LitRPG Podcast 080
LitRPG Podcast 080
November 17th, 2017
Hello everyone, welcome to episode 80 of the LitRPG podcast.
I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews. This week I have 7 new LitRPG reviews for you.
Just a quick shout out to Rupert Stevens for pledging $5.99 on Patreon to help support the podcast.
New Releases and Reviews:
First Login (Chronicle Book 1) (17:40)
(Play Music 2)
LitRPG News (01:33)
Blaise Corvin, author of Delvers LLC, recently released an early look at the cover art for his upcoming 4th book in that series. It will be titled Golden Handcuffs. Don’t expect this one anytime soon. Blaise also stated he is going to release a whole new series called the Nora trilogy, set in the same universe before Delvers book 4.
In a recent Facebook Live, Aleron Kong announced that book 7 would not be ready on Nov. 19th, 2 years from the release of book 1. It turns out editing a 1000 page novel takes longer than a 400 page one. He’s now 100% sure that a it will be ready by Dec. 3rd.
If you can’t wait to get started, the first six chapters of the next book are on Aleron’s Patreon page free for everyone. You just have to look through the posts a little to find them.
This weekend I’ll be hosting a LitRPG author’s game session. Myself, Charles Dean, James Hunter, Dakota Krout, Blaise Corvin, and Hugo Huesca will be playing some fun games, Live! You as an audience will be able to comment, ask questions, and make fun of us Live on YouTube. There’s a link in the shownotes to the event. I hope to see you all there in the chatroom.
Out Now! (04:39)
New LitRPG Audiobooks (05:12)
Our review of the ebook: http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/10/5/the-laboratory-a-futuristic-dungeon-core
Upcoming LitRPG: (05:43)
The Airship: A Futuristic Dungeon Core (The Laboratory Book 2) (Nov. 17th, 2017)
Under the Black Flag (Epic LitRPG Adventure - Book 6) (Fayroll) (Nov. 20th, 2017)
Eden's Gate: The Sands: A LitRPG Adventure (Nov. 22nd, 2017)
Wounded Legion: a mech LitRPG novel (Armored Souls Book 2) (Nov. 23rd, 2017)
The Gods of the Second World (LitRPG The Weirdest Noob Book 3) (Nov. 29th., 2017)
Infinite Assassins: Daggerland Online Novel 2 A LITRPG Adventure (Nov. 30th, 2017)
Slime Dungeon Chronicles Book ?? (Dec. 1st, 2017)
The Land: Predators (Chaos Seeds: Book 7) (Dec. 3rd, 2017)
The Twilight Obelisk (Mirror World Book #4) (Dec. 4th, 2017)
Emerilia Book 11 (Dec. 5th, 2017)
Desert Storm (Puatera Online Book 3) (Dec. 13th, 2017)
A Trap for the Potentate (The Dark Herbalist Book #3) LitRPG series (Jan.17th, 2017)
The Reapers (The Neuro Book #3) LitRPG Series (Jan. 24th, 2018)
Onto New Releases and Reviews
(Play Music 3)
New Releases and Reviews
It’s a good week in LitRPG, everything I’m reviewing is actually LitRPG. So, no 4s this week. I’ll start with the the novels in a series.
Powerful necromancers are on the move and Cal is caught in the crossfire. Without his faithful Wisp, Dani, Cal's mind slips and he begins creating traps and monsters that go against his already loose morals. After a direct threat from an unexpected force causes Cal's mind to stabilize, he throws all of his resources into keeping his thoughts clear while he funds searches for his lost companion. When others fail him again and again, Cal decides to take matters into his own hands.
Deadly occurrences remind Dale that no matter how well he does in his small community, he is still considered a weakling in the greater world. Though he continues his physical and mental training, he decides to gain strength by any means necessary… even if these decisions are killing him
My Opinion: 406 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
The day it released, it already hit #37 in all the Amazon paid books. That’s really impressive since it’s out of ALL of amazon’s listed books. It also hit #1 spot in multiple categories.
The numbers don’t lie folks.
There’s all the dungeon stuff that you’ve come to like about the series and the storyline with Dale is just as entertaining if not more than the dungeon stuff.
It’s great. I just could not put this thing down. Even at like 3am. Places other novels would just end, this novel uses as a stepping stone to more adventure.
There’s a great ending that may have some people tearing up but I can assure you there’s still some great dungeon on dungeon action too.
Score: 8 out of 10.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: A LitRPG Novella (Camelot Book 3)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is the second and a half book in the Camelot Overthrown LitRPG Series.
Instead of Sir Gorrow as the hero, we have Sir Gawain in this retelling of the tale of honour and loyalty where the knights of King Arthur encounter a powerful supernatural creature who seemingly can cheat death but at the same time end their lives forever.
The mysterious Green Knight steps out of the winter cold, with his green holly branch and his might fey axe. This axe has tremendous powers and can kill most creatures with one shot. The Green Knight says it will belong to whoever is brave enough to cut off his head.
Gawain is that man.
The Camelot series features stories of Sir Gorrow in addition to Arthurian legends of chivalry and knighthood retold as LitRPG stories where the heroes' courage and honor is tested time and again.
My Opinion: 90 pages?, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Galen Wolf has never been afraid to try new things in his LitRPG series. This time he’s adding RPG elements to a retelling of a classic story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Don’t worry if you’ve never read the poem or heard the story. Galen Wolf does a great job of staying true to the original tale but adding in modern MMO and RPG reasoning. It’s just a good short side story.
Score: 8 out of 10
Desert Born (Puatera Online Book 2)
With her charge, Alex, safely delivered, Maddie drowns her pain in a local bar. Leaving later that night only to discover Alex has been beaten and robbed, his own quest failed. Politics and cash aside, she aids him. Once more they cross the desert, this time where Tromoal and enemies are born.
My Opinion: 113 pages, $1.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Book 1 in the series got a 6 out of 10. Book 2 gets the same but for different reasons.
The novel starts off well enough. There’s some romance as the main character (MC), Maddie, finds Alex hurt in front of her car when she thought he’d left forever. She takes him to get healed and realizes how much she cares for him and he her. Nice.
The MC also has some very clear goals in this novel. Save the Tomoal (dragons). Get them some food to save their soon to hatch eggs. She has to rally the NPC community to get enough food for the entire clan. There are also some interesting revelations about why the MC is special and why she has such an interesting connection with the dragons. Cool stuff. The story was legitimately on it’s way to a score of 7 out of 10.
Then there’s this weird plot twist at the 75% mark that comes out of nowhere and is just such a head scratcher that it derails the story a bit. I mean i know a lot of authors like a plot twist at the 75% mark, but genetically modified man eating cows? Really?
There’s more to the twist and it leads to the addition of a cool dragon but It just feels like a way to delay the big resolution of the story to book 3.
Overall, the story is nice but it could have been good.
Score: 6 out of 10.
First Login (Chronicle Book 1)
Time in a capsule.
People seek out escapes through countless avenues, but when the product is extra time to live—within an emerging digital world—everyone’s a customer. Game capsules transport players to a new world where time is perceived far more slowly. Why study for eight hours in the real world when you could get it all done in a single hour? Why work slowly? Why relax that way? Following this mentality, Chronicle has become more than a game for governments, businesses, and players alike.
When Corbin Landrick, an unlucky but hardworking guy, finally gets his hands on a ChronPod, he jumps headfirst into his second life. While he struggles to plant both feet firmly on the ground in a world of magic and monsters, he finds out that virtual reality is what you make of it.
My Opinion: 341 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
This one turned out better than I thought it would. The current cover gives the impression that this is a Harry Potter type magic story and it isn’t. It’s a daily adventure/slice of life story about the adventures of Corbin Landrick or as he’s known in the game Dakkin.
You follow the main character (MC) as he explores this strange new VR world where time compression has a 8:1 ratio. There are some places where story struggles, like the info dumps near the beginning, bt overall it’s an entertaining adventure story. The game mechanics are solid throughout the entire story and once the MC gets his unique class it’s fun to see how he grows in power and uses his new skills.
Score: 7 out of 10.
Dawn of the Realms (The Realms of Mordred Book 1)
I remember the first day I picked up Dawn of the Realms. I remember turning to my best friend in the world, Sara, and telling her I was finally getting to play the game of my dreams.
I hadn't previously shown any skills in prophecy, so we'll chalk it down to the world having a sense of humor.
Six weeks later, I went to sleep in my bedroom after a long night of gaming, only to wake up again as my avatar within the game. From that point forward, every night, I woke up as my character within Dawn of the Realms. Except not just in the game - in a real, vibrant fantasy world, populated with real people. And plagued by real monsters.
This is the story of my first week within the Realms. The friends I made, the adventures I had, and the beginnings of a story that would envelop not just the game world, but my own.
My Opinion: 294 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
I’ll be completely honest. The author wrote into the podcast and asked that I review his novel. He said it was ok if the review wasn’t good, he’s looking for criticism.
So, here it goes. The writing at the beginning of this story is bad. I mean, there are so many issues that it’s going to be hard for many people to get past it.
Not only is there constant tense changing, the tenses aren’t even used correctly. The past is talked about in the present tense and the present is in the past tense. There are also time-line jumps where the main character is in the present, then he just decides to describe some history element of the game he’s been playing. Then he might shift to a future event. Very confusing stuff.
However, the writing does get better, eventually. It’s never great but it does become more consistent and understandable. Either that or my brain just began to ignore the issues.
The core story idea in the novel is neat. A college student is having these weird recurring dreams of himself inside the MMO he’s been playing on his PC. These dreams are so vivid he just explores the world for the first few night. On the third night, he accepts a quest from a pretty girl to clear the forest of rodents. There he fights the creatures and wins, suffering only minor wounds. However, when he wakes up he’s battered and bruised. He even bares a bite mark on his arm, in the exact same place the rat in the dream bite him. The question becomes, Is the main character (MC) connecting to the MMO in his dreams? Or is the MMO connecting to some other parallel world? Or is something else happening? If he’s showing injuries from his fight, what happens if he dies in his dream?
A good section of the novel goes on to explore those questions. The MC starts to involve his friends and it turns into a more predictable adventure story. The MC and his group get a rival, go on some quests, and defeat the big bad guy by the end.
Overall, the story is rather predictable but the core story idea has promise. The ending neatly ties things up and has the potential to take the story in interesting directions. The novel’s biggest flaw is the bad writing. It’s especially bad in the beginning of the novel and even though it gets a bit better as the story goes on, most people won't be able to get past that bad start.
Score: 5 out of 10
Steele Alchemist: A LitRPG Series
When bartender Jake Steele finds a portal in an abandoned building, he does what any bored guy would do – he walks through it.
He finds himself in a game-like world where his life is measured in stats and his violence is rewarded with experience points. Under the tutelage of an animal-butchering, whore-loving master, he learns to become an alchemist.
He used to mix drinks, but from now on he’s going to be mixing things that are far deadlier.
My Opinion: 452 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Warning: Lots of cursing and penis references. Not particularly funny but more used in everyday language. Also lots of little spelling errors. That may bug you.
From the author of Monster Spawn and Arcane Survivalist.
Jake Steele feels unwanted and unneeded. His parents are dead. His best friend is leaving for college. He doesn’t have anyone else who’ll miss him if he disappears. After discovering a portal to another world, he waits two weeks to jump in, and discovers a world unlike any he’d imagined.
There’s a lot of good backstory and character development in the first 6% but it doesn’t really matter since the rest of the story takes place in the game world.
Jake is in this world with RPG mechanics by the 7% mark of the story. The world is pretty vaguely described at the beginning. Like, ‘Oh, look mountains to the east, a forest to the north, a road to the west, and a hut to the south.’
I really wanted to like this story. I mean a whole novel about alchemy in a world with RPG mechanics? Yes please. Unfortunately, the alchemy and crafting aren’t that great. Potion making comes down to mixing two ingredients together, an herb with magical properties, a base that enhanced magical properties (just another plant ground up), and water. Yes, I know that’s three ingredients but in the story the author insists that potion making only has two.
Which brings me to a very common issue with the story. The errors. The novel has lots of tiny errors. Spelling errors. Game mechanic errors. But most striking, the author mistakenly changes a major character’s name mid-story. The alchemist that is teaching Jake starts out as Carson. Then his name switches to Cason. Then back to Carson. Then it stays Cason for the rest of the story. He changes names again at the end of the story but that’s part of a silly plot twist that made me roll my eyes.
The game mechanics are pretty light. We see them when the main character identifies things (names), crafting, and when he looks at his character sheet. Jake seems to level after almost every fight, regardless of who the opponent is. It’s sort of an inconsistency that the reader has to just accept because sometimes levels are given for enemies but mostly it’s just a % of experience after the fight is over.
The story itself is decent. It’s a coming of age story where Jake decides in a magical world what kind of person he wants to be. He does some crafting, kills some monsters, and saves the day. Not bad, just not amazing either.
Overall, between the many errors in the story and the lackluster crafting, the novel was only ok. It is the weakest of the authors LitRPG stories. A much stronger LitRPG story from him would be Arcane Survivalist.
Score: 5 out of 10
Deadly Realm: Fighting for Freedom
Survival is the name of the game.
Thrust into a world he could only imagine, Pax is forced to confront his fears and an altered reality. Once inside the game, the rules become deadly clear and there’s only one way out. He thought being a die-hard gamer would give him an advantage, but battling monsters face-to-face leaves him questioning everything he once knew about himself. In a land filled with ogres, beasts, and dragons, survival becomes a desperate struggle. Out-sized, out-maneuvered, and out-powered, Pax must rely on his wits to keep him alive.
My Opinion: 84 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
This short story starts off decently enough. Paxton Tyler wins opportunity to test out new game that’s also supposed to help autistic children like his brother. Even better. He’s getting paid to do it.
He’s in the game by the 11% mark. Then it gets weird. He’s immediately hit by his game guide, a pretty girl that tells him if he dies in the game he’ll die in real life. Oh, and that he needs to hurry and complete the game so that she can escape, because she’s trapped there. No reason for the rush, just ‘because’.
From there it’s a mix of bland monster fights and a confused attempt to implement a Total Recall style tension where the main character isn’t sure what’s real, what’s the game, and who’s apart of a conspiracy that’s never explained.
The only RPG elements are a character sheet with stats. The main character is told repeatedly that he has to level up quickly or die, only there are no levels on that character sheet. The stats gradually increase each time the character sheet is shown, exactly 5 times. Other than that, no RPG elements.
Overall, the tension in the story feels forced and the early part of the game story feels rushed for no reason. Not particularly entertaining.
Score: 5 out of 10
That’s it everyone!
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