Published: the 21st of February 2019
Written by: Oliver Mayes
Series: Saga Online
Length: 471 pages
Source: Free copy generously provided by the author.
Disclaimer: I was lucky enough to receive a free copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review. However, please note that all opinions and views are my own.
Damien thought his exams would be bad enough. Then his mother collapsed with a failing heart.
In a desperate move Damien throws himself into the Streamer Contest of Saga Online, the latest fantasy VR-MMORPG. Winning will provide the funds for his mom’s surgery. Yet early betrayal and a close run in with a vampire almost ruin his attempt before he even begins.
Stuck at the bottom of a dungeon with no gear, no allies and little hope, Damien must embrace the undiscovered Occultist class, master control of his new demonic minions and take the contest by storm.
His plan is simple enough. Topple the most famous player in Saga Online.
Summon your imps. Prepare for battle!
The sixteen years old MC, Damien, lives with his mother in a world that has a dystopian feel to it. Damien’s mother suffers from a heart condition and is on the waiting list for a transplant, but the chance of her actually getting a heart is very small. Damien can only see one way out: to get her a bionic heart. The only problem is that they’re incredibly expensive. Desperate times calls for desperate measures, and and Damien is just that. A plan slowly starts to form in his head, if he can win the Saga Online competition where the price is one hundred thousand dollars, they’re problem would be solved. What is a relatively simple plan, turns out to not be that easy to achieve. Thanks to unforeseen interference and circumstances, Damien starts out at the bottom of the dungeon. As he cannot do anything about this, he has to accept that he ended up with the Occultist class.
As an Occultist Damien can summon Noigel, an impish creature that fights at his side. A long with the NPC (non player character) Bartholomew, who’s also Damien’s teacher, you got a hilarious anti hero dream team. The dialogue and banter between these three is in a league of its own. It’s funny, snarky, brutal and downright show stealing. Though, there’s other characters I feel that these three are the most interesting on the “hero” side, without revealing too much. When it comes to opponents Aetherius is close to being the perfect antagonist. He’s everything no one outside the online troll community could possibly like! Not only is he conceited, alluring and petty. He’s the kind of character who loves to arrange someones downfall, just so he can kick them after the fall. In other words: he’s the very essence of an antagonist you’ll love to hate – while anxiously wait to see if he gets what he deserves.
The world building is not only thorough, it’s clever. Oliver Mayes introduces readers to both the in-game world of Saga Online, and the sad world Damien really lives in. The game mechanics are clearly explained as and when needed, and while it resembles other online games it’s different enough to be both intriguing and capturing. Oliver Mayes writing is truly exceptional. Everything is well thought through, and he does such a great job at staying true to the characters he created.
Have you read this book ? How do you feel about litRPG books? Let’s talk in the comments!