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Publisher's Summary

Shari is a med student, months away from being a doctor. Mace is a coder on his first day of an exciting new job. When the world comes to a sudden and horrifying end, none would have expected them to be among the few survivors. 

Hyper-aggressive undead zombie creatures hunt anything living on the surface, where even the grass and trees can kill you. Hiding underground is safe, but not much of a life. Their only escape is a virtual world of magic and monsters where Shari can use her healing skills, and Mace can focus on something other than his fears. 

But Shari is a light elf, and Mace is a drow. Their people are ancient enemies, and neither would be welcome in the other's world. Still they strive to come together in the game, while they scavenge for food and fight to stay alive in the real world. 

The odds are against them, and their food will eventually run out. Is their best hope for survival to find a way to upload themselves to the game permanently?

©2018 Dave Willmarth (P)2018 Dave Willmarth

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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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’m pretty stingy with my 5 star reviews...

And while I’m not sure that this is technically the best LitRPG book I’ve listened to on audible, I can say that I’m experiencing the same feeling I had after listening to The Land for the first time...

...I am feeling bereft that the book has ended, and I’m seconds away from going on Patreon to donate money to this author to get the next book recorded already!

I will breathlessly await the sequel to this book. For those of you out there like me who just can’t trust a highly reviewed LitRPG book on Audible to be well-written, or even edited, this is one where the positive reviews can be believed. It’s definitely made the list of LitRPG series that I comb the “coming soon” list for.

Tops on that list are: Chaos Seeds, The Gam3, The Dark Herbalist, The System Apocalypse, and the first five books of Alterworld, plus a whole bunch of other series that only have one or two books in them so far.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dustin M.
  • 2289 W 5900 S Roy Utah 84067
  • 08-21-18

is good

finally a litrpg that doesn't devolve into harem trash as well as containing a great plot involving things outside the game.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • 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 have Undying love for this book

Holy crap, this book, I must say was the complete package. I don’t know what I enjoyed more, the real life stuff that the MC had to endure or the game play itself, which was also fun. And that was a real pleasure. Mace, the protagonist, lives in a world populated by zombies of every shape and size. It seems that those numbnuts at Cern goofed up, and collided the wrong leptons, muons, and preons together an accidentally created a zombie particle, an insidious sub atomic beast that infects biological material and turns it into nasty zombies that can infect with but a touch. The real problem is that the particles attack ALL biological matter, thus plants and animals are also infected. Now, here is my one and only beef with this story. I said the exact same thing when Brian Keene wrote his zombie masterpiece The Rising. If insects became zombies, as well as higher animals, then nothing would exist in a matter of days. Insects and arachnids are everywhere, and touch everything. Life on Earth would not have a calendar of weeks or months, it would be days. Make the grass deadly, too, and the timer speeds up. Now, in Wilmarth’s case, I completely understand that he could not say that the particle only affected humans, as there would be no discernable reason for that to happen, so it had to be anything biological, but it does really make me have to fight to suspend my disbelief. Thankfully, the tale that he crafts is so outstanding that I can let it all slide and just enjoy the story.

It turns out that Mace got lucky, and essentially found a bunker that he could hole up in, and joy of all joys, he is able to access the MMORPG that he loved to play before everything went to hell. He hatches a plan, one in which he will upload his mind into the game itself, so that he won’t have to consider starvation or becoming a mindless monster. Still he has to venture out in order to get supplies and see if he can locate any survivors. And it is in the daily struggles to stay sane, keep fed, and ever alert for the rampaging undead that Wilmarth really ups his game and makes this not just Litrpg, but also survival horror and I appreciate that he turns the concept on its head. Most Lit books would make it where the zombies were in the game, and not vice versa. He has created some real depth in the land of the unliving, and it is so well (ahem) fleshed out . This feels like it could be a real world event, and is exactly how humanity would react to it occurring.

The gameplay was amazingly just as interesting and fun as the real life drama, and there were several battles in the Underdark that just caught my imagination. I’m thinking of the Cthulhuesque kaiju battle for one, but I can honestly say that for every moment spent in the real world I wondered about the game, and for every moment in the game I wondered about the real world. Wilmarth also comes up with a rather likable love interest in Shari, who is fun and complex and can actually show Mace a thing or two when it comes to surviving. I like that Shari is no wilting flower, and has complete control of whatever situation she is in. The two make up some of the best Character’s I have read/listened to in some time. The world, though bleak, is rich and vibrant in its descriptions, and the game is the kind of game I’d want to play in. Oh, and I have to comment on this, Mace plays a Drow, and in the game he is treated like a baby killing mad man by most of the “people” that he meets. Just the way a Drow should be treated, this has been a moment of reflection in memory of Archaic Venture and its Drow character. Take notes please. Mace struggles to overcome his dark legacy throughout the game, which only adds more to the realism and the overall wow factor because you can sympathize with his struggle as a good person who has to overcome his appearance.

This is the part where I praise Justin Thomas James, and Laurie Catherine Winkel, two people who must be constantly in trouble because we keep using their full names when we talk to about them. Justin Thomas James! What are you doing?!? Why creating a vocal masterpiece. His narration is full of emotion that ranges from angst to antici. . . . . . . pation. He fully embodies that character of Mace, and brings him to life in such a way that you really worry for the poor man whenever he goes outside his door, of get choked up when he talks to a brother and sister who are hanging out over at the fire department. LCW, that’s Laurie Catherine Winkel to you and me (mumble) since the restraining order) is utterly vibrant as Shari. She makes you believe that this is a real girl who has had to endure a ton of crap since the moment things started going haywire, but is still able to cope and keep herself clearheaded. Honestly, I am so happy to hear her get a nice juicy role like this, and I really want to hear her do a whole great big book unto herself at some point. She has a wonderful voice, and I really want to hear more from her every time she is in a book narrating. JTJ, is the same, and I am an unabashed fan of Soundbooth theater. I know that whenever I see that name on a book I am in for an experience. Also, I deeply appreciated that only two narrators were used in the making of this Audio. As much as I realize Jeff Hays has a master vision of what the audible book experience can be I still cotton on the concept of having one or two narrators as most, and this made the book all the more enjoyable for me even though Jeff and Annie were deeply missed.

I really cannot convey how much I enjoyed this book, and I hated the fact that it ended. Thirteen hours just wasn’t enough, I could have used a another thirteen, but probably still wouldn’t have been satisfied with the extra time allotted. All I can say is that I eagerly await the next installment of this series, and that I am glad that Dave stepped aside from his main series to pen this critter. This was a blast to listen to; I loved the characters, and really enjoyed both the real world as much as the game world. I can only see this series getting better and better. This is a solid and seamless story of two worlds, and two characters; each of whom is as interesting and fascinating as the other. So, please, take a trip into the Land. . . .of the undying.

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. 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!!!

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

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

surprisingly great

I haven't been this excited about a new litrpg in along time. This book is very different than almost every book I have read before it, the way they focus on the real world makes you care about their game characters and their real lives. I will be watching and waiting for the next one to come out.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ben
  • United States
  • 09-01-18

Fantastic LitRPG! Can’t wait for book 2

Excellently paced book with interesting real world and virtual world storying. Definitely left me eager for more! I’m going to go read Willmarth’s other work now.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

A good book, and a great listen.

*disclaimer I know both the author and the voice actors on FB.

Ok, with the disclaimer out of the way, on to the book. This book is in the LitRPG genre. If your not familiar with the genre, just think of it as a Science Fiction/Fantasy book where the characters gain power, and that power is expressed as a numerical value. For instance when a character gets stronger, the book will explicitly say "(generic character name)'s strength has gone up by 10 points"! This is something that is familiar to anyone who has ever played RPG's(Roll Playing Games), or video games. It basically just adds a bit of geek factor to the book, and can otherwise be ignored if you are not into that kind of thing.

I'll start with the bad because once you get past that, it's a very enjoyable listen. The biggest hurdle to the book is the main premise, that virtually every living creature has been infected with a viral particle, which turns them into voracious zombie like creatures, effectively destroying society as we know it just one atom of the contaminated particle, could kill you. The co-protagonists Mace, and Shari, are among the last survivors. The problem that I have with the premise is the virus particle as described would just flat out kill everything. Even plants are affected(though exactly how isn't well described). The good news is that the author, Dave Willmarth, can fix this in future books, by fleshing out exactly how the viral particle infects living creatures, and just why certain living creatures are affected and some are not. The bunny comes to mind, as well as some immature trees they pick up at a box store. This is the major problem with the book and the reason the story is only 3 stars instead of 4.

On the Audio performance end, the bad is pretty specific and it basically only applies to the first 2 chapters. The narration and voice performances, come across as being a bit "forced", and wooden. It at times feels like you are just being read a bunch of sentences, rather than being told a story. The good news is that this is specific to the first 2 chapters only, and the Soundbooth Theater team hits their stride by the 3rd chapter, and it becomes immersive and enjoyable. This is the reason that it only received a 4 instead of a 5.

Onto the Good... The world is actually 2 worlds, the physical world, and the world of an online RPG game, where Mace and Shari have created characters. If you start with the premise that the world isn't quite as deadly as our heroes think, it is well written, and could be a book in it's own right. The character interactions are well done, suffering only from the fact that there are basically only 2 characters to interact with. It's the online world where Wilmarth's writing starts to shine. The online world is basically what you would find in any fantasy book, and would be a stand alone work of a high caliper.

On the Audio end of the spectrum, once you get past the first 2 chapters it is nothing short of excellent. It almost seems like the actors just needed a bit of time to settle into their characters and narration. By the end of the book the performances are seamless, and you get to that golden point of any audio book where you forget that you are listening, and instead you are just experiencing.

I will defiantly be purchasing further books in this series, as everything that bothered me about it has either been fixed(performances), or will be fixed(too deadly world) in the next installment.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Addicted

When I finished this audio/book I was very sad to find that there wasn't a second book already. This combines two of my favorite genres in a weird way that works great. Litrpg + post apocalypse + a dash of romance = new favorite series. I'm chomping at the bit for your next release in this series Mr Willmarth. Great job. I guess I should start reading your other series while I wait ^_^

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jim
  • central indiana
  • 08-31-18

zombie apocalypse litrpg what's not to like.

well written, very enjoyable listen. I highly recommend this book. you can't go wrong with a litrpg story taking place in a zombie apocalypse world.

1 of 1 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

Wow

I’ve listened to a lot of both zombie and Litrpg genre books and if you’re reading this I’m guessing you have too. This book right here is actually something new in this well worn field. Highly recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Not worth the effort

The voice acting was great, and I really liked the concept for the whole end of the world thing. However, there were several glaring plot holes that were hard to me to suspend my disbelief for. I am confident that if the main charaters found themselves in an apocalyptic scenario, like or unlike the one they are in, they would not survive.
Also one chapter is out of place. That is probably a problem on aubilbe's end though, and will likely be fixed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Daniel Sigley
  • 09-19-18

Another great production from Soundbooth theater!

I'd never thought pairing an apocalypse with game lit would work but it did brilliantly and I loved the multiple narrators. The story was engaging and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-27-18

Genius for something big to come!

What an amazing novel both the game and reality in the story have you immersed and begging for more !
Looks like we might have a new "The land" on the block, and Dave isn't pulling his punches!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Embrakh
  • 10-01-18

Purchased for Jeff Hays, stayed for an amazing story.

The plot is honestly amazing, the idea of undead and using VR as a form of escapism is honestly great. I was really impressed and now am left starving for the sequel. I eagerly awaiting its release as this is easily one of the best litRPGs I’ve listened to. The narration by the way being amazing, all 3 voice actors were great.

I highly recommend this book.