Regular price: $30.09

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

The virtual world of Barliona is a place of rest and entertainment - but not for everyone. It has become a survival arena for Daniel Mahan after he was sentenced to eight years in its virtual jail. Mahan has been through it all: the back-breaking work in the mines, betrayal by other prisoners, and finally, the retrial which has released him into Barliona's common world. What more could one want? Mahan could have kept a low profile and enjoyed relative freedom while serving the rest of his time. But being a Shaman, he can't help himself. Soon he's a clan leader, taking 50 of the continent's top players to claim the secrets of the Dark Forest.

Β©2016 V. Mahanenko; English translation copyright 2016 by Natalia Nikitin (P)2016 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,423
  • 4 Stars
    323
  • 3 Stars
    51
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    6

Performance

  • 4.8 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,438
  • 4 Stars
    235
  • 3 Stars
    33
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,319
  • 4 Stars
    305
  • 3 Stars
    66
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    7
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • D
  • corona, ca United States
  • 12-13-16

Best LITRPG

So far the first three Audio books of “The way of the Shaman” series are the best LITRPG I’ve heard. I’ve enjoyed others’ in the genre like “Ready Player One,” and the “Phantom Server,” and the “Play to Live” series; although the follow up to RPO stunk and the last few books of the “Play to Live,” series had lost some of the excitement, but “The Way of the Shaman” just keeps getting better and this third book, “The secret of the dark forest,” is the best so far; I didn’t want it to end.

From the start of this series I liked the premise; a future society sending its prisoners to a virtual world called Barliona, where they must endure hard labor, digital style, in order to earn their way into the general gaming population. Daniel Mahan is one such prisoner, an engineer and hacker sentenced to eight years in the game. Mahan soon learns that he has a natural talent to survive in this world and becomes the Shaman that this series is centered on.

Barliona is a place of magic and special abilities with many unique and complex quests; some that have expanded through the entire series and have yet to come to fruition; the Emperor’s chess set, for instance, and we still don’t know the entire story behind Mahan’s incarceration. Then there is the exceptional and surprising character leveling and I really like the relationship with the NPC characters; they are not simply passive gaming props but integral parts of the story line.

About the narrator; at first I wasn’t sure about Jonathan Yens performance, but have now found it works perfectly with Vasily Mahanenko writing.
Hurry up with the next book, please!!

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Keeps getting better

When I started the series, I was cautiously optimistic about litrpg. I never really enjoyed books based in gaming worlds. I always found them to be lacking. To my great surprise, this series has quickly become one of my favorites. It helps that I'm an old gamer and the references to game culture and game mechanics are nostalgic. If you enjoy gaming, this series will pull you in and leave you wishing for more. I have shared the series with other old gamers to universal appeal. I'm not sure how non-gamers will react to the series but I think the story and characters are exciting enough that it would be worth checking out if you are on the fence.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Addictive

This book paid off in ways I never could have expected. Just when I was starting to lose interest the book took a turn that had me hooked until the end.

This author is excellent at creating moment after moment of sheer delight. Everything you would want to happen in an MMO.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Vasily Mahanenko has done it again!

This book is nothing less than spectacular. If you enjoy the LitRPG genre then this series is for you.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Enjoyable, but treading a dangerous path.

I'm a little disappointed with the path this series is taking. In the first two books, there seemed to be a focus on the character developing his avatar, using wit to get ahead, and there was also a relaxed pace to things. In the most recent installment, the speed and pacing has become frantic. The main character seems to rapidly be given god level items/quests/abilities and massive level jumps every hour. Each as a natural consequence of the one he got before, rather than any real ingenuity on his own part. In fact he rarely does anything himself anymore. Most of the action is done by other characters, then the main character receives a superior reward to them because he's the chosen one of fate/luck for the most part. This seems to be a trope in this genre, and the first book had given me some hope that this series wasn't going to fall that way. I have to say I'm hesitant to continue anymore.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Incredible story

Vasily, I applaud you with a virtual standing ovation you're an excellent writer. This unique story line keeps getting deeper and more exciting with every new book. Congratulations to you sir!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

they just keep getting better

I have been waiting for this third book to finally get released in audio format, and was so excited when I saw it that I splurged my remaining credit (I was saving it for something special) immediately and bought it. I really enjoy this series not just as a gamer and fantasy novel lover but overall it's just an outstanding series. Mahanenko and Yen are an incredible team together; as a narrator he is on part with Nick Podehl or Oliver Wyman imo. Each character has their own unique voice as well as very in depth fleshed out backgrounds. This makes you really get sucked into the story, then all of the sudden a rare gear piece drops and you're hit with the stat increases and buffs given to the character (s) that makes me suddenly have that "oh yea!" moment; I constantly forget the book is a LITRPG. The only reason I did not give it a 5/5 was that personally the book was a little slow for me in some parts (10 minutes, once an entire chapter) just making me space out, but that's just me. I still loved the book and will reread it often as well as immediately buy up the next book when it drops. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Another great one can't wait till the next!

Great story. Can't think of anything bad to say. will be buying all other books to come in this series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Aargh the MC can be frustrating

There are so many times that the MC has no intelligence and just misses so many common senses things. It is so frustrating that I am done with the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not disappointed!!!

I want more! After the third book in a series I'm usually fed up with the story but not in this series. I can't wait to see what happens next!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • David
  • 01-07-17

Story continues to grow well

Again this book needs to be read in order and is a good continuation of the story line. Characters are levelling up and it is good to see that whilst they need to level it is not poorly done. The author manages to stop it being too power levelly but equally allows development at a pace. Character story and world development continues to be really good and I like the development more and more. Roll on the next book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Bracore
  • 11-29-17

Top quality D&D format Book

This is a top quality main character driven series of books based on a character who has been sent to prison in a VR world where there are other human people playing the game for for fun (not In a prison in the real world)
So the main character has to take on quests and build up his stats to grow his charter is a D&D world type setting.
Probably not given this review a true justice, it's an awesome series and a most get 5plus stars πŸ˜„πŸ‘

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-26-17

another great book

3rd book is great as Well. More character building. great ending with twists as always.

Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • glenn
  • 11-25-16

God I love these books

I like the complexity of the inter locking quests and the evolution of the characters.

I disliked that he did not cover the real world tie ins better that is brings them up then never went back

Id recommend this for anybody who likes litRPG or fantasy in general

1 of 1 people found this review helpful