LitRPG Podcast 178 - Merchant of Death, Slimegirl, The Crafter's Dungeon, Collecting The Goddess, Nora Hazard Book 3


LitRPG Podcast 178 - Merchant of Death, Slimegirl, The Crafter's Dungeon, Collecting The Goddess, Nora Hazard Book 3

July 5th, 2019

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 178 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 new reviews just for you.

New Releases and Reviews:

Merchant of Death: A LitRPG Adventure Series (Eternal War Online Book 1)

I like the idea, but was disappointed by the execution.

Score: 6 out of 10 


Not for me. Funny dialogue but lots of VR High school dating drama.

Score: 6 out of 10

The Crafter's Dungeon: A Dungeon Core Novel (Dungeon Crafting Book 1) 

Good dungeon core story with crafting.

Score: 7.6 out of 10 

Collecting The Goddess: A LitRPG Adventure (Chronicles Of KieraFreya Book 1) 

More of a VR adventure story with RPG progression that didn’t matter to the story

Score: 6 out of 10 

Nora Hazard Book 3 - Accounts Payable 

A good action packed ending to the series

Score: 7.7 out of 10 

(Play Music 2)

LitRPG News

The Crafter's Dungeon: A Dungeon Core Novel (Dungeon Crafting Book 1), came out last week and it did great hitting top 200 on Amazon. Congrats to Jonathan Brooks for his successful launch. 

Tao Wong, author the System Apocalypse series and the Adventures on Brad series, is going to DragonCon this year. In an announcement on Facebook and his blog he said that in addition to attending this year he was going to be bringing signed copies of this novels for fans that wanted to purchase them. He has a list of things to do if you want to reserve a physical signed copy on his site. But yaay Tao is coming to DragonCon with signed LitRPG books.

Out Now!


Project Alpha: Book 2 

Guardian Craft: Primeval: Book One 

Hunter's Dream Online: Book 1: Ascension 

New LitRPG Audiobooks

Histaff: A Sci-Fi LitRPG: Skeleton in Space, Book 1 

In Search of the Uldans - Galactogon Series, Book 2 

Four: The Loot: A LitRPG/GameLit Novel: The Good Guys Series, Book 4 

Equalize: A Post-Apocalyptic LitRPG: Ether Collapse, Book 1 

Upcoming LitRPG:

Into the Hells (Axe Druid Book 3) (July 12th, 2019) 

Beast Queen: A LitRPG/GameLit Action Adventure (Monster Slayer Online Book 2) (July 15th, 2019) 

*Sequel to the Goblin King*

The Time Master (Interworld Network Book I): LitRPG Series (July 18th, 2019) 

Controlling The Goddess (Chronicles Of KieraFreya Book 2) (July 19th, 2019) 

Cannibal. Demon of the Mind. A Post-Apocalyptic Survival LitRPG Series (July 23rd, 2019) 

Quest for Vengeance: A LitRPG Saga (Hero Online Book 1) (July 24th, 2019) 

Raze (The Completionist Chronicles Book 4)

(July 26th, 2019) 

Sky Realms Online: Grayhold: A LitRPG Adventure

(July 30th, 2019) 

Imprisoned Online: Gaming the System (A LitRPG Adventure Book 1) (July 31st, 2109) 

Shade's First Rule (Divine Apostasy Book 1) (Aug. 1st, 2019) 

Hero GO! (Champion is Playing Book #3) LitRPG Series (Aug. 5th, 2019) 

Invasion, book 1: A Second Chance (Aug. 8th, 2019) 

Eden's Gate: The Ascent: A LitRPG Adventure (Aug. 10th, 2019) 

Dungeons of the Crooked Mountains (Underdog Book 1): LitRPG Series (Aug. 12th, 2019) 

Scamps & Scoundrels: A LitRPG/Gamelit Adventure (The Bad Guys Book 1) (Aug. 15th, 2019) 

Dragon Heart: Iron Will. LitRPG wuxia series: Book 2 (Aug. 22nd, 2019) 

A Check for a Billion (Galactogon Book #3): LitRPG Series (Aug. 30th, 2019) 

Zones of Alacria: The Dragon Gate: Epic GameLit / LitRPG (The Experimental Alchemist Book 1) (Aug. 31st, 2019) 

First Song 2 (Aug 2019)

A Game of Villains (World of Karik Book #1) Dystopian LitRPG Series (Sept. 2nd, 2019) 

Cliffs of Eldimar: A GameLit/LitRPG Adventure (Kazaran Online: Cerulean Server Book 2) (Sept. 6th, 2019) 

Blood of Fate (World 99 Book #1): LitRPG Wuxia Series (Sept. 9th, 2019) 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

(Play Music 3)

New Releases and Reviews

(Picture 1)

Merchant of Death: A LitRPG Adventure Series (Eternal War Online Book 1)

After a mission gone awry, secret operative John Taggart’s identity is compromised. He needs to go into hiding until he can afford the surgery to get a new face. All the cash he had left, he invested to buy a hacked virtual reality collar off the black market. For a wanted man such as himself, this is the only way to make any kind of money without further jeopardizing his location and identity.

There’s a problem though. When he first logs into Eternal War Online and chooses his faction, the network detects his unauthorized device and generates a bunch of critical errors. Immediately, there’s a hotfix that is applied and which erases all his selections. John is sent into the Eternal Battlefield, the highest level PvP area of the game—obviously, with no chance of survival.

Limited to one character by collar, John finds himself in a dire situation. With no faction to back him up, he’s a free target for everyone. And with no fighting skills and no gear (except for a pair of cotton briefs), he’s no match for any of the players. 

John will keep dying and respawning in that impossible location. But as he tries to keep to the shadows and stay alive, he will soon find that his strange predicament is not without benefits. For one, his lack of ties to any faction allows him to loot every corpse—which will lead him to unlock secret classes, like: Salvager and Smuggler. Secondly, while every faction has its own language that prevents players from different groups from talking to each other, he’s not restricted by that constraint and can understand everyone.

Unable to join the fight, as every blow sustained results in his instadeath, John will discover that his only chance to start earning some cash will be to partner up with the criminal underworld in the game and set up a salvaging operation. For a fee, he will loot you and return your soul-bound items—allowing you to skip the 6 hour waiting period before they materialize back in your inventory. Also, he will experiment with crafting and creating weapons and enchantments that will start to shake things up in the game.

Obviously, not everyone will take kindly to his bold moves and John will attract the wrath of a few powerful players. But then, you can’t expect to please everyone when you’re making a name for yourself as a Merchant of Death!

My Opinion: 342 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

The cover art is nice and I like the idea of LitRPG story about a merchant. But the execution here was disappointing eventually. It starts out decently but eventually I realized that even though the story has lots of notifications it often feels like the game mechanics are dictated by the story. New rules or exceptions are created to push the story in a particular direction and eventually even those game aspect disappear as the story head to its conclusion.

The story follows one player who gets a glitched character he has to keep. One who can't join the game's three factions and who can't level via combat. So he has to figure out some other way to level and stumbles upon the profession of scavenging and smuggling to get him some levels. You follow him as he tries to make connections between the criminal factions to make money from his unique situation and try to build this criminal empire. Because the MC early on has his ability to fight cut off, there's a distinct lack of action that isn't replaced with anything. Eventually the story loses steam and you get more and more summaries of events eventually leading to a rushed ending that was just disappointing. 

On the game mechanic side, the story is technically LitRPG. The MC starts off with a broken character, but levels up and gets some professions, gains stats, and there are lots of item descriptions in the first half of the story. However, even though these elements exist, as the story progresses you can tell that the game mechanics don’t matter. The story really lost me around the 40% mark. It’s where I first started seeing that the game mechanics of the story getting ignored for some story element. The MC is on a quest to get a rare ingredient and dies over a dozen times. The death penalty that was such a big deal at the beginning of the story (XP loss and penalties and cause his inability to level via combat) just seems to dissapear. Or the MC taking and even using soul bound items that he doesn't meet the level requirements for. As the story progresses past the 66% mark, a lot of the game mechanics and any relevance of level and stats for the MC disappear entirely. There are still some notifications but the RPG progression ceases to exist.

Overall, I like the idea of the story of a merchant focused LitRPG character with a criminal element, the RPG part of this story just didn’t seem to matter to the story and eventually disappears. So, I lost interest cause that’s the part of LitRPG I like. The RPG stuff.

Score: 6 out of 10

Merchant of Death: A LitRPG Adventure Series (Eternal War Online Book 1) 


In the year 2101, ISLANDS allows users to become whoever they want to be.

Nineteen year old Sylvi Grohl is excited for her first semester in a new school, but all thoughts of higher education vanish when she starts receiving strange packages at home. Packages she didn't order.

As Sly delves deeper into the underbelly of ISLANDS to find the source of the mysterious packages, she finds herself caught in a dangerous love triangle in a world where she can't tell friend from foe.

Can she unravel the mystery without alienating everyone around her, or will the consequences of her own actions finally catch up with her?

My Opinion: 281 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

Ok. Let me say first off, this novel didn’t work for me. But I think the author has potential. At least there were several aspects of the story that I liked, even if on the whole it didn’t work for me.

First, the stuff I liked: 1) The humor. That’s probably the thing that is best about the novel. It has a snarky, fun, bantery sense of humor. Especially between the main character (MC) and her mother. Lots of good banter there and I liked that relationship a lot. 2) There are several RPG scenes, none of which are the focus of the story, but the last two were good. Liked the Taco Bell sponsored heist quest, liked the last PvP fight. 

Onto the stuff that didn’t work for me. 1) The core story is basically a VR Highschool dating drama. Yes, the MC is supposed to be in college, but it really feels like highschool drama since this is the MCs first relationship, first kiss, first time two boys have liked her at the same time and she can’t choose. I’m just not into that kind of story. 2) Next, the RPG stuff felt for the most part like it wasn’t important. It’s just something the MC and her dates do together. Yes, she levels and there is some thought put into her class and race progression, but it doesn’t matter to the story. If  you took those parts out and replaced them with other VR date stuff, the story would be basically the same. It is LitPRG, but you can tell that part of the story wasn’t the focus. 3) Combat while semi-regular, isn’t done well until the last couple RPG scenes in the story. 4) The ending, while kinda tense, was a little bit of a let down when it’s revealed who the bad guy is. With the reveal, the reader is given new information in the form of a flashback showing how this started. It’s something there were no hints about and it contradicts information given previously. I get that it’s supposed to be a big mystery, but the way it was setup the reader has absolutely no chance of figuring it out first, which makes it disappointing. 

Overall, while there are several aspects I liked, the story on the whole just didn’t work for me. You can tell the author was figuring out his style and while it gets ok eventually, it takes a bit. A bit more than I think most people would be willing to wait. However, readers that do like highschool romance drama, may just like this more than me.

Score: 6 out of 10


The Crafter's Dungeon: A Dungeon Core Novel (Dungeon Crafting Book 1)

Sandra had been a merchant traveling through the human lands of Muriel, though that wouldn’t have been her chosen profession. What she would’ve loved to become was a crafter, producing wondrous creations with her own two hands; however, she didn’t want to become a master in just one craft – she was interested in them all.

Unfortunately, Sandra was born with a deformity in her hands that made them appear frozen in a claw-like pose; as a result, she couldn’t grip anything with any sort of strength or dexterity, meaning that she wasn’t able to craft anything but the most simple of things that required very little in the way of hand-based manipulation. To top it off, while most people could access and manipulate at least one or two of the basic elemental energies, she could see them all – but was unable to manipulate a single one.

Despite these setbacks, Sandra spent the majority of her twenty-six years of life visually learning the processes, techniques, and secret formulas for every aspect of crafting she could discover. And it was that pursuit of knowledge that ultimately led to her untimely death.

Reborn in the shape of a tiny Dungeon Core, Sandra learned about the purpose behind dungeons and Cores from an assigned dungeon helper; at the same time, she also discovered that she had much more freedom than most other Dungeon Cores. The repercussions of her mere existence could end up being far-reaching, but the most important thing she learned had nothing to do with the other Cores, the different races, or even the real purpose behind her being brought back to life as a strange glowing gem.

Sandra didn’t care about any of that, though – all she cared about was that she could finally do some crafting.

This Dungeon Core story contains LitRPG/GameLit elements such as statistics and leveling and a heavy crafting emphasis. No profanity and no harems.

My Opinion: 349 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

A good dungeon core story that doesn’t really start the crafting aspect till after the 33% mark. But once it does, it leans fully into that aspect and does a good job of detailing all the possible crafting the dungeon can do and the hints at the larger series plotlines that make it important. The story is plenty crunchy with lots of notifications and game mechanic details and will satisfy the readers that love that stuff. 

Overall, a good dungeon core novel with good crafting, and RPG progression. Though I’d liked to have seen more people run the dungeon. But that seems like something that may be built up future books.

Score: 7.6 out of 10

The Crafter's Dungeon: A Dungeon Core Novel (Dungeon Crafting Book 1) 

Collecting The Goddess: A LitRPG Adventure (Chronicles Of KieraFreya Book 1) 

What is a billionaire heiress supposed to do when all of her older siblings take to business like her parents, proving that business is in their blood?

But not hers.

There are many good choices. Unfortunately, Chloe decided that partying was the right one.

Now a requirement to keep her money requires her to attend daily meetings with the family psychologist—a daily meeting about how she should change her life to change her future.

The worst part? The meetings are before noon, so she has to get up early.

Then he presents her with an offer.

Invest in a new game company and become the first player to stay inside their full-immersion pod.

For two years.

Two years away from her parents looking down on her, and not having to listen to her siblings and their success?


There is only one problem…

Chloe’s avatar connects to a Goddess of Retribution who doesn’t remember her past.

Following the rabbit trail of armor to help the goddess will require more responsibility from Chloe than she has ever accepted in the past.

Will she return to being the party girl of her past, or will the Lagarde daughter tempered in fire from her upbringing wake up?

Go up and click Read For Free or Read Now and find out if Chloe Lagarde has what it takes to help a broken Goddess.

And herself.       

My Opinion: 616 pages, $4.99, Available On Kindle Unlimited

Overall, the story felt like a VR adventure story with some notifications and stat increases that didn’t really matter. After the 10% mark, the MC gets a ton of unearned power and is really led around by the nose on her adventures.  

A lot of the story felt like it was paint by numbers or was trying to fit some LitRPG mold instead of being original. Nothing particularly bad, but not really interesting either. The unrealistic behavior for the main character and obvious plot holes that fed into the cyberpunk sub story were just annoying. There’s also this in-game inconsistency between NPCs being aware of the game and not. The established game mechanics are also ignored when the story needs them to be. As the story goes on the RPG progression lessens more and more and you can kind of tell the author got tired of continuing with the RPG mechanics and notifications. 

Storywise, this is only ok. The setup isn’t terrible but there are some really big plot holes and story twists that don’t make sense. Otherwise, it’s random adventuring fighting various bad guys/monsters, making online friends, and fighting with her equipment. Very little world building or character development.

Overall, while this is technically LitRPG, the RPG aspects don’t really matter to the story and this feels more like a VR adventure story. Not bad, but not good either, at least not for me. It feels more like a half effort from an otherwise good author.

Score: 6 out of 10

Collecting The Goddess: A LitRPG Adventure (Chronicles Of KieraFreya Book 1) 

Nora Hazard Book 3 - Accounts Payable

The last three years have not been easy for Nora Hazard, but she’s been able to create a new life for herself. Since becoming orb-Bonded, she’s managed to survive, then thrive. She’s mastered her power and grown up during her time as a soldier, even experiencing love.

But circumstances will force Nora to make new choices. Her deal with a powerful demigoddess is coming to an end, bringing new opportunities and new dangers--including secret information about her painful, mysterious past. Her loyalties will be put to the test.

Unfortunately, despite her survivor mentality, her luck is terrible. Trouble seems to follow her wherever she goes. After uncovering a massive plot that directly threatens everything she holds dear, she will be forced into a struggle that pushes her to her very limits.

For Nora Hazard, nothing is ever simple, but she made a promise to someone important to never give up. She’s been wounded in spirit and body, but remains unbroken. Anyone or anything that picks a fight with her or threatens her friends may come to regret it, even a dark god.

*This is the last volume of the Nora Hazard series, which directly intersects with the Delvers LLC series, also by Blaise Corvin.

My Opinion: 329 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

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

This is an action packed ending to the stand alone Nora Hazard storyline. It not only gives you lots of action however, it does a really good job resolving all the story threads from the series.

Action is a big highlight of this last novel. There’s so much of it, that I’m surprised there was room for character development. The fights are not only good, but they expand the way the MC fights both in groups and solo. Some good stuff here. 

On the game mechanic side, things are light. But the series on the whole has been light in that respect, so it shouldn’t be a surprise. Additionally, there's not as much emotional growth in book three as there was in previous novels. Part of this has to do with the fact that the novel does a multi year time jump so Nora's growth feels done in that respect as the novel starts. For the most part, she ends up being the same powerful, strong character throughout the story. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just another sign that this character has matured in this series. Nora grows in different ways and there are still some nice emotional moments as moments of her past are resolved.

Speaking of resolutions, there's lots of that here. Even stuff that I'd completely forgotten about from the very first book come back around to get resolved. It makes you really feel like the author is trying to give the reader a satisfying ending to the series.

Overall, this was a good ending to the series and I was pleasantly surprised by how the author ended up trying Nora into the Delvers series.

Score: 7.7 out of 10

Nora Hazard Book 3 - Accounts Payable 

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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 (

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