LitRPG Audiobook Podcast 023 - The Naughty Episode
LitRPG Audiobook Podcast 023 - The Naughty Episode
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**Warning: This episode of the podcast reviews novels with adult content including: Graphic sex, Harems, Reverse Harems, Graphic Language, and more naughty themes.**
“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: ”
Score: 8 out of 10
Score: 8 out of 10
Score: 8.1 out of 10
Planet Kill (31:23)
Score: 8.25 out of 10
Score: 8.5 out of 10
What Else Have They Done?
The Crystal Heart: Enthralled, Book 1
By: Prax Venter
Narrated by: Christian Fox
Length: 11 hrs and 1 min
How does this book stand out compared to the others on this naughty list? Well, here the way the sexiness works is that the MC, Mark, has a class that allows him to collect hot women who then fight on his behalf, because he’s a lover not a fighter. Literally. I have to say that the book has a few stand out things for me. First of all, this is the use of Time Dilation I have been waiting for. It is pretty innovative and ingenious in its use. It added to the story by giving it a horrifying element, that also allowed for the MC to be in game forever without dying of thirst or starvation. Secondly, I love how he used the first companion as the impetus for all that follows. I don’t want to and won’t give anything away, but it was a nice twisty twist that I didn’t see coming. At first I thought we were going to be getting a Feedback Loop/Groundhog Day style novel, but Ventor was too slick for my old neurons to catch on. Nice job, Prax. Those two things alone made the book for me via creativity.
Altogether there are a total of three enthralled that wind up with Mark. Anix, a killer kitty, Veil, a naughty Naga, and Rue, a cloth spun gal who has what I consider to be one of the coolest powers ever. Mark is given the task of repairing the rifts in the world, and given the ability to do so. And that is basically what the book is about, him growing his harem, and healing the world. In between there is a lot of sex, but it is not overly graphic. I’d say it is just a touch past Showtime in its antics. Another nice touch that really made me appreciate the book was that the sex was a necessary component for Mark to power up his enthralled. He could juice them up. . .sorry poor choice of words, he could empower them via sex acts. So that when the sex happens there is at least a reason. “It isn’t like, Hey honey. Can we pull over? I need some sex.” A line I can tell you has never worked on my wife when we are on a road trip. Ever. So, the sex isn’t just thrown into the story and that is something I can appreciate.
I can honestly say that even if you cut out every sex scene in the book the story would hold up amazingly well. You can’t say that about all of the harem books, but at least here it adds to the story. Kind of like Gunmiester Online. Cool tale, excellent depictions, and integral to the story. More importantly, it is fun. Each of the Enthralled are interesting, although it is pretty obvious that Prax like Anix the most, which is fine. She’s a cool character and I can see the attraction to her. I just don’t dig fur. So I’d skip it.
One thing that drove me crazy was that Christian Fox could not manage to say the word areolas properly. He kept saying Arelias, and it sort of became an ear bee. You know what an ear worm is, right? That’s when you hear something catchy and you can’t get it out of your head. Well, and ear bee is what happens when you hear something and it stings your ears every time it is said. Sort of like how I said the word ensigns was repeatedly referred to as N-signs in Warden: Nova Online. This wasn’t nearly as frequent, but it still stung me. All I’m saying is that if you are going to be narrating a book that very clearly involves a lot of sex then you might want to bone up on sexual terminology. Otherwise, he acquits himself fairly well. He was an above average narrator, but I wasn’t stunned by his work. I think that given time he could develop quite nicely, however I checked up on his resume and he had done almost 120 books, and a majority of those involved some sort of naughty business in them So I’m wondering if Prax picked him for that reason. Which makes me wonder about how he says areolas.
The book is a solid 8. It has a point, interesting characters, and a goal for the characters to reach. The real questions are how big will the harem become, will any of them be killed by the antagonist, and what will it take for him to get free and save the game world?
Lewd Kingdoms: Shadow's Edge: A High Fantasy Digital Adventure
By: Eden Redd
Narrated by: Jane Tate
Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
Lewd Kingdoms is, of all the books I’m reviewing today the one that pretty much has sex in it just for sex’s sake. I’m not saying that in a negative way, only that each book is different and the sex, which if you haven’t noticed by now, all have different reasons for being in their respective books. So, since this is the naughty special I’m going to talk about the sexy stuff first here, and then dive into the meat, ahem, of the story.
There is a lot of sex in the story. That might be why the title has the word LEWD in it. Just sayin. However, the amount of sex is more expected and therefore is not distracting to the tale at all. In fact, you sort of get to a point where you anticipate it happening. I’m not talking like in a porno where the doorbell rings and the hot dog delivery guy shows up and suddenly realizes that he’s not only forgotten the hot dogs, but also the mustard and he has to make it up to the sorority girls who were about to have a hot dog eating contest. Wait. I have to ask what kind of porn my son is watching. I caught him viewing it on his phone, and he said he was just doing research for culinary school. Hmmmm. Any way, it doesn’t have that kind of a feel to it, but you do see it coming and if you are an adult and enjoy that sort of stuff, then you will love the descriptive voice that is used. It’s a lot like a jalapeno, hot and spicy, but only adding to the texture of the rest of the book. So, you see that it isn’t overwhelming and enhances the overarching tale.
As for the story itself follows a cat named Edric Temple, who leads a life of adventure while trying to deal with a war and building a kingdom. This means life at easy, but it can be fun. There were several aspects that I really enjoyed, such as the city building. It sort of reminded me of Tamer, where they are very slowly building a citadel as the harem grows. Even in Life Reset, where they slowly build a village in the same vein as the original Warcraft game. I never realized that I would find that sort of stuff so entrancing, but it work for me. That was a real bonus.
The story has a very nice pace to it, and the characters are pretty well developed. Now, forgive me if I am wrong on this, but I only deal with audiobooks, so I am not sure but this feel like it is part of a bigger series. I don’t know why we started at this point, but I’m glad we did. Edric is a cool character and an MC I didn’t mind following around. This story might cover a little rough area, such as some voyeuristic stuff with some possible unwilling participants, but in the overall scheme of things I didn’t find this to be nearly as strong as Fostering Faust was. Oh, and one thing I really appreciated was that even though there is a lot of sex, there really wasn’t a ton of focus on romance. Sometimes, the whole I love every woman in my harem thing stretches credulity, and sometimes it is just enough to have the hot dog delivery guy do his business and move along to the next house in need of some weiners.
Like I said, the story has a nice plot, good pacing and cool characters. That only leaves me to discuss the narration, and I have to say that Jane Tate does a nice job. What I really thought she did well was to keep each sentence flowing into the next. She did not read this one sentence at a time like I hear so often. She has a pleasant voice, and uses it effectively. This actually looks to be her first work, unless she is using an alias. If so, the only negative thing I have to say is that she does read this a bit fast for me, she had the flow, but just needs to nail the pacing. Otherwise startlingly solid work from a first timer.
My final score? I had to think on this because I didn’t dislike anything about this story, and I thought it was a solid bit of work. I like Eden’s style, and think she can write a story and can write sex, and she can write a story with sex in it. Not everyone can do that last part. So, my final score for the night is an 8 star all the way. I’d really like to see some of the older stuff hit the audible shelves in the future.
Cherry Blossom Girls 3: A Superhero Harem Adventure
By: Harmon Cooper
Narrated by: Justin Thomas James, Jeff Hays, Laurie Catherine Winkel, Annie Ellicott
Series: Cherry Blossom Girls, Book 3
Length: 7 hrs and 52 mins
So here we are, back again with book three of the CBG’s and the story keeps rolling along nicely. Before I begin talking about the book I do want to discuss a controversy that I have long been saying is true. I honestly think Gideon was modeled after our intrepid narrator, JTJ. Just look at them side by side in comparison. There is simply no denying that Justin is Gideon, but both he and Cooper say nay nay to that idea, but I say that not only is Gideon based on Justin Thomas James, that so is the original GI Joe action figure. Just look at the side by side. That means that JTJ is a real American hero! (But he’s Canadian!) Ah, but he’s North American, so he’s still a real American hero. That means that:
He'll fight for freedom wherever there is trouble,
JTJ is there!
A Real American Hero
JTJ is there.
All right, enough goofing around, thanks prop guy! Like I said, it’s Cherry Blossom Time and you should be very thankful that Harmon didn’t name them the Apple Blossom Girls or I would have been singing you an Andrew Sisters tune from the forties rather than the GI JOE theme.
Book three pretty much picks up right where two left off. Right away we get to see the squad get even more participants, as Gideon picks up another angry hottie and three super teens. Funny how quickly harems grow once they get started. Of course trouble soon follows the addition of the ladies and the team is quickly forced to fight for their lives and freedom. Mel Gibson styled Freeeedoooooommmmmm).
The book is funny in a lot of points and I found myself laughing quite a bit. One thing I did have to wonder about, was whether Harmon Cooper gave a nod to Laurie Catherine Winkel with one of his comments. If you get a chance she stars in a video on You tube called Road . . .Head, and Gideon makes an off handed way. The connection was too funny even if it was unintentional. You get that the book alternates between humorous bits and full blown superhero battles with touches of sexiness sprinkled about. I think my favorite bit was where Gideon was talking to Luke about author titles. I actually laughed so hard that I went back to listen to it again because I missed so much of it. Now, If I could only figure out a way to convince Cooper to have Gideon and Luke to talk about an old fat guy who reviews audiobooks. . . . Still, I hope you realize that I really “get” Cooper’s humor style. The story carries forward just enough that I don’t feel like it isn’t going anywhere, and as per usual he gives us a big reveal at the end of the story. He knows how to keep you interested and on fleek. I have to admit, I have no idea what that even means. On fleek, wtf millennials. WTF?
If you can’t tell I really love SBT and I contemplated not doing two of their books in one episode since I’m wasting very good SBT Spotlight for next week, but this is the naughty special, and both of these books fall into that category. All I can say is that this is a definitive SBT team, the audible avengers have assembled to give us an amazing story. As always, their quality is beyond reproach and they make this whole crazy story so believable.
My final score is 8.1, since the story (much like MSE’s Tamer series) seems to give us just a taste of the bigger picture without a lot of forward movement. Either way, excellent book, amazing series, incredible writing, infectious humor, and intense audio work combine to make this something you won’t want to miss.
By: Sebastian Wilde, Jamie Hawke
Narrated by: Carly Crawford, Jeff Hays, Yvonne Syn
Length: 9 hrs and 16 mins
Planet Kill is one of those books that makes no bones in regards to what it is about. This is an action packed, shoot ‘em, screw ‘em, smoke a cigarette style book. It doesn’t pretend to be Shakespeare in the Park or a Hemingway machismo filled tale of woe. This is a summer action flick from the 80’s minus the MPAA ratings. In this flick the action is cranked up to 11 and the sex to 69. This is a popcorn book through and through, and the only thing I think Hays missed doing was giving the character of Trunk and Arnold styled voice, because that would have really fit that character. So, if you are fan of blood, bullets, bombs, and BJ’s this book is for you, and no, I can’t believe I just said that line; but it is true.
The book centers on two protagonists, one male and one female. Pierce, the male, is an agent who is seeking his wife whom he believes was kidnapped to the Planet Kill, which is like a 24 hour Hunger Games program in which viewers can send tips or offer incentives for doing various deeds ranging from assassination to assblastin a nation. God help me. I can’t not not stop doing this. In other words perform various carnal actions for some cash. The players on Planet Kill can earn XP for performing these tasks as well as some cash. Cash allows you to buy or upgrade weapons and armor. Survive long enough on PK and you are set for life. You’ll never want for anything again. Most people volunteer, but it seems that some have been volunteered against their will. The other protagonist is Leetha, a hardcore chick who knows her way around and can handle anything thrown at her. She wants to come off as hardcore, but she really cares about her people, and is just doing what she can until she manages to earn enough xp and credits to get off that rock.
The book rocks back and forth between acts of violence and sex; ah sax and violins, what awesome music they make together. Again, what I like about this is that there is a legitimate reason for the killing and the sexing. These are all actual components that are integral to the planet itself, and the players have no choice but to get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’ or getting it on, sometimes both at the same time. So, it isn’t just arbitrary acts occurring like in some books where you have someone fight, have sex, fight, have sex, have sex, have sex, then fight again. There is a reason every time someone gets ganked, shanked, or spanked. To me that is really important. I don’t need a Dear Penthouse letter every book I get. This is more of HBO unleashed, with more sex and murder than every episode of Game of Thrones thus far. That means it is a fun wild romp. It is also a Harem book, I guess what with the character of Leetha having both men and women in her group that it would count as a harem, so no need to debate if it is a reverse harem. At best it is a harem, at worst it is a mixed Harem book. Either way fans of harems will be happy. Just be aware not all of the harem manages to survive all the way through the book, and that is my favorite thing about the book. The book is called Planet Kill, and characters die. That is really a must, and I would have liked to have seen even more bodies stacked, packed, and racked by the end.
As for the narration of the book, we get two new members of the SBT team, Carly Crawford and Yvonne Syn. I was, at first, a little shocked and disappointed that neither Annie nor Laurie was involved, but these two really acquitted themselves superbly. They make a fine addition to the SBT Squad, and I’m beginning to notice that Jeff might be building his own Harem over there at Soundbooth. Regardless of what Jeff is doing with his people the stuff that he is creating at SBT keeps getting better and better. The sound effects are really expanding what can be done in the audio business, and I would love to see even more used. Keep it up, SBT team. You guys are planet killing it. What I can’t make a pun? Buzz off!
Final score 8.25, only because I didn’t like the split between the main MC’s POV’s. I think either would have worked well alone, but following one and then the other caused us to lose a little bit of story. I’d really have rather the bulk of the book be focused on Leetha, with periodic pieces focused on Pierce (BTW, is that or is that not an intentional Porno name?). Either way this book was excellent.
By: A.J. Markam
Narrated by: Iggy Toma
Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
First of all I just have to saw WOW. This is one of the best books I’ve listened to in a long time that is not from a major author like Hunter, Corvin, or Dean. AJ Markam has skillfully crafted a world that is rock solid, is filled with interesting characters and actually has a message. He manages to paint vibrant scenes that detailed and latch onto your senses.
Now, I know this is a part of the Naughty Special, but I really think it belongs in the nice category. Of all the naughty book on the show today I think that his sex scenes carry the most impact, because they really are not sexy but rather are sensual. There is more emotion involved than there is physical pleasure and that only added to the story. Truth be told there really is not much sex in the book at all, I know we go several hours in before anything actually happens, and even then there are only two or three real sex scenes in the whole book. When I talked to AJ about this book he told me that some one had said that if it wasn’t for the sex they would let their kids listen to it, and I have to agree. This is a novel that totally stands on its own without sex, but still employs sex in a way that completely elevates the story. I wanted to record this segment as soon as I was done listening to it because I felt it was so powerful. Really great stuff. I can’t praise it enough.
So at this point you’re asking me what the book is about, well lemme tell ya the story centers on a man who is in need of work, and just happens to have a background that fits what the company he is applying at needs. That would be a human Guinea pig. Seems Ian, the MC, has done some medical experimentation work in the past and that makes him ideal to go into a deep dive long haul immersive tank. The OT is too good to pass up and he starts instantly. He soon finds himself playing a warlock, a class that summons demonic beings to do their bidding. He is soon saddled with a by the numbers imp who takes every command he is given and interprets it to his benefit and Ian’s detriment. Ian eventually summons a Succubus named Alaria, who has a bad attitude and instantly crushes Ian’s hopes of getting a love slave.
Basically the story centers on ownership, free will, and slavery but does so in a non-preachy way. In other words it doesn’t bet you over the head with it every five minutes. It is a very nice story about respect and how that is earned, as well as the fact that you can’t force someone to love you. Plus, I think it does a great job of showing how a guy will do practically anything to get laid. Again, this was an intensely fun book and I really enjoyed myself listening to it . . .wait should I say that on the Naughty Special?
Another stellar thing about this novel is the incredible work by Iggy Toma. I usually research new narrators, just so I can see how experienced they are. I do this after I listen, not before, and I have to say that I was very surprised at what he has done before, because this is his first LITRPG book, and he reads this like a pro, an old hand (Annnnother thing I shouldn’t say on the naughty special) . . .anyway he feels like he’s been doing this a long time. He has it down, and knocks the voices out of the park. Seriously, this was like listening to Hays, Pohdel, or Daniels and all you authors out there ought to take note because he owned this book from start to stop, and made it a blast to listen to. All I know is that if I had a book that was going to audio format soon I would have this cat on my radar. He stole the show, which wasn’t easy to do with the high caliber of writing that was going on here. This guy rocks, and he deserves to get into this sort of genre.
I’m not going to fool around here. This was captivating on every level, I loved the premise, the characters, the goals, and resolution at the end. This is a solid 8.5 stars. Get this book.
A Yancy Lazarus Novel, Volume 1
By: James A. Hunter
Narrated by: Charlie Kevin
Series: Yancy Lazarus, Book 1
Length: 6 hrs and 52 mins
I have to admit that I came into this game late. I accidentally stumbled upon Yancy somewhere along the line of book 5, and then I was just backtracking my way through the series. This is what I like, Urban Fantasy at its finest. Lazarus is an interesting guy who ends up caught between the Scylla and Charybdis, more than a rock and a hard place. He has tough choices to make, made even harder if he wants to stay one of the "good guys". Yancy seems to be the type that if left to his druthers he would just bop from one gin joint to another, making music and drinking. This being what it is you know that’s never going to happen. Soon enough he comes into conflict with a “tough” and ends up in the lam after making a killing in a back alley, and don’t mean by playing dice.
Yancy uses magic mana called the viz to make his magic, and he is a bit different because of it. He ages slower than mere mortals, and most of his friends are older people that he had known since or during the Vietnam War. He finds himself swept up in a battle between rival gangs, with a nasty dark mage also thrown into the mix, and his struggle to figure out who is behind everything is utterly entrancing. I've said it before, this guy can stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Harry Dresden, Nate Temple, Monatgue & Strong, and Sandman Slim. Only here, to me at least, the characters and the action seems grittier; more down to earth, than in say a Nate Temple story.
I do want to talk about Charlie Kevin for a moment. I love his narration. It comes across as one of those old Phillip Marlowe type of dialogues, and adds a pulpy noir characteristic that really enhanced the story for me. He paints a great verbal picture, and uses his voice to punctuate points when he needs to. It is a great style, and I think he is a great fit for the series. This much is obvious in book 5, where he really seems comfortable in the narration. Even James Marsters had to get a feel for his readings of the Dresden Files, but Kevin seems to have hit the ground running, and I appreciate that. Again, I want to say that this is read as if it were narrated by a noirish private dick, like Sam Spade, so it might take some people unfamiliar with the cadence to get used to it. I settled in right away, noir is my style. Love that stuff. All this book needed was Harry Lime type and it would have been pure Heaven.
Overall, this is a great way to start a series, introduce a character, and lay the groundwork for the setting and magic system. Give this book a try, you will not regret it. Not for one moment. No score, as I’m just trying to let you know about it, but I really like this series.
Thanks oh so very much for watching everyone, I do appreciate you taking to the time to watch or listen to the show. If you want to support us, you can like the LitRPG Podcast facebook page or the YouTube Page, or just share and like the video. I’m going to ask for more suggestions for the Is it LIT segment, I’ve got a good one for next time, but will always need ideas. Please leave comments or suggestions in the comments below, and feel free to tell me whatever you like. I enjoy the feedback.
For LitRPG Audiobook Podcast, I’m Ray. Keep listening!!!
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