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Publisher's Summary

Roark von Graf - hedge mage and lesser noble of Traisbin - is one of only a handful of Freedom fighters left, and he knows the Resistance’s days are numbered. Unless they do something drastic...

But when a daring plan to unseat the Tyrant King goes awry, Roark finds himself on the run through an interdimensional portal, which strands him in a very unexpected location: an ultra-immersive fantasy video game called Hearthworld. He can’t log out, his magic is on the fritz, and, worst of all, he’s not even human. He’s a low-class, run-of-the-mill Dungeon monster. Some disgusting, blue-skinned creature called a Troll. At least there’s one small silver lining - Roark managed to grab a powerful magic artifact on his way through the portal, and with it he might just be able to save his world after all.

Unless, of course, the Tyrant King gets to him first...

From James A. Hunter, author of the litRPG epic Viridian Gate Online, and eden Hudson, author of Legend of the Treesinger and the Jubal Van Zandt Series, comes an exciting new litRPG, dungeon-core adventure you won’t want to put down!

“An excellent start to a series, this book has everything I look for in a fantasy novel: action, intrigue, and evolution!” (Dakota Krout, author of the Divine Dungeon and the Completionist Chronicles)

©2018 James Hunter, eden Hudson (P)2018 James Hunter, eden Hudson

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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A fantasy realm collides with Virtual Reality

OK, I am going to come clean here. I am unquestioningly a huge fan of James Hunter. I enjoy everything he’s written from this Urban Fantasy Yancy Lazarus, his Litrpg Series Viridian Gate Online, to that grocery list he dropped while shopping the other day. I must also say, that you might further consider me to be biased because I do have a story in his upcoming Viridian Gate Anthology novel Side Quests, but that does not make anything I am about to say untrue or inaccurate.

This is a genuinely brilliant book, that much like the Land of the Undying by Dave Willmarth is just as interesting in the real world as it is in the game world. The “real world” is actually a fantasy realm in which the hero, Roark is a rebel. He fights against an evil Usurper who has used his ability to control magics unlike every mage before him to steal an empire. The setting seems to be slightly German in tone, with an interesting magic system in which written words convey power. When his attack on the Tyrant fails he tries to escape through a portal, which is a dicey proposition at best, and he finds himself not where he wanted to be, but in a strange world with new magics and an unlimited lifespan that allows him to respawn. What he doesn’t realize is that he has entered Hearthworld, which is actually an MMORPG. Obviously, he has no clue that he is in a video game, and simply treats it like he has entered another world which is a logical conclusion for him to reach.

That, my friends is the brilliance of this story. Roark is an interesting protagonist, and oddly the real antagonist is a player named Pwner Boner 007, that is a game name that will stand beside the most legendary Leroy Jenkins. That isn’t to say that the Tyrant lord doesn’t loom and play in the back of Roark’s mind, but honestly, he really goes at Pwner Boner 007 enough that he qualifies as the bad guy. That is another strength of this book, it goes some serious to silly and no matter the tone Roark plays it straight.

Truly, this book was far too short. I loved every second of it, and really think that this is quite possibly one of the best series he’s done to date. It stands right beside VGO. Don’t think that I am discounting eden Hudson, either. She is an incredible writer, and her novel, Two Faced, is about as top notch as they come. She has some serious chops. I mean like Mr. Miyagi chops. I know I said that I respected how well James was able to co-write with Aaron Crash because it seemed like it was a single voice, and the same is true here. Only thing is the voice is very different in tone from War God. This is a masterful piece of combining writing styles, vision, and attitudes. This book blew me away at every turn. The only drawback was that it was too short.

Now you might be calling me out on how this fits into the dungeon category for this special, and I’m going to tell you it is because Roark becomes a part of the dungeon. He grows in power and manages to lead a section of it all by himself. I can see him eventually taking the entire dungeon over at some point in the future.

The narration by Nick Pohdel is outstanding. He transitions Roark’s voice slowly as he gains levels, and it is subtle, but so realistic that you have to pay attention. He plays monsters so well, and embodies the snark of Pwner Boner 007. There simply is no touching the man here. He is amazing to listen to, every characte has their own voice, which are utterly distinctive and outstanding. His villains are just as great as his heroes, and he absolutely steals the show with his portrayal of Roark. I loved listening to him, and if you want to hear more get the Gam3 or Super Sales on Superheroes 2. Good stuff there.

Hunter and Hudson (they sound like colonial marines from Aliens don't they?) really are an amazing team. I really expect a lot from them in the future with this series. It is scary just how good it is, and it really makes me happy to see thme get recognized for the incredible work they are doing. I don't recommend you get this book. I demand it. You deserve this incredibly conceived and executed story more than you know. Get it, grab it, go for it but don't let it get passed you.

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. 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!!!

As seen on the LITRPG AUDIOBOOK PODCAST DUNGEON SPECIAL, please check it out on Youtube.com




4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Solid start to a unique series.

There are a few things that make this series stand out. I like the guy from a pure fantasy world tossed into a video game world concept, I like that respawning is a dangerous prospect. Especially for the monsters. Characters are pretty decent. I like the diversity of troll types and evolutions.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I love this book!!!

I have read all the books this author has put out and I love them all but this one is the cream of the crop is amazing I love it so much I read it on royal road then got the book then got the audio book! I can’t wait for the sequel!!! If your thinking about buying it do it! You won’t regret it! 100% worth the $ I would have payed more happily!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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good stuff!

this book was great! really brings back memories of my EverQuest days! makes me want to play again!

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  • TU
  • 10-18-18

Fantastic book, highly recommend!

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Often, I think LitRPG books are better for those of us that are gamers. Every once in a while, though, I find some that I think would be appealing to more than just gamers. This is one of them. I thought the whole premise of the main character being from a fantasy world, instead of some version of Earth, was really cool. The humor and writing are engaging and fun. The narration by Nick Podhel is fantastic. Not that anyone familiar with him would think otherwise. He is one of my all time favorite narrators on Audible. So, if you like litrpg and/or fantasy, you should definitely pick this one up. Honestly, my only complaint is that it is a little short and I wish it was way longer.

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  • Glenn
  • Jeffersonville, IN United States
  • 10-15-18

An amazing audiobook for fans of fantasy & LitRPG!

James Hunter's work has been on my wishlist for quite some time, so I knew I was interested in the sort of thing he writes. I'd read one of eden Hudson's books and was very impressed with her writing talent. I decided that I wanted to try out the LitRPG genre as I used to play RPG games and read Fantasy novels in my youth, not to mention many years of playing World of Warcraft. So this title seemed like it would be a good one to try. Wow, am I glad that I tried it.
The fantasy world drew me in with it's rich world and character building to the point I was ready to continue in that world and would have been content if the RPG elements never happened. But they did happen, and they brought with them a really engrossing world with well established rules and interesting characters. There was a lot of fun as I recognized the RPG tropes, I grew to love all of the characters and was eager to follow their stories. Nick Podehl brought this well crafted story to life with enthusiasm and talent. Have no doubt, this is a top-notch audiobook. I'm eager to hear the story continue.

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It's ok kind of predictable. But good story!

has a pretty predictable storyline but good character personality and build up help move the story along.

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A fun and refreshing take on the genre

Great book. The ultimate Underdog Story. but unlike most Underdog stories, this one does not just have the underdog win with the power of narrative; Roark earns each of his victories without a doubt.
The main character has a strong character grounded in a strong back story. the author doesn't fail said backstory in mystery either, he doesn't need to. Roark is smart but not Batman omniscient.
One of my favorite aspects is the way it twists the expectations of the way its main character interacts with the expectations of the genres. usually in any enter a video game style book, the main character knows all the standard practice is a video games or RPGs. Roark does not and has to figure out what stats and levels are. the other common fantasy or litrpg Trope is a character who starts off knowing nothing and grows in a Luke Skywalker esque hero's journey, this book takes a different approach from that as well. Roark is quite skilled, he just doesn't happen to be knowledgeable about all the gaming things that all the other characters in other books always seem to be knowledgeable about.
it is very fun and refreshing and quite exciting.

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A great beginning!

I look forward to the rest of the series. A good collaboration of authors! Nick's performance is spot on perfect. I can imagine live action characters sounding exactly like his voicings.

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Get Pwn'd

This book is seriously a lot of fun. God, Nick Podehl nailed the narration and his voice for Pwn Boner 007 made me cry from laughing. He seriously made the character sounded like one of the pubescent rage quiters you encounter playing call of duty. The story was amazing too but I can't get Pwn Boner 007's voice out of my head lol

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  • Miss
  • 10-12-18

Excellent

Highly recommend, really enjoyed this and the narrator is excellent - looking fwd to book 2

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  • Ian
  • 10-08-18

a great 1st book if the series.

I totally enjoyed this, captivating, great story line and I'm looking forward to the next instalment.

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  • Aslanenlisted
  • 10-03-18

Great Dungeon builder!

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this story. The main character and supporting cast are well developed despite the shorter story. Narration is very polished!

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-01-18

Excellent narration

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I’m sad it’s finished really wanted more . Narrator was brilliant and performed very well . Lots of action and a bit of humour. Can’t wait for book two ! Well done James Hunter keep this up please .

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  • S Larcher
  • 09-30-18

Not your average dungeon story

First the bad news - now I have another series I am going to have to follow!
Now the good news - same as the bad news!
I loved this new take on the dungeon story. The main character is not a gamer sucked into their game nor a hero who becomes the dungeon that they keep raiding, but a somewhat flawed (mostly) good guy from another fantasy world who gets transported into a dungeon mob. I loved the scene where they wake up in the new body and try to come to terms with their game interface with no frame of reference for what they are seeing.
The story is well written and the characters interesting. The story finishes at a suitable point, not with a cliffhanger but definitely leaving you wanting more.
Nick makes an excellent job of narrating the story providing a number of voices for the characters that fit well with the written description.
Definitely recommend

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  • Teitur Ásgeirsson
  • 09-29-18

I could stopp listen

to could not stop listening

wish it was longer

looking forward for next book u

0 of 1 people found this review helpful