Silvergates: Northworld (Book 1 complete)
- Traumatising content
Five years ago, the first Silvergate was found. At first, they called it a hoax. But since then, more and more people have entered the alternate dimension called Northworld, received their Interface, and going on to real adventures. As it gained momentum, they called it a problem. Now, they call it a crime. But for nearly a half a million people, it's now their real home.
Yearning. Escape. Duty. The reasons to go are many. Despite the criminalization of the Silvergating, people still seek out their ticket to Northworld.
But for new Gaters Jasper Hill, Erika Haglund, Henry Esteban, Northworld has surprises in store. Not every rumor are false, not every conspiracy theory is stupid. When the veil lift for them, showing truths about Northworld that no one suspected, they may have a hard time making themselves heard.
And being trusted may mean the difference between life or exile forever.
Northworld is a litrpg story where people enter an actual world, submit to an RPG-type Interface, and discover an alternate reality. You could describe it as a reversible Isekai since people alternate between Earth and Northworld.
The characters are usually casual about it, which means casual talk and the not-infrequent profanity. Four letter words dropped in conversation (or internal monologue).
Warning: one potentially horrible theme and one implied sex scene.
Book 1 is complete, as the title says. Book 2 is expected to start early 2020.
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The author knows how to write, and it shows. The prose flows well, and grammar is top notch. There is a good litrpg system in place, with sane mechanics and awesome posibilities. You want to see the next skill the main characters will get. How they interact.
Where the story stumbles is the plot. And because of that, the characters suffer too.
The main storyline in the book is very poorly thoght through. The main event, the one triggering the conflict is fine. But the way the characters react to it, and the resulting actions are mind boggling. We continue with various scenes where our daring heroes make it through via the magical powers of plot armor, to an almost non-existent and extremely unsatisfying conclusion.
While the story focuses on the 3 main characters, which are almost always together, the author does not do a very good job of differentiating between them, and making them stand on their own. Especially for the Northworld chapters (the majority of the book), they feel more like 1 main character, split into 3 people. Of special note here is Birka. She can easily be removed from the novel, and very few things would change.
All in all a frustrating read, where the good parts were always sabotaged by some plot inconsistency or some inconsistent decision.
Let me start by saying I enjoyed the whole of the story. The characters were mostly realistic in their personalities and reactions. The world building was fun. I'm happy I read the story and would recommend it to someone that can skim over the obvious issues.
With that said, the issues are quite obvious after a few chapters. The grammar is the first of two problems I had. There are quite often extra words, missing words, or improperly ordered words. This looks to be mostly due to the rushed feeling the author appears to have felt while publishing which is effectively the second issue I encountered.
The author mentions in notes several times about feeling rushed and it shows. Some simple reasoning on some overarching issues seems passed over a bit too flippantly. The story in the back half skips scenes and progressions far too quickly or entirely off-screen leaving the reader guessing or unfulfilled.
With book 2 in the works, I hope the author has a chance to step back and fill in the gaps to push their story to a higher quality so that both reader and writer get what they deserve.
I won't go into details of why I liked the story. I just want to mention one big flaw thats irritating the hell out of me.
There are sometimes sudden and abrupt and short pov changes and it takes a couple of lines for me to recognise that. Plus the dialogues are hard to follow as the characters don't have an obvious speech pattern. So it becomes really difficult to know exactly who is saying which line.
The premise is interesting but
I don't like how you portrayed the FBI
They shouldn't be involved in this matter, it should be the CIA or another relevant agency.
They don't look like they have any clue about what they're doing and kind of believe everything is a big illusion when their member come back with sword and whatnot after an experience in this world.
Henry isn't even briefed about whatever information the other agent had found out in prior mission, they should be prepared and given equipment prior to be sent out there, like weapon. (all the character are nearly unarmed... how is that possible when they know what'll happen in there..)
They would have hunted down Henry instead of playing it cool.
Another point is that the over reaction of the guild is unreasonably stupid, inquisition really?
Last is the ending of the serie which i kind of dislike, i imagined that there would be a struggle before reaching the earthen guild but it ended so casually that i feel i've been lied to about all the tense situation they were in.
This story has an interesting premise and the MC seems to be a reasonable person.
The current chapters seem like they are meant to introduce the reader to the world and set up the cast and are imo well done in that regard.
I would recommend giving it a try.
I started reading and my curiousity was piqued. Next thing I knew I was 15 chapters in and my dinner was cold.
Very well-written thusfar. Grammar is spot on. Characters aren't single dimension. System is well designed.
If you're on the fence about trying it, don't be. Give it a whirl. Eat your dinner first, though.
It's a portal story with a lot of good adventuring, exploring the world, etc. I've been enjoying the chapters for book one, and am really looking forward to the author developing the world more in book two. Lots of potential here.
Interesting story, well written, believable characters.
LitRPG, but there is a real book hiding behind the stat tables.
Recommended for litrpg and fanatasy / scifi readers alike.
This is one of the good ones boys! This is a very unique and different style of LitRpg (at least to me), as someone who usually avoids virtual reality like stories like the plague, this one brings all of the upsides of that genre with none of it's downsides.
The world is offered a mysterious knew form of entertainment and self improvement, risk your life in this new world and gain power, or just dip your toes in, a system that allows people to individualy choose their amount of investment. It is a fantasticly well thought out system.
The only area where I feel the need to dock a star, the early chapter are heaped with exposition, and it is delivered bin a rather dry manner, and almost turned me away at the get go, but once past that it speeds up and let's us get what we need as the characters themselves discover it.
I feel like the true conflict of the series is only just beginning (ch.24), and its great, there is ample tension on both a character side with our mains and on a plot side with the forces moving out of their reach, I'm super interested to see where thing go and that's a great sign!
Well executed and edited, this is one of the very few times I have seen 3rd person omniscient executed well on RR. The flow between characters and the diverse main cast give it a great edge that I really like.
The most important aspect of most stories in my opinion and this one does it well, with diverse characters with clear motivations and conflicts, going into any real detail would be spoilers, but they are great!
MECHANICS 4 stars
I didn't think I'd see a system more complicated than Randidly's, but you pulled it off, while I find the character sheets to be kind of cluttered, I think you have done a great job at making something unique, not something which most try these days.
In conclusion I think you should definitely give this a shot if you like LitRpg's, and maybe even if you don't!
This is one among three stories I've given an overall 5 star rating, not because it's perfect but because it's in the top 3 best stories I've read on RR. I'd put it on par with Mother of Learning and Metaworld Chronicles.
The author is obviously very well read in the genre and seems to have some writing experience. The syntax is fantastic. Now, I'm obviously not perfect but except for 2 spelling mistakes I haven't seen anything (though instead of tough).
The style is engaging and flows well. It's nothing extraordinary or odd. It's somewhat Sanderson (Mistborn) in style and that's a compliment.
The characters are the weakest link here only because we haven't seen enough of them yet. The MC is undecided, the mole needs some polish and the chick doesn't have a personality. The side characters aren't caricatures and thus it gets 4 stars but the 3 main characters need some work and I hope some more bonding occurs in ch18+.
Now, the story. I like it. I haven't given it the full score. It's a basic but enjoyable explorer romp around monster infested areas that would love to rip everyone to shreds. It would be ok if not for the great world building. There are mysteries, some political plots, and a not yet over powered MC.
Over all, read this. It deserves to be in the top 10 and I'll buy the ebook once it comes out.