Bookish Wednesday: Challenge by Edward Castle

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 covering another LitRPG series. It’s the Unbound Deathlord series Book 01: Challenge by Edward Castle!

Plot Synopsis: 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?

Plot: I’d like to say that the plot synopsis I’ve pasted above is accurate, but it’s not. That’s part of the problem with a lot of books. They give a quick summary or synopsis and it’s just not at all accurate to what the actual book is about. I reviewed a book a few years back,  Nouveau Haitiah. The book’s summary painted some minor character that shows up for a few pages as a main character, the guy doesn’t even just disappear never to show up again, he’s just straight up murdered in some senseless riot that the author cooked up. Frankly that book was absolute crap, probably one of the worst books I’ve ever read and that is truly saying something. Unfortunately for Challenge, this lack of adhering to the summary given or the summary not adhering to the actual plot is a major problem that some amateur authors never really get over.

It doesn’t help Challenge that Jack is some coward running from some “traumatic memories” that really aren’t so traumatic in the grand scheme of things. Sorry pal, but your “I live in utter despair every day of my life” act really doesn’t impress me when I actually have to deal with the real thing due to my severe depression every day, and it never ever goes away for me. I actually experience that, while Jack is a privileged snot nosed asshole who can’t make any decisions worth thinking over. Really I mean he picked a race that is universally hated by everyone in his starting area and he only chose that race because it doesn’t have to sleep? Of course the game is going to force him to sleep, no human can exist without sleep for at least a few hours every few days.

Characters: Jack is a wiseass, which I tend to appreciate. if the character can either, A: Back up the wiseassery with actual power behind them like Chris Gordon from the Demon Accords, or B: Are actually funny, like Harry Dresden from the Dresden Files. So when Jack is constantly being an ass to everyone around him and is pissing off people that probably could kill him and make moot the challenge that he’s attempting to complete, not die for an entire month in the game and be one of the top 1,000 leveled players, it just pisses me off.  The rest of the cast isn’t that interesting either, Ted one of the first players Jack comes across isn’t anything more than another rich snot nosed brat playing the game to piss off her daddy, who may or may not be a big shot in the company behind the game.

Overall: Stay clear of this pile of garbage, I honestly wish I could remove the memory of this book, because it’s truly terrible.

For those who li…: Screw it I can’t even say anything good about this book, just steer clear of it and you should be fine.

 

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