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Publisher's Summary

A deserted island. An impregnable fortress. Step up or be stepped on.

Gus is a henchman separated from his friends at his new job, a henchman on an orbiting space base. He's happy with the gig, and has no real delusions of grandeur. Well...small delusions, but he’s seen all too often what happens to minions that get too uppity around their supervillain bosses.

His father had pulled a few strings and landed him a henchman position in hopes he could make something of himself. Before he's barely gotten used to the job, Gus narrowly escapes the base's destruction and is chucked at the planet below. The only reason he survived the fall was a damaged escape pod and the activation of his own latent powers. Marooned on a deserted island and yet somehow being hunted, Gus needs to step up and become the master of his own story.

Gus is a henchman, some would now say a villain, so there’s no chance of a hero coming to his rescue.

©2020 Carl Stubblefield (P)2020 Mountaindale Press

What listeners say about Lair

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A reluctant 4 stars.

I’m bumping my rating up to a 4 for the interesting way that the author created the universe and systems in this audiobook. On the whole I enjoyed the book, but there is a major flaw in the pacing. The performance is what we have come to expect from Travis Baldree. No complaints there. The writing is executed well, and while the schlubby, unmotivated MC is a bit of a whiner, it’s not as overdone as is common in other LitRPGs.

The real flaw in this book is that only about 30-40% of it is actually plot or character driven. Because the MC is stranded on a desert island there’s not a whole lot of opportunity for the MC to interact with other interesting characters. The other 60-70% of the story is just stat and skill development with very little plot to move it forward. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like a Jonathan Brooks novel where the author just dryly info dumps on you for 5 hours without any real character activity. Stubblefield at least does a good job of having combat and training act as the catalyst for the stat and skill development.

That said, we get the vast majority of the main storyline in the first few hours, then some minor hints and flashbacks throughout the rest of the book. Then finally everything wraps up in about 45 minutes with startling rapidity. This story has potential, and given that this is a new author I am hoping that the next book will address this issue.

The universe and story have a whole lot of opportunities to be extremely exciting and interesting. Mr Stubblefield just needs to do a better job of keeping the pace consistent and the plot driving forward. If you’re a GameLit fan this is worth a credit. With any luck some decent sales will give this new author the opportunity to make the next book live up to the potential that is represented in his first effort.

19 people found this helpful

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

Great with a few issues I couldn't let go

This book is a very fun and very unique entry into the genre.

The music and pop culture references are extremely well done. The powers are frankly weird and the puns are solid.

The plot overall is very good and anyone complaining of him not interacting with anyone is silly. He interacts with his companion the entire time. By not introducing too many characters the author can fully develop Gus, his powers, backstory and world build. Its not a flaw its perfect for a first book.

Now on to why I gave it 4 stars. As solid as this book is there are a few very annoying holes I could not ignore. Spoilers:
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1) Gus gets a specialization and does not spend even 30 seconds looking through what it should be. We are not made aware of any choices he could have. He does not talk them over in his head or with his companion. Nope he just picks energy absorption, 10 seconds flat. As if he had been waiting for that moment his entire life. He didn't get any explanation for it, didn't know what it does, didn't compare it to anything despite it being a monumental choice. Then miraculously that power is needed to save them day. That's fine but why and how did he do that?

The answer is the author did it. Not him and that's terrible writing.

2) He had no way of knowing mediocus was the bad guy, none. No inclination the guy is still alive or evil. Yet at the end of the book they say "let's go fight mediocus"....ummm. Did I miss a chapter because it was a nameless, faceless enemy and a point of origin for zombies and magma. It was never mentioned it was him. How did they know?

These two moments are terrible editing and writing. They pulled me out. However I did enjoy and will be getting book 2. Just come on. Make it natural and pay attention. I should never feel the "because I said so" plot nonsense. Gus couldn't have known those things so introduce them in a better more natural way like the rest of the book.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fun super hero litrpg!

I enjoyed this first book in a super hero litrpg series. I found some of the gamification elements to be unique and I appreciated the inventiveness. I enjoyed the pop culture (gaming and music mostly) references. I look forward to hearing more!

2 people found this helpful

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Liked it

good story but to be honest i don't know if the MC is op or not also what happened to the little girl that released the virus?

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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It was worth taking a chance on

great story the main is actually relatable vary good book overall looking forward to the next one!

2 people found this helpful

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EXCELLENCE

yeah, figured this would be a good series, so I bought all available with book one, and THIS BOOK IS EXCELLENT!!! So I'm expecting more excellence in the next book and looking forward to it.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

great read!

It took me a few chapters to get into, but once I did I was hooked! I really enjoyed the pop culture/music references! Carl definitely has great taste in movies and music!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book worth a read

Kinda slow. Not a ton of story, but it’s solid. I liked this book a lot. Interesting and solid plot.

Only complaint is that the MC was a little less concerned about the main point of him leveling. Great over all though.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

a good listen

it's an easy book to get into. sure there are a few plot points that seem off. yes it's almost exclusively focused on the mc, seriously if you like a story with multiple fleshed out characters, this book may not before you. future books in the series may have more characters but this one is skimpy on em. however it still a fun listen and I'm looking forward to future installments

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

over all a good book

so this is a fun superhero/litrpg ish book.
gus is an interesting and enjoyable character to follow.
I debated for a bit if I wanted to give this three or four stars.
I decided four given it is an enjoyable first book with a lot of up sides. works building, unique power system, main character that is fun and likable.

really my only downsides are 1: there was literally no side character in this once he landed on the island. now it makes sense logically but it does decrease the enjoyment a tiny bit.
2: well I love the skills he unlocked so far and would love to see more. I'd like his super powers to be settled on 2-3 powers.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Wayne Knighton
  • 12-06-20

A good foundation

First 10-15 miinutes I wasn't sure where this was going, but things started to get more interesting and whilst there were no major plot twist it was an enjoyable yarn.
The usual LitRPG progression with a lot of pop culture thrown in.
And as all good books in a series it finished on a cliff hanger just when the hero thinks his work is done....
Well read.
I look forward to the next installment.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • AJAS
  • 01-26-21

Smart LitRPG

I was lucky enough to get this book for free, however, I am now buying the series!

It started out in a very different way than I was expecting but it sets up the rest of the book perfectly. Well narrated and fast paced it’s a really good LitRPG book if you like books like Ritualist then you will like this for sure.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • blip
  • 11-21-20

Great start

Really liked this book. Mc is realistic in his decisiom making and his powers arnt crazy op. Narrator is amazing as always.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Xravia
  • 12-03-20

A bit too luck driven.

Its called chance for a reason, lucky moments happen one after another which the following lucky moments would not have occured without the previous thing happening and so on. with a steadily progressing difficulty scale irl and the song mechanic which doesn't make sense as his nanotechnology should be running out of power but he can lap the island without repercussions, no training and it helps him aswell?

the ability is literally broken and the guy isnt even a musician, the sound design doesn't even play the songs in the background. this is the third book in a tow that the mcs main weapon is a naganata. The mc gets a free high tech base because he had no super powers prior to almost dying and landing inside the force field. The entire book hyped up the boss fight yet it wasnt even good and the backstory was wasted as the mc would never know what the main villian experienced as he playlisted and 'surprised' boss with the main villians memories.

countdown timer had no suspense especially with the shifting goal posts. The only parts I enjoyed was the MCs motivational speach near the end and at the start where he built up his character by trying new things which got pretty much abandoned.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-28-20

not that good, misleading synopsis

pretty standard litrpg. didnt do the sypnosis any justice. travis as good as always. wouldnt reccomend unless you are a big fan of litrpgs