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Publisher's Summary

Diving into a revolutionary new video game, Marcus and his friends escape a stagnant society, entering into a world that defies their wildest imaginations. But from the moment that he logs in, Marcus finds himself separated from his friends and thrown into a remote village under attack by a horde of goblins.

Forced into battle, Marcus rallies the beleaguered villagers and, with their help, manages to drive off the invading creatures. With the village in ruins and their supplies spoiled, the survivors desperately turn to Marcus for help in rebuilding the village.

Realizing that this game is nothing like he's ever played before, Marcus is swept up into a whirlwind of adventure as he struggles to defend his new home, quickly finding that marauding goblins are the least of his problems.

©2016 Luke Chmilenko (P)2017 Podium Publishing

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Story

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  • D
  • corona, ca United States
  • 08-07-17

Luke Daniels and a great LITRPG; enough said

There are many LITRPG stories coming out seemingly every day, some good some not so good, “Ascend Online,” narrated by Luke Daniels is a great entertaining experience. My personal favorite in this genre has been “The way of the Shaman,” series and I rate the first book in this new series just as high, maybe even higher given the narrator. I hope the next book is just as good; can’t wait.

28 of 29 people found this review helpful

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I want more

loved it, great story. And Luke Daniels continues to be one of my favorite narrators.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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A humble hero story with cool action!

I love evolving hero stories where power ups or new abilities are tempered with ever more challenging situations! this book delivers that with entertaining action and new introductions that kept my attention throughout. even taking small 15 min bites of the story was enjoyable!

books it reminds me of:
ready player one
we are Bob: the bobiverse
codex alera series by Jim butcher
I'm off to be the wizard
the Chronicles of Jonathan tibbs

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Fresh to death

Don't get me wrong, the VR world is starting to become saturated and that's the only reason I was hesitant upon getting this one. Ripped through this in 4 days it was that good, beginning to end, I could not put it down. This is a must for your collection, highly recommended

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Luke Daniels for the win

as always Luke Daniels is a treat to the ear. the story was good the characters were well done and overall I can't wait for the second installment. well done all around

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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The author found the right narrator

Would you consider the audio edition of Ascend Online to be better than the print version?

Most authors have to rely on the readers sense of humor to get their joke across, but this narrator knocked those parts out of the park. I found myself laughing from this book more than any other.

What did you like best about this story?

This book is better than your average Litrpg audiobook. While the first part of the book is great, it picks up a lot around 35 percent through. You will notice the difference

Have you listened to any of Luke Daniels’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Once, i found this to be the best one.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

That would be spoiling

Any additional comments?

I didn't want to waste another credit one a lit novel, considering how often the genre tends to stack to the same formula, but this book strays far enough from the normal path to make it worth while.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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a new way to tell a tale

really liked this book overall, performance was top tier, story was interesting and paced well. the only negative is the listing out of players attributes and stats doesn't translate to audio well. like the scoreboard in ready player one or powers in sale on super hero's somethings don't work as well in spoken form. outside that this is an easy recommendation and I will be getting the 2nd book the moment it comes out.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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gamers heaven

if you ever played d&d or any RPGs you'll love it can't wait for book 2

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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excellent job great story line and performance.

Really enjoyed the entire package, not another fast level to super man status and become king story but some real challenges thrown in.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Excellent LitRPG!

I won't go into the details of the Book, but as someone who has almost 24 months of logged listening time on Audible, this book not only has excellent content by Luke Daniels (who is a fantastic narrator) but it also has the hours to create the background and build the story.. it is a great listen. if your like me and you look to reviews before spending the credit then trust me, this is a worth while listen.
I was not given this book for free, I purchased it, and I did not have to write this review. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

41 of 53 people found this review helpful

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  • kanundra
  • 07-29-17

Great listen! more please!


Concept/world-building – 4
Plot – 4
Character – 5
Dialogue – 5
Prose – 5
Conflict/resolution – 4
Overall rating 4.5


I picked this up as Luke's highly recommended in the litrpg facebook groups. So, when the audio was put up for pre-order with Luke Daniels as the narrator I nabbed it quick.

It's a long listen, so it did take me a while. But it was well worth it.

Plot

For me, the start to anything takes a while, and I do admit this was a little slower for me than usual, but it's more than worth it.

Where the world that Marcus actually lives in, isn't very well defined or spoken about much. The interaction with his friends at the start and then into the game is. I enjoyed all what each character brought to the story, and more from the NPC's.

Once the story really does start to move forwards, you get the experience of Luke’s gaming and background as the world of Ascend Online develops, bits of history and information are peppered in just the right places so not to feel like too much of an info dump and you are as excited as the players for the challenges they’re about to face.

It’s got enough crafting, fighting and loot to make all the gamers want more, and the stats read out aren’t as heavy as some other litrpg books. It doesn’t slow the pacing at all, and Luke does a great job with reading them so they’re also not just hard core skill lists. The story telling around these alone helps make this a book to remember.

Character

There wasn’t quite enough of the ‘real’ world for me. I would have wanted some more interaction with it through Marcus, even if it meant he had to log off once. However, each of the characters that Marcus/Lyrian enter the game with are well defined enough once he meets back up with them in the game.

As for them being supporting characters, they’re pretty great all by themselves. As for a fav one, I’d have to say Natasha has a spot, but defo Amaranth has the biggest. (sp)

Dialogue

I thought all the characters had decent dialogue. And also with Luke narrating, they were a breeze to listen to, each with their own personalities which really shined through. Luke did a great job with the ladies in the group and also with the demons and other worldly creatures. I did however think that the two overlords of the game were brother and sister at first, till I realised they were sisters.

Graves’ character drawl was also really good to listen to. Awesome job from both narrator and writer in design of the bad guys and in the way he really stood out in the narration.

Conflict/Resolution

I think because this has so much scope for the series, that there’s always going to be underlying threads we don’t see tied up. But the overall conflict in this book was left with a satisfying ending. Even if I did want more of the book and story world.
You can’t expect me to listen to almost 18 hours of something and not come away with a book hangover! Omg give me more!

I am glad I picked this up. And I really do look forward to more in this series from both Lukes’

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-08-17

No Awaken online

narrator amazing as ever but some of the later voices are quite smilar. Cant really remember any of the secondary characters. not really any hold to story. The whole game aspect of the book seems to be lost with it having very little to do with story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark H.
  • 09-07-17

A fun adventure!

Would you consider the audio edition of Ascend Online to be better than the print version?

Certainly easier to enjoy in a casual setting. It makes walking to work more fun.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Ascend Online?

The climactic final battle was suitably gripping I'd say.

What does Luke Daniels bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

A good flow of narrative that leaves me free to do other things.

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

I chuckled a few times at some of the funnier bits, and was suitably eager to listen to the action scenes.

Any additional comments?

A very entertaining story, one that I hope to see continued soon.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Liam
  • 01-26-18

A grate story and world

This was a grate book. The world is amazing and a fun premise. Can't wait till the next one.
Narrator is a very easy listen (x2 speed personal preference ) and quality was good.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-26-18

Wow kiddie has wet dream; writes book

First 30 chapters read like a consol peasant recalling a dream they had after they caught a glimpse of WoW the night before. After that it gets a little better, though there's almost no need for this to be a "gamer" book, beyond death not being permanent. If you haven't read them yet go pick up "SpeedRunner Tower of Babel" or "The Gam3" to see excellent examples of the genre.

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  • alex
  • 11-19-17

Great ztory

Interesting take on the gaming fantasy genre look forward to more in the future soonish.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-03-17

Great voice acting!

great voice acting and story. warmly recommend for anyone that likes a good coming of age story

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  • Ash
  • 10-23-17

Marvellous world to grip you

I only wish it was longer. Though it is a good length already. The world its set in, I get the feeling it’s huge and I’ve only been shown a corner. Looking forward to and sequels and the world opening up.
The characters are great and each are well written individuals.
And adding to that point, the narrator is fantastic. Uniquely voicing just about everyone

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  • N
  • 10-21-17

A book that takes me back to my youth

Great book, it was a bit slow in the begining as it tried to explain the system of magic and character buiding , but if you loved D&D or any other RPG , you will enjoy this book.

The narrator was excellent , the story was simple but kept you going wanting to know more.
And good ending leaving you wanting to get hte second book

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  • Mr. Damian C. Hatcher
  • 10-16-17

For the resource grinders, the skill hunters and the obsessed mmorpg lovers

I loved this book. It’s an awesome adult representation of online RPG gaming. The story is told well. The actor does a great job of portraying the spirit of the story. Loved it.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-31-17

Unusual but good

This is an oddly postmodern book. Usually when you enter a game world in a novel it is part of some greater plot (e.g. Ready Player One). This however is the very manifestation of the Simulacra.

The people just live and breathe within the game and everything is seen through that lens.

There are similarities to Sword Art Online, but without the trapped in the game aspect. Though perhaps there are greater things at play that will develop further in the hinted at sequel.

Despite the oddities it manages to be very interesting. Exploring a future of gaming and some interesting ideas, such as skills being implanted in a person's brain [read: Matrix "I know Kung Fu"] and thoughts/personalities changed.

At the same time it's an enjoyable escape. Nerding out on skill development and everything that comes with a MMORPG.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Matthew
  • 11-09-17

Absolutely enthralling

Another great litRPG series.

is this really a game? You will hear this and ask your self the same thing over and over.

The characters are very interesting and amusing in their own right. The story MUST be continued for the sake of an apt analogy it feels like I'm half way through a chocolate bar and someone just told me I can't have another bite till they say so and won't tell me when I can .... and I'm diabetic so very willing to tackle whoever keeping me from this.

Guess I'll go satiate my craving with another until they give me my chocolate again.

Highly recommend to any lit fan and could rival "the land" series with a few more instalments

Cheers and be safe,
Matt

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jackson
  • 08-09-17

worth you time

its a good book but there are some aspects that don't translate well to audio

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-26-17

Finished it in 2 sittings..

amazing narrator, awesome voice acting and an amazingly intricate story and very consistent video game mechanics that make you believe you are playing a game more than you are listening to a story.

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  • nick
  • 10-23-17

fantastic

this was fsr more entertaining than i anticipated. even made me want to go play an mmorpg again. very enthralling and the performance is exceptional

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-27-17

awesome!!

loved this book!! very well written and performed, brought the 2nd straight away!! definitely recommend

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-13-17

Excellent

I really liked this book, nearly had to chuck a sickie so I could keep reading/listening.

I have read a number of LitRPGs and this one stood out as being a higher quality fantasy story within an RPG environment.

Character development is ok and the pacing has a good mix of crafting vs action. The story felt well balanced to me although personal relationships between players beyond friendship is yet to be explored.

I recommend this book but in terms of the audio version, as with many books in this genre, I find the stats rundowns and skill reviews very disruptive. I would normally skim read them in a book. Having said that, the reference to stats is not overly frequent. Give it a go.

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  • Samuel
  • 08-05-17

Interesting

A good premise delivered well...
hopefully there'll be more to come soon
Definitely worth a listen!