Ok, so this is another one of the books I picked up during the holiday Megasale. I saw that the audiobook was performed by one of my favorite narrators, Nick Podehl.
This starts out as a pretty typical LitRPG, it features a twenty something protag named Sam who has just graduated from college. Sam has a pretty good family, he seems to enjoy his life and he doesn’t appear to be someone who buries themselves in video games to escape an otherwise miserable life. I found that refreshing, the hate-my-life trope is used quite a bit. His parents are supportive and actually bought him the video game Eternia as a graduation present… which is quite an extravagant gift because they spent at least $50,000 since it’ state of the art VR.
When he first signs in he’s given a series of very unpleasant tasks as a test of sorts, and he ends up being one of the only magic users in the game… which of course draws a lot of attention. He ends up bumping into someone he knows from another game in a bar like setting and because he’s a magic user he was given a spot. That seems fairly fortitions and convenient, but that’s fine, I don’t read LitRPG for the complicated and mind bending plots. Speaking of plot, other than leveling up and exploring the world, the focus of the story is that Sam ends up in a mages college… one thing lead to another and he ends up on their bad side and they want to hunt him down and kill him.
The writing was straight forward and spend the story alone, the dialogue was mostly believable if a bit over the top when a bully shows up to harass him and his guild. There’s a fair amount of sarcasm and humor intertwined as well. Sam ends up with a magic talking book that’s quite sassy and full of himself.
There were a couple things that irked me a bit… the aforementioned bully is a little over the top and one dimensional…. although PKers exist that character just seemed a little flat. At some point someone reacts to a middle aged woman playing video games as – “Why would this midwestern mom want to go on to murder people”? <mildly annoyed squint>
The pacing was alright, the prose itself is very light and speedy, but the meat of the plot didn’t kick off until about halfway through the book. There’s a ton of action, and this is one of those worlds where you feel pain. There’s also a fair amount of gore… it’s not like in WoW where it’s mostly bloodless battles and the bodies just fade away… this has blood and guts flying everywhere when Sam is leveling up. There’s a moderate amount of stat talk in this book, it’s really not that burdensome compared to some others I’ve read, it didn’t slow me down much at all.
Overall, I’d say this would be great for people who love litrpg, lots of fight scenes, an easy MC to root for, and a great audiobook. kids getting out of situations too dangerous for their own good, etc. twice. 167 pages.
- Plot: 10/15
- Characters: 11/15
- World Building: 12.5/15
- Writing: 12/15
- Pacing; 11/15
- Originality: 11/15
- Personal Enjoyment: 7/10