Fresh Blood

Survival World, Book 1
Narrated by: Travis Baldree
Length: 8 hrs and 23 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (53 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

He was climbing the corporate ladder, now he's climbing the food chain.

Felix used to be a traveling salesman, drifting through the galaxy and hawking his wares. Used to be, that is, until a freak accident in an out-of-the-way system. 

One rough landing later, Felix finds himself stranded on a wild, alien planet - front and center - in a deadly role he never auditioned for to entertain a secret audience. 

The upside? A fellow passenger made it to the escape pod with Felix. With this reptilian stranger at his side, he’s not totally alone.

The downside? They don’t share a language. Worse, there’s not one scrap of survival know-how between them, and an ominous clawing is coming from outside the escape pod.

As if the struggle to avoid becoming lunch and finding some of their own wasn’t enough, an autonomous implant from an unknown source seeks to integrate them into the system.

©2019 Jessica Hicks (P)2020 Jessica Hicks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Good GameLit

This was a fun book. If you’ve listened to a lot in this genre then I recommend it as a beginning to a series with potential. If you’re new to the genre I might be more inclined to point you towards some of the real sprawling adventures with massive worlds and a lot of depth.

From that intro you can probably predict the rest of this review. This book was enjoyable and well written. The characters were engaging and I was pretty hooked from the beginning. The plot was very linear. It pretty much just chronologically followed the main character, and it read more like a trapped-on-a-desert-island, survival tale rather than a novel that is attempting to build a fully fleshed out world.

That’s not a bad thing, but it does keep this book from reaching beyond being an entertaining adventure. The narration was solid just like it always is from Travis Baldree.

The only real issue I have with this novel is the same one I have with almost any audiobook whose run-time is less than around 9.5 hours... it’s hard to pack enough plot, character development, and world-building into 8 hours and still have the listener come away with a feeling of satiety.

This audiobook like many other “short,” fantasy/GameLit, series installments ends with a climax and resolution that feel rushed. To the listener it’s almost like the author really had to pee and decided they needed to end the book before they had to run home and change their pants.

I’d say that this was about 3/5’s of the length this story needed to be to make it feel like a fully realized novel, instead of jan installment in an episodic series. All that said, I also don’t want to belittle the efforts of a new writer’s first major work. Jessica Hicks has done a much better job with her first book than most other authors in this genre.

So in the end, I do recommend this book with the one caveat that listeners should manage their expectations and enjoy it as a good beginning to a promising series, if not a book that truly stands on its own.

I will say that I am eagerly looking forward to the next release.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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An awesome addition to gamelit, and survivor genre

An excellent addition to the gamelit genre, especially for fans of the game "Ark". Gamers, imagine if your Ark player character was a real person, and u were reading a story based on his adventures, and u will be pretty close to this book.

Those weird mechanics that u thot about while playing Ark?
Yep. These characters run into them and probably wonder the same things u did about them. Like the question of why food spoils over time in ur inventory, but a torch is still lit and ready to go the moment u pull it out?

And, of course, that thing every ark player hates: spending loads of time slowly building up ur new settlement from nothing, only to suddenly get raided and lose everything to another larger and much more advanced tribe.

Great book. Great narration. Great story. I highly recommend it to any reader, whether u r already an avid fan or r new to both gamelit genre and Ark, this book will appeal to most anyone. Fans of Ark will probably find extra relatable tho.

1 person found this helpful

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Great

Kinda like playing one of my dinosaur video games on ps4. If you don't guild up you are just fodder.

1 person found this helpful

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Fun Sci-fi Ark Minecraft Gamelit

Well-written, with likable, believable characters and good pacing. Fun, clever, and probably even good for all ages. The narrator did an excellent job bringing the words to life. I’m looking forward to the next one!

1 person found this helpful

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Sci Fi survival LitRPG

Felix is a traveling salesmen. He is in a spaceship that is taking a shortcut when the are hit by a tiny asteroid. Felix tried to use his demonstration equipment, but it’s too late. Him and one of the other passengers are able to get to the escape pod and get away. The problem is that the other passenger is a reptilian alien that doesn’t speak basic. After floating in space, the escape pod gets pulled into a planet’s atmosphere.

The planet quickly shows peculiarities after a metal bug burrows intro their skin. Suddenly, they are both understanding each other and video game like screens are visible.

The two survivors need to figure how to catch food and avoid being eaten themselves! They learn to use the game system to create a new home and new tools.

This book came as a surprise to me how much I enjoyed this book! I am very excited for the next book.

I did receive a review copy of this book on my request.

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Not the best

I really liked the story idea and even much of the story it self but the author (miner spoiler) put in an over controlling woman that seams to now what is best even going so far as to banish the two main characters for a short time because they case as many problems as they fix when they have drestically improved there life’s..... I don’t get why she is the leader of the group It’s just really disappointing to me

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Good read!

Fun dialogue, and a great intro into lit rpg if you're new to it like I was.

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cant wait for the next one!

I did receive this free. That being said I did enjoy it overall and I am excited for the next one!

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could have been a great book

The problem is it's just so improbable that somebody would put up with ( Trent ) another person yelling and screaming at them all day and still stick around. as well as it feels like emotional abuse for the listener. I would not get this book.

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crafting required

Finally a book about crafting that doesnt leave it behind because of adventures. I'll definitely buy the next book, I just wish it was longer.

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  • The Keyboard
  • 02-07-20

Fantastic Survival / Crafting GameLit

If you like Terraria, Conan Exiles or ARK: Survival, you'll love this book.

Fresh Blood had the feel of a cool, gritty survival crafting game: collect stone and timber to make an axe, use that axe to chop down a tree then use the tree to make a crafting bench (all while fighting off monsters). It had realistic edge that I enjoyed - killing creatures to survive isn't always nice, and it isn't always clean - and the characters made intelligent decisions (as opposed to ones just to further the plot).

Speaking of characters - it was great to see depth in the alien sidekick, and though the female characters were sparse, I was pleased to see them written as strong and kick-ass. No juvenile, forced romance plotlines in sight.

All in all, a great listen. I look forward to book two.

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  • james mcadam
  • 01-27-20

great book look forward to the second one

very good story and very funny in parts awesome narration and good characters great book

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  • J. A. N.
  • 01-24-20

Outstanding

I'm usually wary of LitRPG books in science fiction setting, but "Fresh Blood" pleasantly surprised me. It is well-written, well-paced and the story is both entertaining and believable. I would even go as far as calling it the best LitRPG I had listened to in the last year and I eagerly await the next part.

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  • Allen Stark
  • 01-22-20

highly enjoyable

loved the book and can't wait for the next one. hard to describe but kinda think a reality show in a Minecraft game with unsuspecting civilians as the stars. really unique and very enjoyable , can't wait for the next one

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  • jay
  • 01-22-20

Thrilling

Travis has a voice that suits this story to a Tee.
Really enjoyed from start to finish.
Love the crafting progression and story, the characters sound real and life like, I can really Co nect with the story. The mc isnt perfect, he makes mistakes and tries to improve.

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  • CJ Silva
  • 01-20-20

Outstanding book

What a amazing story and very well complemented with game lit ideas awesome truly well read also. 5 Starts⭐⭐⭐

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  • T.N
  • 01-31-20

Survivor: Alien world edition

I found this novel a fresh breath of air. I can imagine that this author has both played a few survival games and they probably watched a few episodes of Survivor.
In a genre that is filled with experience bars and levelling, the author chose to focus on research and crafting. I feel that it is a great move as the characters in the book actually have to put some effort into planning and survival.
The book has no sex, has no F-bombs that I heard, there is violence, and some hints at gore.
Plot: Felix’s spaceship is stuck by a disaster and the survivors of the crash on an island. Shenanigans occur as the characters are forced to play a dangerous game.
Characters.
Felix is a sales man who was on a cruise for a planet where he hoped to sell his goods. Felix is unused to the sudden primitive environment and is forced to learn from his mistakes.
Koale is a reptilian alien. While he may look scary, is a scientist at heart. His curiosity an inability to listen to others causes trouble for Felix.
Trent. I hated this character and the author makes a point to make him unlikable. Mean spirited, spiteful, short-temper.
Renessa is Trent's wife and the only person who seems to be able to calm him down. She sees Felix and Koale's appearance as a necessary evil that she has to deal with.
What I like:
Most of the book worked for me. I like LitRPGs and GameLit books that focus away from the guilds and the need to level their characters. It shows that the genre is expanding.
What I don’t like:
My major criticism is the respawn. Take death out of the equation and belly flopping into the jaws of a hungry beast turns into mild annoyance.

Travis's performance is pretty decent and I look forward to listening him narrate more book