• Life in Exile Books 1-3

  • A LitRPG Series Box Set
  • By: Sean Oswald
  • Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
  • Length: 59 hrs and 23 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (1,002 ratings)

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Life in Exile Books 1-3

By: Sean Oswald
Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
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Publisher's summary

This isn't a game. This is his new life.

An epic LitRPG adventure about a family trapped in a game-world called Eloria with no way out.

Dave has been wandering through life for a long time. His day job bores him, and he never seems to be able to meet his family's expectations. The only escape he's ever had is his love of MMORPGs. 

But when he becomes the subject of a test without even knowing it, he's transported into a game-world called Eloria with no escape. It's a frequent daydream of his; however, in none of those dreams did his wife and daughter ever accompany him. 

Now, Dave must balance protecting his family with exploring his dream...oh, and trying to stay alive. Monstrous beasts roam Eloria; worst of all, an undead army led by the vile Death Knight.

He'll have to adapt fast and learn to cooperate if he hopes to make a new home for his family. And just maybe, along the way, he'll find out why they're living a life in exile.

Experience the first three books in a LitRPG saga perfect for fans of C.M Carney, Blaise Corvin, and Charles Dean.

Narrated by Peter Berkrot (Alpha World, Earth Force). More than 50 hours.

©2020, 2021 Aethon Books (P)2021 Aethon Audio

What listeners say about Life in Exile Books 1-3

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Book written for women?

I'm a little confused. Seems like author is purposely making male main character who is a Dad and Husband weak and dumb and useless. I don't get it. Sean do you not have the chops to write a good book where all people are complex and deep and awesome as well as flawed? Or did you just want to raise your female readership? I must be missing something. Look at Elizabeth Moon. Maybe a top 10 author all time man or woman. Wrote a female MC. She is incredible. She is vulnerable and tough and lost and a leader. At the same time the men written are just as diligently complex with no bias. Maybe it's just more obvious today that not all authors are created equal. Male or female.

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36 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Great idea for a story, but utterly fumbled

The concept behind the story is awesome. Unfortunately, the author utterly fumbles the story. There are numerous quality/editing issues with the story itself, cases where the author re-uses the quotes at the start of chapters, or where he has one character start a sentence, but seems to forget midway who is speaking, and merges it with a sentence from another character, and cases where he seems to forget details such as skills assigned to characters previously.

That was all in book one. When I started book 2, I found myself utterly disgusted and could not bring myself to continue the series. Completely regretting the credit I spent on this.

Book 1 leaves on a bit of a cliffhanger, and book 2 picks up the instant book 1 ends, yet somehow there is still a timegap. Not only is there a timegap, but substantial things took place in that timegap, such as the MC meeting the king, getting the king's approval, getting the royal wizard's aid, and becoming a Baron, but NONE of those things are mentioned in the story. It's almost like the author decided to start book 2 off at a certain place and then retroactively tried to explain how the MC got there. It doesn't mention him becoming a Baron either, except when he opens his Character sheet, you see his title. That's the sort of thing you think would be mentioned in the story....along with an explanation of why the MC spent time doing that instead of chasing the goblin who kidnapped his 8 yr old kid.

The narration is pretty bad as well. Aside from the narrator droning on like Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, he also mangles the accents he tries to give the characters. Don't get me wrong...I love it when a narrator can protray different tones, pitches, and accents for the various characters, but that sort of thing takes practice that this narrator hasn't seemed to put in. When trying to portray the MC's wife's hispanic accent, he starts off with a hispanic accent, switches to an Irish accent, and then ends up with something completely different. If you can't pull off the accent, don't try in the first place...it completely breaks the immersion into the story.

Verdict: Great story concept that is utterly destroyed by terrible writing and narration. Save your credits for something else.

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33 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Hmm

Dude does most of the combat takes way more damage gets way less exp for kills then the females … how progressive … narration is amazing

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20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Probably won't finish.

I've been in this story for a few hours now and I swear Emily is the most infuriating character I've had to listen to or about. Her toxic personality detracts from my ability to enjoy this one. Doesn't appreciate her husband's need to unwind after working 60 hours a week, belittles his hobby, and then when they end up in a world he has more knowledge of than her she refuses to even consider his suggestion without an aggressive interaction. If I do finish this I wouldn't be surprised if she gets everyone killed, though I doubt the author will skip using plot armor to keep her toxic attitude from inevitably killing everyone.

update as of the end of book 2 and midway through book three. If you have issues with nonsensical flashbacks over and over and over, this book will annoy you to no end. If you have issues with MCs being completely incompetent and only surviving due to plot armor, give this series a pass. If you don't like Mary sue characters, then I'd avoid this series. With the exception of bumbling Jackson, every one of the Nelson's just over power the hell out of the 'dire' threats their stupidity places them against. Over all this book is frustrating and proving to be a serious challenge to finish.

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18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Flawed but Still Good

With indie writers you're sometimes going to see problems that an editor or even beta-readers who are prolific readers or writers would have pointed out before publishing and this is even more true with LitRPGs that are written at a pace aimed at a fandom requesting regular updates, and that is definitely the case for these novels. There are weird inserts with characters who have never been introduced to the main narrative and with actions that are not yet relatable to the main narrative that the author describes as "interludes", but they kill the pacing and they aren't even given their own chapter breaks so that they can easily be skipped. The second novel would be unforgivable in that it ends without a climax or denouement except for the fact that it is being sold in this three book set, and there are numerous minor, but still jarring, plot holes.

Having said all that, I still enjoyed this read and I plan to continue purchasing the series because there is a wonderful story to enjoy if you can get past these faults, and, if these faults were edited and the series was released again as a director's cut, I think that it could grow greatly in popularity.

Some of the reviews I read previously were from people who freaked out about some religious themes, but even if you don't like religion, I can attest that this series does not preach and the concept involved is actually very interesting: what would happen if a devout Christian was itsekai'd into a world that had a different pantheon and thus a different god equivalent to the one they worshiped in our world, but that the new world's god was in a fantasy world and made their existence known through direct communication and empowerment? It is one of the more enjoyable themes in the book, but still not even a central theme. If you're one of those kids who thinks that any discussion of ethics is social justice and you just want extremely shallow game stats and male fantasy fulfillment; well, you'll get both, so maybe this isn't for you.

The narration does a good performance of the narration and the emotions of a scene but is not gifted at performing different voices or even many different dialects. As a result, with a cast this large, it is only a good performance. It is still a fun listen, and you'll understand what is going on in scenes even when numerous people are talking. Personally, I had to speed up the listening speed by 20% to make it seem a normal human pace though.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story. Better when read to me 100%!

Love the story in these books. Kept me wanting to not put it down. The characters are believable and not over the top.

The visuals (ok audiovisual) were easy to imagine and character progression wasn't hard to follow. Great stats progression. Honestly wish it was longer!

Characters *****
Places *****
Pace *****
Stats *****+1
Overall ***************

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6 people found this helpful

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

Flawed Gem, cut and set badly, unfortunately.

First let me say, I made it through all three books. I intend to read the next book. All because there is a spark of a good idea here, it's just that it is burred under some very poor writing and baffling choices. Like other reviews, I agree, the author seems to forget things and try's to play it off as the characters forgetting things instead. It does add to the tension yes, but is overused to the point where you think the protagonist family are all suffering from brain damage. The most realistic portrayal seem to be that of the youngest daughter who is consistent and believable in motivation and action.

It is frustrating because they all seem to oscillate between reasonable multi faceted characters, and two dimensional devas from one scene to another. There are some in story reasons this "might" be explained, however the execution reads more as inconsistent writing than as a choice made by the author.

I have also come to the opinion that several choices and directions in plot seem to be intended to obscure the intentions of the author more than to add to the overall story or plot. So much so, that while reading this, the main antagonist to me seemed to be the author not any of the characters created in the work. There are moments of what I would describe as faux preaching; where I begin to suspect the intention is to undermine the very ideals being preached about. Also I see choices made specifically to infuriate a certain type of reader, I believe the intent is to make the reader dislike many of the characters. The characters (in general) suffer from the "everybody is emotionally a tanager" syndrome. Yes even Mom and Dad.

The good, shines through where the the author is trying to create a thematic narrative. It seems consistent and multi level. I just do not have a lot of confidence from what we have so far it will be executed well.

The books also are a good example of how to provide detail in LitRPG without drowning the reader in minutia of numbers. Magic is best explainable in the way of analogy, and not in the way of a mechanics guide. There is great restraint from over explaining, and allowing the effects and results to speak for themselves. While I wish there was less stat page reading, it is part of the Genre. The unknown, and blind exploration of the protagonists, their (non preternatural) theories about the system is the right direction to take. I will not say its the best handling of this area, it is however above average.

Overall.... its Ok? I would not recommend it; but if you enjoy the Genre, it will scratch that itch for you.

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

decent

a decent litrpg well worth the credits. Some parts are really relatable for a married man. Others are less so

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4 people found this helpful

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

Amazing!

More, I need more of this world. Love the people in it and the story so far.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Listener received this title free

Awesome series that really comes to life in audio

Almost three full days of great Litrpg for a single credit? Can’t ask for much more than that. But this is an awesome story with a fantastic narrator. Love the crunch level, the characters, everything

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3 people found this helpful