LitRPG Podcast 045
Hello everyone, welcome to episode 45 of the LitRPG podcast.
I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews.
New Releases and Reviews:
(Play Music 2)
New LitRPG Audiobooks
Out Now, Will Review next week!
This is Our Land (Emerilia Book 5) (April 25th, 2017)
Lost Archive: A LitRPG Adventure (Veilwalkers Book 1) (April 28th, 2017)
Ascend Online: Hell to Pay (Book 2) (May 1st, 2017)
Gank: A LitRPG Adventure (The Crucible Shard Book 4) (May 3rd, 2017)
The First Player (AlterGame Book #1) (May 9th 2017)
Stuck in an RPG (Sucked into an RPG, Book 2) (May 27th 2017).
The Eternal: Dragonborn - A LitRPG Saga (World of Ga'em Book 2) (May 31st, 2017)
Hero of Thera (June 1st, 2017)
Conquest: A LitRPG Story (The SciFan™ Universe Book 1) (June 1st, 2017)
Fantasy Online: Hyperborea (June 2nd, 2017)
Stay on the Wing (The Dark Herbalist Book #2) (June 2nd, 2017).
Hero of Naught (July 1st, 2017)
The Curse of Rion Castle (The Neuro Book #2) LitRPG Series (July 6th, 2017)
The First Planet: The Space Masters 1 (July 14th, 2017)
Onto New Releases and Reviews
(Play Music 3)
New Releases and Reviews
Critical Failures V (Caverns and Creatures Book 5)
Many view "hitting rock bottom" as foundation on which to rebuild one's life, a place from which one can only ascend.
Gamers know to search for a secret door leading down to the sewer.
My Opinion: 303 pages, $4.99, Available Kindle Unlimited
The core gang you’ve come to love over the course of the last four books has broken up. Katherine and her brother Tim are on their own. Tempers flare when the larger group thinks Tim is trying to screw them over after a member of his group accidently steals the dice they need to get home to the real world.
What follows is a funny multi-narrative story where everyone is searching for Tim. People are forced to take sides and of course nothing goes as planned for anyone.
Funny as heck. Very potty humor funny. Lots and lots of cursing.
There are a lot of WTF moments.
One of the few flaws in this series is the ever expanding list of characters. If you haven't read all the previous books, or if it’s just been awhile since you’ve read them, it's hard to jump into one of the stories and know who’s who. I’d recommend starting with book 1 in the series which is often free on Amazon or $0.99.
Score : 7 out of 10
The Hour of Pain (The Way of the Shaman: a bonus story)
Attention all LitRPG readers! This is a special-edition bonus story for those Way of the Shaman fans who don't want to wait for the translation of Book Six. This isn't a new novel but a short story chock full of spoilers. The story retells the climactic ending of Book Five from the viewpoint of Anastaria.
My Opinion: About 20 pages, $2.99, Not available on Kindle Unlimited
Super short read that retells the last scene of book 5 from Anastaria’s perspective. For the price of $3 for about 20 pages, it’s super overpriced. However, the story puts the events at the end of book 5 in a completely new light. However, this is something that’s likely to be covered in book 6 when it comes out. I enjoyed it but I really wish the short story was on Kindle Unlimited or just cheaper.
Score: 7 out of 10.
The Bard: A LitRPG Short Story (The Greenwood Book 4)
Romeo el Mejor, best bard in the world, or at least in the City of Vinab in the virtual reality massively multiplayer online game: The Greenwood, is about to put on a play when a goddess appears and asks him to run an errand for her.
She promises him a +10 boost to all stats for a month, so how could he refuse?
She is also remarkably pretty.
A light hearted LitRPG short story set in the Greenwood.
My Opinion: 66 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Short story that makes me wonder where book 3 went.
Most stories portray the Bard as a loser class that only works in a group as someone that buffs other. This is a story that advocates that the Bard is actually one of the most powerful classes when played correctly.
The MC is tasked with recovering a Magic mirror from a necromancer. He uses his music and acting skill set to find the clues to accomplish this goal.
The Bard’s class skills are used in the story to make him wealthy in game. However, where the story shines for me is at the end when the Bard enters combat and shows off what he can do. That part was way too brief though.
Score: 6 out of 10.
Master Of The Game (Gabria Online Book One)
After a terrible accident ruins his life, Daniel finds a new one inside of Gabria Online, the world's first Virtual Reality MMORPG. Inside of Gabria, Daniel is a Mesmer: a support class that uses hypnosis and mind control to weaken enemies before Charming them into turning against their compatriots. He loves exerting control and dominance almost as much as he loves being able to walk again, and his tactical skills make him excellent at turning battlefields into total chaos.
But when Daniel finds a strange tower in the woods that leads to a secret developer-built treasure room, he patches the ENTIRE GAME WORLD into a shocking new form. Suddenly players are able to hurt each other with swords and spells - and death has more consequence than a simple respawn! And Daniel discovers that Mesmers have the ability to use their powers to control other players - like the gorgeous elf girl he's been lusting after for weeks...
My Opinion: About 40 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Warning: Half of this story is a graphic sex scene. The author has a slew of other erotic stories about women, through one means or another, becoming submissive, sexy beings.
This fiction is really short, it only lasted about 20 minutes.
More erotic fantasy than LitRPG
The first 50% of the story is the setup. The main character loses use of his legs, loses all his friends and family, then finds the latest full immersion VR game where he can walk again. It then jumps ahead in time two weeks where the main character is now level 7 Mesmer, a control class and he groups up with a hot female player looking for a mysterious tower for a quest.
The last 50% is a graphic sex scene where the main character uses his control spells to get the female player he’s with to have sex with him in game after they unlock a patch for the game that lets players use their spells on each other.
As far as a short story can, it describes the game mechanics of a control class and status screen. The main character does gain more power when he unlocks new content for the game. However, all that is in the first 15 pages. The rest is just a sex scene.
The story technically qualifies as LitRPG but it’s sort of disappointing. I like the idea of a story describing how a control class would fare in a game world where there’s full on PVP. This story barely touches on that though. The story is just too short and over half of it is dedicated to the sex, which is just disappointing to me.
Score: 5 out of 10.
Virtual War: Alpha Centauri (A LitRPG Novel)
Humans have been at war with the Irians for twelve years.
With heavy casualties and depleted resources on both sides, opposing military leaders come up with a novel solution.
It is agreed that the newly-discovered Alpha Centauri system will be fought virtually, inside a dynamic role-playing game.
Using cutting-edge Immersion technology, human and Irian engineers unite to design the game. The rules are simple: two armies of 100 pixel runners will compete for each of the three habitable planets in the Alpha Centauri system.
The species with the most victories will be permitted to colonize the system for real, putting them in a strong position to win the war.
For Major John Talbot, chosen leader of the human virtual army, the chance to play such an amazingly detailed game is a dream come true.
The price of failure, however, doesn't bear thinking about ...
My Opinion: 235 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
In a far far future, humanity has finally reached the stars and expanded across the galaxy. Unfortunately, we’re not alone. We’ve been at war with another alien race, the Irains, for so long that both sides are almost out of resources. Instead of continuing this bloody war, both sides have agreed to decide the outcome of the war using a full immersion virtual reality game. The winner gets claim over the resource-rich Alpha Centauri system. Leading the fight for the earth forces is Major Talbot, a troublemaking soldier with a knack for out of the box thinking. He’ll need every ounce of unconventional strategy if he’s to win the game with his team.
The virtual game is a real-time strategy (RTS) game. Every one of the three rounds, both the alien and the human teams are sent to a new world and the side that captures the most beacons wins that round.
There’s not a whole lot of plot here. It’s heavily focused on action. All though there are also elements of capture the flag, resource gathering, class development, and crafting.
If you’re looking for something action oriented with a lot of RTS elements then this is the right novel for you.
Score: 7 out of 10.
Overlord Warriors: LitRPG Saga (Graven Vengeance Book 5)
They thought it was a video game, now they are fighting to survive inside the game.
Josh and his friends are at home, having a normal evening after school, playing their favourite online video game, Graven Vengeance.
The Graven Warrior Fabian uses an in-game teleportation machine to capture these elite gamers. Now, to get back to the real world, Josh and his friends must use their in-game magical powers to fight against the Dark Lord Xaizden.
Worse, now that Xaizden knows there's a portal to the real world, Josh, Fabian and company learn that Xaizden is intent on teleporting his armies and taking over Earth.
A battle between good and evil unlike ever before the Overlord Warriors using their gaming skills to survive in Fellowdonia.
My Opinion: 114 pages, $1.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited
Originally written in Sept. 2016, this is labeled as the 5th book in the series but I couldn’t find the other 4 on Amazon.
In addition to the bad grammar, regularly missing speech tags, and constantly changing tenses, this story isn’t LItRPG. It’s not even video game fiction. It’s portal fantasy.
Some kids get teleported into a place they say is a video game they were playing. Only there aren’t any video game mechanics described. Ever.
Score: 2 out of 10
The Merchant of Tiqpa 2 (The Bathrobe Knight Book 5)
Locke finds himself between a rock and a hard place, as old urges and new desires compete to shape the life and death decisions that he must make in his quest to save the kingdom from the brink of corruption.
My Opinion: About 400 pages, $3.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited
One of the things I like about this series is that it’s almost a standalone adventure story. If you’ve read the other books in the series you get more from the text but if you haven’t then you still get to enjoy a funny, action- adventure story.
The Merchant of Tiqpa series, in general, is smaller in scope than the Bathrobe Knight part. This book is no different. It’s not epic or world shaking. Instead, it’s Lock, his satirical friend Reginald, and the warrior Eliza on an adventure in a city of merchants. Trying to find a way to take over for their guild. It’s fun.
Score: 7 out of 10
The Princess of Panchala: A LitRPG novel in the TerraMythos series, a fusion of mythology and MMORPG
When Demie eludes a supernatural abduction, her younger sister is taken instead. The teenager escapes into an alternate universe to find that she is stuck with divorced parents, a reputation for being crazy and that her sister was never even born.
Consumed by guilt and determined to regain her sister, nothing prepares the girl for the moment when her consciousness is thrust into Panchala, the online Hindu MMORPG game world where her sister was taken. There, Demie meets Princess Draupadi, who is not just a guide and the key to finding her sister, but is Demie's only friend.
While Draupadi and Demie search for answers they are pursued by Kali the Destroyer of Worlds, a demi-goddess the game programmers created to destroy Demie. The fabric of Panchala begins to disintegrate around Demie, threatening to wipe out her existence if it collapses.
But she will risk her life to bring back her sister, or die trying.
My Opinion: 323 pages, $3.49, Available on Kindle Unlimited
The author of the story, Tom D Wright, discovered our genre recently. We welcome him to the LitRPG community. He was introduced to LitRPG by one of our LitRPG ambassadors Matt Dinniman at Norwescon. Tom Wright wrote this story in 2014 and he’s relabeled it as LitRPG because he feels it fits the genre.
It almost is.
The premise of the story is a bit of a stretch. A girl transitions into an alternate dimension where her sister was never born. After an accident three years later, her mind is transferred into a VR MMO that has a historical Hindu theme.
This isn’t a bad story. It’s well written. The main character is likable and I found myself empathizing with her situation. The game theme of awakening artificial intelligence is interesting.
However, more than 60% of the story is about real life events that have nothing to do with the main characters quest to find her sister in the game world. Even if it does take awhile to get there, part of the story does exist in a video game world. Unfortunately, the thing that keeps it from being LitRPG is that most of the game mechanics of the game world are hidden away. Additionally, there’s no growth in power according to those mechanics because they’re not shown. After about the 50% mark, even those vague connections to the MMO game world mostly disappear and the main character's story reads like a journey through Hindu folklore.
This story was not written as LitRPG. It is an action mystery that just happens to take place in a video game. It would be the same story if the main character’s mind were transported to a Hindu fantasy alternate reality.
As general fiction it would get a 6 out of 10. But as LitRPG it gets a 4 out of 10.
Eondrias Book 1: A new Master of Dungeons
Originally the Master of Dungeons software were A.I. that ran live-action dungeons. The players could smash up sophisticated robots engineered for that one purpose and feel good, strong and heroic.
Until that fateful night, where an update to one of the Master of Dungeons A.I. pushed it over the threshold separating artificial intelligence from artificial sentience.
Several thousand years later, the Masters of Dungeons are a group of living, formerly artificial beings (mostly software, with a bit of magic mixed in) that still follow the basic purpose of that first Master of Dungeons: Entertainment.
Entertainment, almost exclusively, of themselves and each other. What's left of the human race occasionally gets thrown in for some additional fun.
My Opinion: About 70 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
As of the writing of this review the author has the story on sale for Free.
This is definitely a specialty story and not everyone is going to like it.
Artificial intelligences (A.I.) have taken over. They control the aspects of biologically sentient lives whether they know it or not. One of the ways the A.I.s have decided to entertain themselves is by creating dungeons in a virtual realm. A.I.s compete to see who’s dungeon provides the most entertainment.
The story is told from the perspective of a newly created artificial intelligence who is being introduced to this dungeon creation process. The reader follows along as he competes with the other new A.I. to see who can create the most entertaining dungeon. If they’re good enough, they might even get a chance to make a dungeon in the physical world that humans can run.
There are some awkward places in the story where the author has to justify some of the choices the main character makes and there’s not really a plot. It really is just about creating dungeons, describing the options for creating dungeons, and running dungeons. Still, I like it. This is a simple fun story for those that like dungeon master stories and I think it has some potential.
Score: 7 out of 10.
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