Tower of Somnus
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
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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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Updated the review at the end of Book2:
I see some reviews saying book 2 isn't as good as book 1. However, I disagree. The difference, I guess, is that I binged book 2 after the interlude was posted. In this format, it's perfectly good. I'm planning to do the same with book 3 as well.
It's the future and the proles suffer under the corporate boot...
The author has clearly carefully thought this out. The setting is pitch-perfect. Everything is explained and internally consistent. Nobody holds an idiot ball without a good explanation. When a character does grab onto an idiot ball, the reason for doing so are believably explained.
Does Kat hold the idiot ball? It's because she is in love or overawed by Arnold's social status.
Does Arnold hold the idiot ball? It's because he is impulsive and a poor planner
Does Anna hold the idiot ball? It's because she is an idiot.
Thus characters remain believable and consistent.
The narrative of the story, in the game and outside of it, mesh perfectly. The two narrative threads impact and enhance each other. I don't think I've seen this handled this well before on RR.
The only minor quibble I could have with this is that Belle could have used more foreshadowing. Without this, her interaction in the final chapter of Book 1 is a bit like a deus ex machina. However, this can be overlooked as, by the final chapter you should be fully aware you are reading CyberPunk and her reveal jibes perfectly with the genre.
This is basically ready for publication.
I have to give 5/5 for style, 5/5 for the story and, 5/5 for the characterization.
The grammar is perfect too so 5/5 for that as well.
All in all, this not a story to miss if you are into CyberPunk and LitRPG.
Tower of Somnus is incredible.
I can't recall ever seeing two such different story-lines with the same MC at the same time being mixed so well. I'd expect jarring jumps from one part of the story (Tower climbing LitRPG with humans pretty low on the galactic totem pole) to the other (Special Operative/Spy on a Megacorps Dystopian Sci-fi). The worldbuilding is very interesting to make this work.
Characters on both sides of the story are remarkable, full of their own ambitions and plans. You'd think they would be blander because of the split focus, but that is not the case at all. The MC is a treat, growing throughout the story with her pragmatic and careful nature despite. A pleasure to read about.
The Grammar and Style are top-notch. Few mistakes, beautiful imagery and compelling (and somewhat frequent) action/battle scenes.
If you're on the fence still, I'll say it outright: definitely pick this one up!
Ah, it seems I have to write more even though I said everything I wanted to. Very little spoiler-y.
Let me add then that the 1rst book was thrilling, with a good end for the MC, but far from perfect - as it's fitting with the theme of the story. The second book is building up along nicely.
I am current with all of the chapters as of the date of this review. I am enjoying the authors take on this type of story. The story is well written and easy to follow. I can't wait to see this develop in the future. I find myself rooting for the main character in her adventures.
The only thing I'd change is the character that is a "they" verse he or she or it. It's super confusing to read and feels like it's in there for the sake of being PC. If it is important to the story, than the author could of given this gender a name to make it easier to follow. I often have to reread those sections to figure out what's happening.
Keep up the great work and I look forwards to reading more!
Usually, with LitRPG titles involving a game, the world outside the game isn't even worth mentioning.
"Tower of Somnus" isn't your usual game story. The world could be a page taken from any cyberpunk story while the game lets you meet more... unusual species :) And everything blends together due to the plot itself, which is really satisfying!
You follow the adventures of Kat, a girl lost at the bottom of the corporate ladder, who finds a way to access the game in which all the races of the universe have access, but where Humanity is shunned because of their twisted ways. The first book has just been finished and only lets you want more because everything is interesting.
Every character has its personnality, his kind of backstory (and some of them you really enjoy getting hurt...) and is developped on way or another. The main character grows during the first book, but isn't too overwhelming already, which is good.
Grammar is almost perfect (I only saw a few typos), so nothing special to say on that part.
I already talked about the story, and if will only say that if you enjoy LitRPG not overwhelming you with numbers, skills and upgrades, and a more than interesting world where the game isn't everything, you should read this story :)
This one really earned their review, true I was in a good mood when I read it, but even with that in mind, this story is a rel stand out. A professional grade sci-fi, and one of the best I've seen like it so far on either paper or digital format.
So let's get down to the nitty gritty of where this has story has earned this kind of praise:
Style: The writer perfectly blends showing and telling insuch a way that you're never jarred out of the narrative, all the worldbuilding is organic and flows naturally from the events. Example, there's a scene where some people are spending some money, we're 'shown' their pleasure at doing so, but then 'told' with it how unconcerned they are about debt because there is no hope of escaping the debts they've got to the corporations. So within a few sentences we know it's a dystopia that heavily restricts people's futures, treats them like cogs, and shows that they simply move through that system enjoying themselves as much as possible. No huge info dumps, no long pages of pointless backstory. Spot on, brief, and organic to the scene.
Grammar: I never really like rating this because grammatical rules are made to be broken, but suffice it to say that since it is one of the standards... yes, thea uthor has a clear grasp of how to use the English language and does an excellent job of it.
Story: I'm only at chapter five at this point, but I want to know more. The conflict is well paced and set up properly, the 'call to adventure' is in just the right moment and the buildup to it provides just the right background to justify just why the characters make the choices that they do, we knowwhy the world has changed and what they can hope to get out of embarking on their arcs. I still don't know just what their 'need' is, but their 'want' is very clear and provides excellent motivation. Simply put, I want to know more of what lies ahead. You can't ask for more out of a story.
Characters: I've read many a story where I wondered why a character gave a gnat's toot about what they were doing or why they left their comfort zone. But this fit right in, the main character's time as a courier shows that she's got some ambitions beyond simply continuing to exist, she's 'special' in her own way, brave and skillful enough to avoid a nasty beatdown. They 'fit' with the sort of personality needed to embark on a kind of hero journey type story, and her relationship to the one who brings her into the game, felt natural not forced. I honestly couldn't ask for something better in terms of character setup.
All in all, this one is a must read if you like science fiction, especially dystopian sci-fi. I can't wait to see what they do next, this one is definitely worth a recommendation, so... enjoy!
Of the dozens of stories I am following, this is currently my favorite. It is a cross between a cyberpunk novel and those VR stories where the protagonist gains buffs IRL. Our main character is just the right balance of decisiveness and strength while avoiding crossing the line into murderhobo land. The world she is in is cut-throat, brutal, and dangerous.
The writing is good too. Strongly recomended.
this is a great story. One of the few litrpg stories ive read that can actually be labeled as cyberpunk as well. The charectors are interesting, the action sequences are intense, and the plot progressess at a good pace. Its a good read. I read up to todays update in a single sitting. highly reccomend
This story took two interesting concepts and mixed them in a fun way. Cyberpunk+LitRPG is pretty interesting.
The story is about Kat, who comes from a hopeless situation and gets the chance to become something bigger as someone dealing in the dark side of Corpo affairs. However the more i read the less does she feel like a character working in a shady business and more like a regular HERO. I dont want to spoil too much but in the latest Chapters she started to do things with no benefits or profits in mind, instead it feels like she wants to save the world.
Story: The whole dealing with shady stuff and not trusting anyone was fun, but like i said, in the latest chapters she switch motivation from only caring for herself to wanting to save the world with no real explanation as to why.
If any normal person (with Kats backround) now has to to a job which could affect the whole world if done wrongly, they would be pretty unsure. ¿Why do i care? ¿Is it worth risking my life for this? ¿ Wouldnt it be better if someone else did it?
We get NOTHING of that, after interrogating that guy she immidiately switches to OK, I HAVE TO DO THIS.
When it comes to the Worldbuilding, i think its a mess we can live with.
The tower pretty much has no worldbuilding except for the Dungeons we see, MC never interacts with the world of the tower.
Many things that happen in this Corporate world would not make sense for a corporation to make, im no economist but having no real consumer market seems like a terrible idea.
Also they live in nodes where everyone belongs to the same corporation and most of them have a debt that is impossible to pay, again seems kinda dumb to do that. Also it is mentioned that the debt grows with a 24% interest a year which contradicts Kats ability to pay it in the first place, if it grows at that rate 5000 would be 50.000 after 10 years.
Finnaly Fights. I skip most of them, they feel drawn out, confusing and uninteresting (in the tower). However fights in the real world are much better, often short (like in reality lol), messy and well executed. Its really weird how different the writting is in both types.
Characters: Kat is kinda bland, she is likeable which is really important IMO, but thats it. Other than her loving battles and adrenaline there is nothing remarkable about her personality. She is often a Merry Sue, good at everything but i think the Writter noticed this and is improving this aspect.
Other side charachters are mostly boring, it feels like there is no intention to make charachters deep or for our MC to have many interaction with the supporting cast.
The only exception are her Alien friends, which are very entretaining and well written
Although it was weird when Dorrik went the whole, IM ALWAYS ANGRY I JUST HIDE IT path.
Grammar: Really good, there arent any weird repetitions and most things are easy to understand. HOWEVER from time to time there are some sentences that dont make much sence, probably because the author doesnt edit much.
Style:Not sure what style means, but its really entretaining? The whole Cyberpunk feel fits really well
TLDR: Great story so far, MC isnt good or evil but thats is probably changing. Cyberpunk feels are achieved and the LITRPG system is pretty good.
This story has a Shadowrun vibe and would feel at home next to any William Gibson book.
The writing is top notch and a joy to read.
Do you like wicked corpos getting there just desserts?
Wacked chrome boys getting laid low?
Evil aliens getting thier comeuppance?
If you said yes to any of the above read this story!
There is no question that the author is well versed in their style. The expert handling of Cyberpunk, fantasy world and even a dash of Outer space Sci-fi is a clear indication.
Characters a fairly well made, fitting their roles and build to match the world they live in - giving hints and more, but always keeping an obvious focus on some more than others, you are never in doubt as to their overall motivations and reactions. Barring of course the equally important aspect that you learn about the world as the main character does. It is a classical story device, but here utilized in a good many way, as it is not just the often-dangerous feeling information excuse, but a natural part of the narrative, as it paints the picture of a world divided. There is a knowledge gab between social ladders, misunderstandings a plenty and intrigue is part of the daily life - so what the protagonist understands of the world and by extension the reader, might not be the true.
That is something for almost everyone here and you are in for a good time with this.