Overworld

Dragon Mage Saga Book 1

Fiction - Fantasy - General
386 Pages
Reviewed on 03/21/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

Overworld is the first novel in the Dragon Mage Saga by Rohan M. Vider. Earth is invaded, and life as we know it is about to be destroyed. When the aliens invade Earth, Jamie thinks the end is near. They open portals to the Overworld where gifted people like Jamie are taken, but not before Jamie is tested through challenging trials. While survival is on the top of his list, his main focus is on ensuring that his loved ones survive this invasion and safely reach the Overworld. However, the trials are complex, and the Overworld is brutal. Jamie will have to make sacrifices that he may not be willing to make. Will he succeed? Or will he lose it all?

Magical realism is intense in this story, and perhaps Rohan M. Vider is the first contemporary author to nail it, in my opinion. I am amazed by how detailed and realistic the story is. The world-building is strong, and so is the background building. Jamie is a strong protagonist who has the will and the drive to only look at the future. He keeps the past in his heart, and he does whatever it takes to reach his goals. Honestly, this novel was so much better than any other “end of the world” or “alien invasion” stories. The pace is perfect, the characters are interesting, and the story is beautifully crafted. There are no loopholes in the plot. Jamie is a real character with real emotions and flaws, and I honestly got an adrenaline rush while reading the fast-paced action. It is beyond entertaining. I felt like I was part of the story.

K.C. Finn

Overworld is a work of fiction in the fantasy, action, adventure, and post-apocalyptic sub-genres, and was penned by author Rohan M. Vider. The work is intended for young adult and adult reading audiences and forms the first novel of the Dragon Mage Saga. Our protagonist is Jamie Sinclair, a young man facing the destruction of his homeworld of Earth, who is determined to save his family and friends by starting a new life in the mysterious Overworld. In this new land where new creatures and magical beings reign supreme, Jamie must discover the power that lies within as he overcomes the harrowing Trials set for him and adjusts to a new life filled with magic.

Author Rohan M. Vider has crafted a vivid and enticing work of fiction with plenty of new lore, new magic, and interesting systems to offer readers who are fans of the LitRPG subgenre especially. As a fantasy novel in itself, the work is very enjoyable and enriched by a thorough exploration of character. Jamie is likable with keen dialogue, inspiring determination, and plenty of new powers to explore, and the world in which he tests his mettle is filled with cool surprises, new concepts, and fun twists on the classic fantasy/RPG elements. RPG connoisseurs will find plenty of new ideas to play with in the systems present, but I enjoyed the fact that it was well balanced and not stats-heavy, making it accessible to all readers. Overall, I would highly recommend Overworld to fans of fantasy action, cinematic writing styles, and LitRPG readers everywhere.

Foluso Falaye

Earth has been invaded by hostile aliens, and they leave humans with two tough choices: "Serve or die!" According to the invaders, the earth would be destroyed in two weeks, but before then, earth's creatures would be absorbed into Overworld—an ever-shifting land in a detached dimension—to partake in the Trials. The Trials is a game-like test designed to evolve its inhabitants into "stronger images of themselves." Jamie Sinclair, the gifted 24-year-old protagonist, must find ways for himself and his acquaintances to survive the new reality forced upon them by the aliens. Burning with rage and driven by vengeance for the atrocities performed by the ruthless invaders, Jamie harnesses his potent abilities to fight an extremely difficult battle for survival. Overworld (Dragon Mage Saga Book 1) by Rohan M. Vider is fantasy mixed tastefully with post-apocalyptic, gaming, and battle themes.

A brilliant, well-written book that is hard to put down. I read Overworld with such speed and attention that I consider it the top third in the list of books I've read this year. The world is developed intricately and spiced with many thrilling fantastical creatures: elves, orcs, gnomes, dragons, magi, sorcerers, giant spiders, tough hounds, and more. Jamie's exploits are depicted in the first person, giving the audience a close and personal feel of the story. Also, Rohan M. Vider mixes the plot, character development, and worldbuilding in his book in an adroit manner, with no single aspect overpowering the others. Fans of video games would find Overworld invaluable as it features some exciting game characteristics, like levels, upgrades, and abilities. I am delighted that the book is a series because I would love the fun to continue in future installments.

Vincent Dublado

Rohan M. Vider’s first book in the Dragon Mage Saga, Overworld is a fantastic post-apocalyptic story with a plot that is similar to role-playing video games. Earthlings find themselves witnessing the appearance of artifacts that appear to be a gateway to a place called Overworld. Warlord Duskar Silverbane of the Orcish Federation, along with the elven queen Ionia Amyla, declare that they have assimilated Earth and conscript humans to participate in the Trials—a game of conflict where participants are continuously challenged. Overworld is filled with dungeons, monsters, resources, and regions called Dominions. The Trials have no purpose but to advance its players. Jameson Sinclair is a 24-year-old human who is a suitable candidate to participate in the game. Upon touching a mystical medallion, his awareness expands and he feels strongly connected to the Trials that will judge his magic as extraordinary. Yet, will it be enough to save the world and the people that he loves?

You have to give Rohan M. Vider warm respect for his high imagination and ability to keep readers entertained while slightly biting their fingernails in anticipation of what will happen next. You may well become something of a convert to Overworld and look forward to reading the entire series. Its main protagonist is in his early twenties—an age that can perfectly connect with both teenagers and mature audiences. While the plot has many parallels to survival themes in fiction like The Hunger Games and The Running Man, Vider shows off his sense of humor by roping you into following Jameson Sinclair, who is a unique-in-his-own-way type of character, narrating his tribulations with a mix of humor and skepticism. He goes through the Trials intent on revenge and saving the world. Although this plot sounds clichéd, it has its own brand of uniqueness in how the entire elements of the tale come together, and it is worth giving it a try.

Romuald Dzemo

Overworld is the first entry in the Dragon Mage Saga, a story that is aptly described in the subtitle as a fantasy post-apocalyptic story by Rohan M. Vider. Those who have read or watched Hunger Games and who enjoy books where characters have to survive great ordeals will be enticed by this story. It is set in a post-apocalyptic world, characterized by chaos, with aliens invading Earth through portals opening into the Overworld. The beings from this new world draft humans for the dreaded Trials. A young man with supernatural gifts, Jamie Sinclair, might be humanity’s hope of survival, but he has to survive the dangerous Trials and navigate the brutal Overworld unscathed.

Overworld is a great read and I loved the world-building. The author brings to life a world inhabited by creatures and beings like elves, orcs, and dragons. But it is a world that is filled with snares and dangers. With the destruction of Earth, Overworld becomes the only hope of survival, but the protagonist must overcome insurmountable struggles to create a safe home for his loved ones and his kind. The author has a wonderful gift for character and I particularly enjoyed how Jamie is developed. He is a character that is not aware of his strengths as the story opens and he discovers each layer of his ability as he is confronted with a new challenge. Rohan M. Vider writes in beautiful prose, infusing the writing with colorful descriptions and creating scenes that are vivid and captivating. It will be a strangely familiar world for readers who enjoy virtual games and anyone who delights in imaginative and skillfully written settings. This story is packed with intense action and rock-solid characters that readers will want to follow.