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Survival Quest

Way of the Shaman Series # 1
Narrated by: Jonathan Yen
Series: The Way of the Shaman, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 24 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (4,076 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Barliona: a virtual world jam-packed with monsters, battles - and, predictably, players. Millions of them come to Barliona, looking forward to the things they can't get in real life: elves and magic, dragons and princesses, and unforgettable combat. The game has become so popular that players now choose to spend months online without returning home. In Barliona, anything goes: You can assault fellow players, level up, become a mythical hero, a wizard, or a legendary thief. The only rule that attempted to regulate the game demanded that no player be allowed to feel actual pain. But there's an exception to every rule. For a certain bunch of players, Barliona has become their personal hell. They are criminals sent to Barliona to serve their time. They aren't in it for the dragons' gold or the abundant loot. All they want is to survive the virtual inferno. They face the ultimate survival quest.

©2015 V. Mahanenko. English translation copyright 2015 by Natalia Nikitin (P)2016 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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A Guilty pleasure

I've been on a Litrpg binge lately, Read all of the Play to Live series, Awaken Online, Otherlife, The Land, and now This series.

I have to say it's probably my least favorite of them, not to say it is bad at all I actually really enjoy the premise of it, however I find many of the mechanics of the world hard to believe in. (I know how that sounds) I also think it's a bit simple minded overall and rarely walks it's own path.

I think this book targets the younger of the litrpg fans to be sure.


But if your like me and completely addicted to this Genre of book give it a listen, it's worth a credit and the voice performance from the reader is really well done.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

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Great Narrator, Great book

So this book takes place in the fictional future with a very futuristic video game. The world outside of the game, the real world is not very important. So the majority of the book take place in a MMO VR game, and some of things that are different from the typical fantasy is that the adventure takes place in an MMO and these imitations are embraced. So if you are not much of a gamer this book might not be for you.,

The narrator elevates the story, and its very easy to picture what is going on, and you get the extra context of tone and such from the voice of the narrator. The narrator does an amazing job.

I really enjoyed listening to this novel, so would recommend it to anyone who enjoys Fantasy and Gaming (not necessarily videogames). This series looks to be a champion of the genre of LitRPG.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Jay
  • South Park, PA, United States
  • 05-04-16

Great for fans of RPO

if you are someone who enjoys the game here and there or if you are a hard core gamer, you will love this book. One of mytop 5 books is Ready Player One and this is on the same lines.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • K
  • SAINT PETER, MN, United States
  • 06-18-16

Excellent with just one regret...

Loved this book. Anyone who's played RPG will enjoy and relate to this story. While listening to Survival Quest I mentioned it to my son and bought the Kindle version for him. He devoured it. He started reading it at 10PM and finished the book at 5AM in one reading.

My only regret is that there are currently only two books in the series and the second one will go by way too fast. I thoroughly enjoy reading more installments in this story line.

20 of 24 people found this review helpful

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Amazing!

I love the narrator who makes his characters come alive and envelops them in emotion.
I love the way the main character easily gets off course and starts rambling about one thing or another.
I love the way the main character solves problems both knowingly and instinctively.
I love the direction this story is going.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Liked it alright, but I'm a forgiving guy

If you are a big fan of the mechanics of MMORPGs you will probably like this book. The specifics are well described with lots of "level up" messages and how that effects the character. Basically, if you played WoW or its analogues and loved chasing stats and reading level up messages, you will also love this book. If you do not, or get bored easily with this stuff, you probably aren't even considering this book enough to read this review. Go with that feeling.

The story and characters are ok. It reads a lot like the early levels of a role playing game. So the characters are a bit contrived and not entirely human, but in the situation, it works ok. The reader does a pretty good job of making the individuals distinct. He's not world class, definitely does journeyman work.

All in all, a novel (or genre) like this is self-selecting. Like RPGs? Try it. If you are unfamiliar with them, or have no interest in them, you will be constantly asking yourself, "what am I reading?"

If you came from a similar genre novel like "Ready Player One," don't be fooled, this book is not that. That book could be read by general audiences. This is more for gamers.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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I thoroughly enjoyed it!

---I really enjoyed this book. Overall it was well written, the characters made sense and didn't seem flat or stale. The premise is interesting and gave a lot more solid reason for being stuck in the game than 90% of the other litrpg's that basically follow the mad inventor or life isn't worth living plots that a lot of these books follow.
---The narrator was really good, well articulated and I felt the characters emotions in his voice. While I had and have no real complaints it is also not the best I have ever heard as nothing particularly special stood out to me either.
----Although the explanations tend to be straight info paragraphs, they space it out well and only tell the info when you need it at the time so it doesn't feel like info vomiting. The game play is not to complicated, although most features of rpg games isn't shown in this first book as the setting limits things.
----In general i would highly recommend this book to any who want to get into the litrpg genre, though this comes with a pretense that you have some basic knowledge of rpg games. No need to be too knowledgeable just basic terms like stats, mana, npc etc. While this will be fairly simple to figure out, every once in while you might feel a little lost. I might recommend the wierdest noob if you've don't know anything about rpgs. It is similar to this one but the main character has never played any games so a lot is explained in it.
---If you have listen to litrpg's before or are knowledgeable about games I would recommend Awaken online, it is a fantastic litrpg that I thoroughly enjoyed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Epic LitRpg

I really loved this series, the narrator has an amazing voice that draws the listener into the story. The book is written in a way that you feel you are a part of it, and develop real feelings for the characters laughing and crying as they do. One of my favorite books.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great book!

interesting story with great characters trying to make a better living after being sent to the mines... Good story!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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great spin on a overused theme

the author takes a great spin on a overused theme of being trapped in a game. narrator is good and brings good voice to the main characters. over all great book to listen too

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-02-16

Excellent Sub-Genre

I liked the strategy, the technical aspects of the game and the humour. I recommend that you find somewhere comfy to sit as once you start you will want to keep on listening to the end.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • David Probyn
  • 02-16-17

Fantastic!

What made the experience of listening to Survival Quest the most enjoyable?

Jonathan Yen's voice acting was fantastic

What other book might you compare Survival Quest to, and why?

It's similar to Ready Player One where everyone plays within a full-body immersive MMO.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • J. Portergill
  • 05-04-16

Ever played an MMORPG? Then the Protagonist is You

What did you like most about Survival Quest?

Recaptures all the reasons people love to play online games with each other, and translates it into an interesting, and relatively relatable storyline. There is a fashion in books these days that turmoil relates to pages turned, but with this story the main character seems to have the same initiative and common sense ordinary people are blessed with, so there's no need to yell "you're making a mistake" at a fictional character that can't hear your wisdom.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-26-19

Surprisingly Good

With this being a translation i was curious but wasnt holding out for anything spectacular, so i was quite surprised when i found the quality to he top notch.
The story in itself isnt anyhing too new but has some fresh aspects which make me want to read or listen more. The main character comes across very amiable and you soon find him to ve very likeable and happy to listen to his annoying habits of inner monologuing frequently.
Narration is very good although this is the first i have heard from Yen.
Overall an almost 5 but as i found myself quite taken with this overall its 5 stars.

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  • CaedesEnder
  • 07-15-19

A very long short story

A pretty fleshed out short story that gives very few answers to the many supposedly important questions it raises.
not terrible all told but only just scrapes "average" for me.

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  • Huawei phil
  • 07-01-19

good listen

I had my doubts at first but after a chapter or two I got in to it now I just want to listen to the rest. I have listened to books like this before such as adventures on terror but I think this book it better

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  • Teitur Ásgeirsson
  • 01-26-19

The Best performed audio book I've heard.

I have over 300 audible titles and I have to say that the narration and performance of this book is one of the best I've heard. It's a compelling universe with a great story and awesome characters. I can't wait for a sequel.

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  • Q
  • 01-01-19

The Real King of LitRPG

I've listened to a lot of LitRPG recently and while some have their shortcomings, this is definitely one of the best books and the start of an excellent series. The narrator does a good job, drawing you into the world that the author has created and bringing the story alive. Beware, once you start this book, you're unlikely to stop; I finished the book in a couple of days and dived straight into the others which are even better.

If you're interested in LitRPG then bear in mind that the author Vasily Mahanenko is a trailblazer in the genre. I one hundred percent recommend you get this book because I'm sure you'll love it as much as I have.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-29-18

Pretty good,.

Like that it got started quickly.
The outside world is fun to.

Happened once but still its easyer to remember the bad stuff.
Only bad thing was a spoiler, making stuff into "this will happen soon" . Then back to present a few minuter later that happened. Ruined the moment.
And thats the only bad part so now got to buy the next one.

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  • Phil
  • 09-12-18

Enjoyable romp for geeks

Ok I’m an old Dungeons & Dragons geek. But this book spoke to me from the off.
Enjoyable, humorous and fast passed.
Over all too soon.

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  • David
  • 02-16-19

brilliant

Immersed me, I enjoyed the limitations of a prison upon the character, I found the story much easier to follow and more exciting because I had well defined boundaries to align my expectations rather than open world litrpgs that I can struggle with.

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  • John
  • 01-22-19

Survival Quest book 1

Vasily Mahanenko is a talented and skilled author I loved this book from start to finish the characters a well written and the world is very insightful the voice acting skills of Jonathan Yen make the characters and story come alive 12/10 stars....

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  • Mira
  • 05-16-18

Different and entertaining

This is an interesting take on the idea of playing MMOs and any MMO players would enjoy the story and challenges which the protagonist encounters. Looking forward to listening to the next book.