should have made me feel ‘OMG!’, I was like, ‘Meh’.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Freehaven Online: Dragonsbane: A LitRPG Adventure

https://amzn.to/2ItGI0Z

 

(Picture 4)

Raiya: Starter Zone - A LitRPG Saga: Archon's Chosen - Book One

 

Skree loved playing Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games. When he becomes the first player to reach level 100 in his favorite game, he is offered the chance to test a brand new game. Never one to read the fine print, he jumped at the chance to be the very first player to see the brand new game.

 

But some opportunities are just too good to be true...

 

Awaking to find himself trapped in a brand new world and struggling to survive, James must find a way to master the game and escape the world of Raiya. Angry wildlife, gargantuan monsters, and mysterious allies are not the only things he has to worry about. Will he have the backbone to do what is right and not what is easiest?

 

Will the carefree Skree find something worth fighting for? Something worth dying for?

 

My Opinion: 436 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is a fun, actiony, transported to the game world story. There’s a nice funny sense of humor. The action is well described. The big highlight for me is the amount of detail that the author put into describing the game mechanics, the choices available to the main character (MC) as he leveled, and the good gamer reasoning the MC did to make his choices.

 

The only negative that bugged me a little was how the MC always seemed to win, even against opponents 10 levels higher than him. However, it’s at least consistently done, so it’s kind of like the author chose to write an overpowered character, even through the numbers say he shouldn’t be. At least that’s how I convinced my brain to just accept it and I had a good time reading the rest of the story, which more than makes up for that issue.

 

Storywise, it feels a bit slice of life story. The beginning is a little slow, but MC gets transported to a game world and wanders around until he finds adventures, gets into trouble, makes friends, learns how to use his RPG skills. There are some good quest chains that introduce interesting and lovable characters, and lead the MC on some good adventures.

 

Overall, this is a good read. Once I just accepted that combat is what it is, I had a good time reading this. The humor made me laugh. The fights, other than the level stuff, nice. And I cared about what happened to the MC and the allies he makes.

 

Score: 7.5 out of 10

Raiya: Starter Zone - A LitRPG Saga: Archon's Chosen - Book One

https://amzn.to/2rNcUq1

 

(Picture 5)

Gestation (Project Chrysalis Book 1)

 

To face Death itself, to hide from deadly guards, to conduct dark rituals and to use forbidden death magic? Being sent to Hell is definitely not what 12-year-old Anji would have ever expected from a government orphanage program.

 

Chrysalis — the project of the century. It is a hyper-realistic fantasy RPG game, set in the Middle Ages. Leveling up, distributing attribute points, and choosing your way of life are only a few ways the players play the game. Chrysalis is the perfect virtual space where every orphan under the care of the government is placed in an in-game family to receive all the love and care of parents they so desperately need. This project helps kids socialize and mold them into the adults of the future. They are in charge of how they grow up in the virtual space, which was built to advance society.

 

But something went seriously wrong for Anji.

 

He has lost everything that he had been so happy to finally receive. Now, instead of a loving mama and strict but generous father, he has bloodthirsty demons and flesh-eating worms. Instead of fishing and baking lessons, he has to perform bloody rituals to survive the nine circles of Hell. Instead of the dreams of a happy childhood, his wounded child’s soul suffers demonification.

 

Betrayed, for the sake of someone else's master plan, he appeared in the most hopeless place of Chrysalis. It is full of ash, despair and… possibilities? Sagie, Anji’s in-game username, fueled by homesickness and revenge, will go through the Hell to face what is hidden in the darkest corners. The road will be long and difficult, but those who can, do.

 

Once, long ago, the first wave of Wanderers appeared in the world of Chrysalis. They had proved themselves by killing the ancient gods. Now it is time for the second wave of Wanderers and for new young gods, dreaming about a wide-scaled and deadly war. The beta-test is now open to people. While they are “playing” in Chrysalis, they have no idea about the truth behind the Project.

 

Project Chrysalis: Book one: Gestation is the first of four books of a brand new LitRPG series. This is a story of a battle for your dreams. It is full of turns, twists, riddles, and revelations; it is a story of… Oh, sorry. No spoilers today.

 

The story of Sagie has just begun.

But first, one line of advice: do not believe your own eyes.

 

My Opinion: 275 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is a slice of life story with a huge emphasis on training. If you like that, you’ll love this. There’s tons of details about abilities, skills, magic systems, and more. But it’s mostly the main character (MC) training and growing powerful.

 

Storywise this is a slice of life training story. The main character, Anji, is an orphan that is just trying to survive in a world that doesn’t care about him. He’s learned that no one in life is going to help him. Then he’s forced to log into the world of Chrysalis and gets NPC parents that make him appreciate what it’s like to be cared for. He just wants to live there and enjoy the game. So he trains like heck to develop his skills, abilities, and levels. But a sinister group sends him to hell, where he’s still determined to survive and spends most of his time again training, leveling, crafting, and learning new forms of magic. All to get back to the normal earth like plane to get his revenge. Eventually, the MC gets back to earth, where, you guessed it, he does more training. There’s lots of fights and some surprising twists in the story but again, mostly training.


On the real world side of the story, it’s a mix of people trying to control or force the MC to do what they think is best for him and eventually bigger forces looking to exploit him because of how he develops because of the game. Interesting stuff, but the novel spends much less time IRL.

 

Overall, this is a good read as long as you recognize it for what it is, a slice of life training story. I personally liked seeing how the character developed his powers, skills, magic, and how that carried over into his real world plans to become independent.

 

Score: 7.3 out of 10

Gestation (Project Chrysalis Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2riYwoZ



 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

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

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

Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  

 

Other LitRPG facebook pages

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

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

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

 

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


 

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

 

(Music 4)

 

Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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



 

LitRPG Podcast 116

 

I'm having a nice chat with Harmon Cooper, the author of over 18 novels, including the Feedback Loop series, Fantasy Online series, The Last Warrior of Unigaea series, Cherry Blossom Girls, and Monster Hunter NYC.

I Know You're There (An Original Monster Hunt NYC Song)  (30:36)
https://www.dropbox.com/s/mc1ehna5n83j52d/I%20know%20you%27re%20there%201.2.mp3?dl=0

Website:http://harmoncooper.com/

Harmon Cooper Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010740964910&ref=br_rs

Proxima Galaxy Reader Group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/340842693023697/about/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/_harmoncooper?lang=en

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Harmon-Cooper/e/B00W3CJZVI/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1526691878&sr=8-1

Book Links:

Monster Hunt NYC https://amzn.to/2Le9BjN

The Last Warrior of Unigaea series  https://amzn.to/2IybVjR

Fantasy Online series https://amzn.to/2Lccq4w

The Feedback Loop series https://amzn.to/2IynJ5w

Cherry Blossom Girls series https://amzn.to/2rRwYHt


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13848807.Harmon_Cooper

 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

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

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

Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  

 

Other LitRPG facebook pages

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

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

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

 

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


 

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

 

(Music 4)

 

Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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

 

LitRPG Podcast 115

 

I helped to host a live event with lots of your favorite LitRPG authors to help promote a charity event. Some LitRPG, Fantasy, and SciFi authors showed up and talked about funny and interesting things while viewers bid on some great signed copies of their books. Proceeds go to the St. Jude research hospital.

The auction will end May 27th at 8 pm CT and all proceeds will go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help fund the research and treatment of pediatric diseases. Bid early, bid often, and thank you for being an avid reader and supporter!

Auction link: https://www.charityauctionstoday.com/auctions/authors-for-st-jude-4704 
Auction registration: https://goo.gl/86n1CP

Folks on the Stream:
Dakota Krout
R.A. Mejia
Michael Chatfield
James Hunter
Dave Wilmarth
Jeffrey 'Falcon' Louge
Chris Carney
Steve Beaulieu
Rhett Bruno

That’s it everyone!

You can follow us on
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/litrpgpodcast/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3-eBvpm-g7IkjfVktObGAA
Patreon:  https://www.patreon.com/geekbytespodcast
Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  

Other LitRPG facebook pages
https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPGGroup/ 
https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPG.books
https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPGsociety/ 

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


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

(Music 4)

Music Credits
"Blip Stream" "Mighty Like Us" "Big Shift" "Vivacity"
Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

LitRPG Podcast 114

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 114

May 18th, 2018

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 114 of the LitRPG podcast.

 

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

 

I want to give a shout out to a new Patreon supporter, Prax Venter, thank you for being a supporter.

https://www.patreon.com/geekbytespodcast


 

New Releases and Reviews:

Warrior Academy - Tournament of Hiroes Episode 3

Meet the other academies episode. Good though. 7.4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2L8zHEE

Options: A LitRPG Adventure (SOL Saga Book 2)

An definite improvement over book 1. Score: 7.3 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2jI9FM1

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

A good novella sized tour of the game universe. Score: Score: 7.5 out of 10

http://amzn.to/2HE26Rp

Atlas Reign: A LitRPG Saga (The Binding Book 1)

Game logic issues lost me. Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2wcDHAv

The Renegades (The Bard from Barliona Book #1)

New character in Barliona. Plant lady Bard. It works. Score: 7.5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2rrjWjb

Everwood Falls: A LitRPG Adventure (LARP Gone Wrong Book 1)

Not LitRPG. Score: 4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2HNkoTW

The Newb (The Adventures of Horc Book 1)

Decent slice of life fantasy story that you can put down and pick up. Score: 7.0 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2IDKmsH

Bitch Berserker

Not boring but the language, hyper gore, and pointless violence just didn’t work for me. Score: 6 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2LbtNCQ  

Initializing (Somnia Online Book 1)

A fun slice of life fantasy story with Psionics. Score: 7.4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2rOxZQE


 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News

 

 

I recently did an author Interview with Gabriel Rathweg, author of Eyrth Online and the Warrior Academy series. It was really fun to talk to him and compare writing influences and our love of LitRPG.

http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-podcast-113/


 

 

Blaise Corvin showed off the cover art from the next Delvers LLC novel and said in the post that it would be coming out ‘early next year at the latest’. He still has to write the 4 book Nora Hazard series and several other titles first.

https://www.facebook.com/BlaiseCorvinWriter/photos/a.807911159344166.1073741828.620615494740401/1182546898547255/?type=3&theater


 

The Dragon's Wrath series is loved by many LitRPG readers and there isn’t a month that goes by when someone doesn't ask on Facebook when a new one is going to come out. However, author Brent Roth and all his novels have disappeared from Amazon.

 

It’s unclear currently of this is due to the recent Amazon suspensions going around. But there have been rumors for the last year that the author’s health has been in decline.



 

 

Update on the Amazon account suspension story from last week. Most of the authors mentioned as having their accounts suspended last week have finally had them restored. But several more have had their accounts suspended. It’s a very frustrating situation.

 

Many of the author that had their accounts restored have taken their novels out of the Kindle Unlimited program. Thanks to advice from other authors I wrote to Amazons support page through KDP contact us section and was pull my novels out of the KU program before the normal release. I just hope that I won’t get hit with a suspension notice next month.

 

Remember to support your favorite authors folks. Even just sharing on social media how much you enjoyed their stories or leaving a review on Amazon are really impactful ways of getting the word out about stories you like.  



 

Out Now!  

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GCQDQq

 

 

Ariair Online: A Piece of Legend

https://amzn.to/2wEGxi5

 

 

Goblin King: A LitRPG/GameLit Adventure (Monster Slayer Online Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2HOWyY1

 

 

Pangea Online Book Two: Magic and Mayhem

https://amzn.to/2KetMNT

 

 

Freehaven Online: Dragonsbane: A LitRPG Adventure

https://amzn.to/2ItGI0Z

-Author accidently uploaded an early version w/o tables and while he has since fixed the issue, the earliest purchaser may need to manually update their copy by going to their Content Manager section on Amazon.


 

 

Tales of the Gemsmith - Red: A LitRPG Adventure Series (Aldaron Worlds Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2Ir8Vpd

 

 

Succubus 2 (Hell To Pay): A LitRPG Series

https://amzn.to/2rOxg1S

 

 

Raiya: Starter Zone - A LitRPG Saga: Archon's Chosen - Book One

https://amzn.to/2rNcUq1

 

 

Martyrs: LitRPG Book 1 (Legends of the Great Savanna)

https://amzn.to/2GpQijD



 

 

Velmorah: A Glitchworld LitRPG (Nox Asylum Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2rLcL5i

 

 

City of Champions Online: Issue III: New Normal

https://amzn.to/2LaExBs

 

 

Rules-Free VRMMO Life: Volume XI - Amyaththalas

https://amzn.to/2L9TNyl

 

 

Into the Black: Book X: After the Storm

https://amzn.to/2Ivcjzs


 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

Ritualist: Completionist Chronicles, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2IHwxt8

 

 

Blademage Beastmaster: A LitRPG Series, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2IjZiwK

 

 

The Monster Spawn: A LitRPG Series, Adonis Rebirth #1

https://amzn.to/2rSOJ9J

 

 

Viridian Gate Online: The Lich Priest (The Viridian Gate Archives, Book 5)

https://amzn.to/2La8QIr

 

 

Mitigating Risk (Nora Hazard Series, Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2INhjD4

 

 

The Way of the Clan 5: Ultimatum (World of Valdira Series, Book 5)

https://amzn.to/2LcigTB



 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

Gestation (Project Chrysalis Book 1) (May 22nd, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2riYwoZ

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GPikpy

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2oAvq39

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2FdgKAE

 

 

Defenders of the Realm (Greystone Chronicles - Book 4) (May 29th, 2018)

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GxZKTZ

 

 

The Right to Choose (Fayroll Book 10) (June 5th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2KvJOSL

 

 

Restart (Level Up Book #1) LitRPG Series (July 10th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2HqRNDu

 

 

External Threat (Reality Benders Book #2) LitRPG Series (July 23rd, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2KA1Jsf

 

 

Death March (Euphoria Online - Book 1) (Aug. 7th, 2018)

 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

Warrior Academy - Tournament of Hiroes Episode 3

 

The other schools are coming…

The Tournament is about to start…

 

After the world is destroyed humanities survivors start anew. Now in a world forever changed, a place where magic is real, and monsters have come to life. A place where magic and science blend with pop culture… Welcome to Warrior Academy.

 

Welcome back to Warrior Academy. Rejoin Hiro and friends as they continue their journey. Meet new friends and enemies. More food, fighting, and music.

 

If you like video games, music, anime, and just pop culture in general… you will love Warrior Academy. Its Harry Potter meets Naruto with a little Dragon Ball Z and Dungeons and Dragons thrown in for fun, oh and don’t forget a smattering of High School Musical…

 

This is the third episode in a 13 episode series.

 

My Opinion: 398 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

*There’s a custom spotify playlist for this novel.  Each chapter has its own theme music. My favorite songs this time where: Oxford Comma and Play That Song.*

 

This episode of the series feels a bit like the Tri-Wizard tournament episode since the other schools finally come to compete in the interschool competition. There’s all the pop culture fun, light romance, and action you’ve come to enjoy from the series, but the big highlight for me this time was the progressively challenging fight scene at the end of the story. It was a good gradual increase in action that ended well.

 

Also note that the last 10% of the novel is a short sample of a project of the author, I Am Gamer. Which on its own is well worth a read.

 

Score: 7.4 out of 10

Warrior Academy - Tournament of Hiroes Episode 3 https://amzn.to/2L8zHEE

 

(Picture 2)

Options: A LitRPG Adventure (SOL Saga Book 2)

 

Player Killers. Bounty Hunters. No Way Out.

 

After defeating a demon, Terra realizes she needs to change to a new class if she's ever going to survive this game. As it turns out, finding a master that will teach her how to be a monk is not easy. Word has spread quickly about the legendary player killer's return, and every hunter in the city is after her head.

 

My Opinion: 245 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

An definite improvement over book 1. This is more slice of life adventure, but it highlights the semi OP avatar the MC is using but combines it with her super noobness to funny effect. She’s on the hunt for an unarmed monk trainer and goes about it in on the wrong ways. Her avatar’s previous user, her deceased brother was a notorious PKer and it seems like the whole server is looking to get him. While there’s not as much real life storyline, the action is pretty constant and overall it was an entertaining read.

 

Score: 7.3 out of 10

Options: A LitRPG Adventure (SOL Saga Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2jI9FM1

 

(Picture 3)

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

 

Brock Paddon is a hardcore video gamer. He has structured his entire life around gaming. He surrounds himself with AI’s, robots, and has a customized sleep schedule to maximize his in-game time. In the middle of a workout, Epoch International’s most anticipated fully-immersive game The louVRe Adventure launches, and he does what any good gamer would do: he logs in.

 

However, he is not prepared for the quirky AI’s unique requirements for the game. He is not prepared at all.

 

Hijinks and shenanigans abound in this unique look at Eloria with a character that you might just know from other stories.

 

My Opinion: 115 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is a nice novella that I honestly like quite a bit more than the author’s other title in this universe. This one is clearly told from a gamers perspective and there are lot so nice nods to internet memes, gamer culture, and most importantly gamer behavior.

 

I honestly connect with this main character (MC) more. The MC really pushes the boundaries of the game system. It becomes a kind of mini game for him, which is a very gamer thing to do. That wouldn’t have been possible with the character from the main series.

 

Additionally, the end of the story is a nice tie in to the author’s other LitRPG novel Eloria's Beginning.

 

Overall, a good stuff and it provides a nice little tour of what’s possible in the story world.

 

Score: 7.5 out of 10

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

http://amzn.to/2HE26Rp

 

(Picture 4)

Atlas Reign: A LitRPG Saga (The Binding Book 1)

 

Level-up. Cross the Binding. Save reality.

Die-hard gamer Morrow Adams strives to escape his corporate-controlled existence on Earth. Logging in as Atlas Reign, he plays The Binding as a way to break from the limitations of his real life.

 

Few have crossed the elusive Binding in the game, but if you do, real-life opportunity awaits—physical passage to a new world.

 

But the same corporation that Morrow tries to escape from on Earth also controls the virtual game world—a world perfectly designed to drain your credits and enslave you to their workforce.

 

Everything changes when Morrow meets a beautiful, top-level player from the other side named Raven Vex. She helps him uncover a devious conspiracy within the game that sends them on an unbelievable quest through The Binding's expansive—and dangerous—universe.

 

My Opinion: 324 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The story starts out pretty good with a difficult fight for the main character (MC), Atlas Reign, and his group. The battle feels like a real struggle for this group of level 14-15 players and there are a few moments I wasn’t sure they were going to win.

 

Unfortunately, that’s the last time combat and the game mechanics made logical gamer sense and things weren’t wand wavy to move the story forward. After that fight, the MC manages to wipe the floor with opponent after opponent that’s 20-30 levels higher than him. The MC dies when it’s convenient to show loss from a bounty or to set him back a little, but he still always wins despite the huge level gap, and against every gamer experience I’ve had. I’m not saying that a player can’t get beat a higher level opponent through careful planning or luck. But groups of opponents 20-30 levels higher, all of whom have better gear? It just stretched the bounds of believability.

 

From there on, I stopped enjoying the story. Though there are other issues with un-foreshadowed self aware AI, shadowy government conspiracies, and a forced love interest. I stopped connecting with the story long before (about the 20% mark).

 

You can tell the author took time to make the fights detailed in both description and with numbers. The game mechanics presented have interesting details and a sci-fi theme. But ultimately it feels like they’re ignored to shove the plot forward.

 

Overall, it’s not badly written, fights are nicely detailed, and there’s some good world building. But I just couldn’t get past the wand wavy lack of logic explaining why the MC could beat opponent so much more powerful than himself, often without assistance.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Atlas Reign: A LitRPG Saga (The Binding Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2wcDHAv

 

(Picture 5)

The Renegades (The Bard from Barliona Book #1)

 

Barliona is back! OLD WORLD, NEW HEROES!

 

What would happen if a professional rock musician joined a virtual MMO in search of inspiration among its gameworld? What would happen if she decided to play as a biota bard, a brand new race of humanoid flora as well as a new class? Whatever would happen, it would surely be fun…

 

My Opinion: 300 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Full disclosure: I received an advanced copy for review

 

Written by Vasily Mahanenko and Eugenia Dmitrieva. The two recently published a short story together in You’re In Game Book 2.

 

This is a new character with a new story set in the familiar world of the Way of the Shaman, Barliona. The main character (MC), Kiera, is a musician in real life and decides to try out the game to create new songs to boost her bands popularity. She chooses to be the new plant race, Biota, and be a bard.

 

The game mechanics are the same as they’ve been before, but now you get to see all the details of the more generalized bard class. There are some interesting specialty choices for the class.

 

Story-wise, this is a mostly slice of life story, where you follow a new player figuring how things work in the game, how to build her character, craft, explore, and adventure. There’s some interesting twists, especially towards the end, but it’s mostly just following this character around. Readers get a little better look at the real world in this novel since the MC isn’t stuck in the game. There are also a few cameos made by characters from the Way of the Shaman.

 

Overall, I liked the story. I’m not a big fan of the race choice but the story was interesting enough to keep me entertained.  

 

Score: 7.5 out of 10

The Renegades (The Bard from Barliona Book #1)

https://amzn.to/2rrjWjb

 

(Picture 6)

Everwood Falls: A LitRPG Adventure (LARP Gone Wrong Book 1)

 

Abigail and Madison have been best friends since kindergarten. They share everything and have always been there to support one another, especially since the tragic death of Madison’s parents.

 

So when Maddy decides to attend a LARP event in order to get closer to her crush from philosophy class, Abby rushes to the rescue. She joins in the adventure, although running around waving foam swords, pretending to cast spells and to be some medieval damsel is not her idea of fun.

 

Soon after they arrive, however, they find that the event is not as boring or lame as they had expected. In fact, they quickly get caught up in the intrigue and even accept to help in the main quest to secure the Gem of Mistar and keep the realm safe from the Dark King.

 

They spend the night looking for the mystical artifact. But when they stumble upon a hidden cave in the woods and reach for the glowing bowl that they mistake for the Gem, they’re transported into a new world that’s nothing like Colorado where they had been LARPing. In these lands, people ride horses, wear armor and speak like in ancient times. The difference being that, for those people, there’s no make believe! This is real!

 

As the two young women try to come to grips with what just happened to them, they meet a pair of mysterious princes and learn that this world is in grave danger. The Cimmerian, a powerful mage who has been locked away for centuries, is about to break free from his jail and leave chaos and death in his wake.

 

Abby and Maddy will have to discover the true reason behind their arrival if they ever hope to survive this ordeal and return home. Because, if they are to believe the prophecy from the ancients, they might be the key to saving the entire realm! They, the two regular girls from the city who are better at gossiping than at wielding a sword!

 

They will find that they possess hidden talents which might tip the balance in their favor. To guide them and help unlock those dormant powers, they will receive assistance from the beautiful and mysterious princes.

 

But they have to hurry. Clock is ticking. Will they make it in time or will they succumb to the Cimmerian’s madness, along with the inhabitants of this world?

 

My Opinion: 426 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The entire first 32% of the novel doesn’t have anything even remotely LitRPG. It’s more about LARPing and then getting transported to a fantasy world to fulfill some prophecy. There’s some character development but it’s kind of boring. There’s not even any action.  You don’t see anything really RPG related until the 33-37% mark when the two female main characters see their character sheets. Then that’s kind of it. All the rest of the story is described as chosen one fantasy novel. Even when Abby, the caster in the group, is trying to learn how to use spells it’s described as ‘embarrassing her power’ or ‘tapping into her magic.’ There’s no game elements at all besides a rare notification. You don’t even see another character sheet until the very end of the novel.

 

Overall, this isn’t LitRPG for me. It really felt like someone threw in a few notifications and had the characters level up at the end of the novel. In over 426 pages, there’s really only a handful of sentences game related much less RPG related.

 

Score: 4 out of 10

Everwood Falls: A LitRPG Adventure (LARP Gone Wrong Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2HNkoTW

 

(Picture 7)

The Newb (The Adventures of Horc Book 1)

 

Friends don’t leave friends to die in dungeons!

 

Alan Gosling signed up to beta test Halfworld for a little extra cash. He got a lot more than he bargained for.

When disaster strikes, he’s got to fight to stay alive in both the digital world and the real one.

 

Even with the help of friends, Alan, aka Horc the Half Orc Ranger, isn’t sure if he can make it out of the game before his time runs out in the real world.

 

In beta testing, Halfworld still has a few bugs to work out, and without a wiki to give them guidance, Horc’s party doesn’t know what they’re getting into as they try to free the area around Stone Helm City from the grip of the Gnoll King. Can they level up and get enough power to take him out before Alan’s real-world problems become terminal?

 

My Opinion: 300 pg?, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is a slice of life, trapped in the game LitRPG story. After a brief introduction of the main character (MC), he’s in the game by the 3% mark and stays in game the rest of the novel. There’s a minor trapped in the game element, but the story mostly follows the MC as he learns about the game, learns about his class, goes on adventures, and dungeon dives.

 

The game mechanics are going to be familiar to anyone that’s played a fantasy MMO in the last couple but they’re nothing innovative.

 

Overall, this is better than decent slice of life story that you can pick up and put down at your leisure. Again, no real heavy plot, just some RPG adventuring. If you like that kind of story, you’ll have a nice time with this.

 

Score: 7.0 out of 10

The Newb (The Adventures of Horc Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2IDKmsH

 

(Picture 8)

Bitch Berserker

 

Trapped in a savage reality I'm a kind and gentle person. Or should I say, I was... As an interstellar surveyor, my job is to find and explore new star systems at the very fringes of humankind's reach. There are no conflicts, or even stress – it's simply a career which allows me to quietly drift through the cosmos, enjoying its endless beauty. Then I found myself trapped on a world like no other. Dark, bloody and brutal, I had to adapt quickly to this new reality, or me and my crew would never get a chance to escape. My life quickly morphed from one of peace, to one of pure savagery. And as I carved a blood-soaked path across this realm of carnage, there was one horrifying fact about myself I needed to confront: Learning to kill was easy, but learning not to love it so much... now that's hard. NOTE: This is a hyper-violent LitRPG dark fantasy. Not for the squeamish.

 

My Opinion: 284 pages, $10.99, Was Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is a super violent slice of life LitRPG. The premise is that a woman from a spacefaring ship crashes on a game world. She’s forced to kill to survive and accidently creates a character that’s a berserker dedicated to the god of blood.

 

There are RPG mechanics. She gets blood points for her kills that she can spend on ability trees. She levels and can increase her stats. There’s even a tiny bit of crafting. But this is mostly just a fighting story. Fight, upgrade, fight. That’s all there is to it really.

 

Overall, not boring but the language, hyper gore, and pointless violence just didn’t work for me.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Bitch Berserker

https://amzn.to/2LbtNCQ  

 

(Picture 9)

Initializing (Somnia Online Book 1)

 

Discover the class you were born to play.

 

Wren, a seasoned healer, is dismayed when Somnia Online automatically assigns her character, Murmur, to the Enchanter class. Determined to overcome the unexpected setback, she assembles her guild, intent on the coveted #1 spot. Twelve keys stand between her and victory, but finding them is only part of the puzzle.

 

Armed with telepathic abilities, Murmur rises to the challenge. However, old rivals have followed her to Somnia Online desperate for revenge. Intricate quest lines become more dangerous as NPCs absorb powerful artifacts, and Murmur begins to wonder just what sort of AI controls the world.

 

Murmur questions her sanity as the real and virtual worlds mesh together. Everyone is keeping secrets from her, even the AI, and Murmur’s determined to uncover them.

 

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

 

This is a slice of life LitRPG story that mostly focuses on the main character (MC), Wren, and her first week playing the latest and greatest full immersion game that her parents helped develop. She has her character class picked out for her, an enchanter, and goes on adventures, quests, forms a guild, does a bit of crafting, and otherwise has fun. There is a 2nd narrative with regular chapters detailing the development of the VR gear used that has increasingly sinister tones as the novel goes on.

 

Game mechanic wise, it’s fairly standard MMO stuff. A unique aspect is the psychic abilities that the  MC discovers. They’re well thought out and while potentially overpowered are balanced with some potentially debilitating side effects.

 

Overall, I had a fun time following Wren and her group on their adventures. Combat was always well thought out and tactical. The group banter was fun. There’s good character development.

Though I think that last minute story twists wasn’t setup well, it doesn’t ruin the story or anything.

 

Score: 7.4 out of 10

Initializing (Somnia Online Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2rOxZQE


 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

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

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

Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  

 

Other LitRPG facebook pages

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

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

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

 

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


 

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

 

(Music 4)

 

Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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



 

LitRPG Podcast 113

 

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 Gabriel Rathweg, author of the Eyrth Online and Warrior Academy LitRPG series.  He’s here today to talk about Warrior Academy: Tournament of Hiroes Part 1 - Episode 3 (https://amzn.to/2rHCVXv )


Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/glrathweg/ 
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Gabriel-Rathweg/e/B06XT69BM1/ 
Book Links: 
Eyrth Online series
https://amzn.to/2ICUWjw 
Warrior Academy series
https://amzn.to/2IlAMXS  
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16650577.Gabriel_Rathweg

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

That’s it everyone!

You can follow us on
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/litrpgpodcast/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3-eBvpm-g7IkjfVktObGAA
Patreon:  https://www.patreon.com/geekbytespodcast
Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  

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 112

 

LitRPG Podcast 112

May 11th, 2018

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 112 of the LitRPG podcast.

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

I want to give a shout out to Marc Carlson, out latest Patreon subscriber. Thank you for your support.

 

New Releases and Reviews:

Blind Gambit: A GameLit LitRPG novel (18:48)

update Not LitRPG but author relabeled

http://amzn.to/2HFfS60 update Not LitRPG but author relabeled

 

War Aeternus 2: Sacrifices (20:52)

Good entertaining balance of Gladiator Action, Crafting, and Story

Score: 7.6/10

https://amzn.to/2Kb8H6d

The Mists of Erantia (Realm of Arkon Book 7) (25:24)

Disappointing reunion, but lots of epic action

Score: 7/10

https://amzn.to/2JjAotP

New Generation (Maelstrom Book 1) (29:24)

Lots of fights, little purpose, bored. Score: 5/10

https://amzn.to/2KhgRuE

Questmaster: A LitRPG Novella (36:20)

Set in an MMO, but not LitRPG. Score: 4/10

https://amzn.to/2HhUGpe

Catmaster Online: A LitRPG Series (38:59)

World of Cats with RPG stuff. Not my thing though. Score: 6/10

https://amzn.to/2HZGrDH .

Endless Online: Oblivion's Blade: A LitRPG Adventure - Book 1 (41:34)

More Sci-fi/fantasy portal fiction than LitRPG.  Score: 6/10

https://amzn.to/2riZQbr

New Life Online: A LitRPG Novel (54:26)

Dry storytelling, lots of technical issues. Score: 4/10

https://amzn.to/2HQDyUP

Monster Hunter NYC (01:00:12)

Monster capturing with RPG mechanics. Good. Score: 7.2/10

https://amzn.to/2jMBFhq


 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News

 

 

Blaise Corvin recently did a Live Steam on Facebook. It was very entertaining to watch, especially if you’ve ever wondered how much he loves his knife collection. There are also some juicy details about his upcoming writing schedule. Go watch it.

 

He’s also put the 1st book in the Delvers LLC series on sale for $0.99 for the next week, if you want to go get that now I’ll wait here.

 

Delvers LLC: Welcome to Ludus https://amzn.to/2rzhpV1

https://www.facebook.com/BlaiseCorvinWriter/videos/1176850122450266/

 

 

Charles Dean just released the 2nd book in his War Aeternus series this week. To celebrate he’s holding a YouTube event with some of his beta readers, editors, and he’s inviting all the readers to come watch and comment in chat. Go subscribe to his page and you’ll see when it come on. It currently scheduled for Saturday May 12th, 7pm est.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOXlju7bcS-FyiTKYPRzOMg

 

 

 

Another wave of e-mails from Amazon went out this week telling authors that “We are reaching out to you because we detected reading or borrow activity for your books originating from accounts attempting to manipulate Kindle services. You will receive royalties associated with legitimate or paid sales; however, we will not pay for reading activity related to illegitimate activity.”

 

Then there is the usual inference that 3rd party marketing services may be to blame but that “any additional violation of our Terms and Conditions – including a violation caused by any marketing services you, or others on your behalf, may have used – could result in account-level actions, up to and including termination of your KDP account.”

 

It seems like an automated thing where these page read services are hiding their activities by also reading other novels that didn’t pay for their services.

 

This most recent wave has affected more LitRPG authors: GR Cooper, Leto Spirit Blackman, ‎Zachariah Dracoulis‎, Tom Hansen, RJ Castiglione, Aj Chaudhury, and even me. I’m honestly surprised to be hit because I don’t run ads or really even do marketing. I know it’s impacted a variety of authors differently, some losing hundreds of dollars worth of KU page reads, and some even losing all their page reads for the month.  

 

The hardest hit this time have been GR Cooper  (Omegaverse series), Leto Spirit Blackman, Tom Hansen (Enter The louVRe series), and Jeff Sproul (Sigil Online)  who have their access to their books suspended. Which means their books may not be available on Amazon until they have their accounts reinstated or just have them removed from the KU program, and possibly have any pre-orders setup canceled. This happened last time with Matt Dinniman, author of Dominion of Blades series, but thankfully he had his account reinstated days later.

 

Many authors are choosing to remove their titles from KU rather than take the chance of getting their accounts closed because of what some shady page reader service has done to them without their knowledge or consent.

 

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

 

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

 

Send Amazon Feedback:

 

Customer Service 1 (888) 280-4331

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

 

 

 

 

 

Daniel Schinhofen has gone full time. He’s put in his resignation letter at work and will be a fully fledged full time author come May 20th. I just want to congratulate him on making that leap and wish him the best. I’m a big fan of his work and have enjoyed every single conversation and author interview I’ve ever had with the guy.

 

He also has a patreon page if you want to support him that way too.

https://www.patreon.com/DJSchinhofen

 

Out Now!  


 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2HE26Rp


 

 

The Renegades (The Bard from Barliona Book #1)

https://amzn.to/2rrjWjb

Written by Vasily Mahanenko and Eugenia Dmitrieva. The two recently published a short story together in You’re In Game Book 2.


 

 

Options: A LitRPG Adventure (SOL Saga Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2jI9FM1

244

 

 

The Song Maiden: A LitRPG Journey (Uniworld Online Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2rzifQy

 

 

Bitch Berserker

https://amzn.to/2I68jJA


 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

Super Sales on Super Heroes

Super Sales on Super Heroes, Book 2

https://amzn.to/2wucw4e

Our review of the ebook version: http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/12/7/super-sales-on-super-sales-2

 

 

Restart

https://amzn.to/2jPF1Av

Our review of the ebook version:

http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2018/3/8/restart-dark-paladin-book-3-litrpg-series

 

 

This Is Our Land

https://amzn.to/2KUp6NA

Our review of the ebook version:

http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/5/4/this-is-our-land-emerilia-book-5

 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

 

Warrior Academy - Tournament of Hiroes Episode 3 (May 11th, 2018)

 

 

Goblin King: A LitRPG/GameLit Adventure (Monster Slayer Online Book 1) (May 15th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2HOWyY1

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GCQDQq

 

Gestation (Project Chrysalis Book 1) (May 22nd, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2riYwoZ

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GPikpy

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2oAvq39

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2FdgKAE

 

 

Defenders of the Realm (Greystone Chronicles - Book 4) (May 29th, 2018)

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GxZKTZ

 

 

Pangea Online Book Two: Magic and Mayhem (May 31st, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2KetMNT

 

 

Atlas Reign: A LitRPG Saga (The Binding Book 1) (May31st, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2wcDHAv


 

 

Restart (Level Up Book #1) LitRPG Series (July 10th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2HqRNDu

 

 

External Threat (Reality Benders Book #2) LitRPG Series (July 23rd, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2KA1Jsf

 

 

Death March (Euphoria Online - Book 1) (Aug. 7th, 2018)

 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

 

***Small update for this title***

Blind Gambit: A GameLit LitRPG novel

 

This is a kind of coming of age story for a visually impaired young man who has to deal with the duality of being able to see in the VR game he plays and being blind in real life. The real life storyline is honestly much better than the game training/hacker one.

 

It was originally published with the descriptors “A GameLit LitRPG novel”on both the cover and in the Amazon title. I read the novel and while I liked it, it’s not LitRPG. Part of the story is set in a VR world and there’s a kind of shooter game element to the story, there is no RPG progression.

 

Rather than just give a novel I actually enjoyed a bad review for what seemed to me like a mislabel, I contacted the author who said he’d originally intended to publish it as just GameLit. We both agreed that labeling it as LitRPG would setup reader expectations that the novel just wasn’t going to fulfill and the author said he’d change it to just GameLit.

 

Good story, just mislabeled as LitRPG.

Blind Gambit: A GameLit LitRPG novel

http://amzn.to/2HFfS60

 

(Picture 2)

War Aeternus 2: Sacrifices

 

Desperate to save as many people as he can from a horrible fate in the cruel game of the gods, Lee and his small group of friends abandon the relative safety of Satterfield for the great city of Kirshtein. Tensions within the city have reached a breaking point after the arrival of an enemy Herald, and Lee is soon caught up in the struggle for power. Captured, imprisoned, and forced to fight for his life on the blood-soaked sands of the Kirshtein arena, Lee has to figure out how to survive long enough to mend the rifts in the broken city before it falls apart completely. Armed with new skills, joined by new allies, and up against his most dangerous enemy yet, Lee's bid for survival in the War of Eternity takes on even higher stakes as he learns the what true leadership requires. Now, with an ominous new threat looming in the distance and an army on the horizon, Lee has to answer one question: Can he pay the price of victory?

 

My Opinion: 350 pages??, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

War Aeternus 2 picks up shortly after the end of book 1, with the core team trying to collect bounties to raise funds for their home village. Then they get to a new town and things don’t go well for them. The novel is really an introduction to the larger world where humans aren’t the dominant species and are looked down upon. There’s lots of good fights, leveling, and some magical crafting.

 

But for me, some of the best moments in the story didn’t happen in a fight. Instead, they were the ones that made me feel connected to the characters. Whether it’s the fumbling romance of Lee in the real world, or touching background stories from the other members of the core team in the game world, those moments are my favorites.

 

Overall, I really liked this story. It’s a good balance of action, RPG advancement, character development, and story.

 

Score:  7.6 out of 10

War Aeternus 2: Sacrifices

https://amzn.to/2Kb8H6d


 

(Picture 3)

The Mists of Erantia (Realm of Arkon Book 7)

 

Roman was never supposed to escape the locked plane that was his prison. And yet, somehow the impossible task became possible with the help of new friends, and despite the tricks of old enemies. Too intrepid was the demon driven by the fury of battle, the sorrow of defeat, the bonds of unbreakable friendship and the longing for his beloved…

But when gods themselves join the fray, the chances of victory fall from slim to none. Just don’t tell that to Roman, better known as Krian the Prince of Craedia, or to his friends, for their will to fight for the realm they now call home is inexhaustible, and fight they will to the bitter end…

 

My Opinion: 303 pages, $5.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

If you’re a fan of this series this is a must read. I wish the story was in KU but it’s really not one of those series you can pick up midway through anyways. Also be aware that this one seems to have more technical writing/translation errors than the ones before it.

 

Roman, Max, and the sister finally reunite but that reunion wasn’t as sweet as i thought it would be. There’s a little time the three spend together, but then they’re almost immediately back on the trail questing. Which is where the story does shine. Epic fights with some really good loot. Good, interesting questlines, that make you want to turn the page well into the night. I’m sort of curious just how much more epic the quests can get though in future books.

 

Overall, a good action filled story with an epic ending. There’s a bit of a cliffhanger at the end, but nothing that ruins the story.

 

Score: 7 out of 10.

The Mists of Erantia (Realm of Arkon Book 7)

https://amzn.to/2JjAotP

 

(Picture 4)

New Generation (Maelstrom Book 1)

 

A single look changed everything.

It might have been the sight of blood on Kaden's hands.

It might have been when he laid eyes on the woman haunting his dreams.

 

Forced against their will into a new world, Kaden and Laney will have to serve a wicked god and fight for survival. Every. Single. Day.

An old foe to god Bardos appears and offers them salvation. Will his offer save or kill them?

 

This is Maelstrom. Prepare to be changed.

 

My Opinion:  269 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

*Note: There are many technical writing issues with the story. I recommend downloading a sample to see if they will bother you.*

 

Basically this is a series of fights and dungeon dives held together with a super vague plot to distract an evil god long enough to make him mortal.

 

This is LitRPG. There is RPG advancement with characters leveling choosing new powers as they level. But it’s a very loose RPG system that almost seems to be made up on the spot as the story goes on. For example, early in the story it’s established that players spend skill points they earn as they level to learn spells or abilities related to their class. The MC, Kaden, does this choosing some cool ice powers. Then a short time later, through sheer imagination and an act of will he creates a whole new spell. So, he never really needed those skill points, I guess? Additionally, it never feels like there’s a whole system that was created in advance of the story, more  like it was being made up as the story was written.

 

On the story side, there really isn’t one. The novel starts out with an awkward transported to a game world beginning then drops the main characters into a battle, where they kill, level up, get new abilities and kill some more. That’s really what the story is throughout. There is an attempt to put a sort of story in place between fights with flashbacks and a plot to bring down the evil god that sent the MC to the world, but honestly it’s just an excuse to get to the next fight.

 

One of the biggest issues for me, was the sheer number of consistent technical mistakes in the novel. My brain naturally adjusts to ignore them, but there are a lot of consistent mistakes. Additionally, the writing style and dialogue are awkward as all heck. It’s really going to bother some people.

 

Overall, I was sort of bored for a lot of the novel. The fights, which are a major portion of the novel are decently written. The movement, tactics, and spell are interesting from a technical level. But over all, the fights lack purpose which makes them a bit boring and skippable for me. I tested it out actually. After reading up to a major lull with flashbacks and plot, I went back and found last place before some fights and then skipped to the ‘story’ and found no real loss of context. If  you are in the mood for something that throws fight after fight at you in a serial style storytelling, you might enjoy this if you can look past the technical issues.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

New Generation (Maelstrom Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2KhgRuE

 

(Picture 5)

Questmaster: A LitRPG Novella

 

An island adrift in a world gone to Hell becomes an even smaller place when the weight of its future lands on one person’s shoulders. None of the chosen in our recorded history have ever found a way off of the island. This year, the task will fall to a new questmaster.

“Curing the corruptions shouldn’t cost us our humanity.” – Tier’an Bai

 

My Opinion: 100 pg??, $2.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is super over priced. $2.99 for something likely less than 100 pages and not on KU.

 

According to the front matter in the story, this was originally published as part of a fantasy and speculative story box set in 2017. I doubt that it was written as LitRPG since there are no RPG mechanics in the entire story. Rather it feels like a speculative story that asks the question: what would happen if you trapped a group of people in an MMO for six generations? How would the culture develop after so much time? And for the most part that’s what this is.

 

However, that’s the meta concept. Reading the story feels much more like you’re watching someone play a fantasy MMO. Only there’s no leveling, stats, item descriptions, class details, or any other kind of progression. Just people fighting, questing, and throwing out a whole lot of gamer speak as they do so.

 

Overall, not a bad story, but it’s also not LitRPG.

 

Score: 4 out of 10.

Questmaster: A LitRPG Novella

https://amzn.to/2HhUGpe

 

(Picture 6)

Catmaster Online: A LitRPG Series

 

Meet Kitty… a cat in a VRMMORPG

 

What would it be like if you were left with only 1% of your memory?


 

Kitty is about to find out. After being betrayed by a close friend, Kitty is down to level one with no knowledge of his past life. With the aid of a cat princess, he’ll need to fight his way up the ladder to get to the final boss and save the world. More importantly, he must save his master.


 

Along the way he’ll learn new spells, deal with mobs, go on epic quests… and level up!

 

My Opinion: 309 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is a slice of life LitRPG story set in a game world where anthropomorphised animals rule. If you’ve ever read the Redwall series by Brian Jacques, then you’ll have an idea of what this story is like. In this world though it’s cats and dogs that walk on two legs, talk, and fight. The main character is a cat named Kitty who has a character sheet, gets XP from quests and killing monsters, and basically just goes on adventures and eventually tries to help a cat princess.

 

Overall, there are some good fights, the game mechanics are decent but not particularly innovative. However, other than the characters being anthropomorphised animals there wasn’t much to set this story apart from other slice of life adventure stories. It didn’t really land for me, but if you’re tired of reading about the same old human characters, you might enjoy the change of pace here.

 

Score: 6 out of 10.

Catmaster Online: A LitRPG Series

https://amzn.to/2HZGrDH .

 

(Picture 7)

Endless Online: Oblivion's Blade: A LitRPG Adventure - Book 1

 

Val had returned from his latest tour of duty scarred in body and soul. Barely able to walk and drugged to the gills for pain, he thought his killing days were finally behind him.

 

He couldn't have been more wrong.

 

Endless Online, a hyper futuristic game where players could truly live another life.

 

Val loved the idea of starting over in virtual reality. But when someone he cares about turns up missing after chasing that same dream, Val quickly learns that Endless is no simple game.

 

And if Val can't figure out the dark secrets behind this realm of wizards, warriors, and intergalactic conquest, then it's game over. For everyone.

 

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

 

I’m not sure if this is serial story or if it’s just one long story but it’s one that’s definitely been broken up into pieces and has a very abrupt ending that’s picked up in the next book. That bothers some people, so just an FYI.

 

The novel has a bit of an unusual beginning and the premise of the story shifts around alot. It starts out as a character development for an injured soldier who is a gamer. Then it shifts to cyber thriller. Then most of it plays out as portal fiction in a sci-fi/fantasy universe with RPG element that feel like they don’t matter to the story.

 

Now having said that, I also think that this is a well developed story. There’s lots of character development for the MC before he transports to the new world. There are scenes that do this in flashback form later but they really interrupt the flow of the sci-fi/fantasy world storyline. The sci-fi/fantasy world has deep lore with politics, histories, and defined relationships between magic and technology. Each of the secondary characters have interesting and unique personalities that make them memorable. The action in the story is also very well done.

 

But because the RPG mechanics don’t really feel like they have an impact on the story, it lessened my enjoyment of it as LitRPG. You can read more specifics on what I mean below if you don’t mind some spoilers.

 

---Spoilers ahead---

 

Shifting premise and story

 

The beginning of the story starts out with a scene where the main character, Val, is playing an MMO with his friends. It’s fairly long scene and in the context rest of the story is meaningless but establishes two things. 1) Establishes the main characters gaming cred. Which is also meaningless since he never plays any other games or uses gamer logic or skills he used from the game again. 2) It establishes a connection to a girl that goes missing and is the focus of the first part of the novel. Which is why the beginning of this novel feels a lot like a cyber thriller. It’s sort of setup that way, with the MC being recruited to locate this missing girl by infiltrating the game company like only a gamer can.

 

Up until the 27% mark, that’s how this plays out. There are some really unexpected twists in the infiltration part that I thought were cool and a bit Jason Bourne.  But what’s really a twist, is that this turns into slice of life portal sci-fi/fantasy fiction. That’s right, there’s a huge switch from Endless Online being a full immersion VR game to being a multiverse portal world and not even one ruled by RPG mechanics. Once on the new planet or in the new universe, the MC hooks up with a crew of mercenaries/tomb raiders that explain how their universe works and the group goes on some adventures through some caves and kills some stuff till the abrupt ending. I’m intentionally being vague about those adventure details because in their own rights are still good stories with good world building that I don’t want to spoil.

 

RPG Game mechanics

 

Once the MC gets to the ‘game world’  it really just reads like a science fiction/fantasy story with game notifications and breaks for leveling up that’s never acknowledged in much of the larger story. Now, to be clear, this is LitRPG. There are levels gained, skills learned, skill increases, and stats that go up after leveling. So minimum requirements met, I guess. But all that stuff feels like it’s an add on to this portal science fiction/fantasy story. The notifications and game stuff are all completely reactionary. What I mean by that is that they show up after the main character (MC) has done something notable, like magically learned psionic powers or a spell without any training or guidance. They’re fairly regular and even lengthy game notifications, so the author put a lot of effort into creating them. But it still feels like, to me at least, like the author wrote a good sci-fi/fantasy story and then went back to add game notifications to important moments. There’s not any application of these RPG mechanics to anyone other than the MC and the story doesn’t even acknowledge the concept for anyone else in the story till the very end, when he finally mentions something about leveling up to the people he’s spent most of the novel with.

 

Overall, I actually liked the portal fiction part of the story. I also liked the cyber thriller part of the beginning. I thought it was confusing and weird as heck that they’re in the same story though. But weird as that transition is, overall it’s an entertaining read, if you think of it as sci-fi/fantasy portal fiction.

 

When i thought of it in the context of LitRPG, overall there wasn't the same satisfaction. What I liked about the story wasn’t related to the RPG stuff, which sometime felt tacked on.

 

As portal fiction or sci-fi/fantasy, it would get an 7 out of 10.

 

As LitRPG, it just didn’t give me that same satisfaction. If you like your LitRPG stories with RPG mechanics that don’t impact the story or just light ones, or you’re looking for an interesting sci-fi/fantasy portal fiction story, this may work better for you.

 

Score:  6 out of 10

Endless Online: Oblivion's Blade: A LitRPG Adventure - Book 1

https://amzn.to/2riZQbr

 

(Picture 8)

New Life Online: A LitRPG Novel

 

If you lose in the game, other people will die in real life.

 

Would you play it safe?

 

Finn’s life sucks. He spends his days in the world’s most advanced VR game, chopping wood in a wealthy player’s basecamp for a few copper coins a week. Levelling up is the last thing on his mind.

 

When Selene, the girl he’s grown to love like a sister, mysteriously disappears both in real life and in the game, Finn is finally shaken into action. He is determined to find her. If only his character weren’t so damn useless…

 

The Developers’ Challenge couldn’t have come at a better time. It offers a new life in a new world. But there is a catch. The standard rules of the game don’t apply and only three things are certain:

 

Everyone starts at Level 1

 

The monsters are unlike anything any player has ever seen

 

Death comes at a higher cost.

 

My Opinion: 560 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

You can tell from the very first sentence in the story that this novel is going to have technical writing issues. There are immediate issues with inconsistent tenses, incomplete sentences, and generally awkwardly phrased sentences.

 

You have to push to get through the first 20% of the story. The author describes things the MC saw or factually experienced, maybe some factual thoughts. There’s rarely any exploration into the other senses let alone emotional descriptions about how the character feels. The story is mostly ‘I did this, then I saw that, then I did this. She did this, then she said that, etc.’

 

After that the writing does improve, but never gets good.

 

The game stuff is pretty standard. Levels, stats, health %, item descriptions. That’s kind of it. No real depth or innovation.

 

Storywise, the MC and his friend live in a kind of dystopian future where they work to pay of inherited debt and have jobs as hirelings in an MMO working for a jerk. They log into the game with their low level characters and do stuff for their boss. Chop wood, kill boars, things like that. One day the two get a chance to use their bosses high level character to make some purchases for him. Only the MC makes an unauthorised purchase which lands him in a game contest with the stakes being his friend’s life. From there it’s this puzzle solving adventure.

 

Overall, the story was work to get through. The dry storytelling, plus the consistent technical writing issues made the story hard to like. The very wand wavy ending is also a bit much and earns the MC a reward he doesn’t deserve and a twist that has no foreshadowing in the last 2% of the story.

 

Score: 4 out of 10

New Life Online: A LitRPG Novel

https://amzn.to/2HQDyUP

 

(Picture 9)

Monster Hunter NYC

 

There were other broke musicians in New York City, but at least those ones had their dignity.

 

It was my bandmate, Iris, who gave me the code that unlocked the illegal Monster Hunt app. Tears in her eyes, Iris said the app would help us fix our ravaged musical equipment, make money, and live better lives.

 

The Monster Hunt app made me the Alpha of two powerful Huntresses, one a half-dragon female fond of combat and banter, the other a cute warrior fond of reading spell books and wielding two blades.

 

Our goal? Hunt mythological creatures in the parks, rooftops, and back alleys of New York City; build a fighting party to compete in brawls and tournaments; earn some seriously needed cash; and try our damndest not to get arrested.


 

My Opinion: 300 pages??, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Storywise, this novel is pretty straightforward. The main character (MC) gets access to an app that lets him capture monsters and train them for use in a tournament where he can win lots of money to further his music career. He’s joined by his friend ris and his two hunters, Aya and Lady C. It’s really a bunch of fights and some light resource management stuff until the tournament. Then it’s just fighting. There’s a little bit of a story and interpersonal relationship stuff but it’s mostly about the monster capturing.

 

Game mechanic wise the story pulls from the monster capture games that came before it. In an augmented reality like Pokemon Go setting, hunters or huntresses weaken monsters then players capture them. Monsters can be trained for tournament fighting with other players. The RPG side comes in with levels, attack and defense values, as well as HP. Everyone has special abilities or spell they can use. As the player levels from capturing, so does everyone else. There are more monster capture mechanics, but learning about them and seeing them play out is half the fun.

 

There’s also an experimental musical component to the audiobook and songs that were created specifically for this novel.

 

Overall, a good read. An interesting story that brings in Pokemon type monster capturing and tournament battling. A little haremy but no sex, but some flirting and joking.

 

Score: 7.2 out of 10

Monster Hunter NYC

https://amzn.to/2jMBFhq


 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LitRPGPodcast

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

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

Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  

 

Other LitRPG facebook pages

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

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

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

 

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


 

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

 

(Music 4)

 

Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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



 

LitRPG Podcast 111

 

LitRPG Podcast 111

May 4th, 2018

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 111 of the LitRPG podcast.

 

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

 

Before we begin, I want to give a shoutout to Camilla Richards, our latest Patreon subscriber. Thank you nice lady.


 

New Releases and Reviews:

Fractured Spirit (Alpha World Book 5) (14:45)

Lots of emotional moments will make you reach for the tissues. Score: 7 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2HFC1F0

Fjorgyn: Shifting Sands (Fjorgyn -Book 3) (21:08)

Mostly travel, action, and adventure. Good for me. Score: 7 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2Hkfk9h

Visaria Online: Void: A litRPG Fantasy Adventure Book 2 (27:18)

Gave book 2 a chance. Disappointed. Score: 5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2HcNtDL

BRANDED: (Book 1 of the Advocate Saga) (30:07)

Urban Fanstasy Mystery Real Life RPG. Good. Score: 7 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2JtQz7l

You're in Game! Book #2 (Моre LitRPG stories set in your favorite worlds) (34:55)

I liked more of the short stories than I disliked. Score: 7 out of 10

http://amzn.to/2GOXxn3

Prison Quest: A Sci-Fi LitRPG Adventure (42:33)

Mediocre action filler bookended by weak cyber thriller. Score: 5 out of 10.

https://amzn.to/2HxMBgj

Welcome To Eden: LitRPG / Gamelit (47:37)

Early part boring. Middle changes to town building. Score: 6 out of 10.

https://amzn.to/2HsCWbX

Temple of Sorrow: A LitRPG and GameLit Adventure (Stonehaven League Book 1)  (56:39)

Combat feels a bit wand wavy, overall there is a consistent implementation of the game mechanics. Score: 7 out of 10.

https://amzn.to/2qRpp2l

God of Life: Mythic Online (01:04:16)

I was bored most of the story. Score: 5 out of 10.

https://amzn.to/2K8sR1y

Ruins of Majesta: Vol. 1 - Blood and Cupcakes (01:11:32)

Authors first novel. Great MC. Lots of crafting. Score: 7 out of 10.

https://amzn.to/2ji0sK1

 


 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News



 

 

Travis Bagwell, author of the Awaken Online series, says book 3 is coming soon. He revealed the cover art for the upcoming novel and says that he’ll be releasing chapters on his Patreon page.

 

 

Vasiliy Mahanenko‎ released the colored version of the art we showed off last week. It looks nice, but I liked the black and white version a bit more.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1811839412235805&set=gm.785253648336991&type=3&theater

 

 

Brian Eribe has started his own book recommendation site. In addition to traditional categories, he’s added content on LitRPG, GameLit, and specifically Russian LitRPG. The site is still new and his recommendation lists are sparse so far, about 7-9 titles in any LitRPG category. But he says he plans to expand quickly.

https://mrbookstash.com/


 

 

Michael Ryan, who previously published under the name Jayden Hunter, recently let me know that his novel the Nagant Wars was picked up by a small publisher, Reprobatio Ltd,  who decided the series ‘had legs’ as he put it. So they did some editing, changed the title, and cover art and are republishing it. It is now called World War VR (A GameLit Novel) https://amzn.to/2r6OpCK

 

He not only wrote posts clarifying that he’d done this in several LitRPG facebook groups, he said that he wanted to be 100% transparent about the republishing and that it’s mentioned in the novel description too. When asked about what changes were made since the publisher got it, he wrote me, “Same story line.  The publisher removed all the religious stuff and a ton of editorializing. It's way stream lined.”

 

He also mentioned that if this one gets a decent reception, he’ll likely get the publisher to do rewrite work on book 2 and even possibly write a new 3rd book.

 

This is going to be the 3rd time the story has been published. It was originally published in Oct 2016 and it got criticism for what some saw as overt religious commentary. The author pulled it from Amazon and a lot of that was edited out as well as getting technical errors corrected. It was re-published in Jan 2017 but the author then got flak for republishing and not being 100% clear that it was a republish. The 2nd book in the series, The Pawn’s Sacrifice, didn’t do well in sales.

 

Personally, I liked both books. Even the original version. I gave both good review scores. Michael Ryan has been doing pretty well as a sci-fi writer recently and it’s interesting to see him return to LitRPG potentially.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPGGroup/permalink/1914414308589938/

 

 

Jeff Hays, audiobook narrator extraordinar, is not only producing the audiobook for Harmon Cooper’s upcoming novel Monster Hunter NYC. But also producing some original music for it. He’s released a sample on soundcloud and is even contemplating creating a full fledged album of songs.

https://soundcloud.com/jeff-hays/i-know-youre-there


 

Out Now!  

 

 

Eden's Gate: The Arena: A LitRPG Adventure  

https://amzn.to/2HrcWxE

 

 

Catmaster Online: A LitRPG Series

https://amzn.to/2HZGrDH

 

 

New Life Online: A LitRPG Novel

https://amzn.to/2HQDyUP

 

 

Everwood Falls: A LitRPG Adventure (LARP Gone Wrong Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2HNkoTW

 

 

Endless Online: Oblivion's Blade: A LitRPG Adventure - Book 1

https://amzn.to/2riZQbr


 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

Accidental Warrior: LitRPG Accidental Traveler Adventure, Book 2

https://amzn.to/2KydCPF

 

 

Continue Online: Part 5: Together

https://amzn.to/2FIHFR6

 

 

The Metropolis (The Laboratory, Book 4)

https://amzn.to/2JQ8d5n

 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

 

Blind Gambit: A GameLit LitRPG novel (May 5, 2018)

http://amzn.to/2HFfS60


 

 

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

https://amzn.to/2HhUGpe

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2HE26Rp


 

 

Monster Hunter (May 10th, 2018)

 

 

Warrior Academy - Tournament of Hiroes Episode 3 (May 11th, 2018)

 

 

Goblin King: A LitRPG/GameLit Adventure (Monster Slayer Online Book 1) (May 15th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2HOWyY1

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GCQDQq

 

 

Gestation (Project Chrysalis Book 1) (May 22nd, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2riYwoZ

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GPikpy

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2oAvq39

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2FdgKAE

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GxZKTZ

 

 

Pangea Online Book Two: Magic and Mayhem (May 31st, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2KetMNT


 

 

Restart (Level Up Book #1) LitRPG Series (July 10th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2HqRNDu

 

 

External Threat (Reality Benders Book #2) LitRPG Series (July 23rd, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2KA1Jsf

 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

Fractured Spirit (Alpha World Book 5)

 

Fresh from the success of capturing Gwain’s Keep, Alpha Company is in high spirits. Flush with coin, everyone is eager to get better gear and see what new zones they can go fight in.

 

Not everything is roses though, as the first testing phase is about to come to an end. A number of those who ventured forth with the guild are about to return to their regular lives, and the next wave of testers brings even more players to embrace Alpha World as their new reality, if only for a limited time.

 

Alburet has new complications to deal with, but he doesn’t have to face them alone. Two other loving women whom he has accepted the love of, Fluffball and Karen, will be at his side as the revelation of his past comes out.

 

Will Alburet be able to handle what he has hidden from himself, with the love of the trio of women beside him? Or will he break and fail, leaving his Spirit Fractured?

 

(This book contains adult themes. You’d think I could stop with these disclaimers but even this far into the series people are shocked by the content. This book contains a Polyamorous relationship, with one of the four people in it being a Succubus. You’ve been warned.)

 

My Opinion: 350 pages??, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

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

 

Warning: There are sexy scenes in this story and also moments that may bring you to tears for other reasons.

 

The first part of the story is a lot of clean up from book 4. Consequences from past quests, training, getting new gear, and setup for future storylines. In addition to that, there are some very emotional moments to the story that land with varying degrees of success.

 

This entry in the series, revolves around dealing with the psychological issues the MC has. Throughout the last few novels there’s been an emotional and memory exploration of each of the women the MC loves. We’ve seen their tragic pasts and the source of their issues. This time, that same mechanic is used to probe the issues of the MC. I’ll be honest, the first emotional moment landed a bit flat for me. There just wasn’t enough build up in this novel to make it moving, for me. But by the last revelation, I was shaking my fist at the author for being so cruel to his MC.

 

This is also one of the less action oriented entries in the series. There are two fight sections, one early on that’s pretty small and one late in the story that’s a good 15% of the novel. But it’s all part of the setup for the next book and feels a lot like XP grinding. Which isn’t bad, it just is.

 

Overall, I liked reading the story. If you’ve read any of the other novels in the series, you’re already aware that it’s a good series. The highlights of this novel are the story updates and the big emotional moments.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Fractured Spirit (Alpha World Book 5)

https://amzn.to/2HFC1F0

 

(Picture 2)

Fjorgyn: Shifting Sands (Fjorgyn -Book 3)

 

Winter is coming to the Shroud and brings with it conditions Michael's allies cannot withstand. Greenleaf's clan is at risk and must flee south or else suffer death.

 

Michael's mission for Slanaitheoir's regalia also pulls his friends and him south and away from Brackenvale's safety. With Clifford, Wrane, Ash, and Radha in tow, he ventures into the Abandoned Lands, a vast desert where he must face enemies more dangerous than any he has battled before.

 

All the while, Ankou Levent’s forces out of Elatha expand across Vros like a blight. If Michael fails to stop him, no one, not even his friends in the valley, will be safe.

 

Michael needs to become stronger. If he does not, all will be lost

 

My Opinion: 229 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

**Tag stories as Healer, Druid, Herbalism, and crafting**

**Author note to me, his last name is pronounced Cast-a-line, not Cast-lig-e-own-e**

 

The novel starts right off with a bit of herbalism and potion making. I feel like the section was written just for me because the author knows how much I love that stuff in this series. Well, it worked. I did love it.

 

Beyond that, much of the beginning of the novel is clean up, working out issues created from book 2. Then it shifts right into a travel story with lots of action, adventure, and a few tear jerker moments. My favorite is where the main character gets a chance to see his family on earth again. It’s a real, what if, kind of scene. The rest of the novel is pretty good too, but I won’t spoil it, cause the journey is the kind of the story here.

 

One of few notes I’d give is that in the beginning it was very difficult to remember who everyone was, especially since some factions from book 1 are brought back into the story. A summary of book 1 and 2 and maybe a character sheet for the MC would have gone a long way to jogging my memory about where the story currently was.

 

Overall, good stuff. But if you’re still hanging out for book three, you probably like the series already.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Fjorgyn: Shifting Sands

https://amzn.to/2Hkfk9h

 

(Picture 3)

Visaria Online: Void: A litRPG Fantasy Adventure Book 2

 

As war spreads throughout Visaria Online, the shadow of the void looms menacingly on the horizon.

Banished from his homeland, Ajax must go on the run, gathering allies, new items and facing high-level players hell-bent on his destruction.

 

Hunted by the Imperium, the minions of the void and an angry nosey old dragon, Ajax and Lillus flee into outdated expansion content. In the desolate expansion zones, they discover something that could turn the tides of the coming war.

 

But with the void and the Imperium hot on his heels, Ajax might not live long enough to use it.

 

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

 

Ok story. The novel is mostly a journey story about getting Ajax to the Oracle. The game mechanics are the same, nothing bad, good detail. Unfortunately, it still has the same issues where I feel like the main character is being forced down a particular story path which just makes things less entertaining. The chosen one thing in the story just doesn’t work for me for some reason.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Visaria Online: Void: A litRPG Fantasy Adventure Book 2

https://amzn.to/2HcNtDL


 

(Picture 4)

BRANDED: (Book 1 of the Advocate Saga)

 

Kat Stone just wants to leave her magical past behind and live the simple life of a professional smuggler. But when a monster from the world she abandoned begins killing her friends, she realizes the past she buried is beginning to dig itself up. Kat is the only one who knows the monster is just the beginning with an unknown enemy controlling it from the shadows.

 

Caught between her new life and the one she worked so hard to forget, Kat will be forced to decide facing the killer and its monster or handing the problem off to a higher authority breathing down her neck. With the monster on the hunt in her city, she is running out of time and choices.

 

Will Kat be able to find the key from her past to take down the monster? Or will the mysterious enemy kill the last of her friends?

 

My Opinion: 161 pages, $2.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

From the author of Slime, this is an interesting mix of Urban fantasy mystery and real life RPG powers.

 

You get a tiny glimpse at the RPG powers with a quest notification in the first few pages of the story, but honestly the RPG stuff comes out mostly during the stories few combat scenes. Heck, after those first quest notifications, you don’t even see the RPG powers till the 17% mark. After that they pop in and out and you see a lot more of them in the last act of the story.

 

The story itself is an urban fantasy mystery. The main character (MC), Kat Stone, has RPG powers and is trying to figure out who or what is killing off her former crew. She has the FBI hounding her, but what’s out there just isn’t in their jurisdiction. Instead, it’s part of a secret magical/portal community. Hence, the urban fantasy aspect. It’s honestly a good attempt to mesh the genre’s together.

 

Overall, I liked the story. I had to push my way through the overly mysterious normal beginning but once I started seeing more of the RPG powers stuff, I was on board to finish the story. I think this is a good mesh of urban fantasy and LitRPG. The ending of the story holds promise for more interesting stories.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

BRANDED: (Book 1 of the Advocate Saga)

https://amzn.to/2JtQz7l

 

(Picture 5)

You're in Game! Book #2 (Моre LitRPG stories set in your favorite worlds)

 

Would you like to know what happened to some of the heroes of your favorite LitRPGs?

 

What about Gnat, the wayward hero of Reality Benders? Would he manage to return to Earth from his adventurous travels?

 

Would you like to go back to Barliona and take a peek at the game through the eyes of its new protagonists? Plenty of laughs and intrigue guaranteed!

 

Can you refuse the offer of completing a complex quest in Alterra? How do you feel about doing that?

 

Or going back to the Crystal Sphere, to face the chilling breath of a powerful Neuro and survive?

 

Also, don’t forget that Olgerd and his friends await you in Mirror World! They’re counting on your help.

 

All this and much more - tales from bestselling authors as well as LitRPG newcomers whose first books have already become Russia’ new sensations - in our latest anthology combining the best of our stories to date!

 

My Opinion: 365 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

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

 

This is a collection of 8 short stories from russian authors translated into english by Magic Dome Books. Most the stories pull from an already established LitRPG series and either tell small stories about side characters or things that happen in between books. Whether you enjoy the story almost entirely depends on of you’re fan of the series it’s pulling from. There are two unassociated LitRPG short stories.

 

Archibald by Vasily Mahanenko (Dark Paladin series)

-An ok side story that gives you more detail about the third book in the series. Score: 6 out of 10.

 

The Dark Knight by Andrei Livadny (The Neuro series)

-White leveling and trying to find his daughter. In between story of books 2 and 3. Score: 6 out of 10

 

The Terror Slayer by Alexey Osadchuk (Mirror World)

-Anton, game designer. Adjusting int of mob Dwand. Meant to change from 9 to 6 but startled and accidentally changes to 66. Dwand gains sentience and starts to be able to see game notifications, gets skills, and xp. New player experience, except it’s an NPC monster. A good story that doesn’t depend on the bigger series to be enjoyable. Score: 7 out of 10.

 

Reality’s Edge by Pavel Kornev (Unassociated litrpg short story)

-This is either a super short story or tease for an upcoming book. Either way kind of meh. Score: 5 out of 10

 

Who fed the Troll by Andrew Novak (AlterGame series)

-Jack the Tramp side story where he has to deal with a well fed troll blocking the entrance to a quest. I liked it. Score: 7 out of 10.

 

Level Up - Fight Setup by Dan Sugralinov (upcoming Level Up series)

-Not so much a short short story as the first chapter of an upcoming LitRPG story. It mixes real life RPG with boxing. Enjoyable. Score:  7 out of 10.

 

The Khaki-Colored Noob by Vasily Mahanenko and Eugenia Dmitrieva (LitRPG short story set in Barliona)

-Soldier on leave. Convinced by his friends to play VRMMO Barliona. Starts out a bit slow, but good. You don’t have to have read the main series to enjoy it. Score: 7 out of 10.

 

Save the Dynasty by Michael Atamanov (Reality Benders series)

-Short story from the POV of the dark faction. Takes place after end of book 1. Dark faction is looking for retribution after their last loss. But there are also plans within plans afoot. Really good stuff and my favorite of the collection. However, you’ll be completely lost if you’ve not read book 1 in the series.

Score: 7 out of 10

 

Overall, I liked more of the stories than I didn’t. But if you’ve never read any of the main series the stories are pulling from, you’ll likely only enjoy a couple in this collection.  

 

Score:  7 out of 10.

You're in Game! Book #2 (Моre LitRPG stories set in your favorite worlds)

http://amzn.to/2GOXxn3

 

(Picture 6)

Prison Quest: A Sci-Fi LitRPG Adventure

 

Cody works the personal security detail at the mighty Vortax Corporation, but when the man she’s paid to protect is found dead, her life is ripped apart. Framed for murder, she’s incarcerated in a virtual world where she must fight to survive. But perhaps she might stand a chance of escape, if only she can complete the Prison Quest.

 

My Opinion: 480 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Something about this one felt a little shady. When the novel came out as an ebook on 4/30 it already had three 5 star reviews, all of which are dated before the 30th. One of which gushed about how she had to check out the story because it was on Kindle Unlimited. However, the review was posted 4/27 and was for the print edition of the novel.

-Another review said it’s the best she’s ever reading the genre, but it’s the only LitRPG story she’s ever reviewed.

-None of the really means anything, it could all be coincidence. But it certainly starts the story off on an odd foot for me.

 

The novel has a heavy cyber thriller beginning. Security guard Cody stumbles onto the corpse of her murdered friend. She’s immediately arrested by internal security, but instead of being turned over to the policeman that arrives, she’s falsely convicted by internal security and sentenced to a 40 years sentence in a game. Once there she finds out if she dies outside town, she dies permanently in real life. She learns of a rumored secret quest that will let her escape the game, if she can find it and beat it.

 

Game mechanic wise this is a pretty shallow system where the stats and levels don’t really feel like the matter. There are quests, character sheets, XP given, and levels gained. So, this is technically LitRPG. But all the game stuff is completely ignored if a particular plot point needs to be reached. Whether it’s the main character (MC), Cody, being able to beat much higher level opponents or just miraculously surviving a situation were she should have died. Heck, most of the game notifications feel like they were inserted after the story was already written.

 

Overall, the story felt like it was a bunch of mediocre action filler bookended by weak cyber thriller. The ending also just felt forced. Like the MC was practically pushed to that particular unsatisfying resolution where the bad guys don’t get their just desserts, just so the story could end. It honestly felt like the author got bored writing the story and just wanted it to end.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

Prison Quest: A Sci-Fi LitRPG Adventure

https://amzn.to/2HxMBgj

 

(Picture 7)

Welcome To Eden: LitRPG / Gamelit

 

The board of directors of Swarm Entertainment had been working on a singular goal for nearly ten years when the breakthrough had come. Since the first consumer release of VR systems, many had realised that the future of VR gaming would always be total immersion, but very few had thought along the same lines as Swarm Entertainment. The singular goal of Swarm was to eventually create a world where the physical restrictions of the human body would no longer apply. If a person was in a wheelchair, they would be able to walk. If a person was blind or deaf, they would be able to see or hear. If a person chose to do so, they could escape their nursing home into a new life where they could enjoy anything and everything they could have ever wanted – this was the main goal behind creating Eden and the possibilities were absolutely endless.

 

This story follows William, a clever man who had led the development team for six years and been handed the pleasure of entering the virtual world of Eden and its virgin lands before any other human being. He would be the first visitor to unknown computer-generated lands but he won't be welcomed with adoration.

 

My Opinion: 253 pages, $4.19, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This beginning of the story is to blunt, kind of boring. It gets a bit better about the 22% mark when the reader finally sees a character sheet and the main character (MC), William, gets some kind of explanation about the RPG game mechanics of the world.

 

The novel starts out with a long winded and improbable premise of a game company letting a AI create her own world and evolve it by speeding up time in the simulation so that hundreds of thousands of years would have passed. Only, none of the developers know what the results are and the lead designer, our main character, is the first human to jump into the full immersion VR game. Only once inside the game, it’s not some original creation, but a standard fantasy world, which makes that whole hundred thousand year natural evolution thing seem like a total waste.

 

A few things early in the story that bothered me.

-It really stretches disbelief that the lead game designer wouldn’t have some way to see inside the game world while it was being made and that he has absolutely no idea how RPG mechanics work.

-It’s kind of long winded. This lessens as the story goes on, but as an example: early on the author spends a page describing how the MC walks in a circle around camp. Not what he sees, but that he walks in a circle, what the radius of the circle is, and what the area he covered amounts to.

-Much of the story reads like straight fantasy with interspersed sections of RPG notifications and character sheet updates.

-The RPG game mechanics described don’t really effect the story. Eventually, the MC gets in some fights and even levels. But he consistently beats higher level monsters with single shots and does 1000 points of damage at level 1. It also doesn’t seem to matter that he adds to his stats, he still just one shots for 1000 damage regardless.

-It doesn’t make sense that the MC would suddenly own land in the game world and be able to build a town.

 

Some things that I liked

-At about the 40% mark, the story switches to kingdom/town building and there’s less wand wavy combat. The story shifts to creating relationships with characters and building up the small town. It’s much better writing and it gives the author a chance to show off character’s personalities and do some character development.

-The town building game mechanics aren’t horrible. But again, it’s a bit wand wavy sometimes.

 

Overall, the early parts of the story just drag the rest of it down. This is a LitRPG story but that the RPG game mechanics presented aren’t consistent or even really impactful of the story made it less enjoyable for me. The last half of the novel saves it from getting a worse score because the story did improve.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Welcome To Eden: LitRPG / Gamelit

https://amzn.to/2HsCWbX

 

(Picture 8)

Temple of Sorrow: A LitRPG and GameLit Adventure (Stonehaven League Book 1)

 

Devon Walker has one chance to turn her life around.

 

A half-wit ogre, a legion of overgrown jungle beasts, and a power-tripping AI are trying to stop her.

 

Relic Online is the hottest new game out there, and it's Devon Walker's best hope for escaping her hard-knock life. Thanks to her rocking achievements in other games, she's been hired as a salaried player. Even better, her new position comes with cutting-edge implants that turn RO's virtual reality into a full sensory explosion. Her only task? Drive the game's creator AI to the outermost limits of its creativity.

 

Sounds easy, right?

 

But when Devon logs in, her expectations shatter like an ice golem hit with a sonic blast. Wearing nothing but a cloth tunic and ragged pants, she spawns inside a ruined city overgrown by steamy jungle. With zero skills and nothing in her inventory but pocket lint, she immediately runs afoul of the city's guardian, a stone giant the size of an apartment building. The encounter does not go well.

 

And Relic Online is just getting started with her.

 

My Opinion: 382 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The story start out with one last raid for the main character (MC), Devon, and her gaming group in their favorite VRMMO that’s shutting down that day. It’s a scene that you can sort of skip since the game is going away and won’t be featured again. It's more used to insert immediate action into the story, establish the MC’s gamer cred, and point out her teammates, who may or may not be used in future storylines.

 

Storywise, there’s a bit of chosen one them going on where the MC is hand picked by a lead developer to play this full immersion game, not to beta test, but to show off how fun the game is. This premise sort of falls flat since no one is able to watch her play and she’s not a game streamer. Instead, the MC is dropped into a out of the way zone in the game and left to figure everything out on her own. She comes across a village of NPCs led by a stupid Ogre and falls into a mystery of why an old major city was suddenly abandoned and what she can do about it. There’s lots of action, town building, questing, and well described relationship building. There’s even a little bit of intrigue and treachery. The author, who has a good following with her 9 fantasy books, straddles the line between full blown RPG mechanic dumping and fantasy descriptions. She has a following she doesn’t want to alienate by suddenly switching styles and I think she does a good job of gradually introducing those game mechanics into what starts out very fantasy like story (Once she’s in the Realm Online Game).

 

The game mechanics in Realm Online game story, while very slowly revealed, work well mostly. There’s nothing really new here. But character advancement is detailed, and the town building mechanics have enough depth to be interesting and purposeful. The only place where the game mechanics fall apart is during combat. There, the MC gets a pass on logic and not only wins just about every fight she has but comes away unscathed. This happens even when she’s outnumbered or fighting opponents many times her level. Everywhere else, the RPG game stuff works well and feels like it matters.

 

Overall, I had a good time reading the novel. Even though combat feels a bit wand wavy, overall there is a consistent implementation of the game mechanics. The story is interesting enough to get me to read a second book in the series.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Temple of Sorrow: A LitRPG and GameLit Adventure (Stonehaven League Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2qRpp2l

 

(Picture 9)

God of Life: Mythic Online

 

A terminal disease. A fantasy universe. A chance at immortality.

 

Derby Baldwin is dying.

 

Rather than spend his last few months in agony, he joins Mythic Online, a virtual world that hijacks his brain and prevents him from feeling pain. The best thing he can hope for? A peaceful death.

 

When he learns he can cheat death by defeating an in-game god, Derby's life suddenly has purpose. He recruits two friends, and together they pursue their enemy. Can he defeat the god to save his own life? Or will the disease take him before he succeeds?

 

My Opinion: 228 page, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

**Tag as standalone, trapped in game,**

 

Derby, a terminal patient who decided to upload to game, wakes to find himself hung from a tree. He cuts himself down and goes to look to see who did it, so that he won’t have to worry about someone coming after him. Instead he finds two NPCs that become allies on a journey to challenge the God of Life to a duel. If they win, they can restore their destroyed world. But Derby secretly wants to use the wish to get immortality.

 

That’s the story. It’s setup by the the 20% mark, with the bit about challenging the God of Life to a duel and winning a wish learnt at the 46% mark. Though it’s also in the novel description. After that you can honestly skip to the end (92%) to see the duel and get the story resolution. Everything else in between isn’t really important. I’m not saying it’s not entertaining sometimes. There are some ok fights with a range of monsters. A few interesting little sub-stories. But there’s not real character growth for Derby. There are no event that makes him into a better man. He has moral issues with choosing between a selfish wish of immortality and saving a world of people from the onset of the story.

 

Game mechanics - There aren’t a lot here. This is LitRPG. The author has a light leveling system he tries to incorporate. When you kill something, you get physical chits that can be traded to innkeepers and others that will raise your level and let you increase your stats. They literally have to give you a piece of paper to make the changes official. Characters can learn special skills from mentors, but only one per mentor and only if they want to teach you. But other than the moments when someone is updating their level or learning a new ability, the rest of the novel reads like a fantasy story. It’s fantasy story--level---fantasy story---level, new ability---fantasy story---level. The level up moments are consistent and the characters do grow in power, so again this is technically LitRPG. But for me, all the other parts read like a fantasy story which isn’t entertaining for me.

 

Overall, i was bored most of the story. It was neat to see an author try to meld super light RPG mechanics realistically. Giving each component a physical requirement. But ultimately I read LitRPG because it makes me feel like I’m in my favorite RPG games, and this didn’t do that for me.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

God of Life: Mythic Online

https://amzn.to/2K8sR1y

 

(Picture 0)

Ruins of Majesta: Vol. 1 - Blood and Cupcakes

 

There’s no problem a cupcake can’t solve.

 

M.I.T. calls her a genius, her mother calls her Cupcake, her buddies call her Princess Cuddle Fluff and she’s here to kick butt and blow stuff up. At least until she realizes she’s stuck. Eleven-year-old Mayah’s just collateral damage in an investigation by a government that’s intent on keeping control of its finances. Now she’s trapped in the Virtual Reality of Ruins of Majesta waging the war for her life the only way she can, by questing, leveling up and sewing.


 

She’s attempting to unravel the mystery of who did this to her and why. She’s angry as shaz and out for blood. The same blood the parental filters won’t let her see. So instead she’d be happy smashing them into a hole with her hammer and tossing in a few grenades for good measure. Involving her in their plans was the worst idea the government cronies ever had. If you’re going to be stupid enough to fight a genius, …DON’T!!!


 

Follow Mayah through the Ruins of Majesta, as she unlocks its mysteries, and tries to escape its deadly clutches.

This novel is a combination of big hammers, cats, books, enchanting, snark, necromancy, leveling, government conspiracies, financial revolutions, grandmothers, Evil sentient computer viruses, crafting, duels, getting gear, friendship, Happiness and sweet, sweet XP.

 

Safe for the kids Great for the adults.

This book Is GameLit / LitRPG and contains very visible RPG, video game mechanics, and fights that are integral to the story. No blood or cursing, though.

 

My Opinion: 550 pages??, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

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

 

This is a trapped in the game, slice of life story, with cyber punk sub threads. There’s lot of good action but a good portion of the story is about crafting. Which I love, but not everyone will. But there’s lots of other things for people to enjoy.

 

Things I like:

 

-Great character build up, especially in the beginning. The author does a great job of establishing personality for the main character (MC) and her family. You kind of fall in love with Mayah, an eleven year old black girl, and a child genius among gifted high school students. She a fierce kid that will stand up to people talking down to her or trying to take advantage just cause she’s eleven. She’s smart enough to see through the B.S. that most adults put out and is a little jaded because of it. But at the same time, she’s still a kid and doesn’t even recognize when she develops her first crush until her, wiser more and emotionally mature, mom points it out to her.

-There are a few places where that character breaks a little and you feel like you’re seeing more of the author, like an eleven year old making ‘that’s what she said’ jokes. But for the most part the MC is consistent.

 

-Crafting. Boy is there crafting in this story. And it’s just so good too. There are really great ideas and combinations of trade skills and magic systems. There’s so much great crafting!

-Did I already mention crafting? Training scenes are nice too.

 

-Good secondary characters. I don’t love anyone as much as I do the MC but they’re still well developed. They have good personalities but also their own flaws and character development paths.

 

Game mechanics are very thoroughly described and they feel like they matter to the story. Fundamentally, there’s not much new here. When characters level they get points to improve themselves, or they can train to improve. Skills can be learned or purchased and improve through use. Magic is one of the few things restricted by level. What the story does do is combine familiar game mechanic elements into a deeper, entertaining story. The MC is intelligent enough to recognize the rules and exploits every loophole she can find to her advantage.

 

The only place I think more explanation would have helped was with understanding the difference between stats and attributes. For some reason they’re separated. Characters get separate points for each but there’s not really a good explanation of why they’re separated or what applying a point specifically does to each. It doesn’t help that the MC hoards her stat and attribute points till the end of the story so there’s not a natural place early on to address it.

 

Things I thought could have been done better:

 

-The cyber punk stuff. Not a big fan of it in general. It’s always a weird thing when coding problems can only be solved from inside the game.

-While the cyber punk stuff, whether real world or game part, is interesting, there’s not much resolution on that end. It’s mostly setup for future stories.

-I really thought the avatar virus things was a bit of a wasted opportunity for character growth.

-Better antagonists. There are a couple introduced but they end up being little more than one shot characters. There’s no one that really ends up being the foil for the MC.

 

Overall, I had a good time reading this. There are places things could have been trimmed down a bit, it’s kind of massive novel, but it’s a good action, crafting story. I will note that there is a bit of a cliffhanger ending, which bothers some people. But for me, it just makes me want to read the next volume sooner.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Ruins of Majesta: Vol. 1 - Blood and Cupcakes

https://amzn.to/2ji0sK1


 

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 you may like

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

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

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

 

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


 

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

 

(Music 4)

 

Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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


 

LitRPG Podcast 110

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 110

April 26th, 2018

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 110 of the LitRPG podcast.

 

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

 

A shout out to a new Patreon supporter, Conan Whalen-mckain! Hopefully he and I can schedule a nice chat soon as one of his patreon rewards.

https://www.patreon.com/geekbytespodcast


 

New Releases and Reviews:

Apocalypse 2020 - Look to the Skies (14:11)

https://amzn.to/2HXoCoB

A good sequel to that Mad Mad/Fallout inspired LitRPG. Score 7 out 10

Cloud Dungeon: Fairy Wonderland (26:03)

https://amzn.to/2qLFp5V

Nice concept for a peaceful dungeon core story. But execution leaves something to be desired. Score: 6 out of 10

Total Quest: Total VR: 1 (30:15)

https://amzn.to/2F38uPA

Author’s first novel. Good story potential but lots of technical issues. Score: 5 out of 10.

The Wayward Bard (World of Chains Book 1) (41:51)

https://amzn.to/2HnnAW7

Who knew a bard to be so cool? Score: 7 out of 10

Countdown (Reality Benders Book #1) LitRPG Series http://amzn.to/2oRc7m6  (49:56)

New Russian LitRPG, reminds me of the Gam3. Score: 7 out of 10

The Iron Veil: A LitRPG OmniWorld Adventure (54:49)

https://amzn.to/2JJ3OSu

Feels write to market. RPG game stuff light and doesn’t really seem to matter. Score: 4 out of 10


 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News


 

 

Luke Chmilenko released some art for his Ascend Online series. It looks pretty cool, if hard to put in a document. It’ll make a good desktop background.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10100518619281874&set=a.10100247190138054.1073741829.227301289&type=3&theater



 

 

Vasily Mahanenko released another piece of art for his character Anastaria.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1801583266594753&set=gm.780911328771223&type=3&theater


 

 

Aleron meets Brandon Sanderson at an convention and he even got the guy to hold his book. OMG. Aleron titled the photo

"Kaladin and Richter just chillin"

https://www.facebook.com/LitRPGbooks/photos/a.214764818862862.1073741829.212656989073645/639872106352129/?type=3&theater

 

 

Serious Drinking with Charles. He asks me 5 questions about problems he has with my novel Project Alpha. Don’t worry, it’s pretty friendly. It’s almost like doing an critique. He makes many good points that will hopefully help me be a better writer. Charles also did another one of these with Blaise Corvin in which they both do more drinking.

https://youtu.be/iPDMrQcRCZE


 

 

Dakota Krout, author of the Divine Dungeon series and the Ritualist made a huge announcement this week.

 

Huge announcement: Thanks to all of you and your support, I'm taking a leap of faith and becoming a full time author!!

 

There are a few things that could really help me make this work: Keep those encouraging words coming, leave great reviews on my books, and feel free to support me on Patreon if you're able; I am always in need of coffee! The second book of The Completionist Chronicles is being uploaded there with about a third of the book already up! Plus, the first 3 chapters are free for all to read. :)

 

Sending big virtual hugs to all of you for helping make my dream a reality!!

https://www.patreon.com/DakotaKrout

https://www.facebook.com/TheDivineDungeon/posts/1817505968543860


 

 

Fayroll 9 snafu. Fayroll 9 was released recently, but instead of getting that people were getting a version of book 8. Litworld, the publishers that translate Fayroll into english were notified about it and worked to quickly upload the correct manuscript. They’ve worked with Amazon to push an update to anyone that got the incorrect version but readers will have to go to their Amazon accounts and look under “Manage Your Content and Devices” to update the novel (www.amazon.com/mycd ). LitWorld also made a statement about the issue.

The Litworld publishing team apologizes for all problems and mistakes with the book Fayroll 9: Word and Steel by Andrey Vasilyev.

 

If for any reasons you haven't yet been able to get your book - send us an e-mail to welcome@litworld.info or in the DM on our Litworld Facebook page and we will be happy to deal with the situation!

 

https://www.facebook.com/Litworldclub/videos/2097594833804291/



 

Erik Colombe, author of Reincarnation:RPG, has reported in a post on Facebook that LitRPG author David Pendleton Author of Alpha Testing has died.

 

“It had been a life long goal of his to be published and after I asked him to be a Beta reader for my story he was introduced to LitRPG. He began to start reading as many as he could and he saw LitRPG as an amazing experience not only to read, but to write. David started having breathing problems three weeks ago as he was finishing his novel and needed to have surgery. He published Alpha Testing before leaving for the hospital.

 

"I don't expect anything to go wrong, but if it does I'll at least be a published author," were the last words he spoke to me in person.

 

Sadly, he did not recover and after three weeks of intensive care he passed away last night.”

 

I’ve only corresponded with David by e-mail when he asked me to review his novel but he mentioned how much he liked the genre and that Erik Colombe was the one to turn him onto it. David will be missed.



 

Out Now!  

 

 

Word and Steel (epic LitRPG Adventure - Book 9) (Fayroll)

https://amzn.to/2uF7v80

 

 

BRANDED: (Book 1 of the Advocate Saga)

https://amzn.to/2JtQz7l

-Author of Slime Gods

 

 

Welcome To Eden: LitRPG / Gamelit

https://amzn.to/2HsCWbX


 

 

Temple of Sorrow: A LitRPG and GameLit Adventure (Stonehaven League Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2qRpp2l

The author has 9 other fantasy novels with female protagonists. This is her first LitRPG story. The author mentioned in her correspondence to me that she used to work as a programer for an MMO.


 

 

Visaria Online: Void: A litRPG Fantasy Adventure Book 2

https://amzn.to/2HcNtDL


 

 

Fjorgyn: Shifting Sands

https://amzn.to/2Hkfk9h

229

 

 

God of Life: Mythic Online

https://amzn.to/2K8sR1y 228


 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

Fantasy Online: The Runestones of Tritinakh

Fantasy Online Series, Book 3

https://amzn.to/2r1iWlp

 

 

Legacy of the Fallen - Ascend Online, Book 3

https://amzn.to/2HwIzBB

 

 

Dante's Immortality: Beginnings

https://amzn.to/2KaASD7

 

Space Knight

https://amzn.to/2FfmMMR

 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

 

Catmaster Online: A LitRPG Series (April 29th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2HZGrDH


 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GOXxn3

 

 

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

https://amzn.to/2HxMBgj

 

 

Eden's Gate: The Arena: A LitRPG Adventure (April 30th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2HrcWxE


 

 

**The Ruins of Majesta (May 2nd, 2018)**

-Written by LitRPG community member Taj El

 

 

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

https://amzn.to/2HhUGpe

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2HE26Rp

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2HFfS60

 

 

Monster Hunter (May 10th, 2018)

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GCQDQq

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GPikpy

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2oAvq39

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2FdgKAE

 

 

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

http://amzn.to/2GxZKTZ

 

 

Pangea Online Book Two: Magic and Mayhem (May 31st, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2KetMNT


 

 

Restart (Level Up Book #1) LitRPG Series (July 10th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2HqRNDu

 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

 

Apocalypse 2020 - Look to the Skies

 

After the final confrontation with Orion, Scarlett finds herself separated from her friends and becomes the leader of a small group of survivors. Meanwhile, Bran has a strange new character who starts far away from Dallas. As alien spacecraft roam the skies, and new frightening creatures attack in the night, everyone must work together to defend themselves from this new threat.

 

Outside of the game, Scarlett and Bran are now going to the same college and live only minutes away from each other. They have been happy all summer, but their separation in the game is beginning to cause conflict between them in the real world.

 

The first expansion for Apocalypse 2020 - Look to the Skies introduces new survival mechanics, a base-building system, along with tons of new weapons, vehicles, enemies, and NPCs.

 

This is a LitRPG / Gamelit novel that blends storytelling with game mechanics. The events in this story immediately follow the first book, Apocalypse 2020: A Wasteland LitRPG, so reading that book is necessary to understand what is happening here.

 

My Opinion: 327 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

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

 

I know it’s hard to tell from the cover, but this is the sequel to the Apocalypse 2020 the Mad Max /Fallout inspired LitRPG story. It starts off almost immediately after the end of book 1.

 

There is a little bit of recap telling you what happens but fewer callbacks to individual characters and their relationships. This is definitely one of those series where you should probably read book 1 first. Even if you have, it might take a little while to remember who everyone is. Also remember that IRL the story takes place in the 1997. So lots of 90s references like X-Files or final fantasy 7 just being released.

 

The story takes place in a game world that just had their first expansion adding aliens, new player race selections, new player classes, survival game mechanics, base building mechanics, and of course tons of new quests to save the world.

 

I like the idea that each book is a new expansion to the game which causes an upheaval in the storyline. It’s a great justification to change things that may not be working in the story or just to add cool stuff to it. Heck there’s even a ‘game manual’ for the expansion at the end of the story that gives a ton of details about all the changes and additions.

 

In this novel, the two biggest game mechanic changes are the survival mechanics and the base building. Now characters have to satisfy needs like thirst, hunger, and discomfort and if they don’t, they start losing the health. So a good bit of the story ends up feeling more post apocalyptic now with characters having to scavenge or figure out ways to produce the stuff they need. Which of course leads to base building, which also takes up a good portion of the early story. It’s nice but I feel like more could have been done with it. Still it’s a nice tie in to the survival mechanics.

 

Storywise, the real life part is pretty simple but cute. It’s mostly relationship stuff between Bran and Scarlett. In game, the alien stuff is pretty neat. I don’t want to spoil anything but there are definite references to alien movies of the time.

 

My only tiny complaint, is that the story is told from multiple perspectives. Which isn’t my favorite narrative structure. It does allow for stories to be told from characters in different places and it’s a great way to see different perspectives of the same events. But, at the same time any big revelations need to be repeated for all the characters which can get repetitive.

 

Overall, I had a good time reading the story. There were enough changes to the story and game mechanics to make the novel feel fresh but familiar. The IRL storyline is cute, if simple. In game there some pretty good story surprises.

 

Score: 7 out of 10

Apocalypse 2020 - Look to the Skies

https://amzn.to/2HXoCoB

 

(Picture 2)

Cloud Dungeon: Fairy Wonderland

 

In the many parallel worlds filling the universe, earth is a rare world which possessed the largest amount of 'interference' from other worlds. The most common interference is the summoning of heroes and reincarnation. This story is no different except that in the process of calling the desired people, the efforts of three goddesses were messed with causing the summoned to not be the older brother or the father. Instead a four year old child was summoned.

 

Backed by her love of fairy tales and folklore, we shall see how this young child with the help of her lazy best friend and pet cat will change the very face of the world starting from a tiny cloud and becoming a dungeon filled with any and all fairy tales she had heard of and watched.

 

My Opinion: 315 pages, $4.50, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

This story has an interesting premise that ultimately was a little disappointing. Instead of a traditional dungeon that kills the adventures that come in with traps and monsters, this story is pretty peaceful. It’s run by this reincarnated four year old girl that wants to create a fairy wonderland without any of those scary ‘ugly’ monsters. It’s a very interesting premise and an opportunity to get creative with storytelling. I mean, how do you create conflict without fighting? What motivations are there for the dungeon to expand? What monsters will the dungeon create if combat isn’t a focus?

 

However, the actual result of the story was a little disappointing. There really isn’t much fighting, maybe five small scenes in 350 pages. Much of the early part of the story revolves around expanding the dungeon and making many varieties of fairy and sprite creatures. It’s an interesting exploration of what dungeon powers and a child imagination can come up with. There really is a huge variety of well detailed creatures with several evolutions for some.

 

Where the novel really drops is in the conflict department. I don’t just mean fighting. I mean conflict in a larger sense. Whether it’s ideological, political, personality, moral, or any other kind of conflict. There really isn’t much here. Things just go too smoothly for the dungeon. There is some conflict. But what’s disappointing is that there’s a big setup of a big conflict between this floating peaceful fairy dungeon and a rival normal monster spewing dungeon, and then the novel just ends without any kind of resolution.

 

Overall, I like the concept. Lots of potential. But the execution left me wanting more and I was definitely disappointed by the things left unresolved at the end.

 

Score: 6 out of 10

Cloud Dungeon: Fairy Wonderland

https://amzn.to/2qLFp5V


 

(Picture 3)

Total Quest: Total VR: 1

 

Total Quest, a “full immersive virtual reality game” is releasing to the public. As the beta players prepare for new release, Ken suits up for the first time unlocking his personal AGI, Vera. The technology offers more than a “good time” online. The public release of the game brings a new opportunity, get paid to play. When you’re the best, companies want you to play for them. Corporate obedience strains friendship and loyalties, as the virtual game becomes a real life nightmare when players’ minds become the prize.

 

My Opinion: 210 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

*For the Podcast only: I’m going to be a little more critical on the technical writing issues in the review because the author asked for a hard honest review. I actually sent him a detailed report with loads of notes on the story, again at his request. The author said he really wants to improve his writing and is willing to take all the criticism.*

 

This is the author’s debut novel and you can tell, especially early on. There are a lot of grammar, tense, and structural issues. The most noticeable are the mixing of past and present tenses in the same sentence.

 

The story is a mix of action raid battles in a full immersion MMO and an awakened AI sci-fi story. It’s told from multiple perspectives. I believe there are six POVs used, five players and an AI.

 

The beginning of the story is one last raid battle for the beta version of the game organized by three gamer friends. It then shifts to a long real world storyline where each of the players is either setting up equipment for the full version of the VR game, setting up their personal AI assistants, or being offered odd jobs to play the game full time. Outside of a brief scene where one player levels, it doesn’t return to the game until the 56% mark. After that, it stays in the game and all the players and the AI come together. It’s an interesting story from there and is a lot of MMO raid combat and exploration of various NPC towns. There are neat sub plots about AI going out of control and trying to escape any way it can.

 

Game mechanic-wise, it’s pretty light on the RPG progression. There’s lots information about how combat works, spells, skills, and classes. There are even some original ideas about using physics, chemistry, and wave patterns to determine class abilities and how they progress. But actual RPG progress only takes place in two places at the 34-38% and 72-74%. That’s it. In the entire story, one guy increases his skills and gains levels. This is despite lengthy fights that occur involving multiple characters. I liked the information provide and I think it has potential, but it’s not applied to the majority of the players. Instead, the game time mostly focuses on raid battles with good descriptions of formations, strategy, and tactics. The scenes use spells and abilities in good combos but there’s no progression of skills or abilities for the characters in the fights. It’s kind of odd.

 

Overall, I was kind of bored for several sections of the story. There doesn’t seem to be a plot, so it feels very slice of life. Only it’s following 6 different lives so the story gets scattered. Most of the stuff that happens in the real life part is not needed and doesn’t develop anything that advances the story. At most it does some character development, helping you to appreciate each player’s personality. The raid battles were well described and I could visualize the battles well. I also feel like the sci-fi aspects of self-aware AI were neat, but for much of the story nothing really happens with it and the story just peters out instead of getting a solid resolution for many of the story threads.

 

Score: 5 out of 10

Total Quest: Total VR: 1

https://amzn.to/2F38uPA

 

(Picture 4)

The Wayward Bard (World of Chains Book 1)

 

Daniel's Guide to Early Retirement:

 

1: Intercept illegal money transfer from mafia boss.

2: Hide out in super exclusive Full Immersion Virtual Reality game until the heat is off.

3: Roll a bard. Max out charisma. Live it up.

4: Profit.

 

With all the pesky planning out of the way Daniel set out to realize his ultimate dream: gaining enough money to buy a tropical island and spend his days playing the violin and RPGs. What could possibly go wrong?

 

Disclaimer: There shall be no harems in this series. Overpowered, perfect protagonists will not be tolerated and excessive cursing will result in donations to the swear jar.

 

My Opinion: 350 pages??, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

**For the Podcast only: -Written by community member Lars. He’s writing under the obfuscating pen name Lars M.**

 

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

 

From the moment you read the novel’s witty description and disclaimer, you can tell the author put lots of time and personality into the novel. The novel itself does not disappoint.

 

It starts off just like the description says, with the main character (MC), Daniel, on the run from the mob after stealing millions from them. While I’m a tiny bit disappointed that it doesn’t play a big part in the story once the MC gets in the game, it’s one of the more interesting ways to justify spending all your time in a full immersion VR game.

 

The MC is in the game by the 5% mark and stays there the rest of the story.

 

I liked that the MC doesn’t have anything handed to him and suffers for his stupid mistakes. He dies, pretty regularly, but learns from each death and adjusts how he does things so he dies less. Another interesting aspect of the story is just how many great stories can be told without combat. The MC is a bard with a min max strategy built towards charisma. So, he’s combat challenged. At first I thought this meant that there was not going to be any combat, but I’m happy that I was mistaken. The MC just has to adjust how he deals with people/creatures trying to kill him.

 

But some of the most interesting parts of the story have absolutely nothing to do with fighting. There’s music, storytelling, lore gathering, crafting, world building, game theory, and most importantly mystery investigating.

 

That’s right, the big plot of the story revolves around solving this mystery and a lot of the other seemingly unrelated quests and adventures ultimately end up being clues for the bigger mystery.

 

Overall, I had a really good time reading the novel. It’s a good mix of adventuring and mystery solving. But there’s still all the great RPG character building I love about the genre. The author not only creates a great main character but a full rich world.

 

Score: 7 out of 10  

The Wayward Bard (World of Chains Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2HnnAW7

 

(Picture 5)

Countdown (Reality Benders Book #1) LitRPG Series

 

At long last, an extraterrestrial civilization reached out and made the First Contact. However, no one on Earth took their communique for the genuine article. In a similar vein, very few people appreciated just how littl