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The Heroic Villain

Length: 14 hrs and 48 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,215 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Although he was once the promising young CEO of a successful corporation, Lucas abandoned everything he knew and retreated from both the real world and his demanding life following a horrific accident. In order to cope with tragic loss, he began spending his time in virtual reality, lazing about in the sun, and living a carefree life.

When he learns that his escapist paradise is being threatened and is about to disappear, however, Lucas is once again forced to take action and do what he does best: take charge. With newfound purpose, Lucas desperately begins making plans that will not only save the world that he has come to love but also propel him back into the spotlight once again - only this time as the villain.

In this GameLit LitRPG adventure, Lucas overthrows local lords, assumes command of the evil Imperium’s forces, and begins designing a dungeon that no player would ever want to miss out on. As he struggles to evolve his monsters and create an entourage of minions in order to become the greatest villain ever, however, Lucas realizes that things aren’t going to be as easy as they initially seemed.

Dave Willmarth, writer of the Greystone Chronicles: "A great start to a new series from a master storyteller! The MC being more of an anti-hero is a new twist for Charles, and I’m really enjoying it!"

This book is brought to you from the author of the Litrpg series War Aeternus, The Bathrobe Knight and Merchant of Tiqpa.

©2019 Charles Dean (P)2019 Charles Dean

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

World not thought out

I’m always getting older. So I don’t have time or tolerance anymore for stories that don’t have well-thought out worlds. When it’s said he was the *only* player to *ever* fall into the negatives, I was like ‘okay sounds good’. When it said after that that the game had been out for eight years, given the previous fact I was like ‘well... ok... not impossible I guess but highly unlikely.’ When he discovered the bug, I was like ‘I’ll begrudge you that one given the first fact but I don’t like it.’ When she said that the devs *knew* about the bug, I was like, ‘okay super lazy for a futuristic tech but sure— human incompetence transcends time.’ Then. Then! It says that he is the *first* player to *ever* take the villain route. Nope. Fuck that.

Plus, through all of this, it danced weirdly around the protag’s background and never mentions nor demonstrates his personality as CEO-like, as provided in the synopsis.

Also the sounds engineering is pretty distracting. There are some parts where the effects are so loud it drones out the narrator. It could have grown on me though.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Thorough Audio Adventure

This story follows a traditional LitRPG troupe, but doesn't say within the virtual realm (though not enough for my taste for these types of voluntary litrpg inclusion-type stories). It follows a former higher-up in a company who helped create a vrmmo game but loses his wife and then his meaning for living. He spends months and months after her death by hiding and "dying" in the game in order to escape from the real world. Something that many people can relate to. The story touches on some aspects of depression and how it affects the families as a whole. It handles this subject well.

The story from there goes as expected. But what sets this audio book apart is the audio producers and the audio artists who give their all to this story. There are sound effects galore that DO NOT get in the way of the story. In my opinion it adds a much desired dimension to the narration.

I can not but recommend this book if you are in to litRPG. There is no harem. There are some strong sexual innuendos and situations however.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Confused

Minor spoilers

How can all but the Main Character max out their levels? Advantage of MC's negitive level status is quick leveling. So how does all his party members max out with him gaining 20 level or so? Makes no sense!

What's behind the charters that oppose the MC? I would have rather got to know the characters in the MC's party. There really is little character growth and relationship development.

I'm getting tried of the naive, clueless and even pathetic main character. How much more obvious does someone have to be to show they are interested? This none recognition is growing tiresome. It's becoming more and more common in books. What happened to the strong male character?

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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It’s like the Anime Overlord

Its almost like the anime Overlord only the MC isn’t overpowering & broken or trapped in another world. The story is pretty good as the MC makes his way towards the top, Jeff & co. did a really awesome job on the voices, I rather enjoyed it & can’t really say anything otherwise it might spoil the story. All in all it’s a really great book!

17 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Evilly good like an unhealthy snack cake

Awright, you know what time it is. That’s right it is time for another SOUNBOOTH SPOTLIGHT!!!! Whoop Whoop!

Sorry had to naughty up the narrators a little bit since this book technically lacks naughty bits. The actual narration is performed by Jeff hays, Annie Ellicott, Justin Thomas James, with a special guest appearance by Annileise Rennie.

So, I am including this in this show for few reasons. First, because we have a naughty MC who is the villain of the story rather than the hero. Secondly, because Charles Dean likes to create harems and then make you want action to take place but you never get to see any action. Third, simply because this book is such a departure from what he usually writes that there is barely any beer in the book, and nary a strip of bacon to be seen. There is a sultry bath scene that is nicely descriptive, but don’t go looking for other types of naughtiness.

I will say that I did talk to Charles about this book, and we had a bit of a disagreement over the ending. He claimed that when he wrote this he had no intention of writing more books in this series, and that it was a completely self-contained tale, but I disagreed. I think the end did nothing but set up a second book. We had too many things unfinished, such as the vampire’s questline, and the other continents that needed dealing with, so I’m calling him naughty for trying to make me doubt what I’d read.

The book is clever and smartly written, and centers on a lonely guy mourning a loss and trying to just spend his days drifting about a game world doing nothing but drinking wine and eating cheese until he learns that the game is going to be shut down. Now, any other player would just move onto a new game, but the MC, Lucas, has reasons for not wanting to see this particular game world die off. So he pairs up with a dev to figure out a new way to draw players back to the game without any new content being developed.

Dean is pretty slick in the way that he handles negative levels, and having Lucas handle betraying team members. As always, he creates a set of characters to titillate the reader, but for me the BDSM Mercenary was my favorite. Bonnie! That’s her name. I loved her, if I had to pick a favorite then she’d be it. There is also the sympathetic girl, played by his game changing accomplice who is more than she seems and closer to him than he realizes.

I especially enjoyed the fat spider and the flying gorilla, but the spider Saba made me laugh consistently. A body shamed spider is not something you see everyday. The story is whip smart and crafted meticulously and definitely leaves you wanting more.

The SBT crew add in a ton of SFX and music and they perform the hell out of this book. Oddly, I did think the drumming during the battle scenes didn’t fit as well here. They kind of distracted me from the story, and I know that I’ve said that I’ve enjoyed similar work in the past but here it just seemed out of place for some reason. It wasn’t a game changer, but it did throw me off when it started up. Otherwise, just amazing. Oh, and kudos for including the ever amazing Anniliese Rennie in the book. That was just chocolate sauce on my whipped cream banana split. I can never get enough of Rennie, and to hear her paired up with SBT was a really special moment. Hays is just fun, and takes a morose Lucas into a conniving villain role very believably. JTJ has fun with his role as the betrayed gamer. Anneliese fits right in with the SBT team. Personally, I think they all get better every time they do a new book.

Final score 8.6 stars. Super awesome, with some great surprises both story wise and in the narration.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Amazing narration

This took me a little while to get into. The first hour or 2 of the book was extremely slow. The story does pick up though. The twists were not very surprising but the story was still entertaining. Definitely worth the credit.

The best part of this book is how amazing of a job Jeff Hays and Annie Elliott do. I’ve reached the point where if I see either of those names I know the performance will be great.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Dark but not too dark

There are dark parts to this wonderful book but keep in mind it’s all virtual reality

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great LitRPG world!

The best new LitRPG I’ve listened to in a while, great story and style with a phenomenal performance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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a fun and interesting book<br />

even with the various harem instances on this book will still interesting and fun..... it reminded me of the early days of EverQuest and other online games that I used to be absorbed in.
the whole villain strategy of the book was interesting I only wish that they may have did so as a true villain

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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a wonderful new series

I like the balance of mostly game world with a touch of real world. the sound effects and multiple voice actors help give a real feel for being completely inside this virtual world

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ian
  • 11-12-19

The heroic villain.

I enjoyed this book, as a LITRPG fan, I'd class this as a softer side, really enjoyable though.
The main character Luke is really likable, his side kicks are great and compliment the whole story.
I'm quite sure there will more to come from the Heroic Villain.
Great narration.

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  • Michael
  • 10-21-19

Decent story and exceptional production quality

Short

The book is worth a listen if you are willing to suspend your disbelief a little more than usual and accept that the story is there to facilitate it.

Narration

The narration is exceptional. Different characters are "read" by different voice actors and all are top quality marked especially by Jeff's brilliant voice narration.

Story

The main character is an X CEO of his own company that after his wife died retreated into the game. It's an alright premise, but so many plot devices are used throughout the story, where things are done and explained in a rather convenient and illogical manner to move along the story. The main characters tragedy being used as a primary but thin motivation. The book also sort becomes a parody of itself at times, by falling into many tropes it makes fun of.


World

The book doesn't cover a world ending scenario, which is rather refreshing and the mechanics of the game world are interesting and well described.

The characters themselves are also pretty good, if their motivation again rather thin. 1 character needs alot of money for hinted reasons, but could clearly be better of in many other ways.

If i could I would rate the book 3.5 stars. The game aspect of the book is interesting and characters well written. However personally I found much of the book light on well constructed story aspects.

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  • Dean lee
  • 09-14-19

great story can't wait for Book 2

good job as always done by jeff hays great story never gets dull cant wait for book 2

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  • Ho-Man Yau
  • 08-30-19

more of an audio drama than book.

this is an interesting audio book as its more like a drama with multiple voice actors and background music. I really liked it as it gave it a feeling of it being more than your usual audio book.
I look forward to the next book in the series.

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  • Bugeag Sebastian
  • 08-18-19

villian but not really

a good book with a good blend of litrpg elements. not too much of one thing. if the sound effects weren't too loud in a couple of places it wood have been perfect.

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  • Mr. Ir Pinch
  • 08-14-19

great performance

really enjoyed the story. Loved the use of sound effects and music. I see there are a some people in the reviews that wernt that into it but Imo it was fantastic. I felt it really added to the emersion for me at least. Hope to hear more like it in the future.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-12-19

A great setup for a possible sequel

Makes me excited for a sequel, despite the overused tropes in this book.

Kinda tired of the dark and broody characters who lost their loved ones, only to never acknowledge and engage with a love interest 😒

The atmosphere music is too inconsistent to be welcome and ends up being frustrating. The sound effects weren't bad and don't mind the continual use I suppose.

And that spider voice was so annoying that I almost dropped it right there....

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • L.
  • 07-25-19

What an experience

I've read this book on 3 separate occasions. I could never imagine, that the Audiobook would beat my imagination; but it did.

The storytelling of soundbooth theater has surpassed every experience I've ever had. I don't think any audiobook will every surpass this book. I've had so much fun listening to this book, and quite literally shoved it down my families throat so they would listen to it aswell.

I love you, guys.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Mauritz Krylander
  • 07-24-19

Ruined by sound effects

I don't know who added the drum beats and random low quality ambient sound but they should be fired and replaced by someone competent

The book itself I actually rather enjoyed but was always annoyed when the sound effects happened and couldn't concentrate on anything other than how stupid the person or people who added them must be

2 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Xravia
  • 09-22-19

Stellar Sound Design.

A great story with a clear progression, character development and storyline. The sound design accents it wonderfully and it combines into a geat listen.

Something I could add would be to give some more credit to the other players in the game. They already missed out on the negative level exploit and an entire facet of the system that lets players generate thier own quests. which would be a major selling point. That can all be addressed in the next book as what sort of gamer would spend 2 years in the tutorial zone
o.o

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  • Embrakh
  • 09-04-19

Amazing Quality and Better Writing.

Like how I ignored this author's other book series because the Book one's art. I avoided this series because of the name.

However, like that series I instantly fell in love with the story and the characters once I have it a shot. Jeff and Annie's amazing voice acting, the wonderful sound work and Charles Dean's solid writing made every minute a blast.

It's gotten to a point that every book he releases with Sound Booth is a Must Buy.

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  • John
  • 08-07-19

The Heroic Villain

Charles Dean is one of the most talented and skilled author's I enjoy his work greatly. This book is bloody brilliant and can't wait to buy the next book of this series and with the voice acting talents and skills of Anneliese Rennie, Justin Thomas James,
Annie Ellicott and Jeff Hays who's narration makes the characters and world come alive this book is a must to listen to and owned... 12/10 stars.