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Publisher's Summary

A corrupt server, a murderous NPC, and an impossible quest: Save the game. At all costs. 

Coral joined the immersive virtual reality video game Travail Online because her waitressing job, like so many other jobs, was automated by a growing robot workforce. She starts as a Seamstress, hoping to craft useful clothing in-game to sell for real life cash. The game, however, has other ideas. She soon discovers a knack for peeling the skins off creatures she never thought she'd lay hands on and crafting grotesque wearables from them instead. 

What starts off as job replacement quickly launches an adventure of epic proportions through a virtual reality world filled with magic, intrigue, and betrayal. Can she and her new friends rescue the MMORPG world of Travail from death and defeat before it comes crashing down, taking the world economy with it?

©2017 Brian Simons (P)2017 Brian Simons

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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

more please

hopefully this will stay as consistent in the next book it says something for people who like crafting and fighting a promising start to a new Dynamic series

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

Unexpectedly good

+++very good lit rpg book. I put the series off for a while because of the cover art which isn't that great. I know I know never judge a book by its cover.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Takes meBack to my D&D days

Hilarious from start to end. The LITRPG universe is amazing and never disappoints. This one has the most amazing heroine, a seamstress lol. One odd twist after another puts this seamstress in a position to beat the baddies and go on epic quests “tailored” to her. Loved it and
Can’t wait for more. Recommend this and all others in the genre. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

2 of 2 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

A fun trip through a virtual world

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


If this book had been a quest I played in an MMO it would definitely be my favorite quest. Fun story, interesting challenges, risk, the promises of riches, and fun with friends, what more could an adventurer want?

Overall I also enjoyed it as a fun thought experiment of AI gone wrong and I loved all ways that AI decisions rippled out into the world of Travail in both massive world changing ways and in much smaller, more subtle ways.

I admit, the beginning was a bit rough for me. Andrea Parsneau is amazing, but it's pretty hard to make TOS and text help boxes engaging in audio and I found they frequently pulled me out of the story.
I wanted, and was unable, to just skim the TOS and tutorial help dialogue like I would in an actual game. Having TOS read to you within the first chapter was daunting and I definitely questioned what I had gotten myself into! But I'm very glad I stuck around because like most games, once the tutorial is out of the way the real fun begins!
And to be fair, the popup text becomes pretty entertaining as the book progresses. Andrea breathes extra life into the characters and does a fantastic job with having different voices/accents for the different races.

The group of 4 intrepid adventures has a great group dynamic and I enjoyed all of them and how they worked together. Also, the world building was exceptional and descriptive without crossing over the line into bogging down the reader with details. Even without a VR visor I felt I could see and experience Travail with the characters.

2 of 2 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

A Fun Romp

I picked this title up because of the seemingly mundane class choice of the protagonist. I was a little worried that it would have been tossed by the wayside, but I was glad to find that even as the main characters dug into their strange adventure, the matters of crafting still managed to be at the forefront.

The book was definitely enjoyable. At no point did I feel like the pacing was rushed, and all of the major story points seemed neatly tied together. No solution to a problem felt like it came out of nowhere, and even the character development felt like it made a good deal of sense.

It's definitely not a brilliant epic, but it never claims to be. I feel as though this book delivers a little more than it promised, which is always a sign of something worth picking up.

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
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    5 out of 5 stars

I want to play Travail

Great characters I think of met Sal. I can't wait for book 2. Excellent narration.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Erik
  • Champaign, IL
  • 01-03-18

Can't wait for the sequel!

This is one of the better LitRPGs that I've listened to. Each of the main characters actually evolves as people during the course of the novel. The ending was satisfying yet left me wanting more. Highly recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Wonky but intersting

I'm going to get all the bad out of the way. I always ask if the game in a LitRPG is plausible, i.e. would I play it if it were real? The answer here is probably not. Mechanics seemed to bounce around, what is gold to the real world worth? Do I want to lose all my cash that I carry if I die? I used to play Everquest, and I quit that game because if you dies you lost XP I lost three levels in one area trying to retrieve my corpse. I solo all those MMO games, and that was weeks of play eliminated in 1/2 hour. So, if I read a book that I think would never be as popular or played as much as an author says then it distracts me from the story. This is the biggest issue for me. Plus, it takes about a third of the book to get fully into the RPG world.

Now for the good. The story does have a wonky start, but it picks up its pace, and takes off. I like the unique/non-standard class used, and enjoyed the interaction between the 4 friends. At times it does seem like a bit of a ramble for them, but it is still enjoyable. I think Simons really found his footing, and ended on a strong note.

What really elevates this tale is the narration by Andrea Parsneau.. She is a favorite vocal artist of mine, and she takes a hold of this story and pulls it into the heavens. She always boosts whatever novel she narrates, but here she really out does herself. Great job, Andrea!!

This is a good start, and I will get the next book.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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

Meh. But still better than a lot of others.

I feel like I had to give this one three stars because the bar is set so low for most of this genre. This book was edited and wasn't written in a nauseating, over-explicated, first-person perspective. That automatically puts it in the three star territory for LitRPG. Which is too bad because I can't get enough of the genre when the authors actually put the amount of effort in that you'd expect from any other category of writing. It's just unfortunate that 2/3's of what's on audible is so bad.

So this book was reasonably well written but really relies too much on the standard LitRPG themes, the action is pretty blah, and I never felt invested in the characters' development and leveling. Also, while you kind of have to suspend your disbelief to immerse yourself into a LitRPG book, the author still has to make the world's internal logic believable. There were too many times in this book where I felt like the author didn't bother to create a consistent world.

Bottom line: the story just didn't make me want to find out what would happen next or care whether the characters succeeded, but the author's prose didn't make me want to face palm and I was able to make it past the fourth chapter which is more than I can say for a lot of the LitRPG in audible's library... Cipriani, Finn, Hunter, etc... who is giving these books 3-5 star ratings?!

Sorry for the rant...

If you want LitRPG that's really well written check out these series: Chaos Seeds, the Dark Herbalist, The Gam3, Life Reset, Emerilia.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Nice solid story

This was a nice solid story. Very well done not to heavy and like the newb view. Good for a lone player like me.

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  • Morgan Searle
  • 01-17-18

Well-Paced and Full of Adventure!

I really enjoyed this one. The story itself was very well put together, with just the right amount of status screens not to clutter, well-thought-out characters, and a fair amount of behind-the-scenes worldbuilding for both the real and virtual worlds.
I especially enjoyed when I reached a certain juncture in the story, that, hopefully without spoiling anything, encouraged a bit of a split to the party, and contrary to my expectations, we just continued.
I was 100% certain we'd need one, maybe two books to find out what happened next, and yet there's no break in the story whatsoever. Something which flies in the face of rather a few other series in this genre that certainly seem to be pacing themselves to hit book #29 by next year, and something I definitely appreciated. Despite including so much in just this first book, there's still enough to make me eagerly await the sequel.

As for the narrator, I felt she did a great job. Going so far as to use a slightly different tone for the neutral voice depending on POV character and perfectly enunciating some puns that, whilst excellently written, would make a lot more sense to read than be read to, both are wonderful little touches that make the experience really feel polished and like a labour of love.

Overall, a great addition to the genre, and I hope to hear more from both Brian Simons and Andrea Parsneau as soon as feasibly possible :)

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

Fabulous!

This is a brilliant fast paced story. The narrator does a fantastic job breathing even more life into the characters. The characters are endearing and have impressive arcs and depth. My only complaint is how short the story is.