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The Fabled Islands

A LitRPG Adventure, Book 1
Narrated by: Steve Campbell
Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (90 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Somewhere out there, in the great expanse of space and time, exist the Fabled Islands. Nobody knows how or why they exist, only that it is a strange and special place that operates under laws separate from the universe.  

The Fabled Islands are made up of vast floating continents. They vary in size, with some ranging from the surface area of a small planet to a star. If you look at them from afar, you would find that they are placed in a line. Each island is separated by a vast amount of space, so there is only one way to travel from one island to the next: a gateway on the edge of the island.  

Each island is governed by strange rules. The only thing they share in common is that the rules are governed by the System. The rules change vastly from one island to the next, so you must quickly adapt.  

Tristan was raised on the first island, Fertility Island, and has finally been allowed to become a Brave - a respected profession throughout the islands. Fertility Island is a peaceful island. There are hardly any monsters; the land is fertile and the people kind.  

This is the complete opposite of what Tristan wants. Bring on the monsters! Bring on the magical items! I want adventure, loot, and to put my life on the line! Where are the dungeons, caverns, and mountains to be explored? Where is the mythical equipment to be found? The next island? Then to the next island I will go!  

His adventure begins now.  

This is book 1 of the Fabled Islands series.

©2018 Cameron Milan (P)2019 Cameron Milan

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A treasured island compared to other works

Well, here we are, yet another Cameron Milan story. I’ve reviewed a few of his books so far such as Desire and Zombie Slayer, but I have to say that this is probably my favorite of his series. Now, you may realize that as I have stated before that Milan has a habit of creating extremely OP characters and sometimes his dialogue is cartoonish. Coupling those things with weak narration and I wasn’t a big fan. The fact is I was pretty much done with his Desire series, but gave this a try because it was new.
So this is basically a YA title. AS in for Young adults, and I actually think that he is actually geared towards YA stuff rather then full blown hard core stuff. The over powered characters work well in this setting, as does his character’s speech patterns. I.E. “I’m gonna go beat him up and take his card. That works better in a book for youngsters than it does an adult. I don’t know why, but for me this worked way better than anything he’s written prior to this. His characters, the setting, and the gameplay all fit right into the YA mold pretty well. I believe that this might be a good way to break younger audiences into Gamelit/Litrpg stuff.
One thing that I liked a lot was the way that the game system employed the use of cards. It was, for me, different and I liked the concept a lot better than simple leveling. The way it works is that whenever you defeat an opponent they will drop a card that might boost your attributes, provide a power increase to your magic, or grant you a special ability such as water walking. There are also secret cards that you can find, or earn, so that you are always on the hunt for more cards to power you up. Also, each island that you go to provides different things. The island that Tristan hailed from was a place that had endless food supplies, and at the end of the book they were talking about going to treasure island. I wonder what will be there.
The story starts off with the MC, a young lad named Tristan, getting ready to defeat his last dungeon on Bountiful Island so that he can move on to bigger and better things. He’s trained his whole life to become a Brave, but he is really a Jack of all trades kind of character. On the way he runs into a girl. They become friends and he ends up mentoring her as they go from place to place until she levels up hard and helps him fight some baddies. The book is basically the pair wandering around and doing things, so it is a slice of life and I am not a big fan of those.
My problems were basically the same that I always seem to have with Milan, his characters are all OP and never seem to be in any danger. There is one scene where Tristan has his arm cut off and he’s just like, “Wow, that was a cool move! How’d you do that?” At no point did he say Crap, I just lost my arm. I’m gonna die. Stuff like that takes me right out of it, and I truly think that I would like his books a lot better if he toned his characters powers down because all you really do is follow the couple around as they kill stuff. I also have to wonder how YA the book actually is since there are some questionable scenes like when Tristan spies on some dwarves getting it on in their bedroom. Not exactly what I want my 13 year old to be reading.
Finally, I have to say that he has, at last, found a narrator who can do his story justice. Steve Campbell is probably the reason that I enjoyed this as much as I did. He makes wonky dialogue come off as normal and keeps the listener on the hook. Like I said with Zombie Slayer, the narration was weak and could not support the story. Here, Campbell keeps the story going when it might have petered out if he wasn’t here. I enjoyed his voices, and I’m glad to see him finally doing more Litrpg work.

Final score, 7.4 stars. This is a real step up from his other stories, and it is one I would happily let my younger kids listen to, so long as I got to do a little filtering.
If this review helped, please press the YES below. Thank you immensely!!!

As seen on the LITRPG AUDIOBOOK PODCAST, please check it out on Youtube.com

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fun, Creative, and Interesting

Tristan is a hero who is looking to conquer all of the Fabled islands. Once he gets his chance fun and action ensue.

Cameron Milan does a wonderful job building the world that Tristan and his companion live in. He also does an amazing job of fleshing out the characters as the story unfolds.

Steve Cambell's narration was fluid and fun to listen to. He has a wide variety of voices that he performed well and kept the story engaging as it moved along.

I have to say that after finishing the book I wanted very much to get the next one to see how Tristan continue on his journey.

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing story!

The story of this book is the exact definition of litrpg, it is AMAZING! And with the perfect narrative performance by Steve Campbell, I was instantly fully emerged into the story! If you are on the fence for this one, do yourself a favor and fall to the side that means yes you’ll give it a listen. You won’t be disappointed!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

LitRPG for young readers

Tristan is a fledgling Brave, an adventurer searching for levels, loot, and thrills. He sets out with a new friend, Sophia, to explore the other islands. Tristan has secrets he needs to hide from his new friend, but as each island presents new challenges he finds it harder to hide his own past.

This book definitely fills the need for more Young Adult LitRPG, it's a great introduction to the genre for a younger reader. The writing is solid and uncomplicated, there was no romance and little cursing. The stats aren't complicated or repeated too often. I enjoyed the world building, and following along with the pair, it was a fun journey.

The narration was well done, with different voices and accents for each character. It was a good performance, and pulled me right into the story. I requested a copy of the audiobook, and I'm voluntarily leaving a review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable YA LitRPG Adventure with Lots of Promise

Disclaimer: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Fabled Islands is a YA LitRPG adventure. That may tell you exactly what you need to know and if you give the book a chance on that classification, you will not be disappointed.

The writing is clean, easy to read and the straightforward plot progression and character goals make it a great title for younger readers.

The characters and world hold a few mysteries that are teased throughout and while we do learn a few vital clears by the end of the first volume, there is a lot of promise for future volumes in the series while building re-reading value for this book.
I largely liked the main characters and found their friendship / partnership to be refreshing. It’s not often you can read an adventure with a teenage boy and girl that does not have romantic overtones. They have clear objectives and support each other. They have different strengths and weaknesses in character and skill set.

I liked this first arc as a satisfying adventure but will happily check out future volumes. I think the history and backstory of several characters could be rich mines to delve into during future adventures.

I liked the card system as a form of currency / stat boosts / powerups and collectible. One of the highlights of the world building.

My one complaint: Unlike most LitRPGs I’ve read this does not appear to be people playing a video game but people living in a world with a video game-like “System.” Killing, death, looting, ageing and respawning and its impact on human and nonhuman creatures is left somewhat unclear. This makes certain scenes both more serious and not serious enough in gravitas. I am hoping that further explanations will come further down the line because it caused a couple head scratching moments but did not detract much from my enjoyment. That would have pushed my 4 star review to 4.5 stars.

The narration was clear and served the story very well. I would be happy to hear more books by Steve Campbell.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Good Book/Great Narrator

This was a good book in my opinion and a very good narrator. I felt as though the MC was written very well although at times felt more like a preteen rather than a young adult. For a litRPG genre book I believe the author did a decent job at writing a story that was very easy to imagine.

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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can't wait for next 1

the merry main character is pretty cool very impatient so that comes off a little annoying overall fantastic book I definitely want more hopefully the next one is even longer beef short books drive me nuts

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing start for a new LitRPG series

I loved this book. Cameron Milan's writing and imagination and Steve Campbell's narration have quickly placed LitRPG in my list of favorite genres.

I cannot wait to hear how this series progresses!

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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greay fitst edition

i would rank this book a 10 out of 10. i loved every bit of it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Nice!

I am a fan of Cameron Milan, he has two other series that I have checked out and those two are also very cool. I like how the different worlds each have their own gimmicks.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Nighteyes
  • 04-25-19

I'm gonna need the next book ASAP

I adored this book. I was draw in from moment 1 and kept finding excuses to listen, I even messed up an ankle because I went for a much longer walk than usual just so I could listen more.
the characters reminds me of older RPGs in that they aren't well fleshed out, but by the end they are starting to show some growth and I suspect there will be more of it in the next book.
there are however plenty of action and exploration with a MC that is used to being OP, but occasionally finds out that he isn't the only one who have impressive skills...

as to the narration Steve Campbell does a sweet job of giving the characters voices and personalities with his narration.
there is room for improvement and a few sound effects would do wonders, but he is closer to the 4th star than the 3rd...
I can see him becoming one of my stable of go to narrators...