• Cleansed

  • Chaos Reigns Trilogy Book 1
  • By: G. S. Scott
  • Narrated by: Sean Duregger
  • Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The world is in the grasp of the God of Chaos, his only mantra: Do as Thou Wilt. In the slums of Tuilar, Dirge is an apprentice to the Brotherhood of Assassins who worship the god of Death. His only friend Jacob, a jovial young man, feels at home in the world as it is, but Dirge craves structure.

When Chaos orchestrates the Cleansing, a mass slaughter of children, people stand up against him. Amid the revolt, the prophet of the forgotten God of Order appears. Drawn to the ways of Order, Dirge finds himself at odds with those who raised him. The gods of Chaos, Death, and Order clash, their followers facing off in bloody battle, and Dirge must decide whether to honor his adopted family or the calling to his heart. Jacob believes they should stay out of the fray, wanting nothing to do with any of it.

Hope and honor are Dirge’s shield as he wallows in uncertainty and remorse. The gods are at play, and the world is their game board. How can Dirge choose when men and gods alike are deceitful? The decision he makes may well damn him.

©2018 Scott Smith (P)2020 Scott Smith

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What listeners say about Cleansed

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Riveting!!!💜

So much destruction, so many deaths & so much despair, is it wrong that I totally enjoyed it? 😂🤷🏻‍♀️
Seriously, this story is a fantastic dark fantasy and a brilliant start to this trilogy. The characters are clever and the story is written so that even I could easily follow along.
Author, G.S. Scott will take you on a journey of waring Gods, Clans & families. It’s hard to know right from wrong and who to trust.
This story is brilliantly performed by Sean Duregger who absolutely gets these characters. He brings us all the emotions from humor to pure evil and even sings a few ballads. Well done!!
This is book 1 in a trilogy series and the adventure continues.
I highly recommend this book.

Sisters Spotlight 💜

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Intriguing world-building, but disappointing plot

As I finished Cleansed, I had to sit back and wonder what the hell I just read. By the end of the book, I still hadn’t figured out whether there was a plot or if it was just a loosely strung-together series of events and abandoned plot threads. Each time the plot began to build in a direction, it felt like the author changed their mind, ditched it, and decided to go with something new. And it’s not that the story has plot twists frequently tossed in, it just keeps changing its course as if the book is more of a loosely related collection of short stories.

The book is a coming-of-age story for Dirge, an orphaned son of a prostitute, who apparently is predestined for some sort of greatness (though I’m not sure what exactly it will be as it changes often). As a coming-of-age story, the book spans over two decades, but this also causes additional issues with the plot. Chapters often jumped forward in time by months or even years, which made following the changing narrative even more difficult. Most of the characters and narrative hooks are also fairly cliché, so they didn’t add anything particularly interesting to help the reader keep track of the story.

Though I didn’t care for the overall organization of the book and its rambling plot, I did think individual chapters were well written. When looked at in isolation, parts of the book were interesting and enjoyable to read. I can tell the author has a talent for writing dialog, character interactions, and building suspense. The action in the series was also well done and though there were some pretty graphic descriptions of blood, gore, and unsavory actions, most were included to bring to life the dark and grim setting and show some of the more intriguing cultural aspects of living in a world ruled by chaos. I just wish the plot meshed together better and everything made sense when looking at the book as a whole.

I will also mention a warning - this book examines some primal issues concerning the nature of morality, the fickle definitions of good and evil, and it brings up some pretty existential questions surrounding religion and the worship of deities. Deeply religious people may want to avoid reading this book as they could find some of the comparisons to real-world religions disturbing or distasteful. I’m not turned off by violence either, but as Cleansed has some pretty graphic depictions of blood, gore, and some heinous, despicable acts, those triggered by such should probably avoid it.

I think one saving grace, at least for the audio version of the book, was the performance of the narrator. The narrator has some talent, able to portray a very wide range of characters with unique voices, accents, and characterizations. As I’ve said before that sometimes a good narrator can save a bad book - and though I wouldn’t say that Cleansed is a bad book, the narration certainly kept me entertained enough to finish it despite my issues with the plot. I’d certainly recommend looking up other books with the same narrating and giving them a try.

Special thanks to Sean Duregger, who provided me with this book at my request.

1 person found this helpful

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I found the story fascinating....

I for one found the story just fantastic and I loved every min of it. It was gritty and boy did Sean Duregger bring this well written book to life. I mean I couldn’t stop listening to it. My poor husband finally took my headphones off my head at 1am and said enough for the night lolol. Anyway, give it a try I think if you love fantasy then you will love this book.
I was given a free copy of this book for my honest opinion and that’s what you got.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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over all an interesting story, I felt

over all an interesting story, felt like it was lacking in development details at times but may make up for it in later installments

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Cliffhanger!

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

The world in this book was well built but oh boy, the story was a doozy! There were a lot of amazing elements in this book. The author was not afraid to throw in some blood and gore as well as some romance. There were a few characters that I absolutely hated *cough Jacob* because of their personalities and there were some that I loved. This story ended in a cliffhanger which had me scowling. You can't just leave the book hanging on that note, author. You are a cruel cruel person!

Narration: it was good but I found some voices were very very similar. Towards the end, a character was introduced that had me thinking it was a previous character because of the inflection and the tone of the author. Overall, the pacing and control of the narrator was great and just the voices should have been more able to differentiate.

1 person found this helpful

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Well written

Well written, though the book could have used more tension in the overall plot. The characters seem to go from one day to the next and their motivations aren’t always clear. Very talented voice artist.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Dark but enjoyable fantasy

Dark but enjoyable. I cared about the main character. I thought the narrator did a good job with the characters' voices. Looking forward to the next one!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Generic in almost every way.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

I could only get through half of the book because of how cliche everything was. The plot and characters are bland. I expected more from a world ruled by the God of Chaos, but the setting is pretty dark which was nice.

1 person found this helpful

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Dark Fantasy

This is a dark coming of age fantasy (not my usual listen) but held my interest due to the narration and characters. Enjoyed the characters especially Dirge, Talic, and Jacob, it has monsters and gods with violence and is very deep and dark. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator or publisher

1 person found this helpful

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excellent book

You'll want to listen tho this book several times to catch what you missed. Excellent narration as well. pleasure to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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  • D. Woodhouse
  • 05-17-22

Has potential

I received a free copy of this audiobook for an unbiased review.

This novel feels like an 18+ movie that's been subjected to overzealous editing so as to achieve a 15 rating. It so desperately wants to be "grimdark" but just falls slightly short of the mark despite meeting a lot of the criteria for such an appellation. Due to various religions being the growth medium for the plot it reminds me greatly of "Wolf in Shadow" by David Gemmell but the erratic storytelling can be jarring at times. The main character, Dirge, is hard to pin down to any one archetype being neither a hero, antihero or villain and it's this complexity that'll draw you in more than the plot.

The audio is crisp with no noticeable fluctuations in volume or quality. Sean Duregger's narration is smooth and each character is easily discernable from another which is quite an achievement considering the numbers he has to contend with.

Overall this is not the strongest opening to a trilogy but there is enough intrigue to warrant listening to book 2.

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Profile Image for Alan Preece
  • Alan Preece
  • 10-24-20

Not what I was expecting...

I was offered a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review...

Cleansed, which is either the first book in a series or the second - depending on where you look - follows the exploits of Dirge, an Orphan who has been indoctrinated into a league of assassins at a young age. The world around Dirge is defined by the conflict between a variety of fundamentalist faith systems and when one of these, The Lord of Chaos, orders the murder of all first born as a sacrifice to it Dirge finds himself on a brutal course to defend the innocent.

However, all is not quite as it seems and Dirge's journey is not a simple one.

To begin with I was not all that impressed with G. S. Scott's Cleansed, probably due mainly to Scott's choice to begin his tale very early in Dirge's life and leaving me with three or four chapters in which very little seemed to happen. I didn't take much from these chapters and it seemed to me that starting later and essentially jumping into the action sooner would have been a better option, perhaps telling the earlier episodes in flashback, but this was not to be.

I persevered and was glad that I did. Once the story begin to come together it comes together rather well, with interesting characters and an increasingly shifting story where no one is clearly heroes or villains.

The narration was done by the usually very reliable Sean Duregger and for the first time I was in two minds about his performance with Cleansed. Usually I like his narrations a great deal but in this case I found it a little grating in parts. This was mainly due to the accents he used for many of the characters. I have to say here that I am English and in my job I routinely have meetings with people from all over the UK, so I am used to a variety of British accents (in addition to having my own of course) and none of Sean's accents seemed quite right to my ear and it was only when I consistently reminded myself that this was set in an alternative fantasy land, with inhabitants who just happened to have British sounding accents, that I managed to get past it.

I imagine the vast majority of listeners will not be bothered by this in the slightest, and many will be impressed with it as Sean does quite an impressive range of accents for this tale, as well as many different characters. So I think it likely that most will disagree with my thoughts concerning his use of accents, and they may be right to; as on a second listen I may even disagree with myself!

Overall Cleansed was a good experience, far better than I imagined it being and well worth your time if you enjoy dark fantasy stories. I liked it enough that I would listen to further stories in the series, and it has even made me consider seeking out something similar to read in the future in a genre I usually do not read; which to me sounds like an endorsement!

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  • Janalyn
  • 10-22-20

All hell is broken loose and it’s normal

The Lord of chaos has one rule do as you wish. They really have no rules and no structure and I was well. Until the Lord of chaos was a great cleanse and to start with he wants to kill all the children and for the first time in this crazy and wielding society some start to think maybe the Lord of chaos it’s not as great as we thought he Was. Durge has never felt comfortable in this world and the older you get the more he disagrees with his adoptive family, unlike his best friend Jason who is fine with the status quote. It isn’t until the brought that God of order appears that garage DOC has something to fight for and it will fit him against those he loves those cows friends. This book was so good and unlike most chaos that’s going to be a method to this madness and it will blow your mind I believe that’s going to be a book to and if so I can’t wait to read it. I really love the judge I love the world building when they said the leader was the Lord OF chaos I thought it was another book about Trump, but know this is hell real well and man is it entertaining. I thought Sean Drager who usually does such a great job did a freaking awesome job in the spot. He was good in the devils gospel but in cleansed he should win some kind of award he is one of my favorite narrator in this audiobook is a great example why. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes alternate universes with Picture perfect descriptions likable and those you love to eat it’s all in this book and I can’t think of one thing I didn’t like about it.