LitRPG Podcast 161
LitRPG Podcast 161 - Shadow Sun Survival, VGO:Firebrand, Awaken Online 4, Small Medium 2, Cat’s Quest
I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews. I have 5 new reviews just for you.
New Releases and Reviews:
A good RPG apocalypse story with really good base/town building
Score: 7.4 out of 10
Familiar MC, familiar events
Score: 6 out of 10
Cat's Quest Book 1 (20:10)
Russian Translation. A good OP story with trade stuff
Small Medium: At Large (25:45)
Good 2nd book that adds a nice investigation/mystery
Score: 7.3 out of 10
Awaken Online: Dominion (28:58)
Enjoyed the real life storyline a bit more than the game one
Score: 7.2 out of 10
(Play Music 2)
Ascend Online commision and fan art!
All the metal reminds me of FF
Fanart from LunarLillith
Michael Chatfield recently did a Facebook Live stream where he outlined some of the publication goals he has and updates where his series are. He includes the pre-order link for the Fourth Realm book which will be out March 22nd.
Changing World: The Fast Flow (Feb 21st, 2018)
**Totally missed this coming out, sorry**
New LitRPG Audiobooks
Dungeon World: A Dungeon Core Experience (March 11th, 2019)
Vindication (The Alchemic Weaponeer - Book 1) (March 14th, 2019)
Absolute Zero (Adam Online Book #1) LitRPG Series (March 18th, 2019)
Max Lagno is the co-author for Level Up: Knockout
Protectors: Evolution Online V (A LitRPG) (March 19th, 2019)
The Fourth Realm (The Ten Realms Book 4) (March 22nd, 2109)
The Final Trial (Level Up Book #3) LitRPG Series (March 25th, 2019)
Dark World [Transformation. Book II] (March 27th, 2019)
Edge of the Abyss (Respawn Trials Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 10th, 2019)
Dukes and Ladders: A LitRPG/Gamelit Adventure (The Good Guys Book 5) (April 11th, 2019)
(April 16th, 2019)
(April 18th, 2019)
Class-A Threat (Disgardium Book #1) LitRPG Series (April 22nd, 2019)
(April 25th, 2019)
Realm of Noria [LitRPG series. Book 2. The Life] (June 1st, 2019)
Onto New Releases and Reviews
(Play Music 3)
New Releases and Reviews
Shadow Sun Survival: Shadow Sun Book One
How well would you fare if the apocalypse fell upon you? Could you survive more than a few days? Would you be able to feed yourself? Find clean water? Safe shelter? Heal your wounds?
Allistor is a gamer geek who has spent most of his life indoors, playing virtual reality MMORPGS and reading classic LitRPG books. But when Earth is seized by an ancient race wielding incredibly advanced tech, who transport the entire planet to a new location with twin suns, he finds himself fighting to survive in real life. The human race is declared a contaminant, and the new overlords decree that 90% of us will be exterminated. Creatures out of myth and legend are sent to do the killing. Dragons, titans, alien creatures big and small, all with a hunger for human flesh. Humans who survive the first year will be rewarded.
After seeing his family killed in the first week, Allistor leads a small group of survivors in their struggle to stay alive. Not satisfied with simple survival, he strives to make himself and his people stronger. The new 'magic' RPG system that now governs the planet is something he can work with, and teach others to exploit. Thrust into a leadership position, and with vengeance in his heart, Allistor aims to establish a stronghold, then take the fight to the monsters who seek to enslave his people.
My Opinion: 404 pages, $3.99, Available On Kindle Unlimited
A slice of life RPG apocalypse story with town building and community building aspects. It is setup a bit like System Apocalypse in that aliens have started the RPG apocalypse but in this case humanity is being targeted with the goal of reducing the population 90% by spawning monsters everywhere. Also, humanity has one year to try and survive and claim any territory on earth before other aliens come to immigrate.
The story plays out in a slice of life way, with the MC recounting the first days of the RPG apocalypse and how he had an edge with the system since it is like the RPG games he loves. Then it's just about him surviving, gathering resources and survivors to figure out how to make a place for everyone with so many deadly monsters everywhere.
The game mechanics are similar to what you see in other RPG apocalypse stories including a system store where items, spells, and loot can be bought and sold. There's also crafting but the most unique aspect will be the town building stuff. Good crunchy stuff.
Overall, the story is rather entertaining. There's good regular action, lots of different monsters that are fought, survivalist stuff, real risk since characters die permanently, and some good character building with the survivors.
Score: 7.4 out of 10
Viridian Gate Online: Firebrand: A litRPG Adventure (The Firebrand Series Book 1)
New worlds get new kings, and that’s exactly what Abby thinks she’s found in her boss’ hacked code.
With a cataclysmic asteroid careening toward Earth, the VRMMORPG project Viridian Gate Online has become more than just a game, and Abby thinks her boss, Robert Osmark, wants to be more than just its founding father.
Now, Abby holds a hacked key to the kingdom that could earn her a punishment worse than death. To uncover the secret that drug lords and corrupt politicians paid millions for, Abby must dive into the game she helped create and team up with one of its AI creations. It’s a race against the clock as she tries to discover what’s hidden in the secret code before Osmark can crown himself ruler over all that remains of humanity.
From James A. Hunter—author of Viridian Gate Online, Rogue Dungeon, War God's Mantle, and the Yancy Lazarus Series—and debut author J.D. Astra, comes an epic new entry into the Expanded Universe of Viridian Gate Online that you won't want to put down!
My Opinions: 295 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
The main character (MC) Abby is featured in the main VGO series, but now she has her own. The story follows Abby’s search for what Osmark has hidden in the game, her class quests, and the events of the main VGO series right up to where Grim Jack gets the Imperial Seal, but just from Abby’s point of view. I’ll be honest, the novel wasn’t bad but it didn’t work for me. I liked seeing what neat powers Abby’s firebrand class has and some of the quests, but there wasn’t any tension because I knew that she was always going to be ok since I’ve already read the main VGO series and I already knew where the big plot points of the story were going.
Score: 6 out of 10
Cat's Quest Book 1
When a tricky merchant player called Cat finds a mysterious magic sword, it quickly draws the attention of both the administration and the other players inside the virtual reality of a top-of-the-line full-immersion MMORPG. This discovery sets off a special event and starts a deadly intercontinental war, all arranged by long-gone developers.
Now, Oleg, the man behind Cat, has to collect all the unique weapons left in the game by its creators before the tragic accident claimed their lives and to complete the new challenge that nobody on the new developer team has any idea about, all the while being accused of cheating and hunted by the most dangerous guild in the game world, led by a dark goddess and one of the top PvP players.
Once, he was a professional player earning real money in another game. He fell from his pedestal into a debt pit: his account got blocked, his savings got burnt, his friends left him behind, and dangerous people appeared at his doorstep, wanting their money back. To get back on his feet, he decided to enter a new game and find a new source of income.
Cat’s Quest is a highly-rated LitRPG new adult series by Roman Prokofiev. The protagonist is one of a kind: more of a trickster and a merchant than a classic adventuring hero—even if he has to become the one to finish what the original developers of the game started.
The setting is the future, around 2070. The Earth has changed: climate, coastlines, even countries. The Sphere is a game ruled by supercomputers…but not everything inside it is controlled by AI, and Cat, whose only interest is earning money to survive in real life, becomes embroiled in the long-gestating plan that will change the face of the entire in-game world.
My Opinion: 377 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Translated from Russian, the story reminds me a bit of the 2nd Way of the Shaman where things start to get guild heavy. The early part is a little hard to get into but it is supposed to explain how the MC makes his living from gaming and why he needs to play this new one. I actually liked the trade/merchant stuff and the explanations about trading schemes, interesting info on trading, local game marketplaces versus world markets. Some interesting stuff, there just wasn't enough for me. There's more slice of life adventuring mixed with this OP story, then it shifts to a larger conflict between guilds and realms. Overall good stuff but be aware it ends on a bit of a cliff hanger.
Small Medium: At Large
It's tough being a country girl in the big city, especially when werewolves are murdering their way through the underworld! Chase Berrymore must bring all her divination skills to bear in order to survive both wild werewolves and murderous mafiosos.
She's got a shot at finding steadfast allies along the way, but at great cost; the mysterious entities that call themselves 'players' are involved. And where they go, chaos follows...
The sequel to a new litrpg saga, Small Medium: At Large serves up a large helping of action, cunning plans, and mystery...
My Opinion: 332 pages, $4.99, Not Available On Kindle Unlimited
This is a delightful sequel in the Small Medium series that keeps the action adventure going but also adds a nice mystery to solve. MC and Traveler Thomasi go to a larger city and get mixed up in a crime families problems with werewolves killing in the city.
-MC uses her Oracle and Grifter class skills to navigate fine line between independent operator and lackey. It was fun to see the halfling fight against more powerful opponents using her wits and unique non-combat skills.
Score: 7.3 out of 10
Awaken Online: Dominion
The fourth installment in the best selling Awaken Online series!
Following Jason's evolution into a Keeper, he finds his fledgling city once again in turmoil. A new and deadly enemy threatens the Twilight Throne -- one that has no difficulty contending with Jason and the members of Original Sin.
Jason must work quickly to consolidate his city's power. That means securing the villages within the Twilight Throne's influence, finding a steady stream of income, and growing the city's military strength. Even as the group grapples with these changes, they notice that something is stirring up the native undead around the city, although the source of this strange influence is uncertain.
One thing is clear, however. Jason might have evolved, but his enemies have adapted with him. If the Twilight Throne is to survive, the group must grow stronger and Jason must learn to control his newfound abilities.
Otherwise, the darkness may very well claim them all.
My Opinion: 690 pages, $6.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
The reviews are mostly positive for the story and you definitely can’t argue with the popularity with the novel sitting in the top 100 on Amazon for over a week. For me, this is a good story but I’m starting to get a little bored with the in-game storyline. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t bad. There’s still lots of action-adventure and a great grand battle scene at the end. But the in-game villain in the story feels very ‘monster of the week’ to me. Just someone introduced to show the MC that he’s weak and force him to train and then see the MC beat him at the end. A very Dragon Ball Z kind of thing. There’s nothing wrong with that, I really like DBZ, but it’s a little predictable.
The real life storyline, for me, was actually more interesting. It was good to see some real resolution to the MCs feelings towards his parents, and all those threats about emergent AI come to some kind of resolution.
A few things that were actually annoying: The Jason-Riley misunderstanding in the first part of the story was just bothersome. I know it’s there so that the resolution feels better later, but the misunderstanding feels forced. Alex/Alexion as a villain just feels too weak and all the easy wins he gets feel cheap.
Overall, still a good entertaining story. A little predictable. But still a solid read for most fans of the series.
Score: 7.2 out of 10
That’s it everyone!
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