Tower of Somnus

by CoCop

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

CoCop

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

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Patwil0818
Overall

Great mix of dystopian real world/VR with stakes

Reviewed at: Chapter 33

This is a great start to the story that I'm glad I found. The mixture between VR (not necessarily a game but with real world consequences) and a dystopian real world is just incredibly well done. Conversation flows easily and the action scenes are easy to follow but well detailed. Give this story a chance and you won't be disappointed. 

Vera Anne Wolf
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Overall: I am still getting used to the litRPG genre, but not much knowledge is required to enjoy a good story written at a pace that both welcomes you in and keeps you eager to read further as a world of potential opens up. Kat is a character I look forward to seeing embrace the Tower and achieving her goal of liberating her mother and sisters from the corporate world she just left behind, though I’m sure more than a few stumbling blocks will get in her way.

Style: The pace is very quick, and though the opening chapters did not have any action, they immediately set you up with a good impression of the main characters Kat and Arnold. (Edit: There is actually action in the opening chapters, but they are broken up with world-building before Kat enters the game.)The writing is clean and to the point. At times it felt too clean and scripted, but given the rough draft state, I’m sure more personality and style will come later.

Story: By chapter seven, I’m already very much rooting for Kat while waiting for Arnold to eat dirt and deeply invested in Dorrik, who I hope will stick around to teach Kat more about the game. The potential of the still as yet unexplored dungeon and all its floors is something I anticipate; as well as the inevitable conflict of other players, particularly those funded by the corporation.

Grammar: One or two things pointed out along the way. An incredible job really, given its rough draft status. Only one point that I recall threw me from the story trying to figure out what the sentence should say.

Character: I admit, I did want a bit more from Kat, but even now I find her strong, compelling, and admirable. The risks she took to better her life and potentially her family's life before entering this world earned my respect and sympathy; but of course, she’s a sucker for a pretty face like so many of us. I look forward to the development that is likely to come, but I’m honestly just hoping she can accomplish what she’s risked so much for—a better life for herself and her family.

Arnold comes across as that cuddled, over-protected, over-confident kid that never had to struggle for anything. Something that will likely get him killed in the Tower, especially when coupled with his stubbornness and ego.

Dorrik (sp?) is just all-around interesting, and competent, and a great teacher. More exciting characters are likely waiting in the chapters ahead, so if this summary has piqued your interest, I encourage you to give this story a try. I highly doubt you’ll be disappointed.

staggen_mx
Overall
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My first dystopian story, and I am intrigued!

Reviewed at: Chapter 11

TL;DR of this review:
Overall - 5/5
Grammar - 5/5
Style - 5/5
Story - 5/5
Characters - 5/5 (If I could give a higher rating, I would, but unfortunately the 5-star rating system limits me. God, how I detest Arnold.)

/***/

As I read through the first text of the first chapter, I can say this without a single doubt in my mind, the grammar in this story is impeccable—and dare I say almost perfect. I wasn't able to spot any visible mistakes, and if even I could even, I'd shrug them off as minor as I put myself in the shoes of a general reader.

The style of writing is fantastic; it fills very well with the theme of the story. The descriptions that the author wrote are well-done, and you can find this aspect shine most especially within the fight scenes in the later chapters. Out of topic, but because of the descriptions used in the first chapter, I painted an image of the bird people as being pudgy little doves that wore sci-fi cloaks or the sort.

The author has set and readied an array of words in his vocabulary, thus maintaining the freshness of each sentence.

For the story itself, I was immediately hooked right as I finished up the last words in the prologue. A certain aspect that piqued my interest in the story most was the conversation that the avian fellow had. It made me want to delve deep more into learning more about the "Tower of Somnus" game, what powers people would receive in the game, what were these megacorporations, and so forth. I will not mention further any segment that occurs right after the prologue, the reason being that I wish to avoid giving out spoilers. 

If you enjoy stories that have Virtual Reality-esque aspects and with an enormous amount of dystopian elements sprinkled on it, I can say that the story is right up your alley. This story has definitely piqued my interest in the entire genre, and I will store this story in a special corner of my memory for hooking me into this genre.

As for the characters, they all have a distinct personality that makes them stand out from each other, and as far as I’ve read, they are three-dimensional. The one that caught my attention out of the bunch was surprisingly not the main character, but 'twas our "sadboi" Arnold, the reason being is...

(Do not press the spoiler button if you haven't gone past over 5 chapters for obvious reasons.)

The reason for my hatred for him is his rash attitude and his distrust for Dorrik. Both his arrogance and sheer stupidity at some moments get on my nerves. If the author foreboded this man as being manipulative, I can say that he succeeded. However, despite my somewhat harsh reasons for hating him, it gives him that certain charm as a character that I sort of adore.

After I finished reading the tenth chapter, I threw a minute celebration inside my head, repeating three simple words as I imagined myself conversing with him. "gg no re."

Good riddance of him, and I hope it remains that way for the time being. Soon after I post this review, I'll continue reading further, and hopefully, I see Arnold become humbled.

Overall, the characters have a certain quirk that makes them stand out from each other. Another thing that I really enjoyed in this story is the dynamic between our "manipulative sadboi" and our main character, Kat.

Once I am free from my school's schedule, I'll try to add further to this review.

 

moredread
Overall

A very original take on some old favorites.  I don't think I've seen this exact plot before, that's worth something from me. I'm sure it gets hard to come up with original plots. 

 

The plot is that humans aren't very nice, they don't play well with themselves. Let alone some aliens. So when the aliens do come they don't like us. So the embargo earth and leave us a global game to see if humans can learn. 

Yea, that's not happening.  So now only rich and powerful get to play.  Our lucky poor heroine gets a chance and she is a little tougher and with more street smarts than the average rich spoiled idiots. 

Looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

 

 

Void Herald
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

It's good, and here's why

Reviewed at: Chapter 38

I will give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar: Tower of Somnus is good, and here's why.

Tower of Somnus is a rare blend of cyberpunk, virtual litRPG, and intergalactic scifi, following the adventures of corporate thrall Kat as she tries to navigate both her arcology city's intrigues and climb the eponymous tower (an intergalactic game whose powers manifest in real life). The work manages to blend the various genres into a coherent and rather engrossing universe, and most importantly, develop both the real and virtual worlds in equal measure.

My main problem about virtual reality stories is that the real world is eventually all but left out, but Tower of Somnus makes the cyberpunk Earth just as important as the intergalactic game. As the story advances, threats from one world eventually bleed into the other and coalesce into a strong narrative. 

The story is very slow-paced, which may not be for everyone, but personally, I believe it enhances the novel. The author took the time to establish the worldbuilding and characters in the 'real' world before diving into the game, and most importantly managed to strike a balance between both universes.

Tower of Somnus is a nanowrimo novel (so written with quantity in mind) so grammar errors often creep in. However, the author is quick to correct them and the grammar is stellar for the quantity produced in such a short time, hence why I will rate it five stars. 

However, ultimately, the novel's main strength are its characters. Kat is a loveable and down-to-earth protagonist, and as the novel goes on, accumulates a strong cast around her, from her alien party to a semi-paternal crime overlord. While some villains are a bit one-dimensional, they ultimately serve a greater purpose in Kat's personal development. Somnus also takes the opportunity to deal with some interesting themes, such as whether mankind can eventually learn to cooperate enough to join a greater intergalactic community, or if its institutions are truly unshakeable. 

All in all, Tower of Somnus is very much one of my new favorite novels on Royal Road, and I encourage you to give it a try. You won't be disappointed. 

MooshieD
Overall

This is fantastic:)

Reviewed at: Chapter 33

This has been a lot of fun to catch up on over break- and now look forward to it!  Intelligent, gritty, and a view of an expansive  setting without things being too complicated. The author is pulling us into the complexity little by little - and it's just plain fun. I do like the tower approach mixed with real life, and the tension of uneven risk between both realities.. but it certainly being non-zero in both. 

thx author!

mod-etc
Overall

My favorite story on Royalroad

Reviewed at: Chapter 33

This is really incredible. I love both settings here and the characters are great. Not to mention an incredible quantity of updates. The cyberpunk setting feels tense and the game setting more like grinding so far but I think that will change. I love the detailed combat. The only thing I wish it had was more loot.

Cestarian
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Little Kat becomes Big Kat

Reviewed at: Chapter 30

An uncommon take on the weak to strong genre where the protagonist is decidedly NOT overpowered, powerful, but not obscenely or out of proportion; and perhaps most importantly, great things don't just constantly fall into her lap like in most such stories.

The story is about Kat, Kat is a corporate debt slave in a dystopian not-so-distant future, with an illegal side job as a 'runner', anyone who has played Mirror's Edge knows how that job goes. To anyone who hasn't though, it's an illegal information courier, that often has to dodge law enforcement and thugs on her way from pickup to delivery.

The Tower of Somnus, is a hardcore mode (you only get 1 life) intergalactic VR game that can be played by people in their sleep, what meks it special however, besides the ability to talk with real aliens, is that some of the abilities earned in the game will be carried over to real life. The tricky part is gaining access to the game as the dystopian corporate overlords monopolize it and only really share it among their own, making it next to impossible for the common debt slave to get their hands on an account.

Read as Kat tries to work her way up the corporate ladder from the lowest position, watch how she manages to get her subscription to the tower of somnus, and enjoy her struggles trying to level up in the game, and juggle her legal and illegal jobs outside of it, all for the purpose of pulling her family out of their position as literal debt slaves of a corporation, and hope that real world companies won't figure out how to do this en-masse within our own lifetimes.

Now that the synopsis is all fixed, lets get into the scoring.

First the style, it's absolutely great, in the 30 chapters I've read there have been no POV breaks which is a very welcome thing, The story is written from third person with Kat as the sole protagonist and her view as the only perspective. It's simple, straightforward, to the point, and with just the right amount of fluff. I love it!

As for the half star deduction, well it's the mandotry deduction for slow pacing, which plagues all webnovels. Although this author has done significantly better than most in that regard, the fact remains that despite already writing out enough content for a feature length novel, it's only first around now that we seem to be exiting the introduction/tutorial phase. It sounds worse than it really is though, because the entire thing has been an absolute joy to read and the author has balanced progression, exposition and action just right throughout the whole thing, I'm entirely impressed, and yet... It's still a bit too slow for me.

 

The grammar score, I mean the author is clearly quite good in english, but deduced a star because sometimes there are missing or wrong words used, also I'm still a bit hung up on how (minor spoiler)

increase/decrese in an object's density would be classified as gravity magic, since that's altering the physical properties of an object, to indirectly alter the amount of force gravity can exert on the target, rather than just directly increasing the force gravity can exert on the target instead... It should just be labeled Increase/Decrease Weight probably, desnity is a fancier word, but it also describes a different thing. Additionally increasing/decreasing an objects density would most certianly have other effects besides increasing the weight, for instance making it more solid or more brittle, which is definitely beyond the scope of gravity. It's the kind of ability that could if pushed to it's extreme dissolve a target into liquid or gas, or harden them until they cannot move (petrify essentially), that is clearly not the intention of the author regarding that ability, thus I think it's simply the wrong word choice. It shouldn't be density, but weight.

Overall though, the grammar is pretty sound and you're unlikely to have any serious issues with it.

The story and characters are both pretty fantastic, it's one of the areas where this story really shines. Right from the start there's a clear goal for the protagonist, we have a fairly (maybe uncannily) realistic dystopian future with the addition of aliens and this full dive alien VR game, and every character introduced to the story so far has had their own distinct personality, with their own quirks and habits to distinguish them from one another.

The author has also fully demonstrated his abilities in designing characters for the readers to dislike, yeah he's very good at that, but fortunately so far has only done it intentionally.

This is just one of those stories that I have a hard time finding anything to complain about, it's wonderfully executed, and I think it's almost certainly bound to become one of the top novels of this site so long as the author keeps going like he has :)

K.king
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

The end was so nice, i can hardly wait for book 2... This nobel here is such a nicely crafted piece.

The way the author used the concept of litrpg with mmo it is really good. The characters are interesting, the story itself is more interesting. 

The best part is the way author made the dystopian high tech society, and of course the aliens judging human for corruption, which is relatable given human ego in most cases. 

This is so engrossing with lots of potential. If you are looking for something really unique in litrpg genre with really good presentation this is for you.

One thing, i really hate the beta males like arnie...

It has a good action, good adventure, good vibes with an interesting world building, and in depth character development....

The story starts with a generic hardworkimg character Kat, trying her best to live most of her moments in a corporate society, oozing with corruption. She had this dream of getting into tower of somnus, a place where you visit in sleeps, grind some skills, congrats you gained some nice skills in actual life. Still the chromed up hans are nary a joke. I must say,

Arnie is such a loser. But thanks to his dead brain, kat got a subscription...

One of the best novels I read on RR.Really looking forward to the development of this masterpiece. 

One thing i van promise is the 1st book won't let you down.

Kedoro
Overall

Just devoured book 1 in about a day. It was really good and I just kept picking it back up throughout the day. Cannot wait for book 2 and to get some further world building! I really want to see some artwork depicting our MC alien friends!

Also, anyone that casually drops a reference that a Babylon 5 fan would get deserves bonus points...so 6 stars!