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Publisher's Summary

Lazarus Cain is a member of the Grim Shadows, one of the Thieves Guilds in the city of Eberia. Unfortunately, Lazarus is having a bad day. Waking up in a torture chamber, suffering from amnesia, he'd be pretty much screwed if not for the mysterious, magical sigil burned into his chest.

Sometimes a really bad day should be shared with others, especially professional torturers.

Lazarus will need to use all his cunning and skill to work with his comrades, uncovering schemes within schemes, discovering that the Grim Shadows are not the only Thieves Guild in the city mired in conflict. What's more, the leaders of the other guilds, the Thief Lords, don't respond well to treachery. 

©2017 Luke Chmilenko (P)2017 Podium Publishing

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2,357
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    764
  • 3 Stars
    169
  • 2 Stars
    40
  • 1 Stars
    17

Performance

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    2,737
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    379
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    55
  • 2 Stars
    9
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    7

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    51
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    25
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Not a continuation

Would you listen to Hell to Pay again? Why?

Only a couple of hours in to this book and it seems to be on par quality wise with the first Ascend Online. Just a notice that this is NOT a continuation of the first book, but a story regarding a different character entirely.

Only reason I am writing this is I was quick to order this book and expecting it to continue where the first left off. Slight disappointed as I was expecting something different, but the story so far is strong and I have been enjoying the listen.

If you enjoyed the first book, go ahead and purchase this one, just know this is a different story arc.

62 of 64 people found this review helpful

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

Okay

I was a huge fan of the first book in this series. It was engaging, smart, quick paced, and believable- at least as much as a LitRPG can be. This installment (same world, totally new characters) was much, much weaker. Stilted dialogue, forced plotlines, and ridiculous situations abounded. Yes, even for a LitRPG world.

That being said, I still finished the book.There was something compelling enough in the story to get me to the end, so it wasn't completely irredeemable.

Looking forward to book 3 and the return to Book 1's characters. Hopefully this downhill slide was because of trying to force out a story after the success of book 1, not a harbinger of series collapse.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Skip this book

Even the talented Luke Daniels couldn’t make this book a worth successor to the first. This story isn’t captivating in the slightest. Such a big disappointment after how fun the fist book was. Do yourself a favor; listen to the last minute of the epilogue and go straight to book 3 ( or is it 2 since this is technically book 1.5)

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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

So cheesy

Plot? check
Narration? double check
But the damn writing. Most of the time it's fine and then we get to these stupid standoffs where protagonist goes into dumb conversations with enemies and just acts like a moron and I'm lost. Author doesn't seem to be aware of his characters stupidity either which is troubling.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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

absolutely awesome

This book is absolutely as epic as book 1 was and makes me eager to listen to book 2: legacy of the fallen will be better than perfect im sure.

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

love it!!

I enjoyed the story it was entertaining had me fully captivated. Can't wait for the other book

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

phenomenal

both the author and the performer did an absolutely phenomenal job. well done across the board. I can't wait for the next one

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • chendria
  • Norcross, GA, United States
  • 10-27-17

Missed something for me

I didn’t like the way it ended. It left me with more questions than it answered and I know it’s not supposed to tie into the first book but there were parts where I felt like it should have at least at the end when creativity had a passage.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

Good read for the adventurer in all of us.

It's as if someone took the exact slice of the multiverse that I wish I was in and made a book about it.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

much better than expected

so like a lot of readers/listeners i was very annoyed with the totally new character arch. I expected the short book 1.5 to just not live up and be a money grab. While I don't agree with the complete new arch with no added content to the main story, the story is done in a great way that makes me believe Luke is expanding his original story from what was originally planned wile keeping solid quality of the new books. I, and it seems most readers, would much prefer continuing the multiple arcs in one book "game of thrones" style. I see why this isn't possible after making the first book and expanding to this one so i can't knock Luke hard because the execution was great.

as a stand alone book it is very good. It fits the world vey well and the characters are totally unique from the characters in the first book in more ways than just being new characters. the story is very solid and brings a new look onto the world as well as expanding the first book.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr Mask
  • 06-27-18

Luke Daniels sounding a bit bored

The first book in the series was fine, but by the end had started to shift away from LitRPG into being a straight-forward fantasy novel. That's fine I guess, but not what I signed on for.

This second book shifts characters, which is also fine, but then seems to forget that they're playing a game.

That this is a game they're playing should be (in my humble opinion) central to the story, not an afterthought.

As another note, Luke Daniels is one of my favourite narrators and throughout this book he just sounded bored, which I can't fault him for.

I won't be back for any more in the series.

1 of 1 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
  • Mr P A Daines
  • 07-15-18

doesn't disappoint.....

doesn't disappoint, can't wait for book 3 and hopefully a return to the adventurers in book 1

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Stu
  • 05-15-18

gripping totally engaging storyline

looking forward to the next book in the series, hooked on storyline sofar, this was nice change of direction from book one, new characters, hero this time is a bit darker. dropped star overall as experienced some hiccups in audio play back

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Aslanenlisted
  • 05-03-18

A brilliant adventure

I was hesitant to begin this book as it wasn't a true continuance of the Ascend Online story. Bit I was blown away by the story found within. The over all world building adds to the Main story line and gives us a peak into a darker side of then universe. Hope to see more of this story.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Nick
  • 03-27-18

Not up to the standard of the previous one

Luke’s performance is great as always but this book is a bit of a let down - it’s the same story as the first with a few cosmetic changes. Not bad for a casual listen but missing the sense of wonder that made the first one so good.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Liam
  • 01-29-18

Another grate story

Another grate story with more of this amazing universe explained and yet still more left to explore.
The naration is of good quality and easy to listen to.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Coxeh
  • 10-24-17

An excellent side story

set a couple of weeks after release of ascend online this book provides a different view on the world established in the first book.
I was only disappointed that the book was not as long as the first and it left me hungey for more!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • mr
  • 10-20-17

a fine listen

this series is becoming quite immersive, great performance of an action packed story with the only downside being the repetitive reading of the character sheets, possibly better if kept brief and to the point, though they would make for wonderful illustrations in the hardback version, assuming they aren't already

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chloe Priebee
  • 07-15-18

amazing sequel to an amazing book

I am absolutely loving this series, if you want a great adventure pick this one.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • pa81trick
  • 06-09-18

Very enthralling and an amazing universe

I was initially less interested because it follows a new character, this changed as the story progressed and the mystery unravelled

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Xravia
  • 03-25-18

It's book 1.5.

The book dosent really do much that the first book didn't already do other than provide perspective on the city and introduce primordial energy.

Things like setting up daenerys or whatever as the capitals baddie or the land across the sea had an emperor that wanted to become a god; explaining resources are expensive because of competing guilds and are fluctuated because of the influx of adventures are arguably done better in the first book, I'd prefer the second book to be released instead.

It's a rehash of the first book with a detective/amnesia take , relabeled as an expanded universe.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Trent
  • 01-02-18

Skip it

The first book was great. I finished this one but did not enjoy it. The story does not carry on and does not have the same feel

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 10-26-17

Unbelievably amazing

Narrator was perfect for the format of the book and story telling, with a vast array of unique voices made each character come alive. Please hurry and release book 2.0, I'm not sure what to do with my life after book 1 and 1.5!!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 10-23-17

Great

I love the emerging litrpg genre, and the world and mechanics in the ascend online series in particular. Also Luke Daniels is a great narrator.
Bring out the next book in the series please, and keep them coming!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • steven
  • 10-11-17

great series

i love the series but feel like this story ended a bit abruptly. word, word = 15