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M. Paddon

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Not bad story, but with issues.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-07-20

The overall story is not that bad, but I found that as the whole book revolved around him doing one dungeon it got dragged out far to much for me. More so when he keeps harping on about caring for his people - which honestly sounds really lame - and then he spends all this time running a dungeon with a bunch of nnobs way under level for the dungeon. Only players I've seen do this in MMO's are usually those looking to get their ego stroked by lower level players. From the book point it makes so little sense when he is risking his nightmare quest to do it and quite literally leaving people sick and in pain while he does so.

Yes, he does get to level his healing doing it, but really silly way to do it and only luck doesn't see him dead. This makes me think the character is foolish, not some pro gamer. WHich is another thing. He keeps mentioning it, but so far it seems like he don't care about it that much. He has vaguely tossed up some video to twitch once so far?

My biggest issue that knocked down my enjoyment was believability. This game has far to many issues for people to be likely to play it. Only it being the first full emersion VR game would keep people playing it. For one that MC sees a woman get sexually assaulted and thinks that is going to be okay in a game like this. Is he insane? The lawsuits, the public image and teh complete loss of female players would never see this being ignored. Still given that the MC can't stop completely cringeworthy leering at women's breasts and butts I'm not too shocked he wasn't that bothered. A man or woman checking another out is normal but what he does really is quite cringe.

Next issues with the game is the difficulty. Sure nightmare start you'd expect to be hard, though so hard as to only have a chance with luck? As that is only reason he survived the first part of it. Also the first dungeon is way too hard, and I'm glad he did mention players complaining about it, though he sees them as casuals and noobs pretty much. This first dungeon felt in WOW terms - as he references World of Warcraft a lot - to be raid difficulty or hardcore dungeon mode at best. I played WOW from day one too like the author, ran my own raid guild, raided all end game content from wow vanilla through all expansions, and I would have hated this dungeon. Given this is a noob level area and monsters you could level with would fit that level I'm not sure how he expects people to be able to level enough to fight a level 30 boss, more so when level progress slows from level 25. This content would drive players away in droves. Hardcore and end game content raid guilds make up small percentage of gamers and this would drive casual gamers away, which companies don't do. Hard is fine, this is overboard.

Lazy with his magic. I think he pretty much rips all his spells straight from WoW. I don't expect all authors to make up their own magic systems, but I don't think he changed the name or effects of many of these frost spells from the WoW versions.

MC talks about tanks and healers often being hardest to get into a group. Speaking as someone that mostly raided as a warrior or my priest I can say this was true in wow certainly, and yet I wonder if the author ever played a healer himself? Because he makes the healer class here useless. No-one would play it. First healing spell you get is a ten second cast heal, and the best one he gets later is still a five second cast heal. Why is this so bad? Tanks can die in seconds. In wow a priests greater heal was 2.5 second cast and flash heal was 1.5 without talents added to reduce cast time. Even then you'd have to precast the 2.5 second one if healing a main tank during a raid. Even in five man dungeons the 2.5 could be far too slow if tank was pulling a large group of mobs. In short the heals in this game would be unusable.

Unrealised promise.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-06-20

First I'd say it's more 2.5 than just 2 stars. This is down to the fact there was some potential with some aspects of the story. However, it was let down by too many tropes, a character that was too moronic at times that he would have needed a 90% in luck stat to win out, and finally, a system I didn't like. Every level characters get 5 points to personally spend, get 1 point to every stat and wisdom controls mana pool size, mana regen and amount he can summon. I personally assume he wrote it like this so he could min/max his character while giving him the stats and chance to play some OP, but noob melee spellcaster, at least for quite some time. Can't see a game being written so poorly to allow so much power off one stat.

Honestly, while this had promise I felt like I was reading a cheap copy of Awaken Online, as in that book the character plays a wisdom centric min/max character, who is also a summoner. Difference is he summons undead and this kid summons demons. Both this book and that one they are solo characters with all other factions against them till a girl joins to help etc. Don't get me wrong, the story is not a clone or plagiarised, but I just couldn't help compare due to the similarities.

Anyway, it's not a bad read at all, but for me I did find it very much in the average range at best.

Good read overall.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 28-06-20

Overall I liked this book, and more so as I'm assuming this is the first series of books the author has done. I can certainly see flaws in it, but I'll cover those at the end.

Firstly, I liked the characters overall. They are pretty well-rounded and distinct from each other in their personalities. The story is nothing ground breaking in terms of LitRPG, with it revolving around aliens - or perhaps ancient humans - changing the earth so that mana is a growing force in the world. Along with the change to people in that they can level skills and spells, if not personal stats. The magic/skills system is quite a good one and not one I've seen used in other LitRPG books so far, and revolves around gaining stones off strong monsters that can be used to slot into a skills tree to gain spells or abilities.

All that is fine and works pretty well on the surface. I wasn't a huge fan of a very over-powered MC, as in my opinion if this was a reality then every other human on Earth would be doomed due to the fact they wouldn't have enough powerful people to stand against the monsters - certainly not early on. Quite literally none of this lot would make it without the MC, so what hope would the rest of Earth have?

Book could do with editing better I thought. Two books down and still he has a Captain giving orders to a Major like he out ranks them. Major is a higher rank, and this is one of a few things that might have been, or should've been seen.

My only other real issue was the level of intelligence. Authors should not keep telling us a character is smart when they in actual fact act like a total moron. I liked that he called the MC intelligent and had him be socially awkward as this can happen with smart people. Smart people usually think faster than your average person. I have a high IQ myself and so can say you tend to see things faster than others, or see things they don't. The MC just makes glaring blunders I don't see a smart person making, or at least not quite as many. Anyone one can make mistakes, but thoughtless ones I don't expect.

For example, you have a place full of people that is safe from monsters. You know something is wrong with the place but you know you need that places node and four others. An intelligent person would see potential consequences of action here and the main character doesn't even consider it for a second. He also gets a ton of neon lit signs about who is against him but he doesn't see any of them. Or ones he does see he does nothing about. Heck, one of his group has abilities and skills that make him the perfect spy, but he never uses him to get to the bottom of those glaring issues. Even as the book concludes an enemy totally and utterly outs themselves in one sentence and it just goes right past the MC's brain. If I can see EVERY darn thing that happened in that last chapter including picking what the gift was for then it annoys me supposedly smart characters miss all of them utterly.

Either write smarter plots that aren't so blatant or have the characters be dumber and more likely to be duped. If a reader can see the plot, the villains actions with the same information the character has and they aren't even asking questions, it can be very frustrating as the reader.

Anyway, you might not find the same issues bother you, and overall they were only mild annoyances, but enough for me to take a star off the review. Still a good enough read for the genre and I enjoyed it.

Total lack of story progression.

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-06-20

Let me first say this is a great series, but this book is a big let down compared to the previous books. I'm a fan of stats and making sure we know what new stuff or the improvements are. Unfortunately the author just goes way overboard here on that aspect. Readers don't need massive long winded details about why the character is thinking about every stat on every talent on the talent tree. Or at least not in the massively long winded way it is done in this book,

Seriously the book covers a total of maybe four days in the MC's travel through the underground he ended up in at the end of the last book. In that time he barely covers any distance. That time can be fully covered by saying, battle, long stat section, battle, long stat section, some crafting, battle, ridiculous food poisoning scene, more crafting, and one more battle.

I'd be okay with this type of affair if the book was twenty-four-hours long rather than sixteen and gave the author time to include a more complete story arc as well as all the time spent going over his talents, stats and crafting. As it was it just felt like the book went nowhere.

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Terrible turn to the series.

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-06-20

What the heck is the author thinking? It's like he woke up, sat down to write the book and thought, "How can I make my readers hate my characters?"

I found it stupid when the MC is talking about "acting" like a villain when in truth he IS one. I spent the whole book hoping their was some rational explanation for both his actions and the rest of his group, and it is still possible I guess that he is being affected by woman in his dreams, but there is zero evidence to support that being the case by the end. So in short he is just becoming a monster worse than half the people he has killed in previous books. Worse than that fool Miller too.

The MC gives no thought to how to deal with anything other than kill, kill, and kill some more. Oh, and not just on the bad guys. He just kills anyone that annoys him. Quite literally kills thousands of innocent people in this book, and while some of them might be argued as having been done with little choice he doesn't even look for another choice. Not only that, he ENJOYS it. Certainly he commits at least three cold-blooded murders in this book with none of them guilty of any crime.

So while some of the story is good I'm all about characters if I'm going to enjoy a book and I loathed the MC and Miller in particular in this book. I also do not think Lin would still be staying with him by now. Certainly if she finds out the stuff he has done when she wasn't there on top of what she was there to see.

Good read and better than first one.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-06-20

I enjoyed the book, and found less issues that niggled me than I did in the first one. For starters the main character does uses his spells better than the first book, especially barrier, as in the first book half the time he ran through doors or got shot up before he even thought to use it, if he used it at all. He does fail to use his shadow-step type spell though. Super powerful spell for combat, yet he keeps running around getting shot up once again.

I did get cranky over his use of stat points as they made no sense in some cases. In the beginning when he was using a spear strength made sense, but since then he has been using spells or guns 99% of the time. So he should be putting points in agility or dexterity instead of strength, and any MMORPG gamer would be doing that. Speed of movement and range ability suit his class and the way he fights far more than melee build points. Also, he really should add descriptions of ability rank ups, as right now they are meaningless. Like what does it mean if you gain flying level 1 and increase it to level 4? What bonuses does it give the character? He never bothers to say, so it feels like empty words.

Lastly, I find it odd and somewhat annoying no-one calls him out on his rants about taking the fight to the aliens. It's so delusional I can't see someone not speaking up. For one it's a coalition of planets he has no knowledge of yet, or if they are all worthy of blame. Then he is talking about attacking aliens that have the power to instantly move a planet across the galaxy without ripping it apart or killing anyone on that planet. They then have the power to make you superpowered compared to everything you were. Do you really think beings would do all that if you were ANY threat to them at all? No. Not to mention the other worlds that might have been using the same levelling system for centuries. They could for example have millions of people at level 200+.

I'm all for wanting justice in his place, but an ant may want justice if I crushed it's house - doesn't mean it will ever, ever happen. If it does in future books, I hope the author has a very good way to explain how they would do so, when right now humanity is on the brink of going out.

The book is good though despite my complaints. The characters are good, the story overall is engaging. I'm not sure the level of monster encounters would have wiped out so much of the human race though, given he seems one of only a few that met a Void Titan. Definitely good enough for four stars and worth a read. I just like to point out the type of things that made me drop it a star.

A promising start to a series.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-06-20

I won't say to much about the narration, as anyone that listens to audiobooks of this type will be well aware of Jeff and Annie's abilities. It was the first time I'd heard Will Watt, but he was very good as well.

The story itself is quite good, and does have quite a lot of scope given that the Earth is moved to a new location by aliens to be part of a new conglomerate of planets, but are deemed to have too many people and too much pollution. They enter a year of stabilization where 91.5% of the people must die, and three days after the planet moves monsters appear and the killing starts.

The main character, Allistor, uses his knowledge of gaming when he sees the new world works much like all the MMORPG's he used to play. So he works to level up, learn skills and add people to his group to try and build a strong enough alliance that can stand up to the aliens that will be allowed to come onto Earth to make their claims for resources and territory.

Overall it's pretty well-done with some new ideas and some that are staple across most LitRPG books. I thought the author should have done less glossing over things though. I don't like LitRPG books that do character sheets too often, or ones that go overboard telling you every detail always, but I found the fact he never tells you his upgrades annoying. For example if his healing or damage spells rank up, he doesn't say what the new spell rank does. Same for his other abilities.

Likewise I found other issues like the fact he learns how to create weapons, but not blacksmithing, which made no sense when he makes a sword in a manner that should have earned that skill I'd have thought. Then he also keeps some rubbish rebar spear he randomly made at level 3 at the start of the book for the rest of the book. Which again made no sense when he was bugging everyone to improve their skills and make better weapons and armour.

He also is lousy with his abilities. I'd hate to follow this idiot into battle. Honestly, read it and see what you think about how he uses spells like barrier, where he rarely uses it or uses it quite often after he has been shot, stabbed, bitten or run through a door into a room with enemies. Add in he seems to think highest level equals most suited to tank despite not having the right gear for it or stats for it. Someone focused in strength, con and agility could well be far better at lower level.

Negative points aside, this is still a pretty good book for a first book and I will certainly look at book two of the series.

Good in parts, but somewhat annoying characters.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 19-05-20

If this is the first book the author has done, then it should be given credit to a degree. Overall it is not a bad read, but I would put in very much in the average range.

For me the problems started with Dave - the father/husband - who is supposed to be a avid MMORPG gamer who does everything including raiding, but as someone that ran a raid guild I would say Dave would be the guy that joins your raid when you can't find someone else in your guild that night, due to the fact Dave will be the guy that runs right when he should run left or doesn't see he is standing in AOE and will stay there till he dies.

In the book he bangs on constantly about being all about protecting he family while doing everything that would be opposite to that end. He doesn't keep an eye on his kids. Back to back occasions near start where they let them wonder right into trouble. He goes off trying to grind like he is playing a game and leaves his family alone in what is unsecured and unknown territory. Often out of sight and hearing distance. Time and time again this goes wrong and they learn nothing. The definition of insanity is repeating the same action and expecting a different outcome.

There is a moment later in book where he finds a dungeon and what he does there would have had me throw the book across the room in contempt at the author for expecting me to believe ANYONE would do what he does there.

The only way I could buy Dave doing half what he does in this book is if there were respawns, but with death the outcome for losing one fight I just don't buy someone constantly running alone into danger when he has a balanced group with his family. Raising the strength of all with complimenting skills is wise, he is just dumb. I see what he did as being like a lawyer going to the jungle on earth and asking for a spear before running off into the jungle to hunt big cats over and over again. Not believable where one mistake is your death.

Reasonably good series overall.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-04-20

I have quite enjoyed these books. I like most of the characters in it, though I do find I don't like the main character that much. It's good to have a flaw, but he is pretty disgusting for me. He is selfish, takes out any bad outcome on his friends by ignoring them being hostile. He treats women dreadfully as if the only person that matters is him and what he is going to get out of them. Claims to care about them but clearly has no concept of what that actually means.

My main issue is how dumb he and his friends are. I don't know if this is intended or if the author themselves is not cabable of writing a plot that doesn't make the characters look stupid. It's been a theme through all the series. As an example in this book there is a kidnapping and they put the blame on group solely based on one bit of information rather than all of the information they had. If the reader can work it out in five seconds who did it then it just gets annoying when the characters all don't ask very obvious questions. Even if they would not have been certain based on all the information it would certainly have lead them in a better direction and a more believable one too for them.

Overall it is a pretty good read, but I have to drop a story to 3 stars when I'm driven crazy by repeated dumb actions, a plot I can see through in a handful of heartbeats and a character that claims to care for people one second and then throws them into situations that are pretty much certain to get some of them killed.

Some good, some bad.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-04-20

Overall I'd say I enjoyed this book. I did have issues with the fact the MC seems to think like no-one I can think of being likely to think. This ends with us being subjected to long and overly melodramatic narratives of the MC's thoughts. Add in little laughable annoyances of the twenty-year-old boy calling a girl just short of eighteen a child and they start to add up to reasons to dislike it.

For me the ending was poor too. It seemed a dumb place to leave a book for me. Not sure if he was going for cliff-hanger ending, but for me it felt like stopping half way through a dungeon and logging out. Still, I will check out book two as maybe it will explain it more if they are stuck where they are for that whole book also.

Overall it is readable and it's quite possible the things that annoyed me won't affect others in the same way. So it is worth a chance of reading if you like litrpg books.

1 person found this helpful