If you like "Awaken Online" by Travis Bagwell, then you might enjoy...

If you like Awaken Online and want more, then these suggestions will help you out. Most of our recommendations are other LitRPG books, but there might be some other goodies hidden in them too.

Read this article if you want more general LitRPG recommendations and a little info about the genre.

Description:

Jason attends a prestigious private school and his parents are reasonably well off. But his parents are never home, and he is bullied by both students and faculty at this prestigious school.

Frustrated with his life, Jason escapes into the newly released full immersion VRMMORPG game Awaken Online.

Jason quickly finds himself on the path to be one of the game's greater villains. With his powerful necromantic power and newly won leadership of a new playable race, he becomes a target for all the rest.

Jason constantly logs on to the game for the freedom and power he gets in it. Something that he lacks in real life.

One of the reasons for Jasons growing power in the game is that one of the major AIs in Awaken Online has taken an interest in him, and in humanity.

Books

Video Game Plotline Tester (Dark Herbalist #1) by Michael Atamanov

Video Game Plotline Tester: Dark Herbalist Series, Book 1 cover
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Timothy has just started as a tester for the largest and most technologically advance VRMMORPG game in the world. The testers compete for some big reward by streaming their game. The tester with the most popular stream wins.

The company delegate the class and some skills for the tester to use. Their goal is both to test the less common combinations and to make them more popular. Timothy is given the goblin race with the herbalist class and put in a strange starting location.

Timothy and his sister secretly cooperate to make his chances to win the competition among the testers higher. She is both too young to work as a tester and disabled, so she has to join from their home.

Together they explore the game and make plans for dealing with the strange class and race combination. But it's not only in-game problems they have to overcome, but real-life dangers are also a problem. There is a huge award for the winner of the game

Is Dark Herbalist good?

The Dark Herbalist Series is a LitRPG book series with a good balance. Game and leveling mechanics are well mixed with a solid story and character development.

The characters are not helped out by random events and Deus Ex Machina. Instead, they use out-of-the-box and quick thinking to get out of problematic situations.

The Dark Herbalist Series is interesting and absolutely worth reading if you want a LitRPG book series.

Why is Dark Herbalist recommended?

The Dark Herbalist series and Awaken Online have many similarities. Both have a story that is split between the real world and the game world. Both main characters also ends up streaming and compete to get more viewers.

If you like Awaken Online then the Dark Herbalist book series might be to you liking.

Why: story in vr and real world streaming

First Login (Chronicle #1) by Kevin Murphy

First Login: Chronicle, Book 1  Cover
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Chronicle is a revolutionary new game.  It offers a perfect simulation in a new world with quests, magic, monsters, and gods. But most importantly, the time in-game goes faster than the real-time. It feels like you live longer.

Corbin seeks out Chronicle to escape his boring life and to earn some real money.

He starts out with some really bad luck, but he manages to get up again by lying, cheating, and coning people. Even with his devious tactics his not and evil person.

Corbin soon finds himself dragged into some deeper mysteries in the game.

Is Chronicle good?

Chronicle is not groundbreaking for the LitRPG genre but it is very well written and executed. There is nothing directly negative to say about it, but there isn't much too extraordinary about either. 

Chronicle is definitely worth reading for anyone that likes LitRPG books.

Why is Chronicle recommended?

Chronicle is another good LitRPG when the main character logs in to a fully immersed VRMMORPG world. This game, just like Awaken Online, also has also sped up time for people that are playing.

If you like Awaken Online then you might also like Chronicle. It's worth checking out.

Why: Time dilation

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Book cover: Ready Player One
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Wade Watts is a poor teen living with his aunt in the stacks, a trailer park with the trailers stacked atop each other, a place for the poor. Wade only feels alive when he`s inside the OASIS, a popular online game that most of the world is obsessed with. Even with the basic headgear and gloves it's almost like you are inside the game, and it gets even better for those with the money for specialized body suits. The creator of OASIS, James Halliday, told every one before he died that he had hidden an easter egg inside the game, an whomever finds it first will inherit his entire multi-billion dollar fortune. Wade is among the most dedicated hunters that label themselves as gunters. To find the egg they study the life of Halliday, especially his earlier days in the 80s. When Wade is the first to find the first clue thing takes a nasty turn when he discovers that people are willing to kill him in the real world to get it.

Is Ready Player One by Ernest Cline good?

This book is full of pop culture from the 80s, especially the cool nerdy stuff. Sadly I`m a little to young to have experienced the 80s pop culture, but i know some of it, and it is still cool. It is all those references that makes the book shine the most, Ready Player One would be as good without it.

Why is Ready Player One by Ernest Cline recommended?

Ready Player One also has a split story between VR and the real world. But it's not really a typical LitRPG. It is missing the typical RPG game mechanics.

Ready Player One is worth reading, especially if you like 80s geek references.

Why: story in vr and real world
Why not: no rpg mechanics

The Land: Founding (Chaos Seeds #1)

Book cover: The Land: Founding
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James and his friends were among the top teams on the newest and greatest VRMMORPG game, The Land. When they were riding a new dungeon he was separated from his friends.

A game boss, or so hi thinks, asks him a question.

After answering the same question three times he is suddenly transferred to the real planet that the game was based on.

James still has access to his character sheets and delves into this real game, where he now is called Richter.

Richter quickly finds himself dragged into an age-old war. A war between forest sprites and goblins. At the same time, he also ends up in control of his own village that he has to grow.

Is Chaos Seeds good?

The Chaos Seeds books are so far among the best LitRPG books I have read, atlas among the LitRPG book that goes all-in with the game mechanic.

Richter's story is captivating, funny, and a little addictive. I feel like I'm playing the adventure I'm reading and it's always interesting when Richter levels up or finds new loot.

The only thing I hate about this series is the author, he has been attempting to trademark the LitRPG genre. He's a greedy bastard, but his books are good.

Ritualist (Completionist Chronicles #1) by Dakota Krout

Ritualist Completionist Chronicles, Book 1 cover
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Joe is an army medic that had an accident at work and has become a quadriplegic with no chance of getting healthy again. When he is given the option to permanently transition his consciousness into a virtual world, a game, he takes it.

When he enters the game he is given the option of picking a special class, a ritualist. Its a class with huge potential, but it also has the drawback that if anyone discovers his class, he will be hunted down.

Is Completionist Chronicles good?

The Ritualist (Completionist Chronicles) is among the best LitRPG books I have read so far.

Joe does not have a typical fighting class, and he is not turned into a Mary Sue character. The story is interesting, and I love the game elements and character leveling in this book.

Life Reset (New Era Online #1) by Shemer Kuznits

Life Reset: A LitRPG Novel: New Era Online, Book 1 cover
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New Era Online, NEO, is a full immersion virtual reality game.

Oren Berman is among the most powerful and influential players. He is the guild leader of one of the most power full guilds. In NEO the first person to discover a skill gives you the exclusive right to teach others the skill. Oren has some really good exclusive right, and together with being the guild leader he easily lives of what he makes in-game.

But all these changes when he is betrayed by his own guild commanders.

They use a rare item that transforms your character into a monster, permanently. Oren ends up as a level one goblin far into the uncharted monster territory. If Oren starts a new character he will loose his exclusive skills to the guild that betrayed him. What will he do?

Is New Era Online good?

Life Reset is an excellent LitRPG book. It has interesting game mechanics and character development.

It's fascinating to follow the main character. A person that starts out among the most powerful players, but then he is betrayed, changed to a monster race, and stuck in the game.

Survival Quest (Way of the Shaman #1) by Vasily Mahanenko

Survival Quest, Way of the Shaman book 1
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Daniel Mahan is unjustly sentenced to prison for eight years. Like most other criminals he has to serve his sentence in a full immersion chamber put in a prison work camp in the VRMMORPG game Barliona.

Barliona is a medieval-like virtual world with monsters and other players.

The game has become so popular that players now choose to spend months online at a time without returning to the real world.

In Barliona, anything goes: You can assault fellow players, level up, become a mythical hero, or just get a regular medieval job if you like. The only rule is that no player is allowed to feel actual pain.

But there's an exception to every rule.

People in Daniel Mahan's position, prisoners, feel just as much pain as they do in real life. For them, Barliona has become their personal hell.

Is Way of the Shaman good?

Way of the Shaman is one of the best LitRPG series I have read, it's also one of the first, so that might affect my judgment.

It has both well-developed characters and a good story. The LitRPG elements are also done in a very good way, which is important.

Rogue Dungeon: A litRPG Adventure (The Rogue Dungeon #1) by James A. Hunter

Rogue Dungeon: A litRPG Adventure Book Cover
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Roark von Graf is a hedge mage, lesser noble, and a freedom fighter. When a desperate plan to unseat the Tyrant King fails, Roark finds himself in a strange and dire situation.

Roark escapes in a strange portal that sends him into an ultra-immersive fantasy video game called Hearthworld.

He can't log out, his magic is acting strangely, and he is no longer human.

Roark is now a low-level troll.

He has to guard the first level of a dungeon from players wanting to go dungeon crawling.

But if that was not enough. Roark stole something precious from the Tyrant King, something valuable enough that he uses his magic to send underlings into the game to hunt down Roark.

Can Roark become powerful enough to survive and get back to his world?

Rogue Dungeon is a mix of LitRPG and Dungeon Core. And its a collaboration between two good authors.

Anime

BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense.

BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense. Anime Cover
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Kaede Honjou is persuaded by a friend to join New World Online, a popular VRMMORPG. She decides to go by the name Maple. She has never played games like this before, so she decides to dump all her points into vitality, she doesn't like to get hurt.

Min-maxing to the extent Mapel has done usually ends badly, but she lucks out by gaining powerful skills and items to bolster her playstyle.

As Mapel becomes stronger she gains infamy and is almost on a path to become a boss character her self.

But Mapel is evil or power-hungry. She is kind and happy. All she wants is to play and have fun with old and new friends.

Is BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense. good?

BOFURI is an ok VRMMO anime. It not the best, but if you like this type of animes then its worth checking out.