LitRPG Podcast 130
LitRPG Podcast 130
Aug. 24th, 2018
I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews. I have 7 new LitRPG reviews just for you.
New Releases and Reviews:
(Play Music 2)
To help promoted the release of book 2 in the series, Apollos Thorne will have book 1 of the Underworld series on sale for 1.99 until Tuesday 8/28.
C.E. Keene, author of the upcoming novel Hunter's Bond, is launching her novel in a very unique way. Because the novel is in part based on her love of the Monster Hunter franchise she’s hosting an online launch party from Aug. 28th - Sept 1, the same period that Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate comes out for the Nintendo Switch. The author will be hosting games for that as well as the PS4 version of Monster Hunter World. The Monster Hunter games are very much about co-op hunts and I think this is a neat and interesting way to promote a book.
Here is the schedule for author signings at the LitRPG booth.
Some of the panels some authors with be on.
Michael Chatfield - Panels
Title: Social Media as an Effective Tool for Authors
Description: Social media can launch your career--or kill it. What's effective? What isn't? Learn how to navigate the tricky waters of social media.
Time: Fri 01:00 pm Location: Embassy CD - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Tyra A Burton, Denise Baker Camacho, Michael Chatfield, Jean Marie Ward, Lee Martindale, Aleron Kong)
Title: Cyberpunk and Technology in YA
Description: Calling fans of "Ready Player One" and "Warcross"! Our panelists will be discussing their favorite YA featuring futuristic technology, hackers, video games, and cyberpunk worlds.
Time: Fri 02:30 pm Location: A707 - Marriott (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Mari Mancusi, Aleron Kong, Michael Chatfield, Carole E Barrowman)
Aleron Kong, author of the Chaos Seeds series, and finalist for the Dragon Award for best fantasy series has modified his month long celebration giveaway. The original rules were meant to encourage voting in the Dragon Award. But some folks took it that Aleron was trying to buy votes and reported it to the Dragon Con officials.
Having asked Aleron about this he denies ever buying votes or making a vote for him a requirement of the contest. Personally I don’t think he’d ever meant to either but I also see how the wording of the posts might lead people to think so.
According to Aleron, the DragonCon officials and he talked and agreed that he hadn’t done anything to break the rules but that he’d modify the contest to a straight giveaway to remove any hint of an appearance of impropriety. Aleron also asked that I note that because the awards are fan driven, the rules encourage author’s to get their fans to vote. Link for those rules are in the show notes.
Special Thanks to Gene for catching this one.
Listed at 1769 pages, seems off. But still good length novel.
New LitRPG Audiobooks
Our review of the ebook: 6 out of 10
Our review of the ebook: 7 out of 10
Our review of the ebook: 7.4 out of 10
Our review of the ebook: 5 out of 10
Our review of the ebook: 7 out of 10
I am gamer (Aug. 26th, 2018)
Hunter's Bond: Apex Chronicles Book 1 (Aug. 28th, 2018)
The Second Realm (Ten Realms Book 1) (Aug. 30th, 2018)
Coast on Fire (The System Apocalypse Book 5) (Sept. 1st, 2018)
The Path (Just Cause Universe Book 14) (Sept. 3rd, 2018)
Limitless (Project Chrysalis book 4) (Sept. 4th, 2018)
Nightmare Keep (Euphoria Online Book 2) (Sept. 4th, 2018)
Game Changer (Reality Benders Book #3) LitRPG Series (Sept. 24th, 2018)
(Sept. 26, 2018)
Couch Potato Chaos - Gamebound (Sept. 28th, 2018)
Kingdom of the Dead (An NPC's Path Book #2) LitRPG Series (Oct. 8th, 2018)
(Oct. 25th, 2018)
Freehaven Online: Winter Dungeonland (Book 3) (Nov. 21st, 2108)
Onto New Releases and Reviews
(Play Music 3)
New Releases and Reviews
The Ambrosia Quest: A LitRPG Novel (Omniverse Book 1)
What Does A Girl Have To Do For A Drink?
Elite MMO Gamer Alex Mills Is About To Find Out.
When UC computer science student, Alex Mills, suggests in a class assignment a programming change to the Omniverse, the world's most popular Massively Multiplayer Online Network, her professor and co-founder of the Omniverse shocks her by agreeing to implement it. To beta-test the new program, he offers a quest for unprecedented wealth and power awards to Alex and ten other of the most elite gamers in the world.
The Ambrosia Quest is a five-stage competition that takes place in a virtual alternative version of the United States. The final stage consists of identifying and consuming a drink that will bestow millions of real-life dollars and godlike virtual powers within the Omniverse.
A serial killer practicing her dark arts within the virtual U.S. sidetracks Alex's quest. Soon, the game evolves beyond merely solving clues for money and virtual powers to a life and death struggle between her and a brilliant, sociopathic opponent, The Highwayman.
To win the Ambrosia Quest, Alex must defeat The Highwayman in virtual reality. To survive, she must defeat the deadly serial killer in the real world.
My Opinion: 441 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Author has lots of novels in a variety of genres. This one seems like an attempt to either to write to a market the author doesn’t understand or it’s just possibly innocently mismarketed. It might be considered VR suspense, but it is most definitely not LitRPG. Not even close.
There is a competitive VR combat game in the story but it’s not very game like, more realistic simulated combat with rankings. There is also a VR contest set in an alternate normal world where a small group of players have to travel around the US to solve clues, puzzles, and find items. However, no matter the setting there are no RPG mechanics or RPG progression. There are some brief poorly described sex scenes and some real life story with suspense elements. The main character Alex, is actually an interesting character but the story is just not LitRPG like it says it is.
Score: 4 out of 10
Loot Lord: A Gamelit Fantasy Novel (Dungeon Land Book 1)
Idon and his friends are in the adventure shop business—and business is terrible. The dungeon boom of decades past is sorely dead. The economy is in the outhouse. And the Guild has a stranglehold on any remaining riches to be gleaned from the tapped dungeons in the area.
They’ll be lucky to keep their heads above water for another week, and that’s only if the Guild doesn’t break their legs to recover mounting debts. Things are looking pretty bleak, when Idon finds a rather peculiar sword during a last ditch effort to scrounge up some valuable loot to sell.
Armed with a secret that could solve all their problems, the three friends know they can’t let anyone find out about the amazing new dungeon levels and the undiscovered loot therein.
But where there is loot…
There is always lurking death. Maybe the violent thugs from the Guild will end up being the least of their problems. Find out if they can live long enough to become the lords of loot!
My Opinion: 177 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Mostly just a dungeon dive story and a small plot that’s suppose to connect the next book. Good action, RPG leveling basic but consistent. A slice of life dungeon dive. An entertaining read for what it is.
Score: 7.1 out of 10
ERDE ONLINE - INSIDE: A LitRPG/GameLit Novel
Enter to play, win to escape.
It seemed like harmless fun at first, when Justin entered the world of ERDE Inside. He quickly discovers that the real game is trying to save his own reality.
Justin Schwartz is obsessed with ERDE, one of the most popular franchises in the world. The most recent iteration of the game has been in development for a decade, and is called ERDE: Inside, a virtual world that lives and breaths independent of its creators.
As part of a massive PR campaign, OMEGA-DEGA starts a contest for people to join the open beta of ERDE: Inside. Obsessed with getting in, Justin exploits the system to win a slot in the beta, but his actions don't go unnoticed. A hacker called Pnutxebra spotted Justin's exploit and blackmails the leadership of OMEGA-DEGA. Either they allow Justin into the game and trap him there until he finishes the Son of Schwarzvald questline, or Pnutxebra destroys ERDE: Inside so thoroughly they can't recover a decade of work.
Let the game begin.
My Opinion: 323 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
This is technically a LitRPG novel. It is set in a game world, and there is a small amount of RPG progression. But those elements are relatively minor. If you want a crunchy RPG action story, this isn’t it. Instead, this is a novel with some interesting characters, pop culture world building, and lots of dialogue. There is a minor amount of action but the story is basically this big philosophical narrative about the nature of reality and what it means to be alive.
It's all couched in a very outlandish premise of forcing the main character (MC) to play a full immersion fantasy game and trapping him there unless he finishes this game scenario to become king. But within that are some interesting adventures, and a lot of talking.
That’s one thing that will either push readers away or delight them, the amount of talking in this story. The dialogue is humorous sometimes, but a lot of is in the form of philosophizing and debate. So, if you’re into that you’ll enjoy this story. If you aren’t or just want something more action oriented, this may not be a good fit for you.
Overall, even though the debating got to be a little repetitive for me sometimes, it was a good read. I appreciated the philosophical themes, the sense of humor, and the pop culture references.
Score: 7.1 out of 10
The Lost City: The Realms Book Two (An Epic LitRPG Adventure)
The sequel to the bestselling LitRPG epic Barrow King.
“I cannot believe that idiotic plan worked.”
The only thing Gryph wanted when he entered the Realms was to find his missing sister. Then he pissed off a power-hungry god, got stuck in the undead hell dungeon known as the Barrow and nearly had his soul consumed.
Then things trended upwards, and with the help of a ragtag group of companions, Gryph escaped to a verdant paradise of magic and wonder. But when his exposed secrets lead to betrayal and murder, Gryph is forced to accept an insane quest or his new friends will face the headsman's axe.
Now, to stop a world-conquering zealot from capturing an ancient weapon of incredible power, Gryph must become the one thing he never wanted to be, a leader. Standing in his way are a group of crazed cultists, an army of deadly magical machines, and friends who no longer trust him.
And he is still no closer to saving his sister.
The Lost City, the sequel to the breakout hit Barrow King, is an overflowing cauldron of leveling, world building, humor, and action.
My Opinion: 616 pages, $5.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
This is the 2nd book for the main character (MC) and the 3rd book in the series, it starts just after the end of book 1.
The game mechanics in the story are the same as last time, though there are larger periods where the story feels more fantasy than litrpg, mostly outside combat. Books 1 and 2 of the series had lots of RPG goodness and while they started as trapped in the game, they shifted to transported to a fantasy world with RPG rules. Still, book 3, has the least game vibe with most of the RPG stuff seen during combat situations, quest notifications, and lulls where the MC or another character levels.
Fights in the story are wonderfully described and rather epic. But much like they were in book 1, they get a bit wand wavy, with the main character sometimes seeming to have a near infinite supply of mana, stamina, and health and having access to skills or knowledge never described before. He really should have died during some of the fights, but that would have derailed the storyline a bit.
Storywise, none of the trapped in the game or the save the sister storyline exists. Instead, the novel’s storyline seems to mesh The Fellowship of the Ring, Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, and some Cthulhu lore. There is some really good world building and epic struggles between the various forces in the story.
Overall, despite the few issues I had, this was a really good story that brought some epic scale to the series.
Score: 7.6 out of 10
Guardians Of The Round Table 2: Goblin Boots
When all actions have repercussions, it isn't really a game.
Returning to Inadon, Mallory and her companions are determined to level up, gain better gear and learn new abilities. They soon discover it might be more difficult than they realise when they encounter members of the dark forces. Will their actions have the wrong consequences or will they have time to gain the experience points they need before they become a target of the dark forces?
This story was written by Australian authors using Australian spelling.
My Opinion: 244 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
The novel is almost entirely slice of life adventuring. There’s not much else to it. Combat descriptions are mostly just ok. It’s fine if you just want something to pick up and put down. But I was a little disappointed that the big Guardians of the Roundtable thing wasn’t developed really at all, especially after all the time that went into that plotline at the end of book 1.
Score: 6 out of 10
Anomaly (Somnia Online Book 2)
As Murmur reels in the wake of the secret her friends tried to keep, her grip on what is real and what is virtual begins to slip. What's more, she's no longer sure who she can trust.
Stalked across the continent by a rogue with a vendetta, Murmur is forced to dig deep and develop her abilities before she finds a knife in her back.
Suspicion surrounds the AIs as well. Their behaviors are too human, their reports too perfect. Shayla and Laria must uncover the truth before the system raises concerns and Murmur is lost forever.
My Opinion: 354 pages, $4.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited
There are a lot of things I enjoyed about book 1 in the series but book 2 has lost me. It’s not a bad story, though there are noticeably more technical writing errors than in book 1. There’s just a shift in the story that made it less interesting to me.
Book 2 makes the game and RPG progression feel like secondary or even tertiary concerns. You can tell this is the case because of a couple things: less leveling on the part of the main character (MC), and the sheer number of POVs. In book 1, the MC and her group level like crazy, they earn about 17 of them. In book 2, the MC levels up 8 times. Some of that can be explained by levels being harder to get, but most of it is just that the author chose to spend less time on that aspect of the story. In book 1, there were some really neat flashbacks that helped build suspense and lead to a neat real world storyline. Now though, those flashbacks are replaced with numerous POV shifts between the MC, MC’s mom, MC’s friends, enemies, AI individually, AI together, and Game company people. The many POVs develop the new non-game oriented focuses on emotional exploration, intrigue, and cyber thriller elements.
The emotional exploration comes in the form of lots of talking and thinking from lots of characters. There really is a good portion of this done not only for the MC but what feels like most of the characters, through POV shifts. Cyber thriller elements include questions about emerging AI, intrigue, questions about what the game developers are using the tech for, what is really happening with the MC, and the shady goals of the AI. There’s still some MMO action adventure, with the MCs group doing some leveling and class progression but not as much as was in book 1 and it definitely feels relegated to a less important place in the story.
Overall, I just didn’t have as good a time with book 2 as I did with book 1. I’m just not as into all that emotion, intrigue, or cyber-thriller stuff as I am into just good gaming stories with lots of action. I think folks that like those elements more, will actually like book 2 more.
Score: 6 out of 10
Underworld - Through the Belly of the Beast (Underworld Book 2)
Surviving Lord Darius's attack has put Elorion's level over the top. He must soon leave the Mistress's Labyrinth for the unknown dangers of the Underworld.
There are three paths that stand before him. Should he absorb all the Blue Magic he can find, power level his fellow captives, or take on the bone palace alone?
The Underworld is waiting...
My Opinion: 352 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
A good sequel to Level Up or Die, this time Elorion and the gang are on the run from a dangerous enemy that’s sending minion after minion to kill them. It’s action scene after action scene with good lulls in between for RPG leveling, magical theorizing, and a bit of character development. But let's be honest, the best thing about the series is the action and power leveling, which returns in spades. There’s even a little bit of dungeon creation this time to add a little variety.
Overall, a good action oriented LitRPG novel that flies by.
Score: 7.7 out of 10
That’s it everyone!
You can follow us on
Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com
Other LitRPG facebook pages
If you enjoy the podcast and want to support us you can also find all the other ways to support the podcast at www.litrpgpodcast.com/support
Thanks for hanging out with me today. Until we can hangout again, remember to go read some LitRPG!
"Blip Stream" "Mighty Like Us" "Big Shift" "Vivacity"
Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License