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AWAKEN ONLINE – Everything you need to know before reading!

A friend had recommended Awaken Online to me during the first weeks of the 2020 pandemic and Travis Bagwell, the author, was offering several of the novels from this series for free on Amazon because so many cities in so many countries had introduced restrictions on freedom of movement due to COVID-19, and I obviously took advantage of that.

I had heard of the LitRPG genre but had never read a LitRPG novel. But once I started Awaken Online, I couldn’t stop.

Header Image / Banner created by the amazing Amelia Parris.

Awaken Online Alfred Round Sticker

Travis Bagwell – Author

Travis Bagwell is an American author from Austin, Texas. He’s an attorney by day and an avid video game enthusiast by night, but he always dreamt of writing fiction, something he accomplished with his 2016 debut Awaken Online: Catharsis, the first novel in the Awaken Online saga.

About Awaken Online

Awaken Online is a fictional fantasy-themed, immersive, hyper-realistic virtual reality massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) created by Cerillion Entertainment. In it, players have complete freedom of movement, choice and evolution, and the game changes, evolves and adapts like our real-life world to all actions and decisions made by players. But in addition to this, within the world of Awaken Online there are magic, gods and demons, hundreds of creatures, powers and all sorts of abilities that players have the chance to experience. Then there is Alfred, the artificial intelligence (AI) that makes it all work.

The novels are based on and around this game, and the experiences and events of the characters both inside this incredible virtual world and outside in the harsh reality.


Main Characters

In Awaken Online there are several main characters. The protagonist is definitely Jason, but his friends, companions and main enemies play a very important role.

Secondary Characters

Awaken Online is also full of secondary characters, who play a crucial role in the progression of the story and the characters, with whom they are closely connected.

  • 1 Avatar: Those players selected by the gods of Awaken Online to represent them in the game.
  • 2 NPC: Non-player character. Those characters that appear in video games that are not controlled by players.
  • 3 AI: Artificial Intelligence. A machine with human-equivalent intelligence, self-aware and with the ability to solve problems, learn and plan for the future.

The Novels

The Awaken Online saga currently consists of 11 novels that can be divided into three groups:

  • Main Storyline: This group contains the core novels of Awaken Online and in them we follow our main character, Jason, and his fellow friends on their adventures (or misdeeds, as some might think) both in and out of the game, discovering what their real lives are like, how different they are within the game and their motivations for playing it.
  • Sidequests: This group contains individual novels in which we get to know more about the side characters, companions and friends of Jason. These sidequests are optional, but I would personally recommend reading them to get to know Riley, Frank and Eliza better and to better understand where they come from, why they started playing Awaken Online and what life they have outside the game.
  • Tarot: This group contains three novels that focus on the Avatar of Fire. In them we meet and accompany Finn on his journey through Awaken Online. This character has three novels to himself.

Reading Order

Publication Order

The reading order of the novels can vary, but I recommend following the order of publication: read the main plot, intercalating the “side quests”, on the one hand for a change of scenery and on the other hand to get to know the other characters better. The Tarot trilogy can really be read at any time, since it can be treated as a separate story, but I personally would recommend reading it after Dominion and Unity. This order really offers the most immersion into the world of Awaken Online.

Awaken Online, publication order.

Chronological Order

Another possible reading order is following the chronological order of the novels (based off the release date of the Awaken Online game in the novels). The difference here is that you could start with either the main story (Jason), Eliza’s side mission, or the first part of Tarot (Finn).

Awaken Online Timeline based on AO Release
Awaken Online, chronological order based on the release of Awaken Online.

Individual Reviews

Below are links to the individual reviews for each novel in the Awaken Online saga. (will be updated as new reviews are added)

Awaken Online – Main Storyline (Jason)

Awaken Online – Sidequest

Awaken Online – Tarot


  • 05/04/2023 – Awaken Online: Hellion review published.
  • 09/03/2024 – Updated image for chronological book order based on the release of Awaken Online