Sages of the Underpass

Battle Artists, Book 1
Narrated by: Travis Baldree
Series: Battle Artists, Book 1
Length: 13 hrs and 8 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (52 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

In a world where everyone has power, Nikodemus Kowalczyk was always destined to be an underdog.

Niko has long since given up on his dreams of being a world class battle artist. Thanks to his damaged core and crazy family, he never stood a chance anyway. With money, fame, and untold power on the line, the corporations decide who wins. End of story.

But when a mysterious group calling themselves the Sages of the Underpass threaten to upend the entire system with their unorthodox training and cultivation methods, Nikko soon learns that what was once a handicap might be his greatest asset. The only thing standing in his way is a bitter, hard-hearted veteran who would like nothing more than to see Niko stay in his place. Right at the bottom.

Rocky meets Dragon Ball Z in this underdog redemption story from Dragon Award finalist Aaron Michael Ritchey. Sages of the Underpass is an epic blend of urban fantasy, cultivation, and magical MMA that captures the passion, the power, and the perseverance it takes to follow your dreams - no matter what kind of artist you are.

"Sages of the Underpass is an excellent novel with a fully fleshed-out system for character development. This is a great modern cultivation story!" (Dakota Krout, author of the Divine Dungeon and the Completionist Chronicles)

©2019 Shadow Alley Press Inc. (P)2020 Shadow Alley Press Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    33
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    41
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    32
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I was not looking for a sports book

The cultivation in this book isn't really essential to the story. there is little to no progression. It is mainly a book about sports and the philosophy of sports.

7 people found this helpful

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

Great Start to a New Series


The book gripped my attention from start to finish. I've read a review below that stated that this was a sports book, and while the theme of the book surrounds the combat, it's not only that, the book focuses heavily on the rapid changes that the main character experiences in life. At it's core this book is about the main character's pursuit of their dream and the realities of life and personal struggles that holds him from it. The story focuses just as much of the industry of the combat as the combat itself, which in my opinion was great it added just enough drama and world building to make the main plot more me.

My only small issue was the pacing in the first half. While i think the three character's had an ending that they deserved at the book's conclusions, i couldn't say the same about the mid way arch. The rapid decision that the main character comes too and his actions from it don't seem to flow well with the previous events. While I understand why they were necessary, in my opinion they didn't fit.

regardless of that, I thoroughly enjoyed this story and i'm looking forward to the rest of the series.

TL:DR - If you looking for a story with interesting and realistic characters give this story a go. It's got everything you could want in this type of novel.


Thanks for writing it,

Albert

2 people found this helpful

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

Don't expect a cultivation master here!

This book is beautifully written from the characters to the plot progression. The story is about an average guy and his life in the modern day cultivation world. Don't expect explosive power changes, the focus is more on the the changing mentality of the characters and how they use there power in their lives. I loved this story and know it is an incredible listening experience.

2 people found this helpful

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

perfection

loved this book. perfect narration and the story is excellent. if you are on the fence about this book i hope you give it a try.

1 person found this helpful

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

A fight to define ones own destiny

A mixture of Rocky, Fight Club, GhostBusters and Street Fighter arcane skills.

The MC is a likable with a conflicted back story and the support characters are well-defined each with ample character development. The world seems to be Earth with a slight skewed timeline such that ancient history, current dates, geography, street names and routes seem consistent to our own. However, there is magic or sorts that is in the form of concentrated mana-like entities and humans can cycle their essence into their cores and gain fighter skills. Additionally, humans have learned to farm these entities and use their essence to power society, from lighting, to automobiles, computers and so on. No reference to fossil fuel at all.

One major flaw is that there is no explanation of this Earth-like world and its extraordinary differences from our Earth. Is it a skew parallel world or our own where these entities presented themselves in the distant past? It is also too repetitive at times giving the listener the sense that it is being used as page filler. However, Travis Baldree's excellent narrating skills minimized the frustration over those areas.

In all, I enjoyed the novel.

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

Good book, some details need more work

The introduction has a steep learning curve. Multiple character perspective makes each seem shallow at first, but it gets better later on.
Interesting world. I would like it even more if it would explain at least some things about it in even more detail.