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Delvers LLC Audiobook

Delvers LLC: Welcome to Ludus

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Publisher's Summary

Henry and Jason led normal lives in Seattle before they were abducted to another world. Their kidnapper, the vain, self-styled god Dolos, refuses to send them back unless they can accomplish an impossible task. Oddly, Dolos doesn't seem to care if they succeed or not.

Luckily, Henry and Jason studied Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) on Earth. Unfortunately, a Japanese American EMT and a geeky IT programmer don't have many other useful skills on a sword-and-sorcery world like Ludus.

Stranded in the middle of nowhere on an alien world, the friends have no real direction and only a few possessions including magic-granting orbs from an apathetic god. Undaunted, the two begin their insane adventure to return home...but basic survival and eventually paying rent will have to take priority.

©2016 Blaise Corvin (P)2016 Blaise Corvin

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    CT Ashland, Ky USA 02-25-17
    CT Ashland, Ky USA 02-25-17 Member Since 2011
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    "Like an R-rated Dungeons and Dragons cartoon"

    Since Mark Twain did A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, there's always been a desire by some people to be the guy who goes to a fantasy world in order to make use of their knowledge to take over. Err, I mean be a big hero. My favorite of this subgenre is probably Army of Darkness followed by Eric Flint's Ring of Fire series. Still, Blaise Corvin's Delvers LLC has probably supplanted the latter as my second favorite of all time. The only reason it's not at the top is because, well, Bruce Campbell.

    The premise is Jason and Henry are a pair of martial arts enthusiasts who get kidnapped by the Great God Dolos (bolded for emphasis). Dolos is effectively a being akin to Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation only obsessed with Dungeons and Dragons or World of Warcraft (depending on what decade you grew up in). He's omnipotent or close to it and has populated a planet with elves, humans, goblins, beast people, and orks.

    Even more so, he's created a bunch of dungeons spread across the planet full of treasure as well as magical items designed to simulate leveling up. Dolos outfits the pair with a couple of orbs and tells them to go onward, Christian soldier, and kill some monsters for loot. The rest of the book follows them in their confused attempt to deal with the fact they're now trapped in a Gygaxian death world.

    As the writer of the Supervillainy Saga series, I'm aware of a rule which Blaise Corvin seems to be, which is that any premise can be sold to the reader as long as its implication are well thought out as well as presented sincerely. The idea of a god playing hack and slash rpging with real people is absolutely insane but it works wonderfully because the characters take it seriously. They discuss things ranging from: "is it right to kill people", "are the monsters we're killing actual people", "how do we survive in a world based on violence", and "can we get home?"

    If I have any real complaint about the book, it's that Jason and Henry are a little too well-adjusted to the insanity around them. I'd have thrown in a bit more, "Is that a ****ing elf? That is a ****ing elf!" Then again, Jason has the ambition of nailing a cat girl before he discovers they're not the anime kind so I can't complain too much. Jason and Henry may be both straight men but they each have specialties with the former being a trained soldier while the latter having a science-fiction/fantasy background.

    Really, I'm pleased to say the supporting cast from Ludus is even more interesting than the protagonists. Mareen and Uluula are more than mere love interests for the character with the former being a fairly well developed fantasy archetype (farm girl turned adventuress) while the latter is a Space Elf stuck on a planet full of primitive screwheads. I'm also pleased Corvin tackled the issues of romance, courtship, and sexual taboos are different on Ludus than Earth. It may sound a bit peculiar but I'm actually interested in seeing if Corvin will tackle polyamory in the setting. The rest of their adventuring company is also entertaining with their own arcs and story beats.

    Dolos, himself, is a great character and a fine fantasy villain that comes close to being Handsome Jack levels of hateable. For example, one thing I loved is how he misleads the various races into killing one another while making it seem it's all in good vs. evil fun. That's some dark and disgusting stuff from a man who is just doing this as a giant experiment. The cover of my copy really captures what a smug jackass he is, complete with little crown.

    A fair warning for more sensitive souls, part of how the book sells its premise is the fact violence is unsanitized. People die horribly in the setting and Ludus is kind of a hellhole where the strong prey on the weak. There's allusions to rape and sexual slavery as well as one scene where a female character has to fight off a sexual predator. The dissonance with the colorful premise gives the book a distinct flavor, though.

    In conclusion, I recommend Delvers quite strongly. It's entertaining and has an original premise with characters I actually care about. The women are arguably more interesting than the men but I wanted them to hook up with their love interests--which is rarely something I care about in books. I also like the set up for a full-length series as a lot of seeds are planted for the eventual fall of Dolos (or not).

    9/10

    32 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mesmiro Bradenton, FL United States 07-16-17
    Mesmiro Bradenton, FL United States 07-16-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Great story for an older crowd"

    Great story! The only reason for rating 4 of 5 stars is from the recording. Throughout the book there is an occasional echo from the reading. Usually when the narrator has to raise his voice. At first I thought it was on purpose when the narrator was expressing the characters inner thoughts, but it was happening too often.
    Has a good amount of coarse language and a few adult situations which could require a parent's discretion.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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    justin 02-27-17
    justin 02-27-17 Member Since 2013
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    "bad cover art almost lost my attention "

    great story, good reader, the cover art was so crude it made me think the book might be too. Glad i gave it a shot, surprisingly refreshingly take on fantasy/ modern mix.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Boua 05-18-17
    Boua 05-18-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Where has this book been all my life?"

    All around great books. Characters were all well written and unique. Plot was great. Gaming aspects or fantasy aspects were solid enough to build a world around it. Reading by Jeff Hays is and always will be great.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 05-12-17
    05-12-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Masterfully done."

    The authors writing style resonates with me as a veteran. It's a well written and fun book. The narrator is equally fantastic.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Francois Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 08-25-17
    Francois Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 08-25-17 Member Since 2011
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    "Disappointing"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    For the genre, it's okay but there are far better books I would recommend first.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The book was original based on the idea that they are kidnapped and in a real world instead of inside a game. The least interesting were the characters themselves. Not very likable particularly the two heroes. They have the emotional intelligence of a 2 year-old.


    What three words best describe Jeff Hays’s voice?

    Always very good


    Any additional comments?

    I had a very difficult time finishing this book. The writing is repetitive and the characters are not likable. The story was interesting but this book needs editing.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Forrest 02-01-17
    Forrest 02-01-17 Member Since 2012
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    "Interesting spin on the litrpg genre"

    I was initially hesitant about this story. I generally don't like stories with little build-up or back story but I kept listening and the story grew on me. Jason and Henry are summoned to a world where technology is forbidden and the main diety is an eccentric egomaniac. They learn about their new world together and as they learn, so does the reader. The world slowly appears to be very similar to that of an MMORPG. The protagonists form a group/guild and develop relationships with a diverse group of inhabitants. The dialogue between the main characters is interesting and covers many social issues. The banter between Henry and Jason moves between serious and comedic quickly. Jeff Hays does a great job with the voices of the main characters, accents, as well as the female voices.

    This story is definitely an opener to a series and the author's concept is broad enough that this could become a very elaborate series. If you like the genre this will be a series with lots of potential.

    Word of warning, although not very graphic there are mentions of sexual behavior, graphic violent scenes, and although not detailed, rape comes up. The author doesn't dwell on this topic but I wouldn't listen to this story around my kids.

    I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AudioBook Reviewer Madison, WI, United States 04-04-17
    AudioBook Reviewer Madison, WI, United States 04-04-17 Member Since 2011
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    "takes some sustained effort to get into"

    Henry and Jason suddenly find themselves on Ludus, a strange and violent planet run by the homicidal god, Dolos.  They are given a bag of goodies and instructions to either save the world, have a chance to return to Earth, or more likely die in the effort.

    The story is an unapologetic fictional creation of a roll playing video game (RPG).  Henry and Jason can gain points, improve their magic skills and get better weapons and knowledge with their efforts and successes.  Ludus is full of Orcs, Goblins, Hell Hounds and other demons who simply want to kill everything and everyone.  Ludus is mostly inhabited by transplanted humans, but also a host of other humanoid aliens, some friendly, some not.  Ultimately, Henry and Jason must kill or be killed.

    There is a sense of unreality throughout the story, like the main characters could simply wake up from a bad dream.  They are perhaps a little too lucky at everything they face.  And like a video game, the challenges get harder with their greater skills and weapons.  Though Dolos says he doesn’t expect them to live, he has given them extreme advantages.

    Delvers LLC starts off slowly and takes some sustained effort to get into.  But with the effort comes a very entertaining listen.  There is plenty of action and clumsy love interests to keep the listener involved.  To the author's credit, it doesn't take itself too seriously and is pretty funny.  The story is cartoonish and somewhat unbelievable – like a game; but that is the point and is true to itself.

    The story is performed by Jeff Hays, who does a very good job.  The characters are clearly differentiated and sound true to their personalities.  He generally stays out of the way, just giving enough interpretation to allow the listener’s imagination to fill in the rest.

    Delvers LLC is like watching over the shoulder of someone playing a video game.  It is very entertaining and full of action and video violence.  The characters are defined early, but evolve into something resembling real people.  Though you really don’t expect them to fail, the action is engaging.  If you enjoy roll playing games, or the recent genre of bringing these games to fiction, you should definitely put this novel at the top of your list.  A good dose of humor throughout the novel keeps it fun too.  Delvers LLC is not listed as a series, but is clearly written as one.  It neither ends, nor wraps up the story.  If you like it, you will want to continue on to book 2 when it is released.  Recommended for the intended audience.

    Note: Appropriate for the right young-adult audience. Keep in mind there is graphic violence, sex and adult language.  The equivalent of an R rated movie.

    Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.

    Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

    [If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-02-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Great book but feel like they moved the story to fast"

    So they could have made the series into 10 books. But they moved everything way to fast. Hoping the books get longer and they slow down on main story progression. Because at the rate it's going only by reading this book it will all be over in three books.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karlyn Keller 08-01-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Fun but typical"

    I enjoyed the book but wasn't surprised by it. Pretty typical of the genre I thought. I recommend it for a bit of light reading for the right price. I'd even read the next one again for the right price.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • kanundra
    1/11/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "First LitRPG listen"

    When you like a narrator you do tend to find books and genre's you've never listened to before, so this was a first for me. I did used to game a lot when I was younger but I'm a bit out of touch now.

    The story had a great sense of humour from the get go. Our two Mc's are transported to another world and meet the God - Dolos. Who through his intentions brings out the sarcastic unbelievability of our human nature. He doesn't appear much, but he has a good role. There were some POV shifts that didn't gel with me at first, but once I got used to it, it was much easier to follow, it could well be that this is an audiobook and not me reading it where the confusion lies...

    I hadn't known what to expect from the plot, and I hoped that it would entertain, yes it did. There were some really great points and then some low ones. I did find that although the Mc's were almost 30 and older, that their mindsets were that of much younger guys, for me in their 20's either that or their teenage male hormones just kick in at stupid times and especially around the women of the planet. I would like to think guys a little more mature didn't act like these two in some situations. Their reactions in most situations are quite normal, even if they're accepting to their new situation a little too easy, but as explained theres reasons for that.

    In relation to the two 'ladies' they come across, I think that both of them ending up in a relationship with the two Mc's is a little too good to be true and feels a little more like hero worship and entrapment of some kind, at least to me.

    Of course, I can't fault the performance, Jeff really brings the best to the table and he's always going to make something amazing. As an audiobook I listened til just before Chapter 15 before I the writing actually pulled me out the story. As I'm new to the genre, I'm not 100% sure on how switching POV's so late in the story is acceptable, but I guess it is.

    Marine's pov here didn't do anything for me, and I have to be honest. As a script writer and juggler of multiple POV's they're important for me to be early on in a story. I can only think that and the same goes for the other POV's that sneak in now and then.

    There were two pretty important big battles in here, and the most important for me is the fight against Thod obviously, and this is a really great scene. Almost wanted the book to end soon after, I honestly am not sure that the dungeon scene later measures up to it.

    Overall, I had some fun, laughed and routed for the Mc's in their quest. I know I'm not quite the target market, and that shows in the way I perceived some of the plot points. I do think this is a good book and that people of all generations and those who love both Fantasy, Scifi and this newer genre will enjoy.

    I look forward to more from Jeff and Blaise. Thanks for the entertainment. :)


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • cameron
    TELFORD, United Kingdom
    8/19/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "classic bad author falling back on sex"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    like all the romantic encounters is he 12 years old it comes across like a tween fantasizing.


    If you’ve listened to books by Blaise Corvin before, how does this one compare?

    nope, and I probably won't again


    Which character – as performed by Jeff Hays – was your favourite?

    Jason


    Was Delvers LLC worth the listening time?

    yeah maybe, probably if you're after a fantasy to fill time if you have run out of better books like "name of the wind".


    Any additional comments?

    its cringe but has some redeeming fighting scenes and ideas.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • despie
    5/10/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Overall not bad."

    Liked the book overall. Though not as good as his other book secrets of the old ones. Felt like some of the paragraphs got repeated whilst listening to it. Story is good but doesn't feel like it's anything different than other books on the market. narrator did a great job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • J. L. Cronshaw
    Leeds, UK
    1/26/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A lot of fun"

    This is a fast-paced, entertaining read. You're taken straight into the RPG world from the beginning There are some really interesting rules to the world that have real consequences in the story. I particularly enjoyed the interaction between the two central characters. Looking forward to book two.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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