Tag Archives: litrpg

Hob’s review of The Land By Aleron Kong books 1,2, and 3

This is a combined book review of the first 3 books in a series The Land: Founding: A LitRPG Saga: Chaos Seeds, Book 1   The Land: Forging: Chaos Seeds, Book 2 and The Land: Alliances: A LitRPG Saga: Chaos Seeds, Book 3 as always I wont give spoilers.

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For those not familiar with the concept of LitRPG. It is a genre of scifi and fantasy novels where the protagonist is in a game world of some type. This can be a virtual world or an actual other world Unfortunately, a lot of times it feels kind of like reading the logfile of a game with childish dialog added in.

This series is actually pretty good I would say it’s in the top 10 LitRPG series I have read so far but it has some major flaws that I will point out.

First of all, this is one of the human sucked in to game world forever kind of litRPG, and so far we don’t know much about how that happened. But what we do know is so generic I would say at this point it is the worst getting to the game scenarios I have come across. Once our hero is in the world the story is pretty unique though. With a major focus on building a town instead of just raiding dungeons and stuff.

The main character was a Medical student back on earth but we would never really know that if it was not said flat out.  Even in his own thoughts when he is injured he never even remotely thinks anything technical. And in this third instalment of the series he seems to be turning ever more in to the obnoxious teen with his yelling out Fuck Yeah and using Rick and Morty references and worst of all, when referring to large loot drops screaming out give me the Cheddar.

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I will admit I may be geting a bit sick of LitRPG in general. So many of them have the same faults. For this series, I have been listening to the audiobooks read by Nick Podehl and if it wasn’t for him I probably wouldn’t want to continue this series.  That being said I am vaguely curious to see where it will go. If it goes anywhere that is. In the second and third books not much happens to move the plot along.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The excellent narration and the fact that the main story arc is original is enough to keep me coming back. But somehow the shortest book, book 1 at just over 9 hours had more stuff happen then the combined 22 hours of books 2 and 3. Hopefully more will happen in the next book and the progression of the protagonist to a teen hipster will stop or at least slow down. I give The Land: Founding: A LitRPG Saga: Chaos Seeds, Book 1 4 stars and both  The Land: Forging: Chaos Seeds, Book 2 and The Land: Alliances: A LitRPG Saga: Chaos Seeds, Book 3 get 3 stars

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Hob’s Review of NPCs (Spells, Swords, & Stealth #1) by Drew Hayes

NPCs (Spells, Swords, & Stealth #1)

by Drew Hayes

 

THE BLURB!!!

What happens when the haggling is done and the shops are closed? When the quest has been given, the steeds saddled, and the adventurers are off to their next encounter? They keep the world running, the food cooked, and the horses shoed, yet what adventurer has ever spared a thought or concern for the Non-Player Characters?

In the town of Maplebark, four such NPCs settle in for a night of actively ignoring the adventurers drinking in the tavern when things go quickly and fatally awry. Once the dust settles, these four find themselves faced with an impossible choice: pretend to be adventurers undertaking a task of near-certain death or see their town and loved ones destroyed. Armed only with salvaged equipment, second-hand knowledge, and a secret that could get them killed, it will take all manner of miracles if they hope to pull off their charade.

And even if they succeed, the deadliest part of their journey may well be what awaits them at its end.

 

NPCs  Audiobook

I started  listening  to this Audiobook back in January of last year. When I was only about 20 minutes in to the book i broke my phone.   It took forever to get a new one and in the meantime I had bought a few more things from audible. When the new phone came and I got the audible app again I never remembered to go down the list to start this one over again. In my mind I somehow thought I had listened to it. Just a week or two ago I saw a post on FB by the author saying book 3 was coming out.

So I went and got book 2 and 3 but I like to listen to the first few chapters of book one before I start the second book if I don’t recall it well. Imagine my surprise when I remembered how I had never finished it. And I am happy and mad at myself for taking so long. Happy because I had a great AB to listen to while I drove for a few hours. Mad because it is a great fricken book I could have listened to over a year ago.

But let’s do this review. The cover is ok. I like how it shows off the parties weapons, but it would have been nice to see the party as well.  The narration is good. Each of the main NPCs having their own “voice”. It is read by Roger Wayne the same narrator that did The Subtle Art Of Not Giving a Fuck, and I loved that one as well. he also did an Audiobook called Until Trevor: By Aurora Rose Reynolds  But even though it has my name and it looks just like me on the cover I probably won’t be reading that one.

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What do you mean that looks nothing like me? Moving on we don’t have time for this argument.

Have you ever played a tabletop RPG? Did you ever have your whole party die?  Did you ever take even a half of a second to think how your death might inconvenience the NPCs around you? NO you didn’t  Because you just think about yourself. You treat NPCs as figments of the GM’s imagination and if you die you just roll a new character all the while complaining about your lost loot. You never stop to think that the soup you made in the forest with mushrooms you found when you rolled a 1 would slowly poison you. Or that when you died in a tavern from poison while you held a quest summons from the mad king he might think the people in the tavern poisoned you. And I am sure you never thought for one second that the mad king would send his solders to burn the whole village of the peasants who dared to poison someone he wanted to hire for a job. But that is exactly what happened to the 4 unfortunate NPCs sitting at the tavern the night a party playing Spells, Swords, & Stealth wiped before they even got to the king to start the quest.

So to save the village from being burned to the ground and all of their friends and family being slaughtered..When they realize that the king didn’t know the names of the dead adventures, just that one was a Paladin one a Rogue, one a Wizard, and one a Barbarian. The 4 brave NPCs step up and don the gear of the 4 adventurers that walked in to their tavern and died.

Let’s take a look at the main….. how about we call them PNPCCs  or Playing Non-Player Character Characters.

We Have a hunchbacked ex-henchman  Gnome. The half-Orc  Bartender that has deep thoughts but says little.  The Mayors Daughter that gets kidnapped by Goblins every other week or so. and the  klutzy Mayors house guard responsible for stopping the goblins . I am not going to say who takes what class because it changes as they travel, and its hilariously awesome. But my favorite part of the whole book is when they meet the goblins in the forest..  forest

I guess NPCs falls in to the LitRPG category. But I am beginning to think the main classification for LitRPG should be that it is a book  not like other LitRPG books. For the most part they are all so unique yet still bring that nostalgic feeling to me that I am really loving this Sub-genre of Fantasy .

FINAL THOUGHTS

Definitely a good book to pick up on a rainy day when you need a good laugh or listen to on a long boring drive.  If you have never played a RPG before you will still find this book amusing and an all around good read. But if, like me you played D&D at a young age then you will find this series will bring back a flood of memories as well as many good laughs. My only complaint is that it was to short. I am going to Give NPCs by Drew Hayes 4.75 little goblins© out of five.

To purchase this book.or get it free with Kindle unlimited

Audible.com

 

Here is a link to goodreads to find out more of another great series by Drew Hayes I highly recommend Book one is called The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant (Fred, the Vampire Accountant, #1)

 

 

Hob’s review of Delvers LLC. by Blaise Corvin

Delvers LLC: Welcome to Ludus

UNABRIDGED

Whispersync for Voice-ready

  • Length: 13 hrs and 27 mins
  • Release Date: 01-05-17

***THE BLURB***

Henry and Jason led normal lives in Seattle before they were abducted to another world. Their kidnapper, the vain, self-styled god Dolos, refuses to send them back unless they can accomplish an impossible task. Oddly, Dolos doesn’t seem to care if they succeed or not.

Luckily, Henry and Jason studied Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) on Earth. Unfortunately, a Japanese American EMT and a geeky IT programmer don’t have many other useful skills on a sword-and-sorcery world like Ludus.

Stranded in the middle of nowhere on an alien world, the friends have no real direction and only a few possessions including magic-granting orbs from an apathetic god. Undaunted, the two begin their insane adventure to return home…but basic survival and eventually paying rent will have to take priority.

©2016 Blaise Corvin (P)2016 Blaise Corvin

This is a new LitRPG series that …. What is LitRpg? Well that is a Question with no correct answer right now. But basically it is a Fantasy or Scifi type of book that flirts with  breaking the fourth wall by adding RPG elements in to the story. Usually this is done by the MC going in to a video game. At which point his choosing new spells each level. and using armor that only works for his class become part of the story .

Robert Beven is one of my Favorite authors of these types of books and has been for years the term LitRPG is only around a year old though so I want to post Robert’s Definition  of LitRPG

LitRPG

“Being a high-functioning drunk, I was able to suss out the meaning without too much trouble, but in four years of writing books custom tailored to this very specific genre, I’d never even heard or seen the term used before.

So what is LitRPG?

 

LitRPG” is a combination of “Literature” and “RPG”, an acronym for “Role-Playing Game”. It’s a quickly growing genre which involves characters who spend most or all of their time inside a game. It could be a virtual reality setting, as in the case of Ernest Cline‘s Ready Player One, or it could be more literal, such as with the hilarious Caverns & Creatures series of novels and short stories by a very talented author whose name escapes me at present.

I’ve known since the beginning that the premise of my books is hardly an original idea. They’re pretty much the old Dungeons & Dragons cartoon from the 80s, but with more violence, bodily fluids, and gratuitous swearing.

And less Uni.

But now it’s a recognized genre! That’s such great news. Now, when people ask me what kind of books I write, instead of mumbling some gibberish about comedy/fantasy about gamers who get stuck in the world of their game, I can simply say, “LitRPG!”

And then they’ll say, “What the fuck is LitRPG?”

And then I’ll have to explain what LitRPG is, and follow it up with some gibberish about comedy/fantasy about gamers who get stuck in the world of their game, but they’ll walk away long before I finish. It’ll be awesome.”

 

As a side note Caverns and Creatures is very poorly reviewed here. I mean it. It is more of a recommendation than a review.

But let’s get back to Delvers LLC’  The cover is ok but looks better with a goblin in it. 51cm23idesl22

The title kind of put me off at first. But when I got to the point where it is explained I thought it was awesome. The narrator, Jeff Hays was new to me but I thought he did a great job and will probably pick up some of the other books he has done.

Now for the story part! Well you know how in both definitions of LitRPG I posted above that it involves video games in some way. Well this book doesn’t do that. See that’s why it is so hard to nail down the definition of LitRPG.

It starts with 2 guys practicing a bit of sword fighting. They study Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) like I do. But I have been a master for years. Believe me I look great for my age I wrote a book on HEMA back in the 1600s.

thrust

 

They suddenly get transported to a different world and are greeted by a narcissistic God named Dolos.  He tells them he has been taking people from all kinds of worlds for a thousand+ years and putting them here as an experiment. Right away they see some goblins and automatically think they are up to no good. Just because they are caring some humans trussed up for slaughter. That seems like racial profiling to me. They break in to the goblins home and proceed to kill them all. Only to find that the goblins had rescued the people and had been treating their injuries ……. Just kidding they were going to be lunch, one of the humans was already served.  But                                                       I still say it was harsh treatment.

So no video game in this one but Dolos did give them an object that would grant a magic power so we do see them leveling up. I have to say it was done well.

FINAL THOUGHTS

In a Genre that is getting to be very specific Delvers LLC. managed to redefine the definition. I thoroughly enjoyed the narration and story. It had plenty of character growth and fairly good interactions between the side characters as well as the main. All in all a good solid Audiobook I highly recommend to those who are new to LitRPG as well as those that  have been loving it since before it had a name like I have. I give Delvers LLC. 4.5 goblins out of 5

4-and-a-half

http://www.audible.com

Amazon

 

Hob’s Review of C&C Critical Failures #1 #2 and #3 by Robert Bevan

Critical Failures (Caverns and Creatures #1)

by Robert Bevan

OK where to start? Tim is a normal 20 something nerd That likes to play Caverns & Creatures  (generic Dungeons & Dragons) with his friends Dave and Cooper while getting drunk. They play in Tim’s family restaurant the Chicken Hut after hours. Julian is Dave’s friend from work and playing C&C for the first time. They also have a new Cavern master they found on Craig’s list. When the CM shows up wearing a cape I was already falling in love with this book.

After only playing for a few minutes they come to a town and Cooper says he wants to kill the guard for not letting him in because he is a Half Orc barbarian he rolls and chops the guys head off then puts it in his bag. Soon Cooper goes a bit too far in making fun of the CM and he uses his magic dice to actually send them in to the game as their characters and Cooper is carrying a bag with a head in it as the rest of the city guards chase them.

Tim is the Halfling Rogue. Dave is the Dwarf Priest. Julian is a Half Elf Magic User. Poor Cooper is a Half Orc Barbarian with a charisma score of 2 so he always has snot running down his face and is  constantly shiting himself. They are a unlikely group to adventure together but they will have to if they ever want to get home.

This is filled with juvenile humor of the most profane sort. In other words I loved it. I listened to the audio book narrated by Jonathan Sleep. He did a excellent job at giving each character their own voice and adding much to the experience. I rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Critical Failures II

Book 2 was ok but I felt it was just kinda the same as book one not moving anywhere new and was worried about book 3. I shouldn’t have worried this one gets 3 out 5 stars.

Critical Failures III: A Storm of S-Words (Caverns and Creatures #3)

by Robert Bevan

I love this title! By far my favorite book in the series. I won’t go in to the plot or anything. I will say that if you listen to the Audio Book like I did stay at home. I looked like a idiot many times while listing to this one from laughing so hard or just walking around with a huge grin on my face and quietly chuckling to myself. I don’t know which one of those made me look more insane. But oh well, that’s normal at  Wal-Mart right?  I give this one 5 out of 5 stars