LitRPG Podcast 038


Hello everyone, welcome to episode 38 of the LitRPG podcast.


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

You can get the individual written reviews for each of the titles on our Facebook page:

New Releases and Reviews:


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LitRPG News

Because there are so many reviews I’ll be skipping the LitRPG News section but I wanted to mention the LitRPG that came out this week that couldn’t read or review this week but is on the schedule for next week’s episode.


Out Now, Will Review next week!

I’ll also be reviewing the 4th book in the Realm of Arkon series, Shadows of the Great Forest which comes out on the 14th.


Upcoming LitRPG: Skip Reading but mention what reviewing next Week.


You can check out the full list of upcoming LitRPG in the shownotes or on the pinned post of the LitRPG podcast Facebook page.

Onto New Releases and Reviews


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New Releases and Reviews

Sufficiently Advanced Magic (Arcane Ascension Book 1)

  • Not LitRPG. Nice tower exploration story, like dungeon diving but in a tower. Then a magical academy story. Nothing negative to say about the story. They never claimed to be LitRPG but I know a few people we were wondering if it was since it appears on the LitRPG search on Amazon.



Project Phoenix #2 Light Speed: (A LitRPG Series)

The year is 2038. A new simulated reality game known as Project Phoenix is a global phenomenon with over a billion players.

Jack was an average accountant who'd never played, until a corrupt branch of the US government arrested him.

Now he's struggling to survive both in game and real life.


My Opinion: 41 pages, $1.49, available on Kindle Unlimited

Jack is kidnapped by a government agency and forced to play a Space Simulation full immersion VR game.


The Dungeon's Child (The Slime Dungeon Chronicles Book 3).

The dungeon adventures continue with Doc, Claire, and company. With the win over the Tomb of the Forgotten King, they are as strong and curious as ever. While the town recovers from the attack, Doc settles in with his new powers and improves hi dungeon to new levels. New slime evolutions, traps, and floors incoming!

Meanwhile, something is rising in the dark in Duren. To counter this, Prince James take the center stage and decides to have his coronation ceremony in the dungeon town. However, even he can't imagine the plans in motion that will soon engulf his city and country.

With all this happening, the mysterious cocoon in the dungeon has begun to hatch . .


My Opinion:  283 pages, $4.49, available on Kindle Unlimited

As the dungeon town recovers from the attack of the Undead Dungeon, Doc and Claire improve the dungeon itself and create new traps and monsters for the adventurers to try and conquer. In the meantime malevolent forces outside the city put their plans into motion.


  • This story was more succinct. It got right to all the parts of the story I love. The dungeon creation, creature evolutions, new traps, and new levels made by Doc.

  • One of the more common criticisms of book 2 was that there was too much time spent in the dungeon town. In book 3 more time spent in the dungeon. I’d say the ration of dungeon to outside world is about 70 - 30. Which I enjoyed.

  • Lots of great action and the author advances the plot of larger world.

  • There’s a new interesting dungeon character, who allows Doc a view of the outside world. It was a great choice by the author since we get commentary from Doc and Claire as this character explores the dungeon town.

  • No huge flaws in the story, solid game mechanics, only continuing commentary that there are a lot of characters to try and remember. But that’s more of a personal preference.

  • Won’t spoil the plot of the story but some of the story threads that have been teased in books 1 and 2 are finally coming together nicely.

  • The story gets a 8 out of 10.

The Dungeon's Child (The Slime Dungeon Chronicles Book 3).


For The Guild (Emerilia Book 3)

After four months of training, Party Zero is ready to join up with the Stone Raiders and test out their newfound power.

Forces have their eyes on the Stone Raiders for their own reasons. The Stone Raiders and Party Zero will be vital to the plans of higher powers and the future of Emerilia. They just have to survive long enough to make it there.

A series of events are set into motion that will change the world, and just maybe the Universe.


My Opinion: 440 pages, $4.99, available on Kindle Unlimited

Dave and the Stone Raiders get a unique quest to help restore the homes of the feared techno race, the Aleph, before they’re released back into Emerilia. However, in addition to that challenge the guild is also being targeted by Player Killer guild. Who are out to make a name for themselves by killing the Stone Raiders.

  • Dave get his class as he finally applies some of those stat points he’s been hoarding and reaches level 10.

  • More crafting and fighting!

  • Finally we get to have our first glimpses at the universe outside Emerilia as Dave makes contact with the humans who are in hiding throughout the galaxy.

  • I like the techno theme that the Aleph facilities introduce.

I give For The Guild (Emerilia Book 3) an 8 out of 10.


Goblin: a LitRPG Novel (Tower of Gates LitRPG Series Book 1)

Ever dream of being trapped in a virtual reality video game?


Read on, adventurer!

Sarah, Eric and Josh secretly log onto the new Tower of Gates VRMMORPG and stumble on a world unlike any they have seen before. Swords, sorcery, and intrigue abound. While not planning on staying in the unreleased game long, life happens.

They soon learn the stakes are even higher than they imagined. To survive, they will need all their strength, courage, and wisdom, not to mention help from friendly NPCs, magic items, and everything else uncovered as they delve deeper into the game.

One more level becomes a matter of life and death.


My Opinion: Amazon doesn’t show a page # but I’d estimate it’s about 565 pages??. $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited.

The beginning is pretty well written. The 1st chapter of the story made me feel like the story had great potential: 3 kids logging into a forbidden VR game. Eric is in a wheelchair who gets full use of his limbs back in game. Sarah is his best friend and the girl that he’s secretly in love with. Josh is a jock that’s only there because his girlfriend is. Reading the 1st chapter, I could see a lot of potential, but it never pays off.


  • Explore the emotional complexities of regaining use of your legs, do they actually work in game if you’ve never used them in real life? Would there be a psychological addiction? Or even cooler, an associated physical response in real life?

  • Love interest: It’s cute the first couple times the boy main character says how much he cares for and loves the girl main character. It’s not as cute the 9th time he says it, especially after he gets so jealous whenever she just talks to or flirts with any male NPC.

  • The game seems to know about the characters real life issues some how and creates quests around that but the thread of VR being used to treat emotional issues is never developed.

Things I liked:

  • The penalty for speaking out of character. 10% of next XP per infraction. Not always implemented but an interesting way to keep players in character.

  • Action scenes - Well written, descriptive, creative tactics used to deal with more powerful enemies.

Things that I didn’t like:

  • Characters have knowledge they shouldn’t

    • Why does the jock, who doesn’t play these kinds of games know how to use special game skills magically.

    • How do the characters know so much about the game’s lore and the mechanics of the game if they’ve never played it before?

    • How do you know what happened in a part of the story you weren’t there for? Ie: when someone dies?

  • No explanation until over half the novel is gone about player villain Inyontoo. Why does he want to kill the main characters? How is he so powerful? How does he even know who they are or that they’ve logged into the game?

  • Multiple perspective narrative does not go well with 1st person perspective. Lots of personality flips. With one character taking on on the character traits of another. Perspectives shift every few pages sometimes, very confusing.  

  • The quests the characters go on are interesting and help to compartmentalize the story. Unfortunately they also get plot twisted to death about the 40% mark when a quest chain takes a weird turn and becomes a bit unbelievable. They’re about to destroy the evil artifact then a bad guy just happens to show up to steal it away? How’d the bad guy know where to find them?

  • It takes over half the novel to address the issue of why they’re stuck in the game and how there are other players stuck in the game. That’s a lot of story without any progress on the big storyline.

Last 50% of the novel is a bit better and there are fewer perspective shifts but also some odd plot twists. There are a few interesting game mechanics in the story and there is potential in the story it never pans out and I had to push myself to finish the novel. If I can eliminate half the novel and it doesn’t seem to affect the story, there’s a problem.

Goblin: a LitRPG Novel gets a 4 out of 10.   


Soulstone: Skeleton King (World of Ruul Book 2)

When Aaron and his friends got sucked into the virtual reality game World of Ruul, they quickly realized the only way out would be to acquire all eight soulstones and beat the game.

Unfortunately, they’ve somehow managed to incur the wrath of the Skeleton King, an ancient warrior whose vengeance can only be quenched by blood and death.

Now, if they want to survive long enough to find those soulstones, they’ll have to find a way to stop him.


My Opinion: About 559 pages?? (No Amazon page number), $5.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

Full Disclosure- Got an advanced copy to review. Have since picked up the story on Kindle Unlimited.

Aaron and his group are stuck inside the virtual world of Ruul. If they die in the game they die in real life, or at least what’s left of them does. Now they have to collect all the pieces they need to reforge the one weapon that can defeat the Skeleton King.

  • This is the Undead DLC for Soulstone

    • Especially in the beginning it felt like the author wrote this while binge watching The Evil Dead or maybe The Walking Dead since the Skeleton King’s realm name is Prince Glen.

  • The Skeleton King has the same issues that Soulstone: Awaken has.

    • Still don’t really care about the characters in the group, except George the smack talking rabbit. He’s pretty awesome.

    • There are the same game mechanic issues, where the characters can pull a ‘Neo in the Matrix’ and get the exact power/ability they need to overcome a situation. Though this happens a lot less often than it did in book 1.

      • Aaron, switches from a Rogue to a Necromancer in the middle of a battle.

  • New character, Sabre, who got frozen in the game in 1982 is a nice addition to the cast. Though she seems to know to many modern slang terms.

  • About the 65% mark the story takes a turn and as the beginner city prepares to defend itself from the Undead King and his horde, the story turns into a Warcraft style resource gathering real time strategy thing.

    • Aaron becomes the mayor of the town and he has to direct the citizens to gather and manage resources. He also gets to decide what buildings to make, what type of walls to build, where to assign unskilled laborers to gather resources, what items crafters should make, and can even recruit new labor. It’s rather cool.

Honestly, the RTS elements in the last third of the story saved the novel. Before that it just wasn’t working for me. For me, the RTS elements became the most interesting part of the story and the game rules used were 100% understandable and constantly followed.

Soulstone: Skeleton King gets a 7 out of 10.

Soulstone: Skeleton King (World of Ruul Book 2)


The Crystal Sphere (The Neuro Book #1) LitRPG Series


Inhabited by clumsy dwarves and cute Elfas, the cyberspace of the Crystal Sphere - the latest state-of-the-art MMORPG game - is not as benign as it might seem. Unbeknownst to most players, this is a test site for the latest technogenic device: the neuroimplant, allowing players to experience the full range of real-life sensations, including pain, exhaustion and death.

Alexatis is one of the few test subjects. His predecessors have already perished, destroyed by the lethal challenges of their new environment. Will he survive in a world which for most of his fellow players is still harmless entertainment?

A prequel to A. Livadny's Phantom Server, the Neuro series will shed a new light on many of the truths that the author has kept from his earlier readers. New characters will join the team already familiar to A. Livadny's fans, assisting them in their quest for survival until they discover the fatal truth:

Cyberspace feeds on human emotion.


My Opinion: 286 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

Full Disclosure- Got an advanced copy to review. Have since picked up the story on Kindle Unlimited.

A standalone novel set in the same real life universe as the Phantom Server series. This story is set before humanity had fully been moved into mega cities. You don’t have to have read the Phantom Server series to read this one but if you have you’ll get little references that will make you giggle.

The story of Alexatis, the first test subject of a revolutionary new neural interface. He’ll have to live in the fantasy VR game The Crystal Sphere as its first full immersion player and learn how to survive when he is one of the only players that can feel pain.

  • Story focuses mostly on the main character learning about the game world, how it works and his unique class Neuro which is tied to his neural implant and gives him some amazing abilities and skills, if he can master then. Learn about this about the 30% mark, won’t spoil the cool abilities that might be a little OP.

  • Few translation errors but nothing so big that it breaks immersion in the story.

  • Hinted at subplot of the neural implant users being closely watched and monitored ominously, and some of the same techo concerns that are present in the  Phantom Server series.  

The Crystal Sphere a 7 out 10.


World Seed: Expansion (Book 3)

The third book in the World Seed series.

Humanity is facing its greatest crisis yet, and there is only one frontier left for them to explore. Join John as he travels through time and space, though not together, to save all that he holds dear. There may also be a good deal of escaping reality involved as well. You have been warned!


My Opinion: 620 pages, $3.99, Not available on Kindle Unlimited

I did a written Q&A with Justin Miller, the author of this series in December 2016.


  • The secret about the game is out and John has created a space ship with the help of his A.I. to save as many people as he can in the galaxy before the earth becomes the most notorious dungeon ever. Join John on his journey through space as the first space druid as he explores the galaxy.

  • Big fan of the series, the interesting story, the crafting, and way the skill system is so robust. Would recommend it to anyone.

  • 8 out of 10.

World Seed: Expansion


Reborn: Demons Trap (Reborn book 13) and Reborn: Demons Return (Reborn book 14)


Reborn: Demons Trap - The Demon army is marching and the entire kingdom of Hulria is on guard. Ash had never thought himself a hero but now he was as far from that as one could come as the demon army marched behind him. The deaths he had seen haunted his dreams but what awaited him at his destination was far worse than even his dreams.


Reborn: Demons Return - Ash is trying to make his way home but not everything is as easy as it sounds. The goddess walks next to him but in the world of men her beauty is destined to cause trouble. As his enemies increase Ash must make it back home to where his family awaits him.


My Opinion: Book 13- 83 pages, Book 14 - 74 pages. Each is $2.99, NOT available on Kindle Unlimited.

For newcomers, I can’t recommend the last two books in the series based on the lack of any action, the price point ( more than $0.03/page), and the sheer number of spelling errors.

However, for me, I was happy to return to the Reborn series and see an end to a serial that I’d purchased every book of. I use this series as an example of the a good LitRPG serial. It establishes the world’s game rules quickly and then gets into the action. I’ve read and re-read the first 4 or 5 books in the series a dozen times at least. Especially in the early days of the LitRPG community when there wasn’t much to read. It’s a lot like that last season of Friends, where the stories just got a bit meh but that didn’t take away from the sense of closure during the last episode.


D.W. Jackson Reborn books- end to series 14 total

  • Book 13 Demons Trap -

    • A surprising number of typos and grammar errors.

    • Plus the pace is quite a bit slower than the other books, too much introspection, with only 10% of time spent fighting.

    • Ash gets captured by the magical group that first created the demon race and is trying to reacquire the knowledge to travel through dimensions and fight the gods. It sounds interesting but is just a bunch of torture of Ash and him sitting in a cafe getting to know a local.

  • Book 14 Demons Return -

    • Ash and Atilla’s travel log. The goddess herself comes down and takes on mortal form to give Ash someone to talk to, and fall in love with, in the story. It’s them trying to get back to the continent where Emelia is, you know that lady we haven’t actually seen in several books.

      • Actual ending to the series, no cliffhangers.

      • Feel like there was more planned for Ash but the author got tired of the series and just wanted to wrap it up to start on other projects.

      • Author’s health issues?

The quality of the series has been going downhill for the last few books, likely due to the author’s health issues. However, I’m personally glad to see the series had an unambiguous end. I can’t recommend these last two books for anyone unless you’re like me and just have to find out how the series ends. 5 out 10.

Book 13 Demons Trap -

Book 14 Demons Return -

Reborn serial all 14 books -


That’s it everyone!


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


Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (

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