Van Vanyushin doesn't see the point in ever leaving the beautiful digital world of the game he loves - and for good reason. In the industrial wasteland he calls home, it is often the only way people can experience life's simplest pleasures. But his allegiance to the game is tested when an ambitious CIA agent named Sang Ngo calls upon him to help as she goes undercover in the game to investigate Draco - the corporation responsible for creating the massively popular role-playing game Dragon Kings of the New World.
Sang is a gifted hacker who feels nothing but contempt for those who waste their lives in what she sees as a false reality...but when people start dying in the game, she must find out why. Van, a talented gamer, is her guide to navigate the world, level up their newbie characters fast, and get into some of the most dangerous areas of the game. He dreams of becoming a pro gamer sponsored by Draco one day, but his partnership with Sang threatens to expose secrets from his past that could jeopardize those plans.
Now, they will have to put aside their differences to discover whatever - or whoever - is killing players, but the truth they find is darker than either of them imagined....
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By JEYCEE on 22-10-17
The star dragon
This was an interesting litrpg.The interaction between the two main characters (FBI cybersleuth Sage Ngo and gamer Van Vanyushin) is mostly entertaining.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By HeatherY on 20-10-17
Fun LitRPG with a Twist!
Van is a dedicated gamer, spending every spare moment in his favorite virtual reality MMORPG, Dragon Kings of the New World. He dreams of being picked as a pro gamer, sponsored by Draco and paid to play the game he loves. That all ends when he's blackmailed by the CIA to assist their agent, Sang. She's trying to discover the reason behind the recent rash of player deaths and mysterious game glitches. What starts as an in game escort mission becomes a partnership between the gamer and the hacker with life or death on the line.
This was a solid LitRPG that went in an interesting direction! It was a great listen that kept me hooked through the entire book. I liked the contrast between Van and Sang, an ambitious gamer who lives to game, and an aggressive agent who thinks it's a waste of time. They were both likable and their banter cracked me up. I could really relate to Sang as she experienced the game for the first time, and was struck by its beauty. I loved that the female main character was the one who got to kick so much butt!
You don't have to be a gamer to enjoy this book. There were a few stats, but the focus of the story wasn't just the game, it had an interesting plot beyond that. If you do read for the game, the game mechanics were consistent, and Van was definitely not overpowered! Although the world itself was interesting, the setting didn't get too much focus. I did miss the world building you get with fantasy, but there's plenty of room for that later if we get backstories on the two opposing forces. The action kept things moving, and it really felt like actually playing the game.
The narration was well done, Nik Magill did a great job bringing the story to life without overacting. He pulled me right into the story. I requested a copy of the audiobook, and I'm voluntarily leaving a review. This book is definitely worth a listen, and I'm really looking forward to the sequels.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful