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Real Fantasy Online. The flagship product for the latest generation neural-interface headset. Touting: "The Best NPC AIs", "Better than Life Realism" and "Total Immersion", RFO promises to be a virtual world like no other. But when the line between one's real self and one's digital identity becomes blurred, and the "Gods" have their own agenda, who is the player, and which is the game?
Marcus has played any number of VR games, beta-tested dangerous and unstable systems and lived to tell the tale. He even has a certain amount of fame and influence within...certain circles. He usually disdains the idea of pre-orders and their respective "perks" as blatent commerical exploitation, but this time the bonus is too tempting to pass up. The ability to craft your character's backstory and have it integrated into the game's lore is enough for him to sign up for the Early Access program. He isn't interested in being all-powerful. Frankly, he's been there and done that enough to be bored of the whole thing. Instead, he opts to make a character purely for the purpose of having fun. Things aren't quite what they seem however, and his "backstory" and character class have implications he never would have imagined.
Author Note: First time posting a story online, and I'd appreciate any feedback. Updates may be slow, as each "chapter" will likely be in the 10,000 word range and I tend to revise several times before being (tentatively) satisfied. If people seem to like this I'll try to establish a regular post schedule.
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This story is excellent. At this time, there are only 3 chapters. However, each chapter is long, ~10k words.
My review is equally as long. (Not really) Bear with me, or there's a TL;DR at the bottom.
I will talk about the easy points first.
The grammar is excellent. I would not be surprised to find out that he already has a proofreader, but if he can just write this on his own I am jealous. There are a few mistakes, but the author reads comments and corrects quickly. Given the standards for RRL, this is easily 5/5.
Style is a bit more nebulous. It is primarily written in limited third person. The main character is adressed by his name or simply he. We see his thoughts, but not those of other characters (aside from small POV segments). Sentences are well written, few if any major errors. Paragraphs are well divided, no walls of text here! Blue Boxes exist, but are somewhat rare. They come up in a separate segment, all together. No constant interruptions about "Skill X has increased!" In addition, they make sense in context.
Now things get harder, and with far more spoilers. I will try to avoid them, but be careful.
Story-wise, I can find few flaws. It takes place in a future, ~100 years from now. We get a limited backstory that flows well, no huge infodump. There is no OPMC scenario, no major plot holes, and I am interested.
There are a number of interesting choices however. The game takes place as more of a "Choose Your Own Adventure" in which the player gives a set of vague goals, and then the player experiences the mind of the character as they muddle through the world. There is no direct control by the player. This prevents metagaming, and some of the flaws LitRPG tends to accumulate.
The world is highly advanced, with singularity grade AI, nanobots, and total immersion class VR technology. In addition, nanobots can enforce NDA's, memories can be altered, added, and presumably erased, and a "Death-Game" type VR has not only happened, but the MC was one of the escapees.
Lastly, and the part that has me a little conflicted, character.
The main character is well written, and there are few major flaws. Side characters feel realistic, and I can't see any cardboard cutouts. With that said, there's less than 200 pages out right now.
My main concern is that the MC seems apathetic to death, insanity, or brain damage. At the moment, in one of the chapters he comments that "If my brain gets fried, it gets fried." in an oh-well manner. In addition, he ignores what the author highlights as major heath risks associated with the extreme time dilation and the ability of the extremely intelligent AI to edit his memories seemingly at will. This may be clarified later, if so I will edit.
Now for the TL;DR
Grammer: 5/5, Near Perfect.
Style: Limited Third Person, well written. Professional grade imho. 5/5
Story: Interesting, seemlessly integrated, and clever. Issues are minor. 4.5/5
Character: Detailed, realistic, no cardboard cutouts. MC is concerning. 4/5
This story had such a great start, it is a shame it has not been continued. According to Royal Road pyrowind, the author, was last active this past October. We'll see.
I look down on rave reviews usually, but this novel really does bring it all. Compelling characters, interesting plot, and tons of uniqueness. Definitely steals random things from other fantasy novels, but the write implements them in a way that adds to the story, rather than just being corny.
There are a few minor grammar mistakes, sometimes even back to back, but it didn't detract from the overall story for me, which is unusual since I normally grammar nazi on RRL.
I'm writing this review in hopes that this will be continued. I have enjoyed the story so much that I have been checking this title every month for half a year now for any updates but sadly, it still remain on hiatus.
Pls continue the story!
Very interesting VR game mechanics and mature, believable, intelligent, but not over-powered MC. Fantasy, adventure and mystery in real life and in the game.
I recommend it as one of the most promising stories on RoyalRoad.
Long chapters. :)
Posting this at chapter 3. This book has had a great start and amazing potential. In most litrpg books the story either progress to fast or to slow but this one has seem to find the perfect pace. On top of that the characters are evolving and they aren't to op or week. It has a hint of comedy, and harem with adventuring. I love it
I can not fault it in anyway. The concept is extreamly refreshing with many future possible developments being hinted at.
The lenght of each chapter also adds immensely to the emersion and makes it very enjoyable to read. It has flawless grammar and you can tell every aspect of it has been throughly thought out. The character development is also quite excellent, whether it's the internal dialogue or their respective actions, it just fits.
Honestly I see this book reaching the Top 5 in a few weeks.
Ok this is my first review but I have to say this is a generally good story.
The premise is much better than simply "trapped in another world" and fans of Word Seed will definetly enjoy this (possible spoiler if you know the series, if not check it out its a good read).
The grammar is very good for RRL but there are some spelling mistakes in the first few chapters. But really nothing too bad to detract from the story.
The characters are abstract and have faults like normal people with no real "flat" characters. The backstory and motivation for all if them seems well thought out and planned
All and all an exciting start to what I hope will be a long adventure.
This story was just posted on amozon, same name and everything and because it has been happening to lots of books lately that are on royal road, I do a cheap to see if the book in on here and if the author has made a post about the book being published, and you (author) have not appeared to have done so and have also left all of the book posted here on royal road witch goes against the tos, so just a friendly heads up to you, love the story and hope you continue it
As of Chapter 7
I admit that I was on the fence with this one at first. The beginning was a bit slow, and even at this point, the plot has just started hatching.
I do recommend this story however.
The characters are interesting, the take on VR and AI's is also different enough to keep me reading.
I'm also impressed with the quality of the writing, as well as chapter length.
If you have a chance, give this story a try.