Ritualist

Completionist Chronicles, Book 1
Narrated by: Vikas Adam
Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins
5 out of 5 stars (8,222 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The decision to start a new life is never an easy one, but for Joe the transition was far from figurative. Becoming a permanent addition to a game world, it doesn't take long to learn that people with his abilities are actively hunted. In fact, if the wrong people gained knowledge of what he was capable of, assassins would appear in droves. 

In his pursuit of power, Joe fights alongside his team, completes quests, and delves into the mysteries of his class, which he quickly discovers can be practiced only in secret. Ultimately, his goal is to complete every mission, master every ability, and learn all of the world's secrets. All he has to do is survive long enough to make that happen.

©2018 Dakota Krout (P)2018 Tantor
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Why Elon Musk?

The story is really great but, the vague references to Elon Musk soon turn into him being an actual backing character. Everytime he's mentioned it just pulls be out of the story and back to reality making the book less enjoyable than it would be.
It was kind of funny the first time but quickly got annoying.

18 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Ritual is necessary for us to know anything

I really did not want to like this book. I wanted Dakota Krout to keep putting out his Divine Dungeon series until it was finished. Now, I'm torn. I still want the Divine Dungeon series, but now I also want MORE Ritualist. Krout is an incredible writer, and you get sucked into the story immediately. I appreciate how he gets the character of Joe into the game quickly and doesn't really screw around with all the usual angst or cognitive dissonance most MC's display when they are about to go into a virtual world permanently. Nope, we go straight into the game, and we are better for it.

I really appreciate that Joe gets a secret class, with special skills, and that he works for a hidden god. It's fun watching him try to keep things straight, because once the cat is out of the bag then he loses all kinds of benefits. And he has some sweet skills. The only thing that really throws me off is that the MC, Joe, enters the VR permanently because he is a quadrapalegic, and still opts to get a body that will be winded from walking to fast and can be beheaded from a paper cut. You would expect him to take a healthy vibrant body, but I will say his choice does make sense if you consider that he is in it for the long haul. He has a long distance perspective that few others have. Additionally, Krout is about the only dude I know that can make a healer not only exciting but totally a bad grass mamajamma. Most people go swordsman, rogue, or wizard. Dakota manages to make the cleric interesting. Plus the ritual stuff and the occultist proffesion suck you in.

Vikas Adams had me waaaaay back with the Divine Dungeon number one, Dungeon Born. I loved his characterizations and the humor he injects with his voice. There are few narrators who are as skilled as he is, and he really moves the story along at his pace. The man is a pleasure to listen to, and his female voices are just as good as his male ones.

I gove Krout points for including a nod to my beloved Dungeon, Cal, in this book and can see the similarities in attitudes. Both are fair, easily annoyed, and ready to dole out proper punishments and rewards. Can we see a nod to everyone's favorite wisp in the next book, Dakota?

I loved the cover, the wolfman looks awesome, and we get to see Joe right in the middle of a ritual. It looks slick, and you know that this book is going to feature some hardcore monsters and some deadly magic. Lava Worms, anyone? Joe is a fun character, and I really look forward to seeing more of him in the future. Now, we just need to get the Divine Dungeon series caught up and I'll be satisfied. YOU will be satisfied if you get this book. This is, without question, one of the best LitRPG/GameLit books I've ever read! 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!!!

280 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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This is Isekai gold. Ignore the misleading sample

NO SPOILERS
I wish Audible chose a better section for the sample because it's like someone only letting you taste the plate part of a steak dinner.
If you love isekai, which refers to a genre of anime where the character is "from another world", just stop now and buy this book it has everything you love from the interesting character/class and setting, to the lovable supporting cast.
I love the game world Dakota sets up, filled with lore and characters who really seem to be alive in every sense of the word. And though I I think Vikas gives all the characters a distinct voice and personality, I especially LOVE the way he reads the text pop-ups and all of the accompanying flavor text.
To reiterate I loved this book, so much so that I bought the sequel when there were still four chapters left.

6 people found this helpful

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Masterpiece

Dakota Krout, as always, delivers a phenomenal story. I thought it would be hard for him to top his Dungeon Born series, yet he managed to pull of an amazing new story. I'm fully hooked, eagerly awaiting the next in the series!

The Ritualist is one of the most interesting takes on LitRPG I've had the pleasure of hearing. He doesn't turn his main character into a "Mary Sue", making him fight for every bit of progress.

Do NOT skip this, it's definitely worth the listen. Vikas Adam delivers a strong performance, combining with Krouts great story for a delightful listen.

54 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Surprisingly good story

So this story was surprisingly good. Well thought out plot and good progression.

2 issues 1. Some things that the character previously did are not counted like title. 2. The way stats are read I hear the same sentence basically repeated four times right after each other when talking about new abilities or quests. It says the sentence one other sentence then says the same sentence again but it’s not a mistake in the recording the way it’s done shows that’s how it is written.

Oh and in the begging at the end of the chapters their is a long pause to the point I thought my book stopped working. However this did get better as the story progressed.

Now read this those are my complaints. My only complaints for this book. It was actually a great listen. I’m about to start book 2 and have book 3 pre ordered. I’ll hold off on the side quest for now as it is a bit shorter.

7 people found this helpful

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Damn you Dakota!

I want to say that I hated this book oh, I want to say this series needs to end, but I cannot.

I am a huge fan of the Dungeon Norn series therefore I was reluctant to even start this series because it felt like promoting it would take away from any further entries for Dungeon Born, but screw it because this book was good!

Maybe the main character was a little bit too much of the quintessential hero we find the most modern day media, but to be honest it's written in such a way that it does not feel so campy / taboo. I genuinely enjoy the world that is being built, and can't wait to see what happens in it.

3 people found this helpful

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Hold your breath

I almost gave up on this book in the first 10 minutes due to some truly horrific attempts at cleverness. If those attempts had paid off later in the book, I might even forgive them, but it really was just the author's own little inside joke. It would be like having a well-endowed blond hairdresser character who everyone calls Dolly and who is at one point encouraged to "part on". That's about the level of cleverness we're talking about here. But it only lasts a while, so if you can get past the first couple chapters (which also include some truly distasteful representations of soldiers and veterans), you may actually enjoy the rest. It's the classic "RPG in real life" genre that seems to have emerged recently, and it's a solid addition to that area.

10 people found this helpful

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Really enjoyable read

One Part Dungeonborn
One Part Sword Art Online
One Part Elon Musk fan fiction.

sold!

35 people found this helpful

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It is meh.

The overall story is ok, but very basic with the author hitting you in the face with every cliche in the book, and not in a fun way. I have read worse books for all that says about this one.

The narrator was ok but sounds like he is just starting out. There seemed to be emphasis in weird spots. He also seemed to try to be acting for some of the reading which is appreciated, but was poorly done and flat.

All in all, ok if your under 16 and new to the genre.

2 people found this helpful

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One of my favs

Captivating story. I honestly don't know what else to say about it. You won't regret picking this up.

2 people found this helpful

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  • The Keyboard
  • 10-08-19

Great story if you like the narrator.

As far as LitRPG / gamelit goes this is a great title.The book was an intelligent take on a 'joe-everyman' character. The unusual class was a refreshing change and as always, Mr. Krout deserves a standing ovation for his worldbuilding and subtle humor.

The book was predominantly slice of life, which is something of a disappointment. It read almost as serialised, with the author unable to go back and update earlier sections to make a more intricate story. The 'big' plot twist at the end of the story had some minor foreshadowing, but for the most part the character just went from quest to quest, solving one then the other without a clear direction or hints at a larger story (except for a goal to 'complete everything the game can offer,' which feels to me a bit generic). I would have loved a clear goal for the character at the start, and the bad guy the MC ultimately defeats to have made a show in the beginning, not at 70%. There was also the occasional bout of head hopping, not that this was too big an issue.

I do have some reservations about the narrator. Many of the voices tended to blend together, except for one side character that sounded like she had a speech impediment and a system message accent that I wasn't a fan of. Audiobook production itself was similarly lacking - this is a bare bones narration, don't go expecting sound effects. The narrator even says things like 'cough' instead of just acting it out.

All of this said, there's still a reason this book is rated so highly. Within this genre at least, it's one of the better books out there, and a thoroughly pleasurable read... or listen.

If this review was useful to you, please click HELPFUL. Thanks!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-17-19

Really addictive

I really loved IT. Having little bit problems with all the status informaation, since I'm not a Gamer, but otherwise really great story.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dingo 883
  • 02-01-19

Middling writing, story, narration but great MC

The writing is a bit stilted at times as is the narration. Vikas has enough good voices that I've added him to narrators I like, but there's room for improvement. Sometimes he over-enunciates words and it feels clipped and stilted. Some character voices are great and natural, other sound stilted . The plot wasn't much. Evil archmage, but that's not until the end. Something about wolf people, but it doesn't go much into it. What really had me eager for my next listening section was the MC and his ritualist talent. It was interesting and the character well developed.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Edward
  • 10-01-18

Well worth listening to

I’ve tried a few of these lit RPG type books and I was surprised by just how refreshing this one was.

The characters were funny and realistic and the hero really made me laugh in places.

I debated whether or not to listen to this one and I am so glad I did.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-24-20

Pretty decent

I thought the story was decent as a whole, but I found a couple of characters to be kind of annoying. The pace is quite slow, which isn't entirely bad but I would have liked to see more progression. I feel the series has a lot of potential and it's definitely worth a read if you enjoy playing MMORPGs.

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  • frostyoutside
  • 06-12-20

Stopped after I rolled my eyes so hard they hurt

Follows the tropes and cliches, the pop culture references were far to on the nose and thinly inserting yourself into the first act?? The narration is fine but the plot was so janky I had to give up part of the way through, which I normally hate doing. A pity as the divine dungeon series is good.

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  • Charlotte O.
  • 05-10-20

Truly awful narrator. Fun, detailed progression.

I have to focus on the narrator as this was sadly my overriding takeaway. Think surfer dude accent, long drawn out words with inflection in all the wrong places. This is his best attribute. Accents are his worst. Truly. The main character's group leader had some strange hybrid accent which was somewhere between Caribbean and Irish...(I think), with quite a cutting pitch, Variations of this abysmal accent/mess are used for the female characters. The attempt at cockney for a - thankfully- one-off sentence was just bone curdling. (forewarning for book two, one of the main characters is Scottish. Oh dear...I don't know if I can continue the torture of listening to it).
I enjoyed the story enough to stick with it. I used to play Everquest before my real world job meant I have no time for gaming, and this was a nice nostalgic story with a lot more of a fleshed out world and options.
The main character is grossly over powered, with all the advantages and boosts possible (and those that should not be possible), but I suppose this is necessary to keep the story moving and interesting. What this meant though is the moments of absolute stupidity just jarred, as he is supposed to be clever enough to have moments of genius (eg using his "jump" skill in an abstract way to jump to a useful place in a book). And then the teenaged response of realising his stupidity in an overly obvious outloud reaction were a bit much.
One thing I would have loved to be better done was the stats. The constant rattling off of numbers was boring. Why not just read out the things that changed since last time?
One thing I didn't follow: he was offered a job to play the game. Did that even come into it after he accepted and started playing?
But overall I enjoyed the story enough to stick with it to the end. As an introduction to GameLit I liked it enough to want to continue with the story - I just wish it were a different narrator!!

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  • craig f.
  • 04-18-20

Dakota Krout... I recommended author

Having recently found a love of GameLit etc. I noticed a lot of positivity around Dakota Krout on FB groups. So I though why not.
I wasn’t disappointed! Fantastic listen, fuelling my desire to seek out more of the same. Perfect balance of stats & storyline. I look forward to listening to more!

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  • Ryan Pascall
  • 02-22-20

Dakota just gets better and better.

After the fantastic Divine Dungeon series, Dakota became one of my favourite and most highly anticipated authors.
Being a very different subject I was interested to see how this one would go and I was not disappointed.
While the usual "choosing virtual life over real" is a trope now the character evolution that occurs in this (and its recent sequel) makes this series really stand out.
With very fleshed out characters, a good dose of humour and amazing battles this is set to be another excellent series by Dakota.

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  • MK
  • 11-06-19

Masterpiece

This sets a new standard for litrpg, truly brilliant.

I weirdly loveable mc with a intresting background.
A game that leaves plenty of space for progression.
if you want to try the litrpg genre then this is the best your gonna find.
a series which keeps bring stories

Buy it already

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  • JoyfulRogue
  • 11-01-19

Amazing narrator, cool adventure,terrible prologue

Prologue with the terrible Elon Musk references almost made me refund the book right there. Just... why? It was cringy as heck. Couldn't you have just made up your own tech tycoon without really weird references?

It's like the author was learning to write and the skill only reached a reasonable level a couple of chapters in. But then it gets good, so I'm happy with my purchase after all. It's a fun adventure full of surprises and ridiculous turns of events.

I absolutely love the narrator and I really wish he was the one narrating the whole series. His voices are so awesome I miss them already...

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mike Borg
  • 09-15-19

Great story of magic and adventure

Joe, our protagonist, is an army medic who became disabled in the line of duty. He joins an immersive online game and has an exciting adventure. Despite my bland description, it was hard to put down, always wanting to find out what happens next.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-26-18

Dead world

This book has a great levelling up and skill system which is not glossed over like so many other litRPG series out there. However, when I read a litRPG the "game" world is usually rich with lore and interesting locations with developed characters that insist their realism. This book fell well below average is this aspect.
You start in a city that has hostile rabbits around it, then as you go further out you find Foxes that are eating the rabbits, then wolves that are eating the foxes. This aspect is completely stupid and not at all how I imagine a ultra advanced game world. also nothing like an actual ecosystem

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-07-18

I enjoyed the story, even though it was cheesy

surely no one wanted to hear stat changes in such detail? some fun characters, but even they were light on detail. I know more about Joe's character sheet than any character in this book

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-03-18

awesome

this book is up there with the best litrpg I've read and I've read everything thank you for making me really enjoy listening to this the narrator well way can o say awesome awesome and awesome well read just pre ordered book 2 I can't wait

1 person found this helpful

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  • Xravia
  • 07-25-18

Dakota Krazy!

Dakota really knows how to blow people away with fantastic endings, I love how the different game and novel elements blend with each other and dakota' s inspiration in using them in New and interesting ways. A great listen, can't wait for the best one.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Richard McKenna
  • 07-25-18

It's OK....

The book is OK, oddly, I am still listening to it even thought I don't find it the best written or engaging story. The sound quality is good, and the story has some level of depth, but in other terms its so surface level and so hard to listen to. Despite this, I am finding that I have almost finished the book with only 30 minutes left to go...

1 person found this helpful

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  • William
  • 06-16-20

Start of an awesome journey!

There's a little bias her as I have read the whole series to date.

This is such a great story mechanic being built and the characters you will come to love.
more than a few laugh out lounge moments. definately looking forward to how the world and support develop.

such a smooth performance by Vikas Adam really draws you in and brings life adventure to this story.

get into it ✌️

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-16-20

enjoyable

A good afternoon or too escape from reality. well read, clear and easy to understand.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-09-19

Mindblowing

The main character was incredibly well done, interesting, and easy to root for. Some really great concepts in this book, there is definitely a lot to enjoy and think about. Really addictive and engaging read, I wanted to keep reading it after it was finished.