Three days ago, Jack Mitchel saved his life. By dying.
He dodged a world-ending bullet—in the form of an extinction-level asteroid cannonballing toward Earth—by successfully uploading his mind into the brand-new, ultra-immersive, fantasy-based VRMMORPG, Viridian Gate Online. Unfortunately, he’s also stumbled headlong into a secret conspiracy that will transform V.G.O. into a new feudal dark age.
Jack expected to live out his new fantasy life in peace, but now he and his misfit crew of rebels are the only ones preventing a tyrant emperor and his regime from taking power. Thankfully, everything isn’t quite as hopeless as it seems—Jack has a plan. Sort of. With only a handful of supporters, he’s going to get the jump on the bloodthirsty empire by snatching one of their key cities right from underneath their noses. In order to pull off the impossible, however, Jack’s going to have to develop his formidable Shadowmancer powers, raid some ridiculous dungeons, and make some shady allies—allies who may be more dangerous than the empire itself.
My Opinion: 272 pages Author says the novel is actually 90K words and closer to 349 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
Book 1 in the series is a smaller, individual story about the main character Jack. We followed his journey through the world as he became a shadowmancer and gained the ability to bend the powers of the shadow-world itself. In addition to an introduction into the world of Veridian Gate Online, we get a peek at a shadowy conspiracy. That conspiracy if fully revealed and implemented in book 2.
In book 2 of the series the real world is finally ending and the larger city/faction building elements of the world are revealed. The faction seal that Jack and his friends stole is finally used and he establishes his own group, the Crimson Alliance. Unfortunately, as the world ends the larger conspiracy to take over the game world is implemented and other player run factions are also established. All of whom have their sights set on the Crimson Alliance.
Jack uses his new city building and faction powers to give his ever growing group a fighting chance against these looming powers.
One of the few complaints I had for book 1 was that no place in the world felt fleshed out. At the end of the story I couldn’t remember anything about the game world. I knew about Jack, his class, his friends, the conspiracy, but not much world building had been done.
That has been resolved in book 2. There’s more lore, each city and faction is presented memorably and since much of the story revolves around city and community building there’s a chance to learn about how crafting, diplomacy, and commerce work in VGO.
I enjoyed the expanded scope of the story a lot. Viridian Gate Online: Crimson Alliance gets a 7 out 10.