Level Up or Die

A LitRPG Steampunk Adventure

Young Adult - Sci-Fi
218 Pages
Reviewed on 03/03/2022
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Author Biography

Joshua Lisec is the world’s only award-winning, celebrity-recommended, #1 international bestselling Certified Professional Ghostwriter. Joshua has ghostwritten 65+ full-length books and has copywritten thousands of articles, emails, proposals, and sales pages for clients in over 100 industries. Use Joshua’s free tools for nonfiction authors, including a book launch revenue calculator, at www.EntrepreneursWordsmith.com.

Adam Lane Smith is a two-time #1 Amazon bestselling novelist and a retired licensed psychotherapist specialized in trauma and attachment with experience in both clinical and correctional mental health settings. That includes his work in the California justice system where he treated inmates facing the death penalty. Download Adam’s book Brothers To The End for free at www.AdamLaneSmith.com.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Level Up or Die is a work of fiction in the science fiction and adventure subgenres. It is aimed at young adult readers and was penned by author team Joshua Lisec and Adam Lane Smith. Set in a dystopian vision of the future in which criminals are sent to compete in a virtual reality game with their lives on the line and freedom offered as the prize, this book follows recently convicted Donovan as he enters the world of God’s Staircase. With freedom waiting at the top of the game world and countless enemies and other convicts standing in the way, Donovan’s only hope is to form an alliance and fight for survival together.

There is such a clever way that this work highlights the circular nature of society, with human rights for prisoners being rescinded so far that they are competing in a blood sport for the entertainment of the citizenship, something which immediately reminded me of the Roman Empire and the deadly world of the gladiator. Author team Joshua Lisec and Adam Lane Smith waste no time in updating this concept for the digital age, and they skillfully establish the world of the games in such a way that it doesn’t feel particularly outlandish to a modern reader. Consistently balancing the life-or-death stakes with a lighter tone that keeps the novel accessible without undermining the core themes of the work, Level Up or Die manages to weave an exciting and engaging tale about fighting for the right to live whilst thousands cheer for you to die for their amusement.