If you like "Way of the Shaman" by Vasily Mahanenko, then you might enjoy...

The Way of the Shaman is an excellent LitRPG book series. If you want more like it then read on.

We have created a list of suggestions that are similar to Way of the Shaman.

Most of our recommendations for more like Way of the Shaman are pure LitRPG, but some are in closely related genres, like Dungeon Core.

We have also included some anime suggestions. Animes are full of titles in this genre.

Description:

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.

If you want to want more general LitRPG recommendations, or if your not sure what it is. Then check out this article about LitRPG, what is it and where to start? LitRPG recommendations.

Books

Dungeon Born (The Divine Dungeon #1) by Dakota Krout

Book cover: Dungeon Born
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Cal is a Dungeon Heart, a soul forced into a magical stone against his will.

After several years of only instinctive living, he was able to regain his sentience. This allowed him to form new memories again, and to slowly start growing a dungeon around himself.

With help from a small friend, Cal learned to create monsters and traps and how to use treasures to grow his dungeon. His main goal is to lure in brave adventures to eat so he can grow in both power and size.

Is The Divine Dungeon good?

Dungeon Born is one of the best books I have read in a while. This book is written in a light and funny way. For me it was new and fresh, it was the first Dungeon Core type books I read.

Why is The Divine Dungeon recommended?

Dungeon Born is not a pure LitRPG like Way of the Shaman. It is a Dungeon Core story with some LitRPG elements. Much of the leveling is more in the form of cultivation stories instead of LitRPG GameLit books.

Check out this Top 10 Dungeon Core book series list for more about Dungeon Core books. It also contains a description of what Dungeon Core books are.

Dungeon Born is still similar enough to the Way of the Shaman, even if it's not as similar as the rest of the recommendations. But it is a very good series, so it's absolutely worth checking out.

Why: character leveling
Why not: dungeon core not a game

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.

Why is Chaos Seeds recommended?

The Chaos Seeds books are not exactly set in a VR game, but it has strong RPG game mechanics, just like Way of the Shaman has. It has some more focus on town-building, but it still has strong character leveling, questing, and looting systems.

If you like Way of the Shaman then you will probably like the Chaos Seeds books. They have many similarities. Check them out.

Sentenced to Troll (Sentenced to Troll Series #1) by S.L. Rowland

Sentenced to Troll cover
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Chad has acted as a toxic troll one time too many against other players. After a specially nasty outburst, the authorities have decided to make an example of him.

They have sentenced him to a 30-day sentence of full-immersion therapy designed to improve his anger issues. For his endless trolling in real life, he's forced to play the most hated race in the Isle of Mythos.

He has to play as a troll.

The goal is that he can finally experience what it's like to be on the other side. As a troll, he is hated by humans, and since he is an outsider he is also distrusted among the other trolls.

To make the matter even worse, the game has mutated his character name to Chod instead of his regular cool nickname.

Chod sets out on a quest for the local troll tribe. Along the way, he makes both friends and enemies and he uses some very unorthodox solutions to some of the problems he faces.

Is Sentenced to Troll Series good?

Sentenced to Troll is a cool twist on the LitRPG genre with an interesting story. Its not the first LitRPG book where the main character is sentenced to full-immersion in a VRMMORPG game, but it is slightly different. It's not the first LitRPG I would start with, but its a decent pick if you already have read some and is searching for more.

Why is Sentenced to Troll Series recommended?

Chad from Sentenced to Troll also has to serve his prison sentence in a VRMMORPG game. But unlike Daniel, Chad is guilty. But his sentence is much shorter.

Sentenced to Troll, just like Way of the Shaman, has a full immersion virtual world where the main character is stuck for a given period.

Why: stuck in game vr prison

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.

Why is New Era Online recommended?

New Era Online is just like Way of the Shaman in that the main character is stuck in VR. But he is not a prisoner.

In New Era Online the main character is a monster and he does some town building.

If you like Way of the Shaman then you will probably also like New Era Online.

Why: stuck in game

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 books have a story that takes part in both the game and outside. The Way of the Shaman takes part mainly in-game. But they are both very good LitRPG books.

If you like Way of the Shaman then you will most likely find the Dark Herbalist series to your liking.

Awaken Online: Catharsis (Awaken Online #1) by Travis Bagwell

Awaken Online: Catharsis book cover
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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.

Is Awaken Online good?

Awaken Online online is one of the best LitRPG series.

Usually, I don't like LitRPG books that are too much in the real world. But in this case, Travis Bagwell has managed to keep that part interesting too.

Awaken Online has interesting game mechanics, and I like how the AI overlords interact with the game.

Awaken Online is an amazing book series that is absolutely worth reading, especially if you like LitRPG books.

Why is Awaken Online recommended?

Awaken Online does not have a main character that is stuck in the game. The story takes part both in the game and in the real world.

Awaken Online is very good, and if you want more LitRPG then it is an absolutly must too check it out.

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.

Why is Completionist Chronicles recommended?

The Completionist Chronicles is kind of stuck in a VR kind of story. Only the main character is stuck forever. It's a very good book series. 

The Completionist Chronicles is a must-read for any LitRPG fan.

Project Daily Grind (Mirror World #1) by Alexey Osadchuk

Project Daily Grind (Mirror World book1) Book cover
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Mirror World is a game where you can live out your dreams. it's a virtual MMORPG Sword and Sorcery world where anything is possible. You can become a great wizard, a great warrior, or anything in between.

But none of this is meant for Oleg.

He will never become a great wizard, have his own castle or gain any other lofty dream.

Oleg has to work in the mines of Mirror World.

His goal is to earn money, real money. Oleg is in desperate need of money to save his daughter. She needs a heart transplant, and that's not cheap.

Can he make enough money before it is too late?

Animes

Log Horizon

Anime cover: Log Horizon
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MMORPG gamers find themself transported into the game they play.

Shiroe and the others in Log Horizon attempt to live their lives out in the new world they find themselves trapped in.

They form governments, deal with NPCs and other players.

Is Log Horizon good?

Log Horizon is a very good anime. It`s about more than simple fighting.

Why is Log Horizon recommended?

Log Horizon is another stuck in a VR game story. But it has heavy focus on players coming together and creating a society inside the game, and cooperating with the now sentient NPC.

If you like Way of the Shaman and want LitRPG is anime, then check it out.

Why: stuck in game

Sword Art Online

Anime cover: Sword Art Online
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Sword Art Online (SAO), a massive online role-playing game, is launched.

It uses "NerveGear" technology, a technology that lets players control their avatars within the game using nothing but their own thoughts.

Kazuto Kirigaya is one player among ten-thousand others that logs on to SAO as it launches. He was a beta tester for the game, so he has a leg up over most of the others.

The players soon realize they cannot log out. The game’s creator has trapped them in his new world until they complete all one hundred levels of the game.

Is Sword Art Online good?

The animation and sound work is good. Sword Art Online worth watching, but only if you like this kind of animes.

Why is Sword Art Online recommended?

Sword art Online is another stuck in VR kind of story. But unlike in Way of the Shaman, everyone is stuck, and they might die.

If you like Way of the Shaman and also like anime, then Sword Art Online might be worth watching.

Why: stuck in game

Overlord

Anime cover: Overlord
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Momonga is a powerful wizard and master of the dark guild Ainz Ooal Gown int the popular virtual reality game Yggdrasil.

The final hour before the game shuts down for god has come and he decides to stay logged in during this event.

To his surprise, despite the clock having struck midnight, and all the servers should have been shut down, Momonga is still fully conscious inside his game character.

What's even more strange is that all the NPCs appear to suddenly have developed personalities of their own.

Surprised by this strange occurrence, Momonga decides to investigate and take control of this new world to figure out the cause and to see if there are others like him.

Is Overlord good?

I recommend this anime, but only if you like this genre. Its one of the better "trapped in RPG game world" animes.

Why is Overlord recommended?

Overlord is jet another stuck in a VR game kind of story. But the main character starts out as an overpowered top-level character and a guild leader.

Overlord is a good anime. So if you like LitRPG and anime then it's worth checking out.

Why: stuck in game