Black Sand Baron (Ripple System Book 2/2, ongoing) by Kyle Kirrin
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No summary since it’s book two. Book one was part of the last reviews, linked above.
This was a fantastic continuation of the first book, just everything you could want from a sequel; more of the same but improved by more character depth, higher stakes, deeper relationships and expanded world building.
I’m loving every single one of the main characters, their interactions never fail to crack me up and I came to really care about all of them. I think Travis Bauldree found the role of a lifetime in Frank, his rendition of the sentient axe is just superb.
This one only just came out so I will have to patiently wait for book three.
Omniscient Reader (Episodes 1-30/71, ongoing) by sing N son
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Dokja spent the past ten years of his life being the only reader of a weekly released web novel called “Three Ways to Survive the Apocalypse”. When its final episode releases he reflects on his life’s hardships, made more bearable by reading this story. But when he opens the supposed finale all it says is “If you’re reading this, you will survive”. Confounded by this he looks up from his phone to find himself at the start of the web novel he just finished reading. Can he use his insider information to survive the coming apocalypse?
This is a webtoon, meaning it reads like a comic book made for smartphone screens.
The apocalypse consists of quests the participants (i.e. all humans) must clear in order to survive and usually include fighting monsters, getting to certain locations etc. The players have access to game-like menu screens and are able to level up skills and abilities, as well as see other player’s stats. Clearing scenarios earns them coins which can be spent to upgrade their stats.
I love the premise of this story, the set up is great and doesn’t get old. The protagonist knows how the story will play out, but we, the reader, do not – we only know that he knows and acts accordingly which creates an interesting dynamic. The action is also being watched by ‘constellations’ who comment on the going ons, who mirror us, the readers, experiencing the story from an outside perspective, often resulting in humorous parallels.
This was extremely fun and included true progression. The chapter format was also perfect for reading one chapter here and there when you have awkward amounts of down time.
Free on Webtoon.
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