Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity

When humanity first encountered alien life, we were judged and found wanting.  

The Galactic Consensus interviewed our leaders and subjected us to a battery of psychological tests to determine our progress as a society.  They found us to be selfish, wasteful, impulsive, and boorish neighbors.  Earth was blockaded and our collective encounter with our extrasolar neighbors rapidly faded from memory.

All they left behind was a hypercomm relay and a handful of subscriptions to a massively multiplayer game that participants played in their sleep.  The Consensus said that it would let us interact with our neighbors in a controlled setting.  That it would teach us to be better members of the galactic community.

The megacorporations that controlled Earth ignored the game until they learned that the powers earned from clearing dungeons were just as real when day broke.  Magic, supernatural abilities and rumors exploded from nothing and a subscription to The Tower of Somnus became a status symbol.

Katherine ‘Kat’ Debs doesn’t have much, but it could be worse.  Born in an arcology, she was assigned a job in the megacorporation that raised her almost as soon as she could work.  Despite the stability of her corporate life, she wanted something more.  A chance to claw her way up the rigid social and financial ladder to make something of herself.

A chance that wouldn’t come naturally to someone as familiar with dark alleyways and the glint of steel as she was with office work and corporate niceties.

Cover art by Faewild

Coloring/shading by KrazeKode

- - - - - -



Book One was  a National Novel Writing Month/Writeathon entry.  Book one has zero editing or proofreading.

As a warning, this WILL eventually go to Kindle Unlimited (meaning each book will come down shortly before I publish it).

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Author
Cocop (Cale Plamann)

Cocop (Cale Plamann)

Founding Member of the Zard Skwad

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Prologue ago
Chapter 1 ago
Chapter 2 ago
Chapter 3 ago
Chapter 4 ago
Chapter 5 ago
Chapter 6 ago
Chapter 7 ago
Chapter 8 ago
Chapter 9 ago
Chapter 10 ago
Chapter 11 ago
Chapter 12 ago
Chapter 13 ago
Chapter 14 ago
Chapter 15 ago
Chapter 16 ago
Chapter 17 ago
Chapter 18 ago
Chapter 19 ago
Chapter 20 ago
Chapter 21 ago
Chapter 22 ago
Chapter 23 ago
Chapter 24 ago
Chapter 25 ago
Chapter 26 ago
Chapter 27 ago
Chapter 28 ago
Chapter 29 ago
Chapter 30 ago
Chapter 31 ago
Chapter 32 ago
Chapter 33 ago
Chapter 34 ago
Chapter 35 ago
Chapter 36 ago
Chapter 37 ago
Chapter 38 ago
Chapter 39 ago
Epilogue - Book One ago
Interlude ago
PREVIOUSLY ON TOWER OF SOMNUS, BOOK ONE: FOUNDATIONS ago
Book Two - Chapter One ago
Chapter 2 ago
Chapter 3 ago
Chapter 4 ago
Chapter 5 ago
Chapter 6 ago
Chapter 7 ago
Chapter 8 ago
Chapter 9 ago
Chapter 10 ago
Chapter 11 ago
Chapter 12 ago
Chapter 13 ago
Chapter 14 ago
Chapter 15 ago
Chapter 16 ago
Chapter 17 ago
Chapter 18 ago
Chapter 19 ago
Chapter 20 ago
Chapter 21 ago
Chapter 22 ago
Chapter 23 ago
Chapter 24 ago
Chapter 25 ago
Chapter 26 ago
Chapter 27 ago
Chapter 28 ago
Chapter 29 ago
Chapter 30 ago
Chapter 31 ago
Chapter 32 ago
Chapter 33 ago
Chapter 34 ago
Chapter 35 ago
Chapter 36 ago
Chapter 37 ago
Chapter 38 ago
Chapter 39 - End of Book Two ago
INTERLUDE ago
Book Three - Chapter One ago
Chapter 2 ago
Chapter 3 ago
Chapter 4 ago
Chapter 5 ago
Chapter 6 ago
Chapter 7 ago
Chapter 8 ago
Chapter 9 ago
Chapter 10 ago
Chapter 11 ago
Chapter 12 ago
Chapter 13 ago
Chapter 14 ago
Chapter 15 ago
Chapter 16 ago
Chapter 17 ago
Chapter 18 ago
Chapter 19 ago
Chapter 20 ago
Chapter 21 ago
Chapter 22 ago
Chapter 23 ago

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DoomAlsoDoom
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Story
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Character

{ Edit at end of Book 1.
I'm bumping my story score to 5. Everything leading up to the end of book 1 was very satisfying. Well worth the read.}

Almost half a novel's worth of writing done in this story and it's fantastic. I'm not usually a fan of mixing VR-like and real life in a LitRPG story, but the author went ouf of his way to make the real world interesting and relevant.

While I enjoy the VR-like/LitRPG aspect, I actually enjoy the cyberpunk street samurai corporate dystopia world even more, where their powers from the VR carry over. The world building is great and it feels like the characters are walking around in a real world.

Style: I was already a fan of the author's general writing style, so this was a bit of a no brainer for me. 

Grammar: The grammar is excellent. There are a few areas where the prose is a little rough, but there are very few, if any, grammatical mistakes. Even with that, he's writing it incredibly fast so if there were things that stood out, I wouldn't be too mad.

Story: I'm a big picture type of reader. I tend to look for the overarching plot, so without that I can't yet give it 5 stars. We haven't reached a critical point where the story turning point happens. When we get there, I'll update my review accordingly.

Character: The characters are very good. The MC is a great character. I wouldn't continue reading if she weren't. That being said, my favorite charcter is actually the one I love to hate in the story. If I can love a character that was written to be hated, you've got my vote.

Definitely give this story a shot.

SentientBagel
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

This may seem like a harsh review, but for a story that is on the front page of top ongoing fictions, this one has some serious problems that I was surprised to see.

Grammar: The grammer in this is fine, I didn't notice any particular problems with it.

Style: I'm ok with this, not particularly elegant prose, but nothing wrong with it.

Story: Not particularly original, building on a lot of other tower climbing/alien apocolypse stories on this website. I do like the mix of the inside tower outside tower scenes. It is done in a somewhat believable way that makes sense within the universe of the world. That said, it isn't really explained why technologically advanced aliens have chosen to use magic as the mechanism for their advancement, nor how this makes any sense, but I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt given that this isn't something the characters in the book would know.

Characters: The elephant in the room. The story is predicated on the idea that humans have been put on probation for joining the galactic community because they are so bad at cooperation that they fight each other and try to bribe/like to all the aliens of the galactic community. All well and good, we have a setting of a corporate cyber-punk future so that makes sense. Along comes our protaganist: A street rat who is nevertheless good at everything she has ever tried. Others have pointed out that she is a Mary-Sue. This is probably true, but not my biggest problem with her character. The problem is that the aliens take her on as an exemplar of her species who doesn't display any of the problem characteristics of humans. She can cooperate, she can work with a team, she can be trusted. But her actions when she is in the human world are totally against this idea. She has no problems killing people, and experiences no emotional trauma from frequently mowing down enemies. Not only that, she often makes no effort to preserve the lives of other humans. She frequently takes dangerous missions against other gangs for no other reason but money. As one commentor said, she kills people who are exactly like her, they work for a gang, they work for money, they aren't bad guys any more than she is.

Having a morally questionable main character is a perfectly fine choice, the problem is the inconsistancy. The aliens like her because she is different from the other humans, but on earth she acts exactly the same as all the other evil humans. That would be an interesting plot point but it isn't played for tension at all. The aliens don't know what she is doing back home, so they just carry on as if they are dealing with the only saintly human.

There are plenty of other problems I have with the story, but this was the one that made me drop it after reading through the entire first book. Go ahead and have a morally neutral character, go ahead and have a sociopathic character, but don't pretend like that isn't who they are. Have the world react to the actions of your character, don't make it so that everyone likes them regardless. That is the central problem with a Mary-Sue. It isn't that they are super powerful, it is that the world bends around them in ways that isn't believable, just because they are the main character. I think there is a salvageable story here, but it would require a major re-write because the character flaws have a huge impact on the story.

caerulex
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Humanity lives in a dystopian future shaped by first contact with aliens decades before. As stated in the synopsis, aliens judged humans and found them wanting. However, they gave humanity access to a game called Tower of Somnus that all the other discovered peoples across the galaxy subscribe to.

Tower of Somnus isn't just a game but something more: When you sleep, you enter the game, and the power you gain in ToS carries over into the real world. Becoming a player is something that people on the lower rungs of society can only dream about.

Due to a certain circumstance, the main character, Kat, gets the opportunity to become a player.

Kat was already living a double life as a runner of goods/information while being a student. The story explores how Kat balances entering the workforce, her illegal running operations, and venturing forth with newfound alien friends inside of ToS while gaining levels/advancing through the tower's floors.

Kat is an excellent progression fantasy MC because she starts off scrappy out of the gate. She works hard, is top of her class, and is a potent fighter with a knife. When she enters ToS, it very much feels like it's a kind of setting that she was born to do well in thanks to her fighting instincts and general good sense of logic/reason.

The action scenes both IRL (people die; knife fights are legit) and in ToS are described well. Coco has a good grasp of martial arts and I think that definitely helps to add some realism to some of the action sequences.

I must also commend Coco for making a detestable yet highly realistic manipulative "friend" in Arnold. He's an antagonist done well: you can see why he's maybe doing the things he's doing, but at the same time he's pathetic, desperate, and creepy. He's the kind of person you hope you never get tangled up with.

Update: as of latest chapter is still going strong!

Maxsimal
Overall

Crippled by bad characters

Reviewed at: Chapter 36

This novel has an interesting core idea, combining it's VRMMO feeling game world with the real one *because aliens*.  And the genre fiction writing is quite decent.  But there are a few things that end up detracting from it.

  There are plenty of glowing reviews  here so this review will cover why you might not enjoy it.

1.  The main character is a hyper competent Mary Sue, only slightly-justified. She's a gymnast/martial artist/streetwise runner/highschool valedictorian who also holds down a part time job and tutors both her bf and her sister...

2. Despite being hyper competent, she gets stupid beyond any reasonable belief when the plot needs her to.  

She's so blinded to her love interests weirdly huge face-turn as to make excuses for it, she goes into one heist to ask 'lets go over the plan' even when she already knows there is no plan

3. Other characters are all flat &black and white - any that feature for any length of time are either loyal and friendly, or just despicablely vile.  

Previous love interest goes from helpful and nice to misgynistic overconfident asshole in 0 seconds flat.  And then he helps arrange her sisters kidnapping by thugs.

4. If you don't think reading many chapters worth of enemies getting various tendons, arteries, or muscles cut is a great thing, might not be for you.  Overall the combat is competently described but it feels like it's written by the guy who has to overexplicate EVERY hit's anatomical damage at the gaming table.

Points #2& #3 cripple the novel most for me.  Almost like the author cut the novels hamstring with his poor characters.

Brian Hudspeth
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Throwing daggers are a WMD.

Reviewed at: Chapter 4

 

Reading this story makes me wonder why guns were ever invented considering throwing daggers are so much better at killing people. 

The MC is a hyper competent Mary Sue. 

The setting and backdrop are pretty interesting, however, the characters all feel a bit flat, and there don't really seem to be any real stakes, since you know the MC is going to succeed at whatever she attempts. Also, if someone is going to do a complete 180 on everything that they believe, you should at least show that in a way that makes logical sense.

I do like the aliens, for the most part. It does make sense that some species would be at least curious about humanity. I think humanity would be a lot more curious about the aliens, and probably be a lot less antagonistic toward them. 

I didn't really notice any problems with the grammar, so no problems there. 

I think the fight scenes could be much improved by adding some depth to the enemies and attempt to treat them like professionals instead of effectively exp for the MC as well as take a hard look at the strengths and weaknesses of the various weapons that you put into your story.

MUMUMUATAMU
Overall

One of my favorites story in RR.

Fun Cyberpunk story with LITRPG and Aliens. Lot of great action scene inside and outside game. Well written character with varied personality. My only complaint in every infiltration is always discovered not even one succes without discovered and fight.

Highly recommended this story.

Solarus
Overall

Great premise, great grammer, weak writing

Reviewed at: Chapter 11

The writing is pretty good grammar wise, and the world outside of the dungeon is interesting, but I cannot excuse the sheer level of flatness the characters have. It was completely unbearable to read by chapter 9. My main issue is the story makes a certain character suddenly evil in the most obnoxious way possible short of kicking babies. That issue seems to be a issue that concerns the entire story, a lack of nuance with antagonists.

Ebisou
Overall

Great start so far.  Good grammar.  All we've seen so far is coorporate dystopia.  The litrpg is  just being introduced and I'm looking forward to it.  Characters seem believable enough and 3 dimensional.   

Can Kat escpape corporate slavery?  This story has a ton of potential.  

Adding to the review at chapter 25.  Still only a little bit of RPG, but I don't care.  This is a very character centric novel and Kat is a really good character.  The real world action is all really well written.  

Syrupotheosis
Overall

Solid grammar. It's an interesting premise: I love the idea of aliens testing humanity, and an intergalactic VRMMO is one of the more creative and believable models for LitRPG I've ever heard. The corporate villains are well set up and I have a pretty good sense of what the world is like. The characters have personality. All told, this seems like a good start to a promising premise!!

Materia-Blade
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Real World as Interesting as the Game

Reviewed at: Chapter 19

This is the first story by CoCop I've read, (though I've been meaning to get to Blessed Time.) This story, completely unedited from what I've gathered, is head and shoulders about 90% of all other game world stories out there.

The concept isn't the most original but as we all know, the execution is what counts. An alien conglomorate gives humanity access to a gameworld for "reasons." Like I said, you've probably seen this before. The setting is what sets it apart from the rest though.

This story is set in a future world where humanity has become quite a bit harsher than it is now. Arcologies rule the world and at first I felt like this story had poorly established its hook. The first two or three chapters set up the real world before the dive into the game begins and when it does it picks up fast with a wonderfully satisfying character change happening right off the bat. 

Style is golden. You won't find purple prose here, but you equally won't have any trouble following along. Almost rated a tad lower because paragraphs tend to be on the longer side which looks a little funny on my computer, but thats more my problem than the stories. It tells a grand tale and tells it well, which leads me to:

Story: The plot takes about two chapters to draw you in. If you skim until the game stuff, then you're like me, but you'll do that and then you'll start getting interested in the real world setting and backtrack to reread the opening because as the review states, the Real World setting in this story is every bit as interesting as the game world. Both work wonderfully with each other. 

Grammar? What's there to say? I think I found maybe one error in 50,000 words? I'm no perfect proofreader but I was never once pulled out of the story by grammar or spelling errors. And this is friggin unedited? Easy 5. Eaaaasy 5.

Character. The MC is surprisingly deep. A product of her society and the world built around her. There is a subtle difference between the humans in this story and normal people that I think is actually intentional. A certain... company-man attitude thats shared by the entire race. An almost indoctrinated feeling of "This is the best we can get, so lets try to be happy anyway." It's sad and its visible through the attitudes and word choices that come from the MC and her family, as well as other sub characters, all in the same hopeless situation, just at varying levels. Its nuanced and its perfectly subverted with nights spent in the game where the pressure is off and the only thing Kat needs to fear is dying.

Its a great story with plenty of meat to sink your teeth into already and a frankly maddening update pace. I'm looking forward to opening Blessed Time already.