LitRPG Podcast 085
LitRPG Podcast 085
Dec. 8th, 2017
Hello everyone, welcome to episode 85 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 8 new LitRPG reviews for you.
New Releases and Reviews:
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I want to give a quick shout out to friend of the podcast Dakota Krout, he recently had his first baby. If you’ve read his latest novel Dungeon Calamity you already know the kid’s name. Congratulations to Dakota and his wife on having a healthy baby girl. (01:49)
It seems like the trademark for LitRPG has gone through and Aleron Kong is officially the trademark holder. People feel what they feel about the situation. Some are angry. Others happy. Many don’t care. One of the early changes in the community is that the LitRPG Society Facebook page has changed their page name to RPG GameLit Society. Not because Aleron or anyone asked them to but as a proactive step to avoid potential problems.
But here are a couple statements on the issue.
When asked to comment on this, Aleron gave this statement,
“Hello everyone, Aleron here. I wanted to address the concerns about the trademark of LitRPG before the conversation escalates into unnecessary worries. First, a little history; I started attempting to trademark LitRPG back in 2016 as a way to help not only protect my ability to use the term, but also protect future authors ability to do the same. My concern was that if someone trademarked it, they wouldn’t allow others to use it, or to work towards helping it grow as a genre. However, I realized after some very personal attacks that this wasn’t how it was being taken, and that others may have thought I intended to block other authors from helping the genre grow, this could not be farther from the truth!
When my first attempt at obtaining a trademark failed, my lawyers who were under retainer let me know that there were still a few avenues they would like to try before calling it quits. But that they were unaware if those attempts would work. Up until recently, I thought that the trademark was dead in the water, my lawyer had made no progress and had left me feeling certain that it wasn’t going to move forward, and I had no intention of continuing to pursue it after they finished exhausting their final attempts. But A few weeks ago I received quite the surprise, my lawyer called and informed me the trademark was moving forward. I wasn’t sure how to feel about this, as I really didn’t want to stir up any problems. I know some people have questioned how I could be unaware of the action my lawyer recently took that allowed the trademark to go through, and honestly, it is a pretty simple answer; lawyers work off of a retainer at times, prepaid amounts to use as needed for the task given, which is the case here. And when they told me multiple times that it probably would not happen I put it out of my mind and just waited for the process and their retainer to run it's course.
Now that I’ve explained this history, I want to clarify what this means going forward. The trademark covers athletic apparel, shirts, pants, jackets, footwear, hats, etc., as well as use for a website featuring entertainment information, such as movies, TV, social media, books, eBooks, etc. The major concern I’ve found is “will other LitRPG authors be able to use “LitRPG” to promote their books, describe their books, etc.?” The simple answer: yes. I have no intention of pursuing royalties from other authors in the genre. I wanted to protect the trademark so that we could all work together to help it grow.
What does the future hold now that LitRPG is a trademark? If you visit my website, https://www.litrpg.com/litrpgbooks/ , you will find that I have featured what I refer to as “The List” – a page devoted to highlighting new releases and new authors in the LitRPG field. Without anything being given to me, or being rewarded in any way, I have worked to ensure that all LitRPG authors, new and old, are connected to the awesome LitRPG audience. I try to keep this updated very regularly, and have plans to help it grow moving forward. I have also, again without any recompense, have set up a beta reader list to help new authors hone their craft. This group, which I am so proud of, is literally the best and more supportive group on FB for new authors in my opinion, and was made into such by literally thousands of hours of work by myself and my moderators. Again with no recompense, but just because we love the genre. I feel that my track record, and the track record of the moderators speaks for itself.
In addition to what has been done so far, I am currently working on an update to the page, which will allow authors I may have missed or that are new to the genre to submit their information, so that I can be sure to include it on “The List” and in other features. Another plan that I am working to implement is helping all LitRPG authors to gain more social media exposure. As an extension of the list, I plan to Tweet/Post about new releases and new authors from my accounts, tagging the other authors to help increase their exposure to potential fans and readers. I encourage you all to participate in this same way, the more we can help the genre grow, the more we will all succeed!
I feel that my efforts to promote all authors who join the genre over the past two years should be evidence of my dedication to growing the genre as a whole. To some, LitRPG may be an enjoyable past time, but to me, its something that is wonderfully personal. I love LitRPG. I want to make sure that it always has room to grow. While I forgot about the trademark until recently, the horrible and personal attacks that were directed at me by angry people, just reminded me of the danger if the wrong person took the trademark. I'm sure many of you have seen the vehemence some have been exhibiting. Having had that targeted at me in a very real and personal way, I assure you it is not pleasant. The idea that the same people might obtain a trademark and then try to strong-arm new authors made me very uncomfortable. Though I was surprised by the fact that the trademark was ongoing, I am now happy I can help keep it safe. Again, I have NO intention of interfering with others helping to grow the LitRPG genre. Just the opposite, I want to continue to help others bring attention to the genre we love! I hope this has brought clarity to the situation, but if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via the website: https://www.litrpg.com/contact/
As always, I wish you all Peace, Love and the Perfect Margarita :)
A statement from Magic Dome Books, translators and publishers of several Russian LitRPG series.
“Aleron Kong has just registered the acronym LitRPG as a trademark. In order to clarify our position, we wish to state the following:
1) The name LitRPG - as a description of a new genre of Science Fiction - was originally created by Dmitry Rus, Dem Mikhaylov and Vasily Mahanenko in 2012. Less than a year later, Dmitry Malkin - the science fiction editor of EKSMO Publishers - and literary agent Alex Bobl created a book series counting almost a hundred titles which was entitled LitRPG.
2) This term was then brought into the US by LitRPG fans who followed D. Rus’ and V. Mahanenko’s works in Russian (see here for proofs - http://www.jcafe24.net/index.php?board=123.0). But it became very widespread only after the translation and publication of the first books by D. Rus (July 18, 2014) and V. Mahanenko (April 20, 2015) in English whereas the first book by A. Kong was published in November 20, 2015.
3) We have never planned to use our rights as LitRPG pioneers to have it registered as a trademark or do anything of the sort. Not only would that be unethical, but we simply can’t think of it as something that belongs to anyone in particular. It belongs to all of us.
4) We will always support anyone who is willing to use the LitRPG term for his/her own purposes freely and unconditionally. This includes gathering proofs and making statements in court (if necessary).
Dear friends and colleagues! We all agree that Amazon should create an independent LitRPG category. We have asked for this many times but have only received as a response that such a step hasn’t got enough support from readers. But we’re certain that if we persevere with our efforts, at some point Amazon will hear us. So please find some time to send a letter to their customer service in order to bring this subject back to the table.”
Magic Dome Books team
If you’re angry or upset about how this is turning out then there’s a process to argue the trademark.
If you want to oppose the registration of the trademark
or petition to cancel the trademark registrations we have a link in the show notes where you can find out where to send your request.
Also on KU!
Project Alpha out now!! The physical copy of the novel has been uploaded and the audiobook version is already in production.
Anthony Tinoco is a just an average guy looking forward to his first day at college. Unfortunately, he gets lost on the huge campus and when he follows a hot girl to what he thinks may be his first class, he’s accidentally introduced to a new world full of action and adventure. A world that exists in parallel with our own, the System. Now Anthony is getting new skills for doing everyday tasks, gaining levels from fighting monsters, and experiencing adventures he never thought possible.
Not everyone is happy to see someone like Anthony with these new powers and someone is willing to do whatever it takes to stop him from using them. Including murder.
Will Anthony be able to handle these strange new powers? Or will his enemies win and force him back to his normal boring life?
Project Alpha : Book 1
New LitRPG Audiobooks
Our review of the ebook: http://www.geekbytespodcast.com/litrpg-database/2017/7/6/speedrunner-tower-of-babel-book-1
Our review of the ebook:
Our review of the ebook:
Our review of the ebook:
Our review of the ebook:
Desert Storm (Puatera Online Book 3) (Dec. 13th, 2017)
Depths of Camlan: A LitRPG Adventure (Camlan Realm Book 2) (Dec. 21st, 2017)
Camelot Defiant: An Arthurian LitRPG (Camelot LitRPG Book 4) (Dec. 26th, 2017)
The Dungeon’s Burden (Slime Dungeon Chronicles Book Book 4) (Dec. ??, 2017)
The Land: Predators (Chaos Seeds: Book 7) (Dec. ??, 2017)
Press Start (Jan. 5th, 2018)
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
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New Releases and Reviews
Rapture (Apocalypse Gates Author's Cut Book 1)
Alvin woke in a room that was not his, to discover that he had died and his brain had been bargained off cheaply to pay off someone else’s debt. It did not sit well with him. It didn’t surprise him that even in death, people were still using him for their own purposes. He had never exactly been a good guy, but everyone had their breaking point, and he had found his.
The bastards in charge had uploaded his mind into a virtual death game. The whole world could now pay to see him play it and probably die. Alvin questioned whether he was really a bad guy, if this is how they wanted to treat him. Regardless, he was not about to wait for death to come for him. He would kick open the damn Apocalypse Gates and see about crushing everything that challenged him. It was time to make the world aware that he was done with pretending to be nice.
Welcome to Apocalypse Gates!
(This book contains adult themes. Including; gore, death, drug use, and graphic sex. GRAPHIC SEX! I don’t want you saying you weren’t warned here, this book has descriptive sex scenes… got it? Good!)
My Opinion: 384 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Full disclosure: The author gave me an advance copy for review. I purchased both versions of the novel when they were released.
*Warning: The Author’s Cut version of the story has several sex scenes that are rather graphic. These scenes do not exist in the PG16 version but all the rest of the cursing and some sex references do.*
The first 30% of the novel is my favorite section. Here you get an almost episodic experience with the zombie apocalypse as the main character (MC) goes on a variety of missions. Some are about killing zombies, others about surviving for a set period, others still are about saving people from the zombie horde in different scenarios. There’s a nice variety of missions that keeps things interesting.
Once the world mode opens up, about the 30% mark, the story begins to feel more like a more traditional zombie apocalypse story. Except the MC gets XP for killing zombies and he can use that XP to upgrade himself, his weapons, and a variety of other things later.
Most of the story focuses on the MC trying to create a safe place in this world for people to resettle. There are town building game mechanics that come into play, resource management stuff. Like any good zombie apocalypse story, the tension in the story comes from the threat of monsters attacking as people salvage and also from internal drama from the group of survivors.
One of the few things I would have liked to have seen in the story is a greater variety of survivors. Especially in the mid part of the story, it felt like character recycling a little.
Over all though, it’s a good story that I finished in a single sitting. I’m looking forward to seeing where the story goes in book 2.
Score: 7 out of 10.
Mira & Zoro: Stuck in a Game World? (Vampire Wrath and Incubus Issues): A LitRPG/Fantasy Fun
Everything's a game. Why not play around with a million lives?
Mira Flask was in the middle of a grand experiment - With the help of the greatest Virtual Reality Game 'HAIL' in history, where one could feel, hear and explore more worlds than they ever imagined, Mira planned to use the power of games to create a human revolution! The way of learning will never be the same! Now if only her brother could stop playing around and keep it in his pants!
Zoro Flask just wanted to play hard and party harder. His sister was serious enough for the both of them - someone had to loosen up! Doesn't the great family business need heirs or something?
Life would have been normal - kill brothers and bug sisters and try not to think about the hard things anymore. The siblings have been through too much to care. As long as they had each other, then that was enough. HAIL was going to be Mira's lastest obsession, her legacy.
Until a so-called Game God sucked them into HAIL and a million other people whose "talents" he felt worthy enough to plug into his own experiment. Strength, Beauty, Medicine. Dancing, Math, Crafting Origami - whatever was a 'talent' was used to select his chosen ones. To test the limit.
Suddenly, Mira and Zoro are forced to play hard just to survive and try to reunite. Well...
If Mira could stop getting targeted by ogres and idiots. "I'm not a hero!"
If Zoro could stop crying in a corner. "I can't believe I'm an incubus. W-Wait. You want me to WHAT?"
If the Game God would stop messing around. "Hehehe. Now this is interesting...I should talk to the king."
Between a strange orgy- erm, team of a succubus, a dark knight, and a mage latched onto the pathetic incubus...and crazy serial killers and - again, what's with ogres! - plaguing a certain Mulan vampiress, the siblings keep meeting more and more weirdos.
My Opinion: 142 pages, $2.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited
I really liked the first 12% of the story. The overworked overbearing sister trying to get her rich brother to be responsible while she plays a new VR game for research. Nice idea. I can overlook the grammar and spelling issue in this section because it's interesting.
However, after the 12% mark when the two are just randomly teleported to a game world and transformed into their game characters, things fall apart and the story loses coherency and my interest. As a fantasy story, this would be fine. But it's listed as LitRPG which implies some RPG game mechanics and character progression along those lines. The extent that that exists here are the couple of character sheets shown and a couple of levels gained. Everything else is essentially portal fantasy with a video game theme.
At the time of this review the story is $2.99 and not available on KU. It's honestly not worth the price.
Score: 5 out of 10
Lewd Shadowmancer: The Concubine Contract
Warning: The tale you are about to read is a story of sexual creatures, human or otherwise. This tale is for adults 18 and up.
Can becoming the villain change who you are?
Nathan's life has been a vile pit for longer then he would like to admit. Searching for an escape, he spends the last of his cash on a VR game called Lewd Saga.
Lewd Saga is a Virtual MMORPG, based in the fantasy world of Lukken, home of dragon royalty, human kingdoms and troll masters. Players quest, grow their abilities, join in great battles and find love and lust in whatever form they desire. There is no taboo too great or too intimate.
Upon entering the VR world, the player soon discovers he doesn't have to live by society's rules any longer. He quickly realizes players will pay real money to exact revenge on other players. Nathan, who feels like life took everything from him, can now carve out his destiny and make those who ever crossed him know his dark power.
Will Nathan succumb to his darkness when there are greater evils trying to infect the virtual fantasy world? Will the love of another breath life into his cynical heart? Will he question if he is the true villain, or something else?
My Opinion: 270 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Warning: the novel contains graphic sex scenes.
The first 6% of the novel are the ‘woe is me’ part of the story where the main character has a pity party for himself after getting himself fired and is determined to get his revenge in the online world.
He creates a troll shadowmancer and is determined to find each of his ex-employees and his former jerk boss and make their lives miserable in this fantasy VR game.
Some people will have a problem with the graphic sex scenes in the story. I don’t. I just skip those parts. The biggest problem I have with the story is the lack of logic especially the gaming side of things.
For example, early in the VR story part, with a freshly created character, the main character (MC) enters a PVP zone, and sees a group of knights and paladins defeat their opponents. He even hears the group of higher leveled players brag about the expensive and powerful gear they have. Yet, somehow, the MC with his starter dagger and the lone surviving unarmed catwoman are able to defeat the entire group without dying. Then moments later when a backup group of archers almost kills the MC, he’s magically saved by a group of wraiths. Why? Just because.
Sure the knights had taken off their armor but it still doesn’t justify the scene. The logic that a level 1 character with just his starter knife could defeat higher level players with expensive PVP gear just doesn’t make game sense. The save afterward by the undead wraiths makes even less sense.
This type of magic wand waving occurs repeatedly in the story. Though there are character sheets, stats, item descriptions, and more detailed RPG mechanics. It all seems to mean nothing if the MC needs sudden saving.
Overall, apart from the game mechanic and logic issues, the story isn’t bad. It’s a tale of revenge with themes of digital addiction and corruption. But the semi regular magic saves, even till the very end of the story, just made this hard to read. If you like graphic sex scenes with your LitRPG, you might enjoy this novel and the series in general. However, don’t expect the game stuff to make sense and be prepared for magic wand waving in the story.
The story on it’s own get a 6 out of 10. The game side of things gets a 4 out of 10. So for an overall review
Score: 5 out of 10
Super Sales on Super Sales 2
In a world full of super powers, Felix had a pretty crappy one.
After learning to harness his ability to modify any item he owns, he now runs a corporation that is rapidly expanding.
After tangling with the local Heroes guild they’ve finally settled into a semblance of stability.
Sounds great on paper. Run your company, make money, be your own boss, settle down.
Except that with running a business, comes an inordinate amount of responsibilities.
Like making sure everything keeps running and your people are paid.
Worrying about the longevity of his company, Felix begins to expand into other cities.
So they’ve packed up the car, put in all the requisite forms, gotten the approvals, and set out to start Legion up in a new city.
The problem though is the local government had no idea who they were selling permits to. Approving forms for.
To Felix and Legion.
And now they’re about to find out.
My Opinion: 382 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Honestly, not a big fan of the first 50% of the story. But boy, does the last 50% rock.Yes, that last half brings in a couple plot lines that aren’t fully developed and there are lots of unanswered questions but it was interesting.
One of the things I really loved about book 1 was the RPG mechanic of upgrade points that was well utilized. At the beginning of book 1, Felix had to carefully manage each point and plan out how to best use upgrade. It was a fine balancing act and if he misstepped, his whole budding business might go under.
That aspect of the story is largely gone in book 2. For the most part, Felix no longer has to worry about his daily allotted upgrade points. Or really any resource for that matter. Relative to book 1, Felix barely uses his powers because he has a huge pool of renewed resources to basically do whatever he wants with. If he wants to suddenly build a university, sure that will happen. Felix want to bribe his way into a government position? Sure, doable. It’s because Felix is so powerful at the beginning of the story that the stakes felt lowered.
That first half of the story was hard for me to get through. There are a couple of fights. However, mostly it deals with Legion, Felix’s company, expanding into a new city and dealing with the hurdles of trying to gain a foothold there. It’s about politics, intrigue, company expansion problems, and recruitment. The story here honestly feels too big. There are so many people asking for both the main character’s and the reader's attention that it feels overly crowded.
Thankfully, that all changes about the 50% mark when the novel’s villain is revealed and some weird stuff starts to happen that takes the novel in some interesting directions. The novel finally focuses on specific events that, even if they come out of left field, are at least interesting and have lots of good action.
Overall, this is a good read. I liked book 1 a bit more but this is still fun. However, if you loved the RPG stuff in book 1, it still exists here but there is a lot less of it.
Score: 7 out of 10
The Twilight Obelisk (Mirror World Book #4)
Olgerd and his tribal NPC gang have finally discovered the Forbidden City. Problem is, they haven't found what they were looking for. The ancient maps are hopelessly out of date and the Ennan capital city is lying in ruins.
In the meantime, their enemies are closing in. Noctean hordes are arriving from the Silver Mountain Valley; the Dark army has already crossed the Back Stream, and the forces of Light have already entered the Icy Woods.
The magic protection sphere which Olgerd received from the city's invisible guardians is about to expire... The only way he can save the lives of his trusty NPC friends is by activating the Twilight Obelisk.
My Opinion: 435 pages, $5.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited
Full disclosure: I got an advanced copy for review. I purchased the novel when it was released.
This is an entertaining 4th book in the series. I particularly enjoy the pet raising and upgrades. There are the usual translation snags, odd phrases, and awkward phrases. Nothing that ruins the story but almost gives the novel an accent in places.
My favorite translation funny happens in a scene where Olgerd is fighting a villian from book 1 and he remembers what that guys father said about the jerk. Olgerd’s response is funny. At least to me.
“ ‘I’ve taught him never to bow his head to any Tom, Dick or Harry…’
Very well. I might be a regular Dick but I wasn’t going to run from him this time.”
Most of the novel is great fun and a coherent continuation of the books that came before it. However, the end of the novel has a twist that I’m not sure how to feel about. In a lot of ways it makes much of the plot of the story seem meaningless but it also wraps up the story.
The author had previously stated that this was going to be the last book in the series. He’s since changed his mind and intends to write more, but the end of this story feels like it’s informed by the idea that he’d intended it to be a last book. It didn’t ruin things for me but I found myself caring less towards the end of the story.
Overall, this is a good read for anyone that’s enjoyed the other 3 books in the series though the end may not be what they were hoping for.
Score: 7 out of 10.
The Gods of the Second World (LitRPG The Weirdest Noob Book 3)
One player has managed to upset the game world's balance, and now he's hunted by everyone. Every clan wants to recruit him for his achievements, while other powers want him for their own, more sinister purposes. Now Ros must contend against an unseen enemy backed by the world's most powerful corporation, while relying on only himself and his few trusted allies. The stakes have never been higher…
Don’t miss the final book in The Weirdest Noob trilogy!
My Opinion: 304 pages, $5.92, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited
There was an issue where the wrong version of the story was uploaded and sent to folks that pre-ordered the novel. The company that translates the novel quickly moved to fix the issue and upload the correct file but there are still a lot of negative reviews on Amazon based on that version of the story.
This review is based on the fixed, correct version.
The final book in the Weirdest Noob series is my least favorite in the series. A lot of the novel feels like filler and while some of the plot twists are interesting, the ending feels rushed and disappoints.
Most of the story revolves around Ros, the main character (MC), running from forces that are kill him both in game and in the real world. However, along the way he’s aided by a mysterious force that seems to have been guiding him the whole series. The novel culminates in a big show down between these two forces.
Unfortunately, this showdown is disappointing. It amounts to some magic wand waving from both sides and one just losing for no real explained reason. It’s really a let down.
Overall, while the action, crafting, and adventuring in the novel were good there was just too much filler. Way too much of the story was just the main character thinking about stuff or explaining game concepts that had nothing to do with the immediate events happening around him. If you’re an uber fan of the series you may like the novel but I was a bit disappointed.
Score: 6 out of 10.
A Dungeon's Soul: Book 3 of the Adventures on Brad
The Karlak Dungeon has re-opened with a brand new configuration. A whole new Dungeon awaits Daniel and Asin. Joined by Omrak, the party races to be the first to complete the Dungeon but must face new monsters, new traps and new floor layouts. Will the Adventurers complete the new Dungeon in time?
A Dungeon's Soul traditional fantasy story with LitRPG elements.
My Opinion: 161 pages, $3.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited
A simple review. This is a dungeon crawl novel in line with the previous two in the series. The dungeon at Karlak is open again but has changed. There’s a huge reward for the first team to complete all ten levels and our favorite team is competing against a group of advanced dungeoneers to win. New to our team is a hulking barbarian.
There are few places for character development in the story but it’s pretty much a straightforward dungeon dive story. Don’t expect more.
While the story is nice and action oriented, at the time of this review, it is not on Kindle Unlimited and is priced at $3.99 for 161 pages. It’s just not worth it at that price unless you’re a super huge fan of the series.
Score: 6 out of 10
Infinite Assassins: Daggerland Online Novel 2 A LITRPG Adventure
Two weeks before the trial of Atticus Arching, his radical followers, the Infinite Assassins, decide to take the law into their own hands. Using the bodies of innocent online players these unkillable assassins target the entire prosecution team, including the only witness in the case, FBI Special Agent Daniel Roan.
Escaping by the skin of his teeth, Roan is forced to go on the run. Hounded day and night by the assassins, he finds the only way he can strike back is to go online and infiltrate the very group that’s after him.
The only problem is that they only take the very coldest of killers and Roan is forced to become everything he hates: liar, thief, murderer, Assassin!
What reader say about the Daggerland series:
"Captivating! Meredith pulls you in with great characters and rich details..."
"A great story. It reminds me of my days pulling DnD all nighters."
"Meredith takes the LITRPG genre to a whole new level...
My Opinion: 412 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
The setup of the story is both interesting and annoying. That the bad guy from book 1 has arranged for the murder of everyone involved in his conviction is neat. But that the main character (MC), Daniel Roan, has to go back into the game to investigate is annoying. The premise relies on every police force, the FBI, and everyone else being bad at their jobs. There’s not a single shred of physical or digital evidence for multiple murders? Sure.
Putting that aside, most of the story is a good fantasy action story. There’s good pacing and an increased level of action in the story.
The MC goes back into Daggerland as a rogue with the alignment Lawful Evil. He finds his thoughts influenced by the game immediately and doing things he would never normally do in life. The longer the game goes on, the more evil he becomes. While I personally don’t like how the character develops and find it kind of a cop out to blame the game for that evil development, I’ll admit that the sci-fi concept of a game changing the minds of it’s players an interesting concept. It just reeks of the excuse, ‘the game made me do it’ to justify the MCs evil deeds.
On the downside, the RPG mechanics in the story are minimalized compared to book 1. Essentially what you see the most is the character sheet for the MC and XP gain notifications. However, most of the XP notifications are ignored by the story and I feel like most of the game stuff was added into the story after it was written. 90% of the game portion of the story feels more like a fantasy action story. For some people this is a good thing. However, for anyone expecting a new super detailed game mechanic system, this is not that kind of story.
Additionally, like book 1. The detective aspect of the story setup in the beginning of the novel practically doesn’t exist. Much of the story feels like straight fantasy portal fiction and occasionally the MC mentions a game thing or that he’s looking for clues in a game to real life murders.
Overall, the fantasy action aspects of the story are really good. The game mechanics are consistent in the story. The story is LitRPG, but those game mechanics are not anything to write home about and are minimized. For me, the detective aspect is a complete disappointment as is the direction the main character develops, especially at the end.
Score: 6 out of 10
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