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Publisher's Summary

Unlike in real life, Max is pretty good at playing games, so when a new limited-time dungeon opens up in the virtual reality game he plays, boasting a huge cash prize, Max knows he needs to try and complete it if he wants to be able to pay rent this month.

Fortunately, the only guild strong enough to attempt to take it on before the timer runs out needs a tank.

There's just one problem, he's never played with them before, and even if he convinces the Sisters of Artemis to let him join in time to tank the dungeon and collect the prize money, if they wipe, it's all over.

That would be bad because without that prize money, both he and his baby sister will be sleeping in a cardboard box under a bridge, and Max really hates sleeping in cardboard boxes. Been there, done that, sold the T-shirt.

©2017 Jason Cipriano (P)2017 Jason Cipriano

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Excellent gamer story

This is a really enjoyable and exciting audiobook. I'm not a gamer but I found this story made me want to be one. I'm sure if you like teamwork fantasy combat games you will adore this story. The duel tale of immersion in a virtual reality game, where quests can be undertaken, friends made and money gained, and the real word, where the physically disabled are struggling to survive, kept me totally entranced. Max is a great character, confined to a wheelchair and taking care of his equally disabled sister in real life. He needs money in order for them to survive and gaming is the most viable source. In the game he is a excellent tank and team leader, he has built a team that he is starting to consider as friends (some a bit more than just friends) and they are leading the game in newly released quest. The narrator does an excellent job, I think it is some of his best narration work. He draws you into the story and makes both the fantasy and the real life seen alive and captivating. You soon become invested in Max's life both in reality and in the game. I really enjoyed both the story and the narration and I look forward to listening to the next in the series.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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

So glad I gave this a chance!

So I heard about this book from a friend and his thoughts on this weren't terrible but he couldn't get over the weirdness of not being able to speak about real life in this book. So I came in with lower expectations than I might have otherwise. His issues with the book were addressed if only in passing which makes me wonder if he missed that paragraph. So yeah it passes that world building requirement at least as far as it goes with me.

I was also surprised to find that, while this isn't the most in depth lit rpg book as far as numbers go, this has one of the more "cute" romances I've seen in these books at least as far as it was allowed to bloom in this first book. I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes later. Especially with the how main character's real life circumstances are arranged.

If there's something I'd love to see more of here it's the characters in the book. They're so likable that you just want to know more about them but the main hook of the book kinda makes it hard for anything past the surface level. I'm interested in seeing how the author works around that little fact as it's clear there's some real chemistry between all of them. I'm definitely looking forward to more from these authors!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

Not my style

It seems to me there should now be sub-genres of litrpgs. This book in particular would be classified as litrpg/drama/romance.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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

A Good Yarn

I'm not going to lie and say this is a great work of Literature, nor even one of the best books I've read. However, I will gladly admit that this is one of better and more fun books I've read this year, which given it's book 48 is pretty high praise really.

The Cons: I suppose the first one would be the suspension of belief at how similar the 24th century is to our own, almost the same issues with just slightly better technology. Secondly as other reviewers have pointed out, this isn't tech heavy book, if you want a story with hours of detailed sudo-science explanations this isn't your book or even your sub-genre. The female character is kind well, lacking in character though there is promise of more development later. Lastly, the one thing that should have been really edited out of the audio book was the sections about damage, leveling and so one info. Without an actual page too look at the info is hard to understand and track and really more of an annoyance that adding anything useful.

The pros: While predictable, it's predictable in the right way, with enough turns to keep from getting bored but not so many you sit back and wonder what the writer was thinking. The book has a lot of layers going on and isn't a simplistic, trapped in game, sort of plot this genre generally has. The characters seem like they'll develop nicely in the following books. The pacing Is neither too slow nor to fast. Lastly and most important to me, is the book was fun to listen to and I could genuinely tell the author enjoyed writing the story which just makes for a good book for me, if not great literature.

In the end I would recommend this book to people that want to listen to a good yarn, like a Edgar Rice Burroughs or Robert E Howard old pulp fiction style story. If you want something that's fun and enjoyable with a bit of food for thought but that isn't too serious then is a good book.

3 of 3 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

A different kind of LitRPG

J.A. Cipriano is one of my favorite authors, the man knows how to craft a tale, and he also knows how to make himself standout. There are tons of LitRPG books out there now, and all of them focus on howa character gets stuck in the gam world, or why they enter it. Here, he makes it simple. No one gets stuck in the game, it is something that you can turn on or off whenever you want. The main character, Max, has responsibilities. He has a sister who he needs to care for, and he's having a hard time since he himself is wheelchair bound. The one fortunate piece of luck that he is having is that the new VR games use the same tech that he does to get around, and so he's really good with it. By the way, Max's ister is also handicapped and so he is forced to do what he can to support them. Fortunately, he finds a game that is willing to pay to play, so to speak and so he goes into VR to keep his family afloat.

Like I say, this isn't your average gamelit book. The MC isn't trapped, stuck, sucked away, isolated, or digitally copied into the game. This plays out more like you expect like when those guys show video clips of em playing on YOUTUBE to earn money. You can completely see this happening in real life someday.

The action on a Michael Bay level, the story is compelling, and the characters a real. You certainly feel like you've been through an adventure by the time you've finished the book. The nice thing is that you will also be looking forward to hitting the next book in the series, and since the trilogy is done, you can keep going without slowing down.

I would like to talk about the cover. It is beautiful, and it catches your eye. I appreciate the starkness off it, just characters, nothing else. You can see the action, and movement of the characters. I aways judge a cover by asking if I would put this on my wall, and I can say without hesitation, that I would

Hempel's narration is fantastic. He always does an amazing job, and really steps up when it comes to doing voices. The man is a natural storyteller, and has the set of skills that he will find that spot in your brain that needs stories and fill it with goodness. He has impressed me since I first heard him, and expect him to continue his unparalleled work.

This is an impressive first book in a series that does everything right. It sets up the motivation to play, it gives you a great backstory for the protagonist, it delivers a really cool and unique game for him to play, and it sets up a series without leaving you hanging by your nails. Even though I did receive a promo code for this review it in no way influenced my considerations of the material, and in fact, inspired me to be more honest. In fact, getting a code generally makes me harsher as a reviewer as I am more often concerned what someone like Me will decide based on my review.

If this review helped, please press the YES below. Thank you immensely!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Not your typical MMORPG LitRPG

Most everyone who will be reading this book, or this review, has played a MMORPG and understands how they work. This book, while having the typical elements (pun intended) of those games, it functions off of a different gaming dynamic which may be hard to grasp at first. Story was good and really helped you to connect to the plight of the MC as well as putting a system in place that hints at the depth of the other characters without allowing the story to tell you more about them interestingly enough. it was a good read/listen and I'm about to start the next one after this review. Enjoy the story and the adventure that we all look for in these types of books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful

Love it I can't wait for the next part.
In the last year or so Joe Hempel has fast become a favorite narrator of mine. He's right up there with Barbara Rosenblatt who my favorite.
This Audiobook was given to me at my request from the publisher, author or narrator and I provided this unbiased voluntary review.
Reasons I enjoyed this book:
Action-packed, Easy-to-read, Entertaining, Funny, Great world building, Happily Ever After, Original, Page-turner, Unpredictable, Wonderful characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

So good I can't wait to delve into the next book i

My second read from authors J.B. Garner & J.A. Cipriano. Enjoyable read, especially for fans of FRP and so much more. So good I can't wait to delve into the next book in the series. I especially enjoyed the narrative talents of Joe Hempel.

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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    5 out of 5 stars

another engrossing litrpg

Another great LitRPG from cipriano and Joe Hempel is an always welcome voice to listen to. Great depth to the story that made you root for Max to succeed in every situation and waiting to see what happened next. will def check out the next book.

I received a free review copy of this Audiobook from the author in exchange for my honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

An excellent read!

A really enjoyable and exciting new series that will keep you entertained throughout this novel.

Looking forward to more books in this series!

The narrator did a well done job of narrating this novel.

Perfect for readers of LitRPG novels.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-05-18

Sick read

Starts of a bit slow but as the book progresses and u meet the characters u start to get immersed in knowing more about them the narrator does a sick job of the book and plays each character with there own personalities and set of emotions and his job as main char well I'll let u read to see what a great job he does well done joe hempel write man for this book about to read book to and very excited thanks also to both writers well thought out book thanks thanks thank bring on book two

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  • Tarcha
  • 02-17-18

Path of Exile in written form

I love playing Path of Exile and this is more like that than any other LitRPG I have read, which is nice and I love working out which is the best weapon and gems based on slots etc.
This book looks in to that aspect as well as balancing the battles and the character development.

It’s a story about a guy who has it hard IRL and has to work hard in game to make a living.
I can relate to the MC from the perspective of the disability and the social awkwardness and it’s great to see those moments of “oh god oh god what do I do?” As that’s exactly what I would do.

Sometimes it’s a little graphic, but it’s all in line with the character and him telling his story. It doesn’t go too far or off topic.

The narrator does a good job of it, keeping voices distinct and consistent.

It’s a refreshing take on LitRPG and I encourage you to try it.