• Couch Potato Chaos: Gamebound

  • By: Erik Rounds
  • Narrated by: Sarah Sampino
  • Length: 17 hrs and 39 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (120 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

You know those times when you’re surrounded by a squadron of bloodthirsty ninjas, your back is to the wall, you’re down to your last heart container, and all hope seems lost? In situations like that, it’s important not to panic, to take a deep breath, and to remember that even if you do shuffle off this mortal coil, by the laws of Etheria you’ll shuffle right back on it again.

Meet Tasha, a couch potato with no accomplishments to her name. That all changes one fateful day when she gets sucked into the world of Etheria. Here, in this world of adventure, she can become the strong person she’s always wanted to be.

After rescuing a princess from ninjas, one thing leads to another, and before she knows it, she’s drawn into a massive quest to save Etheria. With friends by her side, Tasha must figure out who she really is.

This is a LitRPG/RPG Gamelit novel with stat progression, video game mechanics, and narrative spreadsheets. It features heavy satire and the kind of silly over-the-top situations you might expect in a 16-bit video game.

No velociraptors have been harmed in the production of this novel.

©2018 Erik Rounds (P)2019 Erik Rounds

What listeners say about Couch Potato Chaos: Gamebound

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Great fun

I really enjoyed my time with this little gem. Erik Rounds has a fun sense of humor and the questing was very fulfilling. Sarah Sampino does a great job with narration and helped make the listen flow well. I’ll be looking for more books she narrates.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A Very Entertaining Story

This book was fun, and silly in all the places one might expect of a LitRPG based on old video games. The narration was terrific, too. I’ll be looking at the sequel one day, I’m sure.

I received a free promo code for this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

3 people found this helpful

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Very enjoyable for the average litrpg reader.

The story and skill system of the book are well thought out and enjoyable. The skill system and unique class Couch Potato are entertaining to think about and potentially very powerful but I feel like their use in the book was limited and didn't make sense other than acquiring a skill for a plot point a prime example being double jump she needs it for a plot point and after that its rarely ever mentioned other than for other plot points. The main character is very relatable as a gamer and the story will have you nostalgic for video games you've already played especially classic rpgs. The timing in the book doesn't make much sense due to the fact that the story takes place over about a half a year period and while the journey is progressing the characters level doesn't seem to unless the story is focusing on it the party would be battling monsters every day during the journey but suddenly get 2 or even 3 levels during a battle the writer decides to focus on showing how easy it is to level which makes you question why the characters aren't much higher level by the end of the book. Skill development is about the same The main character finds a skill they have an interest in (usually for a later plot point) then spends the necessary time (usually less than a day) leveling it to 1 too be able to keep it but over a half of year period the main character should have either a lot more skills or much higher level skills and leaves them feeling like they didn't get enough attention. The main character is easy to relate to and her background while not fully fleshed out is done so enough that most readers in the target audience will have enough in common with her to enjoy her adventure but where the story really shines in my opinion is the potential for world building some of which is done in the book and in the supporting cast. Ari and Pan's sub-story quickly became my favorite part of this book and they may very well be my favorite LitRPG supporting characters to date, most of the other supporting characters are defined almost as well as those two making for an enjoyable encounter. In the end despite how I started off this review I really enjoyed this book, the author does a fantastic job of drawing you into the world he created and I only pointed out those issues with the hopes of helping they probably wont take much away from the average reader. Additionally the narrator Sarah Sampino did a fantastic job especially with the characters facing unique speech problems and challenges. I look forward to both the author and narrators future works.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Certified by a couch potato

When I first saw this title I said, finally, somone has written a book for me. I am a loud proud and avowed couch potato. So. I was intrigued. The story is one that you see in nearly every LITRPG novel, a gamer gets sucked into a game, but I have to say that it has a few aspects that differentiated itself right out of the gate.
The book centers on an unassuming young lady who is over worked, under appreciated, and underpaid, who is given an option when she is heading home one night. She can either follow one route to excitement and adventure or follow the other path back to warmth and comfort. I have to say that this was pivotal moment for me as a listener, because if she had followed the path to adventure I would have called shenanigans and gone my merry way. No real couch potato, regardless of gaming love or experience, would EVER go somewhere that required exercise. So, that hurdle jumped my suspension of disbelief became solid and I settled into the story.
The book takes its gaming stuff in a neat direction with the couch potato class that the MC, Tasha, is granted. Her abilities and strengths fluxuate by how entertained she is. I just picture Russell Crowe screaming, “Are you not entertained?”. So, she also has to make herself happy in order to enjoy the full benefits of the class. I wasn’t wowed by the variations that made the game about earning hearts and magic vials, but I was absolutely blown away by the ramifications of death and respawn. It made the whole concept creepy and not something that you’d just shrug off as another death. In fact, I think that was my favorite gaming aspect of the book. I think it was smart and well played. I also enjoyed the stat shuffling ability, but I think that it was underplayed, and should have been used more.
The book has some hit or miss humor, bouncing from jokes to parody, but it does pay homage to a lot of games and pop culture. Overall the book becomes what is often referred to as a slice of life piece, and I am not a fan of life slices unless it comes from Dexter Morgan. My only real complaint came from the portrayal of autism in the book. Speaking as the father of two children with autism I don’t think that Erik knows how it works. I will humbly apologize if you have kids or someone close to you with the illness but it did not come across like you were familiar with it, and had only read about it. It just looked like the perspective of someone who sort of has an idea of what it is, rather than having an understanding about it. Still, that did not taint my perspective of the novel overall. I will say that the book did seem like it needed some trimming, as it was rather long and there were some things that felt like they’d been tossed in just to make sure they got into the book. I think for a debut novel the book should have been about half its size, so that it could have flowed much easier and not felt like things had just been injected for the sake if getting it in. I will say that it has some really good secondary characters

The narration is pretty good. I was not familiar with Sarah Sampino prior to this, but I think she did an excellent job. The only issues I had were that on occasion I had a little difficulty telling part who was speaking until it was sentence tagged, as in Ari or Pan said . . . . Her style and delivery were nice, and she was pleasant to listen to as she told the story.

Final score is a 7.7, with one extra point tossed in for a War Aeternus shout out. I think there is a lot of potential for the next book, I would just cut it back a bit. Oh, and watch it with those cliffhangers!


2 people found this helpful

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Fun story!

Imaginative and fun. Really enjoyed the quirky plot line and characters. Narration was awesome. Can’t wait to see what happens next.

2 people found this helpful

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So good! I loved it!

I'm new to the GameLit genre, and like every genre, some books have more swearing and mature content. I'm ok with it, but I don't always want to be bombarded with cuss words. This books has hardly any! And the story was great! The characters were well written and developed.
Erik Rounds has done such a great job! the book is good, and it grabbed me from the beginning. The narrator does such a good job too! I love the emotion and attitude she gives the characters. I am anxiously awaiting Book 2, and anything else by this author!!!

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WARNING:This(Book 1 of 1)ends with To Be Continued

The voice acting is excellent! The story is hilarious if your a Gen X of Gen Y gamer or any gamer who has actually played the original Legend of Zelda, LoZ - Ocarina of Time, Super Mario Bro. 3. The story starts off great with an abundance of well-written, game trope gags. Then about half way through the characters embark on an epic Final Fantasy style quest to Save The World From Destruction - at first this is comical - then it becomes as absurd as the process of gathering all of the crystals in Final Fantasy 5. The story becomes just as boring and monotonous as FF 5's necessary level grinding process. This could have been an excellent - gamer trope comedy, but it's as if half way through the producers told the writer to drag it out into multiple books so they could make more money - just like how Peter Jackson dragged out the Hobbit into 3 whole movies! The worst part is the sudden, asinine plot twist at the end that is immediately followed by, TO BE CONTINUED. Currently there is no Book 2, and even if there was I would not bother!

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Absolutely Loved it!

This book was absolutely amazing. It's hard to believe that this is a debut novel from the author! Even though it ended in a to be continued, it was still after 17+ hours. This one novel alone could have very easily been broken up into multiple books. Really looking forward to the next one!

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honest review...

very hard to finish I kept telling myself only a little bit more. No emotion is the best thing i can describe the mc was a robot of confusion, it felt like a lot of detail was missing from the world and skills.

1 person found this helpful

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Way Fun

Great story and a lot of fun. It was nice to see a girl playing video games for a change. Hope there is a book 2 coming soon.

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  • Michael Ennis
  • 04-04-20

Eagerly awaiting more work by this author

Please Note: I try to avoid spoilers in my reviews, and my Audible reviews are completely based on the audio book, not the written format. As such, the reviews are heavily influenced by the narration.

Vocal Quality:
The narrator went above and beyond in this one. Sarah Sampino was exemplary in bringing this world to life. Some pronounciations were a little sketchy in my honest opinion, but weighed against the passion brought to the rest of the book they were easily forgotten. It was never difficult to understand what was being said, and although the characters' voices themselves weren't very unique, you could enjoy the effort regardless.

Sounds / Effects:
On the whole, there were no digital enhancements (Jingles, sound cues, etc) other than onomatopoeic impressions (ie "Bing") that were written by the book itself. That being said, a special mention has to be given for vocalising the dialect of a slime.

Pace:
This story is not for a quick break. At 17 hours and 39 minutes, or over a thousand minutes, there is a lot to listen to. Personally, I found that the story started to wear a little thinner towards the end. Almost as though the author was struggling to weave together the strands to make a strong conclusion and was having difficulty and/or changing their mind. However, by that point I was strongly invested and it was by no means bad. I simply feel it had more potential than it seemed given. While I avoid spoilers as best I can, I have to include one minor point: The option to continue this book with a sequel seemed hastily made, as if the author was trying to decide which way to go with the ending. This is likely the cause of the book teetering off course. As such, the pacing felt a little unpolished, yet still above average.

As for the narrative pace, there were no unnecessary speed changes, the only times the narration felt slower were outside of conflict. This felt natural, and the only times I had any difficulty in following alongside the speaker were during lore segments. I had to repeat the odd sentence (less than a dozen times in over 17 hours) but that was likely due to me rather than the book itself. I became so invested in this story that I not only listened at night as I normally do, but I also had this playing in the daytime while going about my daily tasks. It was the equivalent of a book I couldn't put down - I just had to keep listening to this story.

Sidenote: There were very minorly repeated sentences in this book. Something that was described at the end of one chapter for example may be repeated at the start of the next in a slightly different way. I am unsure if this was an editing blunder or merely meant as a means to recap in case of breaks between reading/listening sessions. It was not to the point of being annoying, but I felt as far as pacing is concerned it should probably be mentioned.

Overall:
Considering that I listened to this 17 hour story over the course of 3 days, I certainly enjoyed it and highly recommend. The aforementioned points about the odd pronounciation hiccups and plot thinning aside, this has earned a place in my favourites. I have already looked for more audiobooks by the same author/narrator combination and I had the unfortunate realisation that as of this moment there are none. Erik Rounds seems to have only finished this single book and no others. When considering that this book released as written work in Oct 2018, audible in Jan 2019, I am hopeful that as it is currently Apr 2020 that there won't be too long a wait for more. That being said, writing is not something to be rushed. In the meantime, Sarah Sampino appears to have narrated a wide variety of genres. If they are anything close to how invested she appeared in this work then it may pass a little more time while waiting for news of this collaboration to unfurl.

3 people found this helpful

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  • kharnynb
  • 09-04-20

A fun litrpg that doesn't take itself too serious.

I really enjoyed this book, it has a great mix of old-school mechanics,mmo-rpg mechanics and just funny game/cartoon references mixed in.

Narration was clear and reasonably well seperated by characters, no majorly annoying voices or other irritations, with fun accents and great "slime language".

the story goes along nicely and doesn't have too much issues, outside of the ending/"twist", which sadly ruins a lot of the build up of the book by making the choices of the characters and the whole "endfight" moot, hopefully this will get corrected in part 2.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Reinaldo
  • 03-05-19

Litrpg at its finest along with stellar narration.

I don't usually write long reviews but has this is a relative new book I am feeling it is not getting enough love. Incredible new world, innovative approuch to aspects of the isekai genre that normally are ignored like the game world self vs real world self aspect.

The couchpotato class was really fun and the mechanics interesting, however I felt that by the end the specific class mechanics could be better used to bring some more "spunk" to the last quarter of the book.

With such an ending really hope the 2nd installment comes as soon as possible!

Never forgetting to mention a stellar narration by Sarah Sampino, hope to be earing her narration in more books of the genre (LitRPG, Fantasy, Sci-fi) and of course in the sequel.

1 person found this helpful

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  • LGKM
  • 02-08-19

Really enjoyed this book, light and interesting

Great book full of funny references for anyone into the LitRPG genre. I particularly enjoyed the Couch Potato class.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • David Fitzgerald
  • 02-08-19

Enjoyable

Well written and presented tale. It took a couple of chapters to really become engaged but once "in" was enjoyable to the end

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • charlie
  • 02-04-19

Good book but lacking slightly.

I loved this book but I did struggle to keep with it towards the ebd.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Morris
  • 02-02-19

Bring on book 2!

Great story! The author paints very vivid and colourful world teamed with a great narrator. Moreover the plot is very interesting and includes a few pop culture references which made me laugh. I can't wait for book 2!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Brandon
  • 02-01-19

A fun ride

Okay I'll start with the negative first and rip that bandaid off, as for performance I think the narrator did a great job on most aspects but I kind of wish there was a male voice for the guys, she seemed to just add am English accent when it was a male and would have rather had a males voice like in some of the other audio books I've heard. The second and last negative point is on the author, this may have been on purpose but I have no clue what any character looks like other than that one character has unnaturally spiky hair.

Okay now for the good, or should I say great, the story had good flow, and I loved that the character used her knowledge of video games top her advantage and her knowledge of programming and feel culture forged her path in the book, too many books in this genre I've read have had the statement that the character is a geek but then ends up in these worlds and acts clueless and acts like they know nothing of monster hunting and basic video game tropes which is where this one grabs on and rides them like a glorious raptor into battle.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ryan Pascall
  • 04-17-22

Fun story, full of loveable characters & adventure


I had no idea what to expect from this book, after all the title suggests a comedy story or parody and so I'll start by saying I was very pleasantly surprised.

The story follows Tasha, a down-on-her luck young woman working for an awful game development company and feeling stuck in a rut but, with the arrival of a game cartridge from her late father she finds herself dragged into the game in a wonderfully considered Jumanji/Tron style.

What I really liked with this book was the system was a brilliant mashup between Zelda and more advanced, later games which introduced skills and abilities. This led initially to simple slash combat but then added abilities and skills to expand on the combat but retained lots of recognisable items and abilities. Additionally, the fact she retains her phone adds a fun element to her couch-potato class and I found the NPCs' reactions to this very amusing and it really helped to flesh out the characters. And speaking of the characters, the story includes one big twisty-surprise midway which I did not see coming and really impressed me considering the impact it had on the 'party' dynamic.

Special kudos have to be paid to Sarah Sampino who, not only voices every single character in the book, does the #1 acting job for Slimon the Paladin who's 'raspberry' language was an absolute joy to behold. Aside from Slimon she did a wonderful job of making every character seem an individual and the accents she chose for them all suited their personalities absolutely perfectly (I absolutely adored Trista the fairy and really hope she returns in later books in the series).

So if you want a book full of excitement, comedy, memorable characters and some of the best voice acting ever heard this is the book for you. Thoroughly excited for book 2 :)

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  • John
  • 02-03-19

Couch Potato Chaos

I was surprised that I enjoyed this book so much just shows how talented and skilled author Erik Rounds. Is the story is very insightful and also interesting the characters a well written and informative.And the voice acting skills of Sarah Santino make the characters and story come alive. will definitely buy the next book on audible 12/10 stars..... ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆..

1 person found this helpful