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AlterWorld (LitRPG: Play to Live. Book #1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 268 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
Sure the book has a couple of flaws. One... No offense to Mr.Rus... but that is a horrible cover. I actually DIDN'T read it for the longest time because of the cover. I know, I know. Don't judge a book by it's cover... so sue me. Another thing which is a bit misleading is the book description. When I read that the player dies in the beginning of the book... I was like.. what!? I immediately thought that it wasn't my type of book. But rest assured, it's not what it is made out to be. There are still in-game and out-of-game aspects to the book... which is what makes the VRMMO genre so cool.
Anyway, as for the book itself. FRIGGING AWESOME. Incredible translation that I wouldn't even have been able to point out myself. If I hadn't known... and if all the characters weren't Russian... I wouldn't have known it to be originally written in Russian. DAMN YOU MR.RUS! WHY WEREN'T YOU BORN ENGLISH SPEAKING!?
But yes, seriously worth a read from anyone. Excellent characters... a bit lacking in the strong female character department... but he still has a couple books after this so I am hopeful.
A brief, spoiler-light synopsis: after being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, the protagonist discovers the "perma effect": a phenomenon by which sufficient exposure to virtual reality video games will digitize about four out of five human players. Their bodies are left comatose, with their consciousnesses permanently transferred into whatever game they happened to be playing. The author doesn't attempt a scientific explanation for why this would happen, which is fine. The protagonist uses this effect to escape death and join "AlterWord", a massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG). During his time in AlterWorld, the protagonist makes friends (and a girlfriend), completes quests, levels up, and begins an artificial cigarette empire.
Let's start with what works well about this book. It's a moderately successful attempt to capitalize on Ready Player One; bring in readers with nostalgia and inside references to geek culture, keep them with a bit of fun and self-insertion. Except instead of 80's pop culture and video games, this book focuses on modern MMORPGs, particularly World of Warcraft. People familiar with MMORPGs will likely enjoy the lingo and the plot. The writing is light, steady, and digestible. It's definitely easy to get through.
What doesn't work well? For one, many of the plot elements and idioms may not translate well for western audiences. The book has more than a few anti-semitic ("I played the poor Jew"), homophobic ("I spent a while fagging around"), and misogynistic jokes and generalizations. With respect to the latter, the protagonist's love interest, Taali, is basically a sex object. She has little to no brains or personality, and most of what she does in the book is have sex with the protagonist. That whole part kinda grossed me out.
Also, the main character is another Mary Sue. He barely ever loses fights, even (and inexplicably) against opponents who are many levels higher than him. Second, over and over he becomes That One Guy who comes up with a hack or cheat that breaks the game. Even where these ideas were pretty simple and would have been easily exploited in a real MMORPG. For example, the author expects us to believe that the protagonist is basically the first person to choose a high elf warlock (hah! Try every other person who plays video games). Or that he's the first person to think of taming a pet much higher than his own level. Or come up with an advanced hybrid build for his character. Or discover unique quest after unique quest that no one else seems to be able to find. Or invent a weird artificial cigarette. MMORPGs just don't work this way. Becoming the "first" anything is extremely rare, and it's unbelievable that this would constantly happen to the same person. Third, and this is probably the kicker, the protagonist doesn't have much of a personality. He's strategic, and kind when it suits him, but he mostly just solves All The Problems by coming up with simple ideas that, inexplicably, nobody else in the world ever thought of.
This isn't to say I didn't enjoy the book. I did, and I'll probably be trying the sequel. But I don't think the array of five-star reviews accurately reflects the quality of the series.
In summary this books is about a young adult who is terminal ill, as such he looks for a way to extend his life and finds that it is possible to merge yourself into a MMO. In other words he becomes his MMO character with all memories however he can never again log out. The book is then about his life in the game, with quests, class builds, guilds, dungons, levels, and all other things belonging to a good MMO.
Other similar books to this would be Sword Art Online, Log Horizon, Epic, 1/2 Blood Prince... If you like books where you are in a MMO world then you will like this book.
I initially downloaded this ebook because it was both free and sounded ~moderately~ interesting. I remember playing some role playing games when I was quite young and I wondered how this book succeeded / tried to blend a type of reality with online gaming.
I loved it. I have read it twice in the past month and the second book of the series once. I will read them both again once the third book is released - which I believe is being translated now, based on the discussions.
The character development is easy to follow and understand. The mix of humans, non-player characters and artificial intelligence actors and their individual evolution is an interesting interweaving of plots and potentials that expand and flex as the story continues. I liked it a lot.
There are a few translation quirks, but my brain "fixed" the issues without getting bogged down with the translation misses. I just kept cruising through the book and immediately wanted more.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book started out well enough, with an illogical premise sure, but many LitRPG novels do start that way.Read more
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