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Publisher's Summary

Five years ago Corin Cadence's brother entered the Serpent Spire - a colossal tower with ever-shifting rooms, traps, and monsters. Those who survive the spire's trials return home with an attunement: a mark granting the bearer magical powers. According to legend, those few who reach the top of the tower will be granted a boon by the spire's goddess.

He never returned.

Now it's Corin's turn. He's headed to the top floor, on a mission to meet the goddess.

If he can survive the trials, Corin will earn an attunement, but that won't be sufficient to survive the dangers on the upper levels. For that he's going to need training, allies, and a lot of ingenuity.

The journey won't be easy, but Corin won't stop until he gets his brother back.

©2017 Andrew Rowe (P)2017 Podium Publishing

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    9,790
  • 4 Stars
    2,689
  • 3 Stars
    571
  • 2 Stars
    171
  • 1 Stars
    145

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
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    10,689
  • 4 Stars
    1,533
  • 3 Stars
    255
  • 2 Stars
    52
  • 1 Stars
    51

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 Stars
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
    234
  • 1 Stars
    175
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great beginning to a series

This was such a fantastic book. It took certain things I don't normally care for in a story and made them interesting and good. I like the idea of DnD style challenges and puzzles. And I absolutely love the concept of getting new powers items and abilities thus changing the fundamental capabilities of different characters. I can't wait to read more of the series and see where it all goes.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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

Very good book

Books I like.

Name of the wind series
Anything from Brandon Sanderson
The warded man series
The light bringer series.

I say this to you in hopes that if you liked those books you will probably like this one as well. I won't tell you about the book as it does matter what I say. Nick is a very good reader makes the book easy to listen to. Looking forward to the next book.

109 of 121 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Eric
  • Charlotte, NC
  • 07-10-17

Worth a listen.

What did you love best about Sufficiently Advanced Magic?

This could easily, with a few changes fit squarely in the Lit RPG category. It is not told that way but I get the feeling the idea may have started that way with the author. that is obviously just my opinion and I could be wrong. It is a good book and I will get the next installment as soon as it comes out. There is only one thing in the whole book that irritates me, and again this is just me and may not bother anyone else. The creatures, and there are many are all called simply "monsters" throughout the book. I don't know why precisely, it just grated. Also, I think at this point I would listen to a cook book if it was narrated by Nick Podehl as he seems to only narrate stuff I like, within whatever category it resides. This is no exception.

39 of 45 people found this review helpful

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

Great first volume of a series

Andrew Rowe is definitely writing for me specifically. Both of his series scratch the itch that I feel for Anime/Game-inspired Hard Fantasy. The characters and plots are fun. There are some nice twists at the back end. As far as structure, it feels like each chapter is a chapter or so of a Manga, and the first book is roughly three story arcs. I dig that pacing.

Also, Nick Podehl is always a very consistent reader, and this time is no different. I look forward to more!

44 of 52 people found this review helpful

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

Overall great

I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The author did a great job of creating well thought out world.

My problems, which keep me from giving a 5. ** may contain slight spoilers **
Corin - it is annoying how he can so scared and brave throughout the book. In addition, he wants to (has to grow stronger faster than anyone) progress but refuses to use his own mental powers. It's so frustrating.
Plot line - the are many different threads that the author will probably get to but they are weaved in and out and a lot aren't answered.
Characters - are all unique but don't have the greatest depth or growth
Pace - jumps around and gets slow at points.

52 of 62 people found this review helpful

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

Couldn't make it through the whole book

Any additional comments?

I got to chapter 9 and just had to quit. (minor spoilers follow)

Let me explain the problem: The main character is the son of a noble house known specifically for their ability to fight and win in magical duels, and his parents are particularly famous for this. It should be noted that he was removed from public schooling specifically so that his father could teach him (for years) to fight in such magical duels. His family lives in a magically warded house that has a library full of books on magic, and virtually every aspect of his world is run by people who have magic abilities gained from 'atunements'. He comes off as studious, intelligent, introspective, cautious, prepared, and completely focused on one goal, going into a magical tower and participating in a coming of age type challenge, where he will fight magical creatures and overcome magical traps, to gain an atunement (granting magical abilities) and to find his brother, who disappeared 5 years ago in his own tower test. Notice how many times I used the word 'magic'?

Now, the story starts with the hero going into the tower, and moving from room to room on his quest fighting monsters and such. At this point it's pretty good, and I would probably give the story a 4 star rating. However after the first few chapters he makes his way out of the tower and gets sent to a Hogwarts style academy for new people to learn how to use their new magical powers. It is at this point made painfully clear (for the reader) that the main character knows NOTHING about how magic works. zip. zilch. nada. No understanding WHATSOEVER other than that it exists.

Now, this would make sense if our hero was a peasant from some distant village who had never had any schooling or reason to learn about magic, but, considering the character's backstory, it makes no sense at all. This would be like talking to an intelligent 18 year old whose parents are doctors, and whose whole life mission has been to also become a doctor, and when you point out that he's going to have to take an admission test says to medical school says, "words? letters? sentences? numbers? what are those? I've heard of them before, but I've never seen them. What's a scalpel? You mean the human body has organs in it?" I wouldn't expect the main character to know complex magic any more than I would expect our hypothetical 18 year old to know about dissecting a kidney, but he doesn't seem know ANYTHING about it.

The reason for this is that the author has created a very complex and detailed magic system and needs some way to explain it to the readers, but good God if he didn't pick the absolute worst way to go about it. I really wanted to like this story, but I can't get over this MASSIVE plot hole.

Oh, and the other thing is that the kid never gives any reason for why he might believe his older brother is still alive after FIVE years in the tower when it's made very clear that anyone who doesn't come out after a very short period (given the lack of food and water I'd say it lasts no more than a day) has died from some monster or trap .

215 of 264 people found this review helpful

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

My brain was engaged as much as my heart in this.

1st. it probably goes without saying. Nick Podehl is an outstanding Narrator. He is the reason i decided to pick up this book and I am so glad that I did. Not only does he make the story come to life like no other, but it seems like he only reads books that have worthy content.

This book has a lot of world building, a richly thought-out magic system, and strong main characters that really feel good to root for. At the end of the book I found myself drooling with anticipation. Truly a Gem of a book. I cannot wait for the next.

64 of 79 people found this review helpful

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

Great listen!

A story that keeps you waiting to see what's next as the potential is endless and the character development is really good. Of course Nick Podehl's narration is stellar as usual. Can't wait to listen to the next book in the series!

25 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jason
  • Rockville, MD, United States
  • 08-28-17

Listen to tons of fantasy. Easily my favorite of the year

Listen to tons of fantasy. Easily my favorite of the year and possibly before that. I started reading because I like the narrator and quickly got super into this specific story and now listening to authors other books. I cannot wait until the next in this series comes out it was just sooo good.

17 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Benjamin
  • Silver Spring, MD, United States
  • 07-21-17

A cliche w/in a worn out trope w/in a derivative.

This book is basically every magic school, coming of age book ever. Magic college? check. introspective hero? painfully check. Parents out of the picture, but somehow looming? check. Female character that outperforms hero? check. Intrigue that's "bigger than a student can handle?" check.

If you liked any of:
Harry Potter Series
The Magicians
The Kingkiller Chronicle

Rowe beats a particular trope to death though. He puts the hero in danger. Hero does something to protect himself. Kind of succeeds, but then gets chewed out by teachers for having done something even more dangerous. It happens roughly once every two chapters. The "teachers" at his school barely teach. The entire premise of this magic school is like turning monkeys loose in a bomb factory. Give the students mountains of power, don't teach them what to do, then be super freaking surprised when they blow something up, then curse them for their ignorance. Over and over and over.

I'm not asking for reality in a fantasy book. I am trying to accept the author's premise, but if I am to do that, I'd have to believe that the entire school would have blown itself to fine powder and bone fragments by the end of the first semester.

Do not play a drinking game triggered by the words "honestly boy, how could you not have known?" I keep wanting to shout at the book, "Maybe, because the faculty in this school is so monumentally disastrous they couldn't teach their way out of a wet paper bag!" Even J.K. Rowling tried to keep "first years" out of the "restricted section." Here, the librarians hand out matches along side of copies of the Anarchists' Cookbook. And then blame the students when things go awry.

I have a bunch of other hangups, but to be fair there are some things that redeem this book a bit. Rowe is able to capture snarky teenagers pretty well. His teenagers actually sound like you would expect. Faux-clever wordplay, shyness, angst, posturing, even distorted self-awareness. The teens sound like teens. I didn't think this would be too hard until I read Card's "The Gate Thief." Rowe definitely clears the bar here.

The book also has quite a few "puzzle rooms" like in the computer game "Myst." These can be interesting. I suppose whether or not this device is overused is up to the reader. I found them interesting.

Podehl has a strong performance. His accents and voice characterizations are well crafted.

94 of 120 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joe
  • 08-05-17

Fun "D&D" style adventure.

I really enjoyed this. If you like coming of age stories where a protagonist has to apply problem solving to overcome difficult situations and underdog encounters then you will probably like this.

The style is a bit unique, and I can see a huge influence from D&D or similar. The majority of the "fights" are dungeon type encounters, and other puzzle rooms reminiscent of games and tabletop gaming.

I really enjoyed it, but I could see some might have issues with the pacing in the middle-end of the book.

The narrator was excellent.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-31-17

Awesome

Tower is interesting, the magic is well thought out with good rules and it keeps you on your toes. great ending to book one 1. loved it

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Steven Richardson
  • 08-22-17

Amazing world building

I loved this story and was amazed by the level of detail given to the world. I could imagine this being made into a epic RPG game I would love to play.

The story was excellent and well thought out. I didn't see the final twist coming and it was very interesting.

I am looking forward to any more in this series as there is so much more to be explored in the world and the story line.

Also I though the narrator did an excellent job and made it an enjoyable listen. Hope it's not too long till the next.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 08-21-17

Loved the funny voices of the narrator, good night

I can finally have a proper sleep, it's indeed true that, it will keep you up at night and now I can't wait to start with the next one. The narrator improve the experience, making it more colorful with the different accents given to the different characters. Overall all it's a good book for teenagers, with a good vocabulary and it is amusing for both genders. I would recommend it after the works of Jk Rowling and Suzanne Collins

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 07-06-18

Touch and go

The main reason I didn't finish this book was the voice actor, though that doesn't mean it isn't professionally done, just that some character voices grated too much for me to continue.

Story-wise, quite interesting premise, but, and its a big BUT, the dialog is very cringeworthy, even more so when voiced aloud, I think I probably could have finished the book if I was reading and not listening, so Id advise you try that instead.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Voxsmart
  • 05-07-18

A childrens book!

I persevered with this thinking it would get better, but it is a children’s book, I wish it said so somewhere. I will not be buying book 2.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jake Thomas
  • 03-18-18

not too bad... well just okay... it was alright.

the magic system was unique but some times un-necessarily over powers the story. the main character's progression through the story is always underwhelmed by his mental regression so the two contanstly flip-flop back and forth which becomes tedious at times. Nick Podehl does an excellent performance but sometimes his voices don't range very well, which mixes up whose actually talking. otherwise enjoyed it and looking to what follows.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • J. Smith
  • 02-10-18

Very niche book

I brought this audio book after really enjoying Nick Poedhels narration of Cephraels hand. I enjoyed his voice regardless of the story.

The book itself is more like a narration of a dungeons and dragons game than a fantasy epic. The characters are unfortunately fairly typical, I didn't feel myself warming to them sadly.

The story revolves around a 17 year old in a 'magical school'. The world building and magic system are good and offer some interest but in terms of story it fell flat. The author tries desperately to draw the audience in with a number of twists, however they are so cliched that I was waiting for them to happen. I will probably buy the next part to pass the time driving to work. All in All, the story is ok, it just didn't wow me

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-27-18

Glad I kept going!

I regretted purchasing this book for some time as I struggled with the narrator's voice, but im.really glad I persisted. The story is excellent, a unique fantasy world and a twisting story that is well written. I even grew to... tolerate the narrator. I'm already looking for more from this writer!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jonathan Blackwell
  • 01-15-18

Trash fantasy but really fun

I really enjoyed this book. It was exciting and fun. You always feel as though the characters are progressing & improving in their skills, part of the reason people love playing RPGs.

It is a book I would be ashamed of telling anyone I had read mainly because the author makes it too much like an RPG. There is so much focus on “levels” & people having 48 mana that I started to cringe. More like playing Diablo 2 than reading a book in the end. I hope the sequels feel more genuine as a story and less focused on the magic system.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Daniel
  • 08-31-17

The Name Of The Wind meets The Maze Runner

Rather than swishing a wand and having all sorts of crazy magic spring out of it, this is a world in which magic and the products of this magic are a tradeable resource, and those lucky enough to weild it will inevitably battle to weild larger amounts and more complex versions of it to improve both their wealth and standing within society. It sets up an interesting dynamic at the university, where everyone is not just concentrating on learning how to use their various types of magic, but battling to gain access to more magic than their peers.

As most young adult books tend to, this story has about 40 hours of reading/listening crammed into half of that so as to not lose the attention of the young adult reader/listener. This isn't a terrible thing, but in the end you are left wondering what might have been, had the author fleshed out some of those ideas a little. Still, not everyone is prepared to sit through 40-50 hours of listening to get through a book, and to cut some of the fringe scenes in favour of an action-packed story could be a winning combination. Reservations though I might have, I am sufficiently hooked and will be continuing on with the series.

Nick Podehl narrates the book in his own well known style. He has this elastic, cartoonish voice which means that the lead character is reminiscent of the likes of Hiccup from How To Train Your Dragon, Hiro from Big Hero Six, or even Jim Lake from Trollhunters. As a result of this, I haven't been able to shake the CGI cartoon imagery from my minds eye, and the whole story plays in my head as a computer generated, animated movie rather than a live-action one. There are worse things that could happen, and there is always a chance that I'm just a crazy person who sees weird things.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Brenton Roberts
  • 09-12-17

great story and charecters but .....

its a great book with a fun story but the author repeats details ALOT. i think it needs to have a bit more faith in the listeners memory for major details

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Damien
  • 08-30-17

Pretty good story

Like a cross between Harry Potter and The Name of the Wind, but not quite as good as either. Good story, original world and well defined magic system but the characters didn't ring true for me. Excellent narration however.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Everett
  • 07-27-17

Read it!

loved it.my new favourite book. read it do not wait! I love magic schools and the main character is really smart. it is so nice not to hate the protagonist ideas

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Dean
  • 10-19-17

The heroic procrastinator of irrelevant things

Loved the world, Nick Podehl is one of my favorite narrators - but the MC is constantly just thinking along random trains of thought that have absolutely no relevance to the story from what i can see. Maybe the author wants to give the MC a contemplative air or something, but really its infuriating. If he did less thinking about things that he NEVER does and just acts on is intuition this book would be awesome.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-26-17

Bursts of entertainment

This story is very intriguing. Well, parts of it are. Unfortunately, the characters are all very dislikeable. In addition, most of the story is just exposition dumps. If I have to hear the words "I'll have to research that more later", or something along a similar vein, I will lose my mind.

The main character whines about everything. Hates physical contact, avoids people (except he doesn't), and basically just complains the whole way through.

His sister is a hypocrite. Main character gets hurt? "Don't ever do that again! You worried me!" She gets hurt? "Leave me alone corrin! It's my body I'll do what I want!" Main character has a secret with a god? "You can't keep secrets from me! I'm your sister and it affects me too!" She has a secret? "I'm allowed to have things to myself sometimes!"

The tone is also all over the place. It's a very serious story, usually told in a serious way, but just randomly tries to be funny. It's not funny, so this doesn't work. Even in the middle of major conflicts, the author tries to be funny. It is incredibly jarring and annoying.

Most of the backstory is just from people talking over and over and over in classes about things that would be cool to see in real time. I get that rules have to be established, but having someone lecture you is just not entertaining to listen to.

The book has moments that are good. There are a few fights and interactions that are awesome. Unfortunately, for every good 30 mins, there is 5 hours of exposition and grating dialogue or character thoughts that just do your head in. This story would be better told by another author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 09-08-17

Spectacular

This is an absolutely amazing find for anyone who enjoys the fantasy genre, definitely reccomended

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • joel
  • 09-04-17

Immersive worls of danger

Towers and serpents, gods and family drama, what more could you ask for in a good book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Malin
  • 08-20-17

Great story - awesome world and magic system

What made the experience of listening to Sufficiently Advanced Magic the most enjoyable?

The story was really engaging and exploring the world and the various attuements and powers was very interesting.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Sufficiently Advanced Magic?

The ending was great. I especially loved the twist at the end with Kerris Salarian

What about Nick Podehl’s performance did you like?

The pace of speech and tempo were great. His narration of Corrin was overall really great.

Any additional comments?

Nick Podehl's narration of female characters was honestly a little annoying. Except for Sera, most of the female leads had a grating irish accent for some reason - did not enjoy it after a while.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nicholas
  • 09-08-18

Outstanding throughout!

This book was just great. Interesting magic system with twists and shifts in the plot you didn't see coming. Loved it! Bring on the next book!