Hello my favoritest readers of all readers,
Whew, ok. It’s been a while. Please forgive me for the delay in getting this up; it has been an intense couple of weeks punctuated by an almost comical lack of sleep.
Thank you for your recommendations as always. We have a fairly small selection, because I did opt to not include a few books which were especially gory or graphically violent. Some of them were books people had only heard about rather than have read, so I read a lot of reviews to gage if they would be good fits for the month. I’m pretty certain we all know how this poll is going to turn out, but I hope you like the selections regardless. 🙂
I’ll probably keep this poll up until Saturday evening when we meet for the social. Remember that we have our open mic night tomorrow 💙
Please be thinking about what genre you’d like to read next. I can’t remember if we decided on something, so send me your thoughts as you have them.
Finally, I want to, once again, thank everyone who was able to come to the RBR meetup. I think we can all agree that it was a definite success. I am honored and grateful to know each and every one of you. I know I’m not alone in wanting a repeat event.
Dungeon Crawler Carl by Matt Dinniman
It’s the most-watched game show in the galaxy!
In a flash, every human-erected construction on Earth–from Buckingham Palace to the tiniest of sheds to all the trucks and cars–collapses in a heap, sinking into the ground.
The buildings and all the people inside, they’ve all been atomized and transformed into the dungeon: an 18-level labyrinth filled with traps, monsters, and loot. A dungeon so enormous, it circles the entire globe.
Only a few dare venture inside. But once you’re in, you can’t get out. And what’s worse, each level has a time limit. You have but days to find a staircase to the next level down, or it’s game over. In this game, it’s not about your strength or your dexterity. It’s about your views and your followers. It’s about building an audience and killing those goblins with style.
You can’t just survive here. You gotta survive big.
You gotta fight with vigor, with excitement. You gotta make them stand up and cheer. And if you do have that “it” factor, you may just find yourself with a following. That’s the only way to truly survive in this game, with the help of the loot boxes dropped upon you by the generous benefactors watching from across the galaxy.
They call it Dungeon Crawler World. But for Carl, it’s anything but a game.
Notable Review by J. Klein
This book whispered sweet nothings to my soul. I tore through it like a fat man at an all you can eat buffet with 5 minutes til closing. The banter between Donut and Carl is hilarious, and the action and snark is top notch. Goddamnit Dinniman.
Another Notable Review by LauraBlueberry
This Dungeon Crawl is hilarious. The Plot is not new: Extraterrestrial beings transform Earth in a giant, underground dungeon. If you make it to the top…, well in this case to the bottom, you survive or you just die in the process of getting there.
But this Dungeon Crawl is not about killing, it’s about killing big and getting views. I loved every bit of it. Carl, the MC, trying to get through the dungeon alive and Princess Donut, his view-and-follower-addicted ex girlfriend’s cat just make a hilarious duo.
If you like dungeon crawls and are open to a different, comical approach, then this is your go-to book!
Oh Great! I was Reincarnated as a Farmer by Benjamin Kerei
What do you have when you blend a pinch of litrpg, a touch of farming simulator, a sprinkle of epic fantasy, a whole cup of Isekai, and a dash of Home Alone?
You have Arnold’s life.
Accidentally murdered by a cleric in another universe during a botched resurrection, Arnold, a semi-pro gamer, wakes upon an altar to find himself incarnated into the overweight body of a farmer who could have been his fatter twin. He’s not the hero. He’s not the villain. He’s certainly not the chosen one who is there to save the world. He’s a clerical error.
It could be a bad joke, but apparently, it happens so often that they have a standard procedure for returning you. That standard procedure doesn’t apply to Arnold.
Now stuck on a new earth, in a new universe, with no way home, Arnold must use his gaming skills to figure out how to level his farmer class to 100 and gain a second class which doesn’t make him want to beat his head against the wall. There is just one small problem: farmers don’t gain experience from killing monsters. Like at all.
Follow Arnold on his hilarious journey as he stubbornly comes to grips with his new reality and tries to change his destiny from that of your typical farmer.
Notable Review by Russell Gray
This is the kind of book I hope to come across more often as I continue to scratch my incessant itch for Litrpg. The funniest thing to me is how so many below-average stories in this genre get smothered by 5-star, glowing reviews and a well-written and fun story like this has numerous low ratings on the front page.
Character 8/10, Plot 9/10, Game Mechanics 10/10, Writing 8/10, Enjoyment 10/10
I was initially rolling my eyes a bit at the typical gamer MC since a gamer MC is as prevalent in Litrpg as a writer MC is in general fiction. But, despite that, I was treated to a unicorn sighting within the genre: a character that actually behaved like a real person with flaws and all. I also got to see this character change and grow, not just from their experiences, but also from the addition of stat points. And the character didn’t even have to start off as a complete moron to make it happen like other stories tend to do.
The plot was great for me because it went in a different direction than most Litrpg. I enjoyed the settlement-building aspects of the story and it was refreshing to see a gamelit story covering some strategy game aspects as a focal point of the story rather than feeling tacked on just to check some boxes.
The mechanics were fantastic. Things were fairly crunchy without feeling like they were there to pad the word count. Stats were shown when they were relevant and the overall game world was fun, interesting, and I could tell a lot of thought went into it.
The writing had a few grammar errors here and there, the types of things that basic editing software tends to miss, like homophones. There was also the inconsistent use of British-English spelling for some things (defence) but not others. It always seems weird to me when that happens, granted I have no idea where the author is from other than that I assumed they were American because of the references.
Overall, this was a fun book that was well written and it definitely stands apart from the genre, not just from the quality of the writing, but also the direction of the plot and type of mechanics employed. If you enjoy Litrpg, you need to read this book.
Dominion of Blades by Matt Dinniman
For over thirty years, Dominion of Blades has been the hottest online role-playing game in the world. Any gamer with an immersion rig can enter the world of sword and sorcery, of goblins and dragons, and they can hack and slash their way to glory. But the game is too real for some, and after an epidemic of real-life fatalities, public use of the immersion technology has been banned, causing the game to be shut down.
Jonah wakes to find himself in-game, level one, with no memory of how he arrived and no way to eject. With only two companions, trapped in a world that once hosted millions, Jonah must battle his way across a treacherous landscape, fighting virtual monsters, all-too-real pain, and a very human enemy in a desperate bid to survive.
Notable Review by Nebojsa
Achievement unlocked! Find a new book genre: LitRPG
Achievement unlocked! Find a hidden gem in form of a book: DoB
You have discovered a mastery ability to maximize the reading experience! Please select the appropriate level in the game settings.
Menu -> Settings -> Reading experience -> Select level: Max
Warning! Character restrictions apply for this option. In order to work, the reader must meet the following requirements:
1. Possess vivid imagination
2. Has extensive RPG and/or MMORPG background
3. Considers a book Ready Player One as one of the best in SciFi genre
Loading the content in max settings. Enjoy the reading…
If you can easily read, understand, relate to and sympathize with the previous text, then this book is for you.
The book is exactly what I was looking for. I love gaming, but I don’t have time to do it anymore. I love SciFi but I cannot spare the time starting the book that will be boring or not worth reading. I need the books that give me the feeling “I will just read one more chapter and then go to sleep”.
It was a fantastic voyage and then some! If I could, I would have read it in one go. Three days was not fast enough, but it was worth it even if I am lacking on some sleep now. Even better, it is not the end. The book tells the story, completes the chapter, but it also opens a new one. I am now eagerly waiting for the next one in the series.
Highly recommended for people with the above mentioned character requirements. Level of nerdiness in some of those areas will certainly help the increased enjoyment 🙂
Praise to the author and full 5 stars from me!
The Wandering Inn (The wandering Inn #1) by Pirateaba
“No killing Goblins.”
So reads the sign outside of The Wandering Inn, a small building run by a young woman named Erin Solstice. She serves pasta with sausage, blue fruit juice, and dead acid flies on request. And she comes from another world. Ours.
It’s a bad day when Erin finds herself transported to a fantastical world and nearly gets eaten by a Dragon. She doesn’t belong in a place where monster attacks are a fact of life, and where Humans are one species among many. But she must adapt to her new life. Or die.
In a dangerous world where magic is real and people can level up and gain classes, Erin Solstice must battle somewhat evil Goblins, deadly Rock Crabs, and hungry [Necromancers]. She is no warrior, no mage. Erin Solstice runs an inn.
She’s an [Innkeeper].
Notable Review by Matt’s Fantasy Book Reviews
An absolutely extraordinary book that absolutely shattered my expectations in every way
I was recommended this book by a friend, and initially didn’t think I was going to give this a try. But other books she recommended to me winded up fantastic, so I figured I would give it a try. I don’t like books like these, and never have. Within the first few pages, it comes off as something that is written for a younger audience, with a plot that feels unimaginative, and a main character that seem borderline dumb.
But somehow, I couldn’t put this book down and before I realized it I had read 200 pages in one day, and couldn’t wait to continue reading. Every chapter had me hooked more than the previous one, the characters became fleshed out and wonderful to read about, the plot took twists and turns that were completely unexpected in a wonderful way, and the world became so developed that it will completely consume your mind.
This is a web serial turned into a book, but it doesn’t really read that way. If I didn’t already know this, I wouldn’t have ever known it. The plot feels fully tied in, and doesn’t feel disjointed in any way, shape, or form like other web serials I have read. But buyers beware, this series is over 9,000,000 words long, and growing by north of 40k a week – and to put that in context the entire Wheel of Time series is a little over 4,400,000 words long. This is a behemoth of a story that would take absolute immense dedication to catch up. But I’m fully along for the ride now.
Put simply, this story rocks. After the first 1/3 of the book, it felt like I was reading a story similar to Legends & Lattes in how low stakes it was – and mainly revolved around a woman opening up an Inn in a fantasy world. And I loved that book so it was warmly received by me.
But somewhere along the middle I realized that it was turning into a legitimately great epic fantasy book with multiple plotlines spanning large distances, multiple characters, and exciting intertwined stories.
And towards the end of the book it developed into a thriller of a story, that had me literally sweating with tension in a way that I have rarely done with a fantasy story. This blending of many different styles of fantasy was exciting and fresh.
World Building: 5/5
By the end of this book the world building had me absolutely enchanted. This world is huge, and this book is barely scratching the surface in terms of where this story will take you if the maps you can find online are anything to judge by.
The descriptions of the locations that the characters go to are so well described that you can’t help by imagine yourself there with vivid detail, and the same can be said for the varying character races that exist in this world.
Fantasy Elements: 5/5
The main fantasy hook here is that a character from Earth has been transported to this fantasy world that is essentially Dungeons & Dragons. People in this world literally level up when they go to sleep after completing various tasks, and that comes with skills being assigned. This feels silly to start with, but it ends up being extremely fun, especially since the main characters are learning about this for the first time along with the reader.
The world is filled with different creatures that are both good and bad, and they are all interesting – some are a brand new take on fantasy, and some are traditional, but they are all written well.
I would have given this a 5, as I absolutely love most of the characters in this story. But there is a character “Ryoka” that is featured in POVs for approximately 20% of this book that I just couldn’t connect with and while the events of her chapters were interesting, I didn’t care for her.
Writing Style: 5/5
This is probably a controversial take as I have seen many reviews of people absolutely trashing the writing style here, but I just can’t agree. The writing is fun, witty, blends traditional fantasy with modern concepts, and left me with a consistent smile on my face. I can see that it’s not the most beautiful prose in the world, but I don’t care when the descriptions are so well done, the characters are so well written, and the world is built in such a fantastic way.
As if you couldn’t tell by now, but I had an absolute blast reading this book. Is it one of the best book I’ve ever read? Absolutely not. But is it one of the most fun books I’ve ever read? Yup! And in the end, isn’t that all that really matters?
Vote here (choose two)
What shall we read next
- The Wandering Inn (The wandering Inn #1) by Pirateaba (38%, 9 Votes)
- Dungeon Crawler Carl by Matt Dinniman (33%, 8 Votes)
- Oh Great! I was Reincarnated as a Farmer by Benjamin Kerei (21%, 5 Votes)
- Dominion of Blades by Matt Dinniman (8%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 13