Unbound Deathlord: Challenge
Due to Amazon's Kindle Unlimited rules, I had to pull most of the book content from RoyalRoad.
Only sample chapters remain.
To read a fiction that will never be removed from Royal Road, I recommend my other fiction: Immortal Mage.
The first two books of the series are out on Amazon:
Book 1: Challenge
When virtual reality becomes real enough that people feel as if they’re being transported to another world, Valia Online arrives.
A man running from his past joins the game to forget it all. Calling himself Jack Thorn, he chooses an undead race, Deathlord.
A mage by choice, and a swordsman by necessity, he soon finds out that he’ll need to use much more than magic and steel to survive; strategy, creativity, and carefully chosen words can often accomplish what simple attacks can’t.
As the game becomes too real and touches a part of him that he’d rather leave buried, he is faced with two questions:
Who is he, really?
And who should he become?
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Style: The Author shows a neat balance between comedy and serious storytelling.
Story: The Game theme itself is nothing new but the take on its properties is. The inner Turmoil of the Character is also being depicted nicely and gradually unraveled.
Grammar: All in all good, a few typos and mistakes here and there but a quick cleanup of the already released chapters would fix that too.
Character: Although sometimes confusing, most Characters are well made even though the Author seems to love torturing us by leaving us in the Dark about a lot of the Backstory. (Which I'm certain will follow after some time but teasing us like that is not nice.)
All in all a very good read. Now bring me more of that written cocain slave! :P
Having read a few light novels where the main character is undead, this one stands out with a main character who is NOT just a sociopathic murder-hobo. Sure, he's got flaws, but he's trying to the best of his ability and persevering.
I'm also seeing a lot less clichés than I'm used to, which is refreshing.
Main character is eccentric and the nuggets of his past make me want to see more, I like the pacing and am hoping to have more chapter.
Good frequency of update, good grammar skills and very good narration, all combined to give the reader a very enjoyable time with this story.
Great story thanks for taking the time to write it:)
will wait for more chapter to give a final review.
Yes, I realize the main character (MC) plays an unbound "Deathlord" in the game rather than a "Death Knight." However, the role of this character class really fits the profile of a Death Knight from the classic Dragonlance fantasy series from the 80s.
Now speaking from the perspective of world building, I respectfully disagree with the author's decision to make the deathlord class weak under the sunlight and thereby requiring the MC to remain underground. Part of the attraction of the undead to the general public is the fear that they instill in the living especially when encountered during the light of day. Using Lord Soth the Death Knight from the Dragonlance series as an example, if Soth was limited to travel by night then he would be less fearsome as an opponent for the forces of Good. In a similar vain, I could see a point in the future where the MC becomes an Over Powering (OP) character but the travel restriction under sunlight as a deathlord will inevitably restrict his activities against the good folks living above ground. By restricting the MC to remain underground, it limits the kinds of interactions that the author can create for the MC.
As far as character development is concerned, the author states upfront that the MC killed his parents and throughout the chapters the author provides flashbacks of the MC's interactions with his parents. Frankly, I'm uncertain as to the "value" of the MC having such a background. The author tries to suggest that the MC's good-doer approach to people he met in game was some kind of rebellion against the teachings and harsh philosophies of his parents. However, I remain unconvinced that making the MC a parent-killer is necessary to justify the way he treats people in need within the game.
Now for the things I like so far about Challenge. First, I have to commend the author for his dedication in publishing such long chapters on a daily basis. It is not an easy thing to do, and I want to praise the author for his dedication to his series. Second, the author maintains a good perspective in reminding the reader that the MC is inside a virtual reality game and the NPCs within the game are also cognizant of non-native characters. Third, the author does a commendable job in creating interesting interactions between the MC and the NPCs. If he wakes up one morning and decides to quit writing the Challenge series, the writer should definitely try his hand at standup comedy. Jerry Seinfeld started out the same way, as a stand-up comedian, and eventually found commercial success creating "Seinfeld."
All in all, Challenge has been an enjoyable series and I will continue to follow it.
Where do I start?!
Oh yeah...I could follow the review format.
So, let me begin.
STYLE: A great LitRPG that is full of dark humor, mayhem, and poop slinging! The format of the story itself is easy to understand (BLUE WINDOWS) and I enjoy seeing how the MC progresses (BLUE WINDOWS). Oh, and there are several (A LOT) of blue windows. It really is a good thing trying to go that extra mile for the Reader to feel like they are in a game.
STORY: Now, this is where I have the most problems, even though I rated it so highly. Partly because I think I'm the only one who thinks this way. The MC is a douche bag (to put it lightly) and causes problems with others frequently. This means the MC has been used, taken advantage of, and stepped on. Even though he is some child of two of the most influential people on the planet, apparently. The MC is the main problem in the story, even going so far as to break the game's story! (MINOR SPOILER?) But that extends to this story itself. The only issues I see story wise revolves around the MC entirely. I will explain more later.
GRAMMAR: A+ my man, but not a 100. Still good though.
CHARACTER: Okay. So the MC is supposed to be the son of a power hungry mother and a conniving politician father. How could he stand to be dicking around? He fails at transactions, he fails at dealing with people, and he fails at being a person with a harsh past. He thinks on the subject but it doesn't really affect his judgement, just his actions. Being broken is a mental issue, one that takes a lot more effort than just breathing to deal with. Some MAJOR SPOILERS ahead.
So he is a person who killed his parents and his favorite person. Okay. But why still have an open heart? Oh, it's a game, he can come out of his shell since he's looking for a wife. No, that's not how this works. He blames himself for the death of his family and loved ones, so why does he try to remain a normal person? He would have been resorting to methods that meant him never coming into contact with another person or outright changing into a different person. Normally, the person would have found fault in his current self so he would change. He was wanting to be like his aunt, but that was an accident and his parents kept telling him she was wrong. Now, as a normal person, they would ask themselves what was right. They would doubt themselves and believe the words of those who tried to steer him away in the first place. What I am saying is, he should have been more like his parents in the first place, calmly analyzing his situation and getting as much as he can without antagonizing anyone else. But he makes all these weird decisions that no normal, logical, or even crazy person would do. Instead, the author has him do things in a way that breaks the story. Trying to understand a character's thoughts is something I do regularly and I can't help but to think that the MC is nothing more than a wild card with a mentality that adjusts to fit the situation. Oh, we need conflict, have the MC cause some shit. Oh, we need to save her, make the MC experience a flashback. It is hard to get a read on someone when their actions are so unpredictable. If you wanted an unpredictable MC, then something a little more...maybe say...brain surgery would fit better.
Other than that, we have ourselves a riveting tail of people who hate each other too much to let someone else kill them! Watch as a young man sets out to
find a girl beat a game!
While the author is not a native English speaker, the work is well written and engrossing enough to make it worth the reader'so while to look past the occasional erroneous turn of phrase, poor punctuation or bad grammar. There is surprisingly little of each. The story pulls you in from the beginning; and, the author is able to set just the right hooks to keep the reader coming back for more. If this continues to a solid ending, this will be an exceptional draft of what I would not be surprised to find a best seller. A wise publishing house would be well served to grab onto what is surely a rising star in this relatively young genre. He writes well enough and clearly enough to pull in even non-gamers. However, for the gamer, this book is a slice of absolute awesome.
Really good - love it!
Dark MC, undead. Good grammar and style of writing. Can't wait for more.
Such a good series. i heard we were getting new chapters soon! keep uo the good work, Ed