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Viridian Gate Online: Crimson Alliance

An litRPG Adventure - The Viridian Gate Archives, Book 2
Narrated by: Armen Taylor
Series: The Viridian Gate Archives, Book 2
Length: 10 hrs and 29 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (151 ratings)

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Summary

October, 2042.

Three days ago, Jack Mitchel saved his life. By dying.

He dodged a world-ending bullet - in the form of an extinction-level asteroid, cannonballing toward Earth - by successfully uploading his mind into the brand new, ultra-immersive, fantasy-based VRMMORPG - Viridian Gate Online. Unfortunately, he's also stumbled headlong into a secret conspiracy that will transform V.G.O. into a new feudal dark age.

Jack expected to live out his new fantasy life in peace, but now he and his misfit crew of rebels are the only ones preventing a tyrant emperor and his regime from taking power. Thankfully, everything isn't quite as hopeless as it seems - Jack has a plan. Sort of. With only a handful of supporters, he's going to get the jump on the bloodthirsty empire, by snatching one of their key cities right from underneath their noses. In order to pull off the impossible, however, Jack's going to have to develop his formidable Shadowmancer powers, raid some ridiculous dungeons, and make some shady allies - allies who may be more dangerous than the empire itself.

©2017 James A. Hunter and Shadow Alley Press, Inc. (P)2017 James A. Hunter and Shadow Alley Press, Inc.

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Captivating

Love the story, struggled a bit albac in book 1 because if the first person narration, but the story won me over. I chose it because it was so highly recommended. I very glad I did.

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World building at its best

As the world moves into factions it takes our innovative hero and a lot of guts to bring the newly spawned travellers into contention as a rebel faction is born and so the spirit of freedom and free choice gets a leader.
With such a charismatic and well written character as Jack Hunter brings us into a very interactive and innovative world again that u just wish was real. The Fights are well done as is the world building something that hunter is top of the class in within the LitRPG writing community. Paired with the talents of Taylor as narrator this audio can deserve no less than 5 stars and a dedicated fan to be born. Some series take a few books/audios to settle into but this has been a leader from the get go and it looks to continue this as i cant wait for further adventures to be listened to.

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Great

Loved it from start to finish so much happens from heights to lows to everything in between

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Great litRPG and if anything better than book 1

A very nice developing main story to go along with some classic RPG style moments. If you've played MMOs or RPGs you'll love this.

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Great! Just like the 1st

Great second book! same problem as the 1st just not long enough, there is so much going on in the world so much to find out, you can definitely get sucked right into this world along with Jack talking about his choices and what's going to happen next. right on to the 3rd one for me!

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Good sequel!

A good follow on to the first novel, same narrator as the first novel which is good. The characters continue to develop in more detail and the story continues to grip you and pull you in. Look forward to the third novel.

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Illusion is all it is

Written in the first person, the Crimson Alliance continues to chart the lives of Grim Jack and his new friend, Cutter, in the immersive game, Viridian Gate Online. A 'game' which is now Jack's life as there is no going back: not only has his body died in the real world as he successfully transitioned into the game but the whole of Earth's population is about to be destroyed by a cataclysmic event when a giant meteorite crashes onto the surface. But already Jack is unhappy with what he has found in this new life and has made a serious enemy. His only hope is to form his own faction before the final destruction of earth, hopefully with his old friend, Abbie. But she seems to have disappeared ...

With great characters and well written dialogue, this is the second in this fun LitRPG series which provides an intriguing storyline as well as battle action. Armen Taylor again narrates with warm enthusiasm and a consistently fine range of protagonist voices and accents, each individual and fitting. His pacing is also good and his overall performance enhances the written text.

An excellent follow up to Cataclysm, this book by James Hunter is one to be enjoyed not only by players of games but by anyone with a liking for fantasy and S.F. with a touch of both humour and adventure.But to get the fullest benefit from the story, first read the preceding book.

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brilliant read

really good story, engaging and we'll put together so I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys good litrpg's

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Profile Image for Ray Johnson
  • Ray Johnson
  • 22-03-18

No Sophomore Slump Here

Book two of VGO really continues to build upon the first, and brings about the beginning of a plot line that was set up early in the book one. As things go, this book really steps up its game and the action and intrigue really get supercharged. The plot advances at a pleasurable pace, and at no time do you feel like there were unnecessary parts of the tale. Everything fits together like perfect little puzzle pieces, and no part is just thrown in.

We get a nice epic battle, and a great confrontation with the big bad we want to see get an uppercut to the jaw with a war hammer. There are alliances struck, and sacrifices made, and this plays out like a great classic fantasy. We even get a nice little "Matrix" styled moment at the end.

Grimjack is someone you can really appreciate, and Cutter is worth listening to every second he appears. I have to laugh, as Taylor really makes the thief sound like Mick Jagger (at least in my mind). Abby finally gets some attention, and Grimjack manages to concoct a plan that might just help him get some breathing space.

The characterizations are pitch perfect, from the stoic Russian to the battle ready Texan. The story keeps amping up, and the plots pacing picks up with every turn of the page. In no way does the book suffer a sophomoric slump like most sequels do. It somehow manages to take what came before it, and improve upon it. As I said, Taylor does some great voicework, and he gives life to numerous characters. Even though I did receive a promo code for this review it in no way influenced my considerations of the material, and in fact, inspired me to be more honest. In fact, getting a code generally makes me harsher as a reviewer as I am more often concerned what someone like Me will decide based on my review.

If this review helped, please press the YES below. Thank you immensely!!!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Jessica Shook
  • Jessica Shook
  • 04-10-17

Another home run for Hunter

There were two moments of sheer brilliance in the book that made me hoot aloud, several that made me laugh hysterically, and many that made me bite my nails. This litRPG adventure had my blood pumping, my gut turning, and got me writing a review as passionate as the writing.

Well executed, fair amounts of humor, plenty of adult chuckle moments, and enough blood shed, loot collecting, and boss slaying action to slick any gamer's literary lust.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Irshad Karim
  • Irshad Karim
  • 26-06-18

Good, but could be better

I'll be brief. This book, like the first, has a lot of potential but suffers both in writing and in narration in a way that makes it feel forced. The prose is overly dramatic, pressed too tightly with similes and metaphors. The narration makes you feel as though every other word is deep and suggestive, demanding your complete attention and investment.

It simply lacks balance. In order for the analogies to carry weight, there needs to be a good deal of simplicity to surround them. Same goes for dramatic emphasis in the narration. Not everything should be the most important thing.

As for the story, it's pretty good. The climax fell a little flat, but it was still enjoyable overall. The sequel is out, and I am interested in it, but I'm going to need a break from listening it. I don't think this series is one I could binge - with all of the forced dramaticism, my eyes would pop out of my skull from being rolled too much.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Jzang
  • Jzang
  • 14-02-18

Love the premise

I love the premise of this book, but I do have an issue. This book feels rushed. I feel like the series could easily be spread out in to 7-8 books

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Josh Noneya
  • Josh Noneya
  • 08-02-19

Huge plot holes and lazy story development

Great narration – poor story.

The premise is good, but the writing is way to formulaic. Plot holes – ugh, plot holes and lazy writing for days!

So the main character is supposed to be an experienced gamer, but is constantly making mistakes that would make even a casual gamer cringe.

He is presented as this genius smart guy, and all of his friends and associates are impressed with his ideas, strategy, and wit. He makes ridiculous far fetched plans and decisions that always work out, but when faced with simple problems with glaring answers are presented to him, he ALWAYS (as in every single time) makes the obviously bad choice and has to be bailed out by his friends or “barely scrape through.”

Let's talk about his outlook/attitude: he flips between arrogantly cocky, a beacon of virtue, even keeled, constantly second guessing himself, and full of self doubt. Instead of choosing a character mentality (smart guy, cocksure asshole, Mr. Virtue, emo kid, etc.) the author tried to do it all, and it leaves you with a bi-polar, sometimes schizophrenic who is frequently high on coffee and sugar. Be ready for some whiplash.

Is there a serious/semi-serious fight happening? Things start off well – take a turn for the worst – and right at that point where things are going to go terribly wrong or maybe somehow work out – this is when the main character decides to ponder the meaning of life – or the price of beans – or what his favorite color is or should be (you know – to build suspense) – then he makes the right choice and hooray it somehow works out. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

It is very frustrating because the premise is great, and the overarching story isn't bad either. It is the details that ruin this series.

Does it get better later on in the series?

No.

It doesn't.

The author uses the same old formulas and patterns over and over. Which is a shame because with just a little bit of rewriting this could be one of the best series in the genera. It really had that much potential, but I'm 5 books in and it is just the same pattern repeating endlessly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for W. Wulf
  • W. Wulf
  • 31-03-18

Story can't live up to it's potential

There's a great concept world here but the story adheres to strictly to it's RPG roots. MC claims to have been an EMT but except for one scene in the first book, that's just lip service to explain why the character isn't morally bankrupt.
Author has a bad habit of overusing and abusing turns of phrase, to the point that a drinking game could be made from counting times used, such as "decidedly," "almost literally," and "nightmare fuel."
Possibly the worst offense of all, though, is the inclusion of side characters that are given an interesting backstory, and nothing else--they become a resource to be managed and nothing more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Jacob Goodrich
  • Jacob Goodrich
  • 23-01-18

Top notch

Another masterfully done story. brought to life by the awesome Armenian Taylor who did a fantastic job breathing life into all of the characters.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a stellar series and awesome story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Chad kaiser
  • Chad kaiser
  • 08-12-17

like the story alot

the only problem I have is that the narrator needs to learn how to read character stats and skill stats properly. it can be a little distracting trying to listen to the descriptions while trying to reorganize the information correctly, and it happens every time there is a skill description.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-11-17

Pretty entertaining

Finished this one in one day and immediately bought the next to burn through, hella expensive tho

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-11-17

Great listen

Book 2 was action packed and exciting. A fun listen and narrated very well. I would definitely recommend this story.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful