Wildcards: Book One - The Dread Pirate

by James Northman

Original ONGOING Action Adventure Fantasy Sci-fi Anti-Hero Lead Cyberpunk GameLit LitRPG Male Lead Multiple Lead Characters Strategy Virtual Reality
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Profanity

At the District One Invitational, a rookie eSports team defied all odds and reached the finals. Their underdog story and humble beginnings elevated them to worldwide acclaim. Media corporations dubbed them, The Paragons. With their main competition eliminated from the tournament during the semifinals, the rookie team sailed through the live finals and won by a landslide. Their prize was to become the first ever players in the most exclusive VR game yet, Abidden

The Paragons never celebrated that semi-final victory. They lost a friend in that match, who never appeared online again. Ten years later, the gaming landscape has changed and Abidden with it. Helena is the last remaining Paragon. Her team now consists of celebrities, influencers and musicians. Abidden has been reduced to a shadow of its former glory, but is the most streamed and viewed game in the world, despite having only a handful of players.

None of this matters to James Sylvester. Finally out of hospital, things aren't good for James. He's found himself crippled with medical debt, his gaming licence has been revoked and he's permanently lost his place in society. He now spends his days competing in illegal slum arcades to manage the repayments. When a high-profile job comes along, James gets temporary backdoor access to his blacklisted gaming account. After reactivating it for the first time in ten years, James receives an invitation that could change his life forever.

Disclaimer: This story is in no way or form associated with the works of George R. R. Martin and has no link to the popularised series, Wild Cards. This is a LitRPG story of my own creation that shares that name.   

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James Northman

James Northman

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I don't write many reviews but I thought this story was worth one. Overall a very nice start. The grammar is clean, with nothing major to jar you out of the story. The start of the story is interesting and is a slightly different take on the immersive gaming world, think Ready Player One but the corporation won. Everything is in the beginning stages but I like what I have read so far. Most important is that I wanted more to read when I caught up to the author.

Lord Reader

I must say that the author's writing style is quite good and I can appreciate a man or woman who would rewrite their chapter one midway through a book, just to keep the quality up and the coherency of the story intact. As in fact most authors will try and finish an arc or story first before a rewrite making it not only annoying to match the story up, but also affecting the quality of the whole book. And the plot so far is quite unique compared to other litRPGs, not that boring plain op from the start. Unless you count powerful friends ;), but also contains details on the MC's present and past life story.


Solid series that does pull my smile upwards

Reviewed at: Chapter 17: Meet The Sponsors (Part 3)

It is still early in this story's lifetime. But I must admit I am waiting eagerly to see a new chapter, and a small bundle of joy joins me when I see it in my follow list.

The story is well written and not typical of other stories in this genre. There is more focus on the players real life, the business side of thing and the relationship between the players.

The story is set in the future, which I would both call and "Science and Technology Utopia" and a "Technological Dystopia". Depends on which side of the rich scale you are in.

I really recommend people reading this and checking it out. All said and done I love this story and hope the author updates often.

Disclaimer: I am supporting the author on Patreon, so I might be a little biased.


All the story so far is worldbuilding out of game.

The good:

The worldbuilding is very good. Some of the best I've read for a vrmmorpg.


The okay:

There are 19 chapters before we even get to character creation.


The worry:

So often with vrmmorpgs, the in game, and out of game don't feel seamless, but more like two stories that have been shuffled into eachother.


Count of Monte Cristo in a dystopian society with VR

Reviewed at: Chapter 18: Entering Abidden - Character Creation

This is really well written and the set up for the story is quite neat.  The worldbuilding is great, but be advised that pretty much the entirety of the first book is outside of vr.  

The author has done a great job of establishing characters and setting their motivations for what I expect will be a grand adventure.  But if you are the type of reader that requires constant action and overpowered mc's, this might not be the story for you.

The setup is kind of like The Count of Monte Cristo in a future dystopia with VR.

Mister Bill

Really one of the better new stories on RR. It is a lot of fun and has good LitRPG elements so far. 
It has VR and IRL elements and does them very well. The story wraps you up and the characters are great. Give it a shot. 


Exciting, well made, makes sense, and info is at the level where if you don't know what is going on then you are still fine, and knowing the laws or other details based of of intuition makes it just that much more satisfying. This book ,it has great plot development and also you can feel the characters personality based on how they act, their title or something similar, and also how they react to other characters. This is an amazing story and I love it.


Man, I wasn't expecting to like this. I thought it was gonna be an edgy revenge litfic, oh boy was I mistaken, and I'm glad for that. 


I was thinking this would burn a couple hours. Another "he plays the game" "he finds a cheat and wrecks $hit" JOYFULLY wrong!! Great storytelling. Very fun characters. ACTUAL backstory OMG. No overdone 3 chapter long exposition on how "things came to be". Just a "this is what is", from here we move forward. If you keep writing it I'll keep reading it. A very refreshing find. Thank you in advance for all possible future chapters. MOAR muhahaha..cough



Chris Lee

Hey! I have read up to chapter 18 as of 8/3, and I find the story to be amazing.

I've loved your style, story, character development, and grammar has been excellent, I think I only saw one error. 

The only reason I marked your story score and style score by half a star was because some parts of the story, like his quest for the platinum player, and chapter 18's pantheon scene, I had a little bit of confusion understanding what was going on. For example, the chapter ended without showing James' participation in the quest, and the next chapter announced him completing it very vaguely, so I almost didn't catch that. Also, for chapter 18, I found that James realizing the goddess' plans was a little confusing.

Otherwise, I'm loving the story so far, and I will edit this review once I've read another 5-10 chapters.