LitRPG Podcast 106
LitRPG Podcast 106
April 5th, 2018
Hello everyone, welcome to episode 106 of the LitRPG podcast.
I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews. I have 7 reviews just for you.
Big shout out to Gabriel Rathweg and Sean Callahan. They both made donations to the podcast that will help keep the podcast funded and ad free. Gabriel made a one time donation via Paypal and Sean became a regular supporter on Patreon. Thank you both for your support.
If you want to support us too, you can find out all the ways to do so at www.litrpgpodcast.com/support
New Releases and Reviews:
Rescue (The Stork Tower Book 4) (07:50)
(Play Music 2)
New LitRPG Audiobooks
(Oddly, it’s listed on audible under children’s books so you might have missed it. Lol)
Critical Failures VI (Caverns and Creatures Book 6) (April 7th, 2018)
Absalom’s Fate: A LitRPG Quest (The Everlands: Book 1) (April 10th, 2018)
The Hobgoblin Riot: Dominion of Blades Book 2: A LitRPG Adventure (April 13th, 2018)
The Mists of Erantia (Realm of Arkon Book 7) (April 17th, 2018)
Countdown (Reality Benders Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 23, 2018)
Word and Steel (epic LitRPG Adventure - Book 9) (Fayroll) (April 24th, 2018)
You're in Game! Book #2 (Моre LitRPG stories set in your favorite worlds) (April 30th, 2018)
Blind Gambit: A GameLit LitRPG novel (May 10, 2018)
World of Karik 2: (The First Crusade) The LitRPG series (May 17th, 2018)
God Mode (AlterGame Book #3) LitRPG Series (May 24th, 2018)
Kingdom Level Five: LitRPG (May 27th, 2018)
The Dead Rogue (An NPC's Path Book #1) LitRPG Series (May 30th, 2018)
Onto New Releases and Reviews
(Play Music 3)
New Releases and Reviews
Rescue (The Stork Tower Book 4)
A simple error leaves Leah with a unique Neural Enhancement Chip and a rapidly evolving AI implanted in her brain. In Nascent, she evaded kidnapping by virtual slavers and helped shut down some operations of the virtual crime syndicate that uses mind-controlled players as slaves.
In Odyssey, she not only found a way to escape but she also uncovered deeper plots being carried out in both the virtual multi-universe and reality.
In 'Change', Leah began learning how to use the additional connections her chip has made throughout her body. The Pod facility she opened expanded as she helped others from her neighbourhood. She discovered that the crime syndicate has an even greater presence in the virtual multiverse than she’d imagined. As she begins to unravel some of their secrets, they tarnish her reputation and begin removing allies and friends who can help her.
In 'Rescue' Leah works to save some of her family and friends who are held captive by the syndicate. Through all of this, she continues to expand her presence, position and power in the virtual multi-verse, in her studies and real life.
My Opinion: 400 pages??, $4.49, Available on Kindle Unlimited
This is a good addition to the series. If you’ve enjoyed the other novels in the series, this one does not disappoint and you’ll likely enjoy this one too. It has all the action, adventure, intrigue, RPG game play, sci-fi, AI stuff, that you’ve come to enjoy about the series.
The real life storyline is kicked up a notch when one of Leah’s family members is kidnapped. Leah and her expanding crew have to decide how to find her mom and if they’ll have to give into the kidnappers demands. There’s also advancement on several other storylines, including possible traitors in her group, and with the MCs schooling.
The game storylines advance as well, with some truly interesting stuff happening in the fantasy game world. The scifi game is on the back burner for the most part but ties directly into the real world kidnapping story. There’s also an introduction to two new game worlds, one a rune discovery game and a steampunk world. The streampunk world definitely has the most time in the novel next to the fantasy world.
One of the things I always like about this series is how committed the main character (MC) is to opposing bullies. I find it so funny when MC uses her understanding of contracts and logic processes to push back against crime lords, academic institutes, the media, and even the big corporations. The extension of bad faith actions from earlier books is having consequences here. It’s great follow through by the author.
The only thing I didn’t like about the story is the steampunk stuff. It’s just not my thing. Additionally, this novel is getting very very busy. There are almost no cool down or lull periods in the story. Almost every minute, the MC is doing something to advance one of the dozen storylines in the novel. This anxious pacing may be a turn off for some people. But you’ll probably have figured that out by the 4th book.
Overall, I liked this story and stayed up way too late to finish reading it.
Score: 7 out of 10
Arcane Transmogrification: (Book Two of the Pentacle Series)
Book Two of the Pentacle Series
Danny died a less than heroic death on Earth, was reincarnated in a new world, gained access to a mental sanctuary that ranks his skills, learned he can do magic, discovered that he can't fly, tricked rich old ladies into buying handbags, crafted himself a crude anti-magic girdle, went to magic school, grew a couple of apple trees, was drafted into a secret paramilitary organization, tamed a pet most people would rather never meet, regrew an elf's ears, gained a split concentration ability in the form of his former Earth self, avoided being kidnapped, was almost eaten by a basalisk, watched an airborn wizard play wack-a-troll, saved his friends from a massive ritualistic magic spell, and did a great impression of a human tree ornament.
Then Danny passed out from blood loss and pain.
Now it is all up to Cranny, the embodiment of Danny's split concentration, to get Danny fixed up before the slowly approaching zombie goblin has a nice woodland picnic.
My Opinion: 402 pages, $4.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited
A good second book in the Pentacle series. This slice of life, reincarnated on a game world story, has moved past all the magical academy stuff from book 1. It instead focuses on Danny’s training in his new elemental aspects and his efforts to help the elves with their magical problems. If he can help them, they’ll help the humans fight off the invading goblin army.
If you liked book 1, you’ll like book 2. There’s a lot of DBZ style training and transformations, but it still maintains it’s RPG aspect progression. The harem stuff is still here too. You don’t get to the action till the last act, but it’s a good way to show off all that training.
Overall, I enjoyed the story, though I’ll admit that book 2 is a hard place to jump into the series. Go read book 1 first.
Score: 7 out of 10.
Viridian Gate Online: The Lich Priest: A litRPG Adventure (The Viridian Gate Archives Book 5)
The Vogthar Horde has come, and they bring real death with them. Not even players are safe from the power of Malware Blades …
Worse, the Realm of Order, dominion of the Overmind Sophia, is in danger—slowly being corrupted by an ancient evil, the Lich Priest. And if he is successful, it could mean the end of Sophia and the downfall of the Crimson Alliance. Grim Jack never thought he’d find himself siding with the Empire, but now that this terrible new threat has arrived, making friends of old enemies may be the only way to survive.
My Opinion: 289 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Full disclosure: I received an advanced copy for review. I purchased a copy when it became available.
The Grim Jack and Osmark, now ostensibly allies still don’t trust each other. The two, along with a small team of allies are transported to the Plane of Order, to help the goddess of Order Sophia. Her realm, is under attack from a evil influence. If she falls, so does the rest of the game. If the Jack and Osmark can’t find someway to genuinely trust each other and work together, the whole world may fall.
Even though this is part of the official VGO series, it almost feels like a side story. With the adventurers being whisked away and nothing that happens really impacting the larger war or the main storyline. Yes, there are some character arc advancements, but this story is mostly a series of capture the flag like raid battles. Then when everything is done, everyone is just sent home. No real big story developments.
Overall, I enjoyed the story. Good action adventure. Same things you love about the series are all here. But it almost feels like a bottle episode in a tv series. Fun, interesting, but also something that you could skip and not lose anything with the main story.
Score: 7 out of 10
Shard Warrior: A LitRPG Novel (Crystal Shards Online Book 2)
"Becoming a Dodge Tank was just the beginning."
The World Boss is defeated, but Ryan's troubles are far from over.
Transported to a new world, Ryan and his friends must figure out how to save their home city of Citadel, while learning to survive in a game world where death is now all too real.
But first, Ryan must keep his promise to Val Helena, and sets out on a dangerous quest to the Vale of Sorrows to defeat the Shadow King. With an enemy ten times stronger than a world boss, Ryan will have to do some serious leveling up as a Dodge Tank to be fit for task.
But when he encounters a fellow gamer with an agenda of his own, Ryan finds his plans not only derailed but his very life threatened by an enemy of his own making!
Ryan will have to grow in both level and maturity to face the difficult struggles ahead. But the game has more secrets to reveal and the enemy lying just below the surface, may be more terrifying than anything he could have imagined...
My Opinion: 364 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
At the end of book 1 the dodge tank Ryan helps beat the world boss. He and the winning group are transported to the real world as their avatars. It turns out that whole game is really a test to see who is good enough to fight the monsters above ground and return to their home with the nanites they need to run the city.
But Val Helena has another goal, she seeks to rescue her friend trapped in a labyrinth on the surface. Together, Ryan the dodge tank and the group that was sent to the surface must level up and find a way to beat the boss guarding the entrance to the labyrinth.
This a good action filled story with minor elements of town building. After the group escapes the powerful monsters hunting them when they transported to the surface, they save a town. Ryan, the main character (MC), claims ownership of the town and starts to use resources collected around there to build it up and improve it. But these town building aspects don’t really amount to much in the story, even if they are a break from all the fighting.
The best part of the story, is the twisty section where the group meets another player that’s made a place for himself in the above ground world.
The part that I don’t like, is definitely the end. If feels like it comes out of left field a bit, even if it does hit an emotional note with readers.
Overall, I had a good time reading the story but not as good as book 1. Unlike the VR game world they were playing in book 1, above ground no one can really die or they die permanently. So, you lose a bit of the feeling of risk, because you know the MC is never really going to die.
Score: 7 out of 10.
Alpha Testing: Angromoria LitRPG Adventure
The advertisement offered the ultimate Virtual Reality experience. Using a new technology known as Immersive Virtual Reality or IVR you could truly experience the game as if you were in it. For someone who has been confined to a wheelchair all of his life, the promise was impossible to ignore but only a few would be invited to take part in the Alpha test of the new game. Devon decided he would be one of those few
To ensure he would be chosen he took the most unlikely combination of skills specializing primarily as a craftsman and secondarily as a healer. The best race for these skill trees is a Gnome but that further weakens his ability to fight and survive. Still, it is only the Alpha test and once in he can change it when they move to Closed Beta.
What could go wrong? Soon he finds out just how weak his choices seem to the developers who figure he will die a lot and always be a Nobody. Name chosen Gnobody sets out to take on Angromoria and it is everything he could hope for until it becomes the only thing he may ever know.
My Opinion: 362 pg, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
This is a trapped in the game, slice of life story with an emphasis on crafting in the first half of the novel. In the second half of the novel, it shifts to a less interesting story about the main character (MC), Gnobody, running from players looking to collect a first kill bounty on him.
The story on the whole is very talkie. Like, 40% of the novel is dialogue or summary of some kind. There’s a great opening, that got me hooked by the 3% mark, but the MC doesn’t get into the game until the 12% and doesn’t go full immersion till 21% mark. Just about everything between 3 and 12% is almost entirely dialogue. And while there are interesting speculative thoughts and some game mechanic descriptions, it’s a lot of talking, and that may turn off some readers hoping for more action.
Once in the game, the MC has as couple neat fights but the first half of the story is focuses on crafting and a little romance. It’s great if you like that kind of stuff, but not if you’re looking for an action story. I’m a big fan of crafting and world building and this part has that in spades.
The last half of the story gets a bit more action oriented. However, in all honesty combat isn’t the strong suit of the story. Crafting, dialogue, punny humor, interpersonal relationships, and world building is. So the attempts to kill the MC for a bounty (which doesn’t really make sense anyways), almost feel like interruptions to an otherwise fun slice of life story.
Overall, I liked the story but it dropped what I liked the best about it in the 2nd half. But it is still an nice crafting story with an good punny sense of humor.
Score: 6 out of 10
Betrayal: A LitRPG Adventure (Monsters, Maces and Magic Book 2)
Glenn, a college sophomore, hasn’t gotten used to being a gnome healer, trapped in a world that functions under the rules of Monsters, Maces and Magic. Of course, acclimating isn’t the plan. He, along with the other players drawn into the RPG world in the form of their characters, want to escape and return home.
Stephi, Kirby, Ron, Derek and Glenn survived their first adventure into the Dark Heart Swamp, and are approached to once again enter the dismal marshland. An elf maiden, daughter of a baronet, has been taken captive by a band of goblins, and gold is offered for her rescue.
Gold is needed, not only if the party hopes to escape the game world, but to live and survive its perils. Glenn and his party take the mission, even though they weren’t the first choice. Beyond that, the foul swamp and its evil denizen may not be the greatest danger. A seer warns that their greatest threat lies in betrayal.
My Opinion: $2.99, 273 pages, Available on Kindle Unlimited
When I read this series. I always feel like I’m reading a fantasy story. It is Litrpg. There’s plenty of game mechanic talk and even though the character’s see their character sheets in their dreams this time around, the reader doesn't. However, much of the this still feels like a fantasy story.
I think that’s because the larger world the story is set in, is 100% fantasy. It’s only among this group of people that talk of any of these RPG mechanics takes place. Anytime there’s an interaction with the rest of the world it takes place in a fantasy way. Even when the group of transported players talk to other people they’re forced by the world to speak in fantasy terms. No one ever asks for a +1 vorpal blade or asks for a aoe spell.
Because of that, the story just feels less interesting to me. The actual story is very action adventure. Good fights. Decent, if heavily guided, story. But it just feels like it’s it’s trying hard to be LitRPG when the natural flow of the story is fantasy.
Overall, not a bad story. If you liked book 1, you’ll like book 2. If you like much lighter RPG mechanics, you may enjoy this more than me. But it just didn't land with me.
Score: 6 out of 10.
A Gamer's Wish: A GameLit Series (Hidden Wishes Book 1)
Given the opportunity to make his dreams comes true, Henry Tsien decides to make a wish that will change his life forever. Now a newly created, low-leveled Mage in a world that has hidden secrets and histories, he'll need to find a way to survive, level up and pay his rent.
My Opinion: 250 pages ??, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Henry is making a living purchasing goods at auction and reselling them. He buys an old briefcase and finds a genie inside that is willing to grant him three wishes. So, what’s the first thing he asks for? Magic powers granted to him in an RPG leveling scheme. Now Henry has to not only learn how to use his powers, but quest for experience, while earning a living in this newly exposed urban fantasy setting.
This is a urban fantasy LitRPG story. It doesn’t start out that way. It begins fairly normal. But as soon as Henry, the main character (MC), gets his magical powers he learns that magical creatures from every myth and legend exist and have just been using glamours to hide from us. Only, they’re more normal that he expected and mostly just want to live in peace and make a living.
The game mechanics in the story are pretty light but consistent. The MCs magical powers are gradually improved and his level of power and knowledge are increased each level he earns doing quests and practicing magic. Each level he gets new spells. He has a minimalist character sheet. There are experience and damage notifications created for the MC to see. But all the RPG stuff only applies to the MC. Magic and the supernatural are for urban fantasy for the rest of the world.
Overall, I had a good time reading the story. It’s a good slice of life action adventure story with good well balanced fight scenes. The MC never feels overpowered and struggles with each quest and challenge given. A good mix of urban fantasy with LitRPG.
Score: 7 out of 10
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