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Goblin King

A LitRPG/GameLit Adventure (Monster Slayer Online, Book 1)
Narrated by: Jeff Hays
Length: 13 hrs and 20 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (306 ratings)
Regular price: $24.95
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Publisher's Summary

To earn a second chance at life, Devrim Bains must die and enter a virtual world of monsters and mayhem. Let's just hope one death is all it will take, because he can't afford another.

When Devrim Bains reaches his 21st birthday, he's finally punished for a crime that was never his fault - being born. In a world of strict population control, his life's been decided for him, and it's about to end. But a stroke of luck gives him opportunity to have his consciousness uploaded into a simulated-reality game world with the promise of paradise.

Except paradise always comes with a cost.

Monsters of legend and myths of old come to life in Lorian, needing to be slain or tamed for Devrim to have a shot at enjoying freedom. It'd be easy enough if one of the fiends hadn't raised an army hellbent on conquering everything. The goblin king has his sights set taking the lands of Lorian in his iron grasp, and Devrim Bains' only chance is to quickly learn what it means to be a slayer.

To make sure his new lease on life isn't cut painfully short, he's going to have to embody the greatest rule in Monster Slayer Online: hunt or be hunted!

Goblin King is the first novel of the Monster Slayer Online LitRPG/Gamelit series. If you loved The 100, the Monster Hunter game franchise, and Dragon's Dogma, you'll enjoy this fast-paced, hard-action monster-slaying novel. 

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Author's note: Goblin King is a LitRPG/GameLit novel featuring gamelike progression/skills and appropriate text/pop-ups in narration. Please keep this in mind while listening.

©2018 R.R. Virdi (P)2018 R.R. Virdi

What members say

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Excellent start

You may know Mr. Virdi from his Urban fantasy novel: Grave Beginnings. I had been hoping for some time that he would get around to making them into audiobooks, so I flipped out when I saw that not only had he done a LITRPG story, but it was also being done by SBT that I nearly had a nerdgasm. I thought it was a fantastic pairing, and I was right.

Now, there are a lot of things going on. The book starts out in a dystopian society that cannot afford to keep everyone fed, so certain types of people get put on the chopping block when they turn 21. Think of Logan’s Run in outer space. The MC, a fine fellow named Devrim Bains, is offered a choice. He can die, or he can have his consciousness uploaded into a virtual reality game where he can play until he dies there. Not a lot of choice, but hey what’s a protagonist gonna do? He signs up for the VR of course and gets dropped into a world of crap. When I was telling my wife about the story she told me it had some things in common with the 100. I don’t know, because I’ve never seen that show, but she was fairly certain that it had a lot of commonalities. That’s cool, because she watches it, and that means she’ll listen to the book in the car while I drive.

Luckily for him his knowledge of mythology saves his butt and he earns a class called the Slayer that is actually a pretty sweet deal, as he gets clued into a ton of things about the monsters he faces that other players don’t. The bulk of the book is him battling monsters and trying to figure if the Goblin King is real and if he is, how to stop him. I loved the whole title aspect like Slayer of men, and the implications that it had in the game. Lots of neat thinking. One thing I was not in love with was the toad companion.

For me, a mini-companion either flies or fails. Lately, the whole snarky or braggadocios companion has been a fail. I prefer more helpful aides over companions who don’t do anything but try to take the credit, I just don’t find that stuff funny. I guess I see that stuff too often in real life. They can be funny but the toad here did not ring that bell for me, I was actually hoping he would get killed. The odd thing is that Devrim feels the same way, and if he had continued to feel that way I don’t think it would have put me off, because then the character would have been meant to be unbearable. However, he makes a complete turnaround on that fact, and begins to like the little bugger, which is where I, the reader, am supposed to like him too but that didn’t happen. I could not stand him from start to finish, and the only saving grace was that he was not super prominent in the book.


Usually I will say that a book flew by or dragged, but this one just felt like it was paced out pretty well. There were some excellent fights and a lot of realization moments and a mystery about the Goblin King that worked nicely. The best part of the book was the characterizations of the players, they were pretty real in their depiction, although I did find a little bit of the dialogue to be stilted. The ending does play out like a David vs Goliath, but it was a fun fight.

Jeff Hays handles this one in all his solo glory, and I was quite happy to get it. With all the tag teaming that goes on over at SBT we don’t get a chance to see to single narrators shine much any more. Jeff handles this tale masterfully. I think his best characterizations are the females, although he does do a badassed battle toad impression that caused me cognitive dissonance because I hated the character, but enjoyed the portrayal. I really enjoy hearing Jeff do things on his own, as I can see just how much he’s refined himself since his last recording. Getting bits of him in snippets, as in the punny dwarf in the Wayward Bard, is nice, but that is a supporting role. That’s like putting Brad Pitt in the role of a stoner who just sits on a couch an entire series of scenes like in True Romance, rather than making him into a killer character like Aldo Rains in Inglorious Basterds. More is better. I think that is why I like him so much here, he gets to do a few ladies, mind out of the gutter people! A job that seems to go more and more to Annie or Laurie. Anyways, Jeff throws out all the stops and clearly has some fun with this book.

Overall the book is fun, filled with frantic action, and some nice LITRPG moments. Again the title stuff was the best gaming part for me. I enjoyed the book a lot and look forward to, but with 60% less toad. Final Score 8.3 Stars.

Even though I did receive a promo code for this review it in no way influenced my considerations of the material, and in fact, inspired me to be more honest. Getting a code generally makes me harsher as a reviewer as I am more often concerned what someone like Me will decide based on my review.

If this review helped, please press the YES below. Thank you immensely!!!

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Nicely done LitRPG

Very well written story, definitely compares to some of the other litrpg stories that I have listened too in the past few months. Also falls in the length that I prefer being over 10 hours. Not my typical genre but am looking forward to more titles by this author in this particular area. Has tons of potential to be a big name in the future.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

excellent performance but weak plot

one of the best performance jeff hays did, especially in chapter 30.

but the story tends to be generic and linear. the characters are not well developed and when they are in danger, there is not much impact/tension due to how under develop they are. despite jeff hays excellent performance, the book couldnt hold my attention more than 30 mins at a time. :(

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Jeff Hays

the narrator made the book amazing! sound effects, and actual song sung, and the many voices make it come alive for me.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

love the book, the Travelers song was amazing

love the book, had an amazing storyline, my favorite part was the traveler song, can't wait for a sequel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

first time

This was amazing and has pulled me into audible. This was my first audio book but definetly won't be my last. I cannot wait to see some evil slayers,I hope that's what's coming😉

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent book

This book is a really nice listen. It moves at an excellent pace and the narrator has a nice range and keeps you engaged.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

LitRPG...kind of.

It has the basic frame of any LitRPG. It has monsters, some kind of magic system, stats(kinda), classes...but everything lacks depth. The first hour or so was a little confusing because it had me believe that the main character was one of a few that had been given a chance at a newly developing technology that would integrate the human consciousness to the point where the body is no longer needed. But...even though it was heavily implied that it was a one way trip, the main character is shocked to find out he died in the real world and trapped in the game.

As the story goes on, there seems to be tons of other people just like him and there have been many more before him. Okay, I'll accept that the scientists wanted to keep up a good pitch so that people would choose the game world over the death penalty. But really? There are so many other players and none of them have a backstory except Tom and the Goblin King. The rest of these people seem to have no drive of their own and they all needed the new guy that had been there for two days to give them some motivation.

That leads to another topic, the main character is some very rare class, okay cool, and is somehow stronger than the other adventurers that have been there for seemingly months, okay...not cool. It was very difficult to assess the amount of danger when monsters appeared because you don't really have a measure of the main characters strength compared to the creatures or even other players. It was very much: I have sword, I cut you, I kill you. Repeat as needed for combat.

The main character goes from average worker nerd guy to bonafide sword swinging monster, expert tactician, and leader of men in...a day.

The last issue I have is with the whole "hunt or be hunted" thing. It's said many times throughout the book but at no point did I feel the main character was being hunted by anything, not even the Goblin King. The sense of danger one should get with a premise like that would surely be conveyed through the actions of hunting or being hunted Yeah, they hunted a couple times. But I didn't feel any danger. It really makes that phrase seem like empty words.

I really wanted more from the book because the premise was intriguing and I love LitRPG's.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great author

Loved this story a lil dark but it pulls it off so well cant wait for the second book. Also awesome narration by Jeff Hays

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

Great narrator horrible story/plot/depth

I love jeff hays he is a amazing narrator in my opinon but even he couldnt make me enjoy this book. I really gave this book a chance and listened to it because I usually don't like people who give there opinion after one hour of listening, but it was a struggle to get through it. The story is extremely lacking with really no plot or depth to it. No real backround or back story for any of the characters makes them boring and I was not emotionally attached to any of them. And the litrpg elements where barely there just the most basic concepts but still lacking in my opinion.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Teitur Ásgeirsson
  • 01-26-19

GOOD BOOK

I have over 300 audible titles and I have to say that the narration and performance of this book is one of the best I've heard. It's a compelling universe with a great story and awesome characters

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  • sky
  • 02-08-19

Best one yet!

Amazing performance. Loved the sound effects and voice acting. Good story and originality. First 5 star i have actually meant.