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Publisher's Summary

A thrilling new novel for fans of Sword Art Online and World of Warcraft!

In the real world, twenty-one-year-old library sciences student Tina Anderson is invisible and under-appreciated, but in the VR-game Forever Fantasy Online she's Roxxy—the respected leader and main tank of a top-tier raiding guild. Her brother, James Anderson, has a similar problem. IRL he’s a college drop-out struggling under debt, but in FFO he's famous—an explorer known all over the world for doing every quest and collecting the rarest items.

Both Tina and James need the game more than they’re willing to admit, but their escape turns into a trap when FFO becomes real. Suddenly, wounds aren’t virtual, the stupid monsters have turned cunning, and death might be forever. Separated across a much larger and more deadly world, their skill at FFO is the only thing keeping them alive. But as the harshness of their new reality sets in, Tina and James soon realize that being the best in the game is no longer good enough.

©2018 Rachel Aaron and Travis Bach (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    58
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    27
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Basic and disappointing

Just got finished with the Heart striker series and was hoping that this would be a good follow-up, but was sadly mistaken. The story itself is great, as it takes a big turn from how most of the recent MMO's made real stories have gone by making the NPCs be as they are in the story. However, the need to include the same peace-maker stuff is basically declaring James is Julius, and I was just hoping he would be a bit more strong, with solid convictions and confidence. Also his lack of interest in women seems like one of those pandering to the SJW crowd tactics. But I'll still follow the series to see if it improves.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Two separate stories, with lots of whining

The first point to be clear about is that this book tells two completely separate stories, which have no interesting intersection. It could literally have been written as two separate books (with nothing lost) by simply copying out alternating chapters. The story ends (in a cliffhanger) at the point where the stories would come together.

The two main characters spend too much time in self recrimination and aren't generally interesting other than a bit of gender reversal: the sweet, pacifistic, healing character is male; the aggressive, driven fighter character is female.

Overall the story (stories) is based on a mechanic that is effectively nonsense -- that an MMO game, would somehow be built from an actual, real-in-some-universe environment -- with some only some vague foreshadowing of supernatural influence as a possible explanation. Really though, there can be no explanation of this situation which would satisfy an Occam's razor test, making the whole story feel like a 19 hour waste of energy.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dox
  • Chicago, IL
  • 06-10-18

Good once you get into it

The only three things I didn't like about this book were the clunky beginning, and that the two PoV story lines never intersect until the last few minutes of the recording. Finally, the story didn't stop at an appropriate point so it feels like a cliffhanger rather than a completed story, Though all the protagonists completed what they set out to do.... The last few pages/minutes of a book seem to be an inappropriate point to introduce new action that just gets cut off without resolution.

Beyond that, this was a fun listen. It's not a true LitRPG in the sense that there are no game mechanics aside from naming spells, but the story is compelling which is a decent trade off. I liked reading about how players have to adjust to what it's like to be a non-human race. This is something I haven't encountered in the genre before. I also really enjoyed the elderly guy playing on a hacked account. There's good action and a lot to enjoy here. I don't regret using my credit on this book, and will continue buying them as long as they are of similar length, and don't fill with fluff like the last book of Heartstrikers.

I didn't like Tina's showing mercy at the end of the book... the betrayer deserved to be stranded in the middle of nowhere. That doesn't lower my star rating however.

Performance is solid, nothing to make me think "OMG! That was the best EVER!" but it is professional and there's nothing bad I can say about it.

Overall 4.5 / 5.0

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

2 books!

the story is 2 books in 1. don't buy it if you dislike rapid veiw points

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Twin story lines feed each other well

Sloowwww to start. Gotta grind through the initial four chapters or so, just like a real mmorpg. However once developed, the twin story lines of a brother and sister separately trapped inside the same VR video game that’s now real life, is quite entertaining. I wouldn’t call it gripping or can’t put down. But entertaining enough to enjoy. Character growth really stunts mid story and doesn’t seem to progress, just repeat the same patterns. NPC characters depth of personality and mannerisms is well crafted. Incorporating different player types and skills into the unique struggles is interesting and contemplating end game bosses that don’t have in game restrictions is an exceptional idea.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Rachel and Travis do some great world building

Storywise there was some repetion that made the book feel predictable. Like every group of NPCs having the exact same reaction and every other player having more or less the same attitude.

During an AMA on Reddit, the authors expressed concerns that their book wouldn't really fit in the lit-rpg genre. I'd say it absolutely fits. More than a lot of other books. The melding of real world and game elements is fantastic and the mystery of how things will work is consistently enjoyable.

The narrator also does a pretty good job. His female voices sounded a little weird at first. But I momentarily found myself wondering if it was actually two people by the end.

I will be looking forward to the next book in the series. ALMOST as much as I did for each book in Rachel's Nice Dragons series.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

pretty interesting book

in my opinion it is worth a credit.
It has an interesting story but to some it might be abit too dragged out.
character development was good.
narrator did a good job for the voices

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

great listen

I loved the chapter flopping, didn't like all of the bad language, but am looking forward to the next book. Great job on the narration.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • J
  • 06-12-18

Not thrilling...

I really wanted to like this, but although it had an interesting twist, the gamer stuff fell short for me and my fiancée.

I know this was a collab, but it felt like something that didn't know what it wanted to be and the awkward ending just topped it off. It came off as greedy and trying to capitalize on a market that either wasn't properly researched or was assumed.

Amusing for what it was, but the characters came off as whiny & entitled... and while gamers can be, this felt like it presumed the larger portion is.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

The grind

The books story line jumps back and forth between the 2 main characters with one dealing with the natives (NPCs) and the other more of a social aspects of a group of people being stuck in a deadly situation together. The story premise is a good one and the start of the book was very interesting but it quickly becomes dull. There is only so much character development that I can handle and just wanted to story to progress.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lachlan Kendall
  • 06-12-18

Amazing book with a stellar narration

Forever Fantasy Online is a LitRPG where the characters end up stuck in the game. You know, the ones where the characters play through a virtual reality system and then somehow end up stuck inside the game, being hit hurts, death is permanent, and all that fun stuff. I found this one to be unique compared to those that I’d read previously, almost like portal fantasy rather than LitRPG. NPCs (non-player characters) are people too. They’ve been stuck in a recurring nightmare where they’re forced to act out the game for the last 80 years. Naturally, they aren’t very fond of the ‘players’.

The two major POV characters, Tina and James, both have their own character arcs which are independent of each other. I enjoyed both POVs immensely, however, I preferred James’ POV more, I really enjoyed reading about him and found his chapters to be more relatable for me. While the book switches POV each chapter, I rarely found myself wanting to skip chapters to get back to a character I preferred.

Tina was preparing for a raid of the biggest, baddest dungeon in the game with a trial team to prepare for guild inductions. The change hit before the team entered the dungeon, and Tina is faced with the challenge of managing her team and ensuring their survival. I really enjoyed her survival arc as she struggled with managing an unfamiliar team.

Overall, I wasn’t a huge fan of Tina’s personality. She’s stubborn and controlling, but at the same time, she’s doing all she can to keep the other players alive. I admire her determination to save them all, and the challenges she perseveres through, but she constantly conflicts with members of the team she’s trying to save. In this, the authors have done a fantastic job of creating the conflicts that would likely arise when you throw people who were playing a game to relax into a situation where their lives depend on the game they were playing.

James, on the other hand, logged into the game in a lower level area where the NPCs quickly pick up on him being a player. James quickly finds that the NPCs were originally people in the Forever Fantasy Online world who’d been trapped in the game and forced to live by a script for 80 years. For some, this meant simply giving the same quest out millions of times. For others, this meant they were the character that was kidnapped every day for the players to go rescue. Needless to say, they weren’t very happy about their 80 years of nightmarish living.

James was easily one of my favourite characters. He reminded me a bit of Rachel Aaron’s Julius Heartstriker from the Heartstrikers series. He plays a healer and wants to do all he can to help the local NPCs and right the wrongs caused by the game.

Throughout this book, the authors do a great job of showing how their characters react to different scenarios and the growth they achieve. Over the course of the book, they go through some serious character development with their emotions and motivations quite clear for the reader.

One of the other things I really liked about this book is how it deals with common practices in video games. Characters who chose to play non-human characters have to learn how their new bodies work; how their tails work, what it’s like to have elven agility, what giant stone people like to eat. They also deal with characters who elected to play the opposite gender in the game and their sudden change in gender, and players who’ve bought their accounts online and are in end game content without having any idea how to play. Furthermore, the unrealistically shrunken maps are extended to make them more in line with what an actual landscape would be like, and bags/inventories hold a much more realistic number of items.

Overall, Rachel Aaron and Travis Bach have written an amazing story and a realistic LitRPG which deals really well with a number of different factors involved in gaming. They’ve created a great world with lots of interesting pieces of lore and filled it with realistic, well-developed characters. The stakes feel very real and from early on it’s evident just how much they stand to lose.

The only negative thing I can really say about this book is that it left me wanting more and that I’ll have to wait for the sequel. Josh Hurley’s narration of the audiobook is very well done too, and I enjoyed every moment I listened to it.

I’d recommend this book to people who enjoy:

* LitRPG
* Character Development
* Character Conflict
* Multiple POV
* Female POV
* Good Worldbuilding
* Battles

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Daisy
  • 06-08-18

I’m hooked already

What would happen if an MMORPG became real in an instant? This story follows the perspectives of two real world siblings in the MMORPG game when this happens, in their very different locations and situations.
As a long time player and raider in WoW, I found this full of hilarious references and very relatable situations. There was some significant character development but not a huge amount since the events of the book only cover a couple of days and I’m looking forward to more of that in the future books.
This book is dealing with the immediate effects of the change, of the game suddenly being real, with a cast of both players (now in their avatars’ bodies) and non-player characters (NPCs) suddenly freed from the restrictions of the game.
The two point of view characters are both likeable, relatable and flawed which is just how I like my characters. I hope we get things from more points of view in future books though.
Overall, this is a great start to a series and I’m excited for more to come!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • 06-14-18

great idea

great story concept struggled with all the characters and the whining. still worth the read if your into these sorts of books and im looking forward to book 2