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Sunday, October 23, 2022

Evolution (Awaken Online, #3)Evolution by Travis Bagwell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

While this series has always been pretty solid on pretty big-scope online world scenarios, I have to say it jumps ahead and enters epic-fantasy levels here. Not that it is grimdark despite heavy reliance on necromancy and dark magics, of course. All of that is actually rather sweet.

But as for the adventure itself and character progression, I can't say anything but good things about this. I'm having a great time. LitRPG has become a sweet spot for me. It's just plain fun. This one rather turns a lot of the old tropes on its head, however, and it's interesting to just watch the crossovers between a real-life player who plays an Evil Chaotic character works through his own desires, and comes to grips with massive consequences -- in-game and out. I don't read a lot of LitRPG that does the real world all that well and I generally scoff and say, "get back to the game, damnit," but not this time. I'm enjoying everyone's character arcs and it's interesting on all counts.

AI branching out into the real world, ethical and moral questions, friendship... all of this is examined in a heartwarming way. I'm loving it. Oh, and the whole "I'll devour the world" goodness is fun, too.

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