Welcome to The Glory - the world’s biggest VR tournament.
In front of millions of viewers, teams compete in a battle royale where they clear dungeons, complete quests and slay other players in a race to score the most points.
The winners are instant celebrities, and it's time Bash the Berserker joined their ranks. One win away from going pro, his dreams of fame, fortune and that iced coffee sponsorship are finally coming true...until he’s kicked off his team mere hours before registrations close.
With everything on the line, Bash manages to cobble together a new rag-tag team. A washed-up semi-pro who hates his guts, a talented analyst who’s never actually competed and a streamer whose ego is only surpassed by her love of throwing swords.
Oh, and if they want to earn their glory, Bash will have to trade in his war hammer and play as a three-foot-tall, tree-hugging elf....
Alex Knight grew up a sun-baked, outdoorsy Floridian and has lived in several places around the world. As an author of LitRPG and Fantasy his work includes the Nova Online Trilogy. In the past Alex has worked as everything from a dish washer at Busch Gardens to the Communications Coordinator at the Florida Attractions Association.
After deciding he didn’t like stability or predictable pay checks he made the jump to being a freelance writer. Soon that turned into ghost-writing romance novellas, then ghost-writing full-blown science fiction novels, and finally, writing his own books.
Hello - I'm Luke, and two things I love are Fantasy, and Video Games. So, rather unsurprisingly, Rise to Glory was right up my street! If you combined The Hunger Games with Ready Player One, with a little bit of Lord of the Rings and Skyrim thrown in good measure, you'd end up with Rise to Glory - and as a melting pot of all those brilliant options, it's clearly extremely fun.
As a big video game fan I enjoyed how the world is represented here - the fact that the character exist mostly in this virtual world allows the author to have them abide by rules that are set and strict, but are nonetheless different from everyday life. If you're a fan of fantasy but struggle with the excessive world building that can sometimes go into Fantasy books, then 'Rise to Glory' will be a great fit for you - plunging you into the action, and allowing you to discover things as Bash and the other characters do.
Crucially, and I think particularly fitting given the time in which this audiobook has come out, is how the story focuses on the idea of 'found families'. As someone who has made some of his best friends through posting on an X-Men message board in the early 2000's, I know all too well that geekdom brings security and closeness with others, who, for whatever reason, can often feel seperated from the rest of society. Alex Knight subtly covers those themes here - and they weave along nicely with the fun of the overarcing plot, whilst also bringing in themes about the world of competitive and professional online gaming, which we've seen take off in recent years.
Kudos goes to voice artist Christopher Ragland for his great narration too - brilliant to have someone so immersed in the video game world (he's done voices for Homefront, Horizon Zero Dawn, Star Wars Battle Front II and Xenoblade Chronicles II, amongst others) do the voiceover here - extremely fitting!
Many thanks to Midas PR for the opportunity to give this a listen