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Publisher's Summary

Fantasy role players often get deep into their games, but 13-year-old Keith Croft is about to take it to a new level. He’s been invisible for seven years, smart but not working hard, athletic enough, but too lazy to excel. His parents are sort of cool, but only two weeks into his eighth-grade year, his friends are all busy with sports or projects and can’t hang out. 

On the way home one day, he stops at a neighbor’s yard sale and discovers a book for Crypts & Creepers that the lonely old woman says belonged to her granddaughter who disappeared without a trace. Days after he convinces his friends to try this bizarre game that doesn’t require electronics, strange noises in his closet wake him. His increasing inability to focus on anything other than a girl who vanished before he was born - and his obsession with her NPC ranger - drives him to dig deeper into the past, searching for what really happened to her. 

By the time Keith realizes the Gamemaster’s Codex holds something darker than rules within its pages, the curse that claimed the soul of a girl in 1987 has its claws in his group as well. Keith vows his friends will escape - even if he can’t.

©2017 Matthew S Cox (P)2018 Matthew S Cox

What listeners say about The Cursed Codex

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Jumanji meets D&D- Great Fun RPG lit

This was such a fun book. There's some violence and cussing (but no f-bombs) so in movie ratings it would probably be a PG13, but like Harry Potter I think it really is for the 3rd grade reader and up to adults. I read this with my 3rd grader and he loved it! He even commented that it was like the second Jumanji movie because they get sucked into their Crypts and Creepers (D&D) game. I would definitely recommend this book to those who like video games, Harry Potter, and fantasy lit.

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

2 people found this helpful

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More fun of a read than expected

As a simple disclaimer: "This book was given to me for free at my request I am under no agreement to review it, but am doing so anyways."

I didn't expect much out of this one. I had it sitting in my queue for a while and for some reason was putting it off. Well, when I finally got to it, I had a bit of a mixed nostalgia trip. With the story feeling like an 80's movie (and I love 80's movies)

Adding D&D elements vs the interest kids have in videogames is definitely something I can relate to, having kids today that played some D&D but love videogames. I found the characters great and loved the voice over parts.

**spoilers ahead**

I found the characters to be fun to follow. With a good amount of personality and individuality. Easy to listen to the banter, since that would happen in reality. The voice over parts where the C&C characters heard the random voices as well as the occasional modifications were an especially fun element. The teamwork win/save was alsowell done, though predictable, since the 80s feel. But just what the reader wants.

Well done on both writing and narration.

1 person found this helpful

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The Cursed Codex

With the popularity of the 80's nostalgia and dungeons and dragons,this is sure to be a hit with pre teen kids.A book is found at a yard sale that is involved in why a girl went missing in 1987. Well written with good characters. Christopher James Mayer was a fine narrator. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.' 

1 person found this helpful

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Very fun YA Game Lit Fantasy

The Cursed Codex is a very fun Young Adult Game Lit fantasy novel. It is meant for the younger audiences probably in the 8 to 16 age ranges but I think it really can be enjoyed by anyone. There may be a little too much fart humor for some but it really isn't too bad.

The book follows 13 year old Keith Croft who considers himself invisible which to him means he isn't in any real crowd or get noticed much at school. He does have a good set of close friends though. Keith seems like a good kid, he does get in some fights as he is one to stand up for other people especially his best friend Asher's little sister who is constantly picked on by Bully's at school. After one of these run ins Keith is left with a black eye and as he is procrastinating on the way home so he doesn't have to explain it to his parents and stumbles upon a yard sale where an elderly woman is selling things, he finds a Crypts and Keepers Gamemaster's Codex(think Dungeons and Dragons). The game belonged to the woman's missing grand daughter from over 20 years ago and it was her favorite game.

Keith soon falls in love with the game and ropes his friends Asher, Elliot, Carlos and Asher's little sister Kira who tags along. Keith is the Game Master(Dungeon Master) and the rest build their characters and begin to get really into the game as well. Keith becomes a bit obsessed with the game and its former owner Sarah and begins to have 'dreams' about the game and Sarah and the character she created in the game Tiera. Well with a name like cursed codex you know everything isn't as it seems and soon while the gang are playing the game they are transported into the book or the world of the book as themselves and the true adventure begins. Will they survive, will they make it out, will they find out what happened to Sarah?

This book was a very entertaining experience and seemed to pass by quickly, The kids had fun relationships and interactions and all had their own personalities. The narration by Christopher James Mayer was spot on for this type of book and added to the fun of it. I would definitely recommend giving this book a listen as long as you don't have a problem with young adult fiction.

"Please note I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

1 person found this helpful

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Live Your D&D campaign!

Playing Crypts and Creepers is all fun and games until suddenly it isn't. Our hero, Keith Croft, is a normal 13-yo boy who is fascinated at the idea of bringing a world alive for his friends offline. Readers will see similarities to Jumangi as Keith and his friends are transported into the realm they thought was only fantasy. When roleplaying stops and the situation becomes real, will Keith and his friends be able to rescue the damsel in distress (who's done well surviving for 30 years as a teenager), defeat the evil wizard, and find their way home before they become as trapped as the words on the pages of the Gamemaster's Codex? A fun romp, delightfully spun by Mr. Cox and performed by Mr. Mayer. Perfect for any car trip!

1 person found this helpful

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Wow! Every D&D players dream come true.

The cursed codes and the gaming module that it is and the magic that it is gifted or cursed with is every gamers dream....only here it’s turned more towards a curse and a nightmare...30 years ago the game was played by a girl and her friends. They all went missing. A day later the friends were found the girl wasn’t...fast forward to today. An 8th grader who is invisible to most except his friends and the school bullies takes the long way home and finds a yard sale with a game that comes with a story. A story of who owned it before. The boy and his friends play the game and strange things begin to happen....what an amazing story so engaging so damned funny that I was laughing out loud while driving and while fishing and while doing housework as I listened to the antics of this stereotypical group of teen-preteen gamers. Get it. Listen to it. Share it’s existence with friends and family. It’s one everyone can and will enjoy. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator or publisher

1 person found this helpful

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The best kind of fantasy story................

The Cursed Codex is a combination of all my favorite fantasy movies - Jumangi, The Goonies and The Never Ending Story - combined, but it also has the unique Matthew S Cox flavor. I am not sure for what age level this story is rated, but I think it is suitable for kids, teens and adults that love plenty of action/adventure with their science fiction books. At many points in the book, I felt like I was right there with the kids as they battle to save themselves and this lonely girl locked within the Codex game. For those that never play games, electronic or otherwise, don't let that stop you from reading this book. I have never been a player of any games, but I had no trouble following the story, and I was immediately wrapped up in the fun and excitement of this band of friends as they become more and more absorbed in the game. I highly recommend this story and anything written by Cox.

Christopher James Mayer does an amazing job with the narration. He adds so much excitement to this adventurous tale, and I can't imagine a better choice to narrate the fantasy genre. He has a deep, sonorous voice, and his performance is flawless. I would absolutely listen to another of his books in the future.

I received a copy of this audiobook at my request in exchange for this honest review.

1 person found this helpful

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Enigmatic, Humorous, Enjoyable

If you have a history with playing D&D games male and female alike you may find this to be a delightful read. I absolutely enjoyed this book. The main character is a young boy in his teens that happens across a book at a yard sale that is old school to say the least. He has never played a sit down campaign before and decides to gather his friends around to try the game. One extra tag along is a friend's younger sister of 9. She seems to have some smarts of her own when it comes to learning about her own character and about the game. Keith, the main character, learns the book once belonged to a girl around 14 who disappeared in the early 80s. Her grandmother had sold him the book. He sees her notes in the book and starts to have a link with this girl in many more ways than reading her notes. He hears noises in his closet and begins to see things in there too! His friends reluctantly decide to play the game with him and they realize it is fun. Keith becomes obsessed with what happened to the girl who once owned the book and how the game is played. He becomes convinced that this young girl could be still alive. The kids end up in the book somehow. Keith does meet the previous owner. The love and protective nature Keith feels for this girl is so precious. I can say the banter between the children and the writer's humor will keep you laughing throughout. It is a worthwhile read and money well spent. It's most definitely an audible that I will listen too again and probably again. The narrator did an excellent job. Well done!!!

1 person found this helpful

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Just So Much Fun!

Thirteen year old Keith is your average kid with normal parents and a tight circle of friends, but he never really seems to stand out. The only time the teachers seem to notice him is when he stands up to the bullies at school to protect his friend. One day after a particularly rough fight, he takes a new route home and stumbles on a yard sale run by a lonely old woman. There Keith finds a book, Crypts & Creepers, that introduces him to a whole new world.

This is a YA GameLIT with little violence or cursing, it's appropriate for all ages. I'd definitely recommend it for adults too, even if you've never played Dungeons and Dragons. I've never played, and I didn't even know what a module was, but I had no trouble playing along. One thing I like about this author's writing is that it's obvious he's passionate about gaming and genuinely loves it, and wants to share that with his readers. By the time the book ended, I was tempted to look up a local group to play myself!

I was really surprised by this book, I didn't expect it to be so darn funny! This book proves that you're never too old to appreciate a good fart joke. There were so many times I was laughing out loud and missed the next sentence, and rewound the audio only to crack up again. I loved every one of those teen boys, and Tira especially was a treat. Their conversations were so real and relatable, the author did a great job bringing them to life. Usually when I read a book for the first time, I'm eager to reach the ending, but this time I just wanted it to keep going. It was a really great read.

The narration was really well done, with a warm voice that wasn't young but still fit the story perfectly. It drew me right into the story. I requested a copy of the audiobook, and I'm voluntarily leaving a review.

1 person found this helpful

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Great game story

This is the first book I’ve read/listened to by this author and I would happily listen to another. This is a great book for preteen and above. The story is well done. I liked how Matthew Cox did the scenes where the characters in the game could ‘hear disembodied voices’ as the kids played the game. It was an interesting viewpoint to show us the action. The girls in this book hold their own (if not take charge) which is nice to see, especially in a book likely read by lots of boys.
Although I never played Dungeons and Dragons, it had not been out long when I was old enough to play. I know how the game worked and this book seems realistic and true to the game idea. Human

This is the first book I’ve listened to by this narrator ( Christopher James Mayer) and I would listen to another. He did great with all the character voices, the action and emotion, and he brought out the kids individual personalities. Well done.

There are no explicit sex scenes, excessive violence, gore or swearing. There is mention of a few kisses but they are not described in detail and they are innocent.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily left this unbiased review.
Please feel free to comment on whether you found my review helpful.

1 person found this helpful

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  • ScottishJay
  • 02-20-19

Another fantastic book in the growing gaming genre

Having never played D&D myself but enjoyed various books surrounding the world of D&D (for example, Critical Failures) and other books surrounding people being sucked into games in one way or another (The Play to Live series), I found this book to be a fantastic edition to the genre. It's obvious the writer is experienced in D&D with the sheer detail in this book.

A reviewer or two has mentioned that the target audience for this book is young teen, but I really enjoyed this book as a 27 year old, so I'd say it's for anyone who has an interest in gaming culture or D&D.

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