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Publisher's Summary

"Raise your blade. Take up the mantle of Slayer." 

Adam’s life was anything but easy. With people at both school and home eager to make his life a living hell, the only place he felt like himself was in the virtual world. At least there he had some control.  

When the newest VRMMORPG title gets announced, Adam and his best friend, Max, are more than ready to dive in. Launch day arrives quickly, and Adam is plunged into a world that’s more immersive than anything he’s experienced before. Although the game offers a bevy of character choices, Adam quickly chooses the title of Slayer, a class that specializes in taking down stronger, more difficult opponents.  

Adam begins his adventure, but it's not long before he realizes there’s much more at stake when taking a life in this new game. The pain is very real, and death...is permanent. Now, trapped in a virtual world, Adam must take the mantle of Zander Darkblade and brave the dangers of the Aether Gate.  

It is a world of mighty creatures and fallen gods. A world where powerful familiars bond with their masters, granting them extraordinary powers they wield with uncanny force...and as Adam and the others will soon discover, it is a world of secrets that have lain hidden for far too long.... 

Welcome to Aether Gate Online. 

Disclaimer: This novel is a LitRPG/gamelit title. Its contents include various role-playing game stats and video game references.

©2018 Darren Hultberg Jr (P)2018 Darren Hultberg Jr

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Another LITRPG all star story

Yet another in a long line of great stories and story lines. This one introduces the class of slayer to the series. The sheer amount of skills and attributes that appear in these books truly takes you back to the basement and comic book store games of My youth. The characters and plot lines are amazing the narration is fabulous. The new age of fantasy stories. These are the dragon lance stories of this generation. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator or publisher

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Pam C
  • Wolfforth, TX
  • 09-30-18

A new twist for this genre

I am not a gamer, but I have found that I am really enjoying this new genre of writing. This story, however, has a different twist to the usual storyline. THIS story is truly life and death, good vs evil, the end is the end of the game. Want to know what I'm talking about? Read the book, because there is no end game or escape in the normal sense of the word. But, believe me, you want to read to the end...
I listened to the audio book version of this book. Scott Bennett is one of my favorite narrators. I love the smoothness of his story telling. He is able to find the heart of the characters and bring them out in their voice and the sense of their actions are felt in the hearing of their expressions.
I highly recommend this book and this narrator!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • RJ
  • Cottage Grove, MN, United States
  • 09-12-18

A kinder, gentler VRMMORPG

Welcome to the opener of a new LitRPG series. This one is a much more “friendly” or “tamer” version of the LitRPGs that have been coming out of late. A usual plot line will be found; a gamer wanting a better life inside a VRMMORPG. Although this one does have some issues with game mechanics; such as skills and spells crossing character classes, levels did not seem to scale up, and attribute stats which seem to be MIA. Of interest: a warrior executed a shield bash without equipping a shield, all characters had access to a familiar, Other than that it maintains a decent story and characters to go with it. I enjoyed the story although Darren needs to ruminate over MMORPGs. Three.point.five. This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book.

This is a great story and is well written and narrated, Kept me engaged from start to finish.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Jaded

I had no intention of liking this book when I started reading; the concept did not interest me but I was running out of books.

This type of book can only go a couple of ways "surprise, you're trapped inside a game" or "surprise, you're trapped and it's not a game". Both I find irritating. The best twist I saw was the "surprise: your in a game... and your meatspace is also a game and always has been" this is not that book. This is yet another trapped-in-a-game-book. Nothing new here.

Dispite my dislike of the very concept of this book I must admit to one thing: It's not bad. I was hoping for something unforgivingly bad so I could stop in good conscience. It never happened. I finished it. ok I stopped before the glossary. but really that doesn't count.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Entertaining virtual RPG story

I enjoyed the interesting twist in this virtual RPG story. The characters are stuck in the game but their bodies in the real world still remained alive; it truly becomes a game of life and death. I liked the world building, the plot, fights, skills, attributes and the leveling up of the characters, but I did think that giving more background in the real world to Adam would have added depth to his character and increased his ties to life outside the game. The narrator fit the story well, bringing the characters and action to life and moving the story along at just the right pace. This is an enjoyable story with a good ending, I am looking forward to the next in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

a good book

The book although a little slow at certain times is still a very good listen. I can't wait for the next one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Great for YA, mildly entertaining for adults

This is not the best of LitRPG novels I've listened to, but it's okay nonetheless. I liked the main premise, i.e. the way people got stuck in the game. I also liked the fact that although the MC starts out as a somewhat insecure game character, he grows into it and develops into kind of an action hero - although at heart he's still a teenager or adolescent, with the insecurities that come with that. I also like the game world, and the way it works, the familiars and their bonding to characters, and the Guilds.

What didn't keep my interest were the somewhat superficially developed characters and the interactions between them. For instance, if more time had been spent on who they were as a real person and why certain relationships in their real lives mattered, I would have been able to empathize more with their longing to go home. In that sense there were some inconsistencies in the plot that bothered me. Maybe it was sloppy writing, maybe the author didn't want too many pages in his book, who knows.

Then again, maybe it was because this is probably a YA title that I found it lacking. The thing is, Audible most of the time does not mention this in its genre categories, so I usually only find out through actually listening to a novel. Which is why I'm mentioning it in my review title, to help others along.

However, the ending had some fine nuggets that made me want to listen to part 2 anyway!

Narration was fine, I enjoyed listening to J. Scott Bennett and would listen to other books read by him. He has variety in his character voices and even adds emotion.

So depending on your age and interests, this could be a fun and thrilling game adventure for you. However, if you are a seasoned reader/listener of 40+, I wouldn't spend a full credit but wait for a Daily Deal or a review copy.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. I was not required to write a positive review and this reflects my honest opinion of the work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Book one

Very easy listening . I love how I was immediately drawn into the story as if I were a fly on the wall. the narrator was really good and ive listened to bad ones. cant wat for the next volume

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It takes some time.... worth it though!

General:
This book reminds me of random LitRPG meets Sword Art Online.. Now hold on! This is not a bad thing! In this day and age where a new LITRPG comes out every other week it is getting harder and harder to be original. The question is, should everything be original? The simple answer is; No, it should not and it really does not need to. What is important is that a book reads well, meaning that it is well written with defined characters and plot scenes.
At first I did not think too much of it, and it seemed like a ' so so' book. After the first half though, things get a bit more serious, and we can see that this does seem like a setup for the rest of the series.
What I am trying to say is that if you are a fan of LITRPG and like me, are always looking for another good series, this seems promising.

Plot & Characters:
Both remind me of what I consider as ' basic ' fantasy/LITRPG. There is a twist somewhere after the mid-section where things tend to get a bit more serious. The main character is charismatic enough and his supporting staff nicely fills it up. At times they are a bit annoying, but don't distract from the story. Each character only adds to the story and I would consider both the plot and characters as well written and thought out.

Narration:
The narration reminds me more of a 'classic' narration. The narrator seems a bit too old (so sorry !) at the beginning of the book, and takes some getting used to. After about an hour, when all characters have synchronized up in the old think factory I am happy with the choice. The narrator manages to create a classical feeling in a very modern setting. The voices are distinct enough and at the necessary moments the tension is correctly brought to life.

Conclusion:
Honestly, not the greatest ever, but certainly worth the read. I do think (and hope) that I was correct in my expectation of this being the setup book for the rest of the series. If the author manages to create more depth in the next book then we are up for a real treat.

To buy or not to buy?
If you find this at a discount, or just have a few extra credits, go ahead get this. If you are in a pinch, I would advise you to hold on a little longer, and see if the rest of the series brings more to the table.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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
  • Lee
  • 10-02-18

A Very Good Read

This is a typical LitRPG, it isn't anything groundbreaking but it is a good solid read with very good narration that when it ends, leaves you with a bit of a cliffhanger which is just enough for you to be wanting more.

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