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Publisher's Summary

Miles Boone is running out of time. He had one year to solve every beginner’s quest the Game offers or he faces a lifetime of slavery. Now, time is flying by and he can’t even find a safe place to play the Game. His apartment has burned down while he was in it. His secretive father won’t let him enter the Game from his home. Miles’s only choice is to enter the underbelly of society and try to win his bet from anonymous VR pods controlled by an old associate - or is that enemy? - of his father’s.

Meanwhile, the Party’s hunt for him in-Game continues. Surrounded by enemies from without and within, Miles has to keep upping his Game. His lack of a Luck stat makes it impossible for him to play like anyone else. With no luck, Miles will have to gather the strength to survive.

Gathering Strength is the second volume in the Character Development series.

©2018 Aaron Jay Weingrad (P)2020 Aaron Jay Weingrad

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What listeners say about Gathering Strength

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Main Character got hit with stupid stick

I liked the first novel because the MC was intelligent. He was put in a bad situation and with a bit of luck managed to work things through. I was looking forward to having him figure out the system and yes, hopefully pulling off a win in the end. He is the son of a renowned genius who created the system. He should have picked up some bit of intelligence other than the ability to constantly spout Greek mythology.
In this book the MC devolved into a moron. Bad decision after bad decision and self inflicted wounds.
Half way through the book I wanted to start cheering for his enemies. This idiot deserves to lose and end up in slavery. He obviously isn't smart enough to run his own life.
Sorry Aaron, I'm leaving the train here. I read LITRPG for escapism, not to be constantly frustrated by an endless parade of stupid.

19 people found this helpful

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Genuinely wanted this to be good....

I very much enjoyed the first book in this series, and was fairly excited about the second one. I tried to convince myself i was enjoying the second book, but at about the halfway point i realized the main character was simply put annoying, and somehow had been turned into and idiot, which made it kind of hard to root for him considering his wit was one of my favorite character qualities. I definitely will not be keeping up with this series, and would not even recommend reading or listening to the first book because all it sets you up for is a major disappointment in the end.

11 people found this helpful

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I disliked the mc the more I listened

I enjoyed book one. I listened to book 1 again to set the table for book 2. as the 2nd book progressed the mc's self inflicting problems and devolving made him very unlikable. the "bet" is a plot point that makes no darn sense. one side blatantly cheats ,the mc goes by the letter of the law-or else...

7 people found this helpful

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I don't understand the negative reviews

I really don't get the negative reviews for this book claiming the MC suddenly turned stupid. He was a lucky shit from the get and continued to be so. He also made perfectly reasonable mistakes that a young, naieve and completely self absorbed/inexperienced person would have made, especially considering what the implant was doing to him. All in all I think this was a fine addition to the series and am waiting for the next book.

4 people found this helpful

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I am gathering strength for a review.

This story has amazing potential and a lot of interesting references. There is quite a bit of historical, political and religious information that in my opinion, made the overall story more intriguing, insightful and entertaining. The story is not perfect but I liked it a lot. I hated the whining, self loathing and sometimes suicidal tendencies of the MC. There are other things but I hate when ppl give away too much in a review.

3 people found this helpful

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Ok but not good or great

Spoilers ahead ......



Honestly nothing is really accomplished in this book up until the end and that was more or a quick wrap up and boring. I just can’t stand the MC going from whiny child to depressed teen to a halfway thinking teenager that continues not to think. And there are tons of plot holes that do not make any sense. The narrator also needs to be changed half the time it sounds like he’s speaking into a plastic container

3 people found this helpful

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From smart to dumb

Dispute the author trying to defend MC stupid thinking it comes across as .... Incredibly stupid and unbelievable actions for a supposedly smart MC. Sad to give up on the story, but for my own sanity I have to

2 people found this helpful

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pretty solid

a Good follow up to a fun 1st entry I really enjoyed this one had a lot of fun with it

2 people found this helpful

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inspiring

Gathering Strength,

Is the second installments in the
(character development) series a thrilling, survival, Adventure, completed by challenge and hope.

Our protagonist fights to save Humanity from itself, but his fellow man does nothing help, except holding him back.

"Here's to the next book in the series!"

1 person found this helpful

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another solid installment

man the ending of this book makes it so worth it.
this books seems to drag at times, but right when you get to those points, bam. things happen. great writing. story advances and Miles' journey keeps going.

1 person found this helpful

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  • M. Paddon
  • 08-23-20

Too dumb to continue.

Sorry, but I stopped listening to this right after he makes a deal with the porn queen. While I really liked the first book the one thing I cannot abide is characters doing something that is insanely stupid, and doubly so when they know it is. Heck, he even makes comment he knows everyone does something foolish sometimes, and even points out to the readers that some may think he was being stupid. NO! everyone thinks you are stupid.

She is effectively offering an implant that will take some majority of his XP, make changes to his limbic system and based on his own knowledge might kill him like he knows it has done to two people, or send him homicidal like one other. It's like agreeing to play Russian roulette and not knowing how many bullets got loaded too. He knows nothing about this woman other than she had a falling out with his father, and seems to have some anger for him. He would NEVER trust so blindly, given he has major trust issue throughout the book.

Sorry, that was the last straw to me reading more. No matter what reason or how it turns out. Heck even eating the sweets was insanely stupid, and he even points out the taking candy from strangers saying. Urggggggh so disappointed he did this in what is actually one of the better LitRPG's in general.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Xravia
  • 05-13-20

Major pacing issues.

Half of every chapter is devoted to talking about the Gm girl which adds nothing to the story. Nothing really happens and everything seems superfluous. The bet has somewhat lost its relevance with the introduction of all the exposition and his gathering of strength is just doing some tutorial missions that only he has access to. only the last couple of chapters seemed to have the same feel as book 1. plus the book dropped the F word.... bloody fate in a post apocalyptic premise they dropped the word fate! bleh.

oh and the changing narrator perspectives is really infuriating because it drains all the suspense out of the situation and the book.