The Culling of Man

A LitRPG Apocalypse (Peril's Prodigy, Book 1)
Narrated by: Michael Norman Johnson
Length: 10 hrs and 30 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (124 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

I'll bet you've never listened to anything like the final boss at the end of this 24-hour LitRPG apocalypse.

Garath was a gamer that spent his time adventuring in magical worlds behind a keyboard. He was exploring one of those very worlds when the planet that he actually inhabited became suddenly, and drastically more interesting.

The ability to shapeshift into a house cat or summon a demon to serve him were things that were only possible in video games and epic fantasy novels, until they weren't. He may not have had the luxury of a controller or mouse to explore his new abilities, but Garath's dream came true when Earth was fundamentally altered. More akin now to the RPG games that he loved so much than the 9-5 grind he'd woken up to that morning. He's a quick study, though, and learns quickly that this new Earth isn't just fun and games. 

The tutorial kills everybody. 

Well not everybody. Almost everybody. Garath and a motley crew of friends and neighbors band together to survive. They are forced to work together using their new abilities to hold off the increasingly deadly waves of monsters. 

The Peril's Prodigy series features 30 unique Classes, a human racial ability to shapeshift, character leveling, some things you really just can't un-hear, and a look into the future of this new Earth. It will make you laugh. It will make you cringe. And if you're anything like Garath, it'll make you wonder where in the hell on this new video game Earth were all the god damn hot elves?

***Full disclosure: This is not a harem novel. There are no hot elves.

©2019 Craig Grimes (P)2019 Spectrum Audiobooks

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    1 out of 5 stars

This book isn't good at all.

I keep trying to listen to it but just can't because of the bad writing, weird comparisons, poorly developed characters, dumb fight scenes, and a main character I wouldn't want to play with. Bad writing example, "Words flew from Daisy's mouth at the speed of sound." My guy words are sound LOL. What other speed would sound travel at but sound. As for weird comparisons well lets just say this author does drugs. No one that doesn't would ahve a main character that smokes weed and pops aderal then compares a lot of things to aderol. Kind of makes me a bit uncomfortable. Yah who survives this apocolyps? A stoned, aderal high casual gamer. Poorly developed characters example is Gram. Gram could have been such a cool character but rather then give us some comedy with Gram rediscovering er younger self and being able to relive her glory days. Rather we get a crochty old bird in a smoking hot 20 year old body. I guess that's funny. I don't believe it though listen to old people talk they'd go wild and it would be funny. Bad fight scene is dragon dick. You heard right dragon dick. There will be a dragon and for some reason he is at half chub when he fights our hero and so things get messy. Lizards don't walk around with their dicks out so why is this dragon? Really forcing it there cough no pun intended. Finally the main character is selfish. Whenever he fights he always goes for play of the game. Yah he's a leeroy jenkins and a loot hog. He snags the boss weapon and it doesn't even work for his character. He never even asks if anyone else could use it. Then he keeps pocketing loot and the rest of the pary are happy with scraps! WTF. Don't buy don't spend a credit unless you have literally read everything else.

10 people found this helpful

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

Eh. Middling.

There's not much that separates this story from other post apocalyptic litrpgs - which is fine, you don't need to reinvent the wheel. The problem is in the details.

One thing that definitely separates this story from other litrpgs in this genre is that every human has an innate ability called Beastscape, allowing them to transform into basically any creature they lock eyes with.

My issues with this ability are numerous. First, the superficial; this is the kind of ability that should be tied to a class - there is a class that specialises in it too. Majority of the fight scenes in this book are spent focusing on this one ability, which is a bit weird given the protagonist is a Warlock-type. Any innovation on his part comes from its usage, not from using his class abilities cleverly.

Now, the less superficial issues. The ability is broken. One can cast spells in their animal form. The author even shows you how broken it is with unintentional examples he doesn't take to the logical conclusion, which is super frustrating (the protag has a 100m radius decay dot he could farm non ranged creatures with forever if he turned into a bird and just flew above without engaging... he does the plague bird thing...mid combat with allies in danger, and never connects the dots).

Ultimately, while everyone being an infinite animagus is unique, I think it detracts from the story.

I also dinged the narrator a couple stars for a certain character's voice. She's a hot, de-aged septuagenerian that still sounds like an old crone.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great, funny, fresh LitApocalypse!

This is a great book, especially if you have read other LitRPG apocalypses. It is pretty self aware arms breaks the 4th wall quite a few times to highlight its differences and similarities to other books in the genre, which I found to be pretty funny. In fact, I would almost call it a parody. Overall, it is a good mix of adventure and comedy. The main character is delightfully (and frustratingly) flawed, making the story have a good deal of suspense.

I have listened to most every LitRPG on audible, and I would put this book in the top 10 percent for me, easily. No harem, mc has some serious blind spots/flaws and is not overpowered, a good amount of comedy and genre references, and an exciting story. As soon as the next one is out, I am buying it.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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This is going to be a good series.

I will keep this short. I found this to be real enjoyable. The storyline was smooth and the action intense but believable. I will keep track of this series.

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Wow

Writer lost my intrest with, the world is ending I want to summon demons and use death magic, over being a Paladin. Because of course that's the thing to do in an apocalypse. I'm sure the writer had it all work out in the end, but I couldn't get past the start of this story.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Really Great Start

Apocalyptic Litrpg. Very reminiscent of Tao Wongs Litrpg series. The Mc is much more tolerable though. Heavy system mechanics. Very interested in the future of this series.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding!

Great story and narration!

Garath is just another a gamer living in an apartment building, when all off a sudden the world changes. It is now complete with level up screens, class choices, and oh by the way, waves of monsters are going to start attacking any minute! Hope you are prepared. Nothing like a world changing cataclysmic event filled with undead, magic, and Dragons to spice up life and put humanity on the brink of extinction!

Michael does a fantastic job of narrating and bringing the characters to life.

I really enjoyed this one, and can't wait for the next book in this series to come out!

1 person found this 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

A good start

A pretty standard opening to this style of gamelit, for some reason inexplicably the entire world gets an mmo interface, electronics stop working and everybody has to try and survive. Not so spoiler almost no one does the human population shrinks to a few hundred thousand around the world.

What is a bit different, in addition to everyone getting an interface and a class, everyone also has the ability to shapeshift into beasts, pretty much any beast that they have a chance to study the creature and get to know it. it's a neat addition to what is otherwise a pretty standard fair for this apocalypse mmo subgenre.

The narrator was quite good. I will get the next book.

1 person found this helpful

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

A good start.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

This was a different type of title for me. Up to this point I had only been exposed to one other Apocalyptic/Game-lit type title. I wont try comparing the two titles as I don't think its fair to either. I would like to start off by saying that I found the writing to be humorous, if only a bit heavy on the stats and number crunching. There seemed to be mild, light hearted jabs here and there directed at other game-lit titles/series that would pop up every so often and usually incited a chuckle or two. I enjoyed the fact that while the MC was portrayed to be something of the typical college layabout, he wasn't made to be a whiny or entitled man-child. There was very little attempt at instigating a love interest, another appreciated fact as when done poorly, it can ruin a book entirely. There were definitely decisions made by the MC through the story that I wouldn't have agreed with personally as a gamer. Though I suppose there wouldn't be much point in disparaging that fact. Its what draws the mind towards the problem solving and situational awareness aspects of the story. If I had to list just one thing to say as a con for the story... In my personal opinion. It would be the fact that the Main Character's stats were reviewed so often and in full detail. To me it seemed there were several spots where the author would have been better served in expanding on their narrative rather than number crunching.

Mr . Michael Johnson's performance was enjoyable for me for the most part. His pacing was consistent. He managed to differentiate character voices decently well from what I could tell. His delivery on the more humorous lines was good. I 'm really only able to nit pick him in regards to word pronunciation. While that might sound ignorant, stubborn or intolerant. Its a personal pet peeve of mine that I have always had major issues with. With that aside. Well done sir.

To close, I would like to thank Craig Kobayashi and Michael Norman Johnson for sharing this story with the world. I look forward to another installment in the future.

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  • Norma Miles
  • 03-31-20

The Culling will continue...

No real need to rehearse the outline of the plot as the synopsis given is perfectly adequate. Suffice it to say that nerdy Gareth and his hodgepodge team of neighbours right to survive alien annihilation of humanity. There are some nice touches, like the seventy something woman returned to youth and beauty, and the benefits of fighting aliens as a tiny, fluffy white kitten and there is plenty of near non stop action. But lacking a driving, ongoing storyline, to this reader, it felt flat.

Narration was by Michael Norman Johnson, whose pleasant voice as well modulated, reading smooth and with an injection of emotion. A good performance but even this failed to convey the intensity that the ending of the world's population should have instilled. To be honest, I struggled to maintain an interest as the book proceeded, mentally drifting away and not feeling that I had missed anything of importance when I returned.

My thanks to the rights holder of The Culling of Man, whl, at my request freely gifted me with a complimentary copy, via Audiobook Boom. It wasn't for me but it did have some inventive, well delivered fight scenes which should appeal to many LitRPG readers.

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  • Neil Armstrong
  • 03-28-20

Great litrpg

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

A great, fast paced story that keeps your attention until the end