LitRPG Podcast 026
Hello everyone, welcome to episode 26 of the LitRPG podcast.
I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews.
Quick shoutout to Gregg Horlock his Patreon pledge of $15 a month. Thank you Gregg for supporting the podcast. That’s the largest monthly pledge we’ve gotten so far.
New Releases and Reviews:
The Accidental Mage: The Orb of Agner: Book 1
We’ll begin with LitRPG news
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The first book in the Chaos Seed series is on sale until for $0.99 until January 17th. It’s a great deal for a great 1st book in the series. Just be aware that if you start reading the series you’ll likely want to read all the other books. So be prepared to schedule out a weekend.
Luck Stat Strategy (Secret of the Old Ones Book 1) is out now. Blaise Corvin posted it suddenly so I haven’t had a chance to read it all but it’s definitely on my reading list now. I’ll review it next week but I’ll have link in the shownotes for you.
The audiobook for Blaise Corvin’s story Delver’s LLC also came out . It’s narrated by the great voice talents of Jeff Hayes. Here’s a quick sample for you. http://amzn.to/2ilSCvZ
Awaken Online: Precipice, the second book in Travis Bagwell’s series is up for pre-order now. It’ll be available March 31st, 2017. I had a chance to interview Travis a few months ago and he’s a great guy and I love the Awaken Online series. Personally the March 31st can’t come soon enough.
The Karmadont Chess Set (The Way of the Shaman: Book #5) is up for pre-order. It’s one of my favorite LItRPG series. It will be out April 2, 2017.
The Nagant Wars is up for re-release Pre-Order. After some critical reader reviews he pulled the story a few months ago to rewrite some parts and make it a better. It’ll be available later this month on Jan. 31st. http://amzn.to/2ilHGP1
Side note, the author of this story, Jayden Hunter, was recently on the Fantasy/SciFi Marketing Podcast to talk about his experience as a LitRPG author. It’s a highly entertaining episode and Jayden does a great job of highlighting some of the challenges of our genre for new authors and how to authentically appeal to LitRPG readers. Go watch Jayden take over that podcast.
Jeffrey Falcon Logue, author of the Slime Dungeon series, announced that the third book in the series is on track for a late February - Early March release. No info on the story or anything yet but I know there are lots of people who are looking forward to the next book.
Amy Hopkins has announced her first LitRPG book will come out this month. It’s called Realm of the Nine Circles. I’m really just showing this one off because the badass cover art. Amy, if you’re watching or listening, I look forward to reading this one when it comes out.
Lion’s Quest: Undefeated (January 17th, 2017)
You're in Game! LitRPG Stories from Bestselling Authors (Jan. 20th, 2017)
Spawn Campers: A LitRPG Adventure (The Crucible Shard Book 2) (Jan. 31st, 2017)
Nagant Wars: The Pawn's Dilemma (Jan. 31st, 2017)
Realm of the Nine Circles ( January 2017)
Dungeon Madness (Book #2 The Divine Dungeon series) (February, 2017)
The Beginning (Dark Paladin Book #1) LitRPG Series (Feb. 7, 2017)
Sucked into an RPG: a LitRPG Novel (Sucked into an RPG, Book 1) (Feb. 20, 2017)
Spetsnaz: A 49ers LitRPG Novel (Feb 28th, 2017)
The Crystal Sphere (March 10th, 2017)
Awaken Online: Precipice (March 31st, 2017)
The Karmadont Chess Set (The Way of the Shaman: Book #5) (April 2nd, 2017)
Onto New Releases and Reviews
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New Releases and Reviews
Aaron Hope plays video games, like a lot, just not professionally. When he entered the EpiX! Games! PVP World Championship on a lark, this college senior never expected to make it to the final round, nor to get drugged and shoved into the alpha test for World of Ruul.
The premise for this virtual reality MMO is simple. Find all eight treasures scattered throughout the world before the maelstrom’s forces devour everything in sight. The only catch? You can’t log off, and if you die… well, let’s just say what happens in the game doesn’t stay in the game.
My Opinion: 268 pages, $4.99, available on Kindle Unlimited.
Full disclosure: The author sent me an advance copy of the novel for review but I’ve purchased a copy since it came out.
The description of the novel is technically accurate but doesn’t really play a big part in this novels. It just serves as the reason that the main character and several other players are trapped in the game World of Ruul.
At it’s core, this story is not an epic journey to destroy the ring of power, it’s just a fun adventure with gamers. I had good time reading it after I adjusted my expectations. If you’re the kind of reader that needs the LitRPG game rules to be consistent and make sense, then this may not be the novel for you.
When I first started reading this, my mind kept pointing out game mechanic inconsistencies and plot points that seemed unbelievable. Heck, there are parts of the story that remind me of a weird dream I had after a marathon gaming session and I ate too many chilli dogs. Like the players brains being taken out of their bodies and hooked up to a machine to play this immersive game, a game notification system that sounds like Elizabeth Hurley, a talking foul mouthed rabbit, and a main character that rolls four 20s for his stats on a D20 die.
However, once I adjusted my expectations and accepted that the game rules weren’t always going to be consistent (it’s part of the story), I had a nice time reading the novel. The action adventure parts were good. The game world had nice variety of monsters for the players to kill. The skill and powers the players got access to were varied and interesting.
There are only a couple things I wished could have been done better: 1) the NPCs don’t sound any different than the players, using all the slang and pop culture references players use. The voices of the NPCs don’t vary and there’s no backstory to make them feel that different. Heck, the author makes a joke about the town guards looking and acting the same but just having different names. 2) About 75% into the novel there’s a quest sequence that just goes from fight to fight without a real break. I would have liked a less frantic pace here to give the characters a chance to develop and expand on their backstory/motivations.
This is a unique LitRPG novel that at times feels like a cool gamer dream. I enjoyed reading it. I’d give it 6 out of 10.
The Accidental Mage: The Orb of Agner: Book 1
The world is obsessed with Hyperion's Keep, a virtual reality game that allows people to join a fantasy realm and make real money. The only issue is that if you die in The Game, you die in real life...
Follow Lorcan as he and his friend, Jacob, come of age and join Hyperion's Keep for the first time. All player classes are not created equal, and when Lorcan accidentally chooses Mage - the weakest class - will he be able to find success?
My Opinion: 33 pages, $0.99, available on Kindle Unlimited
Marcus chooses to play the most popular game in the world, a full immersion VR game where if you die in the game you die in real life. He also accidentally chooses the worst class in the game for his character and is stuck with it.
This one is really short. It has mostly 2 and 3 star reviews because it’s only 33 pages and just doesn’t have time to develop a story in that short of a time.
A good 20% of the already short novel is an information dump. Defining terms and telling the reader about the online game.
The author chose a very interesting combination of ‘Die in game, Die in real life’ and ‘the character gets the worst class’ troupes. It’s not a combination you don’t see that often. Mostly because the two aren’t complimentary normally. Usually if you have the ‘bad class’ option, the character has the option to die repeatedly as a part of the learning process to work out the unique way to make their class shine. That doesn’t work in this case. So I’m was curious to see how the author melded the two. The answer, the author didn’t really.
I was ok with the few spelling and grammar errors. I was ok with the page count. I’m ok with the info dump. However, I’m not ok with the abrupt ending where the best friend is suddenly killed by a group of thieves because they can ‘magically’ break the game rules by turning a PVE zone into a PVP area. Then somehow the main character survives by using the overpowered magical artifact they just happen to discover a page ago.
The end of the novel say that the author plans on releasing another story in this series later. I hope the story improves but I can’t recommend this one.
Nick Stanners has no money. No job. No prospects. He lives in one of the most crime-ridden apartment blocks on the west coast. His girlfriend uses him for a place to stay. His father is on life support. Rent is due next week…
Games are Nick’s passion. He's played them all - well, the old screen ones anyway. He's never been able to afford an Immersion tank and the amazing games that come with them, but he's seen the webcasts. He knows the names of every superstar pixel runner. His heroes.
So when he's picked out of the crowd to participate in a competitive, quest-driven dark fantasy RPG, his brain melts. Could this be his opportunity to get ahead? Or will he be chewed up by the machine, just another failed pixel runner by the side of the road?
My Opinion: 329 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited.
Author Steven J. Shelly is really working the serial model on Amazon. Not only has he finished the dexterity build season of his stories but he’s also collected the first season, strength build, with it into an omnibus.
Some people have an issue with the serial release style of the story and the higher cost per page when they’ve been initially released. The omnibus collection of the series address some of those concerns.
I enjoyed Strength Build and getting to know both the real and game world of Nick Stanners. The combat is always well written and the storyline kept me interested the entire serial. Even though the reasons for Nick to stay in the game get a little thin in Dexterity Build, I still had a fun time reading all the different bosses the character fights. That the main character changed play styles added some variety to the story.
This is a great read if you have Kindle Unlimited and it’s only slightly overpriced if you pick up the books in omnibus form.
That’s it everyone!
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Thanks for hanging out with me today. Until we can hangout again, remember to go read some LitRPG!
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