Viridian Gate Online: The Jade Lord: A litRPG Adventure

The Viridian Gate Archives, Volume 3
Narrated by: Armen Taylor
Series: The Viridian Gate Archives, Book 3
Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,367 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

November, 2042

It's been a busy month for 32-year-old Jack Mitchel:

Three weeks ago, he died.

Two weeks ago, he founded the first Faction in the ultra-immersive, fantasy-based VRMMORPG, Viridian Gate Online.

A week and a half ago the world ended, destroyed by a cataclysmic asteroid.

Seven days ago, he conquered the Imperial city of Rowanheath, bringing all of Eldgard to the brink of war.

Though Jack's Faction, the Crimson Alliance, has a tenuous truce with tech genius and Imperial lord, Robert Osmark, Jack knows it can't last. Osmark is devious and power hungry, and it's only a matter of time before he sends his forces to wipe Jack and his underdog crew off the map for good.

If Jack hopes to survive another month inside of VGO, he must find a way to beat Osmark and his army of bloodthirsty thugs, and a new quest - the Path of the Jade Lord - may be just the ticket. But this quest will be far harder than anything Jack's faced before, pushing him to his mental, physical, and moral limits. And if Jack isn't careful, his quest to defeat Osmark and the Empire may end up turning him into the despot he's been fighting against.

©2017 J.A. Hunter and Shadow Alley Press Inc (P)2017 J.A. Hunter and Shadow Alley Press Inc
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Huge plot holes and lazy story development

Great narration – poor story.

The premise is good, but the writing is way too formulaic. Plot holes – ugh, plot holes and lazy writing for days!

So the main character is supposed to be an experienced gamer, but is constantly making mistakes that would make even a casual gamer cringe.

He is presented as this genius smart guy, and all of his friends and associates are impressed with his ideas, strategy, and wit. He makes ridiculous far fetched plans and decisions that always work out, but when faced with simple problems with glaring answers are presented to him, he ALWAYS (as in every single time) makes the obviously bad choice and has to be bailed out by his friends or “barely scrape through.”

Let's talk about his outlook/attitude: he flips between arrogantly cocky, a beacon of virtue, even keeled, constantly second guessing himself, and full of self doubt. Instead of choosing a character mentality (smart guy, cocksure asshole, Mr. Virtue, emo kid, etc.) the author tried to do it all, and it leaves you with a bi-polar, sometimes schizophrenic who is frequently high on coffee and sugar. Be ready for some whiplash.

Is there a serious/semi-serious fight happening? Things start off well – take a turn for the worst – and right at that point where things are going to go terribly wrong or maybe somehow work out – this is when the main character decides to ponder the meaning of life – or the price of beans – or what his favorite color is or should be (you know – to build suspense) – then he makes the right choice and hooray it somehow works out. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

It is very frustrating because the premise is great, and the overarching story isn't bad either. It is the details that ruin this series.

Does it get better later on in the series?

No.

It doesn't.

The author uses the same old formulas and patterns over and over. Which is a shame because with just a little bit of rewriting this could be one of the best series in the genera. It really had that much potential, but I'm 5 books in and it is just the same pattern repeating endlessly.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Steryotypical

The series started out good but now it feels so standard, like a perfect fantasy. The conflict and tension started to feel pointless as you know everything would end in the most predictable fashion.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Series Keeps on improving

This is one of those rare series that just keeps on improving and improving as time goes on. The characters continue to grow, the plot is like a brick wall being filled in piece by piece with some solid mortar, and the action almost makes YOU bleed. Hunter is pretty slick,as he adds pieces from prior books to build the momentum, and then leaves you with a completed story that has a few plotlines that are unfinished so that you know where the next book is going to start.

The characters are really fun personalities, each distinct and outstanding in their own way. Each makes you laugh a little, grit your teeth some, and sweat a tad too. I think what is best about the characters is that they learn from their mistakes, and in this book they make a one whopper of an error, but they can use their intellects to overcome their adversity. That is why I really anticipate the battle that may be occuring in the next book! Gah, I hate waiting, but the build up is soooo good. I rate Hunter among the ranks of Blaise Corvin, Harmon Cooper, and J.A. Ciparino for the world building and characterizations. This is just pure fantasy at its finest, with just a touch of gamer thrown in for fun. VC is really beginning to carve out a name for itself for good reason.

By the way, Taylor just nails the narration. His voices make each and every character unique and fresh. If I went back to the first book I could admit that his voice for the Spider Queen was enough to admittedly make my skin crawl. I think I just want to hear him make Cutter say something like, "I can't get no satisfaction." Because everytime I hear that thief speak I hear Mick Jagger! Bloody brilliant, that is. Taylor is the man, and he knows how to pace a tale. I laugh everytime he does his "yelling over noise" voice, because I did that when I was a kid playing, too.

The series keeps getting better and better, and if this pace continues I think that we are in for some awesome stories! Even though I did receive a promo code for this review it in no way influenced my considerations of the material, and in fact, inspired me to be more honest. In fact, getting a code generally makes me harsher as a reviewer as I am more often concerned what someone like Me will decide based on my review.


If this review helped, please press the YES below. Thank you immensely!!!

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great ending, but...

... some boring combat scenes that I mostly have to fast-forward through. The author spends way too much time detailing every part of combat, and some battles are inherently uninteresting because you already know pretty much the outcome.

All in all though, a decent story.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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A D&D campaign for players with no attention spans

All right. I don't write a review unless I absolutely loved it, or absolutely hated it. So here we are.


This is not a character-driven book. I would love to be able to say it's a story-driven book, but that would require there to be a story. the characters are not fleshed out at all, and even the mildly interesting ones are just used for comedic relief.
each and every character is not only bland, but also basically a stereotype.

The main character is lauded for his intelligence and creativity throughout the books, even though he is a complete weapons-grade moron. The biggest fight you've ever been in? Tomorrow you say? Better get completely Jeffried tonight so your hungover. At one point his friends were literally holding him back trying to keep him from doing something stupid, and he shakes them off of him and runs off to do it anyway. Then comes back with a long look on his face and admits to them that he's been kind of stupid.

The entire book is 90% fighting, with small breaks in between and then you go right back into it. Every adjective that the author uses has to be the most extreme form. The drama has to be cranked to a hundred at all times for every fight until you are practically numb.

I would like to create a drinking game where you have to do a shot every time the author types the word "Unleashed", or someone has an "explosion of power."

I would have to save the narrator did a good job with what he had to work with, except for the cringey whisper screaming that he had to do all the time with all the epic shouting going on during the nonstop battles.

This is probably the first audiobook I have not finished. I got to the end, had about half an hour left but I just had to shut it off because I could not take the main characters sniveling, whining, and vacillating.

1 person found this helpful

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

great story!

only problem is voice actors "yelling" whitch is only laud whisper, also no female voices

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Incredibly Generic

this is the most generic litRPG book I've read in a long time. The main character is so bland and boring I actively to against him, and the RPG elements are generic cut and paste.

it follows on the wake of every other litRPG main character becoming a warlock that summons things way more powerful than he is.

The setting is insanely unrealistic (well beyond the normal amount in these types of books). For example, the world ends, but that pretty much means nothing, there is no interaction between the real world and the in game one.

The main bad guy is the CEO of a game company that... killed himself so he can play his own game? Because even though you can play the game normally, that's no fun. Then he decides to cheat when it means nothing, but follow the rules when plot is involved. This guy was in charge of the most important company in the planet, with an army of game developers capable of doing whatever he wanted, but he decides to try to be a tyrannical dictator while playing by all the rules just because.

There is a generic love interest that is supposed to be a super smart hacker, but as soon as she meets Mr generic MC, does literally nothing but instantly fall in love with him. She is technically in the rest of the plot, but contributes nothing and I guess we are supposed to ignore the fact that she literally helped develop the game, cause that never come up again.

The narrator does a good job, but the book is so weak I had to force myself to power through this book, which is a rarity.

If you watched Sword Art Online and thought that it was great, this might be for you. If you want a main character with any personality or interesting RPG elements, steer clear of this one.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved It!

Just like the last book, and the one before that, this book is amazing.

Again, only one minor gripe with the narrator's performance.... STOP WHISPERING WHEN THE CHARACTERS ARE YELLING! That's not how yelling works and it drives me insane!

Other than that though, the book was flawless and amazing.

1 person found this helpful

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Yessss

I love listening to the story unfold and all the interesting powers of the main characters I would recommend this too a friend but only certain friends

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

as always an amazing book

this book is as usual amazing it has some pretty good fights and is very imaginative in the problem solving

1 person found this helpful

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  • Morgan Searle
  • 11-18-17

Enjoyable Romp through a Fantasy World

This was my first proper audiobook. I enjoyed the story, but the format probably isn't for me. Armen did a great job, though I do have some constructive criticism:

- Might want to work on your UK accent. Cutter and that Bradford accountant were changing by the word in some places. I'm not sure how to feel about the Chinese or Middle Eastern accents either, though I suspect that's a systematic hazard of audiobooks in general.

-Some of the tables were read weirdly. two headings followed by two entries, when it would make more sense to read it heading followed by entry. For example you read 'Type, Duration, Passive, 10 minutes' when it flows much better as 'Type, Passive, Duration, 10 minutes'.

Otherwise though, I can't praise this enough. Fantastic voice, amazing story (if a little clichéd in places, but so are most game plots so it works as canon) and brilliant for making the system feel well-rounded instead of just supporting exactly what the story is doing, a crucial aspect to LitRPG which a lot of authors don't take the time to fully do, as balancing everything when most isn't relevant is often seen as a waste of time. That really makes a story for me.

P.S (minor spoilers!) special shoutout for having absolutely no sex scenes because I listened to parts of this on my bluetooth speaker and that would have been pretty embarrassing.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Annabel Hill
  • 03-27-20

Plenty of momentum

Big fan of Armen Taylor’s narration which really brings these characters to life.

Some nice dilemmas in this book and more reference to the person Jack was before VGO which is good to see. Looking forward to book 4!

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  • Ian
  • 12-18-19

Viridian gate online

What can I say, this book is great, I'm totally loving Viridian gate online, litrpg is my fav genera and serise like this make it more enjoyable.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this serise to anyone who likes litrpg books.

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  • Scott R
  • 11-04-18

An amazing story and set of Character's

I was very surprised that the quality of this was such a level above the first 2 volumes. Jack struggles with his quest and it shows great depth as the Viridian game prompts him down paths he doesn't wish to go.
Can he do what he hates to save his people and gain powerful new abilities and allies against an increasingly aggressive Empire.
Great story and narration just flows smoothly from Armen

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  • Mark
  • 09-19-18

Wow

This is the 3rd book and the 3rd time that I have to say wow missions are thought out rewards are good and I feel like I'm in the world

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. M. C. Hackett
  • 04-07-18

The best in this series

What made the experience of listening to Viridian Gate Online: The Jade Lord: A litRPG Adventure the most enjoyable?

The writing quality seems to have gone up in this book, in addition the story pace picks up. lots of juicy scenes

Which character – as performed by Armen Taylor – was your favourite?

Jack

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes, and did so.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-25-17

Moo reviews

Good book I did enjoy it didn't hit it all at once but still if you like the first two you will like the third I am looking forward to the 4th