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’

AudioBook Review – Delvers LLC – 2

Obligations Incurred: Delvers LLC, Book 2 | [Blaise Corvin]

“not too bad at all :)”

I have to admit this one took me a little longer to pick back up than some other second books have. And I really wasn’t sure why. I think the characters in the beginning of this and the situation they find themselves in just didn’t grab me as much as the MC’s being stranded on Ludus in the first book.

However it did pick up, and I was glad that I stuck around.

The POV switches were handled a lot better in this book, considering there were only a couple of changes in the first, this had a lot more balance in it, and because I’d gotten to know the others, it was good to get inside their heads a little more.

I’ve seen some of the other reviews and comments about Thirsty as a character, and I have to admit, I loved him/her. I think this is exactly the kind of situation and personal event that would happen. It wasn’t his fault he ended up on Ludus anymore than it was for Henry and Jason, and Jeff’s characterisation of him/her both were fab. I really enjoyed the performance and the person underneath it. Thirsty plays a great and integral part in this book and I hope that we do see more of her 🙂

Overall, this book did seem to take on a life of its own, there was the onset of their journey and then it was taken over by having to defend against a horrific attack. I thought it all came together really well. And Jason was just fab. No spoilers, but the ending, brilliant.

It may have seemed a little on the short side, but only because we know that although this was a novel and story on it’s own that there’s a lot of setting up and more adventures to have.

I kinda think this would be the series for me that I’d binge listen to, one after the other because that would make this much more fun. Waiting on the next one is hard…

Come on Blaise and Jeff. More!!!

New Release – Lost Archive – LitRPG

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Book Blurb:

 

Enter the Veil? [Yes/No]

Winston Beckett is a linguistic scholar, poring over musty manuscripts and ancient translations. That is, before he finds a book of magical runes. Before people start disappearing.

When he deciphers the strange book, Winston discovers a secret so big it throws him into a different world. Literally.

No more grading papers. No more research. No more work. Just him and The Veil, the eerily realistic game world he falls into.

Desperate to find his missing colleagues, Winston must navigate this strange new world, using only his wits to survive. Quests, skills, and loot await him…if he’s up to the task.

Along the way, he’ll need to fight enemies, recruit allies, and go on a journey of magic and adventure. And at the end? Well, let’s just say he won’t be the same person he started as.

Lost Archive is a LitRPG Adventure and first in the VeilWalkers series.

Buy Links:

http://mybook.to/lostarchive

Author Bio:

Isaac Winter is a full-time geek and part-time writer from California. A long time gamer and fantasy nerd, Isaac found his new favorite genre when discovering LitRPG. When the voices in his head wouldn’t be quiet anymore, he decided to start writing stories about those characters. He enjoys a warm cup of tea and a good book, and lives with his partner and cat on a radioactive island (no really!)

You can find him on the web at his author page: http://author.to/isaacwinter

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/isaacwinterbooks

Or Twitter: http://twitter.com/litrpglibrary

Or even Patreon, if you’re so inclined: http://patreon.com/litrpglibrary

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

 

AudioBook Review – Secret of the Old Ones

I’ve lots on my reading list at the moment, but I had to take a little time out for this and it really didn’t disappoint. What I’ve come to learn of the genre and gotten to love is how some writers can blow it out the park. Not only with the in-game mechanics and deep worldbuilding, but with character and story.

Awesome e-book and a great listen while on the go!

——————

Luck Stat Strategy: Secret of the Old Ones, Book 1 | [Blaise Corvin]

“Fantastic!…. more please!”

This genre is fast becoming something I’m really starting to enjoy. These books take me back to my youth where some of the best times of my life where involved rpg and more with my friends.

So, my review follows. –

I never like looking over ‘synopsis’ or other bits of information and I did know that Blaise had posted parts of this on his site and even with his paetron. I’ve done my homework since I listened to Delvers, besides following Jeff’s Soundbooth Theatre and hearing parts of this audio over on there. So I’d some idea on what I was getting into even though I started it straight after a sci-fi.

This story starts off with some great action, there’s no slow build, we’re literally thrown in at a point where some people might think our MC’s already won the online game, so what am I reading on for, but don’t be fooled.

The deep world building and rich descriptions shine in here from that first few scenes, and I have to admit, that I thoroughly enjoyed this a lot more than his first novel. Maybe this is because as with everyone we all grow as writers the more we actually write. I don’t know, it just seems to me that there’s much more passion in here.

Where Blaise takes the MC from the opening is not only very interesting, but it’s also a journey that you go on with Trent/Vale inside the game and out of it because this is a very well balanced novel, with defined scenes from both parts of his life.

As the plot develops the contrast and reality of what happens to Trent in-game soon crosses over to his real life. These scenes to me really added to sympathising with him, his friend Bart and in the situation that they soon find themselves in together inside the game.

I found there were several nice plot twists and turns that I hadn’t guessed were coming. The other characters that were brought in, added not only the gaming mechanics that come with the genre, but they brought with them their own purpose, agendas and reasoning. This changed things up a lot and Trent had to make some quick decisions. I could get behind his way of thinking for some, but there was also one thing he missed and it came back to bite him in the backside.

Overall, so far this has been one of the most enjoyable books in this genre that I’ve had the pleasure of listening too. Jeff delivers on so many levels that he’s very hard not to enjoy. I think his female characters are so believable I find it hard to not picture another person in the booth with him doing the recording. (having seen it for myself I know his voices are all his own) and the accents are divine.

An excellent audiobook and the start of a series that I really think is going places. If you’ve not already checked it out on amazon, go do so now.

Thank you for the entertainment, and hurry up with more!