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Ryan's life sucks.
His brother is a jerk, his mom is sick, and his legs are next to useless thanks to a neurological disorder. Plus the world ended two centuries ago from nuclear war. Now, what's left of humanity live below ground, with the only escape from reality being the massive VR world of Crystal Shards Online.
But even in the game, Ryan's life sucks. Unable to play a combat class due to his condition, he works as a miner, earning barely enough to get by and not nearly enough to afford the operation that will save his mom's life.
When Ryan discovers an item that grants the ability to dodge any attack, however, he has the chance to become one of the game world's most elite and sought after players: a Dodge Tank.
But for someone who's never played a combat class, success isn't so easily had.
To save his mom, Ryan will have to overcome his disability and level his way to the top. But the real-world consequences are more far reaching than he ever could have imagined and the fate of not just his mother, but humanity itself, may be resting in his hands.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Byron on 06-10-18
Wow! Great read!
Loved the story the most. Especially the ending. Great scaling. No fillers or anything not necessary. Takes a lil bit to get into the action but once it gets going, it's intense! Easily my favorite litrpg book.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
By Sheldon "Tech" on 06-17-18
Multiple Classes?! Mostly, but Multiple Classes!!
I’m a gamer. Have been most of my life and I’ve RPG’s and MMORPG’s. I’m also an end-gamer, meaning I enjoy the leveling, but it’s a means to an end… the end game is always the goal. This being said, my thoughts on this work is shaded by this, so hopefully, it helps you weigh my review better.
So, the TLDR version? Overall story? Loved it! Plus, they had multiple classes they can switch to. Actually able to change classes! Narrator? Loved it as well! The minutia of said plot? Great leveling development but the drama… was very over the top. It wasn’t at the queen level of drama, but it was pretty high by my thinking.
So, right off the bat, finally, a LitRPG that actually allows class changes on one account. I love LitRPG’s, but this arbitrary limitation that all writers seem to have embraced, “Only one class per account… to change, destroy this character and make another”, I’ve never understood. I usually play multiple classes using different toons, and I refuse to believe I’m the only one that thinks that way. So for that alone, I enjoyed the bejesus (Yep, real word) out of this book.
The story, when stripped away of leveling and melodrama… is a good one. The world is interesting, well developed and feels well fleshed out. The plot is waved into the story with delicate care, it’s there for you to wonder over and gradually place the important pieces together, right up to the end when it all fits together. Very well written and executed.
And the leveling… thank you! In this book, they actually grind, put thought into taking advantage of conditions and pushing the preverbal nose to the grindstone and pushing through. They actually reach high level! At times I feel the people who write some LitRPG’s, from anywhere but Russia, Japan or Korea, never got past level 20 and glorified each level as if level 100 was just a pipe dream. I mean, ending book one at level 15? And they are the hero of the game world? I never understood those ideas. At least in this work, that is not an issue. The high-level content is clearly seen as an end goal and pursued.
Now, the one weak area, at least for me, is the overly melodramatic character moments. I understand and appreciate tough dilemmas that really weigh on a person… I get it, but the LitRPG writers.. come on! Stop making Every MC space out. This is not as common a trait as you all think. And why can’t they think While they do actions? This isn’t a comic book, it’s not one action at a time, while they think they can actually grind, walk somewhere… do Something besides just freeze and ignore the world. To me, it was a bit heavy handed on the drama. I get it, tough choices, but it felt like the writer was pushing our nose in it like we were puppies and wouldn’t understand the importance of it if it wasn’t said in as many words a possible.
With that being said, I’m still waiting on book 2. Well worth the read and glad I added it to my over-sized library.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Mike on 06-20-18
Captivating and enticing
LitRPG fans will love this one. The action is fast paced and engaging.
Sometimes a little too fast paced, I didn’t feel as engaged with any character as I did the growing hero. Which left the empathy a little lacking. And the main twist in the story was glaring me in the face from about halfway in.
Although I kinda want to play this game now.
A good premise. Let’s see where the story takes us
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By Sariusmonk on 07-07-18
Very reminiscent of Final Fantasy 11
First off this is my first listen to anything of the "LITRPG" genre and only my second audiobook, but it's a genre you kind of know what to expect these days with anime such as Sword Art and movies like Ready Player One following the theme.
The story itself isn't too complicated and it ends with you wanting to move on to the sequel. If you like MMO's and the fantasy of delving into a fantasy game world this book does a good job making it feel like a real MMO with various fantasy locations, an auction house and game mechanics you'd expect to see. Though I feel a lot of the books influence can be heavily linked to Final Fantasy 11 with the jobs (particularly the Ninja, the focal job of the protagonist), the skillups system and some of the way the locations felt.
The performance by the reader is solid, the voice is always clear and he does a decent job of various characters as well as the "game" messages.
For the main positives I'd say it's a fun story of a characters growth and it never really goes anywhere too unexpected, though by the end more mystery and interesting things start to happen, as such the ending makes you want to continue onto book 2 and see how things play out.
On the negative side I'd say the vocabulary used isn't too interesting or varied, you'll hear a lot of "What the heck!?" and "Woohoo" throughout. Descriptions aren't anything too imaginative or creative but it doesn't hurt for the genre it's in, you wont find yourself hearing any words you aren't familiar with so it'll be an easy listen for young listeners. Sometimes hearing the "stats" and "game messages" can get a bit irritating since as a paper format you can imagine it being a block of text easy to glance over like a character sheet, but being narrated it begins to feel repetitive.
Overall for my first LITRPG I did enjoy it, I will check out the 2nd book and it has made me more interested in the genre as a whole. If you have nostalgia for FFXI or a desire for a VR based MMO book that has some fun in and out of game elements, I would recommend this book.