• Critical Failures

  • Caverns and Creatures, Book 1
  • By: Robert Bevan
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Sleep
  • Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (9,974 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Tim and his friends find out the hard way that you shouldn't question the game master, and you shouldn't make fun of his cape.

One minute, they're drinking away the dreariness of their lives, escaping into a fantasy game and laughing their asses off. The next minute, they're in a horse-drawn cart surrounded by soldiers pointing crossbows at them.

Tim now has the voice and physique of a prepubescent girl. Dave finds that while he lost a foot or two in height, he somehow acquired a suit of armor and a badass beard. Julian's ears have grown ridiculously long and pointy. And Cooper... well Cooper has gotten himself a set of tusks, a pair of clawed hands, and a bad case of the shits. He also finds that he's carrying a bag with a human head in it - a head that he had chopped off when they were still just playing a game.

Shit just got real, and if they want to survive, these four friends are going to have to tap into some baser instincts they didn't even know existed in their fast-food and pizza delivery world.

It's fight, flight, or try to convince the people who are trying to kill them that they don't really exist.

©2012 Robert Bevan (P)2014 Robert Bevan

What listeners say about Critical Failures

Average Customer Ratings
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  • M
  • 02-01-15

Audible Studio...More Please!

If you have a problem with base humor, you will want to pass this book up.

I played Dungeons & Dragons when I was young, which is where Caverns & Creatures comes in without bothering a trademark. I would say all folks that enjoy MMORPGs would like the book but younger readers may not realize D & D is the predecessor of online fantasy gaming and will not find the humor of 20-sided dice and the pains of a dungeon master as funny as the older folks that played games before the Internet; however, C & C shares enough MMORPGs characteristics, especially since the characters are sucked inside the game, that fantasy gamers would enjoy this book almost as much.

I emailed a request for the rest of the series to be put on audio. I don't think the audio version exists but there are a number of books. Maybe if I get enough votes here, audible will raise an eyebrow at how many people like it.

283 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Very Entertaining

I thought this book was very entertaining. Shakespeare it was not, but there was a nice coherent story with good character development. This will obviously appeal to people who have played games like D&D. I mean it references character sheets, charisma, random encounters, and rolling a 1, so there you go. It is not a 'gritty' book. There is much joking and bumbling along with the action. It goes pretty much how you would expect it to go if a bunch of casual gamers had to actually become their characters. Some of the content was kinda stereotypical, but I still think it was handled in a funny way. I enjoyed it. If you like gaming and don't take yourself too seriously, I think you will enjoy it too.

The narrator was awesome. He did great with the different voices and characters and their expression.

97 people found this helpful

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Fun, but...

I enjoyed this book. I kept going back to it and finished it in a few days. That said, this has to be the dumbest group of people to ever get stuck in an alternate universe. They also swear, a lot. Nearly every other sentence has the f-word. If you can forgive those two things it's an entertaining book.

38 people found this helpful

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Such a hard review to write...

I wanted to love this story. After devouring the four Alter World novels by D. Rus and becoming a true fan of the lit-MMORPG genre, I went right into this novel with high expectations and a readiness to enjoy a good story. What I got was fart jokes and characters that did not seem concerned at all that they were somehow transported into a DnD world. The premise of this book is fantastic. Where my review goes off track is how the stoner geniuses that are our characters in this story somehow hijacked the excellent writing and dropped the entire IQ of the narrative and storyline by 100 points. Again, the writing is well done and well delivered. However, the characters seemed to take over where the story went and made it all about in-fighting and commenting/describing snot consistently coming out of one of the characters orifaces.

Great premise, NO SUBSTANCE. 3 stars for good writing and high marks for a narrator that did an amazing job switching between the voices of many different characters. 0 stars to the characters that allowed the story to go nowhere.

33 people found this helpful

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ATTENTION AUDIBLE: GET THE SEQUELS RECORDED--NOW!

What did you love best about Critical Failures?

It was different, engaging, and the characters were hysterically funny.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Critical Failures?

The horse in the jail.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Constantly laugh-out-loud. No crying. It was delightful.

Any additional comments?

I'm not now, nor even have been, a teenaged boy. I am a 60 yr old female. I have never played Dungeons and Dragons, had only a vague idea what was involved in that game. This book was a great introduction to that world, especially as one character was being introduced to it himself, and the story was fun, funny and a great listen with an excellent narrator. I immediately went to download the sequel, only to find it is NOT ON AUDIBLE. GRR. I will listen to/buy whatever else this guy writes, and I have already sent this book to a relative in hard copy, who also greatly enjoyed it.

30 people found this helpful

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  • JJ
  • 01-04-18

Unsatisfying

Shallow and annoying characters, a very weak story line, stilted dialogue, and a really unsatisfying ending. Three of the main characters are completely indistinguishable except for height and strength. None of them are likable. There are a few funny moments in the book, but not enough to actually make the book worth it. If it wasn’t free, I would ask for my money back.

20 people found this helpful

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Please get the rest...

Where does Critical Failures rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I have over 1200 audible books (hundreds of which are history) so this question is a bit odd for me to try to answer, I'll just say it's one of the most fun novels I've heard in a long while.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Critical Failures?

Look I really liked the whole flow. All of the characters are unique and entertaining.

Have you listened to any of Jonathan Sleep’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Nope but I will...

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I actually laughed out loud... I was wearing a Bluetooth headset so people stared at me... It was worth it.

Any additional comments?

Seriously, audible needs Bevan's whole catelogue.

19 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Juvenile stereotypes

Some very funny moments surrounded by homophobic and silly sexual jokes. Near death situations won't get in the way of "your Mom is a whore" jokes. Beavis and Butthead meet D@D. if that is what you want and are expecting this book is probably 4 stars.

17 people found this helpful

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Lowbrow and light

I went from five Game of Thrones books back to back, to this - so I probably wasn't in the right headspace. Was very interested in the concept, but the humor was so lowbrow it centered around bodily functions and high school level cursing just to curse. It felt like I was stuck listening to an uncensored Saturday morning cartoon.

16 people found this helpful

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A surprise

What made the experience of listening to Critical Failures the most enjoyable?

I didn't expect to like such a concept for a novel. While I consider myself a big fan of the tabletop RPGs, I thought the initial characterizations, many of which I have met, would mean a novel closer to viscous mockery that anything interesting.

I'm glad I kept listening. After a slightly jarring start, the novel easily finds its feet. Its a combination of a fish-out-of-water story along with a surprisingly gentle parody that I don't want to spoil.

What about Jonathan Sleep’s performance did you like?

In a novel that features a person with one voice who then changes tremendously in tone, it was great the way that the audiobook traded enough voices to keep immersion while kept the simpler characters with the same voice. The result made it easy to track the cast of characters, which would be something tricky given the subject.

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

No, but that isn't a bad thing with this type of story. The occasional shift in focus was a mental change that is easier to track with a break.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-02-17

Unpleasant banter, interesting situations

'Gay' repeatedly used as an insult reduced the joy I got from reading this book.

4 people found this helpful

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  • robert brooks
  • 06-21-16

ever played d&d

if you have you gota read this it's a blast
just like we used to play lol

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Oliver
  • 05-19-16

Tosh

Bad jokes, poorly written and terribly unsatisfying conclusion. It seems to have been written by a 14-year-old with a need to constantly sweat and make sexual innuendo. Concept was interesting, and the characters, for the most part, were endearing. Still, I am requesting a refund on this.

4 people found this helpful

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  • legeon
  • 08-16-15

D20

Propper laugh out loud stuff. Need the other books in the series
Come on audible get them

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • rasmus
  • 12-22-16

Occasionally funny and very uneventful

The humor consisted mostly of "your mom" jokes and profanity.
Almost nothing happens in the story and its mostly just the characters being confused and angry with each other.

3 people found this helpful

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  • James Hannam
  • 07-04-16

in.bloody.credible!

this is a fantastic audio book! The characters and voice overs are fantastic! As someone who hasn't played D&D (C&C) all I want to do now is play it! can't wait for the next book!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-06-17

Lazy writing

Other than a couple of "your mum" jokes there is little good.about this book. The writing is lazy, relying heavily on swearing and the reader being amused by poo jokes along with a lot of vomit. It was a chore to finish it despite a decent enough premise. I expect there will be a sequel but I won't be putting myself through it.

The acting was decent enough given the script.

Edit: I've just seen that there are many sequels, maybe people like no depth and profanity? Not me. Read Gam3 instead if you want an immersed RPG story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Upgrade 279
  • 07-24-17

Interesting start to a series

I came here from Authors and Dragons. Robert Bevan creates an interesting view into a role-playing game where the characters are put into the game. The characters aren't afraid to be dicks, are the type of players who want to have a relaxed session and are forced into a serious game of life and death, and react as most people might: by panic and threats to a higher power.
An enjoyable read, the narrator does a good variety of voices, though it feels a bit unfinished towards the end... But that's what sequels are for!
I will be getting the next issue in the series, of course, as I want to find out more about how the weird world works, what's in store and if a freezer can be opened by a vindictive weirdy-beard.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • ScallN20
  • 06-22-17

Good start but was missing something

I enjoyed this but feels like the first half of a book. Hopefully the second will push the story forward at a more satisfying pace. Overall though I'd recommend it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Slug
  • 06-02-17

Great!

Brilliant characters with a great plot. They really have CRIT FAILED and on to book 2

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kerri
  • 02-08-17

funny as

a laugh out loud story. narrator is interesting enough. similar idea to "off to be the wizard"
didn't want the story to end. hope theres a sequel!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Owen Smith
  • 04-21-20

Very funny - but to short.

Loved the book but full price Audio for only 6 hours of Listening is very disappointing.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Craig McSpellcheck
  • 05-08-19

Funny

This is a good Chuckle. Enjoyed it enough to buy the next book. Would recommend.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-17-17

Really good book

great, like the book 'off to be the wizard' only a little more crass but after you look passed that it's a great story

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-02-17

Great fantasy read for teens and young adults.

The story built very quickly. It was exciting for people who have never role played and quite easy to follow. Would definitely recommend for the fantasy lovers.