LitRPG Podcast 188 -  The Fifth Realm, Ethria, Darkness Named


LitRPG Podcast 188 -  The Fifth Realm, Ethria, Darkness Named

Sept. 6th, 2019

Hello everyone, welcome to episode 188 of the LitRPG podcast.

I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews.  I have 3 new reviews just for you.

New Releases and Reviews:

The Fifth Realm (The Ten Realms Book 5)  (12:55)

Another good one 

Score: 7.6 out of 10 

Ethria: The Pioneer: An Epic LitRPG Adventure (17:21)

Few issues but good dialogue, good RPG mechanics, and world building

Score: 7.5 out of 10 

Darkness Named (dARkness: Online Book 1) (23:39)

Crafting story. Almost liked it.

Score: 6 out of 10 

(Play Music 2)

LitRPG News

Michael Scott Earle did not win his court case against Amazon so he will not be returning to that platform to publish. Instead, he’s decided to sell his novels directly to his fans and even start a kickstarter to fund future works with lots of great stretch goals.

In only a couple days, the response to MSE putting his works back up for sale have been astounding with many fans buying everything that’s available all at once.

You can purchase all MSE’s novels at with many 1st books in series being free: 

Michael Chatfield announced this week that he’s been working on not only new books for everyone but an actual RPG game. It’s still in the works it has a tentative release date of 2020. 

Dark Envoy is a non-linear RPG inspired by the likes of the Divinity series, XCOM and Dragon Age to offer free world exploration with an emphasis on tactical combat layered with lore and strategy. 

The LitRPG Podcast was at DragonCon this year and we not only visited plenty of vendors and our fellow LitRPG author’s groups, but also some of the panels they were on. It was soo fun to meet so many great authors, narrators, and fans. We recorded some of the panels as well as our travels around the con and all the amazing cosplay including some by our own narrators and fans. 

Check out the LitRPG Podcast Facebook page and YouTube page to check out the videos.

Our Saturday Morning at DragonCon 2019

DragonCon 2019 Cosplay Highlights 

DragonCon 2019 - Visions of the Future: YA Sci-fi Worldbuild 

DragonCon 2019 - Delphic Oracle Clip 

DragonCon 2019 - Heists, Road Trips, & Horror 

DragonCon 2019 - All the Subs 

DragonCon 2019 - The World & the Game: Where the Games We Play Meet the Books We Read 

DragonCon 2019 - Giving the Book a Voice: Talking about Audiobooks 

Out Now!

Illusion (The Blacklight Chronicles Book 1) 

Metamorphosis (Greyblood Book 2): A LitRPG Series 

Endless Fantasy Online: The Phoenix Kingdom 

The Forest's Silence: A LitRPG Fantasy (Adventures on Brad Book 6) 

A Game of Villains (World of Karik Book #1) Dystopian LitRPG Series 

Dragon Heart: Iron Will. LitRPG wuxia series: Book 2

Rule of Cool - Know Your Roll 

Codename: Freedom: World Quest 

Arabellan Chronicles (Arabella Online Book 3) 

Dungeon Lord: Ancient Traditions (The Wraith's Haunt - A litRPG series Book 4) 

Mastermind (Titan Online #1) - A Superhero LitRPG Story 

Queen Of Nowhere: A LitRPG Adventure 

New LitRPG Audiobooks

The Player Plague: A Superhero LitRPG Adventure: Capes Online, Book 2 

Gun Blade - Crystal Shards Online, Book 4 

The Idle System (A LitRPG Series Book 4): The Sins 

Gemini's Crossing: Enora Online, Book 1 

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

Mastermind: A Superhero LitRPG Story 

Upcoming LitRPG:

Raiya: Early Game - A LitRPG Saga: Archon's Chosen, Book Two (Sept. 6th, 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) 

Gloominess +2: Congregation. A LitRPG Adventure: Book 2 (Sept. 10th, 2019) 

Red Snatch: Digital Sorcery Book 3 (A LitRPG Series)  (Sept. 10th, 2019) 

Gamer For Love (Alpha World Book 8) (Sept. 15th, 2019)

Bibliomancer: A Completionist Chronicles Series (Wolfman Warlock Book 1) (Sept. 17th, 2019) 

*Co-Author from Dakota Krout and James Hunter*

Skulls of Atlantis: A LitRPG and GameLit Pirate Adventure (Sept. 19th, 2019) 

Shadow Sun Rebellion (Shadow Sun series - Book 3) (Sept. 30th, 2019)

Darkness Found (dARkness: Online Book 2) (Sept. 30th, 2019) 

Dark Legacy [Transformation. Book III] LitRPG series (Sept. 30th, 2019) 

First Song 2 (Sept 2019)

Fairyed: A LitRPG Adventure (Monsters, Maces and Magic Book 4) (Oct. 1st, 2019) 

Quest for Power: A LitRPG Saga (Hero Online Book 2) (Oct. 3rd, 2019) 

Varnoth: The Black Blade: Book Two (A LitRPG Story) (Oct. 3rd, 2019) 

Dungeon Dive: A LitRPG short story (Tales from the Gods' Game Book 1) (Oct. 16th, 2019) 

Second Story Man: A GameLit/LitRPG Adventure (The Bad Guys Book 2) (Oct. 17th, 2019) 

Universe ICS: Keymaster. LitRPG Series. Book 2 (Oct. 17th, 2019) 

Deadman's Retinue (An NPC's Path Book #3): LitRPG Series

(Oct. 21st, 2019) 

A Jump into the Unknown (Reality Benders Book #5): LitRPG Series (Oct. 23rd, 2019) 

A Dark Path: Grimdark LitRPG (Forsaken Talents Book 1) (Nov. 1st, 2019) 

The Way of Deception (World of Karik, Book #2, Part 1): LitRPG Series (Nov. 4th, 201) 

Avatar of Light (Interworld Network Book #2): LitRPG Series

(Nov. 7th, 2019) 

The Last Time Loop, Book #1: LitRPG Series (Nov. 11th, 2019) 

Onto New Releases and Reviews

(Play Music 3)

New Releases and Reviews

(Picture 1)

The Fifth Realm (The Ten Realms Book 5) 

After taking and defending Vuzgal, Erik and Rugrat have a new task to complete: build a city.

They have been racing through the realms at this point, but Vuzgal is a prize that they can't simply give up on. Alva is mobilized, as are their allies, to build out the new city.

It is time that they solidify their gains, working on their crafts, their fighting ability and cultivation. As they expand their personal power, their gaze turns toward Vermire, to the dungeon. It's time they started to exert the strength they've built up.

Alva moves in the shadows, but to what effect? The answer lies in the Fifth Realm.

My Opinion: 731 pages, $5.99, Not Available on Kindle Unlimited

Much like the novel description, the review is short and sweet. Even though it’s taken me about a month to finish the novel, it’s been a really good read and on par with the other novels in the series. The beginning of the novel is a little tedious with the administrative stuff but it’s needed to establish why Erik and Rugrat aren’t running everything in their community. But once the story introduces the first conflicts, the novel flies by. There are physical, social, crafting, and economic conflicts in the story along with the expected training. Because the cast of characters is getting so big, much of the story does also feel like interconnected short stories with different secondary characters getting their own storylines. But it’s all entertaining. 

Score: 7.6 out of 10

The Fifth Realm (The Ten Realms Book 5) 

Ethria: The Pioneer: An Epic LitRPG Adventure

“Offered a choice by powers far greater than himself between returning home at great risk, or entering a world named Ethria where he might find another, supposedly safer, path home, Daniel “Rayid” Tear will enter Ethria. A world that operates similar to the video games Daniel has always enjoyed, Ethria is a place where power can be found in many forms, both light and dark, and whose true purpose is unknown even to most of its denizens.

Taking the long way home, Daniel will make another choice, to help a group of persecuted people whose story mirrors that of his pioneer ancestors. But In a time when Gods are changing, the people of every race suffer, the foundations of nations shift, and change and danger are in the very air, what can one under-leveled, foreign wizard do?

All the while at the roof of the world, at the base of the Sawtooth Mountains a darkness grows, a creature plots, and an ancient evil from the foundations of the world seeks to re-emerge onto Ethria.”

My Opinion: 598 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

This is a ‘transported to a RPG world’ story that is a bit wordy, but is an entertaining read with some good fun dialogue and world building. 

The story starts with the main character (MC), Daniel, playing a game to establish his gamer cred but by the 9% mark, he’s in the new RPG fantasy world. Once there, he’s there for the whole story. The big plot in the story is that the MC is supposed to help a couple of gods in this world by creating a place for their long lost descendants. But the story doesn’t focus on that aspect instead the MC meets lots of fantasy people, trains with his fairy guide, gets into fights, and levels up. 

The first half of the novel is setup for big conflicts, a good bit of slice of life adventuring, lots of world building, loads of RPG and magic systems explained, and lots and lots of dialogue. The last half of the story is almost all combat. The structure and pacing of the novel could have probably used some evening out with more conflict sprinkled in the dialogue heavy 1st half, and a few more slow moments in the 2nd half. 

Game mechanic wise, this is a pretty solid system. There’s loads of information about the RPG progression system and while most of it is going to feel familiar, there are a couple of unique mechanics that I thought were interesting. While there are a few places where some of the modified spells could have been setup better, for the most part, the author goes out of his way to make sure the story follows the system setup including negative consequences for spell casting. Considering that part of the plot is creating a place for people to live, I’d thought there would be more town building but that only ends up being a minor aspect of the story. 

Overall, this is a rather good story. Especially considering it’s the author’s first time publishing. There are a few semi-regular spelling or grammar issues, but nothing that bothered me or ruined the story. However, I really liked how the author made the game mechanics an intricate part of the story, the good snarky sense of humor, and the good world building. There is a bit too much dialogue but overall I liked how it was used to build characters and world building. 

Score: 7.5 out of 10

Ethria: The Pioneer: An Epic LitRPG Adventure 

Darkness Named (dARkness: Online Book 1) 

In the False Lands, it's either git gud or die.

Tanisha Richards, known as Koest in dARkness: Online, isn't your typical augmented reality mobile gamer. She's a deer-hunting engineer from Oregon who lives in a self-sustainable house but drives a really inefficient truck.

She also happens to be in a wheelchair.

When the loot of a lifetime shows up during a potentially bugged event, Tanisha rushes out into the wilderness to capitalize on some intern's mistake. She was expecting some amazing drops. What she got was dropped into the False Lands.

Will Tanisha be able to survive in a reality ruled by the systems in dARkness: Online, or is it GG?

Darkness Named is the first in a the dARkness: Online Trilogy. It features a diverse cast of characters, LitRPG crafting and building elements, augmented reality gaming, and a ton of references to the games we've enjoyed over the years!

My Opinion: ?250 pages?, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited

This is a trapped in a game world story with a main character (MC) that has a disability. She can’t walk and uses a wheelchair in the real world. She’s sent, against her will, to her favorite augmented reality game where she kills monsters and crafts using their parts. 

The story is definitely more Gamelit than LitRPG and while there are RPG elements with the MC gaining character and skill levels, they don’t matter to the story and don’t really affect it at all. It’s never established if this game world has a respawn system so the MC never loses and not having a particular crafting skill or a very high one doesn’t seem to affect anything. The other game mechanics do play an important part in the story. There are minor survival elements, with sanity and hunger pools to maintain. Killing monsters drops food and crafting components. But the big game mechanic and the thing the MC ends up doing the most is crafting. 

In the beginning of the story, crafting is frankly boring and tedious, even to the MC. Crafting is not real life realistic nor is it fully game like with simple button presses. Instead it's something between. It has all the tedium of real work but none of the challenge. The MC goes through all the motions of gathering and crafting but the process is so simplified that she is guaranteed success, thus losing any challenge or chance of failure. However, about 70% into the story, this shifts and the MC starts to reason out ways to do things and plan and make things that aren’t guaranteed successes including a camp, high grade tools, and stored resources. Once the novel hit this point, I’ll admit, I enjoyed the story more, but it was an awful long wait to get there.

Storywise, there isn’t one surprisingly. The setup, that the MC can go home if she just finds some castle and confronts a mysterious ‘them’, is dwelt upon at length but never gets resolved. Instead, after a very long setup and super boring tutorial section (lasts to the 40% mark), it’s really just the MC coming to terms with being trapped in this game, fighting monsters, and crafting. That’s it, which wouldn’t be bad in theory since I’m not opposed to a slice of life story except that combat is only ok and the setup made me think this was going to be a bit more plot dirven. 

Overall, I could almost like this. Even with the very boring beginning and middle, the combat that’s only ok, and the sometimes whiny MC. It almost wins me over after the 70% mark with the better written crafting and a reasoning, intelligently planning MC being proactive. But then it loses me with the ending where everything she did doesn’t seem to matter and no resolution to the setup at all, just this ...end.

Score: 6 out of 10 

Darkness Named (dARkness: Online Book 1) 

That’s it everyone!

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(Music 4)

Music Credits

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

Kevin MacLeod (

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