Bookish Wednesday: Beta by Daniel Schinhofen

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m back with another LitRPG. It’s Last Horizon: Beta by Daniel Schinhofen!

Plot Synopsis: Advances in technology have led to the creation of ever more realistic virtual reality games but now Full Immersion Virtual Reality is finally coming true.  David and his oldest friends sign up to beta test the first game of it’s kind, Last Horizon. Last Horizon will give these old gamers the chance to live out one last adventure together.

Plot: The plot is pretty interesting, especially considering that the main cast of characters are all old people. It’s a rather unusual take on the genre, where most of the cast is all young people for the most part.

Characters: The entire cast is great, but my favorite might just Thaylen. That being said David is very much the main character, although there are frequent Point of View changes.

Overall: An excellent LitRPG, and a must read for any fans of the genre.

For those who like: LitRPGs, Gaming, Great Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters.

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

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Bookish Wednesday: EverRealm by Jake Bible

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’ve got another LitRPG’s series first entry. It’s EverRealm, Book 01 of the Level Dead series, by Jake Bible!

Plot Synopsis: In the 23rd century, the world is at an end, and a group of gaming and programming friends decide that their only way to survive is to discard their bodies and send their minds into the quantum matrix of a virtual gaming world. They have created the Domains and there they plan to reside forever. Except, the nightmares of reality have followed them into their new quantum dimension and those nightmares threaten to destroy it all!

Plot: The plot is pretty bad, in fact it’s so terrible that I ended up dropping the book entirely about 3 hours into the stupid thing. The whole world is at an end thing? Zombie outbreak, that somehow get’s into virtual reality because some of the smartest people left alive were so blindingly stupid as to let zombies connect to the system. It was such a stupid piece of plot mechanics that I was utterly disgusted and wanted to drop the book completely. I stuck through with it until they started describing one of the Domains, EverRealm, that is like an MMORPG that not only can you never talk bad about, but still includes perma-death for some god awful reason the author contrived up.

Even the main character says it’s a stupid reason, and this is the Domain run by the smartest guy of them all. No one that intelligent would have done such a thing by default.  I still stuck through with it as they proceed to high tail it into the world of EverRealm until they had an enemy NPC appear that literally kills you for badmouthing the game. I had had enough of the book by this point.

Characters: I’d like to tell you I remember the main character’s name, but I don’t remember it. In fact I don’t remember any of their names, the book was that dreadful, and I’m not going to listen to it to get some names again.  Sorry.

Overall: Stay far, far away from this book. This isn’t as terrible as some of the worst I’ve covered, but it comes darn close.

For those who like: Stupid plot devices and Casts of Characters who are equally idiotic.

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

TNT: Praise the Orc Chapters 41-80 by Lee Jungmin

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m covering the second set of chapters in Crockta’s rise to power. It’s Praise the Orc Chapters 41-80 by Lee Jungmin!

Plot Synopsis: Jung Ian, a cafe owner with a dark past, jumped into the world of virtual reality Elder Lord in order to protect his sister from any predators. However, things may not be as simple as they seem, as the world and its inhabitants proved to be much deeper than he believed them to be. Witness as he explores the lands of Elder Lord as an orc, a species labeled as the “game creator’s mistake”, making fast friends and defeating any and all before him!

Plot: This set of chapters is where the story picks up quite a bit, although my previous criticism regarding how little attention his sister gets will hold throughout the book. Frankly while the story is good, it’s not amazing and there are many things that could’ve been improved, like including Ian’s sister in the plot for more than a few sentences here or there.

Characters: In this set of chapters we get introduced to one of my favorite characters in the entire story, as for who he is, dot, I’ll leave that for you to find out. I think I gave a big enough hint already.

Overall: A solid set of chapters in a good, but not amazing, series.

TNT: Praise the Orc Chapters 1-40 by Lee Jungmin

This week for Translation Necessary Thursday I’m covering the first set of chapters in a recently fully translated series. It’s Praise the Orc Chapters 1-40 by Lee Jungmin!

Plot Synopsis: Praise the Orc! is about Jung Ian, a cafe owner with a dark past, jumping into the world of virtual reality in order to protect his sister from any predators. However, things may not be as simple as they seem, as the world and its inhabitants proved to be much deeper than he believed them to be. Witness as he explores the lands of Elder Lord as an orc, a species labeled as the “game creator’s mistake”.

Plot: The plot is pretty good, although it’s very light on the LitRPG aspect. There is almost no explanation of skills and stats, which I find to be a bummer as that’s part of the charm of the LitRPG genre. However it does have tons of character development, so that isn’t terrible at all. There is almost no romance in these first few chapters, although there is some hints at a possible romantic sub-plot.

Characters: Ian is a pretty awesome main character, although I find that the lack of interaction with his sister Yiyu more than a bit disappointing. Especially when you compare the series to something like Legendary Moonlight Sculptor where Weed is constantly grubbing for money in order to pay for his sister’s education. Even worse is the fact that he starts playing Elder Lord to protect his sister from lechers.

Overall: A decent LitRPG, but lacking in some critical areas. You could do worse, but there are better series out there like LMS or Ark.

For those who like: LitRPGs, Korean Novels, Action, Adventure, Decent Plot, Great Lead Character.

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

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 Sparrow by Edward Brody

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m back with the second book in the Eden’s Gate series.  It’s The Sparrow by Edward Brody!

Plot Synopsis: After accepting the fact that he will never know his old reality again, Gunnar looks forward to building a new life inside Eden’s Gate. It’s time to form a guild, gather resources, and earn the acceptance of the Edgewood inhabitants. If only things were that easy… The dark elves aren’t thrilled about having humans in Edgewood, the mine isn’t vacant, and you can’t form a guild without at least a few guild mates.

Plot: The plot of this entry is much better than the first, mostly because it’s not full of Gunnar acting like a complete ass. That isn’t to say he doesn’t pull off some immature stuff occasionally, but it’s much better than the previous book. The book also really builds the world much better, letting us get to know Eden’s Gate in much more detail.

Characters: We get introduced to quite a few new characters in this entry, mostly Dark Elves. They are a pretty interesting bunch, and definitely not a stereotypical Dark Elf of modern fantasy.

Overall: A solid entry in the series, much better than the first entry.

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.