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Sheldon "Tech"

USA
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  • Nora Hazard Series, Book 2
  • By: Blaise Corvin
  • Narrated by: Emily Beresford
  • Length: 7 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 137
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 130
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 130

Nobody likes an escort mission. Nobody. Unfortunately for Nora, she'll be stuck travelling with Jessica, an American gamer, and Christopher, a Filipino man with a mysterious past. Somehow, the former Jackals gang leader must keep the two Terrans alive while heading south for Enheduanna's new, insane mission. Nora will have no time to prepare, or even to stay in Soron to enjoy her unexpected celebrity status. Instead, she will need to leave for Tolstey after healing from injuries sustained in battle, wounded while protecting Soron.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Non stop intensity love it

  • By Alex S on 11-08-18

Another Delvers universe book joy ride... mostly

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

Reviewed: 11-03-18

So, the TLDR, love this world and the fact new people are getting populated and defined. Not so much the over-use of certain words/phrases and much-overused introspection.

This world, Delvers LLC, is really full and can carry it's own with multiple stories and still have new interesting bits to tantalize the readers (listeners, you know what I mean). I enjoy the power base it uses, the character progression and the species we get to learn more and more about. The history gets a little more expanded as the MC travels. Nora is an interesting MC that has complexity and depth that is accented by a wonderful narrator. Emily not only pulls great depth and complexity to Nora but fleshes out the sub-characters as well, giving much information in the few lines they do have, And great action as well, very fast paced and enticing.

Now, the parts that didn't work well for me. The first is the word "rotting". It's so over-used by the MC, that the fact it's a new curse word gets over-shadowed. If you replace it with "$hitting", the overuse becomes apparent. No one really does that. I believe the scenes were handled separately from each other and that's why the author missed how over-used it was? Not sure, but I hope he adds some variety next time. Hell, I'd take new combos "Grand-rotting", "Rot-butting" or even "Rot-loving". Also, the introspection was constant. Nora would introspect after every-other sword swing. And she was always pissed off in this book, everything took her from 0 to 25 in a single breath. Just a bit overdone in my opinion.

But, that wasn't enough to take away from my enjoyment. Can't wait for another book.

PS: Please stop having her develop, then making her weaker just so we can see her struggle. She can struggle with her power level as is, no need to lean so heavily on her stamina. Don't like the ring? Then break it. No need to keep "If I use it I'll die" every 2 seconds of combat.

  • Countdown

  • Reality Benders Series, Book 1
  • By: Michael Atamanov, Andrew Schmitt - translator
  • Narrated by: Rudy Sanda
  • Length: 12 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 257
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 241
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 241

At long last, an extraterrestrial civilization reached out and made the First Contact. However, no one on Earth took their communique for the genuine article. In a similar vein, very few people appreciated just how little time our new suzerains had promised to keep our planet safe. Regardless, the end of their message showed humankind how to access a mysterious game. The objective of this game is unclear. No one can say where its servers are located, and its inner workings are beyond comprehension.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Cool Premise, but sputters in places

  • By Ray Johnson on 07-06-18

A great beginning to a LitRPG series...

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

Reviewed: 07-02-18

I really enjoyed this series. The Overall story and narration were both engaging and entertaining. Just a few cons and a lot of pros.

First the good: Loved the story, pacing, and character development. A LitRPG with a twist; the game is reality bending. Meaning, the game imposes on reality. Not in a world-ending way, but more in a "effects on the game body flow back to the real body... somewhat". The pacing is great, I'm not a fan of "Level 10 out of 100 by end of the book, wow now that's progress!". That for sure is not progress. The fast pace allows for great character development and he was able to squeeze in world mechanics at the same time.

The cons: The Main Character fits solidly in the sea of Main Characters... full of snark and a disdain for any rules. Like following a blueprint for Main Characters, Not that there aren't people like that in the world today... just not Every person needs to fit that mold. Plus, not sure if this is a cultural thing since the author is not from the US, there are some male chauvinistic over-tones laced through the MC. But there are plenty of supporting characters that are well fleshed out and balanced so the population seems diverse and helps add range to the fictional culture presented.

Overall, I liked this new series. I will definitely use a credit on the next one.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Bushido Online

  • Friends and Foes
  • By: Nikita Thorn
  • Narrated by: Christian Rummel
  • Length: 16 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 444
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 418
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 418

Now a Level 10 ronin, Seiki is slowly coming to terms with the death of Master Tsujihara and his new life in Shinshioka. Spending his days in the Wilderness, he’s venting his remaining frustration while staying away from the city drama and those griefers, like the Rogami Clan, who had made his in-game experience so challenging thus far. He has even taken up a trade skill. But when he’s presented with an offer he can’t refuse and accepts a simple mission to deliver a message to Kano Castle, he quickly finds his troubles are only just beginning.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • exemplary

  • By farmer john on 10-18-18

Great feel for period, but forced plot progression

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

Reviewed: 06-19-18

So the good and bad. The tldr version: loved the game mechanics, some of the complexity of plot and heavy action of the book. Did not like the heavy-handed approach to plot development. Also, the narrator did a great job.

I loved the world. Well developed and kept in theme with its intrigue and shadow plots as well as a fair amount of decent people. But way more shady people (in terms of NPC’s). The combat system was well described as well and progressed with each addition of growth in a fully “game mechanic” sort of way. Meaning, the present encounter is difficult, but mainly because of his level and need to master a new skill, but as he better grasps it, the encounter becomes more manageable. Also, the MC’s friends have a lot more potential but they were kind of glossed over.

And the bad... for me, personally, there were a lot of situations that were “forced”. Everything from making the MC not be able to figure anything out even after getting force feed all previous points just so he can ask a question and the author can fully explain some point or other. Ignorance is normal, every MC is ignorant of something’s, but don’t make them ignorant just because of sloppy plot progression. Also, most of the issues the MC is in is because of sloppy-plot-progression decisions and actions forced into place. Like, the MC could have gotten away, but instead just stands there through an entire dialogue swoop then gets scared when they point him out. Forcing a story where Everyone is after one low-level toon... they are so forced it breaks the immersion. This point is one of the reasons why I’m beginning to despise PVP heavy stories.

The narrator did a great job bring everything together, really put a better spin on a decent story.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • 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 865
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 822
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 820

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow! Great read!

  • By Byron on 06-10-18

Multiple Classes?! Mostly, but Multiple Classes!!

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

Reviewed: 06-17-18

I’m a gamer. Have been most of my life and I’ve RPG’s and MMORPG’s. I’m also an end-gamer, meaning I enjoy the leveling, but it’s a means to an end… the end game is always the goal. This being said, my thoughts on this work is shaded by this, so hopefully, it helps you weigh my review better.

So, the TLDR version? Overall story? Loved it! Plus, they had multiple classes they can switch to. Actually able to change classes! Narrator? Loved it as well! The minutia of said plot? Great leveling development but the drama… was very over the top. It wasn’t at the queen level of drama, but it was pretty high by my thinking.

So, right off the bat, finally, a LitRPG that actually allows class changes on one account. I love LitRPG’s, but this arbitrary limitation that all writers seem to have embraced, “Only one class per account… to change, destroy this character and make another”, I’ve never understood. I usually play multiple classes using different toons, and I refuse to believe I’m the only one that thinks that way. So for that alone, I enjoyed the bejesus (Yep, real word) out of this book.

The story, when stripped away of leveling and melodrama… is a good one. The world is interesting, well developed and feels well fleshed out. The plot is waved into the story with delicate care, it’s there for you to wonder over and gradually place the important pieces together, right up to the end when it all fits together. Very well written and executed.

And the leveling… thank you! In this book, they actually grind, put thought into taking advantage of conditions and pushing the preverbal nose to the grindstone and pushing through. They actually reach high level! At times I feel the people who write some LitRPG’s, from anywhere but Russia, Japan or Korea, never got past level 20 and glorified each level as if level 100 was just a pipe dream. I mean, ending book one at level 15? And they are the hero of the game world? I never understood those ideas. At least in this work, that is not an issue. The high-level content is clearly seen as an end goal and pursued.

Now, the one weak area, at least for me, is the overly melodramatic character moments. I understand and appreciate tough dilemmas that really weigh on a person… I get it, but the LitRPG writers.. come on! Stop making Every MC space out. This is not as common a trait as you all think. And why can’t they think While they do actions? This isn’t a comic book, it’s not one action at a time, while they think they can actually grind, walk somewhere… do Something besides just freeze and ignore the world. To me, it was a bit heavy handed on the drama. I get it, tough choices, but it felt like the writer was pushing our nose in it like we were puppies and wouldn’t understand the importance of it if it wasn’t said in as many words a possible.

With that being said, I’m still waiting on book 2. Well worth the read and glad I added it to my over-sized library.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • The Singularity Trap

  • By: Dennis E. Taylor
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,882
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 13,923
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,891

When Ivan Pritchard signs on as a newbie aboard the Mad Astra, it's his final, desperate stab at giving his wife and children the life they deserve. He can survive the hazing of his crewmates, and how many times, really, can near-zero g make you vomit? But there's another challenge looming out there, in the farthest reaches of human exploration, that will test every man, woman and AI on the ship - and will force Ivan to confront the very essence of what makes him human.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent.

  • By Amy Snider on 06-13-18

Bonafide Hit!

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

Reviewed: 06-09-18

Mr. Taylor has solidified himself as an exceptional writer and orchestrator of engaging stories, memorable characters, and surreal worlds. Worlds that are well fleshed out and realistically acceptable from an over-high scientific viewpoint.

I am personally thrilled by his characters. The follow their own course... staying true to their narrative making it so easy to stay engaged with their progress. Whether you love some or hate others, they are clearly identified and unique due in part to the writing and the narrator.

The futuristic perspective of the world developed in this work is developed and set. The world feels well thought out and alive. Not the Bobverse, but it's own existence.

For me, this was a pleasure cruise hosted by a great narrator and built and catered by an amazing author. Bravo!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • We Are Legion (We Are Bob)

  • Bobiverse, Book 1
  • By: Dennis E. Taylor
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62,608
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 58,751
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58,641

Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it's a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street. Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ignore the Publisher's Summary! This is Amazing!

  • By PW on 04-12-17

Great series!

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

Reviewed: 06-06-18

I love this series. Well wrote story, with great character development provides an amazing journey funneled through a fantastic narration. Hard to define this experience in just a few words. I'll explain why I enjoyed it and why it appealed to me. I enjoy science fiction especially ones providing glimpses into a possible future. Well thought out and developed over the entire series, another point I absolutely love... long series and sustained stories. Also, theorized AI and it's implementations are so well appreciated it made me giddy... actually giddy!

Absolutely recommended... 100%.

  • Desire: A LitRPG Adventure (Volume 1)

  • By: Cameron Milan
  • Narrated by: John Downey
  • Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 187
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 178
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 177

A mysterious entity decides to bestow certain individuals with a powerful tattoo. With it, anything becomes possible. The world is changing...and it has yet to be determined if it is for better or worse. Two friends who grew up together, Ace and Vincent, decide to use the tattoo to do what they always dreamed of.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I like your Tattoo, you should do a sleeve!

  • By Ray Johnson on 06-10-18

Finally! A LitRPG without the "Waxing poetic"

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

Reviewed: 06-02-18

I'm a fan of LitRPG. I've gamed most of my life, so naturally, I'm rather partial to the genre. But, a lot of them, and I mean a lot, wax poetic on the great feelings and fear as if each extra elaborate word will force the emotion they want onto the reader. I mean, we are imaging the situation, the emotion is already there. As well as over-eager writers with comedic aspirations who drop a line after tiring line to bring humor to their tale... without much success. This all leaves a bare-bones story that should have been wrapped up stretching over 2 to 3 books when only 1 was needed... if that.

This book has none of that. It introduces a new gaming system, a host of characters and shows progress. Real progress... with action and a clear path that a real gamer can appreciate. True grinding... the veritable backbone of gaming, grinding is actually utilized! I was so happy I used a credit on this book. I'm just sad this is the only work so far by this writer.

If I had a grip, it would be that the performer is not great, but good. I wasn't hating every minute, I actually enjoyed my self. But, from listening to so many other great performers, the level between this performer and the greats is noticeable. If I have to vocalize the issue... it's in the subtleties. It sounded less conversational and a bit like someone reading a book report, if that makes sense. But, I have high hopes that he will develop even more if this series goes on.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Altered Carbon

  • By: Richard K. Morgan
  • Narrated by: Todd McLaren
  • Length: 17 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10,667
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,404
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,398

In the 25th century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person's consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or "sleeve") making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Altered Carbon

  • By Jake Williams on 09-22-07

Great writing and delivery

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

Reviewed: 12-29-17

Well written story with complex and deep characters flush out this rich tapestry that flows out into a deep and compelling world.

The first chapter was the initiation that was a bit tough at first but then the ride smooths out into a gentle glide through intrigue, politics and brutal combat. Then it’s all sprinkled generously with the human element of base emotions and desires.

Excellent read/listen.

Fayroll - More Than a Game audiobook cover art
  • Fayroll - More Than a Game

  • Epic LitRPG Adventure, Book 1
  • By: Andrey Vasilyev
  • Narrated by: Adrian Niro
  • Length: 10 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 144
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 137
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 136

Our protagonist, Harriton Nikiforov, is an everyman - a binge-drinking tabloid column reporter who has settled for the humdrum of the everyday, with a job that pays the wages, a neurotic girlfriend who gives him migraines and a boss that gives him constant grief. Tasked with a new assignment, Harriton suddenly finds himself ripped away from his normal routine of Moscow society life to a journalistic quest of sorts that leads him deep into the realm of the virtual gaming world of Fayroll.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • hurry up book 2

  • By Ron-Kristin Cardarelli on 09-13-17

New example of mediocre LitRPG

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

Reviewed: 12-03-17

This book exemplifies a trend with LitRPG: bad Main Character traits. Overly blusterous, written to believe they are very intelligent, and an author who warps the world to make the first two points a reality. The world isn’t so bad; even the boss of the MC and his co-workers are lively. But the MC is allowed to crap talk his way with non-humorous dialogue with abandon and we, the readers, I’m assuming are suppose to think, I wish I said that!... made me cringe then just shake my head. I couldn’t even finish it, I just skipped ahead after making it half way through. Out of listening to over 40 books in the LitRPG space, this is one of the worse. It’s one saving grace, is it approaches the topic from a MC who is not running away from Reality, but who is sent into the game for a separate reason.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Opening Moves

  • The Gam3, Book 1
  • By: Cosimo Yap
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 12 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,388
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,274
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,267

The Earth is changing. The alien invasion brought social upheaval, advanced technology, and an armada of peacekeeping robots. But Alan, a college student pursuing a now-useless degree, cares little about all of this. He has only one thing on his mind: the Game. A fully immersive virtual reality, the Game appears to be a major part of the invading civilization. Alan can't wait to play, recklessly diving into the digital universe. Soon though, Alan realizes the Game is anything but simple, and the stakes are higher than he ever imagined.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Refreshing LITRPG

  • By Doug on 01-05-17

Very good LitRPG

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

Reviewed: 12-03-17

What did you love best about Opening Moves?

World introduction, all side characters, and populations, power scale was nicely explained as well.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Opening Moves?

When a certain event occurs during the tutorial.

Which character – as performed by Nick Podehl – was your favorite?

Eve, hands down.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, yes and more yes.

Any additional comments?

The MC drove me mad at times. So many overused "Umm"'s to last a lifetime. He drove me crazy with his over-done indecisiveness and inability to speak coherently. At first, I’d understand… new, strange crazy situations… but after hours of this. Also, the author overdid the pain reaction after a while as well. Anyone who has experienced extensive pain knows, the fear of pain is much worse than the pain itself. But the MC reacts each time as if it’s his first time feeling pain ever. Got annoying. So, I removed a star from the story due to extended frustration.