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Publisher's Summary

Professional heroes kill and loot deadly monsters every day, but Gorm Ingerson's latest quest will be anything but business as usual.

The adventuring industry drives the economy of Arth, a world much like our own but with more magic and fewer vowels. Monsters' hoards are claimed, bought by corporate interests, and sold off to plunder funds long before the Heroes' Guild actually kills the beasts. Of course, that's a terrible arrangement for the Shadowkin; orcs, goblins, kobolds, and their ilk must apply for to become Noncombatant Paper Carriers (or NPCs) to avoid being killed and looted by heroes.

When Gorm Ingerson, a Dwarven ex-hero with a checkered past, stands up for an undocumented goblin, he inadvertently singles himself out for recruitment by a prophet of the mad goddess to undertake a suicidal quest. But there's more to Gorm's new job than an insane prophecy: powerful corporations and governments have shown an unusual interest in the quest. If his party of eccentric misfits can stop fighting each other long enough to recover the Elven Marbles, Gorm might be able to turn a bad deal into a golden opportunity.

©2014 John Zachary Pike (P)2016 John Zachary Pike

What listeners say about Orconomics: A Satire

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

High Fantasy meets Economics- hilarity ensues

Would you listen to Orconomics: A Satire again? Why?

Yes, I absolutely would. I really enjoyed the Pratchett-like mash-up of high fantasy, personal story development, humor and meticulous world-building. Replay value will be high on this, as a) it is genuinely funny without being "comedy haha." b) The economics check out. Orconomics isn't just pithy titling- it's the underpinning and motivating force in this world (and in truth, in every world). c) Despite the fact that the characters are ostensibly D&D player characters rendered into literature, they all delightfully both display and break every trope in the book. They are also refreshingly multidimensional and unpredictable. I can't break down specifics about how and why without giving away major plot points you truly want to have unfold in proper order- so I'll just stop here and endorse with a much vaunted "5 out of 5 elephants."

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

made me laugh out loud numerous times. Had to set down the stuff I was doing while I was listening 'til I could continue.

Any additional comments?

As a card carrying fantasy nerd and classically trained economist, this book scratches multiple sweet spots for me. Bravo sirrah.

76 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Holy shit

I was hoping for a great book. I got a phenomenal one instead. The narrator is great, the writing is excellent, the characters feel real and have real problems. The economy is not ignored and plays a role in the story. It's well thought out and makes logical sense. Would definitely recommend.

53 people found this helpful

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nice change of adventuring views

(spoiler free review) this book had me chuckling and there are some pokes at modern terms mixed in that I did not see coming, only to chuckle once I was in on the joke. there are many little jokes hidden behind the more obvious jabs, all wrapped up in well written humor and a great story to boot.

The story - which I was honestly figuring to be a throw away story initially - turned out to be one of my more engrossing reads of the last few years. It had a solid plot, a decent set of twists, and a likable cast of characters.

It was funny when it needed to be, and yet surprisingly serious when the story called for it.

what threw me off the most was how sensible the story flowed. Characters did things with a reason and had reasons for everything they did, which is something that is actually pretty hard to accomplish in writing. It can be even harder when trying to work around lingo, something the author has done masterfully here.

The audio was performed by a reader who really felt invested in the story, who cared about making each character memorable without overshadowing the others in any scene. And of making even the most garbled of dialects understandable and fun.

in short, I will be picking up any of this series I can find and I eagerly await the next audiobook ! I would recommend to anyone who likes the fantasy genre, whether for a laugh or for a good story. No doubt this has both!

42 people found this helpful

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Amazing!

Best book I've listened to in a long time. Incredible performance. I loved the voice of the goblin. Can't wait for the next one.

16 people found this helpful

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Awesome! Highly recommend

If you know some economics and details of the recent financial crisis, bits of this will be even funnier, but it's hilarious anyway. Excellently created characters that you want to discover more about. At times their development seems to jump forward suddenly, but it was a minor quibble. Can't wait to buy the next book!

12 people found this helpful

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World Building at its funniest!

Orconomics is a real treat. Can you imagine a world where the economy is driven by adventurers, and speculations on their success could dictate the market? Seriously, just think about it. Here's an example, "The Market dropped today as Sam and Frodo vanished from the Fellowship without a trace. Wizard Gandalf has reassured us that the mission will succeed, but stocks are lower than the hair on a hobbit's toes."

This is an original book, and brilliant in its concept. I really could feel a Pratchety/Adams vibe, but the book is also deadly serious at times and it works. This is a joking but not so joking look at our corporate society, our own greed is good mentality, and the way we are destroying ourselves in the quest for the almighty dollar. There were parts in which I literally burst out laughing, and other times when I didn't find the commentary so funny, and that was completely intended by Pike. He really knows how to write a fascinating story, while making subtle points. I think he is a cultural economicist or something. Can you imagine a character having to deal with corporate politics, bureaucratic red tape, and financial conspiracies just to go out and do some adventuring. Look, this is really funnier than it sounds. But you have to admit that you will never hear the term corporate raider the same way again.

Doug Tisdale Jr. really plays this one like he was holding all the aces. He is just excellent, and I have to say he has some pretty darn good comedic timing and knows how to tell funny. He could have seriously dropped the ball, and not told it with that wink in his eye like he does. He can narrate. There is no question of that here. 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. In fact, 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!!!

18 people found this helpful

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Never have I laughed at economics this way.

This book adds humor in smart ways and makes the economic tones make story sence more then just having a gimic to make it interesting it adds so much to already great story.

8 people found this helpful

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Book is genius

The author is brilliant. Enjoyed every minute of this book. Combining high fantasy with the stock exchange seems like it would be odd but it turns out to be awesome. Would recommend this book to any fantasy fan.

8 people found this helpful

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Dwarves and orcs and elves and more, OH My!

Disclaimer: I am not a gamer, but I have a great appreciation for satire and fantasy. I am sure the gamers get more of the inside jokes. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this saga, and was disappointed that because the author has a separate work life, the sequel is not available. I read a lot of fantasy and science fiction, and listen to more. This was one the the more enjoyable. I didn't necessarily laugh out loud, but I did snicker often. I appreciated the gentle life lessons along the adventure road; the flaws of the Heroes; and the amoral economics of the Questing nation. Buy and listen, you won't regret it.

22 people found this helpful

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A fun romp

There have been a number of this humorous takes on the D&D / Warcraft type universe. Many that focus on the world as a game and others that simple borrow game mechanics but give them a logical consistency in the world of the story. This is one that keeps it own logical consistency. Characters get XP and level up but its done through membership in a guild etc. for example.

I have read quite a few of this general theme, and quite like J. Zachary Pike's take on the sub genre. The story is interesting, the humor is pleasing. There is one seen about "Aggressive sales tactics" that had me laughing loud enough to get funny looks from my wife.

Overall I quite enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun ride.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Astrid Deacon
  • 01-22-17

Absolutely loved this book!

As a roleplayed I fully appreciated the characters & their higinks. A great story and well narrated, can't wait for book 2 to be released!!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-06-21

Fun, versatile, unexpectedly moving

Skillful narration and pacing.
Fun nerding.
Involving character stories.
Touching drama.
Engaging moral discussion.
Delightful!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-14-21

a great tale

This story surprised me, I came in with low expectations and they were thoroughly surpassed. This book was a great story if growth and friendship

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  • Robert
  • 01-08-21

Well done satire, funny & subverts fantasy tropes

The references to business and capitalism are ever present and work well within the world's guild of hero's and monetary system. it's a humorous book that often doesn't take itself too seriously but the stakes are there and it can deal with the darker side of hero's killing orcs for loot. What about the orcs? the goblins who are hunted down and starving, just trying to find food. Its well performed with a lot of variation on the voices.

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  • Ethan Houldin
  • 09-29-20

DnD gets meta

Well written with alluring characters and great comedy. Will immediately be starting the second book in the series.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-23-20

Worthy successor to Pratchett satire

At last a book worthy to sit along side my discworld collection. I thought I would never find another like Pratchett but JZ Pike is definitely in the right vain.
Fantastic Satire for our economic Times.

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  • Swords and Spectres
  • 09-01-20

Absolutely loved this funny fantasy romp

Orconomics won the Mark Lawrence's Self Published Fantasy Blog Off in 2018 and I have been meaning to read it ever since. I'm glad I held off and opted for the audio version instead as Doug Tisdale Jr brings not only the book, but the characters to life in ways I wouldn't have been able to in my head. His voice of the goblin is especially wonderful.

Unlike most comedy novels, this one revolves around economics and the trials and tribulations of making and losing money in an adventuring world where adventure-based profit is rapidly drying up. That may sound dull and tedious, but it really isn't. It provides an excellent backdrop to a wonderfully told fantasy story.

The characters and the rivalries or relationships between them made for an interesting party to follow. A boisterous bard (who's an ex thief), a pair of mages who's respective orders are bitter rivals, a disgraced dwarf with a fondness of goblins and so many more intriguing characters make up for a fairly unique party.

I didn't go into this expecting a range of emotions much beyond polite giggles and general laughter. What I was treated to were emotions ranging from happiness, to sadness, laughter to shock and, above all, that 'why ... just why would you do that?' kind of betrayal feeling when an author goes and does something you don't expect. Certain aspects of this novel hit me far harder than any 'serious' novel I have read int he past.

Orconomics is also one of those rare comedy novels that doesn't rely on dick jokes or swearing or any form of crass humour. It features intelligent, subtle or situation-based humour that made me feel as though the story being told could work as either comedy or serious.

I can fully see why Orconomics won in 2018 and I'll certainly be trying out many more offerings from J. Zachary Pike. Some authors are so talented that you just wanted to give them your money as you're desperate to help them keep creating content for you to enjoy for years to come. Pike is one of those authors.

Anyone who's in a rut and not sure what to read, I'd highly recommend this novel to you. It'll lift you, knock you down and make you feel engaged in ways you seriously wouldn't have expected.

It also has a purse kobold. What's cooler than that? For those of you not aware of what a purse kobold might be ... picture a cute little dog being carried around in Paris Hilton's handbag ... and swap it out for a cute little fantasy monster instead.

I'll certainly be trawling through the old SPFBO novels from years past. Can't be missing out on so many hidden gems.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-14-20

the story draws you in

Well written, entertaining story which uses charicature and comedy to lightheartedly address serious themes. Pike's intelligent writing portrays allegories in the Arth world of significant themes of our own modern life, from economics and drug addiction to classism and racism. The story builds as the world is developed for the reader and, whilst I wasn't hooked at first, I found the characters and plot grew on me.
looking forward to dipping my toe into book two soon.

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  • Daniel Davies
  • 06-06-20

Brilliant spin on fantasy

Fantastically written, well performed. definitely worth your time.

Can’t wait for more drone J Zachary Pike.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-11-20

Not for everyone

Although not a huge part, this book will be much more enjoyable if you know a little bit about economics. And funnier.
That beside, i think the story was well written and a fun spin on the hero troupe system.

The narrator was also great. remarkable how he managed to make a guy sound punchable from the first sentence uttered.

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  • Craig McSpellcheck
  • 06-06-19

Worth the read.

Thought it was becoming predictable but man was i wrong. Give it a chance. This is NOT another trope ridden alfa male story that ticks off a list of fantasys for neards. Betrayal, emotional highs and lows, vulnerability of real friendships all wrapped up in a washed up volant grumpy axe swinging greedy bastard of a dwarf story. Buying the second book now...

1 person found this helpful

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  • Christopher La Trobe
  • 12-25-19

full of fun

loved this book and son of a litch. can't wait for dragomfired. one of my all time favourites

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-24-19

Doug and Zachary made something great here

Doug and Zachary have with narration and writing created an engaging world with characters that could take a swing right out of my head phones. Not had many good listens ir reads lately, so this perked me right up, the bastards in the story are great to hate and the washed up adventurers are superb protagonists. Perfect read for my long drives around town, looking forward to more.

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  • Rainer G.
  • 06-29-19

Great great great

Great characters, great writing, great plot, and very well read. If you're a fan of D&D this is a must-read/listen.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Battis
  • 03-17-19

Excellent

Such an excellent and different take on a fantasy setting, enjoyed every part of this book. Highly recommend for any D&D players or fantasy fans.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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