LitRPG Podcast 131

 

 

LitRPG Podcast 131

 

Aug. 30th, 2018

 

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 131 of the LitRPG podcast. For the full show notes visit us at: https://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-podcast-131

 

I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews.  I have 4 new LitRPG reviews just for you. I want to give a quick shoutout to Justin Lincoln for becoming our latest patreon supporter. Thank you Justin and all the other patreon subscribers.

 

Now just as a heads up, I’m recording this a bit in advance so it’s a smaller episode. When most folks watch this, I’ll likely already be at DragonCon in Atlanta Ga. I’ll also be posting live videos from the LitRPG booth and the con floor, so keep an eye out for those on our facebook and twitter pages.

 

New Releases and Reviews:

Faithful Defender: A LitRPG/GameLit Adventure Novel (Aelterna Online Book 2)  (12:03)

The good cultural and world building is a highlight of the series

Score: 7.5 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2N3y8sh

I Am Gamer (16:15)

A good alternate history fantasy LitRPG story

Score: 7.4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2NiOygf

Hunter's Bond: Apex Chronicles Book 1 (23:56)

Not a copy, but inspired by the Monster Hunter game series

Score: 7.4 out of 10

https://amzn.to/2Nsbdac

The Second Realm (Ten Realms Book 1)  (30:12)

Crafting, adventure, cultivation, and portal LitRPG

Score: 7.5 out of 10

https://www.kobo.com/lt/en/ebook/second-realm (UK)

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/second-realm (US)



 

(Play Music 2)

 

LitRPG News

 

 

Jeffrey Falcon Logue has continued to work diligently on his game. There’s another update on the Slime Dungeon Chronicles side scroller. Now with a menu!

https://youtu.be/WuCMIgFUPg0

 

 

Sean Callahan from Game Reads chats with Matt Dinniman, author of Dominion of Blades and creator of cool cats with mustaches art!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sn4_8g0K8DQ

 

 

The good folks at Soundbooth Theater have released the first chapter of the audiobook version of Monster Hunter NYC on YouTube. It’s a neat kind of sample because of the inclusion of all the neat background music. I believe the full audiobook will include original full length songs that were described in the story. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57FJX_yQwsQ&feature=youtu.be

 

 

If you’re at DragonCon, don’t forget to follow Jeff Sproul. He’s the author of Sigil Online, but more importantly, he’s the LitRPG Quest Giver at DragonCon. He’ll be tweeting through out the con where he’s at, giving quests for people, and handing out rewards to those that actually complete them.

https://twitter.com/Jeff_Sproul

 

 

Just as a quick reminder, Aleron Kong is hosting the 3rd annual LitRPG Gala during DragonCon. It’s a chance for fans of the genre to meet some of their favorite LitRPG authors.

Saturday, September 1 at 12 PM - 2 PM EDT

Sidebar

79 Poplar St NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303



 

Here is the schedule for author signings at the LitRPG booth.

LitRPGBoothSchedule.jpg


 

Some of the panels some authors with be on.

AleronPanels.jpg
JamesHunterPanels.jpg

Michael Chatfield

 

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)



 

Out Now!  

 

 

Dan the Adventurer: A Gamelit Harem Fantasy Adventure (Gold Girls and Glory Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2KXSEbE

 

 

How To Train Your Kaiju: A LitRPG Kaiju Thriller (Kaiju Wars Offline Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2KK1GJd

 

 

Steamtown Chronicles 1: The Dark Market (An NPC Gamelit Novella)

https://amzn.to/2ohnt27

 

 

Taint Team (Caverns and Creatures)

https://amzn.to/2PNRkvZ

 

 

Maelstrom Book 2 - A Portal LitRPG Novel

https://amzn.to/2ojtrQg

 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

Adventures on Brad, Books 1 - 3 (A LitRPG Boxset)

https://amzn.to/2BWdYPF




 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

 

Coast on Fire (The System Apocalypse Book 5) (Sept. 1st, 2018)

 

 

The Path (Just Cause Universe Book 14) (Sept. 3rd, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2LHHGwc

 

 

Limitless (Project Chrysalis book 4) (Sept. 4th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2OJ9Tjn

 

 

Nightmare Keep (Euphoria Online Book 2) (Sept. 4th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2woHBmE

 

 

The Song Mistress: A LitRPG Journey (Uniworld Online Trilogy Book 2) (Sept. 8th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2MZFj82

 

 

Eburnean Passage: A LitRPG Mystery (Sept. 15th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2Lvl4u4

 

 

Game Changer (Reality Benders Book #3) LitRPG Series (Sept. 24th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2uMPCSi

 

 

Freehaven Online:  Lady Thunderlord, Into Hades (Book 2)

(Sept. 26, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2ID8Kq4

 

 

Couch Potato Chaos - Gamebound (Sept. 28th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2uEJ4Fj

 

 

Kingdom of the Dead (An NPC's Path Book #2) LitRPG Series (Oct. 8th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2NMOPca

 

 

A Clan's Honor: A LitRPG Adventure (Rogue Realms Book 1)

(Oct. 25th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2K93VWo

 

 

A Song of Shadow (The Bard from Barliona Book #2) LitRPG series (Nov. 19th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2Ph0Dn1

 

 

Freehaven Online:  Winter Dungeonland (Book 3) (Nov. 21st, 2108)

 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

Faithful Defender: A LitRPG/GameLit Adventure Novel (Aelterna Online Book 2)

 

He's found his new home. Now he has to defend it.

Denel's goddess has granted him the title of Paladin, and with it, the responsibility of protecting the people of his village, both reptilian and otherwise. The threats facing the faithful of Goddess Watch are numerous, and the last thing Denel wants to do is sit and wait for the enemy to come to him. Isolated and far from player civilization, Denel must forge bonds and friendships with races that view his friends as nothing more than monsters to be culled. Unbeknownst to him, he's no longer the only digital resident of Aelterna Online, and the newcomers are out to destroy everything he's worked to create! What he's become is more than the system is prepared to accept; what will he be forced to do to survive?

 

My Opinion: 335 pg, $3.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

The cover art for this whole series does not do it justice, so please don’t judge it based on that. Book 1 did a good job of setting up a world in which the main character (MC) becomes the first digitized citizen of a fantasy VRMMORPG. It described not only an interesting magic and RPG system, but also did some good world building. Book 2 in the series builds and expands on that.

 

The scope of the story expands past the lizard person village the MC became apart of, to the larger game world. One of the things I like most about the series is the clear effort put into creating the cultures in the story. There are clear, distinctive, rules, social norms, rich histories for each race and community. It adds a subtle layer of depth to the world and an opportunity for some interesting storytelling.

 

There is still some good RPG progression and action too. In particular I liked how the MCs barrier magic is developing and how it was used in the story not just to protect but to give the MC an ability a story conflict could be shaped around. Crafting also returns in the story progresses in its own RPG way.

 

Overall, I had a good time reading the story and am always impressed by the author’s efforts to not only create rich characters but full cultures for them.

 

Score: 7.5 out of 10

Faithful Defender: A LitRPG/GameLit Adventure Novel (Aelterna Online Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2N3y8sh

 

(Picture 2)

I Am Gamer

 

Lawrence is having a shitty day. His girlfriend is not only cheating on him but she’s cheating on him with his best friend. He had the added benefit of finding out about it firsthand. To make matters worse a legendary Native American God has sent him back to North America circa 1400 AD. What’s a Gamer to do?

 

From the creator of the hilarious Eryth Online and the action packed Warrior Academy series comes I AM GAMER!

 

This is the first book in a series that will span continents. Join our hero on his journey to unify the Americas and fight back against its foreign invaders. Using skills and knowledge from the future all revealed in a game type format, Lawrence Lawrence Wrath will save the world… or die trying…

Here is the attached musical playlist, it's available on Spotify and YouTube.

 

My Opinion: 406 pg, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

**Note: There are small uses of marijuana in two small parts of the story. It’s not used any differently than drinking alcohol is but I also understand that some folks don’t like it in the stories they read.**

 

The beginning is a good setup for slice of life alternate fantasy history story. It shifts a bit from what I expected. It’s a little awkward after the MC is transported to this meshed up past. The MC is definitely OP with scaling weapons, clothing, and a bag of holding. But once the MC reaches the Native American tribe the story finds its pace. This is mostly because you get to see the world building at that point, not as recalled histories but as more fleshed out cultures, myths, and traditions. The pace of the action also picks up about there too with the MC fighting a range of beasts from prehistory and monsters from Native American legend.

 

The game mechanics aren't great, but they’re not bad either. They’re going to be familiar to most LitRPG readers and are consistent throughout the story. The MC levels, gains stat points her assigns, and learns/ levels many skills and abilities. But the MC starts out overpowered and his stat increases aren't as impactful as they could be. There are also RTS and crafting elements as the MC uses his OP ‘Total Recall’ ability that lets him perfectly remember anything he’s learned from the modern world to advance the technological state of the tribal society he is in.

 

Overall, it’s a fun slice of life story that has a lot of potential. Of the works the author has published, this likely has the widest appeal. Good action, good adventure, good community building and crafting too.

 

Score: 7.4 out of 10

I Am Gamer

https://amzn.to/2NiOygf

 

(Picture 3)

Hunter's Bond: Apex Chronicles Book 1

 

When Simon immerses himself in the game world of Apex as Arheis the Guardian, he finds a living, breathing ecosystem that feels more real than anything he’s ever experienced before. The creatures that inhabit Apex are cunning, ferocious, and a massive challenge for even the most experienced hunter.

 

In order to rank up in the Hunters’ Guild and participate in the most prestigious hunts, Simon will have to slay increasingly more threatening creatures and use what he gathers to craft powerful armor and weapons.

 

But a fearsome beast stalks the jungle, untouchable even by the Guild. To have any hope of stopping her, Simon won’t just have to level up and hone his skills--he’ll have to put his trust in his fellow hunters.

 

And for a lifelong soloer, that’s no easy feat…

 

My Opinion: 357 pg, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Full disclosure: I received an advance copy for review. I purchased the novel after it was released.

 

The novel is heavily inspired by the Monster Hunter video game franchise. It’s not a copy but you can tell the author has a great love of the video game series and puts a lot of effort into incorporating the aspects of that franchise that are interesting and beloved.

 

The game mechanics: There’s a familiar MMO character sheet, levels, stats, skills, and special abilities. The only stat that feels new is the morale stat, which is supposed to add an element of loss to player death. Morale lowers after a death and reduces health regen, skill growth, etc. It’s essentially a debuff that can only be removed by learning from the last death.

 

Other game mechanics that are imported from the Monster Hunter games include the emphasis on gathering monster parts for crafting powerful and sometimes very specific weapons and armor for more challenging hunts. Monsters require research and observation before the main character (MC) in the story can even learn the monster’s name, much less the monster’s weaknesses or particular behaviors that will allow for a successful hunt. Like the game it’s inspired by, if a hunter does not do their due diligence and research, hunting powerful monsters just leads to repeated deaths.

 

The story: After the brief real life setup of who the MC is and how he can play a video game long term, the rest of the story stays in the VRMMO. This is essentially a slice of life novel that focuses around a series of monster hunts where the MC learns a new class and comes to appreciate just how realistic the game world is. There’s just enough story to tie together all the action scenes, provide enough character development to make the reader care about the characters, and there’s even a minor romance arc. However, most of the novel revolves around the hunts, so it’s noticeably action focused.

 

Overall, this is a good, entertaining action LitRPG novel that lots of folks will enjoy. Though, fans of the Monster Hunter games will hopefully appreciate all many notes and references to that franchise in the story.

 

Score: 7.4 out of 10

Hunter's Bond: Apex Chronicles Book 1

https://amzn.to/2Nsbdac

 

(Picture 4)

The Second Realm (Ten Realms Book 2)

 

When Erik and Rugrat entered the ten realms they didn’t know what was going on. They only knew that they had contracted the two week curse.

 

When entering the second realm they came to understand their character sheets, and part of the system that is called the ten realms. A place that the strong make the rules and the weak cling to them for protection and hope that they might be left in peace.

 

They passed through the trials of the Beast Mountain Dungeon, taking control of it and becoming the leader of nearly two hundred people.

 

Now in command of the Alva Dungeon and looking to forge a new future, they need more power, mana stones, dungeon cores, monster cores, if not then the Dungeon will stop functioning and they will need to relocate once again.

 

As they ascend to the second realm, Erik and Rugrat need to grow their skills, gain information and find a dungeon. It’s hardly ever that easy.

 

My Opinion: 696 pages, $4.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

Full disclosure: I received an advanced copy for review. I purchased it when it became available.

 

A good second book in the Ten Realms series. This culvivation portal fiction LitRPG emphasis crafting, action, adventure, and community building.

 

The early parts of the book 2 focus on crafting and personally I really enjoy the realistic crafting combined with fantasy magical theory. But I also know other reader don’t love crafting as much as me, but no worry, the action and adventure seriously pick up after that section.

 

There isn’t much that can be said about the plot, it’s mostly slice of life and follows multi narrative perspective of several groups. The community established in book 1 works hard to push their communities development, trade, training, and networks. Then the two main characters work to not only improve their respective crafting, but cultivate their bodies and mana systems and of course go on fun adventures and kill lots of stuff to level. The multi-narrative structure provides some nice diversions during some sometimes long scenes with the main characters.

 

Overall, this is a good novel. Though it does feel like a collected serial story, with book 2 almost feeling like a direct continuation of book 1. It’s has a great page count for the price and because of it’s slice of life format, is easy to pick up and put down, and enjoy the many small adventures in the novel.

 

Score: 7.5 out of 10

The Second Realm (Ten Realms Book 2) (Aug. 30th, 2018)

https://www.kobo.com/lt/en/ebook/second-realm (UK)

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/second-realm (US)


 

That’s it everyone!

 

You can follow us on

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/litrpgpodcast/

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Patreon:  https://www.patreon.com/geekbytespodcast

Our Webpage: www.litrpgpodcast.com  

 

Other LitRPG facebook pages

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPGGroup/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPG.books

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LitRPGsociety/

 

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!  

 

(Music 4)

 

Music Credits

"Blip Stream" "Mighty Like Us" "Big Shift" "Vivacity"

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/


 

LitRPGBoothSchedule.jpg

Some of the panels some authors with be on.

AleronPanels.jpg
Panels for James A. Hunter

Panels for James A. Hunter

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.

http://awards.dragoncon.org/faq/candidate-faq/


 

Out Now!  

 

 

Faithful Defender: A LitRPG/GameLit Adventure Novel (Aelterna Online Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2N3y8sh

 

 

Bitter: Book Four

https://amzn.to/2O1gaaF

---

 

 

Gaia's Gambit: Evolution Online I (A LitRPG)

https://amzn.to/2ORpSvE

Special Thanks to Gene for catching this one.

 

 

World Keeper: Precursor (book 3)

https://amzn.to/2vUPe4O

Listed at 1769 pages, seems off. But still good length novel.

 

 

Keeper's World: Hell's Game

https://amzn.to/2MWt7l5


 

New LitRPG Audiobooks  

 

 

Warden: Nova Online, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2P1GUro

Our review of the ebook: 6 out of 10

http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2018/3/22/warden-nova-online-1

 

 

Time of Change - Emerilia, Book 7

https://amzn.to/2PxX7pe

Our review of the ebook: 7 out of 10

 

 

Valley of Death: Apocalypse Gates Author's Cut, Book 2

https://amzn.to/2MHuEib

Our review of the ebook: 7.4 out of 10

http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2018/7/5/valley-of-death-apocalypse-gates-authors-cut-book-2

 

 

New Eden Royale: An Apocalyptic LitRPG Series

https://amzn.to/2wljo0G

Our review of the ebook: 5 out of 10

http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2018/3/1/new-eden-royale-an-apocalyptic-litrpg-series

 

 

Accidental Duelist: Accidental Champion Trilogy, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2OXXsk0

 

 

The Legacy Builder: The Chronicles of Lincoln Hart: Barakdor, Book 1

https://amzn.to/2o3ffdZ

Our review of the ebook: 7 out of 10

http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2018/3/22/the-legacy-builder-the-chronicles-of-lincoln-hart-book-1


 

Upcoming LitRPG:

 

 

Dan the Adventurer: A Gamelit Harem Fantasy Adventure (Gold Girls and Glory Book 2) (Aug. 26th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2KXSEbE

 

 

I am gamer (Aug. 26th, 2018)

 

 

How To Train Your Kaiju: A LitRPG Kaiju Thriller (Kaiju Wars Offline Book 1) (Aug. 27th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2KK1GJd

 

 

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)

https://amzn.to/2LHHGwc

 

 

Limitless (Project Chrysalis book 4) (Sept. 4th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2OJ9Tjn

 

 

Nightmare Keep (Euphoria Online Book 2) (Sept. 4th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2woHBmE

 

 

Game Changer (Reality Benders Book #3) LitRPG Series (Sept. 24th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2uMPCSi

 

 

Freehaven Online:  Lady Thunderlord, Into Hades (Book 2)

(Sept. 26, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2ID8Kq4

 

 

Couch Potato Chaos - Gamebound (Sept. 28th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2uEJ4Fj

 

 

Kingdom of the Dead (An NPC's Path Book #2) LitRPG Series (Oct. 8th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2NMOPca

 

 

A Clan's Honor: A LitRPG Adventure (Rogue Realms Book 1)

(Oct. 25th, 2018)

https://amzn.to/2K93VWo

 

 

Freehaven Online:  Winter Dungeonland (Book 3) (Nov. 21st, 2108)

 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

 

(Play Music 3)

 

New Releases and Reviews

 

(Picture 1)

 

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

The Ambrosia Quest: A LitRPG Novel (Omniverse Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2MAGNFm  

 

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

Loot Lord: A Gamelit Fantasy Novel (Dungeon Land Book 1)

https://amzn.to/2MOGCGV

 

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

ERDE ONLINE - INSIDE: A LitRPG/GameLit Novel

https://amzn.to/2wfh7nz


 

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

The Lost City: The Realms Book Two (An Epic LitRPG Adventure)

https://amzn.to/2vtKoLA


 

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

Guardians Of The Round Table 2: Goblin Boots

https://amzn.to/2vJD66I


 

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

Anomaly (Somnia Online Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2MH4aKu


 

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

Underworld - Through the Belly of the Beast (Underworld Book 2)

https://amzn.to/2L5OLS4  


 

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Thanks for hanging out with me today. Until we can hangout again, remember to go read some LitRPG!  

 

(Music 4)

 

Music Credits

"Blip Stream" "Mighty Like Us" "Big Shift" "Vivacity"

Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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