LitRPG Audiobook Podcast 016

LitRPG Audiobook Podcast 016 -  Dungeon Special

“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:”

Dungeon Born (03:50)

Score: 8.5 out of 10

The Slime Dungeon (13:12)

Score: 8.1 out of 10

The Monster Spawn (21:18)

A LitRPG Series, Adonis Rebirth #1

Score: 6.5 out of 10

Dungeon Lord: The Wraith's Haunt (32:31)

Score: 8.6 out of 10

Rogue Dungeon: A litRPG Adventure (41:34)

Score: 8.5 out of 10

Dungeon Deposed (50:03)

Score: 8.25 out of 10

The Laboratory -A Futuristic Dungeon Core (59:01)

Score: 7.5 out of 10


Dungeon Born

By: Dakota Krout

Narrated by: Vikas Adam

Series: Divine Dungeon Series, Book 1

Length: 12 hrs and 32 mins


Cal & Dani

When I first heard of Dungeon Born I was a bit skeptical, I had never read any dungeon books, and the entire concept reminded me of an old video game I played called Dungeon Keeper.  It was a fantastic game in which you played and controlled a dungeon, and fought off invading heroes. So, my skepticism dwindled when I remembered how much fun I had with that game. How I loved the concept, and thought man, if it is half as fun as that game then this writer is a genius.  So, I gave it a shot.

I am so glad that I did.  I loved the way the book started, who doesn’t like a sacrifice? I appreciated the way that Cal slowly came into awareness.  It really felt like a seed that had been planted slowly growing into awareness and I was fascinated to watch him grow. Then Dani, the dungeon wisp appeared, and I was hooked.  Between the two of them I had no chance of getting away without being addicted. Dani is probably one of the best supporting cast members out there, and I could listen to her say “Caaaaaaaaal” all day long.  Her fits of exasperation are hilarious, and the bond that they share is tender and precious. It is quite possibly the best pure and chaste romance I have ever seen written. Though Platonic their love for one another is so clear that it is outstanding, and I am not a mushy mushy hugsy kinda guy.  Still, I can respect the emotions. I also enjoy Dale, and not just because my middle name is Dale. He’s actually a pretty cool guy, and he is a thinker and he is not afraid of hard work. He constantly strives to better himself, oh and his best companion is Hanz. Hanz reminds me a lot of Miller interacts in War Aeternus.  Not in his way of speaking, but the way that he has his back, and that his personality shines so much stronger than the other dungeon divers.

I digress, though.  I haven’t even told you what this is about.  The story is about an unknown man who is sacrificed during a ritual intended to make a dungeon core.  His soul is ripped from his body, and embedded within the core, the core then is lost in a sudden battle, it slowly becomes sapient and expands and grows.  It is during this growth stage that Dani, the wisp appears. The two bond, and set of creating a dungeon that is both deadly and fair in the way it does business.  

Like I said, the interaction between Cal and Dani, and Cal’s desperate attempts to get Dale are some of the funniest stuff I’ve seen in a long time.  Dale, battling expansion on his land, struggling with guilds, and trying to clean his system of corruption is just as fun and fascinating. The creatures that Cal creates are original, and show that Krout has an appreciation for Monty Python movies unless I miss my guess.  The book is filled with action, there are plenty of fights and deaths by traps to satisfy the most outstanding bloodlust on our listeners, as well as a mystery. I mean who was Cal? I had my suspicion from the start, and I was close, but that mystery isn’t answered in this book.  It just blooms here. Also, there appears to be an adversary hiding off in the shadows, that wants the worst for Cal, and keeps trying to kill Dale. The story is very humorous, but simultaneously it can be very serious in the events that take place. I really rooted for the dungeon to eat everybody, and cheered every time he leveled up.

This was the first time I had heard Vikas Adams, remember that I had just gotten into LITRPG, and was listened to Jeff Hays, and I really thought that these LITRPG guys really know how to narrate, I mean they were both so good.  If you’ve listened to me at all you know I love Hays, the man is a master, but I’m going to say that Vikas Adams is right within spitting distance of him. Oddly, I think the next book I read after this was Reboot by Domino Finn, which means I was also introduced to Justin Thomas James.  I really have to wonder if those guys didn’t influence my taste in literature. Either way, I know James Marsters is famous for his Dresden Files reading, but I will forever say that Adams owns the dungeon genre, or at least has a pretty big mansion there. Like I said, his characterizations of Cal, Dani (oh, God, especially Dani), and Hanz are simply amazing.  So, for male voices I would have to say in no particular order the best male voices I’ve heard have been Hays, Adams, Thomas, and Morgan Freeman. Freeman’s only in because he voiced the Shawshank Redemption. No one cares about the penguins. Unless they go to jail and things get stabby. Then, they’ll care. Digressing again aren’t I? I’m going to have to subtitle the show BUT I DIGRESS.  Either way, Adams is outstanding. I loved listening to him.

This book is what started me off on the whole Dungeon genre, and I am glad it did, because it showed me exactly who things should go.  The companion, the leveling, the building, etc. It is wonderfully handled, and Krout has only improved with each book he’s done. Seriously, check out the Completionist Chronicles.  I hate to even give this a rating because I’ll either be too high or too low. How about and 8.5. It is so close to perfection.


The Slime Dungeon

By: Jeffrey "Falcon" Logue

Narrated by: Ryan Turner

Series: The Slime Dungeon Chronicles, Book 1

Length: 6 hrs and 12 mins


Claire the Dungeon Pixie and Doc the core

This book came out shortly after Dungeon Born, by about five months, and actually bears a lot of similarities to the novel by Dakota Krout.  For example, the companion is a Dungeon Pixie, and the dungeon is unique in its own way too. Doc, the dungeon, has no recall of who he was only that he must save “her”.

That is where the similarities end.  Doc is not interested in how things are normally done, he likes to follow the unbeaten path, and really goes in for using slimes as his vessels of destruction.  Now, I am very much a fan a short story called Slime by Joseph Payne Brennan, which appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Anthology called Monster Museum and predated one of my favorite movies, the Blob, by five or so years.  There is also the movie Creepshow 2, with the piece titled the Raft, and the movie Phantoms, as well. There were also movies like Caltiki, the Immortal Monster, and the H-man that made me love gelatinous monsters. Heck, my favorite monsters were Cubes, green slime, and the various puddings.  So, I think you can see my attraction to a dungeon filled with voracious slimes.

Doc, however, is a fair lair of death, and does his best only to kill when absolutely necessary.  He feeds himself in other ways. And while the dungeon is the Main character, there is a story in which a royal person is plotted against, and targeted for murder.  The dungeon intervenes, as he recalls that he must save “her” and goofs up the plot. This leads to a mess of events happening, which slowly reveals the big bad of the book.  

The writing is pretty good, but it does almost feel episodic, like each chapter was written in and of itself, it isn’t bad, but it doesn’t seem to flow as well as it could have.  Also, while Doc and Claire have a nice relationship it feels a little weird, almost like two kids wanting to play doctor but never getting there. Part of the episodic feel stems from the way the characters are introduced, it’s sort of like Bob the paladin came in, he was from the bo-shan province, and he was so good looking people called him the face of bo.  He worshipped the sun god, Dial, and had six brothers and sisters. It really isn’t that bad, but it gives you an idea of how they are not given a chance to develop some depth, and allow us to find out about them naturally. It isn’t bad, but it does detract from the fun of discovering a character on our own. That is about it for flaws. It isn’t perfect, but there are a lot of good things.  The relationship between Claire and Doc, Doc’s desire to be a “good Dungeon” and not kill people. The way he takes in the wolf cubs, and grows his slimes. Even the villain is cool, and properly evil. The book is fun, and sets up a good bit to make the next book flow a little easier now that the world building is out of the way.

In the spirit of honesty, I have only recently listened to this book.  I got it just so that I could review it for this special. The reason I held off for so long is that I had listened to the audio snippet that Audible provides, and I was leery about the narration provided by Ryan Turner.  It didn’t grab me, but I said, hey here is an author that I am not giving a chance because of my impression from a 5 minute clip. That’s not exactly fair, so I gave this a try. Turner is a fair narrator. He does quite well on most voices, but he does stumble on the female ones a bit.  It was hard to discern which lady he was speaking for sometimes, and none of them stood out to me like Vikas Adam’s Dani, or Jeff Hay’s doing Jade for example. I would say he did a more than competent job, I just wasn’t overwhelmed with the ladies in the book. When he just does the straight reading he’s fine.

I did enjoy this book, and have subsequently gotten the other books in the series, so I know that I liked it.  I don’t know what happens later on, but book one provides a lot of set up for what looks to be a fun lighthearted series.  I would almost say that this had the potential to be a great family book or Young Adult series, but there is a potential rape scene, and that puts it right out of those categories for me.  I can let my kids listen to a man get dissolved by a hostile slime, but yes, I do balk at them hearing someone talk about rape. My priorities may be a little skewed. Either way, just a few minor issues, so I have to give this an 8.1 stars.  My biggest problem was with the narration, more than the story. The dungeon building and slime evolution was some of the best bits.


The Monster Spawn

A LitRPG Series, Adonis Rebirth #1

By: Deckhard Davis

Narrated by: David Loving

Length: 4 hrs and 40 mins


Alright, I know that I said I would not be doing Deck Davis reviews for awhile.  I had been pretty hard in a couple of reviews and didn’t want to go around beating the poor guy up, because, hey this stuff is just my opinion and I don’t want to hurt anybody, But, I talked with Ramon, and he said that my job is to review, and so long as I am open, honest, and fair then it was up to me to do what I do and he was right.  So, I have to admit that I headed into this book with some serious trepidation, and not trepanation which is honestly what I thought it would take to get me to return to this well.

Ready for this?  I actually enjoyed the book.  A lot of the stuff that put me off in his other tales were noticeably absent here.  While the MC is a monster he isn’t a d-bag. He isn’t a smart mouth or a punk, and that actually plays well for Davis.  I cannot handle his crude characters and humor. Here the humor wasn’t bad. It wasn’t great, but then it also wasn’t predicated about potty humor, sexual innuendo, or vulgarity.  It was refreshing to actually see him do some straight forward writing rather than letting his inner teenager take the wheel.

The story centers on a guy named Nathan who has died, like in Reboot, and has been uploaded into the game Adonis Rebirth, the problem is that he’s downloaded monster and not a player.  A lot of the book deals with him coming to grips with that fact, and accepting it, and it isn’t until sometime after the midway point that he actively acts like a dungeon master by setting traps and creating minions.  One thing I will say is that the premise showed a lot of potential with where this could have gone, and the ending threw me a good bit. Davis tossed a huge curveball and I don’t know why it was thrown, since this seemed to be a football game up to that point.  I thought that the mechanics were unique, but the end seemed to toss everything that we knew out the window. Plus, there were a lot of things that just made no sense to me at all. The end confrontation with the big bad was really poorly executed, the plan had more holes in it than a fishing net and held water as well as a colander.  Like I say, the writing was improved, but there were a lot of little things that bogged the story down. I think my favorite aspect was the whole sanity aspect, in which he goes more and more insane as he does monstrous stuff. That was an excellent game mechanic that played into my call of Cthulhu sympathies.

David Loving’s narration is purely middle of the road, but it does not detract from the story.  In fact, I believe that it sort of meshed well with Davis’ writing. By no means was I blown away by his vocal skills or reading capability.  To me he seemed more like a novice high school kid trying out for the Senior play, but one who knows how to read his lines without fumbling. He was clear, but his emphasis and emotional delivery could really use some work.  But, he didn’t kill the story. He kind of dragged it a long at a fair pace and managed to keep things running.

So, plot holes, weird ending direction, and mediocre narration made this actually much better than his other audiobooks I’ve reviewed so far.  It is a step up, and I like that he is trying to be more adult in his writing. This is a great step up from what he’s done so far, and I am actually looking forward to the sequel to this book just because it is such a departure from what he has done before.  In spite of the weird direction he took I can still see a lot of potential. After all, he’s the monster that PC’s want to kill, and now he’s . . .well I can’t tell you that. Spoilers! So anyway, I digress, while I did say that I liked it that pretty much meant that I didn’t hate it.  The story had a better semblance of what it takes to make a story, but the plans and attacks were not well executed, the MC was a little dense and clumsy, and the villain’s motivation made zero sense. Either way, the book was more than tolerable and I am glad to see that improvements have been made.  I would actually read/listen to the next book in this series.

Final Score: 6.5


Dungeon Lord: The Wraith's Haunt

By: Hugo Huesca   -----weska

Narrated by: Jeff Hays & Annie Ellicott

Length: 9 hrs and 37 mins


This is a very visceral book that will simply hit you on numerous emotional.  At first glance it is a nothing more than a standard LITRPG/Portal/Dungeon book.  Which is nice, because it kind of pops three cherries for a new reader all at once, with three.  I think the only thing that Hugo missed was the potential for a harem aspect, but he wisely stayed away from that.  The protagonist, Edward, is Simple cat who is dominated by his boss both in and outside of work. His only relief from the doldrums of life comes from playing an MMORPG with his co-workers once their shift ends.  His jerk of a boss finds out that the co-workers play together, and insinuates himself into their game. Worse yet, not only is he a major jerk, but he is also a horrible player. He repeatedly goofs up their gameplay and then shunts the blame to other players. Edward, is then put in a tough position by his boss who wants him to fire one of is gaming pals and co-workers for not playing well in the game the night before.  Edward considers the order and then decides his life would just be better if he were to punch the guy out and quit. Which he does. Moments after walking out the door he is contacted by an entity that is not of his world. This being then offers him a chance to become a dungeon lord on another world. The world in which he played in all the time, and in fact he will be replacing Lord that he and his his team had killed the night before.  It seems that the game world Edward has been playing in is real, and the evil there wants to overtake it. An evil god, Murmur needs agents, such as Dungeon Lords to do their dirty work and corrupt the land and souls. Edward makes the pact, but swears that he will never do Murmur’s bidding. He will use the power granted him to do good, and be his own person. He will be beholden to no one. This is a good start, and the book moves swiftly in the intro, it doesn’t take 1/3 of the book to get into the action.

How does this fit into the Dungeon genre you ask?  Well, while Lord Wraith, that’s Edward to you mugs, isn’t a soul trapped inside of a dungeon core but it is his job to build a dungeon, stock it with MOBS, and kill any players that enter his demesne (Demain).  So, no, he isn’t a dungeon core but he is the life of the dungeon that he takes over, and so this qualifies as a dungeon genre tale. I appreciate that, that Huesca could change up the format enough that it is identifiable as a dungeon book, but make it so that the MC isn’t landlocked into one position.

In and of itself, the story is lighthearted for the most part, but then it adds a new element, horror.  I can’t say just how good it worked on the written page, but the audio certainly adds a massive creep factor and is legitimately disturbing, but I’ll get to that in a minute or so.  Back to the funny or light aspects, I think that one of the best scenes in the book comes when Edward realizes that he is living and fighting in a “real” video game and that he complains when he doesn’t get enough XP for killing a tough MOB. The underlings that he gathers after he enters the world all have great personalities and could easily steal the show, but Edward’s presence is strong enough that he manages to dominate the page or rather the spoken images of the narrators.

While the story bounces between drama, comedy, and action there comes a point when element of horror is introduced without warning, and damn if it doesn’t work.  Again, I am going to say that this most likely works better in an audio format, because your imagination will never compare to the distraught cries that the narration brings to the written page.  I can tell you straight up I am very innured to horrifying things. I have watched creature features and horror movies since I was two or three years old. I cannot tell you the things that I have seen as a funeral director.  Nothing bothers me. Nothing makes me jump or flinch. Annie Ellicott’s narration made my stomach turn, and literally disturbed me as I listened. I don’t say this lightly, either. She stole this book with her cameo. Jeff Hays is as rock steady and impactful as he always is, and on any other day, he would have owned this book body and soul.  He plays Edward and all the other characters to perfection, and has some fun with Charon, but Annie makes her monster heartbreaking and terrifying all at the same time. You will actually sympathize with the creature. As she was a new comer to the narration industry I have to applaud her. She killed this piece. Once more, I will iterate that Soundbooth was flawless in their audio production.  Hays, the man of a thousand and one voices serves up some of his best work. The sound quality is pitch perfect, with a nary hitch in its giddy-up, and the storytelling by the dynamic duo of disquisition is unbelievable.

Overall, this is a fantastic first book in what promises to be a long line of novels.  The writing is top notch, the plot is perfection, the pace is pulsing, and the narration makes this more of an adventure than you would expect.  Personally, I really look forward to more from this writer, this series, and the narrators. They are all top quality. You will undoubtedly enjoy this novel, and I see it as a five star across the board piece of fiction that you rarely find.

Final Score: 8.6


Rogue Dungeon: A litRPG Adventure

By: James Hunter, eden Hudson

Narrated by: Nick Podehl

Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins


OK, I am going to come clean here.  I am unquestioningly a huge fan of James Hunter.  I enjoy everything he’s written from this Urban Fantasy Yancy Lazarus, his Litrpg Series Viridian Gate Online, to that grocery list he dropped while shopping the other day.  I must also say, that you might further consider me to be biased because I do have a story in his upcoming Viridian Gate Anthology novel Side Quests, but that does not make anything I am about to say untrue or inaccurate.

This is a genuinely brilliant book, that much like the Land of the Undying by Dave Willmarth is just as interesting in the real world as it is in the game world.  The “real world” is actually a fantasy realm in which the hero, Roark is a rebel. He fights against an evil Usurper who has used his ability to control magics unlike every mage before him to steal an empire.  The setting seems to be slightly German in tone, with an interesting magic system in which written words convey power. When his attack on the Tyrant fails he tries to escape through a portal, which is a dicey proposition at best, and he finds himself not where he wanted to be, but in a strange world with new magics and an unlimited lifespan that allows him to respawn.  What he doesn’t realize is that he has entered Hearthworld, which is actually an MMORPG. Obviously, he has no clue that he is in a video game, and simply treats it like he has entered another world which is a logical conclusion for him to reach.

That, my friends is the brilliance of this story.  Roark is an interesting protagonist, and oddly the real antagonist is a player named Pwner Boner 007, that is a game name that will stand beside the most legendary Leroy Jenkins.  That isn’t to say that the Tyrant lord doesn’t loom and play in the back of Roark’s mind, but honestly, he really goes at Pwner Boner 007 enough that he qualifies as the bad guy. That is another strength of this book, it goes some serious to silly and no matter the tone Roark plays it straight.

Truly, this book was far too short.  I loved every second of it, and really think that this is quite possibly one of the best series he’s done to date.  It stands right beside VGO. Don’t think that I am discounting eden Hudson, either. She is an incredible writer, and her novel, Two Faced, is about as top notch as they come.  She has some serious chops. I mean like Mr. Miyagi chops. I know I said that I respected how well James was able to co-write with Aaron Crash because it seemed like it was a single voice, and the same is true here.  Only thing is the voice is very different in tone from War God. This is a masterful piece of combining writing styles, vision, and attitudes. This book blew me away at every turn. The only drawback was that it was too short.  

Now you might be calling me out on how this fits into the dungeon category for this special, and I’m going to tell you it is because Roark becomes a part of the dungeon.   He grows in power and manages to lead a section of it all by himself. I can see him eventually taking the entire dungeon over at some point in the future.

The narration by Nick Pohdel is outstanding.  He transitions Roark’s voice slowly as he gains levels, and it is subtle, but so realistic that you have to pay attention.  He plays monsters so well, and embodies the snark of Pwner Boner 007.

Final Score: 8.5


Dungeon Deposed

By: William D. Arand

Narrated by: Andrea Parsneau

Length: 13 hrs and 19 mins

I really enjoy dungeon books. Never thought that I would, but they are an amazing concept and I really admire the versatility of the writing that allows so many variations of what it means to be a dungeon. For example, Dakota Krout's Divine Dungeon is a literal core that builds a structure around itself. Hugo Huesca's Dungeon Lord is about a man who is tied to his dungeon, and can only build up in one area. Arand has created a character who literally steals a dungeon core for himself and is able to create and add to his dungeon on a whim.

This concept sets him alone, as it is fun and different to see a man who basically is super talented, but lacks the capability to adventure use his wits to become a success and get revenge as a dungeon. One pump, as he is affectionately know by his peers, is a highly skilled mage, but only has the stamina to cast up to about three spells before he is exhausted to the point of invalidity. He schemes to get his revenge on those who have mistreated him, and steal a dungeon core, setting about laying in plans to get his revenge. There is some typical stuff, like the dungeon wisp/fairy, and the act of a town building up around the dungeon, but this is a really fresh concept that plays out well. Plus, Ryker is a likable fellow, even though he is a little petty when it comes to getting his revenge.

Andrea Parsneau does an amazing job narrating. She really nails the majority of the characters, but I will say that her version of Ryker makes him sound snively. He sounds like someone who is perpetually disappointed, and as much as he isn't perfect I think he could have been a little bit manlier. In fact, I wanted him to be a touch less whiney sounding. Win was great as the fairy, and the two royal cousins clicked, wife and mother-in-law Duchess were awesome in their portrayal, but even his arch nemesis sounded more manly. I wish they had traded voices. Still, that is my conceit, and I am not docking a star, simply because she did a great job; she just didn't match my vision of Ryker's voice. Parsneau is a true professional, and she handles this tale with panache. I really can't imagine anyone else reading it.  And, after talking to her about this very issue she informed me that she is going to man his voice up in the next book.

The cover is fantastic, and you get to see Ryker plotting and scheming. Mino and Win are in there as well, but I must laugh, because the audible version cuts off the cityscape at his lap and leaves him with a glowing palm, and a rather phallic looking tower leaping from his lap. I think a little too much trimming took place, and made it look a tad embarrassing. Still, no points added or subtracted for the cover. It draws the reader in, and that is all that matters.

Arand never lets a reader or listener down. His stories always manage to grab your attention, and then hold it until he finishes. The bad thing is, no matter how long the book is it never lasts long long enough. You just never want the story to end. His characters are captivating, and the betrayals really cut deeply. You will root for the Church of Light to light a stick of dynamite, and for the proper queen to remain in place. Too bad we don't always get what we want. This, like all of Arand's other works, contains a proper harem, a bevy of beauties that Ryker claims as his own. So be prepared for that. Also, be prepared to anticipate the next book in this series, because once you read book one you will be hooked. Thankfully, Arand writes trilogies, and so there is a conclusion to look forward too!

Look, I really enjoyed this book lot. Arand is an amazeballs writer, and the pure Parsneau narration is a fantastic. There is simply no way you will be disappointed if you get this book. Read it now, and become an Arand fan for life, I suppose you'll become a Parsneau fan as well. Jump in the water while the water is cool and fun. Why waste time reading or listening to other booring books when you can win with this one?

Final Score:  8.25


The Laboratory

A Futuristic Dungeon Core

By: Skyler Grant

Narrated by: Gabriella Cavallero

Series: A Futuristic Dungeon Core, Book 1

Length: 5 hrs and 45 mins


I have been wanting to try some of Skyler Grant’s stuff for a while now, but for some reason I always kept holding off with other books taking a priority in my queque.  I’m really sad that I didn’t have an opportunity to get into this book sooner. I really love the Dungeon sub-genre, and honestly, only listened to this because I wanted to review a few different dungeon stories so that I could compare and contrast, because Grant has a few other books that I really want to put my ears to such as Glitch Hunter and his Shards series.

What is really great about this story is that it isn’t set in a fantasy world.  It is a post cataclysmic event tale in which reality itself is changing. The tale rockets to a start with a reawakened computer core coming online just as the girl who rebooted her/it is about to be raped.  Once that event is dealt with the core and the woman who wants to rule the world decide to join forces in order to see their wishes come to fruition.

One of the best things about the story is that the Computer core, Emma, is not a likable character.  This kind of flies in the face of other dungeon stories as Cal from Divine Dungeon, Ryker from Dungeon Deposed, and even Edward from Dungeon Lord all seem to be honorable and likable people.  Emma is rude, crass, and seems to do what is best for herself for the most part. This sets her apart from the other dungeon core types. Furthermore, her human companion is really just as single minded and power hungry as Emma is.  All she wants to do is rule the world. So, you essentially have two characters who aren’t very nice or sympathetic. That can be hard on a reader. Now, I will admit that the book itself really doesn’t have much character growth, although there are points when Emma starts to question her relationship with her human partner.  The book really is just one encounter after another with a boss fight at the end. There were points that it just felt like events happened because something needed to happen, and the oddest thing was the way in which all of these core users just sort of fell into Emma’s scope. She needed subjects, and lo many did appear.

The one thing that sort of fell flat for me was the narration.  For the most part, Cavallero did a good job, but when she was not doing a voice for one of the human characters she was very monotone.  I don’t know if this was in order to reflect that it was from a machine’s perspective, or if it was just her style of speaking because she did not pace the story like Andrea Parsinaeu or Laurie Catherine Winkel would.  It was a direct and matter of fact reading in my opinion, and I feel she could have slipped in some emotion, I mean hell even Data and Spock had inflections when they spoke. Otherwise, she does a good job, I’m just picking at nits.

One of the best parts about the book was the setting, as it is mysterious, foreboding, and not an underground lair in the middle of a magical forest.  I really appreciate the change in scenery, so to speak. Not all dungeons need to be magical, and Grant proves that here. In spite of story issues, such as flat characters and some we need a fight scene here moments, I enjoyed the book.  I wanted to see more of the core’s world and find out just what had happened that broke the world. I have to be honest. In spite of some flaws, I really liked the book, and I think that the series will get better as it goes forward. I’m going to give this  7.5 stars, it is a fair start for a series, and is well written in spots.



Pictures for the title card an background came from Pixabay by RohmBernhard

Music was Desolation and Allnighter, which came from


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

You can follow us on





Our Webpage:  

Other LitRPG facebook pages

If you enjoy the podcast and want to support us you can also find all the other ways to support the podcast at