• The Fantastically Underwhelming Epic

  • By: Kian N. Ardalan
  • Narrated by: Kevin Kemp
  • Length: 22 hrs and 7 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (71 ratings)
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The Fantastically Underwhelming Epic  By  cover art

The Fantastically Underwhelming Epic

By: Kian N. Ardalan
Narrated by: Kevin Kemp
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Publisher's summary

George is a legendary hero...wait, no. George is an incredibly powerful sorcerer...also no?

Okay, fine. George is an unremarkable human bard who made a promise a long time ago. A promise that set him on a path to find the remains of Simantiar, the greatest wizard who ever lived. Though all that was left were bones, Simantiar was still very much alive and quite...underwhelming.

This is their story: The Fantastically Underwhelming Epic of a dead wizard and an average bard.

©2021 Kian N. Ardalan (P)2021 Podium Audio

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What listeners say about The Fantastically Underwhelming Epic

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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

Endearingly Underwhelming

The Fantastically Underwhelming Epic of a Dead Wizard and an Average Bard, written by Kian N. Ardalan, lives up to its title at times, yet at other times is quite a fun story... so I'm torn. Ultimately I think it's a good story, and as the chapters progress, it gets more interesting... but occasionally, it flounders, and I can't help but think some more aggressive editing could have tightened up the story.

Set in a land in a time after magic has left the world, we follow the adventure of an unremarkable bard named George. He has a life goal of finding a forgotten, maybe mythical, place where the heart's desire can be granted.

He's fairly sure it exists. He has a magical talking skull tucked away in his rucksack that proves at least part of the myth is true... so surely the rest of it is.

The skull, a long, long dead wizard named Simantiar who lived in the time of magic. The most powerful wizard who ever existed but has since lost all of his memories and subsists on a diet of snarky remarks.

The narration by Kevin Kemp was well done. I could have lived without the slight whistle behind Simantiar's voice, but after a while, it stopped bothering me as much. The characters are all quite endearing, well, most of them, and Kemp does a great job voicing them as such.

Overall, I think I'll listen to this one again in the future. It was enjoyable enough to revisit, even if there were parts I thought dragged on a bit.

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1 person found this helpful

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

Fantastic? Yes! Underwhelming? Nope!

This story drew me into it's world, a wholly realized world with fully fleshed out characters (pun intended)! I found myself entranced with the magical aspects and laughing at the banter between the main characters as they journeyed through the dangerous forest together.


I loved how the characters' back stories were woven into the main story, it felt natural and not like a large jump or abrupt insertion of information.

The narration was phenomenal in my opinion, giving life to each character while maintaining a smooth and and comfortable narration throughout.

I hope the author allows us more opportunities to visit this world, with or without returning characters!

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

I loved this book

A very enjoyable read. The characters were engaging and the narrator perfect. for the book.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not a whimsical funny story, nor a good book

Do NOT buy this book. Especially not if you expect a whimsical, humorous story like I did. It's nothing of the sort, and not a great book anyways.

Where do I even begin describing this?

The writing is amateur at best. The writer struggles to use more flowery language than he's capable of. He's also repetitive, like: The writing progressively gets worse as the story progresses.
Sometimes the author gets so confused stacking adjectives the description doesn't even make sense anymore.

And I didn't know you could cram so many hyperboles in a book... it seems like everything anyone does is "unparalleled" or "the xxxxest he's ever seen".

The performance is awful too. The guy can pull off some good voices, but not only are they ill-fitting on some characters, but he talks so slowly I had to up the speed to 1.8x so it's bearable. 1.8x! The most I'm capable of listening at in a normal audiobook is 1.25x! This isn't a 22 hour long story. It's a 14 hour story stretched to 22 hours to fool people like me into thinking there's anything in it.

Combine that with the unnecessary descriptions and general lack of direction (like who cares about the backstory of the thugs that live for only 10 pages?) and you're looking at 8 hours of enjoyment out of this. Oh, I almost forgot how some characters like the wizard's mother aren't capable of human dialogue, they're just there to provide deep phylosophical commentary on the nature of being. The way I remember that character, incidentally, is a megaphone in a wheelchair that the author is yelling through.

I don't want to name-drop it, even though it DOES fit the title, because the author name-dropped TWICE in the book. Ugh.

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

definitely enjoyed listening to it

the book have his strengths and weaknesses in my perception so the strengths are the sense of humor used the imagination the magical lands creatures and the way everything came together

some of the things that I had some difficulty with
are things such as did the story did not stitch correctly the sum of the sense to try to use did not make sense if you pay attention to the story some of the fights winning and losing it seems just the thing that they offer I needed to make it happen but they didn't make it sensible to the characters and the progression

making boundless magic been creating boundaries can be a bit challenging so perhaps some guided rules concepts ideas and building something would have been advisable

enjoy the jokes and the sense of humor but would have liked more of it

some of the depths of some of the characters could have been in a bit deeper

the narrator made the wizard sound like the old guy that is kind of a pedophile in family Guy that was slightly amusing but maybe get tiring after a while


all together it was a fascinating world that may have a lot of different ways to be expressed and grown I would have been interested to hearing more about that universe and the way the magic with the grow there and not necessarily with the need of custodials despair and lots of violence though the world many good words of wisdom there

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

Too sweet!

Leaves you hungry for more adventures. Perfect character development, sappy and thoughtful. Miss that skull

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

Fantastically Underwhelming Epic

One of the finest listening experiences I have had the pleasure of enjoying.
Respectfully,
Benny Woodcock

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

Awful voice for main character.

High pitched grumpy old man voice was barely passable for the old Wizard. The narrator then keeping this same voice for the young wizard sections was idiotic and ruins this audiobook.

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

Impressive debut!

I really enjoyed this debut by Kian N. Ardalan.
The world felt rich and lived in, the characters fleshed out and it had compelling prose!
I would love to see more stories in this world!

The narrator did a great job keeping me engaged and all the characters had a distinct voice.

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

Fantastic work

The story has so much life, the performance is absolutely fantastic with never not knowing who’s speaking at any time. The voices are great!

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