Bookish Wednesday: Io Online by Dave Willmarth

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering the first in another LitRPG series. It’s Io Online, Book 01 of The Greystone Chronicles, by Dave Willmarth!

Plot Synopsis: In the latter half of the 21st century, Alexander and his guild mates play Io Online for fun and to earn a living. It’s the largest VRMMORPG on the planet, and the source of income that supports families around the globe. Given the chance to test a new experimental immersion system, the friends must give up their high level characters and begin again at level one….

Plot: The plot is pretty great, in fact it’s one of the better LitRPGs out there. I’m looking forward to listening to the sequel quite a bit. While there are plenty of standard plot devices that occur, they are utilized in such a way that it isn’t grating, at least to me.

Characters: Alex is our main character and PoV for most of the story. He’s a great lead character, and while he’s not the best I’ve ever seen I found myself enjoying his story quite a bit. The rest of the cast is also pretty awesome.

Overall: A good LitRPG and one of the better ones out there. Definitely worth a read if you love games or good Fantasy.

For those who like: LitRPGs, Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Awesome Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

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Bookish Wednesday: Ghost in the Game by Christopher Keene

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering the third entry in a LitRPG series of a reader of mine. It’s Ghost in the Game by Christopher Keene!

Plot Synopsis: Noah has made a deal with the devil. In return for access to Wona’s inner circle, he must guard their Dream State game. It could be worse. After all, the Dream Engine saved his life, even if it ended so many others’. But his new alliance didn’t come without a cost. It turned many of his friends against him. Luckily, the company has assigned him a new team: Catastrophe. But leading Catastrophe takes a dangerous turn. At the grand opening of a new game zone, a vicious attack puts even the Wona President on edge. As Noah digs deeper, he discovers hacking beyond anything he’s ever imagined.

Plot: The plot is okay, but was also a little predictable. At least it was to me, and that’s probably I’ve because I’ve read so much. I won’t go into the plot too much, but it was a good entry in a LitRPG series that is fairly decent. It’s not the best, sorry Christopher, but it’s definitely not the worst. The biggest problem I have with the story is something that I’ve had since the beginning of this series, and that’s the use of drugs to game properly. I’m not a fan of implying that gaming is so addictive that it kills the user, which is the underlying tone that happens with this story consistently.

Characters: Putting aside the fact that all the characters are essentially drug addicts, the cast is okay. It’s not the best cast of characters, but I’ve experienced much worse characters. Noah at the start of the series was a decent guy, but it’s quickly become very obvious that he’s slowly growing into what he despised at the start of the story, a druggie. I don’t like the implications of this, not at all.

Overall: A decent entry, but I’m getting more than a bit tired of having the drug usage included in this story. Sensing a theme? I hope so.

TNT: Praise the Orc Chapters 121-160 by Lee Jungmin

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m covering the fourth set of chapters in Crockta’s quest for answers to questions. It’s Praise the Orc Chapters 121-160 by Lee Jungmin!

Plot Synopsis: Having learned the truth behind Elder Lord, Ian has resolved to find his own path as the Orc Crockta in truth. However he still has a war to win against the Northern Orc chieftain Calmaheart…

Plot: This set of chapters is where the plot gets quite interesting, with the revelation about Elder Lord having just occurred and Crockta having to fight in the Northern war. I won’t go any further into that to avoid spoilers, but I will say that if you’ve stuck with the story though this point you are over halfway done with the story.

Characters: We get introduced to quite a few new faces, but also some old ones. Still my favorite is Tiyo.

Overall: A really solid set of chapters, Praise the Orc is hurtling to the finish line!

Video Game Tuesday: Destiny 2’s Seasons Aren’t Enough

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m talking about why Bungie’s plans for the futures aren’t what players are looking for. It’s why Destiny 2’s Seasons Aren’t Enough!

Seasons?: If you hadn’t heard, Destiny 2 will have “Seasons” which at the beginning of a new will reset many things like Clan Progress, Reputation Rewards, and Vendor Stocks. Frankly while this is a step in the right direction, it’s not nearly enough. I have absolutely no faith that Bungie will be able to keep up with a real full expansion’s worth of content every 3 months, which is the suggested time frame of each Destiny 2 Season. They are supposed to be bringing in outside help, but even with that I have no trust that they’ll be able to bring something like The Taken King every 3 months. However that’s the sort of thing they promised prior to launch.

As things stand now, we probably won’t be getting a new raid in The Curse of Osiris expansion that will launch on December 5th. That single thing being absent is already a failure in many gamer’s eyes as the only real challenging content was the raids, not that the Leviathan Raid is all that hard compared to some actual MMO hardcore encounters. Many of my friends who were excited about Destiny 2, have already stopped playing simply because there’s no point in doing things like Prestige Raids or Nightfalls, the gear rewards in such things is pitifully lacking. The fact that it’s mere vanity isn’t worth the effort in getting all of us together to do the raid. They might be adding things like Prestige Lost Sectors (How?), or Flashpoints. However these sort of stopgap measures are just that, stopgaps. It won’t be enough to keep the player base interested in the game and they’ll move onto other games and forget all about Destiny 2.

So what can they do?: I don’t know, but Seasons aren’t enough at all. Maybe we could actually get to use our ships in real gameplay like a dogfight instead of having them just be loading screen vanity.  Maybe they can add Sparrow Racing as a weekly event like Trials. But with just Seasons it’s painfully obvious that they’re not looking out for the players best interests.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. What do you want to see Bungie add every three months to the game? Leave your answers in the comments below!

Bookish Wednesday: Ascend Online by Luke Chmilenko

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’ve got the first book in another LitRPG series. It’s Ascend Online by Luke Chmilenko!

Plot Synopsis: Diving into a revolutionary new video game, Marcus and his friends escape a stagnant society, entering into a world that defies their wildest imaginations. But from the moment that he logs in, Marcus finds himself separated from his friends and thrown into a remote village under attack by a horde of goblins. Forced into battle, Marcus rallies the beleaguered villagers…

Plot: The plot of this LitRPG is pretty good, It’s not the most enthralling or truly original but it was still quite interesting. There are much worse series you could read, like the Unbound Deathlords or Twilight. Honestly I think I’ll place the former in the league of the latter, since it almost reaches the level of that horrendous piece of garbage which eats peoples brain cells like some really dangerous pond scum. There are better series out there, like Awaken Online, but Ascend Online truly isn’t bad. I’d put it above average.

Characters: Marcus is a pretty interesting guy, and I like the class he specializes in. I won’t spoil what it is, but it’s very interesting. The rest of the cast is also pretty interesting as well.

Overall: A good LitRPG, you could a lot worse than Ascend Online.

For those who like: Fantasy, LitRPGs, Action, Adventure, Drama, Good Plot, Excellent Cast of Characters.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Bookish Wednesday: The Reborn by Edward Brody

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m covering another LitRPG series. It’s Eden’s Gate Book 01: The Reborn by Edward Brody!

Plot Synopsis: When Gunnar Long logs into into the first fully-immersive virtual MMORPG, he finds himself in a new world filled with magic, mystery and adventure. However not is all as it seems as the creator of the game, Rupert Winston, decides to close off the world’s exit to make the world a true reality. Now trapped in the game and separated by an unknown distance from the one person who he cares for who logged in at the same time as him, Gunnar must make some tough decisions…

Plot: The plot of this book is okay, there are some moments where I really wanted to throttle Gunnar, but overall the story was good. It’s not super amazing, but it’s not bad. There are some seriously overused tropes that were used, trapped in the game etc. However the take on those tropes was interesting enough for me to overlook it for the most part. I won’t say it’s the best LitRPG book I’ve read, because that’s absolutely not the case.

Characters: Like I said above, Gunnar made me want to throttle him sometimes, mostly because he acts like an ass. There are multiple reasons why I dislike Gunnar, but he does get some very needed character growth over the book. The rest of the cast is great, with Adeelee probably being my favorite character of the lot.

Overall: A decent LitRPG, better than some (Unbound Deathlords I’m looking at you), but not as good as others like Awaken Online.

Bookish Wednesday: Otherlife Awakenings by William D. Arand

Hey all this week for Bookish Wednesday I’m back with the third book in Runner’s adventures. It’s Otherlife Awakenings by William D. Arand!

Plot Synopsis: Runner and his team managed to bring peace to Tirtius, successfully log the crew out, and have begun settling in to make a home on the isle of Vix. North Wood fort itself. Fate isn’t going to let them go that easily though. She clearly hasn’t decided on what to do with him. Plots are in motion. Threats local, outside of the ship, divine, and abroad in game scheme to exterminate Runner and the threat he represents. The possibility of what he could become. To top it all off, the server is clearly ramping up towards a full awakening. What does one do with an entire world of “living” beings who are aware? It all comes to a head when an assassin attempts to take his life in his own home. Now comes the true test. What is he willing to wager to build the future he wants, both in game and out? Or rather, who?

Plot: The plot is awesome, with plenty of revelations all around about the world Runner has come to inhabit. It also deals with Runner’s severe depression after the events of the last book, which I won’t spoil. There’s more “idiot plans” and new additions to Runners group of close followers.

Characters: Of all the new characters I found Satomi to be the best, though that may be slightly affected by the soft spot I have for the name as that was one of my teacher’s names in my Japanese High School class. That said Runner still was great to live the world through, even if Scott and Linda weren’t as present in this book as I would have liked. The rest of the cast was great, but truly the female leads were awesome in this entry with plenty of screen time for Grace, Sparky, Minxie, Brighteyes, Angel, and Bell.

Overall: An excellent ending to the trilogy, but not the end of the series apparently. The series will continue in the future, hopefully by the end of the year.