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John Doe (anon)

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  • The Kartoss Gambit

  • Way of the Shaman, Book 2
  • By: Vasily Mahanenko
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Yen
  • Length: 15 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3,404
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,181
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,173

A product of the latest technologies, Barliona is a virtual world brimming with fun and entertainment. The government has become the guarantor for the in-game currency, allowing its free circulation. As a result the population floods Barliona in pursuit of easy money. It doesn't take long for the game developers to discover a source of free labor: real-world prison convicts. While their bodies are locked in special auto-maintenance virtual capsules, the prisoners' minds are released into Barliona's virtual mines.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Narrator sets the Tone

  • By Don Gilbert on 05-18-16

5/5 overall enjoying more and more of this series

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-02-19

another spectacular story, I agree with a couple of reviews where the voice of the narrator has weak female voices.


*spoilers*
The story kept me engaged from start to finish, but I wished the last chapter was split into separate chapters. More details could have been provided during the church scene. The mystery of this figure was announced near the end of the 2nd last chapter and was kept hidden. I didn't understand who the master was until later on as the author begins to lay out the plot.

  • Survival Quest

  • Way of the Shaman Series # 1
  • By: Vasily Mahanenko
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Yen
  • Length: 11 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,825
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,578
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,573

Barliona: a virtual world jam-packed with monsters, battles - and, predictably, players. Millions of them come to Barliona, looking forward to the things they can't get in real life: elves and magic, dragons and princesses, and unforgettable combat. The game has become so popular that players now choose to spend months online without returning home. In Barliona, anything goes: You can assault fellow players, level up, become a mythical hero, a wizard, or a legendary thief.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A Guilty pleasure

  • By Daniel on 12-18-16

5/5 overall but sorry

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-31-18

5/5 overall but sorry for 4/5 on the performance. The narrators voice was a little hard to get used to at first but much like most reviewers stated, the story and the depth of characters can all be found in this book.

Going to continue my binge on this series

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Ritualist

  • Completionist Chronicles, Book 1
  • By: Dakota Krout
  • Narrated by: Vikas Adam
  • Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 5,564
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,269
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,256

The decision to start a new life is never an easy one, but for Joe the transition was far from figurative. Becoming a permanent addition to a game world, it doesn't take long to learn that people with his abilities are actively hunted. In fact, if the wrong people gained knowledge of what he was capable of, assassins would appear in droves.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ritual is necessary for us to know anything

  • By Ray Johnson on 05-18-18

5/5 better than dunegon born series

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-29-18

It has been a month now since I heard this book, so my review may not be as accurate.
I'll keep it short because of this (maybe I'll revisit the series before the next book comes out and then update this review).

I prefer the start of this series over "Dungeon Born" series as I can't get past the first book. It may be due to the way the author writes as he started with "Dungeon Born" but I ended up really loving this series instead.

We first find out that the MC has some military and medical background. However, during one mission, he lost the ability to move in real life and no longer was able to do much. However, due to random happenstance (DEUX MACHINA...) his mother won the lottery setting himself up to a new life in a vrmmorpg where he will be forever (giving up his only body).

With quite a serious (maybe poor choice of word) personality, he read through all the ToS/EULA (who reads theses) and actually got an achieve (like one of those that offered $1000 in the EULA/ToS but got a one-time use skill instead). Adding to the fact that a special (unknown) "god" offered a really special class, I was hooked.

Learning about the game world and the mechanics within it, was quite amusing and enjoyable. I would say give this book/series a try for rpg fans. While it less combat (the MC is not a warrior/frontline by any means), he still gets to see actions and does crazy things that breaks the game or the game AI.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Regicide

  • The Completionist Chronicles Series, Book 2
  • By: Dakota Krout
  • Narrated by: Vikas Adam
  • Length: 13 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 4,706
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,434
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 4,429

 Dakota Krout presents the second book in The Completionist Chronicles series. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • King of litRPG

  • By Max on 09-20-18

5/5 Really enjoy the book

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-29-18

It has been a month now since I heard this book, so my review may not be as accurate.
I'll keep it short because of this (maybe I'll revisit the series before the next book comes out and then update this review).

I prefer the start of this series over "Dungeon Born" series as I can't get past the first book. It may be due to the way the author writes as he started with "Dungeon Born" but I ended up really loving this series instead.

With the MC being a really really special class, it was great to start learning and seeing the influence he has and how his role plays out after the events of the first book. The MC's old party has split and they all go their separate ways in finding advance classes to spec into, this leaves the MC diving deeper and deeper to his ritual skills.

I find it really interesting during any mention of the mechanics of the game.

After being anti-social (as he dives deeper into his skills), he set out to form his own party made up with similar misfits (odd but dedicated people) to go on adventures and train for real. This does offset the story a bit as the plotline begins to get heavy between the wolfman vs human race is nearing the final stages. Essentially with the MC just focusing on himself rather than as a party together.

I really enjoyed the ending especially when the MC got to run the scan to check for all the classes. I can't wait to see how Dakota takes this series to the next step.

The banter between the Ai and MC and other members from his party was quite fun too. I would hate for an AI to treat me that way and I would have something to say to the dev. Like, did they make this game for everyone to play (as more and more people have access)? if so, why have a jerk AI that offends paying customers? Cuz I totally want to play a game that shits on me... not.

  • Shard Warrior

  • Crystal Shards Online, Book 2
  • By: Rick Scott
  • Narrated by: Eric Michael Summerer
  • Length: 11 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 865
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 819
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 820

Transported to a new world, Ryan and his friends must figure out how to save their home city of Citadel while learning to survive in a game world where death is now all too real. But first, Ryan must keep his promise to Val Helena, and he sets out on a dangerous quest to the Vale of Sorrows to defeat the Shadow King. With an enemy 10 times stronger than a world boss, Ryan will have to do some serious leveling up as a Dodge Tank to be fit for task. But when he encounters a fellow gamer with an agenda of his own, Ryan finds his very life threatened by an enemy of his own making!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent!

  • By Jonathan on 07-26-18

4/5 continuing the story

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-29-18

The author/maybe the narrator (idk since I don't own the book) likes to say "swallowing a large lump" or several other phrases that have been repeatedly mentioned over and over again in the 3 books that have been out.

Review (again spoilers ahead):
The story continues to follow the MC and now a couple more friends joining his party as they set out to go and tank/kill the Shadow King.

Learning of his new predicament from the last book, the MC and his party, they must band together to save a lost friend/family, save the MC mother and ultimately save Citadel where everyone seems to be from (like no country/geographical location non-sense; everyone is just underground in Citadel that maybe houses more than millions of people).

The above land/world has been controlled by builder/AI similar the game world that MC was before. The MC and his party must traverse the land to accomplish their laid out goals.

The overall story gets more interesting as the readers start to get an understanding of the new world/location and the author finally goes into a perma-death (aside from the 1hr countdown timer until you are dead dead with no hopes of coming back to life even if someone were to case a rez "resurrection spell" ) situation like SAO or other "do or die" LITrpg series.

The perma-death mechanic is not always fun as a mmo fan (starting over sucks; while there is joy in perhaps doing something a different way, I repeat starting over sucks). But the author adds a twist to this that I found interesting and wanting to learn more about the underlying mechanics of this world.

There will be some resembles of town building story but not as much, which I am Okay with as this is not part of the goals (I briefly mentioned above).

Skipping juicy details, the author again leaves on a huge cliffhanger (should you care about the characters) only to be resolved in the following next book.

  • Dodge Tank

  • Crystal Shards Online Series, Book 1
  • By: Rick Scott
  • Narrated by: Eric Michael Summerer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,234
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,176
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,174

Ryan's life sucks. His brother is a jerk, his mom is sick, and his legs are next to useless thanks to a neurological disorder. Plus the world ended two centuries ago from nuclear war. Now the only escape from reality being the massive VR world of Crystal Shards Online. But even in the game, Ryan's life sucks. He works as a miner, earning not nearly enough to afford the operation that will save his mom. When Ryan discovers an item that grants the ability to dodge any attack, however, he has the chance to become one of the game world's most elite and sought after players: a Dodge Tank.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Multiple Classes?! Mostly, but Multiple Classes!!

  • By Sheldon "Tech" on 06-17-18

4/5 as a litrpg series

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-29-18

I play mmo for a great portion of my life and really interested in the litrpg series

The premise of the book is quite interesting (spoiler warning ahead; you have been warned) but I do think it's very fit for YA.

The story starts off with the MC (16-17 of age) as a gimp in the physical world and even online. Due to this, the MC pretty much avoids combat and stuck to mining as a primary source of income and a way to level in the beginning stages of the game that must have existed over 10yrs+. With the MC mother diagnosed with about 6 months to live, several astronomical payment treatment options exist for the MC family to consider. However, they could afford none due to their low-income family situation.

While as a low-lvl newb, he was exploring in a mid-lvl zone to mine ores to at the very least cover rent/food. The story then goes to the MC looting a super rare skill scroll (that was once worth 8 million credits) while mining. Due to the OPness of the skill, the dev's made the scroll non-tradable several years back. Due to his real body condition, he could neither use the scroll (as there was a class restriction that requires the MC to actually level some of the other combat classes) nor sell/trade the scroll to cover the MC mother's treatment.

Due to certain happenstance, he was offered a choice to either risk a 50/50 chance to save the MC mother or restore his body. Following his promise for the restoration of his body, he started his journey as a "dodge tank" (I figured as much, given the title), and fixates his goal in tanking a Legendary Boss "LM" to gain $40 million credits (divvy up between the party members) to save his mother.

The ending throws the readers into quite a heavy cliffhanger but should you (enjoy this book) and maybe read the synopsis of the 2nd book, you would get some more details as I did.

Overall, I like "Ritualist" LITrpg series a bit more as that seems to be a vrmmorpg game that just started where everyone is new and finding things out about the game/class/whatever note. This book (or game world) has existed for 10yrs+ and guides can be found on wiki/internet (or whatever they want to call it), but the MC seems to be quite dumb or lacks the willpower to do his own research.

As for me, if the game has been out for a long, there are bounds to guide/wiki (which there are, even if it is old or outdated). I would still have done my own research rather than relying on people around him (maybe this goes into the low-income situation to afford the internet fees that the MC faces but who knows) seems to agitate me just a bit.

It is quite entertaining and the narrator does a stellar job in applying some variations to the characters' voices.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Shard Wraith

  • Crystal Shards Online, Book 3
  • By: Rick Scott
  • Narrated by: Eric Michael Summerer
  • Length: 13 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 569
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 545
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 542

After defeating the Shadow King and opening the gateway to the mysterious Labyrinth of Onizoso, Reece's hopes are dashed when a surprise attack leaves his girlfriend's life hanging in the balance. To save her, Reece and his friends must enter the labyrinth in hopes of finding the one person who may be able to bring her back to life, but in a place where players turn into Shard Wraiths, their hopes may already be lost. Now Reece will have to navigate a strange new world fraught with dangers, while fending off a pursuing army and racing against the clock. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good book but

  • By Somebody on 12-14-18

3.5/5 More repetitive than the first two books

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-28-18

Several parts have been so repetitive, especially the keep. I must have skipped 15-20min worth of the narrator summing up the resources/wall %


Again, following my review of the first two books, there will be spoilers ahead.

After defeating the Shadow King, the MC and his party were ambushed at the end chapter of the 2nd book by the mad human king. With the only healer fallen, no rez "resurrection" spell could be utilized to bring the dead party member back. Panic ensues as the MC wrestles with regret and hatred.

They have no other choice but to jump through the portal (opened after Shadow King's defeat) to find and bring Becky (a really close friend to Val and sister to Icko) back as promised. With Becky being a healer, the MC renewed his focus/concentration in the task at hand in finding Becky. Then have her bring back his girlfriend and not have her suffer/stay in the "nightmare world" (no spoiler for this but this is one of the major plotlines in this book and partially the 2nd book).

While all this is going on, the people in Citadel has little over 4 months or so before the shortage. We get more perspective from the CEO/chairman and how he is trying to handle the executive board of Citadel, the "search team" conditions and death of his daughter. The story starts to intertwine just a bit between Bruce (CEO/chairman) and MC as they both try to understand what is going on.

As the reader, we still only get a partial understanding of the mechanics of the world and how it relates to the 'nightmare world".
However, there are hints scattered in several chapters that seemed to point out aliens, or some other space (outer space) anomaly, that could be doing all this.

During the mid parts of the story (still the labyrinth or slightly after), we get a sense that the party's goals are still far from over, with only 1/4 of special mechanic(s) unlocked/corrected. They later half of the story goes into some defensive keep building, leading up to a siege of the said keep.

I found that the latter half was quite boring in terms of actually learning/understanding more about the mechanics. We did see the new special mechanic at work. But I got more questions after the labyrinth scenes that were not addressed. Hopefully, the next book can address some of my questions as the party now sets out to "Old London" to fill in the missing gap of their knowledge and perhaps locate Citadel before all hope is lost.
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2 of 2 people found this review helpful