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Publisher's Summary

Dark forces have extended Edward Wright an offer of incredible power at a terrible cost...and Edward has chosen to make them regret it.

When Edward is swept into the world of Ivalis as a Dungeon Lord, the Dark's most powerful servant, he has no servitude in mind. He'll oppose the evil plans of the Dark god, Murmur, whatever it takes.

Through only his wits and his guts to help him survive a weakened arrival, Edward must rise to power if he is to earn the right to live another day. But in the battle between Dark and Light, what can Edward choose if both sides are cruel, uncaring monsters? Cold gods laugh in the distant world of Ivalis. Heroes chase after power and experience, while Kings send their armies to their deaths in the name of the Dark and the Light.

But no one expects the rise of the Dungeon Lord.... And in the world of Ivalis, maybe a single man can forge his own path.

With the One Man Theater himself at the helm, joined by the sensational Annie Ellicott as two of the most disturbing monsters ever produced by Soundbooth Theater, we hope you never forget this horrifying LitRPG experience.

The Soundbooth Theater team for this production:

  • Jeff Hays - Narration, Characters, Production Supervision
  • Annie Ellicott - Amphiris the Spider Queen, Ilene the Mindbrood
  • Dalton Lynne - Proofing, Editing
  • Alex Tate - Production, Editing, Mastering
©2017 Hugo Huesca (P)2018 Soundbooth Theater

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    26
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Story

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

Over all too soon!!

I'll be honest here, I am beginning to listen to just about everything I can find that Jeff Hays records. The man is vocal monster, and his range is scary. DL sees him providing ever newer voices to his repertoire and th world is better for it. The man is a vocal monster, and I think his taste in choosing what to read is almost at the same level. I don't know how he picks his books, but I have never heard him narrate a dud. Annie Ellicot does a great job here, too. the pair work seamlessly together that is reminiscent of Old Time Radio Dramas, but much much better.

DL 1, looks to be like the first in a long line of books; I am happy to say. It has a great style, lots of humor, and a gross and terrifying monster to trouble our "evil" Dungeon Lord and his minions. Hugo keeps the book nicely paced, and it is always interesting. Additionally, it handles the "I live in a video game" troupe in a cool way. One of the things I really enjoy is getting to watch the main character level up, and I had to laugh when the MC complains that he hardly got any experience for killing a high level monster. The explanation he gets was completely justifiable, and not something you see in these LitRPG novels nowadays. The hero is clever, intelligent, and brave but not suicidal or stupid. He behaves in a logical and reasonable manner.

This is a great book, and I most highly recommend it to you. Go read it now, so we can get more of Lord Wraith's adventures.

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

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

A litRpg

This was a good book. One stranger to another it’s worth the buy. And will most likely quickly climb the ladder to become one of the top stories in its category. I think the narration was excellent and stayed consistent throughout the story.
The plot itself was believable enough.
What I really enjoyed was the different monsters and how the narrators used their studio to maximize the creepiness of each monster.
Buy it, love it.
There was one sex scene which wasn’t to much or to long and it’s a very very small portion of the book.
Excellent book

25 of 30 people found this review helpful

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

A Good Listen (But a Warning)


I've been growing more fond of LitRPG novels lately, and this one is an excellent listen. The plot and characters are believable, the decisions they make under stress are thought out, and the errors they make are understandable. The narration was also excellent, though I would have liked that the guest narrator was used more in all the female roles. Which... brings me around to why I rated this a little oddly.

-- Minor Spoiler --
A child dies in this book. It is horror movie worthy. The voice actress is so on point, and the imagery so shocking, that it was all I could do to stand to listen. Violence towards children is a particular sore spot of mine when it comes to media, so I include this for people who might feel as I do. It was as good listen, but it made it nearly impossible to finish. Though, I will give the author and the narrators my compliments for evoking such a strong emotional reaction that I had to pull over and calm down.

So... yeah. With that caveat, enjoy. I do not mean to dissuade anyone from enjoying this book. I just felt like there needed to be a warning here.

9 of 14 people found this review helpful

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

The dark never felt so good...

If you are a fan of the Literary Role-Playing Game (LitRPG) genre, you will enjoy listening to "Dungeon Lord" which is the first book in what appears to be a future series of books taking place in this new and unique fantasy world. Hugo Huesca does an exceptional job in crafting a world full of fresh, different, believable and multi-dimensional elements; both characters and environments. Add in the amazing production quality and narration from both Jeff Hays and Annie Ellicott of Soundbooth Theater and you are given the best of both worlds. Jeff and Annie do not overpower the story, but instead both story and narration come together to form an amazing fantasy tale that keep me entertained and surprised along the way.

What happens when a group of people from the same office are a part of an online guild where one's physical world boss takes out his gaming frustrations on the staff when they mess up? This is where one of our characters early on takes matters into his own hands and unbeknownst to him, he discovers he is given the option of working for the side of dark or potential long-term impressment. I do not want to spoil the story, so you will have to read of this sounds interesting. What complicates matters even more is that Ed (our main character) has always battled the dark and has been a hero of light in all his gaming. Once injected into this fantasy world, mimicking the game he was playing online, he need to make the right decisions as this is no longer simply a game, but truly a battle for both life and death. This new game Ed has been placed within only has the option of "perma death", so there is no return when you make the wrong choice. Will he continue to fight for the side of evil or will his light side win over the day?

For me the book's opening, world, and characters made it a listening pleasure. I'm not one for books that are focused solely on the darker side of fantasy (I always played the Paladin), yet the author includes a fair amount of humor, light-hearted antics, and even some romance to break up the mood when needed. The book itself did not feel overly dark nor gloomy, but there was always the pull between the two forces upon our main character; think Luke Skywalker from StarWars. I enjoyed a few of the characters that are often classified as being more on the side of evil such as witches, but we are also given a few that are not including a bard; yes, a bard. When Edward begins to build his new party, one is reminded more of the island of misfit toys than a band of heroes; which is not a bad thing for this journey. Each of the characters needs to depend on the other strengths and weaknesses for them to survive. The author did a great job of integrating the various characters along with their many quips into this band waning to save the land from a much more powerful and menacing creature; the mindbrood. I often found myself laughing out loud observing the actions and interactions between the drone creatures and the other characters.

There is a fine-line one needs to walk when they have the desire to be both a hero and a instruments of the dark. Early on when you are trying your hardest to make friends and alliances while always being challenged by others for the podium of evil, the struggle is real for Ed. In this book, not only is the mindbrood one of the big encounters, but also the many encounters with hordes of spiders (I do not like spiders) and a few other evil classed monsters. For me the book set up the situation quite well and at times felt predictable, yet in the end, the author did a good job of surprising me with the unexpected. I very much enjoyed the premise and the view we are given into the birth and difficulties of establishing a new and power dungeon that will be able to hold off the forces of future adventurers and heroes. There was always this feeling of gloom throughout the story but is did not feel oppressive. One gets a good sense of changes occurring in the world and with the main character as the dark weighs on his heart and soul. The question of will he succumb to the dark or be able to overcome its pull and follow the light? This and much more is answered in the past of this book.

If you are at all familiar with Jeff Hays and/or Soundbooth Theater productons, you know what to expect from one of their releases. The audio is some of the best available and the team ensure that they only give the best to their listening customers. I liked the inclusion of some of the sound effects which were not overdone and helped make the book pop. It is the little subtly things that make Soundbooth Theater one of my favorite audiobook publishers, they focus on what is important to listeners and make sure everything to they do is right. I did not notice any audio artifacts and both characters narrated their parts very well. If I had one suggestion, it would have been to have the spider queen's voice a bit slower as it was more difficult to comprehend if you are one who listens to audiobook at more than their normal speed; like myself.

For parents and younger readers, this book includes a plethora of vulgar language. There are also scenes of sex and humor incorporating sexual innuendos. If you are easily offended by either of these, I would suggest you find a different series to listen too.

In summary, when I was done with this book, I wanted to jump right into the second one in the series to see where our main character would go next. However, at the time of this review, it does not yet exist in audiobook format. The book itself can be read as a standalone novel, yet at its end we are presented with many paths or directions the team could go in future releases. I look forward to more book in this series and highly recommend it to others who enjoy the LitRPG genre.

Disclaimer: I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.

2 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

Work in retail hell? Consider selling your soul!

Deals with dark gods: Check.
Requisite sex scene: Check.
Lowly minion dies in battle: Meh, I'm not telling.

It's good, not excellent, maybe a bit predictable. The dungeon mechanic is different which is nice.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

More colorful than the cover

The dark side recruits a experienced gamer to be a new Dungeon Lord. Interesting mix of stuff from across the LitRPG genre a bit of portal, a bit of dungeon core (Lord). I had a little trouble following the very beginning (prologue?). The rest of the story flowed well. Jeff Hays did a great narration and Annie Ellicott did great creepy monster voices. The little batlin was my favorite. I'll listen to the next one when it comes out.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

A Twist on a classic fantasy feel.

The book had a little bit or a cheese opening and the ending suck up quite quickly. There are some problems with characters ability to view others "Stats" in the story. When the "Character Sheet" is spoken to you aloud it screeches the story to a halt. This idea was probably executed better in written format.

That being said the story was charming, the voice performances gave lots of life to the characters and anyone that considers themselves a fan of both Video Game or Pen and Paper RPG's will get a kick from the stories familiarity.

I'd recommend the book for sure. I'm excited for the sequel to be recorded so that I can continue the adventure.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Awesome performance and great characters!

First things first, the voice work and editing in this read are amazing. The spiders have 2 voices and some cool effects going on behind them to make them sound like real creatures and not just someone in front of a microphone. This level of detail alone makes the book worth a read.
That said, it is a LitRPG. The stat pages get annoying and if you aren't paying full attention (i.e. driving), they can be hard to follow.
While the story isn't my favorite, it's definitely not bad and it is inventive. Well worth the listen if you like LitRPGs or great vocal editing.
Also, if you liked this, go listen to the Divine Dungeon series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An auspicious start

Very enjoyable story brilliantly performed.
The quite explicit merging of game mechanics into what would be an old school fantasy story is very well done

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Pretty decent

I qas a little unsure of this book at first especially since I was currently listening to Life Reset which was also Narratored by the same guy, but this story was actually pretty good and the Narrator was much better than he was in the other book. He does tend to make the MC sound emotionless but it wasn't to bad this time around.
It must've been the writing of Life Reset because that character was a complete emotionless shell.

Anyway this book is pretty good and I'm looking forward to the next one.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dingo 883
  • 04-18-18

My second delve into LitRPG

Any additional comments?

This is my second LitRPG book and I enjoyed it very much. My first experience was The Land, but there is little comparison between the two. Both feature fantastic narrators. The Land's story and character's had me hooked a bit tighter, but I liked how Hugo didn't flood me with stats. He achieved a very nice balance. I'm very interested in seeing how the dungeon lord continues to build his army. There's plenty of surprises i this book that I suspect will keep coming.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Josh Smith
  • 04-09-18

Very Impressed

This was my first time listening to an audio book and I have to say I am exceptionally impressed by the performance of the narration. It does an excellent job to emphasise emotion and the 'mind brood' gave me chills to hear. The book itself was an excellent combination of reality and game and I'll most definitely be looking out for the future installments. The protagonist is well written and doesn't follow the cliché stereotypes expected of them. If you are looking for a new book, I absolutely recommend giving this one a try.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ChristopherHart
  • 03-21-18

Great book

this is an amazing listen, the added sound effects draw the listener in to the world of the book. I also like how it jumps perspective for the main person to others around him! really really good book

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Teitur Ásgeirsson
  • 03-16-18

not for me it need somerhing more

not for me i thought it would give more store about building his dungon
but maybe next book in series will fouces more on that

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anders Haywood
  • 04-24-18

Fantastic listen!

At first I was a little unsure on this one. I don't really read any LitRpg books, so I don't have a grounding in them.
Still, I'm so glad I gave this a chance! The voice acting was superb, the story was well plotted and tightly crafted and the characters were great!
I would definitely recommend this gem!