Survival always comes with great cost when the enemy is getting stronger all the time and battlefields are like the levels of a video game. Tao Wong is enhancing the strength of the enemy and the way to get out of all of this is fight. John does not seem to be the same man that we saw in Life in the North: An Apocalyptic LitRPG and Redeemer of the Dead: A LitRPG Apocalypse. He hasn’t lost battles but he has lost friends but not the zeal it is still intact which is a good sign for the human race because the whole race depends on him now. They haven’t been able to stop the system from integration and getting integrated means that the system is becoming stronger every day.
The monsters that now emerge from the game are stronger than ever and it is not raw fight in which they can be defeated. Clever planning is needed and this is the strength of our hero since day one. There are still issues that John faces as his weakness like rashness in his approach; Tao has kept the character raw. John is not evolving with the game in character he is the same guy mentally, emotionally there are changes after the losses. By the looks of it Nick Podehl is going to go on with the narration till the last book and no variation or improvement is needed in narration till this one.
There would we some need of aggression in the next books if the author takes the battle to the extreme level until then the narration is moving on the right path.