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Forever Fantasy Online

Forever Fantasy Online, Book 1
Narrated by: Josh Hurley
Series: Forever Fantasy Online, Book 1
Length: 19 hrs and 23 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (61 ratings)

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Summary

A thrilling new novel for fans of Sword Art Online and World of Warcraft!

In the real world, twenty-one-year-old library sciences student Tina Anderson is invisible and under-appreciated, but in the VR-game Forever Fantasy Online she's Roxxy—the respected leader and main tank of a top-tier raiding guild. Her brother, James Anderson, has a similar problem. IRL he’s a college drop-out struggling under debt, but in FFO he's famous—an explorer known all over the world for doing every quest and collecting the rarest items.

Both Tina and James need the game more than they’re willing to admit, but their escape turns into a trap when FFO becomes real. Suddenly, wounds aren’t virtual, the stupid monsters have turned cunning, and death might be forever. Separated across a much larger and more deadly world, their skill at FFO is the only thing keeping them alive. But as the harshness of their new reality sets in, Tina and James soon realize that being the best in the game is no longer good enough.

©2018 Rachel Aaron and Travis Bach (P)2018 Audible, Inc.
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Amazing book with a stellar narration

Forever Fantasy Online is a LitRPG where the characters end up stuck in the game. You know, the ones where the characters play through a virtual reality system and then somehow end up stuck inside the game, being hit hurts, death is permanent, and all that fun stuff. I found this one to be unique compared to those that I’d read previously, almost like portal fantasy rather than LitRPG. NPCs (non-player characters) are people too. They’ve been stuck in a recurring nightmare where they’re forced to act out the game for the last 80 years. Naturally, they aren’t very fond of the ‘players’.

The two major POV characters, Tina and James, both have their own character arcs which are independent of each other. I enjoyed both POVs immensely, however, I preferred James’ POV more, I really enjoyed reading about him and found his chapters to be more relatable for me. While the book switches POV each chapter, I rarely found myself wanting to skip chapters to get back to a character I preferred.

Tina was preparing for a raid of the biggest, baddest dungeon in the game with a trial team to prepare for guild inductions. The change hit before the team entered the dungeon, and Tina is faced with the challenge of managing her team and ensuring their survival. I really enjoyed her survival arc as she struggled with managing an unfamiliar team.

Overall, I wasn’t a huge fan of Tina’s personality. She’s stubborn and controlling, but at the same time, she’s doing all she can to keep the other players alive. I admire her determination to save them all, and the challenges she perseveres through, but she constantly conflicts with members of the team she’s trying to save. In this, the authors have done a fantastic job of creating the conflicts that would likely arise when you throw people who were playing a game to relax into a situation where their lives depend on the game they were playing.

James, on the other hand, logged into the game in a lower level area where the NPCs quickly pick up on him being a player. James quickly finds that the NPCs were originally people in the Forever Fantasy Online world who’d been trapped in the game and forced to live by a script for 80 years. For some, this meant simply giving the same quest out millions of times. For others, this meant they were the character that was kidnapped every day for the players to go rescue. Needless to say, they weren’t very happy about their 80 years of nightmarish living.

James was easily one of my favourite characters. He reminded me a bit of Rachel Aaron’s Julius Heartstriker from the Heartstrikers series. He plays a healer and wants to do all he can to help the local NPCs and right the wrongs caused by the game.

Throughout this book, the authors do a great job of showing how their characters react to different scenarios and the growth they achieve. Over the course of the book, they go through some serious character development with their emotions and motivations quite clear for the reader.

One of the other things I really liked about this book is how it deals with common practices in video games. Characters who chose to play non-human characters have to learn how their new bodies work; how their tails work, what it’s like to have elven agility, what giant stone people like to eat. They also deal with characters who elected to play the opposite gender in the game and their sudden change in gender, and players who’ve bought their accounts online and are in end game content without having any idea how to play. Furthermore, the unrealistically shrunken maps are extended to make them more in line with what an actual landscape would be like, and bags/inventories hold a much more realistic number of items.

Overall, Rachel Aaron and Travis Bach have written an amazing story and a realistic LitRPG which deals really well with a number of different factors involved in gaming. They’ve created a great world with lots of interesting pieces of lore and filled it with realistic, well-developed characters. The stakes feel very real and from early on it’s evident just how much they stand to lose.

The only negative thing I can really say about this book is that it left me wanting more and that I’ll have to wait for the sequel. Josh Hurley’s narration of the audiobook is very well done too, and I enjoyed every moment I listened to it.

I’d recommend this book to people who enjoy:

* LitRPG
* Character Development
* Character Conflict
* Multiple POV
* Female POV
* Good Worldbuilding
* Battles

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Amazing!

If you think this might be your thing? its your thing!


5 Stars. cannot wait for the next Book!

1 person found this helpful

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I get why some people say it's a half a good book.

This is my first LitRPG and it was a fun listen. The story and setting is interesting, especially when they realised how it slowly changes the players.

However, on why some say it's half a good book. James's parts of the story is the usual hero's journey. Full of challenge, twists, emotions and triumph. But Tina's parts, as interesting as it is to go into player-player interaction. It's unfortunately very repetitive. They'd resolve the same problems multiple times. Even when it looked like they'd reconcile, characters would bring it back up at the first opportunity, Tina's hard-headedness not helping. This might not have been so bad had it not been so frequent in almost all her chapters. It's not so much of an issue of characters, but with a seemingly stagnant & repeating plot. It gets frustrating rather quickly, by the later end I'd facepalm commenting "you resolved this already". The only justification is that the players aren't honourable combatants, but video game nerds. But it did grind my gears.

But, aside from the players bickering (which were short, thankfully), the story & characters really sucked me into it. And the slow reveals of how the game-world logic differed to this now real world logic. They give depth & complexity to the world, the npcs & the big baddy too. And that's just the first book. Excited for the next one.

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very enjoyable.

I quite enjoyed this book, it's not you average litrpg kinda book, there isn't much in the way if stats and level building. The whole story revolves around 2 main characters a brother and sister trapped in a game.
I would quite happily recommend this to anyone.
it's well worth checking out.

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Half a good book...

The James chapters are great! The Tina chapters are annoying. She's such a moron its hard to get through the chapters that follow her side of the story. Narration is good though and is done at a good speed so that's a plus.

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It Got Me Hooked.

I'm an avid gamer so i took a punt and bought this. All i can say is i was hooked from the start. Great idea, well written, and great narrative. I cant wait for the next one.

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Can't wait for the sequel

This book is as others said two individual stories but they link together as the two characters are siblings.

This book was well written and the main characters were likable and most definitely human. By this I mean they had faults and weren't your typical, I'm a badass and will kill everything in sight types.

In conclusion I would say give this book ago.

Additional note: there wasn't a lot of humor, so if you like your books to have a touch of humour then I'd give it a miss.

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Hooked from the beginning!

As a lover of all things gaming I have read/listened to a fair few other similar stories such as Ready Player 1, armada, off to be a wizard series and the bobiverse.(all great too btw) and this one lived up to all of my expectations I loved the 2 storylines and as the chapters ticked by I was sure they couldn’t tie up all the loose ends then I found out it was a trilogy! One I am now very excited to continue with!! Both main characters were very different which added to the overall journey you are taken on. All the supporting characters were great and the audible narrator did a superb job with each character! I don’t want to give any spoilers but this story seemed that it would require a basic knowledge of gaming and WOW (world of warcraft) but I would say the author explains everything so well you could be a noob to the genre and still enjoy it! Can’t wait for the next one!!

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I’m hooked already

What would happen if an MMORPG became real in an instant? This story follows the perspectives of two real world siblings in the MMORPG game when this happens, in their very different locations and situations.
As a long time player and raider in WoW, I found this full of hilarious references and very relatable situations. There was some significant character development but not a huge amount since the events of the book only cover a couple of days and I’m looking forward to more of that in the future books.
This book is dealing with the immediate effects of the change, of the game suddenly being real, with a cast of both players (now in their avatars’ bodies) and non-player characters (NPCs) suddenly freed from the restrictions of the game.
The two point of view characters are both likeable, relatable and flawed which is just how I like my characters. I hope we get things from more points of view in future books though.
Overall, this is a great start to a series and I’m excited for more to come!

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  • Johnny Jeppesen
  • 18-08-18

The cover art is great....

That's about the only good thing about this book. My biggest problem is that this story had such potential. Less than two days of story time go by in this book. The audio book is over 19 hours, and if there wasn't the one night where the protagonists slept, it would have mirrored the in book time. Nobody wants to hear a story told in real time, hour by hour, minute by minute. The authors need to learn how to skip the boring parts. Instead, a boring walk turns into crying and whining and implausible conversations that go nowhere. It's like the authors thought of the beginning and the end and spent hours trying to figure out how to fill in the middle. The raid is tired and hungry, but let's take an hour to describe how the races appear to be pairing up. Is this significant, let's take another hour to discuss if it is. JUST MOVE ON!. There are many boring parts of real life, this book describes them in exacting detail. These authors, they need to describe in detail and drag out every little plot device. "Heal the raid." "No." "Heal the raid or i'm going to punch you." "No, go away." "Heal the raid right now!" "No." "Heal the raid or we're all going to die." "No, you're mean." Rinse and repeat. This story is not realistic, the characters don't react in any way a gamer would and the constant cry baby attitudes exist only to elongate the story. It's infuriating. The fact that the main protagonist takes 90% of the book to travel down a road is madness. The main protagonist constantly argues with different members of the raid about continuing to move down the road. And I mean CONSTANTLY. Yet, there is only one way to go. Monsters are behind them so they can't go back, there are impassible cliffs on either side, who would argue??? What are they arguing for??? And why, if anyone was in that position and somebody really did start to argue, would anyone care enough to respond? You don't want to keep moving? That's fine, stay, or go the other way into the horde of monsters. Deuces. I could go on and on, but then I'd just be mirroring the authors.

The cover art is great though.

P.S. This is supposed to be LitRPG. WHERE IS THE LOOT??? I mean jeez... skeletons, monster undead boars, mini-bosses, and a giant raid boss are downed and nobody even mentions loot. WTF?

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  • Tyler
  • 05-09-18

MCs can make mistakes while staying good people.

I am so sick of main characters casualy killing sentient beings, especially over powered ones who could solve problems in a non lethal way most of the time if they wanted to. But that kind of thing is hard to do, it is hard to try and save people who hate you, but protecting life is always good, learning to overcome hate shows real character growth. The MCs of this book deliver on the things I wish characters would at least try. They suffer through doing things the right way, and it makes them real heroes, rather than just a power fantasy come to life.

The main characters of this feel like real people, James struggle with depression and anxiety may not be called that in the story, but they mirror my own experiences with it. And he is a healer type class, which is rare for an MC especially a male one. His sister is a badass who will save your ass if you like it or not. She is a tank type class, and easily one of the most truly heroic main characters that I have ever seen. The cover really captures her "I will stand between this kiju level skeleton and everyone I refuse to let die" kind of badassery.

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  • superstardrifter
  • 27-06-19

Great listen!

This is the story of Tina Anderson and her brother James who are avid players of Forever Fantasy Online, which is a full VR MMORPG. One day, they are playing just like normal when with a shudder and a shake, the entire game becomes real. Dying is really death, zones are really huge, and enemies are rather sentient, now.

Roxxy, a paladin and the guild leader of the one of the top raiding guilds has to lead her people from an unbeatable raid to the sanctuary of a friendly fortress without them dying.

James, a healer, is stuck in the staring area for the cat people, and those cat people are *not* happy with him. They know he’s a player, and they say that he and his people have kept them enslaved in a nightmare for the last 80 years. He has to convince them that he means them no harm and that they probably shouldn’t murderkill him into a million pieces.

I have played a lot of MMO games over the years, and this one brought to mind some of the best times I’ve had with them. I met my husband in World of Warcraft (while making fun of way-too-serious guild leaders in /tells in Molten Core while fighting Ragnaros. True story. It was destiny. <3<3<3). But this one brought everything from WoW to FFXI/XIV and Everquest II and even Skyrim sometimes to mind, in the best way possible. Maaan, I sort of miss those days. Memories.

Anyways, back to this audiobook! This was a fantastic adventure that was never slow and never boring. It switches back and forth between Tina and James, who are not… really on speaking terms right at this particular moment due to strife both in game and in real life. So, we have them in different places doing different things but still having to more or less be the voice of reason. One to a group of tired and annoyed raiders that don’t understand what all the stakes are, and the other in a group of rather hostile NPCs.

I cheered hard for the both of them, usually. Tina was a bit over-the-top at times, I can still understand where she was coming from. James I cheered for most of the entire book. I wanted him to win, to make the cat-people and the gnolls become… less enemies with each other. Frenemies, perhaps. Through the power of winging it, mainly. As one does, in these sorts of situations.

It was interesting to think how people/personalities/likes and dislikes and so on would change if you were suddenly your character. There are a couple female characters who are really male in the real world, so they suddenly have to deal with all kinds of new and different experiences. Some food doesn’t seem appetizing to some while it seems delicious to others.

It made me think what I would be like if one of the games I played with any great regularity were to suddenly become real. If it were FFXI, I’d have been a gangly elf with an admittedly sweet AF feather hat. If it were WoW, I would have been either a blue cannibal or a cow who turns into a fat giant owl… and if it were FFXIV… I’d have been a cat-man in a bathing suit.

Look, I never said I wasn’t ridiculous. >.>

And it was a nice bathing suit! ^_^

All told, I had a really great time with this book, and I can’t wait until I manage to get the sequel into my earholes. I must know what happens next!

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  • Twinmasks
  • 19-01-19

Enjoyed it and waiting for more

One of the better, if not best, implementations of MMO LitRPG that I have read through. Not making the player characters way overpowered, and not having the player characters restricted on approaches they can take to problems, significantly improves the story for most stories in this genre.

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  • Deana
  • 14-09-18

Can't wait for the next book in series

If you've ever played DnD and are an avid online gamer you are gonna be entranced by this series.
Its got all the Sword play, magic users and all their attendant problems, along with a game that is malfunctioning and what is stacking up to be an unscrupulous Game Master.
It will leave you wanting more.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mommy J
  • 13-09-18

Great for the Gamer in You

Wonderful story, great characters,and wonderfully performed.
I've been a casual gamer myself for many years and got into online role-playing over the past year, because of family and the show Sword Art Online. This book has everything I'd want in a gaming story, and even taught me how to fight in a group and be a better online gamer. Regardless, it's an awesome book.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mike Wilson
  • 13-06-18

Two separate stories, with lots of whining

The first point to be clear about is that this book tells two completely separate stories, which have no interesting intersection. It could literally have been written as two separate books (with nothing lost) by simply copying out alternating chapters. The story ends (in a cliffhanger) at the point where the stories would come together.

The two main characters spend too much time in self recrimination and aren't generally interesting other than a bit of gender reversal: the sweet, pacifistic, healing character is male; the aggressive, driven fighter character is female.

Overall the story (stories) is based on a mechanic that is effectively nonsense -- that an MMO game, would somehow be built from an actual, real-in-some-universe environment -- with some only some vague foreshadowing of supernatural influence as a possible explanation. Really though, there can be no explanation of this situation which would satisfy an Occam's razor test, making the whole story feel like a 19 hour waste of energy.

25 people found this helpful

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  • Ilopez08
  • 02-06-20

SAO meets WOW/D&D and it is awesome!

Great reader and a great story.
So many details went into this creatin that it is awesome. From biology, to geography, to physics (real and magical), and politics, it is easy to see that much time was put into creating this world. A world that leaves the audience wanting to escape into it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tyler Mitchell
  • 24-04-20

A new favorite

I picked this up as a KU deal, because of Rachel Aaron's DFZ series, and I was not disappointed. I really enjoyed this one, love the idea that the players were basically a scourge to the citizens of the world and that they now really have to work to become members of the world.

Overall a great LitRPG series and one that I recommend if you enjoy the genre.

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  • edward
  • 06-02-20

Everything Rachel Aaron writes is amazing!

this is a litrpg lite book. but that kinda sucks because it really has its own feel and life that separates it other books in the genera in all the good ways. its a new spin on the classic Isekai story. I loved it.

1 person found this helpful