Bookish Wednesday: Challenge by Edward Castle

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering another LitRPG series. It’s the Unbound Deathlord series Book 01: Challenge by Edward Castle!

Plot Synopsis: When virtual reality becomes real enough that people feel as if they’re being transported to another world, Valia Online arrives. A man running from his past joins the game to forget it all. Calling himself Jack Thorn, he chooses an undead race, Deathlord. A mage by choice, and a swordsman by necessity, he soon finds out that he’ll need to use much more than magic and steel to survive; strategy, creativity, and carefully chosen words can often accomplish what simple attacks can’t. As the game becomes too real and touches a part of him that he’d rather leave buried, he is faced with two questions: Who is he, really? And who should he become?

Plot: I’d like to say that the plot synopsis I’ve pasted above is accurate, but it’s not. That’s part of the problem with a lot of books. They give a quick summary or synopsis and it’s just not at all accurate to what the actual book is about. I reviewed a book a few years back,  Nouveau Haitiah. The book’s summary painted some minor character that shows up for a few pages as a main character, the guy doesn’t even just disappear never to show up again, he’s just straight up murdered in some senseless riot that the author cooked up. Frankly that book was absolute crap, probably one of the worst books I’ve ever read and that is truly saying something. Unfortunately for Challenge, this lack of adhering to the summary given or the summary not adhering to the actual plot is a major problem that some amateur authors never really get over.

It doesn’t help Challenge that Jack is some coward running from some “traumatic memories” that really aren’t so traumatic in the grand scheme of things. Sorry pal, but your “I live in utter despair every day of my life” act really doesn’t impress me when I actually have to deal with the real thing due to my severe depression every day, and it never ever goes away for me. I actually experience that, while Jack is a privileged snot nosed asshole who can’t make any decisions worth thinking over. Really I mean he picked a race that is universally hated by everyone in his starting area and he only chose that race because it doesn’t have to sleep? Of course the game is going to force him to sleep, no human can exist without sleep for at least a few hours every few days.

Characters: Jack is a wiseass, which I tend to appreciate. if the character can either, A: Back up the wiseassery with actual power behind them like Chris Gordon from the Demon Accords, or B: Are actually funny, like Harry Dresden from the Dresden Files. So when Jack is constantly being an ass to everyone around him and is pissing off people that probably could kill him and make moot the challenge that he’s attempting to complete, not die for an entire month in the game and be one of the top 1,000 leveled players, it just pisses me off.  The rest of the cast isn’t that interesting either, Ted one of the first players Jack comes across isn’t anything more than another rich snot nosed brat playing the game to piss off her daddy, who may or may not be a big shot in the company behind the game.

Overall: Stay clear of this pile of garbage, I honestly wish I could remove the memory of this book, because it’s truly terrible.

For those who li…: Screw it I can’t even say anything good about this book, just steer clear of it and you should be fine.


10 thoughts on “Bookish Wednesday: Challenge by Edward Castle

      • Hope the one I emailed you isn’t is better. LitRPG-wise my publisher has slated Glitch in the Game for early 2018 so I hope it’s an adequate replacement considering you also seem to like epic fantasy lol.

  1. This review is utter garbage! First of all, did you even read the book, because the plot summary is actually fairly accurate. Second, you complain that the MC’s traumatic past isn’t tramatic. That’s bullshit, he thinks he’s responsible for the deaths of his aunt and parents, that’s pretty traumatizing. You just sound like you’re whining about the fact that someone can feel bad about themselves just because you think you have it worse than them with your depression. And all your talk about how the characters are bad because they’re rich is just stupid and makes you sound jealous.

    • First I did read, or more correctly listen to, the book. Second, I’m still calling his “traumatic” past really not that traumatic. I deal with severe nearly crippling depression constantly. It never, ever ends for me, so when I see him whining about killing his parents, who he straight up admits he didn’t care for and who psychologically abused him, I could care less. His problems are so minor in comparison to the stuff I deal with every second of every minute of every hour of every day.

      Third I’ll straight up admit I am jealous of his wealth, I live well below the poverty line and in comparison to a lot of people barely get by. So when I see someone of his obvious wealth, he’s a fucking senator’s child for gods sake, I have very little compassion for any faults he might have. He grew up with a golden spoon in his fucking mouth, and he whines about trying to forget the past? I don’t give a rats ass. I live pretty damn simply and have to save up for months or years for most of my possessions, and while there are some things I want desperately, they aren’t things that can be bought. So when he with his obvious wealth complains about getting the short stick which is due to his own damn choices I’m not going to give him any slack.

      This book could be a hell of a lot better, and frankly a lot of what I wrote is simply true. Being a wiseass is fine if you can A, back yourself up with actual power (be it physical or more intangible). Or B, are actually funny. He doesn’t do either, not in the game at least.

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