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Publisher's Summary

Morgan used to be a pretty normal guy. He went to college by day and played online games by night, leading his guild into new conquests - until he got hit by a car and a dude wearing a wet suit appeared in front of him. The man offered him a new chance at life in a world he had created, a world with similar rules to the games Morgan loved to play. There is the promise of great rewards and power, he says, if Morgan manages to complete the Tower of Power. Stupid name, I know.  

Morgan didn't usually trust strangers who seem to have god complexes, but he was in a pinch. There's a crazy-looking dude saying he is technically not a god on one end of the tunnel and a blinding light on the other end - and he was really not digging the light.   

So he accepted the offer from the surfer god-not-god.  

Getting dropped into a strange new world with no idea what the rules are was not something Morgan was a fan of; and in this strange world, it seems like everything is out to eat his face. It was a good thing, then, that he stumbled onto two half-elf twins willing to help him get the hang of this strange new world.   

Now, all he needs to do is survive long enough to reach this tower.

©2018 Ivan Kal (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about Guild Master

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Fine time filler if you can shut your brain off.

The overall story idea for this book is not new, but that is not a bad thing. Someone dies, god-like figure offers an alternative, queue western isekai story. The concept of the new world is interesting. A bit of a different take on how things work, and how the game-like elements fit into the setting. Good stuff so far. The overall plot is honestly pretty good as well, if not a bit predictable. The thing that kills everything for me is the characters and their interactions.

There is no effort at all put into the characters. The main character is about as cardboard cut-out 'nice guy power fantasy' as you can get, and the rest of the characters in the book exist to make him look better. Literally the first woman he meets in the book is bombshell that throws herself at him. The other male party member is a voice of dissent that always talks up against the main character right before the main character is proven right. None of this is wrong I suppose, but there is nothing to digest with this story. The best attempt at character building I can remember was a hamfisted approach to hinting at a 'dark past' and 'repressed memories' of the main character. Now when I say hamfisted, I mean the whole story comes to a halt for a bit while the author sits there with a megaphone and whispers that the main character is bottling up his old memories. As cringe-worthy as that was to sit through, it literally gets brought to the surface and resolved like 1 chapter after it is first 'hinted' at. Like what was the point.

I might be being a bit harsh on this book, but it was just tough to get through for me. If I had to summarize the overall 'feel' I got from the book, it would be 'store brand Emerilia'. If that is what you are looking for right now, this might just be the book for you.

13 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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worth the credit.

definitely worth the credit. only complaint is that for the story arc it borrowed elements form other stories. i.e The Land series and Two Week Curse.

16 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

lacks the umph and intrigue.

I can't help but feel the story was written simply because they could. All of the characters lack significant development and depth. including the MC.

makes it difficult to relate to any of the decisions being made throughout the story since the whole story fills like it you are just getting the surface. also it feels like alot of content has been removed.

hate when books do that. not sure if they are purposefully trying to reduce listen times. which is a bad goal. longer books are better.

14 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved the story line

I really enjoyed the storyline and how the RPG gaming comes together. Can’t wait for more of the story!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A bit of a rough start but now my favorite!

I have to admit that I almost returned this books a few chapters in but so glad I did not. This is now my all time favorite audio book. The first few chapters where rough and like Stephen R. Donaldson's Lord Foul's Bane's Thomas Covenant character I did not like this stories protagonist at first. But Mr. Kal adds a great supporting cast and fortunately you get to see the main character mature. I have been an avid reader, table top game player, and MMO fan for a very long time and have ready many books from this new LitRPG genre. Frankly a lot of them leave me wanting and feeling cheated but something about this story and the way it plays out really grabbed hold of me and won't let go. I have listened to this story 6 times now and have already purchased the kindle version of the next book in the series and pre ordered the audible edition. The author's approach to game theory and how magic might work has been very interesting as well as refreshing.
Now to be fair and honest a few areas do draw some fair criticism but I as can see improvement as this story arc develops. I am so enthused about this author that I am even checking out his original sci fi works and hope to see more from him. The Narrator does a fantastic job as well and was an excellent choice for this story.

5 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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YA novel

22 y/o male who thinks and acts like a 15 y/o + copy paste senario's from other litrpg books

I wish ratings still mattered

18 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

slow start.

Good start to the series. There was some nice character growth. Most people seemed very naive.

7 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Teenagers, Why

OMG
Why is the main character a 22 year old teenager. The story revolves around teenage innocence and stupidity. I could not finish it.

20 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Standard sword and sorcery LitRPG

Ivan Kal's Guild Master is the first book in the Tower of Power series. It's a quite standard sword and sorcery LitRPG book. It's an easy read, but not amazing.


The plot is a pretty standard LitRPG story; there's a sword and sorcery world where Ascended (adventurers) live. They're more powerful than an average human and level up by killing monsters with the goal to climb a tower, which is a test given to the world by god. A "normal" human from our world dies and is sent to this world by the god, in this case because of a mysterious "experiment" (which we hopefully will get to know more about later in the series).


There isn't much to complain about regarding the plot, it's pretty much what I usually go for. That said, the pacing is pretty bad. It feels like 70% of the book is dedicated to either develop the main character (Morgan)'s "relationship" with the girl(s) which will eventually become his harem, or to make Morgan look good.


The fight scenes, which I think were well written, and arguably the best part of the book, are about the last 30%. The grand battles that happens are essentially skipped over.


Kal uses a standard Dungeons and Dragons-style class system, but with a different magic system, which is more standard when compared to most fantasy (no tiers and charges, for those who play DnD). I'm happy with him changing the magic system, since I'm not a big fan of the DnD system, apart from it being good at balancing the game, so that's a plus. I also like how he use the ascension crystals as a way to create a weakness for the ascended (although that doesn't make any difference for Morgan in the end).


The problem I have with the class system is that it's built up as if leveling up is difficult to do, but even so, the main Cast levels up at least once every chapter (note the "at least"), which kind of ruins a lot of the difficulty of the world.


The characters are… good. The elf twins are interesting enough, and the roman (yes, there's a roman in this book, or rather, a descendant of a legionnaire from an alternate universe where Rome didn't fall) is pretty cool.


Morgan, though, grinds my gears a lot. He's supposed to be a gamer (exclusively picked by the god to try something new in the experiment), but he really doesn't act like one. Every 20 seconds he either shouts at the god in his head ("Damn you Oxy!") or complains about "gods-not-gods". Had it not been too often, this would've been fine, but it's pretty annoying as it is now.


He's also supposed to have "dark past", which is "hinted" at every minute or so in the first 75% of the book, then revealed, just to basically never being mentioned again.


Now, the world building is probably one of the better parts of the book. Instead of a magical world where everyone are happy, Kal writes up more of a grimdark world with no resurrection upon death (quite unusual for LitRPGs) and even weak monsters being strong enough to kill even seasoned ascended with a bit of bad luck. Ascended need to kill increasingly more dangerous monsters to get purer ascension crystals to survive, and the Guilds rule the world. Former chosen (people like Morgan, who've been sent there by the god) have more or less died within a few days of entering the world.


Sadly, Kal completely skips put on this when it comes to Morgan and his companions. It's true that Morgan almost dies in the beginning, but after that, he's essentially invulnerable, having no problems these supposedly "dangerous" weak monsters, he somehow has an unlimited supply of "difficult to acquire" ascension crystals, and creates his own guild half-way through the book (90% of a grudge towards one person, which somehow turns into a hate for all guilds).


There isn't much to comment on regarding the narration. It's okay, not bad nor good.


Overall, it's a pretty standard LitRPG book, it does some things well, and some things… less well. I'll probably read at least the second part, which was the one that made me want to read the series in the first place.


I give the book 5/10 (both for narration and story).

1 person found this helpful

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

A poor report of a lucky simpleton

I did not like the report of this story. The main character was an simpleton, and most events were an uninspired list of actions sprinkled with internal dialog.

The narrator did well given the material.
Perhaps this is an ok story for a fan of the genre, but not the best execution of LitRPG by far.

I hope the author keeps trying, because the universe had potential.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Reuben schoneveld
  • Reuben schoneveld
  • 03-19-20

Story was good

I enjoyed it. Bit short only 8 hours still a simple enjoyment out of an easy listening story