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Publisher's Summary

For eons, conquering dungeons has been the most efficient way to become a strong adventurer. Although not everything is as straightforward as it seems. Several questions have always plagued the minds of those who enter these mythical places of power: why are there so many monsters? Where do the amazing weaponry and heavy gold coins come from? Why does the very air fill with life-giving energies?

Cal has all of the answers to these age-old questions, for a very simple reason. He is a Dungeon Heart, a soul forced against his will into a magical stone. After several lonely years, Cal was able to regain sentience, allowing him to form new memories while slowly growing a dungeon around himself. With help from a friend, Cal learned how to create monsters and traps, increasing his power and size quickly.

When a threat to his existence rears its head, Cal decides that he will do anything to stay alive and become stronger. Unfortunately for treasure-seekers, the fastest way for Cal to achieve his goal...is to eat anyone that enters his depths.

©2016 Dakota Krout (P)2017 Tantor

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    4,462
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    1,478
  • 3 Stars
    444
  • 2 Stars
    150
  • 1 Stars
    122

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    4,283
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    1,335
  • 3 Stars
    439
  • 2 Stars
    132
  • 1 Stars
    85

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4,157
  • 4 Stars
    1,347
  • 3 Stars
    468
  • 2 Stars
    148
  • 1 Stars
    132
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Gem in the RPG/Fantasy Genre

I stumbled upon this book while sifting through the Audible store. It sounded like a fun twist on the RPG World style fiction that I have recently been drawn to. What I did not expect is how quickly I would get drawn into the world that Dakota was spinning. This story takes you through the nostalgia filled settings of many a great RPG/Fantasy World from a perspective that I never even thought to envision; through the eyes of a young and only recently sentient Dungeon Core. You the dungeon through discovery after discovery as it comes into it's own developing itself into a great dungeon worthy of the best adventurers. Dakota weaves the mechanics of the symbiotic relationship between Dungeon, Adventurer, and Society as all grow and evolve around each other.

With the Audiobook, Vikas Adam excellently portrays the childish wonder behind the young and growing sentience that is the Dungeon Core. I feel Vikas portrayed the personalities of Dakota's characters so well that, even though I am dying to move on to book two, I feel I must wait for the next Audiobook to be released so that I can experience the book in all the excellence that is created via the pairing of Dakota and Vika's work.

I highly recommend checking this book out and I will be sharing it with all my friends.

114 of 122 people found this review helpful

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

The Dungeon is Alive!!

I had heard this story compared to Ready Player One, but where that was a futurist game going back to earlier well known games, this one was more like going back to beginning game programming. Back when you programmed in DOS. I remember writing little programs where first you learned to put a pixel character on screen, then learned how to move the character around, then learned to make the character interact with other things you programmed. This book reminded me of that. First Cal learned to create things, then learned to move them around, then each time he would see how his little monsters interacted, he would go back and re-do them to make them better.

I think this would be teen - young adult range, but as a (sometimes) adult I still enjoyed the story and would go onto the second in this series, just to find out all the changes the dungeon would come up.

Since I listened to this as an audiobook, the narrator, Vikas Adam, did a good job on all the characters. The Dungeon Heart (Cal) and his little willow-o-wisp (Danny) were portrayed in young pre-teen voices and like most pre-teens they seemed to get into little arguments over nothings. Vikas did a good job portraying their teen angst.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful

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

It really is Divine

When I first heard of this book I thought, what a great concept. I had just discovered whatever you are supposed to call the Lit RPG/Game stuff now (it gets confusing) and thought I'd give this a try. MAN. Am I glad I did. This book is fantastic.I love Cal and his little wisp companion, the farmboy turned lord is great, and the mystery of who caused Cal to come into being is utterly intriguing.

The story is very humerous, but simultaneously it can be very serious in the events that take place. I really rooted for the dungon to eat everybody, and cheered everytime he leveled up. Aditionally, Vikas Adam really adds to the reading. His voice is perfect for this series, and I love hearing the wisp say the dungeon's name. He nails it. In fact, as narrators go, I would place him on the same level as Jeff hays, James Marsters, and Morgan Freeman. He is very pleasant to listen to, and ads a lot of drama and humor with just the slightest inflection of his voice.

Read book one, and you will trip over yourself to get the rest of the series.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

ESSENCE

DARK ELVES, YES.
I want to start with the best part of this audio book and that is the narrator. If he does not win an AUDIE for this performance, than there is no justice in the world. Even when I started to lose interest in the story, his great performance kept me listening. Let me preface this, with the fact that I tend to like narrators who act more than narrate. Some people don't like that type of narration. Vikas Adams is the heir apparent to Dick Hill or Will Wheaton.

BLOOD MOSS
This was a unique book and starts out way different than most. It pretty much starts out with a gem that falls in a puddle. We are witness to the coming of age of a dungeon. A dungeon in a RPG game. We are also witness to the coming of age of a soon to be hero. To those in the story, this is their reality.

MY NAME IS TOM
My head was really in this and I was really enjoying this for the first seven hours. I listen to the rest of the book, but it was getting too repetitive and too Game-ish for this 59 year old man. It started off as a sort of Asimov Fantasy (if he had ever wrote fantasy), but ended more about the game. The whole purpose of the players and the dungeon are to gain ESSENCE and I felt if I heard the word ESSENCE one more time, I might shoot myself. For them ESSENCE is life and without it they die, as this is their reality and there are some times in the second half of the book where you wonder if the dungeon or the main character might die.

YEA, YOU!!
This was not a five star listen for the whole 12 and a half hours, but I might go ahead and continue the series. Hopefully, some of the reviews will shed light on the sequels.

65 of 76 people found this review helpful

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

Everything I've wanted from an audiobook.

Dungeon Born is a story in a fantasy world that works much like RPG games. It's a fantasy world with magic, monsters, different races, power levels and... dungeons. Story is focused around two main characters, a dungeon heart named Cal and how he grows as an dungeon, and an adventurer Dale who rises up from nobody to respectable dungeoneer. Whole story happens almost completely in the dungeon and in it's immediate area, so there isn't adventuring besides delving into the dungeon.

Dungeons work how the would work in an MMORPG game. You have a group that goes into the dungeon, tries to avoid it's deadly traps and mobs, fights bosses, gets loot and gets out if they survive. Dungeons are very beneficial for the world as the loot and resources replenish themselves, and dungeon itself gets something out of it as well, so they're natural part of the world.

Writer Dakota Krout explains in detail how the dungeon system, and world overall works, like game mechanics. Like for example respawning mobs, making them, how the loot is generated, how do people become stronger, how magic works, and so on.

My first criticism for this book is that this book sometimes feels like an rulebook of an RPG that is told in a form of an story. Positive side of that is that it also feels very fleshed out and believable, though often the explanations are bit boring. Even then, narrator brings all of this to life, like somebody is explaining all of this while being excited and interested in a way that rouses up my own curiosity as well.

Vikas Adam brings the characters to life with unique sounding voice for every character and situation. Thanks to the writer explaining the currently ongoing moods and atmosphere clearly and smoothly, it reinforces the effect.

This book clearly hits best people who have interest to the mechanics of rpg games but everything is explained in a way that you dont need to have any previous knowledge of such things, as the world is it's own even though it's mostly stereotypically themed in general.

The general tone of the book is humorous, but at the same time it takes itself seriously. People's lives are at risk, and they're doing serious work. But when there's no danger or no high stakes, people like to take things easy. I loved all characters and felt that everyone was their own unique person, even though there wasn't much delving into characters motives and reasons, but there was enough.

My second criticism is that it's an really fast paced powertrip. You cant get strong sense of time passing by, but during the time the story is told in, characters are rise up in power exceedingly fast. But, it seems to be point in this book as everything about the powertripping is given an explanation why and how it happens.

Overall, I absolutely loved this book so much that I'm going to listen it second time and take some notes about the characters and mechanics of the world. I enjoyed it all, pestered my friends about how much I love this, and cant wait to buy the second book when it comes available in Audible!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lore
  • SAN JOSE, CA, United States
  • 11-01-17

A fun concept poorly executed

To anyone who enjoys fantasy RPG games, including old school paper Dungeons & Dragons, the premise of this book is an interesting one. Why are there so many dungeons around just sitting there waiting for a party of adventures to come and plunder them? How did they get there and where did the monsters come from? What do those monsters in each room do all day long when the dungeon is not being raided? How can a rat drop a helmet twice its size as loot after it is killed? Well this book attempts to explain all of that and while a tongue in cheek book about the illogic of fantasy RPG video games may sound like fun, let me tell you why you might want to avoid this one.

This review serves as a word of warning to anyone interested in this book that you should put some extra effort into your screening process before deciding to pick it up. The book itself is fun at times but the majority is mediocre at best and sometimes it is just downright poorly written. This makes me question the many 5 stars ratings of this book on Amazon and Audible. Even very popular, best selling works by talented authors don't garner such ratings. My advice to you is that you should go out of your way to look at some of the lower rated comments on Amazon as well as the good ones to allow yourself to form a balanced opinion. Don't forget that people who return the book on Audible don't get to post a review.

The over-emoted narration of the audiobook is often beyond annoying with the first few hours of dialogue between the dungeon and the wisp being quite painful. I certainly encourage you to listen to the sample here on Audible to decide for yourself if the narration is ok for you or not. Note that they carefully avoided the really bad over-emoting in the audio sample but you can still experience a few hints of it. Vikas Adam clearly has talent but any time there is dialogue between the dungeon and the wisp his reading makes me cringe.

I quickly decided during the very annoying first few hours of the book to return it to Audible to get my money back, which made me wonder why the other reviews did not warn me off. So I decided to finish listening, just in case there was indeed a 5 star listen hiding behind a slow start, but sadly, there is not. At least by not returning it I can post this review to offer a different opinion, but I suspect it will get buried by unhelpful votes from those behind the skewed ratings.

81 of 99 people found this review helpful

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

Campy fun

As someone who's played many RPG games for the past 30 years, I have thoroughly enjoyed this book. i can tell the author has enjoyed the same. The real magic for me was the Fantastic narration which brought the characters to life in a way I don't think I would have imagined had I read the text version. I look forward to the second book and to more narration by Vikas Adam.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Soopy
  • New York
  • 01-22-18

My Great First RPG/Fantasy Starter Book

This is my first time reading an RPG fantasy book like this. I’m used to reading standard fantasy fare, which I love, but I’m also a big fan of RPG games and MMORG’s, so this genre has recently piqued my interest.

STORY
What really kept my interest throughout the book was the progression system. If you’ve ever played an RPG before, you’ll be hooked right away. It provides two different point of views; the dungeon creator and the standard adventurer. Each have their own progression paths that are explained to you as you go. It works very well together.

I really enjoyed the different point of views between Cal and Dale. I haven’t read many stories that gave you the point of view of both the dungeon master and the adventurer. The author does a great job on intermingling them to provide a coherent story.

My only criticism I can think of is the action scenes were, at times, hard to follow. I had to rewind the book a couple times to comprehend what was going on. This could have just be an issue with me though.

PERFORMANCE
What I probably enjoyed even more than the story was the narrator. Wow, what a job Vikas Adam does with this book. Vikas uses a distinct voice for each character that made it easy to follow along, especially for the dialogue scenes between characters. Vikas also manages to do the humor justice, which is important because this book has quite a bit in it.

I look forward to purchasing more books narrated by Vikas Adam in the future (including the Dungeon Born sequel!).

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Wonderful! Book 2 Please Come Soon!!

Love fantasy games with groups and quests, dungeon crawlers, paper and pen games? Then you should try this book, Seen from the two sides, the sentient new born dungeon, and the country lad turning into a 'hero'. Great humour, looking at the taken for grated genre from the side. The world and its makeup is described throughout the book, not leaving gaps of how and why to confuse, explaining everything you need to know.
The Narration in this is superb, the books jumps into life grabs hold and carries you to the end.
So we have the 'hero' Dale thrust into the world. Struggling too become more the farmer he was, and thrown into the world of being a dungeoneer.
A Dungeon named Cal and his companion Will'o'wisp both essentially children learning as they go.
The Evil Necromancers! plotting in the background!
The Elves with their machinations.
And so much more!
Fantasy! Humour! and a world filled with detail and adventure!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

pleasant surprise

first few chapters were slightly confusing. My curiosity drive me to keep listening and wow I really enjoyed the book and am glad I have it a chance

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dan Wright
  • 05-05-17

loved it

great book. alittle daft but lots of fun. well worth a read. give it a go.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ben
  • 03-31-17

Fantastic Book

Any additional comments?

Whilst, for my personal taste some of the voices felt off, I loved every moment of this book, and am eagerly awaiting book 2. Throughout the experience of listening to the novel, not once did I feel bored or had to force myself to continue; each and every chapter added to the book in an interesting way.I really did love listening to this. (Apart from some minor voice issues)

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Artemis
  • 04-04-18

Great Concept, Novice Writer

The best part of this book is the concept of an entire Dungeon being a kind of Mimic and forming a symbiosis with Dungeoneers for food while giving them loot.

The worst is that the author isnt that great at writing stories. Its not bad and has its moments which were quite amusing but he needs to learn more, refine his ability. Same goes for the voice actor used too.

Im giving no2 a shot as I did enjoy the ride.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • j o Huntington
  • 03-02-18

Brilliant idea let down by sloppy writing

I really wanted to enjoy this book. The idea is original and exciting with so much scope for bringing a wonderful genre to life in a fresh way, however the writing just isn't strong enough to carry the premise to its full potential. There are some truly awful moments with plagiarised jokes "don't call me Shirley" (Airplane) and really lazy moments, "it was dark, until it wasn't" (not exact quote) but there are several of these moments.
Vikas Adam is clearly a talented voice artist however here it is very much a case of trying to hard. Some voices are overdone to the point of being unbareably annoying and as a result any possibility for character nuances are entirely lost.
I would only recommend Dungeon Born to die hard fans of the fantasy genre or D&D games; give it a go and see if you are happy to overlook it's many shortcomings and make it to the second book, sadly not for me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Piotr
  • 07-29-17

Cant wait for 2nd book!

What did you like best about this story?

Characters and the D&D feel.

Which character – as performed by Vikas Adam – was your favourite?

Cal

Any additional comments?

As much as i loved the book as a whole i had a feeling that too many events were resolved by pure "luck" of the character.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-08-18

Dungeons and dragons in story from

very enjoyable book. unique idea with very likeable characters. It really is like a Dungeons & Dragons game or a RPG video game which I found very interesting. The only negative I can say is it drags a little in the middle but apart from that very pleasant experience I look forward to reading the rest of the series

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • david ayre
  • 04-03-18

It's like it was written by a nerdy teenager awfu.

I really did try to get into it but there are no other words I can think of as to how bad it is

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • ChristopherHart
  • 03-19-18

Amazing!

incredible experience. This book captures the attention and and lights the imagination! I would recommend this book to everyone that love a fantasy world. It flips the prospective show life and adventure for the dungeons side.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • moninoni
  • 03-11-18

Awful

So slow, very dull from the beginning. Gave it a chance, kept listening but eventually gave up. Disappointed. Had high hopes as sounded quite unusual

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andy Comber
  • 03-01-18

An interesting twist on so many tales

Refreshing to here of a dungeon delving adventure told from the point of the dungeon itself. So many books tell the story of the party that faces death and traps and fierce beasts but not many from the entity that created such beasts and where they reside.

Enthralling and entertaining throughout. A good read for fans of the dungeons and dragons style genre for sure.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lee Redwood. Gorin
  • 05-18-17

now I know

been reading random litrpg stories . n ok w I know what one they were ripping off or thinking they could do a better job. Hope there is more of this made.
doise a good job of showing a town grow. And epic quest of one location.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • e
  • 03-24-18

mix of leveling, drama, and power research.

tis a story from 2 overlapping perspectives. the leveling is a manhua cultivation style adaption for western audiences. the drama is mild but well times and moderated for the most emotional investment. the power research is a picturesque loretastic overview of easily conceivable powers made ponderous for the reader.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 03-10-18

Truly a perfect LitRPG.

very interesting point of view. loved it alot, time to buy the next two books!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • connor
  • 11-30-17

Generic

Every dungeon book I have read had some feature which drew me in . this book is just a generic dungeon story there are several books in the audible library that are more interesting in the dungeon genre this book takes all the standards of the dungeon genre and tries to put a little twist on them but just come out more bland characters are interesting but that's about the best of it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mark Vyner-Smith
  • 11-18-17

Great voice acting

This is a really nice take on the dungeon idea, well thought out. The voice actor really sells the characters and makes the playfulness of the script come to life. I've listened to many audio books and read many books, this is the first l've wanted to recommend. Immediately getting the next two in the series!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • 05-05-17

review

A little different then i expected and sometimes feels like a rpg manual but fun

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew
  • 10-01-17

Get popcorn and cozy, your in for a ride

I was sent this book by a friend with 0 information, I downloaded and started within an hour.

I have just finished in 22hours (yes I need sleep) and when I'm done with this review will probably hit play again.

This was so enjoyable, the narration is brilliant and the voices chosen for each character are held between each change in local. The characters are likeable and all have a little quirk that makes then fun. Finally the story is enthralling more than anything seriously who thinks of writing the story of a sentient dungeon, as I said I had no idea what I was getting into, just hit play and was fairly confused for the first 15m then ... again as stated I can't put the damn thing down.

Enjoy all and hope that they bring out the rest as audiobooks.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful