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Publisher's Summary

Lee is a quiet and unassuming office worker who leads a life of solitude, comfort, and routine. Day in and day out, he shuts off his brain, keeps his head down, and goes about doing his job and minding his own business. That is, he does until a drunken god shows up randomly one day and whisks him off into another world, demanding that Lee serve as his pawn in a game between the gods. Now, trapped in a completely different world full of danger, magic, and creatures he's never imagined outside of fairy tales and video games, Lee has to figure out how to stay alive long enough to make it back home.

Soundbooth Theater dives into another instant RPG Gamelit classic in War Aeturnus. With this piece of reverent comedy and philosophy about the role of belief in our modern times, Charles Dean has filled a void in the world of Gamelit by creating a Candide for the genre. Not only will Lee's exploits with his psychotic sidekick, Miller, make listeners laugh and spit out their Mountain Dew, it may even convince them to get off the couch for a little while and explore the world outside of video games and fantasy.

The Soundbooth Theater team for this production:

  • Jeff Hays - Narration, Characters, Production Supervision
  • Dalton Lynne - Proofing
  • Alex Tate - Production, Editing, Mastering
©2017 Charles Dean (P)2018 Charles Dean

What listeners say about War Aeternus: The Beginning

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

For Beginners.

TL;DR It is a decent LitRPG. Chapter 8 and 9 are likely the highlights in my opinion.
Edit : Second book is much better and is full of interesting character development and an unraveling plot. If you like series, then this wouldn't be bad if you can get through the first book.

Problem 1: The Main Character - The first hour or so is indeed hard to get through. Lee, the main character, knows nothing. I suppose it is appropriate that someone would be disoriented after being plucked from their life, but it is exaggerated a bit too much for my taste. If you consider that he is an avid gamer, every gamers dream is to be in an actual game at least once, they should at least be able to cope or recognize the signs quicker.

I suppose the intro is the way it is for the purpose of explaining things to readers who have never touched a game before, but then why would they get this book?

Problem 2 : Narrator - Jeff Hays is a mastermind in voice acting. I love his voice range and control. My problem lies more with the fact that he mixes up the voices. He has a voice for narrating surroundings and actions and one for the main character. The issue is that when the character thinks or has an inner monologue, Jeff Hays swaps between the narrator voice and the MC voice. This presents the problem of not knowing the context of the information provided; If the character is talking out loud or just thinking.

It is more difficult to put these words on paper than to actually experience it. If the narration isnt something that you are avid about or are not a nitpicker, this will likely not bother you.

It is very generic in the sense of being whisked away to a different world, being trapped there, and having to survive or die for real. Nevertheless, after having completed ongoing series like "The Land", "Dungeon Lord", "Life Reset", "Unbound Deathlord", my standards are extremely high and this book is a place holder while I wait for the next book in one of said series. If you like this, check the others, I guarantee you will enjoy them.

68 people found this helpful

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fast forward to an amazing story

the author does something rather amazing he allows people to make a choice do you want to listen to the character sheet if no fast forward and in doing this he gives the people choice of listening to his amazing story in two ways if you're the hardcore gamer who likes to listen to the character sheets go ahead do so otherwise skip the next chapter something else is by doing this we get to really get into what's like for mpc's show me how some people treat them as second-class Citizens While others treat them as equals and the effect that has on gameplay

25 people found this helpful

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The Best performed audio book I've heard.

I have over 300 audible titles and I have to say that the narration and performance of this book is one of the best I've heard. It's a compelling universe with a great story and awesome characters. I can't wait for a sequel.

23 people found this helpful

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amazing imagination and theological insight

War Aeternus takes on the everyman imagination when it comes to how gods work. From the mind of Charles Dean comes a hilarious account of a god looking out for its offspring by taking him from his dull world into a game like world to break his mind free from living like a drone. depending on how religious you are, you may take offence but I spoke with Charles before reading this and I knew that his intent was not to offend. when someone thinks their thoughts are crazy and another friend tells them it's normal.... this is that friend in the form of a book. hilarious. entertaining. and down to earth. very much worth your time. recommended snacks while reading. bacon and blueberry waffles. and beer. lots of beer.

14 people found this helpful

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Don't recommend this one

Really struggled to get into the story. The story really never seems to get anywhere fast. It dragged too much and i got quite bored with the story.

12 people found this helpful

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  • E
  • 06-22-18

Not a single likable character.

This book starts with a full chapter long prolog because the author is apparently super proud of his cliche framing device. It then proceeds to introduce the main character as a spineless lackwit. That's when I stopped listening because, honestly, why would I want to listen to that?

10 people found this helpful

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infuriating characters

Miller ruins this story for me. His ridiculous OTT zealotry gets grating really fast. It really doesn't help that his voice is modelled after Schwarzenegger, making it all the more irritating.

Lee is a terrible protagonist and doesn't help matters either. Him continuing to let Miller run his mouth is almost as infuriating. I found myself yelling at my phone like a mad man countless times: 'Shut him up!' 'Say something and stop internal monologuing!' etc

Finally, the RPG elements are super minor and inconsequential. This is a regular fantasy story that very lightly sprinkles on LitRPG elements - not at all what I'm looking for.

9 people found this helpful

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Performance Issues

The voice actor is not consistent between the narrator's voice and the main character's inner thoughts, which throws quite a few portions off balance. Fortunately, I did not find this to be an issue in the sequels, which significantly increased my enjoyment of the series as a whole.

9 people found this helpful

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a very interesting story

a well written take on the reluctant protagonist, good game design and a nice premise on the world itself

8 people found this helpful

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Annoying characters

Both the mc is weak and soft. Miller has to be the most annoying dumb as a shoe character I have ever read of.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Dingo 883
  • 11-16-18

Maybe my least liked LitRPG

Where to begin? The main and secondary characters are the worst ever. The MC is supposed to be a lifelong gamer but he goes through the world as if he's never even heard of MMOs before much less played one. The average NPC/player has an intelligence of 1 or 2. By level 10 the MC's is over 60. He's 60 times more intelligent that an average person, yet instead of having a god-like, precog-level brain he runs around acting kind of stupid. He's a wussy little wiener who gives off some serious rapey, future serial killer vibes (we're talking full on Buffalo Bill) whose only skill is making animated clay mice.

The secondary character is even worse. He's voiced as Arnold Schwarzenegger made extra stupid. He starts off as a wannabe knight whose all about fair play and chivalry. Within 2 chapters he gloms into this religion and becomes a zealot so twisted and bloodthirsty Torquemada would lose his lunch. I'm talking about ripping out people's collar bones and jamming them into their eyes.

I never thought I would give Sound Booth Theater anything short of 4 stars and even that would be weird for me. I've come to think of them as the best in the business. Not this time. Don't get me wrong, from a technical standpoint they were as awesome as ever, but the voices... I already talked about Arnie's retarded, inbred little brother. This is about the narration. For the first half of the book I couldn't keep track of the MC's inner monologue and the narrator's voice because I don't think the narrator could either. That aside, they (I'm assuming at the behest of the author) went with a narrator voice that made me yearn for Dukes of Hazzard and Grizzly Adams. It would have been a great voice for a western, but having a Sam Elliott impersonator doing fantasy just didn't sound right.

Now let's trash the story. Meh. Kid gets taken by a demented pseudo god and tossed into a game-like world where he has to spread his religion. The constant religious references made me feel like I was in a debate hall between the mormons and the Scientologists. It grew boring real fast.

So, yeah, I won't be listening to the rest.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Zamra
  • 04-12-19

The voice acting was insufferable and off putting

The voice acting was insufferable and off putting but the story was OK I stopped listening about 30min in

2 people found this helpful

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  • Teitur Ásgeirsson
  • 01-26-19

GOOD BOOK

I have over 300 audible titles and I have to say that the narration and performance of this book is one of the best I've heard. It's a compelling universe with a great story and awesome characters

2 people found this helpful

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  • Carl
  • 03-06-21

what a great book

I couldn't put it down listen to the whole thing in one fantastic book and great story

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • S. Reid
  • 05-18-20

Good Start

Great Audio from Dean with some good progression and characters you can follow quite easily .
The concept is interesting although i doubt in the first to think we are all being played by Gods as part of a game , this is the first i have came across where it becomes an arbitrary set of rules as part of the Virtual games in LitRPG however.
Narration by Hays is as you would expect so top marks for that.
I would listen to more of these as they are quite easy to follow and become engrossed in.
I requested this audio and have decided to leave my thoughts on this.

1 person found this helpful

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  • The Keyboard
  • 11-12-21

Big ideas that don't quite pull off.

This was an interesting book. It's got some good ideas, but it all feels like the author doesn't quite have the skills to make them work.

The basic story revolves around a guy pulled into a medieval type fantasy world by a god who needs him to do his bidding. It's a common enough trope, and it's done reasonably well, with the added twist that the god needs the MC to convert people to his religion, so there's a 'faith' element though the mechanics aren't too deep.

Narration is at times spot on, and in other areas awful. I think this is important mention, because I picked this book up on the strength of Jeff Hays as narrator. You'll read it in other reviews too, but in short - the MC's inner monologue is all over the place. Sometimes it's in the MC's voice, sometimes its in the narrator's mid-western drawl, and it's *really* distracting.

The author is perhaps a little too clever for his own good at times, and it's this just as much as the narration which made me give the story 4 stars (and really, it bordered on 3). He makes jokes which break the fourth wall but don't quite come off as funny enough to justify the cost of breaking me from the story. He also has a habit of inserting the names of fellow authors into his book as random side characters. 'Chmilenko' for example is the name of a god mentioned maybe only once or twice, but it's an unusual enough name that it's pretty obviously fashioned after a litRPG author Luke Chmilenko. There's a heap of other references too, mainly at the start, and while in theory this is a really nice nod to the greats of the genre, in practice it broke me out of the story every time it happened and I really just didn't enjoy it.

On a similar vein of 'not quite pulling off what was intended' the book had some big theological ideas, but they weren't quite well enough done. There's a lot of awkward thinking and tedious introspection, though props for trying something a little deeper than your ordinary litrpg.

Many of the religious themes were also a little uncomfortable. In the book, the MC acts as a Herald for a God and must recruit followers in order to gain his freedom. He does this by sprouting Christian religious theology, and it was here that I wasn't quite sure whether the author was mocking existing religion, making some meta-point that I just wasn't smart enough to understand, or just simply making some really weird character conversational choices. As an example, in one section the MC is commended for burning alive a group of people, and then called 'the son of God' by a group of religious followers immediately after.

Story is decent - there's a plot, goals, motives and the like. It was all believable and came together nicely in the end. Fight scenes are waaay too complicated. At times it was literally a blow by blow account of each fight. 'He swung with his left hand. The bandit blocked with his right shield. The blow bounced off.' kind of thing and motivations are over-explained, making what should be tense action long-winded nine times out of ten.

So, yeah. I'd give this 4 stars as a litRPG, and maybe 2 stars when compared to the wider fantasy market.

If this review has helped you, please click 'helpful' so it can assist other people too.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jason B
  • 06-06-19

Horrible thick southern drawl narration

I really loved the sound of this series but couldn't get past the horrible thick southern drawl accent they have used to narrate it. I struggle and tried to push through. I'm really sorry to the author but i don't know who made the decision to use such a horrible voiceover. I had to return this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • A C Bennett
  • 12-19-21

Wow

Wow couldn’t even get past the first chapter, a whinny MC and A- hole God Character not a good combination for a interesting story. Sorry not my cup of tea.

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  • John
  • 02-10-19

War Aeternus the Beginning

Joshua Swayne and Charles Dean a talented authors and this show of there talent . Our hero is living his boring life . All of the sudden he gets a visitor at work by a talking mouse and the roller coaster ride starts there . And with the voice acting talent of Jeff Hays who skills makes this characters and world come alive 12/10 stars ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆.....

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 10-18-18

Heavy Narration Accent

The chosen accent for the narration is incredibly jarring. It's a shame, because the story is otherwise perfectly serviceable.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sean
  • 02-22-18

Great story and narration

The story and characters are great. The narration is excellent. Combining the two led to many laughs and a really enjoyable listen. Highly recommend.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-05-18

Awesome

This book makes u think has an awesome plot and was narrated with perfection (thank you Jeff hays) all that and wrapped up in litrpg couldn’t ask for a better book pls I need book 2 lol read and enjoy

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