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Publisher's Summary

Corporate flameout Ned Altimer dreams of leaving his world behind. So, when Earthblood Online splashes onto the VRMMO scene, he dives in and never looks back.

His advantages are twofold: exclusive access to the game’s three-day Head Start period, and a ridiculously handsome talking axe named Frank who has knowledge of the game’s deepest secrets...if the magnificent Frank ever feels like sharing them.

But those advantages also make Ned a target. Once the Head Start period ends, his fellow players will stop at nothing to rip that suave, violent, yet disarmingly charismatic axe right out of his hands.

In 72 hours, the greatest manhunt in gaming history is set to begin.

It’s gonna be a lot of fun.

©2021 Kyle Kirrin (P)2021 Portal Books

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What listeners say about Shadeslinger

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Yeah!!!!

Anybody who’s a fan of the genre knows there are some TRASH A** BOOKS out there. Finding one worth listening to is rare, and finding one stands out is... Damn near impossible. This one stood out, so much so towards the end I was looking on kindle to see if there was a book 2. If you like litrpgs, you won’t be disappointed

24 people found this helpful

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The trifecta of litrpg

1. Great value for audio book at over 20 hours.
2. Excellent likable characters in an interesting story.
3. Travis Baldree performance.

19 people found this helpful

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Great new author! Looking forward to the next book

I really enjoyed the book. I've taken a break from new authors after a truly abysmal string of bad books but this one caught my interest. Travis Baldree does an amazing job and was a big part in why I gave this book a listen.

All LitRPG books have some things you just need to accept and move on with to enjoy the story but those are pretty minimal for this book and were really easy to continue with the story.

The MC (Ned) isn't OP or a jack-of-all-trades. He gets a head start and a unique ax to help guide him and has some good advantages because of them but also doesn't complete everything perfectly. He has some setbacks and disadvantages as well. Ned gets (from what I can tell so far) a unique class but only because of his choices and some guidance from his ax. It could be done by any player and had it's own limitations.

Things that I liked.

- Game mechanics make sense and work well. The players are playing a game, they can use game logic but have the freedom to make choices we all wish we could in rpg games. The classes are limited by a few choices the player makes but there is still a lot of flexibility without having an MC that can do everything. There are limits and trade offs to each class/profession/skill and players can't just learn everything or grind stats up. Also how the pain in-game is handled is well done. It's believable that people would want to play.

- There isn't some end of the world, rouge AI, or game breaking mechanic in this book. It's just players in a game. I really found this refreshing.

- The snarky Ax is a well balanced companion. It's funny without being over the top and isn't some one dimensional character.

- Most new books I've read in this genre have some seriously cringe moments or over the top profanity that breaks the story for me. This book had ZERO cringe moments for me and any profanity was so naturally a part of the conversations that I can't remember if there was really much if any. I've stopped reading/listening to plenty of books do to those issues. It can just be to jarring for me.

- No romance of any kind. It's focused on the game play.

- No out-of-game drama to speak of. The motivation he is in game, is just one of those small things you accept and move on with. Small thing really.

- This book is mostly PvE which I love. I'm not big on the PvP rival that never goes away or big battles between players. He does quests and plays the game.

- Other elements as well but I don't want to spoil anything.

Things I didn't like. Very few and minor.

- The setup for the next book leaves a possibility of a PvP rival. I'm interested to see where this goes and how it is handled while still progressing with the game. It is expected as players will be hunting him for his ax but it is a minor concern for me. That's personal preference thought.

- His traveling companion (Not his ax) felt under used and I hope to see more from that character in the future. Lots of potential there I think.

- MINOR SPOILER!
Ned has a small change to his character that I'm not a fan of. It has trade offs like everything else and doesn't change his overall build but just isn't a favorite of mine.


In the end I really enjoyed this book and am anxious for the next in the series. Only time will tell what this author can do but I think this is a great start with a lot of potential. It was a very satisfying listen and I highly recommend picking it up.


13 people found this helpful

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Totally worth it 5 stars

I loved this book and it’s even better because someone named Kyle wrote it. It is the best book I have listened to in a while and I can’t recommend it strongly enough. Travis Baldree is a fantastic narrator who makes listening as enjoyable as possible. I can’t wait for the next book to be released. Respect Kyle & Travis.

7 people found this helpful

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hell yeah

I honestly have no complaints. not a one. several other authors should take note. no sleaze, does not bog down in the details, constantly engaging, and leaves you eager for more. excellent execution all around

7 people found this helpful

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A new level for litrpg

I was predisposed to liking this book for many reasons. First, I was lucky enough to win a raffle on reddit to get the audiobook version for free! Also, I'm a huge Cradle fan and love Travis Baldree as a narrator. Third, there's a talking axe. That's a trifecta!

I enjoyed every bit of this story. There are rich characters, and a full blown evolving story. The ripple system is creative, compelling, and makes me wish I too could join in EBO.

This is a must buy. I'm hooked from now on, can't wait for book 2.

6 people found this helpful

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A good start but with faults

Kyle Kirrin is a good writer and his story outline is similar to others in this genre; although the MC's backstory is unique. Actually, while the character is written as a caring person, his real world reclusive backstory is unappealing and his means of entering the game makes him somewhat of an unlikable character. There is a inanimate object with similar knowledge to Skippy with a personality of a warrior. The relationship between him and the MC is one of snarky acceptance but overdone. The book also suffers from stat-bane at times which often seems like filler.

With that said, I liked the book and plan to purchase the next book in the series.

Travis Baldree.really adds to the listening experience, as would be expected.

4 people found this helpful

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Best of the Best!

I don't usually write reviews. Typically it is some stars and I'm done...but...this book was genuinely amazing. Well written character development, genuinely funny and kept the pace throughout. Well done Team!

4 people found this helpful

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Story time

I was interested in this book for many reasons. However I wasn't sure if I wanted to purchase or wait and see what happens. I spoke with the author via his Facebook group and ended up buying the book! I can't even begin to explain how good of a decision that was and I can't recommend this story enough. it's AMAZING! I'm also typically a picky person when it comes to the narrator but Travis killed it! Keep up the amazing work the two of you!

4 people found this helpful

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OMG THIS IS A MUST READ!

From start to finish, this book by Kyle Kirrin was just simply Sublime an absolute masterpiece. By far Frank is my favorite and is amazing the Snark is top tier that of like of the HK-47 assassins droid from KOTOR All MEAT SUITS MUST DIE! The class system is stuff of epic proportions the world is both imaginative and immersive in both scale and in detail.

GET THIS BOOK!

OMG why can the second book not be out yet.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Harry
  • 02-21-21

Incredible and immersive.

Hooked from start to end. The world building was fantastic, the character development and interaction were sublime and the plot fantastic.

The narration truly bitter everything together and portrayal of Frank frequently has me in stitches. I am new to this genre of books, but truly an amazing introduction. Can’t wait for the next instalment.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-18-21

Slow burner

Slow burner but when it gets going it’s thoroughly enjoyable!
Frank adds a light hearted comedic part to the story and gives it that little bit of a push to get to 5 stars across the board

2 people found this helpful

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  • k godleman
  • 03-07-21

Good Read

These days I often have issues getting interested in litrpgs as after reading enough of a genre it all seems to blur together, but this book was surprisingly refreshing and enjoyable. My only quarrel with it is that there is only 1 out in the series and I want to be read the next installment already.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ozzimmer
  • 04-22-21

Mediocre LitRPG based on WoW

I've read better in terms of quality. Read worse too.

My real issue with this book is that the author sat down and had the thought "Hey, I'm going to ignore the current social climate that paints rich guys as A holes divorced from the common human being, and make a rich guy who is essentially an A hole to everyone and has to buy friends with gifts, with a talking axe who is also an A hole, and a talking House that is meant to be unconscious of social norms but nevertheless has feelings". You need a protagonist the reader can relate to, feel for, and otherwise want to hear about. This guys self-centered cringing need to be number 1 just makes me want to tell him to put the headset down and take up some kind of productive hobby with all his free time paid for by daddy's trust fund. Gods, get out and meet some people bro, and don't flaunt your money and you might find someone who gives a care, if you can drop your ego for 10 minutes.

When you get right down to it, the book is odd, all over the road, and not all that interesting when you could read or listen to better examples of the genre. But as I say, it's not terrible writing, just a terrible premise with no core story worth hearing. Hope number 2 is better.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-18-21

good solid entry into a new universe

I said, he said, said. those are the most common phrases and it will drive you nuts.

the world is a little convenient. but the
story has to progress of course.

not bad at all. I fully recommend spending a token if litrpg is your thing .

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  • paul liversidge
  • 04-15-21

Fantastic fantasy epic

I truly loved this blook I carnt wait for the next one please hurry 👍

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  • The postie
  • 04-08-21

surprised

to start of I am not a gamer type and got this on the idea if I didn't like it I would just return it. imagine my surprise when I discovered that actually love this story you pick up the terms easy enough and it's genuinely an interesting story and best of all FRANK IS A ABSOUTLE BLAST.

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  • patrick
  • 04-06-21

loved it so much cant wait for the second book

my only grip is that 3-4 times the loot rarity was mixed up but other then that it was super great

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  • Annabel Hill
  • 04-05-21

EXACTLY what I was looking for

If you have any interest in LitRPG, or are simply a gamer looking for a new listen, this is the book for you. After struggling to find a decent new series to get into whilst waiting for new books in the other sagas I'm into, this was an extremely welcome discovery.

I got into this book really quickly. The setting is very compelling and unique. The main character is interesting and the challenges he has to overcome are varied and exciting.

The pacing is good and the world is really well thought-out. Frank is a bit cringey at first, but becomes more enjoyable as his character develops. The social faux pas of "House" are definitely a humour highlight though.

I can't wait to dive into the next book and would definitely say this has become one of my favourites.

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  • James
  • 04-05-21

Feels like a real MMO

I've listened to my fair share of VRMMO audio books, and as a game dev/player myself I love the gritty details

and I can say this book has set a new high for level of detail to a real MMO, the story is wonderful with amazing points throughout, I thought I was near the end of the book only to realise I had not even reached half way 💖

Travis Baldree does an amazing job across the board, the pure snark this book contains alone is enough for me to recommend it, it's called ShadeSlinger and I can tell because the cast is throwing shade everywhere!

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  • Nick Smith
  • 02-18-21

Solid and entertaining story

Great story telling with some good twists and turns. It's also nice in a litrpg to not have the main character building a harem as he goes. Looking forward to the next book in the series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-14-21

very good

if u like mmorpg u will love this book can't wait until book 2 is out to continue the story

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  • Wedrifid
  • 04-03-21

Solid Premise and Characters

Tempted to stop reading several times when the game creator came in to arbitrarily nerf the player (who wasn't even particularly powerful). It breaks the whole litrpg progression premise.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-01-21

Good listen

Enjoyable, grabbing plot and development looking forward to the next one. Narrator did an excellent job also. The story mechanism are well done characters are interesting and sometimes there are lol moments

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  • Sami Asmar
  • 03-19-21

Good but the listing of items was jarring

The story was interesting and I got sucked in as it went on but the listing of items and their description felt almost like filler content

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  • Rob
  • 03-19-21

Love it

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. A talking axe with a bad attitude, a world out to get you, a hand full of loyal friends, a balanced story you win some you lose some, and great voices to boot. What else do you need.
I read the comments for this book and thought this could be interesting, and boy was I right. This book is worth the purchase.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-19-21

Captivating

The world was extremely immersive and the characters had plausible and logical reasoning behind there actions. The main character also wasn't overpowered and had competition in the way of goal. Loved the game world with its sense of freedom about the choice you could make. Definitely not the most sophisticated piece of literature but thoroughly enjoyable and kept me engaged for the whole journey.

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  • Kyle
  • 03-14-21

Highly recommend

I couldn’t stop listening to this audio book, it has a really good story.
I would highly recommend this to anyone who!

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • bethy
  • 03-04-21

only suited to game players

couldn't finish , it was just an instruction manual for a game so boring for non gamers

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-26-21

dope

when it ended I cursed. now the waiting game. the true sign of a good book