The Wastes

Underdog Series, Book 2
Narrated by: Derek Shoales
Series: Underdog Series, Book 2
Length: 8 hrs and 48 mins
Categories: Teens, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
4.5 out of 5 stars (133 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Eric has survived where people much stronger than him have found their deaths. And not just that: He's managed to activate his magic supply, tame one of the most dangerous dungeon monsters, find the ancient city of monster hunters, and rescue Jay, the girl abandoned by the scouts in Gulper's lair.

He left the Dungeons of the Crooked Mountains behind him. Now his path leads him to Orchus, where our freshly-minted mage intends to finally free himself of his debt-repayment oath.

But as soon as Eric and Jay descend into the valley, they discover that the local barons have been attacked by young Corwin's men who have swept through their neighbors' estates, pillaging and plundering.

This makes Eric's task all the more difficult: he has to return to his home city without ending up in his enemies' clutches. You'd think his natural cautiousness and the acute instincts of his pet Gorgie would make this journey a walk in the park - but fickle Lady Luck has her own ideas.... Once again Eric is being pulled into a bloody vortex of dangers.

©2019 Alexey Osadchuk; English translation copyright 2019 by Andrew Schmitt (P)2020 Tantor

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

This was almost a 3

This is a hard review to write because there is some really solid parts of this book. T

he problem is that certain parts are just so very bad YA cliche junk. The MC's attitude toward the treatment of people is too overdone that it seems fake. Maybe it was the narrator but I just rolled my eyes a million times when ever the MC cries out about the injustices of the world. And he actually cries out and yells, many many times as if it was a Shakespearean play.

Then there is the mismanagement of skills and grinding. The MC, as you know from the first book, gets radiant tablets from killing lvl 30 mobs. this gives him 10 lvls of a stat from the mob, a skill, a spell, and 10 points that can be put into stats or skills. Instead of farming said lvl 30 creatures, which there is an abundance of them in the cave. And using the tablets to make his character even in stats, and then properly maximizing his stats. The MC decides to not do that, leave the easy leveling caves, and then continues on to make "too stupid to live" choices and just so happen to get out of the bad situations he gets in because he is secretly inspector gadget. You really feel like smacking the MC sometimes.

However the places and things that happen around the MC is very interesting. It is like you have to put up with the MC to enjoy the rest of the book.

The book ends up with the MC becoming waaaay to OP. If the next book balances the OP MC by continuing to have him do stupid things I will have to stop reading this series.

1 person found this helpful

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

this was interesting but not as good as the first

this is interesting but not as good as the first book the characters to get a little predictable about what's going to happen in our times when you just want to tell grow up use the tablets and a time to get to little Opie when it comes to power

1 person found this helpful

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

Basically same story 2 1/2 stars

I only listen to the beginning but the same thing basically happens again Just a new scene and new people

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

I don't like it is stupid

it's so stupid he get caught so easy and just pathetic and you can't do anything it just so dumb and annoying

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

Inconsistant and Baised

I was looking for wads to book 2 of this series, but this one was very disappointing. While the last book seemed to focus on surviving in a world where you are the weakest possible, and turning that weakness into a strength, this books just seems to go with a random flow of plausible but meaningless events. It is clear that the author has a overall idea of when the plot is going, and that's all fine and good, but there is minimal effort put into the way the character gets there. Most of the story seems to be a bulletin list with extra words, not an actual story.

Additionally, the enemies faced are so unbelievably hate-able and vile creatures that killing them seems like a kindness to the reader so we don't have to be told every three words how evil fodder character number four is. They act in the most evil and horrible way possible, but not because we see them doing so, but because we are told how evil and vile they are. It gets really tiresome really quickly.

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

By the way & For the Record....

The two phrases in the title are just a couple of the staggering number of repetitive translation problems with this book. To put it picturesquely: the story has strong bones, but rancid flesh. To put it less poetically; the overarching concept is strong, but the delivery is weak. Don't get me wrong, the book has moments where I felt any number of emotions even despite the translation, but ultimately the evolving story did not fulfill the expectations given to me by the first book.
Beyond translation and story issues, the narrator puts his own stake into the heart of the book. Derek Schoales reads the book in a way which, admittedly, varies both pace and intonation, but does this by utilizing a style of voice variation that does nothing to bring the characters to life. In particular, the choice of one of the secondary character's voice is ridiculous, This is due to the fact that you have to hear it so often... saying it is grating would be an understatement... say it is maddening and you might get closer. My listen took much longer than it should have just because of this one voice. I actually had to turn the read off and listen to something else to clear my head. I know that if I had read this, I could not have been as annoyed with the character. Putting it bluntly, the character was about as delightful as Jar-Jar Binks in the Star Wars franchise,... and only because of the voice acting. A more considerable actor/narrator might not have been able to give the character the gravitas of James Earl Jones, but the lines and growth the character goes through certainly deserved better than to be submarined by Derek Schoales vocal interpretation.
Overall, I can't recommend this book.
Having said that, I would give next book in the series (or by any this author) future listens, but only IF they switch out both the narrator and translator who, in my opinion, have done the author a huge disservice with their substandard execution.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

From slave, To.... slave.

We get it, everything sucks for this mc, enough all ready. Let something not lame happen for once.

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

Eric Acquires A Sidekick

Last we left Eric, he and a female companion, Jay, finished the cave demons and were resting up. Book2 had them finally exiting the cave and Eric and Jay had decided to part ways due to differing goals. Eventually, he and Gorgie end up befriending a weak and fearful gremlin by freeing it from his Orc slaves and convincing Eric to reluctantly take him on as a companion, initially for protection. Little did he realize that this decision would prove very fortuitous for him as they continued their journey to reach Orchus to become a free man.

Dropped it a star for too often reciting the stats of him and his companions. Audible and the narrator should consider providing the listener an easy means to skip over them or, at minimum, reduce how often they are recited.

From there the trio encounter more humans and battling monsters, encountering other mages, and trolls, most who either tried to enslave him or betray him.

The thing i really enjoy about this series is that Alexey Osadchuk mixes the adventures up so that the various encounters aren't simply repetitive type of test and quest scenarios. He also take the time to provide significant backstory and character building details to most of the characters he encounters, both friend and adversary.

Regrettably, I suspect I will need to wait another 6 months before Book 3, The Dark Continent will be available on Audible.

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

Good But...

I liked this 2nd book as much as the first. My only complaint is the same as before. The narrator typically uses one tone or state of being…desperation. An improvement would be to finally speak with confidence, using the tone he uses for story narration, rather than changing to a character voice of constant desperation and child-like demeanor.

I should mention the translation isn’t great. It’s good enough to enjoy the story, but the word “Alas” is extremely overused. It was to the point that It almost ruined the story for me, but once I realized this is a translated copy from the original language, I was able to mentally ignore it.

I will buy the next installment when it is released and look forward to the continued journey of our Underdog hero.