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Cody

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Zone War audiobook cover art

I'll say this, it was more than I though it was.

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

Reviewed: 09-05-19

To understand that title you'll have to be made aware that I've had this book on the back burner for a LONG time. When it first came out I was hesitant to commit a credit towards it, so I stashed it away in my ever expanding wishlist, doomed to fade into the back of my mind. Until one fateful day I stumbled upon that book listed under another book I was checking out. In the recommendation section I mean. Anyway I noticed it had a TON of reviews now, and after looking at it, I noticed it was already on my wishlist. So after trying to find the lowest star review I could (then tend to be more critical), I found almost nothing but praise. So, I checked it out finally. Boy was I blown away.

See, I'm a trucker, and I buy books at least a few times a week in most cases. Nearing book 600 it's become harder and harder to find fun, entertaining, and interesting books that have a shelf life of at least 10 or so hours. (a driving shift in a truck is 11 hours) so as you might imagine it starts to get harder and harder to find good books. Not only that, as the amount of books continues to climb my tolerance for Badly written, pourly executed, or otherwise bad books becomes thinner. In other words, as read books increases, so do my standards, thus making it exponentially harder to find books that meet a certain standard.

I'll say that this book, and the second easily meet my standards. If your curious about those standards I'll list them out,
1: MC is not a moron.
2: MC has a personality.
(Meaning he's not an empty shell for the reader to wear like a suit)
3: Believable escalation,
(so long as events mesh with the logic established in the world thus far)
4: Believable side character personalities,
(I like people to act like people, not husks to deliver plot points at the authors whim)
5: No artificial tension,
(there are so many books that are guilty of this. Ramping up tention in a scene for the sake of plot over a sence of realism. I know one book where misunderstandings are the ONLY plot device at all. One of the worst reviews I've ever given)

I think I have a few more but this is the first time I've put my criteria to paper, so to speak. Much like the main character does with his own skills, I use my experience to judge a book on the fly, he uses his to shoot things.

So after all that what should I say to make to buy this book... Hmmm.

What if Deadpool was a cool dude, had a huge, badass family of wisecracking supermodels.
What if he used his skills to kill thousands of deadly killing machines in the most dangerous place on the planet? What if he had a brain that could think long term and had the smarts to outwit a network of highly advanced artificial intelligence hell bent of killing everyone? What if that AI didn't like you? What if it knew your name? What if it knew where you lived? What would YOU do to keep it away from your family?

If that didn't get you interested I don't know what will. I'll admit some of that's in the second book, but still. I will admit that I did see a fair bit coming, though that's more to do with my experience than anything. Patterns exist in all things after all. The "twist" with Ricky and unit 19 at the end of book two was easy to see, though no less satisfying for it.

Shadow Sun Survival audiobook cover art

Finally, I've been waiting for another good litRPG

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

Reviewed: 08-22-19

Great start to the series.
Has a lot in common with 'The System Apocalypse' though I like this main Character a bit better. In this series MC gets his shit together very quickly, which is always a plus for me. I really can't stand a whiner. The game system ses to be well thought out and interesting, though I hope magic becomes less rigid in the next book.

I don't want to go into too much detail so I'll just say it's worth a listen and point out that 'Jeff Hayes' one of the best narrators in the business voices 2 characters. One only shows up in 2-3 chapters, and one is a normal bear that didn't show up until after hour 10. This one is very well made I must say.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Trial and Flame audiobook cover art

I so wish it wasn't a flop

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

Reviewed: 08-15-19

I hoped and prayed for the second book to build on what it for well in the first book. I really did.

It didn't help. Not only does it barley even touch skills and magic, but the side characters are often rushing his practice sessions like it's not important. He STILL never looks up any real world science to use with his thermomancy. Meteorology, thermodynamics, I'm positive there is something electrical you can do with rapidly heating and cooling wire. Point is he's an idiot who is dissatisfied with with abilities he almost always takes at face value. He he didn't HAVE to be never would have developed Thermomancy AT ALL. the writer literally had to force the MC to develop a useful class because the MC couldn't figure that out himself.

Aside from all that he picks Pyromancy.. Bleh, he could have done soooo much more interesting things with wind magic but noooo. He picked it because someone else, with a unique class, uses fire so he thought it was cool and picked it... What? Not only that he pays through the ass for the lesson. The writer HAD to do that so the MC would stick to it long enough to get the "special" exp boost for the class.

The writer explains all this away with his massive luck Stat, but it just isn't cutting it for me. There is so much potential in the magic system, but the MC's mindset makes it worthless.

The "story" itself also sucked. Here's a summary.
Complain, act, flee, walk, walk, walk.
Fight in dungeon, complain, walk, walk, walk.
Fight in dungeon, complain, walk, walk, walk.
Monolog, plot.

It you listen to the first and last chapter that's pretty much all you need to know for the next book.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

First Login audiobook cover art

This book is.. Odd I guess.

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

Reviewed: 08-11-19

Much like this book, my opinion hits both ends of the spectrum when it comes to determining a decent listen. First off the MC pretty much embodies the word equalibrium.

Very good luck, followed by the worth luck.
Moderate reasoning skill followed by being a moron.
Meets assholes, followed by a decent group.
Swindled people for monatary gain, followed by acts of generosity.

Luck is a key word here. It's obvious from the first chapter his character would revolve around the 'luck' Stat. Waiting so long to reveal the hidden stats did absolutely nothing but frustrate the listeners. It was so obvious that every time I heard anyone bashing on the supposedly useless Stat I rolled my eyes. I even guess the Stat number exactly.

Above everything, he stupidly ignores the potential for the Thernomancer class. Sure he trains it, but he didn't even look up anything in the real world about the potential of such a thing. I have little doubt that that class has a huge potential. He didn't try even ONCE to freeze a heart or eyeball. Heat up an enemies weapon. Set someone's hair on fire. With enough control he might even be able to make heat mirages, or tonados. Hell, I'm sure there are all sorts of crafting related stuff he could do. If he became a wind mage there are any number of things he could accomplish using thermal drafts and such.

Long story short the MC is a Moron for ignoring all the possibilities. Or maybe the author is. I'll be getting the next one because of how much potential this story has, but unless the MC pulls his head out I doubt I'll go past the second book.

Histaff: A Sci-Fi LitRPG audiobook cover art

I don't know why some people don't like this.

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

Reviewed: 07-27-19

The whole concept is very reminiscent of "Everybody Loves Big Chests" which is nothing but a plus in my book. Author nails what being in the shoes of a Skelton would be like, and the Narrator kills it. I honestly am excited for the next one to come out. Dude basically infects a different gaxaxy with magic, one that works almost exclusively on technology. My personal favorite aspect of the book is the MCs total lack if fucks for anything not directly related to him, or what he's interested in at that moment.

Summoner 6 audiobook cover art

So much waisted potential

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-13-19

Out of all the series this author has made, this is the only one I found tolerable. That's saying a lot considering how bad this one is. The ONLY reason I even listened this far is because I liked the monster/summon system, and the over arching questions left me curious.

That being said, that's about the only thing this series has got going for it. Every women is described as a goddess among mortals. All of them want in his pants, none of them mind that he's got like 6 girlfriends at this point. Though fuck buddy is probably a more accurate term for most of them. I honestly skip all the sex scenes because they serve no purpose one so ever, nor do most of them feel earned at all. If the MC wasn't good at sex I doubt most of the women would give him a second glance after they're first time.

Aside from all that the MC is portrayed as an intelligent, charming, cocky bastard who always wins and gets everything he wants. Yes he is cocky. Charming? Intelligent? No.

He talks like he stepped out of the most cheezy superhero story you could think of. Spouting off cringe worthy lines with a straight face. He just doesn't feel relatable at all.

As for his so called intelligence.. The only thing he's ever shown is his ability to use multiple monsters at once and use there abilities with a bit of sence. Over the course of this series he's gotten farther and farther away from his strengths. He uses big monsters almost entirely by themselves, forgetting about his options for the sake of making the story longer. Here's an example, remember his bulletbass? Remember how they make him practically immune to fire and resistant to kenetic force? He got blown through buildings and was just sore after it. In the beginning of this book he fights a monster that clearly uses fire, and his tactic is to capture it. Without hurting, distracting, or otherwise hampering its movements, he has his Burokor throw him on top of a 100ft tall monster. He gets burned, brakes an arm, and falls from the top of said monster after capturing it. Yes he succeeded even though everything we know up tell now has said he shouldnt have been able to. Why did he not use his bulletbass? Why did he not recall his Burokor? How was he able to capture an AA class monster without even hurting it first? That last one has a half ass answer. The MC has a vauge felling of getting stronger, thats it, that's the extent of the thought he gives it. Intelligent? My ass he is.

Not only does the story get artificially stretched for the sake of making the books longer, he also doesnt ever expand on his original tactics. Why not get a device made to sling crystals at speed? A Wallerden coming at you at 20+mph could really fuck your day up. Why not make an arm bracers loaded with commonly used crystals with a device to break them on there own, only needing a key phrase or something. Hell he hasn't ever attempted to combine his other smaller monsters with his bigger ones yet, only figuring a combination by complete accident.

I can't bring myself to listen to anymore of this. There is so much potential with the system, but it's going nowhere. As for the overarching story, there is very very little plot progression per book. There is maybe 3-4h of story progression in this book, the rest is just the MC complaining, sexing, or unjustifiablely winning every fight he involved in.

You know what would save the the world? Killing that Council women and apointing Slait as head mage. That would turn the entire conflict around and point it back at the vastly more interesting monsters, and their world. Who gives a shit if the council is dead, who cares how many Enclaves fall, towns are ravaged or villages burn if I have no investment in any of them?

Tldr: Don't bother.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Alpha Test audiobook cover art

It kept me entertained the whole time.

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

Reviewed: 07-08-19

The framework of the story isn't all that unique. Any fan of Gamelit can attest to that. However, the author does an excellent job of making me care about the MC. Not only him, almost everyone gets a believable, relatable personality. My favorite is Mongo. I'll admit I'm uncertain of the reference, but the character himself is quite fun. There is something strangely satisfying about a tiny Gnome giving a him orders.

This books interactions were genuinely fun. It's one of the few books that kept me grinning the whole way through.

Prison Planet audiobook cover art

Pretty much pointless.

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

Reviewed: 07-06-19

The only thing this book brings to the table is a vauge sence of character development. I mean bare minimum. The entirely luck based rescue was a joke. For it then to be followed by a real, planned rescue pretty much invalidated the whole this in my eyes. It pissed me off honestly.

I'd recommend skipping this one, nothing really to gain by listening to this.

Four: The Loot: A LitRPG/GameLit Novel audiobook cover art

Think this is the last book for me.

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

Reviewed: 06-29-19

I've held on this long because of some good scene's, a bit of genuine humor, and a decent narrator. Aside from that the litRPG has a good balance, good reasoning, and interesting execution.

However, there is very little character growth in my opinion. I'm sure some would argue that, but I for one can't see it. The ending of this book just proves my point.

Guy insistes on replying to everything before actually coming up with anything to say so most of his sentences start with a variation on uh, mmm, oh, ah. He can't just take a breath and think before speaking for once. He's so insistent on Nikolai being his mentor, but then rarely consults him on anything. He's got the attention span of a 3rd grader. Then, when it's finally starting to look like he might be learning, he's presented with a seemingly obvious choice, but one that concerns his his entire land, and everyone on it. Instead of sharing these options, or asking why he has a choice at all, he just picks the obvious one. A fuck up I suspect is the entire premise of the next book. I'll most likely be getting off the train here. I perrfer a story to be driven by plot, not constant, avoidable fuck ups by characters who refuse to learn, listen, or think.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Realmbound: Sword of the Scion audiobook cover art

One of the worst books I've ever listened to.

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

Reviewed: 06-21-19

The premise of the story could have been interesting, it really could have. However, between the piss pour writing and one of the worst narrators I've ever heard, this book goes all the way to the bottom of the barrel in my eyes.

There is literally no subtlety. Everything that comes out of the mc's mouth is cheezy and forced. He's constantly telling the reader how to feel instead of showing us anything to care about. I gave this a shot because the premise was interesting, but there was nothing worth while. A better narrator might have been able to bring this up a star, but as it is every character sounded like they're on the tail end of puberty, even the villains. It's really hard to take a dark overlord seriously when your expecting his voice to start cracking mid sentence.

Guy takes everything at face value, asks almost no questions and does next to nothing in every fight. You could replace him with a cardboard cutout and no one would know the difference.

The idea of two worlds with vastly different structure(magic vs technology) is a good one. It leaves lots of room for interesting ideas. The execution leaves me dissatisfied. Aside from that the author decided to forgo a story of trial by fire to make us listen to babysitting. This just in, escort quests are still boring. Instead of tagging along with a young vip into a world where everyone wants to kill him or use him, the author skips 6 months ahead a dumps him into the aftermath as a fresh naive idiot who needs constant care or he'll keal over.

The author tries to establish a moral code for the MC, a vow here, another stupid decision there. It falls flat, and nothing feels desirved. There is no emotional investment into anyone that dies. I can't even remember one of their names.

Tldr: don't bother with this one unless you enjoy picking apart bad stories.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful