I’ve never zoned out so much during a book as I did with this.
8-bit Bastards Level 2
By Joshua Mason
The idea of a retirement in virtual reality where you can do anything you want forever that gradually gets old is fascinating. The 8-bit Easter eggs and gaming mechanics is fun. But the characters were not interesting, IMO, and I never got to the point where I cared what was happening or if they succeeded. The story is not over in this collection and it ends abruptly.
Maybe this will get better as time goes on. I’m just not that interested in finding out.
The writing itself isn’t bad. The narrator does a good job. Production value is high and I loved the occasional sound effects.
I got this title as a giveaway, but not as a review copy.
is the Editor-in-Chief of BookGateway.com and a believer, a husband, a dad, a geek, an artist, a gamer, a teacher, a learner and tired.
Book 2 of Ascend Online was very different than book 1. Unlike most series, it seems that Chmilenko is focused on the world of the game (and perhaps the battle between in-game sister “gods” Order and Chaos) rather than the players.
Hell To Pay
Ascend Online 2
by Luke Chmilenko
In book 2, the setting changes to the nearby (three days away) large city briefly discussed in book 1, and the goings-on of one of the Thieves Guilds and two players in the guild. It’s also more of a mystery as the story begins with our anonymous hero waking up in a torture room with a new magical sigil on his chest and his guild master dead. He doesn’t remember anything from the point that he took on a quest called The Heist. How a human player could actually have their memory wiped by the game is confusing and scary – both to the players in the story and to the reader.
Interestingly, the characters in this book never interact with the characters in book 1 – and that’s fine with me. This thriller was significantly more than the normal introductory story, allowing book 1’s explanation of the game and the world to suffice so we could jump right in to the new characters.
A down side to this Ascend Online, in terms of LitRPG, is that it seems to make no effort to tell any part of the story outside the game. So it’s simply a fantasy book with gaming stats and some pseudo third wall breaking. Even though it is much better written than The Dark Herbalist series, I find the real lives of the players to add to the main story and avoiding any consideration of that part of our main characters is a weakness so far in Ascend Online. Still, the third book is in my queue and I’m excited to jump in to it.
Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of BookGateway.com and a believer, a husband, a dad, a geek, an artist, a gamer, a teacher, a learner and tired.
The Dark Herbalist series