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The Runesmith

The Greenwood, Book 2
Narrated by: Damon Alums
Series: Greenwood Chronicles, Book 2
Length: 1 hr and 49 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A Bad Man Gets Badder

My name is Harald Runestorm. In real life, I help children with their homework and volunteer in a library project for homeless refugees (due to a probation order), but in my spare time, I log into the World of the Greenwood and kill people for fun. Sometimes I torture them too, and I generally rob them, but other days I stay in my tower and craft things.

One day, from a shady informant, I heard about a shipment of ore going through the woods. It seemed the Druids Guild was taking its gold to market, so I thought I'd take it off them. I've always hated hippies, with their 'respect the woods' and 'pet butterflies' attitude to life. I wanted them to respect my sword and pet my fist. My Runefist that is. With their face.

I went down to the woods to teach them a lesson about pain and loss. Then I learned a lesson myself.

A LitRPG short story (15,280 words!) set in The World of The Greenwood MMO.

©2017 John Anthony Walker (P)2017 John Anthony Walker

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Too Perfect villain and unstable tale

You may recall that I reviewed another Greenwood Book called The Bard: A LitRPG Short Story. I wasn’t exactly overwhelmed with the tale, but given that I hadn’t read the preceding novels I thought I’d give this short book a chance as well. I have mixed feelings on the matter.

I’ll start with Damon Alums who narrated the Bard story as well. With the Bard I found his voice to be so enchanting that it wanted to put me to sleep. I admit that he did one hell of an Antonio Banderas impression, but then really didn’t know if that was his actual voice or not. Here, his voice is much more tolerable and easy to follow and it does not lull you into a stupor from its droning cadence. I still wasn’t overwhelmed by his narration skills, but they weren’t bad. Alums seems to be a middle packer so far. I will say that he gave each character their own voice that was distinctive and made it easier to follow the tale.

Wolf’s writing seems to follow Alums narration. He doesn’t do much to stand out. Honestly, having listened to the two stories I can see that the only character that he really knows how to write is an Over Powered one. The character of Harald Runestorm is perfect. He’s all powerful. He’s the best there is at whatever he does, and he treats everyone around him like the inferiors that they are. He has the best of everything from ingredients to spells, he is the best fighter, best rune maker, you name it and he tops the list at it. It got repetitive listening to him brag about how awesome he was. One might argue that Wolf was just character building so that he could show you how great a jerk the guy was, but it just kept going and going. Then you had to listen to him harangue npcs and players alike and it really wore thin. I got it. He was an A-hole of th highest order, the greatest magnitude, the most expansive . . . get the picture? Couple the arrogance with a nasty personality and you’ll see just how unlikable the guy is.

Now, I will hand it to Wolf. He plays the long game. There are reasons that he makes the character so annoying, and that is so he can hit you with not one, but two plot twists. Neither is really all that original, but they do work in the context of the story. And therein lies the rub. The story isn’t bad, but it is much longer than it needed to be. Some editing would have resulted in a shorter tighter story that wouldn’t have been so annoying at times. You can only hear how great someone is before you don’t care.

The one thing that I found that didn’t fit was the fact that a grade A bunghole like Runestorm, who seems to know everything, doesn’t realize that just because someone says they are a pacifist it doesn’t mean that they won’t fight or hurt you in order to defend themselves, their property, or others. I just didn’t get what he was thinking. I will say that once more, that my issues with the story may come more from the narration than the tale itself. It may have come across much differently if it had been read by someone else.

As things go the story wasn’t overly bad. I think some trimming could have really produced a decent story. Alums performed professionally and it could have been a lot better. As it stands I’m giving this a 6.5. The twists at the end didn’t make it worth the time to listen.

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.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful