Awaken Online

by da3strikes

Original Action Adventure Fantasy Sci-fi Anti-Hero Lead Cyberpunk Magic Male Lead Strategy Virtual Reality

Frustrated and angry with his life, Jason begins playing a first-of-its-kind virtual reality game and inadvertently finds himself on the path to becoming the game’s villain. As he continues playing, he also starts to suspect that the game is much more than it appears. Book one is available on Amazon here.

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The Bus Lurker
  • Overall Score

Long chapters.


Hp is like change new world, so a decapitation is an insta kill, a lvl 1 could theoretically kill a lvl 130, etc. Skills are learned by doing, and not insta learned, stats can be gained through doing and not solely leveling. In my opinion this is the best type of virtual reality fiction.


Good grammar.


Goal, our goal is escape, revenge, and fun of course.


Overall 4/5 not enough character development as of yet, but I expect to see that change over the coming chapters. Give it a try, I think the author has commitment.

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Bloody Briliant this is.

First of i read the whole thing so far in one sitting and was completely sucked in by the story. Perhaps that is because i can put myself into this character fairly well but above all the story is well written. The Mc is intelligent and plans out his moves with neat precision.

 I will refrain from spoiling any of the story, but i have to say its a new aspact of virtual reality gaming that i have not seen anywhere else. Although somethings are indeed similar to more well known stories such as Legendary Moonlight Sculptor.

I really enjoyed the read and i think others who read this will enjoy it as well, the author seems to be releasing chapters at a rapid rate, I can only pray he keeps it up!

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This piece has a lot of potential.  There is a lot of detail, the characters are interesting and well fleshed out, the VR system has some interesting quirks and I actually want to know what happens next.

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Came for the litRPG, stayed for the fantastic writing

Okay, I will start this review with the elephant in the room.  Some are salty that the author has removed his chapters from RRL for the time being.  Unfortunately, he has to do that in order to sell his book the way he is.  It sucks for people who can't buy the book but to them I say... it costs less than a fast food meal and you'll get a lot more out of it.

So as many people know, this writer is in my litRPG group but this review will be objective, and I wouldn't have invited him in the first place if I didn't like the story. :)

I just picked up the book on Amazon, finished it in one sitting, and I'm caught up with the story now.

Okay: Onwards


The bad:

-I wasn't a fan of "rich people are evil."  I thought it made sense for the MC to feel this way given his world view, but since both his parents were lawyers and he was going to an "ivy league" highschool in the first place, it rang a little hollow.

-I didn't understand where the snippets of conversation between the devs were going at first.  I know that was kind of the point and I soon found it interesting, but I wish I could have found it interesting sooner.  By the time I was caught up chronologically, I was thoroughly engrossed so it turned into a strength.

-I realize "law of conservation of characters" probably had a play here, but I think we only get 3 other named students from the MC's high school.


-The opening wasn't that great.  It didn't really add to the story and almost sent me away.  I think if the writer would have chosen to start with Jason's story immediately, it would have drawn me in faster.



The Meh

-Jason's friend was given very little screen time and he never felt real to me, he was never fleshed out like say... Riley or Alex.  Jason's conversations with him were very meh to me, like he was the obligatory friend.  I'm hoping this is will be addressed in book 2.

-Jason's reaction to Onyx.  The way he kept second guessing himself on Onyx's reaction to people when he was dealing with an NPC and had plenty of opportunity to see he wasn't a real cat.  It made me facepalm a bit.  Real cats don't nod or hang around battles.  Cats are cool but they'll also nope out of a situation faster than Brave Sir Robin... lol

-The convenience of the first few NPCs Jason meets being so reliable.  Yes, I know Alfred probably had a part in this, but I would have liked to see more exploration before everything started going down in the plot.


The Good

-Pretty much everything else.  Seriously.  But I will list some more bullets

-Jason's realistic journey as as a character given the in-world variables

-The literal Deus Ex Machina that actually makes sense and gives the writer tons of wiggle room

-Time compression.  This is a pretty common device in VR fics, but I think it was done /right/ here

-Min/maxing.  Holy crap, an MC who is supposedly a gamer who actually knows how to play games!? /faint

-A female side character the MC doesn't automatically yearn for or doesn't end up being a long-time crush.  I loved that this work didn't follow the path of bad LNs

-The combat.  Battles were engaging and fun.  We weren't just told that Jason was clever, we experienced it.

-A "lone wolf" MC who is not socially retarded.  Enough said.

-The overall writing style and grasp of flow.  This book is very well written.  If I didn't know it was the writer's first book, I would have never assumed it.


The conclusion:

Pick this book up on Amazon.  I know some folks on RRL are broke, or don't have a way to pay for books, but if you can, please do yourself a favor and read this.  After you are done with the first book you can follow the rest on RRL.

The ebook is a little more expensive than some others, but I think it was only a couple dollars and for me, this was one of the stand out reads of the year, especially in litRPG.

Go.  Go now.  Read it.  Read iiiiit!


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Evil never looked so good. In fact, it looks Amazing and Disgusting.

While Jason in game is definitely no saint (I mean, he does some awe-inspiring shit), but his gaming experience started right after years of torment added up and the last straw broke the camel’s back. What that means is that (with some guidance from a ‘friendly?’ diety) he went into the game with a drastic need to vent, and vent he did. 


Currently, we’re now getting to see what he’s going to do now that he’s vented and has to deal with the consequences of his actions. I can definitely say I’m looking forward to it! 


Now, if you’re wondering why I say ‘it looks Amazing and Disgusting’, that’s because that’s one way of describing his awe-inspiring act. It also describes the antagonist – it’s amazing that he get’s away with his bullshit and said bullshit is disgusting. 


If you’re also wondering why I docked a star from character; character development in this story is good, don’t get me wrong. But this story only has 28 chapters out so far and it’s chokabloc full of action! There’s nothing wrong with that at all! In fact, the more I write this, the more I feel like giving it 5 stars too (and that’s why story has 5 stars instead of 4) but all this exciting action and detailed characters means there are other characters we lack detailed knowledge about. I feel that once there’s a calm moment (ohmahgawd is that even possible anytime soon?) we need more good stuff about your characters – NPC and human. [Aka, once you have 50~60 chapters up, I could probably give character 5 stars without a doubt, probably because your PoV change at the start of each chapter allows us extra perception or just pure enjoyment from seeing the reactions of others.] 


To potential readers; if you remember that [Mature] tags exist for a reason, and you’re still willing to read this story, then you’re going to have a blast.



                                                                             Edit: 15/06/16                                                                             


Book One (of a planned trilogy) is complete (ignoring planned editing). As a (new?) fan, I’m hyped for more. What I have read has excited me so very much that I’m looking forward to the next installment without a doubt. There is so much more to explore in both the game world and ‘real life plots’, the book has a proper ‘book one’ ending (aka an arc ends while a cliffhanger for book two appears), and the story quality is without a doubt good.



[In fact, if da3strikes could find a way to make his ‘additional main characters/important side characters’ more “addictive” , then I’d be able to compare the quality of this story to The Iron Teeth and HTADOADB. Currently though? If I had to compare the excitement I feel for this story to another, I’d compare it to the hype I have for Tidal Lock. As for a story I’m hoping it will match? Savage Divinity!]

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As an Evil Penguin Overlord of Earth and all realms below the 6th hell, i love it and would welocme him to my evil empire at any time 

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Nice story and concept so far

Actually the first story that made me want to write a “review”.


Very good concept and grammar. MC is not really “OP” because he follows the rules of this peculiar VRMMO world.

Just a piece of advice.. if he is able to achieve power in this way, he shouldn’t be the only one. It’s not like he’s the only player in the world who’s smart, or able to notice the tricks that allow him to take down stronger opponents.


Anyway, keep un the good work!


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Daily updates please...

This is too good. I wish for daily updates.

The story is good and the MC is OP not because of his powers but because of his wits. He's really good with battle tactics and he totally exploited the system.


What I didn't like in the story is the cat. I don't know why it's there but it's irritating. Like a bug on a windshield. I hope that the cat is relevant in the plot.


One last thing: Please! Please don't abandon this story! Some stories in RRL I read were abandoned even though they're good.


I love this story!

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Devour this gem before you have to buy it at a bookstore

Awaken Online is poised to stand among the giants of the LitRPG genre, and certainly already towers over many of its peers in the web serial format. It takes the time to develop characters outside of the game, rather than immediately jumping into power leveling and protagonist hero worship, and the AO development subplot is the best kind of sinister--a cold, creeping feeling that, despite appearances, something just isn't right. 


LitRPG is filled with harems of vapid, two-dimensional lovers, whose only purpose is to adore a self-insert. Not so with Awaken Online, which has yet to explicitly address romance at all; if ever it develops, it will be between two deep, realistic characters. Also unlike many similar tales, AO understands that dark does not equate to evil. Leaders, especially new ones, can grow and learn--make big mistakes, then turn their flaws into insight. It all lends itself to a particularly likable protagonist.


Give Awaken Online a chance. It's unlike anything you've ever read, and it might just be the best free book you ever pick up.

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Good read. impressive.

I love the story and hope the story keep on getting better. The only thing i suggest is not hooking up mc with riley, because i think he could do better. Also i want to read more about the reactions to the MC behavior more.