AudioBook Review – Ascend Online

Finally this got out of ‘being pending’ on audible –

Ascend Online: Ascend Online, Book 1 | [Luke Chmilenko]

“Great listen! more please!” 

Concept/world-building – 4
Plot – 4
Character – 5
Dialogue – 5
Prose – 5
Conflict/resolution – 4
Overall rating 4.5

I picked this up as Luke’s highly recommended in the litrpg Facebook groups. So, when the audio was put up for pre-order with Luke Daniels as the narrator I nabbed it quick.

It’s a long listen, so it did take me a while. But it was well worth it.

Plot

For me, the start of anything takes a while, and I do admit this was a little slower for me than usual, but it’s more than worth it.

Where the world that Marcus actually lives in, isn’t very well defined or spoken about much. The interaction with his friends at the start and then into the game is. I enjoyed all that each character brought to the story, and more from the NPC’s.

Once the story really does start to move forwards, you get the experience of Luke’s gaming and background as the world of Ascend Online develops, bits of history and information are peppered in just the right places so not to feel like too much of an info dump and you are as excited as the players for the challenges they’re about to face.

It’s got enough crafting, fighting and loot to make all the gamers want more, and the stats read out aren’t as heavy as some other litrpg books. It doesn’t slow the pacing at all, and Luke does a great job with reading them so they’re also not just hard core skill lists. The story telling around these alone helps make this a book to remember.

Character

There wasn’t quite enough of the ‘real’ world for me. I would have wanted some more interaction with it through Marcus, even if it meant he had to log off once. However, each of the characters that Marcus/Lyrian enter the game with are well defined enough once he meets back up with them in the game.

As for them being supporting characters, they’re pretty great all by themselves. As for a fav one, I’d have to say Natasha has a spot, but defo Amaranth has the biggest. (sp)

Dialogue

I thought all the characters had decent dialogue. And also with Luke narrating, they were a breeze to listen to, each with their own personalities which really shined through. Luke did a great job with the ladies in the group and also with the demons and other worldly creatures. I did, however, think that the two overlords of the game were brother and sister at first, till I realised they were sisters.

Graves’ character drawl was also really good to listen to. Awesome job from both narrator and writer in design of the bad guys and in the way he really stood out in the narration.

Conflict/Resolution

I think because this has so much scope for the series, that there’s always going to be underlying threads we don’t see tied up. But the overall conflict in this book was left with a satisfying ending. Even if I did want more of the book and story world.
You can’t expect me to listen to almost 18 hours of something and not come away with a book hangover! Omg give me more!

I am glad I picked this up. And I really do look forward to more in this series from both Lukes’

Advertisements

Audiobook Review – The Tower of Zhaal

Straight onto the second! Excellent work, this one was so much better in my eyes because I loved where these characters went!

“Better and Better!”

I was glad that I had this one to listen to after the first ended. Of course, it’s a stand alone book and felt very organic. But I wanted more from this world. Glad CT Phipps delivered with this, I also believe there’s a third coming sometime soon. 🙂

I am not very up with Cthulhu and their myths and legends, of course, this just made me want to dig into this very weird and terrifying world.

The Tower of Zhaal kicks off with just as much action as the first. Where Booth and Mercury are kidnapped and taken to save the world. A Very weird way of asking, but I can also see why the society might need to do it this way.

What I really enjoyed about this, was that even though we thought Booth and Mercury couldn’t get more involved, the character development around these two was still exemplary. So deep and emotional that I felt for their relationship as odd as it was, and as loving as it seemed.

I still think every woman Booth comes across is one he’s been in love with at some point, and the re-introduction of his wife made this much more interesting. So many things to go wrong, so much to lose.

This book will defo have you on the edge of your seat, high action, high horror. Booth changes a lot, not just physically as he embraces the person he really is, or the alien that he is, but also on a mental level. And I really liked this about him. There was a great strength in him and it showed in his decision and of course, some non-decision as life just seemed to roll on around him.

I admit getting to know these characters made a better impact on me storywise, it flowed on from the first, kept me hanging and engage, and emotionally invested. The monsters were terrifying, the world so detailed I thought I was there…

When’s the next one out! I’m having a book hangover… Although I am starting on the super villainy books, it won’t be the same. : (

Great, great job. Thank you for the entertainment guys!

AudioBook Review – Cthulhu Armageddon

Had the terrifying experience of CT Phipps this last week. 🙂 awesome book and great narrator!

 

Cthulhu Armageddon | [C. T. Phipps]

“Western/Horror/Humour”

I have to admit, that following Jeffery Kafer around brought me to this book. I kept looking at it, reading the synopsis and then not picking it up, but I did still keep on coming back to it. A friend kept pushing me to give it a go, and I’m glad that I did. I’m not very familiar with Cthulhu as a story, but because it seemed to be myth/law, I did a little digging and found many references to it. Nice job on creating this amazing world around something so diverse in its creation.

C.T. Phipps has an extraordinary imagination, both for the setting and the characters. It starts off really quick and the action just doesn’t let up. The humour, both dark, and gripping kept me listening even with the horrible creatures and destruction of our world.

Booth’s mission with his team turns bad and he loses them all or so he thinks, he’s not only any clue how he eventually escapes but he’s left with a strange handprint on his shoulder. As things unfold Booth’s adventure grows in intensity, he’s to take the blame for his team’s death, resulting in a public execution, that the ‘torturer’ Mercury fakes because she wants him as a guide in the wastelands. It seems her life is on a short leash as well. So booth agrees to help her reluctantly.

The friendships that develop and the journey that Booth sets out on is fraught with monsters, danger, and death.

The monsters are horrible. I didn’t think that anything he could continue to see and witness would scare him more than the previous encounter, and in one sense, I think that being terrified all the time did get a little repetitive. I believe that more you’re exposed to these kinds of things the more that you get accustomed to them, or at least a little immune, the horrors of war and life in the wastelands would be more and more like normal life, but the fact was that Booth seemed to just keep on finding things so horrible and sickening that it kind of detracted it for me.

The narration was, of course, pretty spot on, there were great characterisations from Jeffery especially with Booth, I enjoyed the performance and the ladies, even if they all did seem to fawn over the MC. The only one who gave as much as she was dealt with, without an emotional attachment was Jackie, and she was a kid, everyone else seemed to ‘want’ to be with or had been with Booth, and that got a little old, more so thinking that he actually might want to be with the woman who tortured people…. Booth seemed to just do the opposite of what I thought he might when there was a pretty body near him.

Overall I was impressed both with the story and the narration, so I picked up book 2 and am almost finished with it 🙂 Thank you for the entertainment, really enjoyed the journey and the ending was really exciting! solid 4.5 stars from me all round.

AudioBook Review – Zero Hour

What scares you the most… when the world around you collapses, this kind of novel is truly terrifying.

Great writing, and narration…. just so darned true…

(thank you to amazon who removed this, so I could repost after the world worst typo ever)

Zero Hour: The Blackout Series, Book 2 | [Bobby Akart]

“Scary real story, with excellent characters”

What I really like about this and as a second book is that it’s so so real. It may be fiction, but the true facts behind this are scarily real… and it puts you in the heart of a worst case scenario with devastating consequences.

Bobby Akart brings us characters here that survived the first couple of days, reunited with his family and now is trying to do right by them and the community around them.

When the world collapses and people become desperate, these events would be more likely to happen in your street. The characters here, really make you want to help them, to route for them and of course for their survival.

It is again a shorter piece, but the story moves so fast I think it was gone in a blink of an eye and I so wanted more, to see where the Rymans end up, do they even make it out the street So much is going on around them, so many scared and terrified and dying people.

What I really like about this series and the narrator who does a very excellent job of the story is that as I’m from the UK and essentially not a ‘prepper’ I have picked up several tips and things that I would need, that would be likely just as important over here as in the US.

All in all an excellent second book and I’m going on to pick up the next as I thought I saw it floating out there…. 🙂

AudioBook Review – Edens Gate

Again in no real order, just typing the thoughts out 🙂 thanks for stopping by  –

I picked this up mostly because I saw a few reviews in the LitRPG society group, on different websites etc and I wanted to see and understand the reasons for their thinking, I don’t read so much, so it was awesome to see it in Audio 🙂

“Good start”

Thoughts –

I saw this book in some of the LitRPG groups, and seeing there were some reviews that talked in depth about it, I noticed the audiobook and thought I’d give it a chance. Also the narrator I actually really like this narrators voice, from some of his other audiobooks.

So here we go. Some of what I liked.

In terms of story, the idea that the game creator kills 5 million people, eeek. Starts out hitting the ground running for sure, and eases us into this plot with some pretty horrid ways to think. The fact that anyone who has a crappy life, for whatever reason can enter the game and live a totally different life, seems a real sure fire way to get the rest of the human population on the cards for suicide. And that’s one of the biggest plot points in here. That even after the game is turned on, and 5 million people die, that others are killing themselves.

The MC Gunner, is a really down to earth person. And that is what made me love this story more than anything, he hates spiders, I’ve only ever known one guy run from a spider and he was 6ft3 and pure muscle, but he couldn’t stand them haha. So the depth to this character and his reasoning inside the game when he gets there is excellent.

The narrator really has a good soft and expressive voice, he’s super easy on the ears and speaks with amazing clarity. I’m watching him for more books for sure. : )

Some of the things I wasn’t so sure on and I think could have been worked on and what I’d liked to have seen a bit more, of, but of course all my own personal opinion.

In regards to the POV shifting from Gunner to those out of the game, I think this was set up well enough in advance, though I would have essentially liked some more from that POV and maybe even from Gunner and his Girlfriends family. There was a lot of extra potential to really dig in from that view to make us think and feel more for the characters in the game and those out of it. Even from the POV of someone desperate to get in. I think that might have tipped the odd for us really then wanting the people on earth to save them and close the game down.

There were some really overused words in here and a decent editor and proofreader would have chopped a massive amount of this out. I think Pavi did a great job of working around some and still maintaining the flow of the story with only slight bumps in me wanting to click stop. It takes a lot to bring me out of the story world when I’m listening, but there were some in here, that were really avoidable with the right people behind the author.

Story world and game mechanics.

I am a firm believer of you can do whatever you want in your own written world. There’s no need for you to stick to tropes and things done in the past. So, these are easily moved past by myself, but I liked them and it brought this story away from tried and tested methods.

I noticed some other reviewer’s comments on gore, swearing and sex. In all honesty, I’m a varied reader and writer, listener and reviewer. To me this was not over the top for this genre, coming into it having read some reviews I actually expected a lot more and then was disappointed that there really wasn’t.

Gunner really does stick true to his nature. He might see other creature/people in the game as beautiful and visually appealing, but he also doesn’t sleep with anyone, and his mind is consistently thinking of and he’s active in searching out his girlfriend. I think most gals would love a guy to be that honourable and don’t the statistics actually say women think more about sex than men do. I think this was very well written in regards to the portrayal of a young man in a fantasy world, despite it being now his ‘life’ and he’s no way out.

The author and narrator do get 4 stars from me. There are some things to work on in the future, but I believe they will be and I’ll look forward to more, this was defo a little shorter than I’m used to, but a big hook into the world that is Edens Gate and the life that Gunner and his friends now have.

You are the author of this review