Bookish Wednesday: Survival Quest by Vasily Mahanenko

Michael Blaker
Game Industry News is running the best blog posts from people writing about the game industry. Articles here may originally appear on Michael's blog, Windborne's Story Eatery.
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This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m back with a series I just started listening to. It’s Survival Quest by Vasily Mahanenko!

Plot Synopsis: Barliona. A virtual world jam-packed with monsters, battles – and predictably, players. Millions of them come to Barliona, looking forward to the things they can’t get in real life: elves and magic, dragons and princesses, and unforgettable combat. The game has become so popular that players now choose to spend months online without returning home. In Barliona, anything goes: you can assault fellow players, level up, become a mythical hero, a wizard or a legendary thief. The only rule that attempted to regulate the game demanded that no player was allowed to feel actual pain.

But there’s an exception to every rule. For a certain bunch of players, Barliona has become their personal hell. They are criminals sent to Barliona to serve their time. They aren’t in it for the dragons’ gold or the abundant loot. All they want is to survive the virtual inferno. They face the ultimate survival quest.

Plot: This book isn’t quite like most LitRPG series, Mahan our main character is sentenced to virtual prison for eight years because he blew up a waste processing plant’s computer system by accident… So yeah that happens in the first few pages. There is no glory in this book, Mahan is pretty much the book’s whipping boy for the entire book. That isn’t to say it’s not good, it is but it’s a bit different compared to something like the Play to Live series or Legendary Moonlight Sculptor. There are similarities, like LMS and this share an awesome crafting main character, but Weed in LMS is a lot more hilarious than Mahan ever is.

Characters: Mahan has terrible luck, and that makes him a fairly amusing main character. But he’s not as good as someone like Weed from LMS or Ark from the series Ark. The rest of the cast is fairly interesting, especially the Orc Governer. I like that character quite a bit.

Overall: A fun book, but not quite as good as it’s competitors.

For those who like: LitRPGs, VRMMOs, Gaming Stories, Comedy, Luckless Protagonists, Good Plot, Fun Cast of Characters.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Book Publishers:

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