Continue Online - Sample

by FrustratedEgo

Original Adventure Fantasy Psychological Romance Sci-fi Tragedy Male Lead Slice of Life Virtual Reality
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Profanity
  • Sexual Content
  • Traumatising content

The future is filled with self-driving cars, virtual realities, chore completing machines, and super fast internet connections. Yet all these technological innovations cannot prevent tragedy. Three years ago Grant Legate lost that which he loved most. His carefully built life fell apart in the wake of depression.

Now Grant spends most days working endless hours as a companion to an AI. Their mission is simple, to repair broken machines that humanity uses to visit virtual realities. Unintended hard work pays off as his boss forces Grant to take a vacation and try the latest game craze Continue Online, a fantasy world with the freedom to play any role one might choose.

Upon entry into the game, he meets the AIs who rule over this digital world and they’re nothing like what he expected from a video game world. Grant starts his journey into the virtual world from a very different perspective, and he is only one part of an AI agenda that will end up impacting all of humanity.

  • Part 1, Memories (Completed, Sample, Cover)
  • Part 2, Made (Completed, Sample)
  • Part 3, Realities (Completed, Sample)
  • Part 4, Crash (Completed, Sample)
  • Part 5, Together (Completed, Sample)

 


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FrustratedEgo

FrustratedEgo

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black-talk
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Once of the best character driven stories on the site. (37 chapters out at the time of review)

First off - The story starts slow

The story starts slow, and that is a good thing. That is because this is mostly a character driven story. The plot is awesome too btw, the main focus however seems to be our main character.

 

Do yourself the favor and read at least 4 chapters before judging this series. It should not be too tedious even if it isn't up your alley straight away.

 

The reason why is the author has chosen to ease you into the story and used the first couple of chapters to 'show' you the character in context as opposed to a massive information dump. My personal preference is to avoid information dumps at almost all costs. The initial chapters serves as a means to achieve this.

 

A character driven story

A character driven story is in my opinion one of the hardest feats to pull off successfully without breaking the immersion. Often you will find a good story where the characters come together nicely. Then out of the blue the character will do something which is utterly unbelievable, e.g. forgiving something unforgivable at a drop of a hat. Often because the plot 'demands' it.

 

This story has yet to run into this problem and I don't believe it will. There are no places where characters in the story do things without sufficient cause or have a change of heart in a way which is unbelievable.

 

If you don't think it is a feat then consider the story is heavy on the personal problem front. I find even published authors have a hard time achieving this.

 

Plot

The story so far has an amazing plot, or at least it is turning out to be. During the first many chapters not a lot is happening plot wise. It is mostly a well executed world building phase. Then all of a sudden things take off and the author does a amazing job at pacing the plot. Releasing a tidbit here and a tidbit there about what the hell is actually going on.

 

Conclusion

All in all a recommendation from me. If anything is to be said about why this might not be a good book/series for you then that would be my estimate of the target audience being  people above 20 years of age.

FirstDragon
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A Richly Psychological VR Adventure, Slow Build, Limited "Action" So Far

(This Review Covers the Story Through Interlude Four and is currently "A Work In Progress")

Continue Online is a remarkably well crafted story which shines even more brightly in comparison to the standard fare served up on RoyalRoad. If you are expecting a traditional VR tale, you will either find yourself delighted and surprised or bewildered and disappointed...it all depends on your personal reading preferences.

To help explain the story so far and avoid spoilers, I'll start out with what you won't find: a bullied or socially stomped MC, a bosomy childhood friend, a set of early chapters filled with training montages, brutal depictions of goblin mutilation, not-so-unexpected party-member betrayals (leading to a classic "I've gone psycho" MC vengeance subplot), crafting and more crafting, unexplained rare equipment drops, stumbled upon unique OP classes, or stereotypical harem antics.

Instead, the author creates a believable near-future world and then proceeds to introduce readers to his complex MC: a humane adult recovering from the injustices of life (romance related trauma plus the follow-on period of self-medication / addiction). The MC is a bit of a sad sack but not unlikeable or incompetent. So far the side characters are multi-dimensional and entertaining; given the MC's current lack of motivation, they are also the dominant forces driving the development of the plot and the MC himself. 

In terms of Style and Story, the 4.5 ratings stem from what I see as the two biggest weaknesses of the fiction so far

1) It is quite slowly paced.

Those seeking the immediate gratification via "action" (cool battles, dazzling counter-spells, etc. ) or "plot-advancement" (leveling, saved damsels, mysterious enemies, conquered dungeons, etc.) will need to look elsewhere. The author dedicates the first dozen plus chapters to character development (and the slow unveiling of the MC's backstory) and world-building, both inside and outside the VR framework.

2) It has a strong psychological flavor.

The author's focus on the MC's trauma comes across as a bit heavy-handed.  Sometimes the plot feels a bit contrived as if it was constructed specifically to permit the author to address / reveal another facet of the MC's psyche. The story is quite "slice of life" ATM, though I sense it is definitely moving towards the "start" of a more traditional adventure arc.

Though not obsessively descriptive, the author knows how to show a world and not just tell us about it. So far, he's written several lovely and downright lyrical passages. At least for me, one stand out was the MC's introduction to the VR world, which felt powerfully immersive and generated a "wow, I'm right there amidst all the excitement" kinda feeling. 

Grammar - 5.0

The writing itself is excellent, so expect to read paragraphs with varied sentence structures and a welcome dose of "native-English-fluency- level" grammar. The dialogues are believable and appropriately differentiated in terms of each participant (i.e. the excited, happy-go-lucky niece comes across quite differently from the Morpheus-like VR Guide).

tempest86
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It is always darkest before the dawn

This is something very different to most of the fiction here. It has depth both in complexity of the game, which is slowly revealed to us, and in character. 

Grant is a broken workaholic, what broke him is brought up but never confronted head on. It skirts around as if poking at a wound. This realistic way of handling such a complex issue shows a maturity and sensibility that is sorely lacking in many other fics.

The story is slow, but it works for the story. This is not an all guns blazing, monster slaying, adventure. It is an exploration of the human condition.  

Last Apostle
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Potential on this story I would rate on par with the best on this site. Story has motion, it moves at a steady rate. Grammar, I suck at it, so yeah.... Character - Strong and steady development, the hero can evolve further. Over all, read it, you will not regret it.

Kine X
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This story is one of the most amazing ones that I have read on this site. Every now and then, I go to latest updates and open whatever stories that catch my interest into another tab. This story, out of many, many stories, caught my fascination after not even a single chapter, but less than half of one. I would highly recommend this story to anyone who is looking to read something that includes Virtual Reality, even though it hasn't progressed that far yet. The style, story, grammar, and the characters are all flushed out amazingly, and I doubt that I would be able to do the same without much practice-- I'd also like to say good luck to the author, I think this story will go far, depending on how long it's going to be.

Varion
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A phenomenal piece of work.

This is the best story I’ve read on this site thus far. 

 

I am probably biased, but the main character’s heartache and issues speak to me.  The story is incredibly empathetic and gets beyond the concept of a story simply killing a boss, leveling up, and killing the next one.  Truly, it approaches the venue of a psychological drama, rather than the standard direction of the sword and game genre.  I do hope that it will eventually progress into more of the things that I am interested in, but the background and build up of the main character promises that no romance will be easy or quick, but by the same token, the emotional development will never be incomplete or unrealistic either.

 

I recommend this and I hope that it continues to update regularly.

draco
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Refreshing breath of new air

This is one of the stories which thrills you with story , entertains you with plot and engages you with its realism. The depth of story is beautifully mixed with the Legate’s view of world makes up an amazing story.

The best part of this story is that the writing style is so engaging that you will not realize ( and don’t care) that the story is off to a slow start. That being said, the story has continued to amaze and surprise me.  

The machine humor is hilarious and I have to prepare myself if my bot ever has the sass to talk to me like that.

Finally, this story has the longest chapters I have seen and yet I seem disappointed after end of each chapter. 

 

Ddragon
  • Overall Score

what do i locking for then i go and read Novels? I am searching for a VR, a other Mind what lifes in his one a other World. This FF isnt "FF" 4 me...it reads like a real Novel and from a good Autor. A Writer like Anne Rice or Dan Simmons..ok, true..i am standing chapter 2 halfway trough..but i am feeling it is the real Thing..not crap like the 1000+ Chapter plus Novels who are looking for some stable cash..no, it is one of this original Novels wich are 4 the Readers. Plz write a Book, your Work is it more then Worth :)

and sorry for my bad english..im not native and learning trough reading.

I hope this Story have a End and doesnt end with just a Timeout..i see the Char and it feels close to a Movie, i mean every Scene is easy to "see" and the Chars have Faces..short, i really like this so far and dont care for a Storeline or the Setting because this works of is self..its "real".(real in meaning for art, living world)

Drydar
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This is a great story with a dynamic MC and real interactions with other people.  It is engrossing to not only see him advance as a game character but as a person overcoming realistic personal and emotional hurdles.  An excellent balance between dialogue and action.

ElDani
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I was very impressed!

This virtual reality fic has been mentioned and recommended on several places throughout the web. After I stumbled upon such a recommendation for one time too many, I finally gave it a read and I haven't regretted it.

 

Many authors would like to set their story apart from the dross, but with "Continue Online" that's quite literally true. The author FrustratedEgo manages to avoid many pitfalls of this genre and has managed to create a page-turner I have found difficult to put down.

 

There's just one thing to be aware of, in case you're a possible new reader who is looking at this review. The story almost doesn't deserve to be grouped together with all those other VR type stories, since it is so different. A slow beginning, yet excellent characterization. A lack of action, yet an undeniable richness of adventure. To couch it in gaming terms (somewhat fittingly), this story reads like a sophisticated role-playing game while many others of the same persuasion are (almost mindless) hack-and-slays.  I merely add this "warning" to my review, because some people enjoy baser/simpler pleasures in life.