LitRPG Podcast 127 YouTube Video LitRPG Podcast 127 submitted by
Aug. 3rd, 2018
Hello everyone, welcome to episode 127 of the LitRPG podcast. To see the full show notes visit us at: https://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-podcast-127
I’m Ramon Mejia. I’m here to bring you the latest LitRPG news, reviews, and author interviews. I have 8 new LitRPG reviews just for you, including a few missed short stories that I found delving Amazon’s search results.
But before we begin I want to give a shout out to CharPe, who is are latest Patreon supporter. Thank you CharPe for helping us keep the podcast going and ad free. If you’re listening and watching and you want to help support the podcast, you can find out all the ways to help at www.litrpgpodcast.com/support
or you can support us on Patreon like CharPe. https://www.patreon.com/geekbytespodcast
New Releases and Reviews: Awaken Online: Apathy (Side Quest)
Good origin story for Eliza and could be a stand alone novel in the AO universe.
Score: 7.7 out of 10 https://amzn.to/2K0oK6o The Curse of Hurlig Ridge: World Tree Online: 1st Dive
Good balanced game mechanics, lots of training, good story
Score: 7.4 out of 10 https://amzn.to/2Nc9DJG Welcome to Abarrane: Part 1
Interesting ideas, but not developed enough to entertain
Score: 6 out of 10 https://amzn.to/2M198RW The Glass Bard
A good short KU read
Score: 7.2 out of 10 https://amzn.to/2NXhhHH AngelTaker: A LitRPG Series (Gamer of Thrones Serials Book 1)
Not actually LitRPG
Score: 4 out of 10 https://amzn.to/2AtPZqq Asperia Online: A LITRPG Saga (The Asperia Series Book 1)
Who wouldn’t want to be dragon?
Score: 7.5 out of 10 https://amzn.to/2O116ch Providence Online: A LitRPG Saga
Scattered, confusing story. Got bored quickly.
Score: 5 out of 10 https://amzn.to/2AvxphA Competitive Advantage (Nora Hazard Book 2)
Such good action!
Score: 7.7 out of 10 https://amzn.to/2vnkad0
(Play Music 2) LitRPG News
Travis Bagwell, author of the Awaken Online series, and his narrator David Stifel talked with Audiobook Reviewer about LitRPG and the Awaken Online series. https://audiobookreviewer.com/featured/video-interview-talking-litrpg-and-gamelit-with-travis-bagwell-and-david-stifel/
Michael Chatfield, author of the Emerilia and Ten Realms LitRPG series, is looking for some help from the fans in deciding who to pick for his next narrator. He’s already trimmed down the 30 or so applicants to 5, but loves them all so much he can’t decide. He’s looking for fans of audiobook and LitRPG to help him in deciding who makes it into the top three. Go listen to the samples he has on Soundcloud for each narrator and either vote on his Patreon page or his website at, michaelchatfield.com
I can't make a poll with more than 2 answers on facebook, so please vote on:
or my website: http://michaelchatfield.com/2018/07/28/ten-realms-narrator-contest/
Aleron Kong, author of the Chaos Seed series, has revealed the location for the 3rd annual LitRPG Gala. It’ll be at the Sidebar in Atlanta GA on Saturday Sept. 1st, from 12-2pm. That’s the same weekend that DragonCon is in the area so if you’re going to be in the area come and stop on by. Last year, it was a great event with fans getting a chance to meet some of their favorite LitRPG authors. I’ll be there, so we can all hang out. https://www.facebook.com/events/272317720222268/
This week on a live stream, Aleron Kong announced that he was nominated for a Dragon Award for Best Fantasy! The Dragon Awards are a completely fan based nomination and award that are handed out during DragonCon. So, go vote for your favorite authors.
It’s a slightly complicated system, you have to sign up to vote. Then they’ll e-mail you a ballot and you vote for 1 of the nominees in each category. Please be sure to only vote for 1 in each category though. Per the rules, if you vote for more than one nominee in each category, all your votes may be invalidated. http://application.dragoncon.org/dc_fan_awards_signup.php
A couple of weeks ago, I reported on the Michael Scott Earle (MSE) getting suspended from Amazon and all his ebooks being taken down from the platform.
Since then, there have been several new developments.
On July 26th, 2018: MSE shared a letter from Amazon telling him that there were permanently closing his amazon author account and that he would not be allowed to make a new one to continue to sell his work. No reason was given in the brief email from Amazon as to why his account was being terminated. Oddly his audible audiobooks stayed up.
Now MSE fans went crazy hearing this and immediately started to email and call Amazon customer support to demand to know why their favorite author was being banned. Some responses from Amazon:
- ‘We’re sorry you’re upset, here is a $5 credit for your next ebook purchase’
- ‘I don’t know, I’ll send this up the chain and get back to you’
- ‘There’s a quality issue with the text, I’m sure this is just temporary.’
- The weirdest response by far was:
- ‘the author chose to remove his work from the platform voluntarily’
On July 27th, 2018: In an last ditch effort, MSE sent an e-mail asking if there was any way to appeal the ban. Surprisingly, he got a response that yes, they would review it and actually reinstated his access to his author publishing account. None of his books were made available again, but he had access to all his author reports.
As of this recording/post, there are no further updates from Amazon as to whether MSE’s ebooks will be put back up or if he’ll be allowed to publish on Amazon’s platform through a publisher.
However, I had a chance to talk to the author today and he assures me he will continue writing and publishing regardless of what Amazon decides. Some of his non Amazon exclusive writings are on other platforms like Apple’s ibooks, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Kobo, and other places. Additionally, he’s thought about starting a Patreon so that readers can support him directly. However, as of today, he’s waiting for any word from Amazon either way before he moves forward.
It’s a very tough situation and when I asked the author how people can support him, he suggested to sign up for his newsletter or his facebook group so that he could let them know what he’s going to do and where next they’ll be able to find his work.
Storyteller Michael-Scott Earle's cool club for cool people: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1562248853809471/
Michael-Scott Earle website http://www.michaelscottearle.com/ Out Now!
📷 Deeper Down: A Monster MC LitRPG (Kobold's Quest Book 2) https://amzn.to/2mZgZoc
-I don’t plan to read it since I gave book one a 4 out of 10 but if you liked it, book 2 in the series is out.
📷 Sleeping Player (Project Chrysalis Book 3) https://amzn.to/2MuZ7vW New LitRPG Audiobooks
📷 Initializing - Somnia Online, Book 1 https://amzn.to/2AAd9vr
Our review of the ebook: Score 7.4 out of 10 http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2018/5/17/initializing-somnia-online-book-1
📷 God Mode: AlterGame Series, Book 3 https://amzn.to/2n3AA6q
📷 Glitch Hunter https://amzn.to/2n7xrml
Our review of the ebook: Score 7.8 out of 10 http://litrpgpodcast.com/litrpg-database/2018/5/31/glitch-hunter Upcoming LitRPG
📷 Death March (Euphoria Online - Book 1)
(Aug. 7th, 2018) https://amzn.to/2AzoETD
📷 Wizard Lords: Legend of Legends: A LitRPG fantasy (Wizard Lord Book 1)
(Aug. 8th, 2018) https://amzn.to/2LmagCp
📷 Bitter: Book Four
(Aug. 24th, 2018) https://amzn.to/2O1gaaF
📷 The Path (Just Cause Universe Book 14)
(Sept. 3rd, 2018) https://amzn.to/2LHHGwc
The author says it’s LitRPG.
📷 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
Awaken Online: Apathy (Side Quest) https://preview.redd.it/65antqfy7td11.jpg?width=333&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=610695bb9db2fffbad2296639657c92aafea3929
A side quest adventure in the best-selling world of Awaken Online!
Eliza's parents are relentless - forcing her to constantly take extra courses to prepare for college and medical school. Sometimes, it feels like her entire life has already been planned out.
Which is why she leaps at the chance to escape into a new virtual reality game, Awaken Online. What she wasn't expecting was to encounter a capricious god and his loyal "pet." Or to be chosen as this god's "avatar" within the game and forced to tackle a series of asinine quests.
Yet, she just can't shake the feeling that there is more to the irritating god than first meets the eye.
(This story is intended to be "Book 5" in the Awaken Online series. It should be read after Awaken Online: Evolution.)
My Opinion: 276 pages, $3.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
This is a good side novel for a character, Eliza, introduced in Awaken Online: Evolution. You get her origin story and all the adventures she went on right up until the time she’s introduced to the main series. The story is strong enough that it can be read as a stand alone and you don’t technically have to have read any of the other Awaken Online novels to enjoy it. But if you have read the other novels, you get a little bit of extra enjoyment from some details.
I really enjoyed the novel, and like Eliza so much more now. When she was introduced in AO Evolution, she seemed overpowered and it was hard to connect with her because you don’t get to know her very well in that story. But now, she’s a favorite character of mine in the series. I liked all the scientific research and experimentation she does to improve her powers and create interesting combinations between her water magic and alchemy. It felt like each new spell combo was earned with lots of hard work.
Story wise, this is an origin story for the character and thus can’t get too epic. But the slice of life adventuring and crafting are still entertaining and as is the author’s usual style the best most exciting part is saved for the last 15% of the story.
Overall, a good read.
Score: 7. 7 out of 10 Awaken Online: Apathy (Side Quest) https://amzn.to/2K0oK6o
The Curse of Hurlig Ridge: World Tree Online: 1st Dive https://preview.redd.it/j7i67ugw7td11.jpg?width=308&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=954554b4f5c9092518b4f853f3cab59b65b2638c
In the future, androids have taken over most jobs, leaving humans with little to do and even less to motivate them. Enter the World Tree Online, a fully immersive virtual reality experience. Join Byron in his first 30 days of a non-stop fantasy adventure in the cursed province of Hurlig Ridge, a land filled with monsters, mysteries, murderers and treasure. The people of the province have been tormented for centuries by a pack of voracious wolves. Now, with the arrival of the adventurers, dark forces have begun to stir, accelerating their dark plans. Can Byron unravel the mystery of this curse before it’s too late?
My Opinion: 595 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Full disclosure: I received an advanced copy for review. I purchased the novel when it became available.
The first 35% of this novel is rather impressive for the author’s first full published novel. From the very first pages you can feel the gamer excitement exuded by the MC as he waits for his pod to get installed and explains how the VR tech works. The main character (MC), Byron is in the game by the 2% mark and takes the game name Bye-Bye Jacko. I was genuinely impressed by the amount of interesting detail and balance the author added to not only the game mechanics, but the game world’s lore and history.
On the game mechanic side, while there is leveling and a familiar stat and skill system, the game relies on training to improve stats. So, no free stat points when a character levels. This leads to a lot of training scenes. Alot, alot.
Additionally, Even though the MC and his group get unique and power abilities, they’re never overpowered. Every bonus is well balanced by a detriment or a condition that limits that power. The author did a wonderful job of thinking through his game system and balancing things out.
Storywise, the novel is mostly slice of life adventure but there are a couple of interesting story threads that give the story a bit of direction. One thread, revolves around PKers and PvP, and while the story thread is highlighted in the first third of the story, it unfortunately dies off as a major plotline. The 2nd big story thread, starts out rather small as a mystery and who-done-it but grows to be quit epic. I really enjoyed how this storyline was developed overall.
However, the momentum built by these two threads slows down after the 35% mark in the story and the middle of the story is almost entirely slice of life adventuring and lots and lots of training. There’s some added character development as the MC finds his group during this section. This isn't a bad section of the novel. I was still entertained, but it is slow compared to the pace of the first and last third of the story where things pick up again.
Additionally, some of the relationships in the story feel a little forced. New people just kind of pop up and within minutes seem to join the MCs inner circle and learn all his secrets. A small thing most people won’t care about but it made those relationships feel less special and earned to me.
Overall, I liked the story. It was a good read with lots of action, adventure, and some unique powers and RPG progression. Again, I was also very impressed with how much work went into creating a balance in the game mechanics of the story.
Score: 7.4 out of 10 The Curse of Hurlig Ridge: World Tree Online: 1st Dive https://amzn.to/2Nc9DJG
Welcome to Abarrane: Part 1 https://preview.redd.it/zv7c3x7u7td11.jpg?width=313&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=c4b97438c621cc25d448f29f07311bd922426a7d
Fresh out of prison Mr. Abbott has chosen to abandon the real world and enter a fantasy realm where the wealthy and dying have gone to live forever or so they thought. Will Mr. Abbott find a purpose and trustworthy allies in this new reality? Or will magic, deception, and other’s greed end him before he gets the chance? Welcome to Abarrane.
My Opinion: 82 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Full disclosure: I received an advanced copy for review. I purchased the novel when it became available.
There are story ideas in this that I really like. The big villain introduced is very interesting and I liked that the game world allowed for people to be evil. Unfortunately, none of those good story ideas are really developed fully. Instead, the story shifts from idea to idea and it makes for an unfocused story.
Game mechanic wise, there’s lots of information given. Damage notifications, character sheets, stats are shown. However, with two exceptions, nothing here is special. Exception one: players get to be monster races and have unique features like eating humans regenerates health, or a compulsion to read every book. Exception two: Stats act like qualifiers, determining what a player can do. Like needing a five in intelligence to speak properly or a perception of five to even have a chance to see traps.
Story-wise, it’s unfocused. It starts out as a kind of trapped in the game story with a neat twist, then becomes dungeon dive, then it moves into world exploration. However, the thing that really drags the story down for me is that none of the story conflicts have resolutions. By conflicts, I don’t mean the fights, those are fine. The big story troubles that are introduced and setup in the story just don’t get resolved. The author may intend to resolve these conflicts in another books in the series, but because it’s not resolved here the story left me unsatisfied.
Overall, I think the series may have potential. But in this novella, the story is unfocused, and the major conflicts are left unresolved. So it just wasn’t a satisfying read. Though I’ll likely give book 2 a chance because of some of the interesting ideas introduced in the story.
Score: 6 out of 10 Welcome to Abarrane: Part 1 https://amzn.to/2M198RW
The Glass Bard https://preview.redd.it/xzqtvias7td11.jpg?width=313&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=ee6b9f11a88ac43a5773dcbb97e862a6eeaf18d0
The last thing Jack Daw remembers is falling asleep at his desk. When he awakens, he is trapped in the procedurally generated open world of a computer role playing game. Befriended by the beautiful runaway slave girl Sai, Jack must use his ability scores, the luck of the dice and his knowledge of every video gaming trope and exploit he's ever encountered to beat the game. If only he hadn't rolled a bard.
My Opinion: 44 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Short story, published in 2017. Found it through Ray and the LitRPG Audiobook Podcast. Apparently someone published an audiobook version of this 44 page story.
It’s very over priced at $2.99 for 44 pages but makes a good kindle unlimited read. It starts out a little esoteric but quickly shifts to the introduction of a RPG game. There’s a good bit of action, gamer jokes, and banter with the tutorial AI. Most of the story is slice of life but it’s still entertaining. The RPG mechanics are somewhere between a MMO and table top RPG and you see more of them towards the end of the story.
It’s a cute story and the end was entertaining. I can't ask for more from a short story.
Score: 7.2 out of 10 The Glass Bard https://amzn.to/2NXhhHH
AngelTaker: A LitRPG Series (Gamer of Thrones Serials Book 1) https://preview.redd.it/q6zvhsdp7td11.jpg?width=232&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=637ab6e0fb23306439baee519029fd09fcf81711
In the AngelRealm everyone dies. Not me though. Not today.
The virtual world of AngelRealm is a global phenomenon – a way to escape the drudgery of the real world. Everyone is given one free play-token at birth, their shot at glory and riches. I’m Harvey Nobody. I entered the AngelRealm to save my town from total destruction in real life. But when the GameMakers give me an incredible power, the GodAngel – the bloodthirsty AI ruler of the AngelRealm – cannot afford to let me live.
Because the AngelRealm was meant to be ruled by two Gods. The GodAngel fears I’m the player destined to find the legendary lost AngelThrone and end her total control. Now her Angels are hunting me down. In order to survive, I’m going to have to tame them and bind their powers to me. No matter what it takes.
Because the price for failure is death. Real death.
My Opinion: 68 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
The novel advertises as LitRPG and while part of the story is set in a game of some kind, there are no RPG elements in the story. The closest that it gets is using XP as a kind of currency. The main character gets XP fines and can potentially use XP he gets to buy more lives. You could replace the words XP with gold or dollars and the story wouldn’t change and it actually make more sense.
Outside the issue of the story not actually being LitRPG, it’s kind of a mess on its own. There are some attempts to pull from Ready Player One and other cyberpunk influences by having a evil game corporation set to ruin and destroy the main character (MC) home and the only way to stop them is in the game somehow. But nothing in the story really makes sense. Not the premise, which just doesn’t have enough development to feel believable. Nor anything that happens in the game world. This is a short story, so I get that there are constraints on how much info can be given, but I read this and found myself time and again scratching my head thinking that what was written just didn’t make sense or could use more explanation.
The series may clarify things in future entries, but for now I do not like it. It’s not LitRPG like it claims and it’s a mess storywise.
Score: 4 out of 10 AngelTaker: A LitRPG Series (Gamer of Thrones Serials Book 1) https://amzn.to/2AtPZqq
Asperia Online: A LITRPG Saga (The Asperia Series Book 1) https://preview.redd.it/90iw5mum7td11.jpg?width=375&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=80208afb8c2efc94c0d6a3637da076a20ae11e51
If you could shed your limited human body and then take to the skies? If you could become a beast of legends, the apex, the top of the line, largest monster in the world, predator to all and prey to none?
Would you take this opportunity at the drop of a hat in sacrifice of your humanity?
Or would you prefer that you never lost your basic human comforts?
Well, what if you didn't have a choice in the matter?
A young man from earth finds himself in the scales and hide of a mythical beast, and then has no choice but to embark on an adventure of a lifetime, with the aid of a tiny magical companion, and a whole lot of fire - he forges a path forward with flair and flourish.
Will he decide to remain as a beast that roams the sky?
Or will he instead choose to walk on two feet as a man that conquers the land?
My Opinion: 65 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Too highly priced for the page count, this is still a good Kindle Unlimited read.
The main character (MC), is reincarnated as a dragon on a world with RPG game mechanics. He takes the terrifying dragon name, Timothy, and begins his quest to understand this new world and of course level up.
For a first entry into a short story series, this is pretty good. The MC is in the game world from the first page and there are plenty of RPG mechanics that readers will be familiar with. Something that I liked in particular is the the choose your own adventure story choses the MC gets. ‘Do you A: or B: or C:’ kind of thing. It adds another layer of game stuff that I liked.
Storywise, this just has a little bit of action but serves as a setup novel. It sets up the game mechanics, the world building, and future stories potentially. Still, it’s interesting and entertaining enough for me to want to pick up the next short story in the series.
Score: 7.5 out of 10 Asperia Online: A LITRPG Saga (The Asperia Series Book 1) https://amzn.to/2O116ch
Providence Online: A LitRPG Saga https://preview.redd.it/0x7yq2lk7td11.jpg?width=333&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=0e8c1540f82dd89d6a3bbc7eeed26a236530b62f
Transported to a foreign world against his will, a young man enters a deadly game orchestrated by forces far beyond his comprehension, for reasons far beyond his understanding. Time and space is rendered meaningless in a world where only the strongest survive, and where the grand prize is unspeakable riches or a leap into the future.
The words of the mysterious GM rings out -
"Players! The Realm of Meliora is yours to explore, to either build or destroy as you see fit. It is yours to set your rules and your destinies, your villains and your heroes, your monsters and your gods. How you advance is entirely of your own making, and from this point on, the game has begun."
"Win or lose. Live or die. The choice is yours."
My Opinion: 120 pages, $3.99, Not available on Kindle Unlimited
This feels like a collected serial story that was written over a couple of years. Each chapter seems to skip significant amounts of time ranging from days to months, which makes the chapters feel disconnected from each other because the skipped time is barely filled in.
The RPG game mechanics exists and there is technically some progress since the main character (MC) gains levels and skills. However, there’s no depth to the system and there’s very little detail about how the MC levels, it’s just summaries that he did.
Storywise, it’s scattered. It starts with an ill explained transported to a game world contest with people from various time periods. If they beat the simulation they either go back home or to the future. There’s also some odd thread about the players being pulled from future descendents DNA. It’s again, not clear. Then the story just becomes some slice of life thing with the MC and his friend in various situations that they overcome by chance or with a little fighting. But each chapter skips time with the MC becoming more powerful, but the reader not ever seeing how.
For me, the story got boring since none of the stuff I really love about LitRPG showed up. No deep game mechanics or engaging story.
Score: 5 out of 10 Providence Online: A LitRPG Saga https://amzn.to/2AvxphA
Competitive Advantage (Nora Hazard Book 2) https://preview.redd.it/9zl08s2g7td11.jpg?width=217&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=7311070a91b3336c71d83b804cf8254a918ef642
*Nora Hazard's story began prior to the events of Delvers LLC: Welcome to Ludus.*
Nobody likes an escort mission. Nobody.
Unfortunately for Nora, she'll be stuck travelling with Jessica, an American gamer, and Christopher, a Filipino man with a mysterious past. Somehow, the former Jackals gang leader must keep the two Terrans alive while heading south for Enheduanna’s new, insane mission.
Nora will have no time to prepare, or even to stay in Soron to enjoy her unexpected celebrity status. Instead, she will need to leave for Tolstey after healing from injuries sustained in battle, wounded while protecting Soron.
Despite what some may say about her now, Nora knows she is no hero. People expecting too much from her will probably be disappointed. But with the help of some new weapons and greater orb-Bonded power, surviving her new, suicidal quest might be merely improbable, not impossible.
One thing is for sure: Regardless of what happens—whether fulfilling her mission or learning to trust again—Nora will do things her own way, on her own terms.
My Opinion: 232 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
The Nora Hazard series is a really good action adventure LitRPG series. Each novel amps up the action and this is a prime example of why people like the author’s work. Good characters, good power progression, and some really good action. Heck the entire last 25% of the story is just a series of kick ass action scenes.
Of all the new powers and abilities I have to say PewPew is my favorite. It’s just fun to point your finger and say ‘PewPew’. Try it, you’ll see. Additionally, you can see the author building the framework for an eventual tie in to the Delvers LLC series with cameos and special quests.
But what I really liked about the story is the development of Nora this time. She not only continues to prove she’s a badass military woman, but there are a couple touching moments that showed her vulnerabilities too. I can’t wait to read the next one.
Score: 7.7 out of 10 Competitive Advantage (Nora Hazard Book 2) https://amzn.to/2vnkad0
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Thanks for hanging out with me today. Until we can hangout again, remember to go read some LitRPG!
"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/