Awaken Online: Unity is the seventh instalment (based on publication order) in the epic LitRPG saga written by Travis Bagwell that revolves around a fictional Virtual Reality MMORPG named Awaken Online. It is the third side quest, and focuses on Frank, best friend and left hand of Jason.
Let’s talk about Frank! It’s about time don’t you think? So Unity is all about him. We barely see Frank in the previous entry (Dominion), but we know that since Jason has to take some time off AO, Frank decides to take some time on his own and to explore the area north of the Twillight Throne. And what a ride he’s going for! Finally we get to learn more about his abilities.
During his travels through the north, Frank comes across a hidden town called Haven, where he gets to know other shapeshifters, although not exactly like him, and other characters with “nature” based abilities (Druids). We finally get to see Frank not staying on the side, and taking a stance.
He’s tested, he meets an ancient God, and he becomes a leader for the first time. He provides help when needed, causes more damage than he could have imagined and, after all, still manages to fall in love. What more is there to desire?
What’s it about? – Synopsis
In the aftermath of Thorn’s attack on the Twilight Throne, Frank is in an awkward position. Jason and Riley have outpaced him and everyone is hard at work rebuilding the Twilight Throne, establishing new towns, and trying to get their fledgling manufacturing operation off the ground. Everyone except Frank – who finds himself with no immediate task or goal.
So Frank decides to strike off on his own. He sets his eyes on the north, heading toward the snow-capped mountains that loom over the undead kingdom’s border in the hope of improving his shapeshifting abilities.
He soon stumbles into an unexpected adventure. A journey that may unearth the secrets behind his class and finally force him to reach his true potential.
What did I think? – Opinion
I liked it, honestly. Frank has not been my favourite character in this series by far and hasn’t really been paid as much attention as Jason and Riley, but this book finally tries to change this.
The first third-half of the book is more on the slow side, with Frank starting his solo adventure and the introduction of Haven and new characters and classes, but it does certainly pick up speed later on. The Shifters, Tamers and Growers provide refreshing new abilities and whole new interesting background and story. And Frank’s new class seems to finally have something interesting to look forward to.
On the other hand there’s asome aspects which I didn’t like that much. For example the fact that Frank, Riley and Eliza all seem to have the same ‘base’ personality: no self esteem and can’t stand up to himself or the judgement of his parents. But it is true that the specifics of the conflicts and the individual personalities of the teens are all very different
Then there’s two things about Frank specifically which I found took away from his character: First, he mentions that he’s learned a few things from Jason while playing with him and become smarter, but then when needed, his decisions and strategies don’t seem to be thought through and lack common sense some times.
And second, I found his self doubts and guilt about hurting and killing other players (and specifically enjoying it) a bit annoying. I mean, he feels guilty about it, and later on tells himself that he shouldn’t feel guilty about it but accept it, and accept himself. I mean, it’s a game, do whatever you have to do or want to do, but if you enjoy that specifically, knowing it’s real people who are feeling certain degree of that pain in real life, maybe there’s something wrong with you?
But who knows what we’ll enjoy when this kind of technology becomes reality in a couple of years, right?
All in all, I personally really enjoyed Unity, read through it in about 2-3 days and am absolutely looking forward to see more of Franks new class and the Druids. If you haven’t read it, what are you waiting for?
Awaken Online: Unity (AO 4.5)
Book Title: Awaken Online: Unity
Book Description: Awaken Online: Unity is the seventh instalment and third side quest in the epic LitRPG saga written by Travis Bagwell that revolves around a fictional Virtual Reality MMORPG named Awaken Online.