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The Greystone Chronicles: Book One: Io Online  By  cover art

The Greystone Chronicles: Book One: Io Online

By: Dave Willmarth
Narrated by: Laurie Catherine Winkel,Jeff Hays
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Publisher's summary

In the latter half of the 21st century, Alexander and his guild mates play Io Online for fun and to earn a living. It's the largest VRMMORPG on the planet, and the source of income that supports families around the globe. While completing a rare First Kill dungeon in hopes of epic loot, they discover that demons have once again invaded Io.

Given the chance to test a new experimental immersion system, the veteran players must give up their high-level characters and begin again at level one. As they work through the noob zone quests, they discover that the new immersion system allows them to play in ways that hadn't been possible before. Casting is faster. Movement more fluid. Even magic itself behaves differently. They quickly run afoul of a party of player killers and become the targets of an entire PK guild bent on spawn-camping them until they leave the game. War has been declared.

The fight expands into populated areas, where innocent citizens are murdered, and player accounts are terminated. The guild works to help citizens rebuild what has been destroyed, but are repeatedly forced to stop and defend against enemy attacks. After the gods of Io and a powerful being of darkness get involved, Alexander and his friends learn the hard way that their in-game actions have consequences, both in the game and in the real world.

Soundbooth Theater has had the honor of working with Laurie Catherine Winkel once more, in the first installment of the epic Greystone Chronicles. Her bright and light performance matches the tone of this Gamelit romp about friendship and community, while perfectly framing Jeff Hays' performance as the male cast.

The Soundbooth Theater team for this production:

  • Laurie Catherine Winkel - narration, female characters, and Fibble!
  • Jeff Hays - male characters
  • Dalton Lynne - proofing, editing
  • Justin Thomas James - production, editing, mastering
©2017 Dave Willmarth (P)2018 Dave Willmarth, Soundbooth Theater

What listeners say about The Greystone Chronicles: Book One: Io Online

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Very good production

What made the experience of listening to The Greystone Chronicles: Book One: Io Online the most enjoyable?

The entire book is first rate from the quality of the sound the talent of the narrators the interesting story.This book can be listened to by anyone at any age.

Who was your favorite character and why?

No favorite character because the narrators are so good you enjoy the totality of the book which contains many interesting characters that the narrators bring into focus.

Have you listened to any of Laurie Catherine Winkel and Jeff Hays ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

They are very good narrators their work is all among the best in the business.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

This work is 14 hours and 43 minutes...... what do you think?

Any additional comments?

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

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35 people found this helpful

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

Boring

This story is so insipid that it makes me angry. It's as if the author deliberately set out to remove everything that makes you care about characters or plot resolution. here's a list of the problems:

1) the main characters are essentially Mary Sues. Everything comes easy to them and they continually win effusive praise from all the supporting characters.

2) no real conflict. Yes, there is the enemy guild, but our heroes effortlessly defeat/humiliate them at every encounter, even though the enemy characters have vastly higher levels.

3) conversational interplay among characters is very unrealistic

4) no real plot. The “conflict” between our group and the enemy guild occupies only a small amount of their time and is never represented as an important challenge. Even the leveling up is portrayed as meaningless, because our main characters acquire god-level skill the moment they acquire a skill at all.

5) failed humor. Most attempts at being funny aren't funny at all. One guy teases another “if you don't stop bothering me, I'll tell the waitress about the rash you had last year!” Ha, ha, ha, yes, hilarious.

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33 people found this helpful

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

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Graystone Chronicles
The Good: Jeff Hayes and the Sound booth Theatre. They really make any audio production a terrific entertaining event.
Also good is the world building, the story line; both inside the game and out in the real world, character development, and the vast array of creatures and other humanoids that are introduced into the story.
The Bad: the lackluster pace and absence of anything resembling a thrilling tense filled conflict, Alexander and his clan simply destroy any enemy regardless of level discrepancy or number, it’s all very anticlimactic.
The Ugly; Relationships; they all act like virgins on prom night. I know this isn’t a Harem book but Alexander and the rest need to grow a pair. Also fuzzy bunnies
Overall I like this series, despite the lack of intensity; I like the story progression and listening to Jeff Hayes and the rest of Sound booth Theatre makes it entertaining

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30 people found this helpful

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

Privileged OP players go on SJW quest set on EASY

First, Soundbooth did an excellent production.

Second, this book is terrible, don't buy it.

SPOILERS!

I have listened to a lot of LitRPG, and as is usually the case when the Main Character gets overpowered or has some kind unique edge, you at least understand and appreciate the effort required to become that way.

However these characters are quite literally given every advantage right from the start. Unique abilities, a unique character class, Mythical gear for them. Every NPC they meet, soon starts praising and treating them like family, the "Evil" faction is comically inept and is humiliated at every turn. The team steam roller their way through dungeons, with zero effort. The female characters are so bland and generic, fawning over the MC and anything "cute". If it wasn't for the swearing, I would put this firmly as a kids book.

Team America for SJW's. Uggh.

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27 people found this helpful

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

Disappointing

The addition of the romance element feels like it was added by someone who never met or had a conversation with a woman. Nothing was done by the protagonist to earn the affection, and the game system is heavily weighted for the protagonist, basically cheating like a fiend non-stop. With much eye-rolling I finished the book, but will not be buying the next installment. The narration was excellent, it kept me going when the story started to sour.

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18 people found this helpful

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

Where's the story?

The book starts off with 4 high level established characters. They've known each other for a really long time and already have good team work.

Right there goes 2 major draws of litrpg, progression and character building.

We find out that the main character is extremely rich and while the author claims 2 of his friends are poor they apparently make enough money playing the game rather than have full time job.

The main character also has a full time nurse/cook/masseuse/ physical therapist.

His father also owns the company that makes the game and has instructed the AI to give his team better loot.

The absolutely only conflict in the book is that the main character has a rare neurological disorder. Of course it doesn't matter because not only does it not impact him at all in the book, but apparently his father has been giving him experimental miracle drugs without his knowledge.

This is both highly unethical but extremely illegal. What does the main character say? "Thanks Dad."

Absolutely ridiculous.

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14 people found this helpful

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

another masterpiece by soundbooth theater

An amazing story written by Dave and brought to life by the greatly talented Laurie Catherine winkel and Jeff hays. This is one of those audio books you can't pass on its that good. Dave did such an amazing job writing the story and creating loveable characters that want to help as much as they can and the talent at soundbooth theater made them come alive in ways unexpected.

I can't recommend this enough. I love the plot and advancement of the MC and his guild and the mysterious fibble.

If your looking for an adventure that will suck you in and make you want to go haring off on your own, then this is the book for you.

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14 people found this helpful

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

Io, Io, it's off to the VRMMORPG I go!

Shew! This was a fun book. It has a lot going for it, so let me get the easy stuff out of the way first. I am a huge fan of Soundbooth Theater. Jeff Hays is my favorite narrator. Those tow facts mean that I was going to get this book no mater what. Seriously, Hays is a Master of the Vocal Arts, and if anyone can make a good book amazing it is him, BUT lo and behold he didn't do all the heavy lifting. Nope, Laurie Catherine Winkel takes the lead narration slot, and is kind enough to let Hays do the voices for the male characters. I have to say that I am being continually blown away by the talant that SBT has under their banner. So, be aware that the sound quality and narration just blows your expectations into orbit.

Next, the writing! Well Doggies this too is top notch, grade A stuff. The characters are all fun, and I would have a hard time narrowing out a favorite. Alexander has a cool side story about his being healed via his immersion in the game, but that plot line isn't resolved by the end of the book; so I guess that will be looked at in another book! Yeah!! Another one!!!! The action is really great and the book speeds along. You know it is good when it is three AM and you don't want to stop listening even though you have to get up a six. Yeah, it pulls you in deep.

I can see some people complaining that the characters are too overpowered, and while that might actually be the case I have found it to be the norm for a book in this genre. Just look at the uberleveling in Awaken Online and you will see my point. So, I do not hold that against the storyline at all. In fact, I've pretty much come to expect it. Willmarth knows how to hold your attention and make things exciting. I'll certainly be anticipating book 2!!! Even though I did receive a promo code for this review it in no way influenced my considerations of the material, and in fact, inspired me to be more honest. In fact, getting a code generally makes me harsher as a reviewer as I am more often concerned what someone like Me will decide based on my review.


If this review helped, please press the YES below. Thank you immensely!!!

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

Rich boy with an Insane sense of justice.

Let me start this by saying that I wished I could like this book. I love the narrators. They do a great job overall. But having great narrators doesn't help this book.

Pros:
Overall Plot is an interesting take on the "VRMMO I get paid to play games" type of series.

Stated above. Annie and Jeff do a great job

The magic system is interesting (though a bit OP for MC and crew)

Cons:
Literally everything else.

From the high horse the MC sits on to the idiotic "Overbearing" support characters. The pacing is so fast that if you miss a moment with this book it could be the next day or in a new town.

I HATE the MC and his "I must punish all those who are evil" mentality. He is so extreme he causes people to undergo torture to get his way. Yes the author will tell you over and over it's not torture, but when you dig a hole for a guy and *spoiler* catch him on fire over and over so he can't escape...plus then GIVE HIM THE OPTION TO HEAL HIMSELF SO THAT YOU CAN TORTURE HIM MORE. Nah. You can call it "Not torture" all you want. We all have critical thinking ourselves we can see this is torture. Regardless what this character has "done".
Your characters are all flat, no personalities whatsoever except "My daddy is rich and made this game, therefore I can do my Lawful Good Paladin routine all I want without any repercussions. The king is my bestie and the most powerful mage (who rivals gods) is my next door neighbor and gives me magic for free"


If i wanted to listen to a rich brat get his way with everything I would go hang out with my cousin.

Overall a bad experience and I will be refunding. Much better "Litrpg" books out there.

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10 people found this helpful

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

not worth it

it has an okay plot line, but there is no drama. it's the equivalent of a game nerfed to no challenge for the main hero and his friends.

level 5s taking on a group of 16s twice their number and easily defeating them?

never a challenge in any monster encounter?

just learn magic and now moving tons of Earth to improve their guild?

anything they do and they profit from.

gave it four hours and I couldn't stand it anymore.

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9 people found this helpful