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’

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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 – Seaswept

Great to have listened to the second book in this series, looking out for the third now 🙂

 

  • Seaswept: Seabound Chronicles, Book 2 | [Jordan Rivet]

    “Good sequel”

    Man, I really did get behind on my reviews.

    This was great to be back with Esther and her crew, following from the first book this one could almost stand alone. I believe there was enough in here to remind us the things that went on that we didn’t need to re-read or in fact have read the first one at all (it was a while that I got to this after the first) So the writer here did a great job in moving this book forward without too much backstory in it.

    What I really enjoyed about this book was the new characters, and situations that came about, I think it put the MC and her friends in the sometimes worst possible place they could be, but then again it was also something worth getting out of.

    Esther was and still is I guess a young woman at heart, there was no torrid love affair, but the relationships were handled with great tact for this novel and their situation. Having had to grow up fairly fast and within the confines they have I think they behave in exactly the way they should, with a little naivety and lack of confidence. It was handled very well by the writer, and of course by Ray with his narrating.

    What I did enjoy of course is the performance, there are some narrators who you know aren’t going to let you down. Their voices, attention to tone and story telling are great, you can put the book on and know you’re getting the right everything for your money.

    I do wonder about a few things at the end of this book, there were some hints to questions I have, I do hope there’s a third on the cards, and that it wraps up this adventure in good ways. The emotion involved and the highs and lows in this book are extremely real, it makes you feel at the right times, and keeps you there, waiting and hoping things turn out okay.

    I’m interested in some more from both these guys. Hopefully, there will be some to buy today.

    🙂 Thanks for the entertainment.

    PS the third book is out so I can actually listen to that this next week too!

AudioBook Review – TFS Ingenuity

Taking a little break from some other audiobooks, this was a nice one. 🙂 and I look forward to more.
TFS Ingenuity: The Terran Fleet Command Saga, Book 1 | [Tori L. Harris]

“Not too bad”

I picked this up last week, needing a break from some of the LitRPG I’ve been listening too and this sounded pretty interesting.

I always like following Jeffery around, usually not too disappointed. But, I have to say this one was a little bit of a letdown. Only in story mind you, not his narration, can’t ever fault the effort he puts in.

I think what bothered me was the length of this as much as the fact there was a great deal of information, backstory and other things that lead towards the sort of climax of the story and then into the possibility of a next book. I think there were lots of places that story was almost skimmed over, where I’d have liked to get to know some of the smaller details, the conversations and the actions that this huge world and writer could have explored.

Maybe walking us through some more about the tech advancements would have also helped. I love science in my story but also want to feel it fits right, I defo wanted more here too.

I did really think the characters were developed enough, I felt for them in all their situations, and even for the aliens that were visiting and fighting to help Earth. As for who is what and on whose side, I’m still not 100% sure. There’s so much to ask and to hope we get some answers for. I’m very interested in the next book, so I’ll look for it now, or keep my eye on Jeffery.

I do also think length wise this is a lot of set up for the rest of the series, and that this is a long-standing story that might well span a lot of books. So I might forgive this a little more.

Thanks for bringing me new writers and to the writer for the new worlds. 🙂