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Life in the North: An Apocalyptic LitRPG

The System Apocalypse, Book 1
By: Tao Wong
Narrated by: Nick Podehl
Series: The System Apocalypse, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,654 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

All John wanted to do was get away for his life in Kluane National Park for a weekend. Hike, camp, and chill. Instead, the world comes to an end in a series of blue boxes, animals start evolving, and monsters start spawning. Now, he has to survive the apocalypse, get back to civilization, and not lose his mind. Life in the North is book one of the System Apocalypse, a litRPG apocalypse series that combines modern day life, science fiction, and fantasy elements along with game mechanics.

©2017 Tao Wong (P)2018 Tao Wong

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Performance

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Story

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  • adam
  • DAYTON, TEXAS, United States
  • 08-13-18

Great Book! Negative reviews are misleading!

This is a great LITRPG! I loved it! I bought book 2 and 3 already and can’t wait to listen to them.

WARNING ABOUT MISLEADING AUDIBLE REVIEW COMMENTS!!!
Despite being a LitRPG enthusiast I refused to read this book for multiple months because of the negative reviews. There was a similar trend of issues mentioned in audible comments which are typically red flags for books that I will not enjoy. These concerns were unfounded and I want to mention them just in case other listeners are deciding to not read this for the same reasons:
1. I cannot stand it when the main character is dumb or when stupidity drives plot. If I am fifteen minutes in and I keeps screaming “WHY DID YOU DO THAT?” then there is a high probability that the book is being returned. There were a lot of comments which seemed to suggest that the main character kept making dumb decisions or that his rage caused him to make dumb decisions. Yes…The main character has a rage problem, but other than some emo moments in the last ~10 minutes of the book I didn’t see it leading him to dumb decisions. In some ways I understood it. Minor spoilers…There was a moment when he sees a terrible sight and his “rage” drives him to want to kill a bunch of overpowered monsters that “an army would have trouble fighting.” His companion warns him not to, but he risks his life and moves in to fight anyways. At first I was slapping my head because I expected him to run into the middle of these monsters’ guns blazing. I was pleasantly surprised when he formulates a plan, which takes most of a day to implement, and manages to kill all of the monsters. A risky well executed plan leading to great rewards, thumbs up scene in my opinion.
2. This refers to the many comments mentioning “HOMOSEXUALS.” Typically I have a lot of trouble stomaching sex scenes in general. I prefer them to be vaguely hinted at and if not, I usually skip them because they are typically awkward to overhear or to melodramatic for me. For example; my heart was burning with such intensity that I worried it would melt through me, around him, and down my legs…
Really?
Really?
That being said explicit man-on-man sex or man-on-man emotions are a bigger turn off. I don’t think I’m homophobic, I believe in gay rights and really don’t care where you put your sexual organs, as long they are willing and past the age of consent. I think my issue is that when I read books I typically see myself as the main character and I don’t find men attractive. If I am putting myself into the viewpoint of someone who is pining over a wilder beast of a man, then its difficult for me to maintain immersion because I can’t see myself in that situation.
With all that being said, let me state that the “homosexual” sentences (because I can’t say there is a homosexual scene in the entire book) is so trivial that I am surprised anyone even mentioned them. I went into this expecting to be skipping chapters where the main character is having “ball slapping sex” with Joe the Lumber Jack. Instead I have maybe ten sentences in the entire book that may suggest the main character is Bi but prefers women. Not only that but other than a single sentence that states “I dabbled back in college.” the only male he seems to be attracted to is an elf who has a MAGICAL ABILITY WHICH MAKES PEOPLE ATTRACTED TO HIM. So the three scenes with the elf are pretty much like:
*Sees elf* “I want to kiss him.”
*Elf smiles coyly at him*
“I don’t trust him, and I don’t have time for this.”
The only other thing is that some people actually think that the main character is interested in this elf but the only actual sexual encounter he has is with a women and thankfully its pretty much just mentioned.

Legitimate concerns
These concerns did not impact my enjoyment of the book but if you are someone who can only spend a credit on a perfectly written book, then it may impact your enjoyment of it.
1. This is a LitRPG. If you don’t know the genre a writer uses role playing game themes or systems when creating their fantasy world. For example, a leveling system is used in this fantasy world. That being said some LitRPG enthusiasts will not enjoy this book as the LitRPG aspects are kinda light. Although I preferred it… rather then 10 minutes of reciting spreadsheets this book focuses more on the characters.
2. I felt like this book didn’t have a good antagonist, climax, or resolution. The closest thing to a main antagonist seems to be the world itself. When the book ended it left me wanting more and if there wasn’t a book 2 for me to immediately jump into I would have been disappointed.

87 of 97 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Interesting back drop but poor characters

I loved the story concept, but could not handle the juvenile pathetic male lead character. Very realistic of the millennial male, but i don't read fiction for the realistic character flaws!!!

literally could not finish this book. Daddy issues, mommy issues, sexual orientation issues, anger management issues, entitlement issues. Psychologists could write multiple doctorals on what's wrong with this dude.

The only redeeming part of this story is the concept, the quirky russian spirit sidekick and Nick Podehl.

I don't often give bad reviews... but good god this was terrible

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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

annoying main character

the worst character is by far the main character. I stopped the book half was and went through another before finishing it.

12 of 14 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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    3 out of 5 stars

Just couldn't get into it.

I usually like litRPG but this one wasn't for me. I made it half of the way through before I realized that I just didn't care about any of the characters or what happened to them. Always a bad sign.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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

Man Baby

30 year old male who constantly complains about daddy issues, rage issues and mommy issues.
#30 second skip

Nick the narrator is great as per

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

made it to chapter 3

The fact that MC dumps all stats in lunch (sigh), his attitude and thoughts as well as his spirits personality makes me quit. There is no way I'm going to like what is coming.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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

Dissapointed

I was really disappointed with the story. Listened for till the end and hoping that it will become better.

Main character is bland and not interesting. As if all story doesn't know where it will go.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Barely made it through

Not sure I could make it through another book in this series, the MC is just so gah. The non stop self pity, self deprecating and self recrimination is so heavy it makes me want to reach into this book and slap the crap out of him myself. Not really an enjoyable read at all.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

Interesting concept

Post apocalypse rpg is a very interesting concept. I may be old school in disliking the modern tech that's available but it makes sense for the story. What turned me away is how much it jumps around, sometimes hard to completely follow. Not a bad story by any means and I will, at a later date, come back to the following works to finish the series.

5 of 6 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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    3 out of 5 stars

mc

mc is lame and annoying and is all over the place especially towards the end

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Natalie @ ABookLoversLife
  • Natalie @ ABookLoversLife
  • 05-25-18

Unexpected!!

This book rocked!! I read the blurb and had a picture of what I thought it was about, but this is so much better than I thought. The plot was unique and intriguing!! The basic premise is that John needed a break and so went to Kluane National Park for the weekend, little did he know that his life is about to change beyond anything he ever thought! He wakes up to a world completely changed. He is living in a game, but it's not a game, it's real life and he needs to figure out how to survive and level up before it's too late! The plot was fast paced, intriguing and exciting!

I didn't really like John. I found his anger issues just.... weird and annoying. I felt like there was no need for them, but then again, maybe it's revealed in a later book!! All I know is that I had a hard time connecting with him. Not that I totally hated him, he did have some redeeming qualities and I'm hoping he grows a bit more in the next one.

The world building was the best thing about this book. I loved the idea behind it and feel like it's a novel and unique LitRPG book that everyone should read. I loved trying to figure out the world along with the characters. There is also a plethora of magical animals and beings to satisfy everyone. I fell in love with the world and can not wait for the next one!!

In all, a fun and fast read. It captured my attention right from the start and held it till the end. An intriguing and exciting book and I highly recommend!!

I've heard of Nick Podehl before but never listened to anything he has narrated, but that was my mistake because ,wow, he was amazing!! He had an array of tones and voices for all the characters and really brought this to life. It was like listening to a cast of characters instead of just one person. I've already added some of his other ones to my wish list.

I was given this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Maks
  • 04-26-19

Too many rage monologues

I saw someone write something similar before but I just can’t identify myself with the MC, I don’t know how it feels to have anger issues which probably explains why most of the MC’s monologues seemed irrational to me. Also the dark elf guy, I am not homophobic, but scenes with him were a bit uncomfortable to me. But besides that the story is fine. The world seemed to be shaping well and I hope there will be more dungeons. I just wish that John would maybe pay some attention to what’s happening in the towns and with people, because really his monologue are getting really annoying after some point. I am willing to give the next book a try and see where it goes from there.

5 of 5 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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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. R. Chvapil
  • 03-24-18

Interesting idea for a story

Do you have any additional comments?

During action it was easy to follow the story but often I found the changes between scenes and enviroments erratic and abrupt. It is just my feeling though so don't let me put you off this book. The idea for the story is really good and characters are unique. It's just the way the story flows made me loose track of it more times than I can count. But if you can ignore it, this is a good book overall.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-20-19

After first i bought the other 4.

Well as the title say i really liked it, The system is one hell of a world. Literpg skills and world build is quite important this got that and some intresting chars.

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
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ash
  • 09-17-18

Great story

More laughs per chapter than most LITRPG.
Due to both the writing and the performance of narrator.
Great different twist to the genre. And very funny.
If you’re looking for a good LITRPG to go for, this won’t disappoint you.

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
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  • Hitogami
  • 07-18-18

One of the best Listens

I just finished listening to this fantastic book. The main character i found to be sympathetic and understandable a guy just wanting to put his past behind him and live life when suddenly the world changes. The voice actor is able to carry of the multiple characters well and the writer builds a believable world. Far better than some of the LitRPG garbage out in the land. For anyone interested in gamelit you should give this a listen. i already plan on reading the authors other books in the series.

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
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  • Allan
  • 07-04-18

Really great story

Really great story, purchased the next book before I was even halfway through the first one. May have to buy the ebooks to carry on story.👍

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • CJ Silva
  • 07-01-18

TRUE LITRPG!!! 5 🌟 STARS PERFORMANCE!!!!

Life in the North is true a great idea and superbly well achieved and balanced with a bit off fight and base construction. Nick really much enjoy this because I can even feel the carecters emotions coming through!!! I can certainly said that I am in love with this series!!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Morris
  • 11-16-19

5* book

This book is the best post apocalyptic book. It contains everything you need. Action adventure and a great skill set. The mc adapts well to the end of the world and his companion is hilarious! on to the next book!!!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-22-19

Good story - not enough progression

The story is written quite well but it is very slow. Worth getting as I expect the next few book things will pick up.

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  • Mitch
  • 05-07-19

great book

very good book. quite enjoyable. battles go a bit fast but still very good. recommended reading for any litrpg or game player

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-14-18

I enjoyed both the story and the performance.

enjoyed it a lot. took a while to wrap my head around John and his emotional shortcomings but by the end I was hooked. my only complaint is the reading of stats and abilities gets tedious

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 06-28-18

book is awesome

I love this book from start to finish the characters are well written and have a human side to them. The narrator did a great job with the narration of this book and the author did a great job with the story.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • ellen.mike
  • 05-26-19

poor story substance

sadly the storyline race to hit and at no stage that I feel involved with anything that was going on fortunately the narrator carried the book to the end otherwise I would not have completed the read

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dean
  • 02-25-18

Unique but...

Nice bit of change from the normal type of litrpg but it’s a pretty standard MC who is the typical angry character, and then it’s a mess of writing jumping all over the place. Average.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful