LitRPG Audiobook Podcast 002


LitRPG Audiobook Podcast 002 - Countdown Reality Benders, Bathrobe Knight 3, Cherry Blossom Girls 2


Countdown Reality Benders Series, Book 1 (00:09)

Score: 7.5 out of 10

The Bathrobe Knight: Volume 3 (10:15)

Score: 8 out of 10

Cherry Blossom Girls 2: A Superhero Harem Adventure (19:43)

Score: 8.5 out of 10


“Hello everyone. Welcome to the LitRPG Audiobook Podcast. I’m Ray. I’ll be reviewing some recent and classic LitRPG Audiobooks for you. I’ll begin with:”


Countdown Reality Benders Series, Book 1

Author:  Michael Atamanov, Andrew Schmitt - translator

Narrator(s): Rudy Sanda

Audiobook Length:  12 hrs and 29 mins


When this book first hit the Eshelves on Amazon I got really stoked. It sounded like it was right up my alley, and was a punchy LITRPG book. So, I grabbed this as soon as I had the chance, and dove right in. There are some great things in this book, and some hiccups. The bumps thankfully don't leave bruises, but they are noticable. The writing is decent, but if I hadn't been told this was translated I'dve known in less than ten minutes. There are times when obviously wrong words are used in place of proper ones, such as the council anonymously decided rather than unanimously decided. This made it sound like Archie Bunker or Andy Sipowicz was narrating the story. Millennials, go look them up, I'm not explaining those references. On the whole it makes it look like the translator was of a mid-level skill. He got the job done, but took the wrong way while getting there. Also, I would have known this was a Russian written tale, even if the main characters didn't say they were Russian. The whole story has a similar vibe/feel to D. Rus' Alterworld. Seriously, they could be siblings. One thing that did bother me about the writing was the incessant references to the game itself. Every time the game is mentioned the people call it by its full name, The Game That Changes Reality (close enough), rather than shortening it to just the Game, or something else as normal people would do. No one talks like that.


Rudy Sanda does a fair job at the narration, I wasn't blown away by his work, and was disappointed that he was either too lazy to give the Russians Russian accents, or he could not DO a Russian accent and glossed over that part of the story. It was kind of like listening to a story about a man from India, but is read to speak bland American. It just took me out of the story every time someone spoke.


The story itself is actually pretty good, although it does wander off in a few places. Basically, It revolves on Nat, an uber awesome player that never listens to anyone or does what he is told, and always seem to manage to come out ahead, because everyone loves winners. The story is pretty simple. Aliens now own the Earth, and humans must play the Game that changes Reality or be destroyed. If they don't play it right or tick off their benevolent overlords tey'll be destroyed. If they lose to other gamers, they be destroyed. So there is obviously a lot riding on their success. Nat always seems to be in the right place at the right time, and always manages to do the right thing somehow when he needs to.


Some issues I took with the game. Your classes were pretty much limited by what you were familiar with, and so you could not pick anything you wanted. You had to play as a human, of course, and you pretty much had to start out building your tech from scratch. The funniest thing that I noticed was that the game itself posed no threat to Nat. The only time he was ever killed came from his team mates ganking him.


Still, in spite of the flaws the book was fun, and I will happily get the next book in the series. If you liked Alterworld then you will like this book. Don't miss out on awesome fun, and just do like I did and overlook the little flaws.


Final Score:  7.5 for a couple of slow points in the story, and sloppy translation.



“Next is …”


The Bathrobe Knight: Volume 3

Author: Charles Dean & Richard Haygood

Narrator(s):  Matthew Broadhead

Audiobook Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins


The Bearded Lord of Bacon and Booze has broken my expectations with his third installment of the Bathrobe Knight. This is a series that I started listening to with my family when BK I first hit audible, and we all became hooked. My mistake was that I did not wait for them when I started BK III, and my son caught me listening. He had a complete hissy fit that I betrayed him by not sharing the new book (we usually listen when we go on long trips, but we haven't had anywhere to go for some time, and I wanted to get this bad boy reviewed). So, I had to swear to him that I would relisten to the book when we go on our family trip in August. That says a lot about how devoted Dean's listeners can be, and the rabid fervor that his writing inspires.

In BK III we finally get to see Stephanie's plan, the truth about Darwin, and Charles's idea of what he expects Darwin to do. Cass falls into some hard times, Kitchens get upset that Big D might be looking up his precious flower's dress, and several members undergo some dramatic changes that you really do not see coming. Dean amps up this story, but he also lets it slow cook like a nice pig roast. There is a ton of action, and plenty of killing to go around, but he spools out the big picture stuff like you were a fish on a hook and he was just waiting for you to get tired before reeling you into his net.

My only concern is that this book seemed to be lacking one really big stick in your brain moment. For example, in BK I the spoon in the eye incident is something we all laugh about, BK II dealt with what happened with Caisson, the king. Yeah, there are some great battle scenes, and the council encounter might be equivalent, but it didn't feel so. Nor did the encounter between Charles and Darwin, which was cool, but not a stand out in your mind book, not like I have come to expect from a master wordsmith like Charles Dean. Did I like the book any less? No. I just really wanted a gut-busting or heart wrenching moment. Cass's big scene could have fit the bill if things had gone another way, but this was not a wash out. I just got a great book that stayed awesome across the board, that's all.

Broadhead carries this book on his broad shoulders, and as always, does a great job. He is always infusing a scene with emotion, and he plays each character with a different and distinctive voice. My youngest son doesn't think he does female voices very well, and made me swear to say that, but I have no issues with his rendition of the ladies; particularly Stephanie.


This book does not wrap things up, there is still plenty of story to tell, and it is clear that Darwin's journey is far from over, that Stephanie's plans are only just starting to come to fruition, and Cass is slowly becoming aware of everything that is happening around her. I truly anticipate the upcoming events, and trust that the Bacon Lord will keep us on a fun, exciting road as we find out humanity's fate. Just wish we didn’t have the cliffhanger at the end.

Final Score:  8 out of 10 points

Final Score: Based on a scale of 1-10.  With 1 being horrible, 5 being average, and 10 being perfect.  



Finally, we have:  


Cherry Blossom Girls 2: A Superhero Harem Adventure

Author:  Harmon Cooper

Narrator(s):  The cast of Soundbooth Theater including Justin Thomas James, Annie Ellicott, Laurie Catherine Winkel, & Jeff Hays

Audiobook Length:  9 hrs and 2 mins


All right super fans of the ink slinger known as the most Harmonious of Coopers, hunker down and prepare your ears for an aural feast that you know is super sweet! The outstanding wordsmith has penned another tale of our super sexy Cherry Blossom gals, and has set events in motion that might mean their end.


Gideon, Grace, and Veronique are out taking down bases, when Mother decides she's had enough and sends a new girl to trounce our tireless trio. The deadly Dorian Gray, whose saliva (and other bodily fluids) is not only corrosive, but can also form deadly energy animates with a wave of her brush is now hot on their tails. Can they stop her, evade her, beat her, or enslave her? Well, you gotta listen to find out!


Dorian is another cool character who can kick butt and chew bubble gum while painting the deadliest portrait since Van Gogh cut of his ear and made a selfie. She really fits into the mythos of the Mutants in the Making, and there may just be more to her than we first see. We finally learn how Veronique eats, and that both she and Grace (Sabine, if you prefer) have their abilities toned down a bit.


Just like the first book, Cooper hits the ground running, only he's wearing roller skates, and the ground is thin ice. You never know which way he is going to turn, and what you get and what you expect shall never meet. The fight scenes, as always, are exciting and amazing. The downtime with the girls is wet and steamy, and you get an idea of how Reed Richards feels when he is intimate with his wife, and she goes translucent. You will also realize that no matter how great your bathroom is, your showers will never compare to Gideon's. By the way, I loved the shout out to the Proxima gaming system. Now, if he could just sneak a cameo in of Momma Hughes I would be a happy happy fanboy.


The Man with three first names, Justin Thomas James really carries this book. I enjoyed him in book one, and in Gun Meister Online, but I think I have heard him enough to know that this dude can narrate. He carries the bulk of this book on his powerful shoulders, and I really look forward to him doing some work on his own, or at least taking lead in a few more books at the very least. The rest of Soundbooth theater acts as the supporting cast, with Master of the Vocal Art, Jeff Hays portraying the non-Gideon male characters, and Annie taking the roles of the CBG's, and Laurie W. tackling the role of Dorian. I can't say enough about how good the sound quality is, or the level of awesomeness these narrators instill in their characters, BUT this is really starting to turn into a radio play, and as much as I enjoy this, I really prefer one or two narrators in my audiobooks. Shoot, Jeff can play about 50 characters by himself without breaking a sweat, and Justin has the Ricola Pipes to crank out some stunning syllables himself. Annie and Laurie also have track records of impressiveness, and I think that rather than blurring the lines with all these voices, one male and one female narrator should suffice. But that is just me. I'll take whatever I can get from SBT, and happily ask for more.


I cannot wait for the next installment. Whatever happens next will be brilliant. Keep it up, Cooper!


Final Score: 8.5 out of 10


This podcast is sponsored by Soundbooth Theater, makers of great audiobooks.


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