LitRPG Podcast 117
LitRPG Podcast 117
May 25th, 2018
Hello everyone, welcome to episode 117 of the LitRPG podcast.
I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews. I have 5 reviews just for you.
I want to give a shout out to a new Patreon supporters, Emily Rose and Erik Rounds, thank you for being a supporter.
New Releases and Reviews:
I saw great potential but it only ended up hitting good for me. Score: 7.2 out of 10
Feels like a book 1 not a book 2. Score: 7.3 out of 10
Never connected with any of the characters. Score: 6 out of 10
Combat is a bit wand wavy, but great detail on the game mechanics and build reasoning of the main character. Score: 7.5 out of 10
Russian translation. Mostly slice of life training but sends a little boy to hell. Score: 7.3 out of 10
(Play Music 2)
Aleron Kong, author of the Chaos Seeds series, was nice enough to drop some more artwork. This one is a bit more graphic. Titled "Rage of Richter" by Antti Hakosaari
Jeffrey ‘falcon’ Logue, author of the Slime Dungeon Chronicles, has posted a new update to the side scroller video game he’s making. You can see that he’s upped the quality of the sprites he’s using and added new levels. It’s fun to just watch.
I recently had the chance to talk to LitRPG author Harmon Cooper about his latest release Monster Hunt NYC and the other 30+ stories he’s written. It was a fun conversation. Go check it out.
I might have gotten a little excited when I added the song Jeff Hays made for the novel, I Know You're There (An Original Monster Hunt NYC Song) (30:36). I just found the FX options on the video program I use. LOL.
I recently helped Dakota Krout host a great hangout with some other LitRPG authors, including It was fun but we were also promoting a charity auction where the proceeds go to St. Jude's Children Hospital. Several auctions for signed print collections of LitRPG books, including some of mine. Auction ends this week. They’ve already raised over $2,500.
The auction will end May 27th at 8 pm CT and all proceeds will go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help fund the research and treatment of pediatric diseases. Bid early, bid often, and thank you for being an avid reader and supporter!
Link to watch Author’s Stream: http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-podcast-115/
Auction registration: https://goo.gl/86n1CP
New LitRPG Audiobooks
Kingdom Level Five: LitRPG (May 27th, 2018)
Awaken Online - Book 3: Evolution (May 28th, 2018)
Defenders of the Realm (Greystone Chronicles - Book 4) (May 29th, 2018)
The Dead Rogue (An NPC's Path Book #1) LitRPG Series (May 30th, 2018)
The Right to Choose (Fayroll Book 10) (June 5th, 2018)
Killstreak Book One: Respawn: An Epic Fantasy LitRPG (June 14th, 2018)
End of an Era (Project Chrysalis Book 2) (June 26th, 2018)
Restart (Level Up Book #1) LitRPG Series (July 10th, 2018)
External Threat (Reality Benders Book #2) LitRPG Series (July 23rd, 2018)
Death March (Euphoria Online - Book 1) (Aug. 7th, 2018)
Onto New Releases and Reviews
(Play Music 3)
New Releases and Reviews
The Song Maiden: A LitRPG Journey (Uniworld Online Book 1)
On her first day at college, Cadence was forced to leave a classroom by a high-strung professor because of her disability. When she tried to leave behind the embarrassing and hurtful experience, she ran from the campus to clear her mind – and ended up in the hospital.
While recovering, she was introduced to the NVERS, a virtual reality system where she could experience Uniworld as if she were really there. Having never played any video games before, she didn’t know what to expect; the attitude of the rude and power-hungry players she initially met almost made her want to stop.
But after acquiring a unique quest, she found that Uniworld was even more complicated than she had imagined. Added to this, she became a Bard and was able to do something she had never been able to do before – sing.
But with the ability to finally sing comes a whole new set of challenges – and dangers.
Contains LitRPG elements such as character sheets, skill-ups, and leveling. Also contains a small amount of FF adult content that may be unsuitable for those under the age of 18.
My Opinion: 292 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
This started out with quite a bit of promise. It had a main character that is mysteriously mute her whole life, a rather dark circumstance that leads her to the full immersion game, and she chooses a class with a disadvantage of a low charisma race. I thought that this would be a good story where the main character overcame some pretty big hurdles.
Unfortunately, all the most interesting things in the story are wiped out almost as soon as the MC logs into the game. She magically gets her voice, the dark circumstance is barely mentioned again, and her class issues are solved all without much effort on her part. Those things look like they may become more prominent for the series but not really here.
After that it’s really just an entertaining slice of life adventure story with relatively light combat in the first half and just combat the second half.
The game mechanic stuff is solid and shown throughout the story and I’ll admit it’s neat to see the MC expand her class skills.
Overall, I thought the story was good and entertaining but not as special as I think it could have been.
Score: 7.2 out of 10
Pangea Online Book Two: Magic and Mayhem
Everything has a price. Pangea Online is no different.
After winning the Developer’s Tournament, Esil has a new life filled with opportunity. He’s the first person to test out their most innovative technology, full-immersion gameplay, in a brand new, unexplored gameworld. Magic and mayhem collide in ways he never thought possible and soon, he finds himself caught in a quest that may alter the course of the game for years to come.
As Esil experiences the grandeur of full-immersion and the line blurs between reality and the gameworld, the NPCs he meets feel more like friends than data. Tasked with defending a small town from dark forces, he must learn to protect its citizens from impending doom or risk losing them forever.
My Opinion: 340 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Although this is the 2nd book in the series, in many ways it feels like a 1st book in a new one. While there are a few scenes where the MC still plays the games from book 1, they feel awkward and basic compared to the new game world.
The main game that the main character (MC), Esil, beta tests has full sensory immersion, an advance AI running it that creates a world populated by NPCs that are indistinguishable from real people. They have their own histories, phobias, personalities, and prejudices. The world even has a long history that has impacted the culture of the NPCs there. Because of this and the initially light RPG mechanics, the new game world almost feels like portal fiction. This isn’t bad. I actually like it. But it’s just very different from the book 1. Don’t worry, the RPG mechanics become more and more prevalent in the story as it goes on.
There are a couple of scenes in the novel where the MC goes back and plays the old game from book 1 but it felt really awkward. The scene’s aren’t badly written and they’re entertaining, but after that immersive game why would anyone go back to normal VR? It almost felt like the scenes only existed to create a connection to book 1 and remind the reader of the existence of the other characters and friends of the MC. This awkwardness extends to how the MCs friends are eventually used in the story. It felt like they were just dropped in towards the end so that they had larger roles and again connected the story in some way back to book 1.
Now, I don’t want you to think i didn’t like this novel. It’s very entertaining and I personally liked the shift to a ‘transported to a game world’ vibe. I like it when a game world feels fully fleshed out and has a bit of history and backstory. Additionally, the action is more visceral, the quests feel more like a story, and I liked the NPC personalities more.
I have to admit the magic system felt a little wand wavy, especially the MCs powers. His abilities, though cool, didn’t have any defined boundaries and he really seemed to be able to do whatever he wanted if the story needed it or if it seemed fun.
The story in the new game is a little basic. It’s an introduction to a new world where the MC is figuring out the rules and what to do. Another reason for the 1st book vibe. But it’s interesting enough to keep me turning pages. I liked the real world storyline and thought it added an interesting look at the world and helped develop the MC’s character.
Overall, even though a few places were awkward (like that abrupt ending) I liked the story and I want to read another novel in the series to see how the world in the new game develops.
Score: 7.3 out of 10
Freehaven Online: Dragonsbane: A LitRPG Adventure
Freehaven Online is more than a game to Justine. By day, she creates monsters for the world, by night she's raiding dungeons. Most importantly, it's her one connection to her dead brother whose buffs still linger within the game.
When his virtual shrine is threatened by an update Justine reforges his guild to complete the Dragonsbane quest in his honor. As an experienced tank, she's no stranger to the bandit attacks, PvP combat, and dragons Freehaven will throw at her.
Little does she know, a hacker organization known as Archangel tampers with the update, leaving thousands of players, including Justine, stranded in full immersion virtual reality. As if that weren't strange enough, NPCs are getting smarter, and some marooned players don't want to escape. They're ready to jump at the chance for virtual immortality.
Justine must temper the fervent emotions stirring in her guild and unite them to complete the quest. If she doesn't, friends will break from sanity, and others will die in real life.
My Opinion: 586 pages, $5.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited
This is the author’s first novel. There are some things I thought were well done but overall it was a hard to care about the characters, and the plot twists weren’t setup well.
Things I liked
-Good introduction with details about loss of family
-Thoroughly described game mechanics that were consistently applied throughout the story.
-Decent action scenes.
-Good tactics from players in fighting different opponents.
Things I didn’t like
-I never cared for the main character (MC) or really any characters. The MC kept switching between different alts so it was hard to connect to any of her avatars. She’d be a half elf, then a dwarf paladin, then a monk, then her brothers male combat character.
-The MC didn’t feel like she earned anything. Everything the MC starts out with are either items she got from her brother’s character or things she added as a dev. This includes some really cool items like flaming motorcycles, a whole guild keep, and all the major quests in the story. Cool stuff, but nothing she worked to get.
-The story twists aren’t setup well. About half way into the game, this turns into a trapped in the game story. There’s no foreshadowing that a group is going to take over the system, or that the VR tech even allows for the kind of ‘mind trapped in the game’ setup. At one point a bad guy even says that the game will keep them alive, but again no setup that the tech allows for long term immersion.
Overall, there’s nothing technically wrong with the story. I just couldn’t connect with the main character or her pick up group. So I found it hard to care about anything they did or the stakes that were setup. Even the last twist at the end, which should have made me feel ‘OMG!’, I was like, ‘Meh’.
Score: 6 out of 10
Raiya: Starter Zone - A LitRPG Saga: Archon's Chosen - Book One
Skree loved playing Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games. When he becomes the first player to reach level 100 in his favorite game, he is offered the chance to test a brand new game. Never one to read the fine print, he jumped at the chance to be the very first player to see the brand new game.
But some opportunities are just too good to be true...
Awaking to find himself trapped in a brand new world and struggling to survive, James must find a way to master the game and escape the world of Raiya. Angry wildlife, gargantuan monsters, and mysterious allies are not the only things he has to worry about. Will he have the backbone to do what is right and not what is easiest?
Will the carefree Skree find something worth fighting for? Something worth dying for?
My Opinion: 436 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
This is a fun, actiony, transported to the game world story. There’s a nice funny sense of humor. The action is well described. The big highlight for me is the amount of detail that the author put into describing the game mechanics, the choices available to the main character (MC) as he leveled, and the good gamer reasoning the MC did to make his choices.
The only negative that bugged me a little was how the MC always seemed to win, even against opponents 10 levels higher than him. However, it’s at least consistently done, so it’s kind of like the author chose to write an overpowered character, even through the numbers say he shouldn’t be. At least that’s how I convinced my brain to just accept it and I had a good time reading the rest of the story, which more than makes up for that issue.
Storywise, it feels a bit slice of life story. The beginning is a little slow, but MC gets transported to a game world and wanders around until he finds adventures, gets into trouble, makes friends, learns how to use his RPG skills. There are some good quest chains that introduce interesting and lovable characters, and lead the MC on some good adventures.
Overall, this is a good read. Once I just accepted that combat is what it is, I had a good time reading this. The humor made me laugh. The fights, other than the level stuff, nice. And I cared about what happened to the MC and the allies he makes.
Score: 7.5 out of 10
Gestation (Project Chrysalis Book 1)
To face Death itself, to hide from deadly guards, to conduct dark rituals and to use forbidden death magic? Being sent to Hell is definitely not what 12-year-old Anji would have ever expected from a government orphanage program.
Chrysalis — the project of the century. It is a hyper-realistic fantasy RPG game, set in the Middle Ages. Leveling up, distributing attribute points, and choosing your way of life are only a few ways the players play the game. Chrysalis is the perfect virtual space where every orphan under the care of the government is placed in an in-game family to receive all the love and care of parents they so desperately need. This project helps kids socialize and mold them into the adults of the future. They are in charge of how they grow up in the virtual space, which was built to advance society.
But something went seriously wrong for Anji.
He has lost everything that he had been so happy to finally receive. Now, instead of a loving mama and strict but generous father, he has bloodthirsty demons and flesh-eating worms. Instead of fishing and baking lessons, he has to perform bloody rituals to survive the nine circles of Hell. Instead of the dreams of a happy childhood, his wounded child’s soul suffers demonification.
Betrayed, for the sake of someone else's master plan, he appeared in the most hopeless place of Chrysalis. It is full of ash, despair and… possibilities? Sagie, Anji’s in-game username, fueled by homesickness and revenge, will go through the Hell to face what is hidden in the darkest corners. The road will be long and difficult, but those who can, do.
Once, long ago, the first wave of Wanderers appeared in the world of Chrysalis. They had proved themselves by killing the ancient gods. Now it is time for the second wave of Wanderers and for new young gods, dreaming about a wide-scaled and deadly war. The beta-test is now open to people. While they are “playing” in Chrysalis, they have no idea about the truth behind the Project.
Project Chrysalis: Book one: Gestation is the first of four books of a brand new LitRPG series. This is a story of a battle for your dreams. It is full of turns, twists, riddles, and revelations; it is a story of… Oh, sorry. No spoilers today.
The story of Sagie has just begun.
But first, one line of advice: do not believe your own eyes.
My Opinion: 275 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
This is a slice of life story with a huge emphasis on training. If you like that, you’ll love this. There’s tons of details about abilities, skills, magic systems, and more. But it’s mostly the main character (MC) training and growing powerful.
Storywise this is a slice of life training story. The main character, Anji, is an orphan that is just trying to survive in a world that doesn’t care about him. He’s learned that no one in life is going to help him. Then he’s forced to log into the world of Chrysalis and gets NPC parents that make him appreciate what it’s like to be cared for. He just wants to live there and enjoy the game. So he trains like heck to develop his skills, abilities, and levels. But a sinister group sends him to hell, where he’s still determined to survive and spends most of his time again training, leveling, crafting, and learning new forms of magic. All to get back to the normal earth like plane to get his revenge. Eventually, the MC gets back to earth, where, you guessed it, he does more training. There’s lots of fights and some surprising twists in the story but again, mostly training.
On the real world side of the story, it’s a mix of people trying to control or force the MC to do what they think is best for him and eventually bigger forces looking to exploit him because of how he develops because of the game. Interesting stuff, but the novel spends much less time IRL.
Overall, this is a good read as long as you recognize it for what it is, a slice of life training story. I personally liked seeing how the character developed his powers, skills, magic, and how that carried over into his real world plans to become independent.
Score: 7.3 out of 10
That’s it everyone!
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