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Book review: A. M. Sohma – The Desperate Quest

Kit had not logged into Chronicles of Retha since her old guild, Milk Crown, was reviewdisbanded. Her cousin Bruce, as a joke hacked her account, creating the most ridiculous character, a dancer elf, and ensured her reputation was hated and shunned by all factions. It may have been funny, if not for a corruption error that occurred on the server trapping her and hundreds of others in game. She has been told of a means to log out, the completion if an epic world storyline, but with her ridiculous appearance no one will take her seriously. She and her group fight against the odds, trying to complete the quest and get others to believe them for when they are ready. This world event is epic, no one on this server has completed it, and without the support of others it seems she herself has little chance. Bad stats, bad reputation, and impossible odds, but she had never been one to take the easy path, and now is no exception.

The Desperate Quest is book two in Second Age of Retha by A. M. Sohma. It is only now, as I added this, that I realised this was actually the second book otherwise I would have started with the first. The fact that I didn’t feel I had missed anything is a testament to the author’s skill to create self-contained storylines. Kit makes a brilliant party leader and how refreshing it is for a LitRPG’s main character to be a support character rather than a tank or DPS. This was a really fun story to follow, the epic quest for the seals alongside the characters own development and rising tension as time trapped in the game extends. From exploration to battle this book has a lot to offer, it is well paced, enjoyable, and unique. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.

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book review: S.L. Rowland – Pangea Online: Death and Axes (@HerroSteven )

Esil only knew life in the boxes and the mine. Data mining was the way the poor earned reviewa roof over their head, someone had to do it, and it kept them fed and housed. He slaves away beside Buzz, a friend in the same situation living with his dying mother. There was a cure, but it cost more than a miner could dream of seeing. Then came the competition. The prize money would cover her treatment, but the likes of them had no chance of entering. They couldn’t explore worlds, they could only mine. That was, until Esil struck it lucky. With one swing of his axe he uncovers something never heard of in the mines, a developers chest,, and it gives him just the opportunity to see the worlds and maybe even save Buzz’s mum. Join him as he embarks on the ultimate quest.

Pangea Online: Death and Axes by S.L. Rowland is a gripping edition to the litrpg genre. There is a great balance of game mechanics, character development, worlds building and plots. It is a fun read that will keep you entertained, from quests to the competition events. It guarantees to please. With action, adventure, secrets, danger, and high stakes, lovers of this genre and bound to enjoy this well written with style and flair. I will certainly be adding book two to my future to read list.

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Book review: C.M. Carney -The Barrow King

Finn had been swept away into a world of military, following in his father’s steps, his one reviewrelief was he believed his sister had avoided becoming one of the colonel’s minions. He had been wrong. She had infiltrated and become trusted by some very powerful people, and during this time discovered something which cost her dearly. The game world, the Realms, was not a game at all, and Alistair had exploited the system to conquer and become a god. Brynn too had ascended, but lost everything she was in the process, forever trapped. Her only hope was Finn, entering the game and rescuing her mind. She rigged the system to aid him, sent allies who would be beside him in the starter of town of… Error. Damn that wasn’t right. Where was his aid, where was his starting town? Finn is alone in The Barrows, no help, no allies, and something old has awakened, and it can taste the rare item Finn has in his possession. The Barrows were feared, a sentient dungeon, can he use his instincts to survive, escape, and save his sister, or will he become another rotting corpse upon the dark tunnels if this twisted warren?

The Barrow King is a litRpg by C.M. Carney. If you’re the type of reader who favours a more system orientated read with in depth skill descriptions then this will certainly tick that box. Of all the litRPGs one read to date this one spends a good portion with the ‘in game’ pop-ups, they help the character make skill choices and guide his path. The Barrow is a sentient dungeon, so whilst there is other things occurring, side quests, potential allies, etc, it focuses mainly on the dungeon aspect as Finn, in game name Gryph, works his way through hoping to find am exit, his enemy, and tries to find his sister. He encounters unlikely allies, new enemies, and even help from unexpected sources.

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Book review: Kaye Fairburn – The Trash Tier Dungeon

Arden the Endless Terror has one final chance to prove herself worthy as a du dungeon reviewpixie. If she fails, she is finished, and not just in dungeon work, Demon Lord Oiseau has sworn to smite her. The problem is, her new pairing is with the worst dungeon ever made, they dubbed it the Trash Tier Dungeon. It had a feline heart, and we all know how cats can be. Arden’s last dungeon had made her life miserable, there was no way she was going to let this one kill her. Their personalities clash, their idea of what the dungeon should be differ, but the threat is too real to ignore. If they want to survive they have one month to turn the dungeon into something more than a joke, assuming the guild Arden angered before arriving doesn’t kill them first.

The Trash Tier Dungeon is Kaye Fairburn’s unique take on the LitRPG genre. You’ve read about the heroes, not read about the dungeons. It’s not all fun and games for the creatures that build them and stock them with loot. Their very life hangs in the balance each time something, monster or adventure opens the door. With limited resources, and difficult odds they create the adventure, growing, changing, evolving, all to ensure that those who travel through them think twice about destroying the heart and thus terminating the dungeon forever. This is a fun and action-packed read. The author inserts humour and drama, fitting for a cat based dungeon. Decisions that seem impulsive or random are well implemented to reflect the personalities and past experiences of the characters involved. Great for the young adult and Dungeon Core genre fans.

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Book review: Edward Castle – Unbound Deathlord: Challange (@ECastleWriter )

Jack Thorn, from the moment he entered the game was a thorn in the side of some of the reviewmost powerful characters in Valia. He broke the game, sending the preordained plot off course with his problem-solving skills, quick reactions, and the lessons taught to him by his parents. He entered the game to run from who he was, who he had become. He wanted to escape, to enjoy himself, to conquer the underworld… No wait, that wasn’t his agenda, was it? Amongst a sea of unhelpful, condescending NPC’s this one thought keeps returning to him, but is it even his? In a game where your every thought can be monitored who is to say you can’t also be influenced?

Unbound Deathlord: Challenge is Edward Castle’s creative addition to the LitRPG genre. Packed with action, creative solutions, and some just plain pure dumb luck any fan of the genre is in for a treat. Great descriptions and seamless integration of RPG systems and methods add to this enticing read. You can’t help but root for Jack as he aims to win the Challenge set by the designers, while attempting to drive things his way, by outmanoeuvring, out thinking, and generally just antagonising those who seek to better him. There are some great characters who play well-designed supportive roles as they are dragged along for this intense ride.

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Book review: Tao Wong – Life in the North

John had taken a brisk walk to get away and clear his mind. Life had been unkind, he reviewhad left everything to move to be with his girlfriend, his flat burnt down, and their separation was just another bead in a endless chain of misfortune. Of course, waking one morning to find out that the entire planet had been claimed by the System and was becoming a dungeon planet was just icing on a very bitter cake dressed with the fact he was level one in a level 110 zone. Luckily for him he has Ali, or should that be an ally, a spirit companion designated to ‘help’. First step, reaching civilisation, second step, survival in a world where the indigenous wildlife are mutating into things imaginable outside a game. But a game is exactly what his world now mirrors, a very deadly one. No respawn, no rescue, no class skills, and the odds are stacked against him.

Life in the North is Tao Wong’s first book in The System Apocalyptic series. John is a great character, and you’ll find yourself willing his success, watching as he grows, develops, and evolves to find his place in this adapting to world, and to survive you have to be tough, and know who to trust. Tao Wong has an immersive writing style that pulls the reader in, conjures vivid scenes and intense action. There is chaos, uncertainty, challenges, action, adventure, and change, the perfect ingredients for any LitRPG. As an added bonus, it’s free on Kindle Unlimited.

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Book review: Rick Scott, Dodge Tank

Ryan led a double life. In reality he was a 17 year old boy, relying on crutches to get reviewthrough the day while he cared for his dying mother while his jerk of an older brother did seemingly nothing. But when he was in his rig he was Ryan, the miner, who saved endlessly to earn credits to make the rent with his friend Gilly. A new expansion sees a run on silver, and Reece uncovers a rare item with just one catch, the permanent stat debuff caused by his condition means he can’t use it. It is rare, untradable, and is a golden ticket to wealth. With it he could pay for his mum’s operation, and with a world boss on the horizon he could even make her life comfortable. Help comes from an unexpected source with some strings attached, he has to earn it by becoming a dodge tank, and pledging himself to their guild. He has precious few weeks to reach the desired level, but he has no idea about the truth of game or reality, if he did, perhaps he’d think twice.

Dodge Tank by Rick Scott focuses on a post apocalyptic world where the surviving humans have been forced into a network of underground bunkers. It is an immersive read filled with developing friendship and interesting characters. We follow Ryan’s plights both in game and out, and even the cross over between the two. It is an engaging, character-driven story filled with all the elements a LitRPG lover will come to expect. There’s surprises in store in this well-thought out book, and its plot is enhanced by a great cast of supporting characters, each with their own drive and motivations. I certainly look forward to where book two will take us.

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Book link: Marty Myers, The Dungeon Con (@Grimshawl1972 )

Hank’s plan had been simple, take his girlfriend to Dungeon Con, celebrate their one reviewyear anniversary, and enjoy the festivities. It was barely lunchtime not only had his relationship come to an abrupt end, but he had been tricked into signing a contract by a being from another realm seeking someone to build their master’s dungeon. The thing was, he wasn’t exactly the dungeon master the imp had thought, but inadvertently he had returned with something much more powerful. A human not afflicted by the boons and caps of the Light all people of this realm were born with. His potential was unlimited, and the Dark had great plans for him, great plans indeed.

The Dungeon Con is Marty Myers’ addition to the LitRPG genre.  It has a solid plot with some great ideas. The character building and situations are designed to a point the reader becomes invested in their story and what will become of them. The original thinking and execution is engaging, interesting, and enjoyable. I’ve given this book four stars, whilst it does need some polishing, you can fix grammar, typos and some narrative perspective complications far easier than a poor plot, and The Dungeon Con has the plot, it just needs the polish.

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Book review: Christopher Keene, Stuck in the Game

Noah was in dire straights. A horrific accident had left him paralysed and his girlfriend reviewSue fighting for her life. Fortunately he had enough DSD in his system that he could be connected to the Dream Engine, and log into their game. This game, one he had vowed never to try, became his lifeline, the only way people from the world outside could communicate with him while his body attempted to repair itself. There was a catch, if he were to die, then he would likely slip into a coma. Still, he thought himself lucky. Sue was in critical condition, beyond even this intervention. Or was she? It seemed something of her had been drawn here too, held captive. Noah had a quest, a reason to play. He would save Sue, no matter the cost.

Stuck in the Game is a steady paced read with some good characters. You join Noah in his adventure from tutorial all the way through his progression. You witness a prison of a game become something more as his own gaming passion is kindled, and he is spurred on as his character grows and receives the only quest he really cares about. To reach her he must be strong, but it isn’t all levelling and grinding, there are things at work here he could not imagine, and not all those who play have his back, in fact, with his survival rank growing, he may as well paint a target on his back. Some will stop at nothing to be the best, and some have more sinister motivations.

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Book review: Craig Anderson’s Level Up

Marcus loved games, and hated his job. He worked twice as hard as everyone else, reviewhelped them out without pause, and his boss constantly dangled the promise of promotion just out of reach. He was better where he was, doing all the work, and meeting what should have been impossible deadlines, after all, why should some one be rewarded for their work when keeping them at their current station keeps the office running smoothly? Things, however, are about to change. His old love interest returned to the scene, and more surprisingly, she’s working on a project to create VR. It’s still in the testing phase, but Marcus is all too eager to help. A freak accident causes the game to crash, and when Marcus wakes up the world is not the same. Reality has become a game, and he has 48 hours to complete the main quest or the world itself will end.

Level Up by Craig Anderson is another book in my current favourite genre, LitRPG. I instantly connected with Marus’ character, in fact, aside from his job title I have lived that office life. It’s a quick paced and entertaining read. With a new HUD overlay to reality Marcus needs to level up and complete his objectives, all of which are related to himself and his own personal development. Reality becomes a game, experience a must and the means by which it is obtained have to integrate both the game and reality mechanics. There is a humour to the game that will appeal to everyone, particularly gamers. An easy, well-paced, and enjoyable read, and if you’re a KU subscriber like myself you can pick it up for free.

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