LitRPG Review 11/12/2021 by SyncSelyrian

Enemy of the World (Main Character Hides His Strength, Book 1/2, ongoing) by Road Warrior

You can buy this book here!

Sungchul is extremely powerful. When he faces his greatest enemy however, he is held back by his inability to use magic. One thing is clear: he needs to fix this if he wants to be victorious. To gain magic powers he enters a summoning circle where participants fight for abilities, but he must hide his strength lest the deities notice and take him out before he can face the Demon King.

The translation from Korean is a little bit clunky, you can sometimes tell it’s a translation just from the sentence structure and the wording isn’t always entirely natural (e.g. “This place was about to overflow with human blood soon.”) Doesn’t completely deter from the action, just throws you off sometimes.

The book is weak on character development and relationship building and therefore relies solely on action scenes (often in the way of mindless violence and torture). The main character doesn’t really go beyond “must get stronger and murder things while not caring about anyone else”, and doesn’t even really progress all that much. The world building is fun though and differs from most LitRPGs I’ve read so far.

Overall recommended if you like OP characters, lots of murder and a fairly simple storyline. For me personally it had too many downsides though.

tw: repeated sexual assault resulting in murder (off-page and denounced)

5.5/10

LitRPG Review 11/11/2021 by SyncSelyrian

He Who Fights with Monsters (He Who Fights with Monsters Book 1 of 3) by Shirtaloon

Jason wakes up naked in a strange place. Originally from Melbourne he finds himself in a world filled with monsters, cannibals and magic – so he does what anyone would do: he passes out a lot. That won’t stop him from giving up though, and it certainly won’t dampen his mood. He meets many new friends, travels to new places and learns the magic of this world. While he’s enjoying his time here he still can’t help wondering: Can he ever go back home? Does he even want to?

The best thing about this is Jason’s personality and how he interacts with others. He’s the complete opposite of the initially awkward and weak protagonists we often see in progression fantasy (even though I love this trope) – Jason is very good with at people and loves talking to everybody. He’s friendly, witty, at times even insightful and generally just a joy to read about.

This book was very humorous, very clever, very aussie. Loved it. Will continue the series asap.

8/10

2 LitRPG Reviews 11/10/2021 by SyncSelyrian

Today is a two-fer, since there wasn’t much else to say about my continuation on Ascend Online.

Legacy of the Fallen (Ascend Online Book 2 of 4) by Luke Chmilenko

You can buy it here!

Fun continuation of book one, more quests, more people, more battles. If you liked book one you will like this one. The only thing I will say is that it sadly fell into the stereotype of every female character being either an archer, a healer or a love interest (or several of those at once). This isn’t a bad thing per se but it’s also not very interesting. I had a good time with this and will read book 3 some time later. (Note: book 2 and 3 can be read in either order)

7/10

Sword of Kaigen by M. L. Wang

You can buy it here!

I hope I don’t get beheaded for putting this here – Sword of Kaigen isn’t LitRPG and honestly not even progression fantasy, as the focus of the novel isn’t gaining strength. I still thought people here might enjoy it.

Mamoru is the son of a legendary warrior family that harnesses the power of ice. They’ve practised traditional sword fighting for decades to protect their empire from invaders. When Kwang Chul-hee transfers over from the city, he brings some scandalous ideals with him – and a smartphone. Mamoru is forced to question everything he was told, all while trying to perfect his family’s famous fighting technique he just can’t get to work. He is in dire need of guidance when it turns out his father might not be the only legendary swordsman around.

This was extremely fun, extremely well written with deep characters and a gripping story. The world building was fantastic and while the protagonist doesn’t “level up” it’s still a story about getting stronger. Recommended for people who also like traditional fantasy.

[Heads up: The audiobook for this was sadly very hard to listen to. The performance was great, however the narrator doesn’t pronounce a single Japanese term correctly. He says “-kun” like “kan”, “tousan (father)” like “two-san”, “nee-san (sister)” like “nii-san (which then means brother)” and it was just very hard not to cringe every single time. Since it also changes the meaning of words it actually made the book harder to understand. You’d think at least someone involved in the production would have thought to ask a Japanese speaker for some directions but alas.]

8/10

LitRPG Reviews 11/9/2021 by SyncSelyrian 

Iron Prince (Stormweaver Book 1 of 1) by Bryce O’Connor and Luke Chmilenko

You can buy it here!

Rei is suffering from chronic pain due to a condition that affects his bones (FOP). Nonetheless his biggest dream is becoming a CAD user: he wants his personal combat device to become a fighter. In order to do this he needs to pass the entry exam despite his disadvantages. While things aren’t looking great for him during the physical exam, there just might be something special about him …

Super enjoyable read. Side characters all had their own motives and personalities, the overall story is great, antagonists felt real and justified in their motives, progression happened at a good pace, this is what I want from LitRPG.

Concerns were raised that the display of FOP wasn’t very accurate. While this is a sci-fi I feel like treatments of diseases don’t have to be the same as they are now, but it does raise the question why Rei’s illness needed to be named after a condition that exists if it bares little resemblance anyway. While this didn’t make the book any less enjoyable for me, don’t go into this expecting an accurate portrayal of FOP specifically.

Overall I loved this one, one of the highlights of my LitRPG journey so far. Book 2 coming possibly 2022. Strongly recommended.

9/10