LitRPG Audiobook Podcast 029 - Asgard Awakening, Cultivating Chaos, The Halloween Raid, Future's Orphans

LitRPG Audiobook Podcast 029 - Asgard Awakening, Cultivating Chaos, The Halloween Raid, Future's Orphans

“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: ”

Asgard Awakening - VeilVerse: Asgard Awakening, Book 1 (00:26)

Score: 8.4 out of 10

Cultivating Chaos - VeilVerse: Cultivating Chaos, Book 1 (17:11)

Score: 8.5 out of 10

The Halloween Raid - A GameLit Short Story (38:05)

Score: 7.8 out of 10

What Else Have They Done? (53:21)

Future's Orphans: Ouroboros Cycle Series, Book 2


Asgard Awakening

VeilVerse: Asgard Awakening, Book 1

By: Blaise Corvin

Narrated by: Andrea Parsneau

Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins


So, I’m going to break this down a little differently, because I will be reviewing Cultivating Chaos right after this, so I’m going to bunch up Andrea’s narration onto the second book, for reasons.

So, first of all, Kudos to Corvin and Arand for having the balls to try and pull something like this off.  WE now have a LITRPG Thieves World type of Universe, where they can invite any other authors in to play in their sandbox.  I could easily see (just to name a few) Dakota Krout, James Hunter, Dave Willmarth, MSE or even Harmon Cooper getting in to this playground.  Or none of them. This is just to exciting an idea. The veilverse is about various worlds that are interconnected by dimensional shifting curtains wear reality wears thin.  People can crossover through these curtains and interact with new worlds. Here the main characters in both books come from Earth, although Corvin’s character is sent to Asgard.

While there he is given the mantle of Odin, and slowly grows into his role as a new god.  Trav is a good guy who has some horrible things done to him as a slave in an underground mine.  When the time comes he makes an escape and sets about growing his power by binding women to him as he goes along.  He learns to settle into his new abilities such as runecrafting and knowing things that Odin knew. The book started out looking like it was going to be a straight up revenge book, but it quickly evolved into something so much more.  I have to say, I have been patiently waiting on my Delvers, but so long as books like this keep coming I won’t complain. . . much. Still waiting on the Luck Stat part duex.

Corvin certainly crafts a great story and populates his world with interesting powers, people, and prices.  I don’t think that anything that Trav does doesn’t come without a cost to him in one way or another. One thing that sort of struck me odd was that Blaise does try out the Harem gig at last, and I’m not sure if he went that route because of who he partnered with or if he just wanted to give it a try.  Again, not a bad thing, just not something I expected out of Blaise. I daresay that he even went further than Arand did in the naughty dept.

The world that he builds with the Kin, the Asgardian, the other new gods all comes together is cohesive universe that just sucks you in.  My only possible complaint is that this book is shorter than Cultivating Chaos. I would have liked to have seen them be about the same length for a starter series, but I am not complaining because the quality is there and the characters are compelling.  I cannot say I like one MC over another, but that I simply cannot wait for the next book in this series.

Andrea’s part will come up in the Cultivating Chaos segment.

Final Score 8.4 stars.  Smooth like lagavulin whiskey.


Cultivating Chaos

VeilVerse: Cultivating Chaos, Book 1

By: William D. Arand

Narrated by: Andrea Parsneau

Length: 13 hrs and 16 mins

William D. brings home the bacon on this bad boy’s back.  This was a fun bit of storytelling, and I kept having Last Dragon Flashbacks as I listened to this book.  So, while it is a companion piece to Asgard Awakens it is also a completely separate story that only ties with Corvin’s book tangentially.  This is a very good thing. As it has it’s own flavor, and let me tell you it is very different from Asgard.

Now to say that I am a fan of Arand’s would be a complete understatement.  I have never read a book of his that I haven’t loved. And I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite.  Truthfully, I would have to say that Super Sales is my go to Arand book, but this is one hell of a close second.  I freaking grew up watching chop sockey and Godzilla flicks as a kid. My dad would always poke fun at me because I could watch Rio Bravo and then turn around and then watch the most perfect The 36th Chamber of Shaolin.  I’d do a western and an eastern, and so this book really appealed to me instantly. My anime background, limited as it is, really felt the tug, and I had to laugh as Arand rips on Naruto and their whole shout out what I’m going to do while using hand signs bit just cracked me up. I will take a little umbrage as he also takes a potshot at Super Sales and Felix, but they are his characters to make fun of as he likes.

As things go this is a typical, not in a bad way, Arand book insofar as the hero stumbles onto a way to make himself stronger and then quickly builds a harem.  This is not Fostering Faust style of Harem, but it is a harem nonetheless. One thing I have noticed is that Arand does sort of replicate his harem girl’s personalities over and over.  For example, you have no nonsense nose to the grindstone, the admirer, the secretive one, the slightly dangerous one, he just kind of shuffles quirks to and fro. Again, I’m not complaining I’m just noting an observation.  None of the girls are the same, but there is some crossover.

The MC, Ash has access to a hall of records of sorts that lets him bestow abilities on himself and others, he gets his wish to become a cultivator, and joins the school of his dreams.  He then sets about getting into one hell of a feud with some community big wigs. This complicates his life, and the lives of everyone that he knows and loves. This is a seriously epic struggle, and the story, characters, and action kept me hooked.  I’d really just like to know what Arand’s secret is, because the man just pens one awesome story after another. The only thing that really struck me about this book is that it is about five hours longer than Corvin’s book. Corvin’s book stopped right as it was building to something compelling, and then made me hafta wait for more.  This book added five hours and I still wanted more, so no matter how much they write Imma gonna be wantin mo.

Now, here’s the bit where I talk about Andrea.  Again, she just drives these stories forward like she is on a bobsled being pushed down a hill by an avalanche.  She gives everyone a personality and quirks in their vocalizations, and I cannot think of anyone else doing this series. The only thing I wonder about is the leads.  I listened to both books back to back, and I really couldn’t tell if she used a different voice for Trav and Ash. It was like the de facto male lead voice. To me one sounded the same as the other, and any other time that would be fine, as two characters who sound alike will never meet, but in this situation I should hope that Trav and Ash meet sometime in the future.  That will make it harder to differentiate who is talking when they do get together. Again, I could be very wrong, but They sounded dang close to one another. Again, Andrea really knocked these two books out of the park.

Final score, this is an 8.5 all the way.  Length, characters, action, narration, and concept this was just one hell of a leg sweep as it knocked me down.


The Halloween Raid

A GameLit Short Story

By: George Saoulidis

Narrated by: Dave Price

Length: 55 mins


Ok, so I am always griping about wanting a good LITRPG short story, and I just might have found one.  There really are two things that are drawbacks when it comes to this audio. The first, and I have to be realistic, are you willing to spend 3 dollars on a 55 minute story?  I am. I mean hell, I spend more money on that for a comic book that I’ll read in under 10 minutes. So, if it is good it is justified. The only other thing is that this is LITRPG, it just isn’t uber crunchy because a lot of crunch would have sent the time on this soaring.  So, fair warning, don’t get all hot under the collar when I say it isn’t dense with stats and stuff. This is a short story, and that’s that.

Now, I have been reading/listening to George’s stuff for some time, and I have to say that one of my favorite stories is called You Have Too Many Friends.  It is really short, but very memorable. Honestly, it carried a lot of weight and has stuck in my head since I listened to it. The Halloween Raid holds its own pretty well.

The story is pretty simple, and a lot of things go unanswered, as they should in a short tale.  You should be able to make your own conclusions. Basically once a year a giant jack o lantern pops up in Europe or the US (it swaps out every year) around Halloween.  People or players enter the giant pumpkin t fight monsters and earn loot that can set them up. No one really knows where the thing comes from, but speculation says it is aliens.  The play in the pumpkin is like this, you can return to play as much as you like year after year until you die. The play level setting is set to hardcore, and so if you die once you are out of play the rest of your life.  Bad news is that 1 out of 1000 people who die in the pumpkin never return. No one knows what happens to them. They just get considered as dead, and people move on. The MC’s brother has a team that goes in year after year, and they leave Edward behind because he promised his mother that he wouldn’t go in.  Edward watches his brother’s team get wiped out on live feed and he rushes to see if his brother made it back.

Now, lets just say that Edward is now the guy who has to gather some loot because his brother cannot go back inside for reasons, and the fool rushes in without any kind of gear or protection.  He hopes that he can grab some loot and make his way out before he gets killed when things start to reaspawn. The Lit stuff only appears in the Pumpkin, but it is there, and while this is a lite Litrpg short it is still Litrpg all the way.

I enjoyed the story, and it did not go in the direction I was certain that it was going to.  IN fact, this seems to be a very good set up for a longer novella, George does those a lot. I would like to see this idea fleshed out more fully

Dave Price handles the narration pretty well, and he provides a lot of voices and attitude in each of the characters.  I think the only off fleek moment was when the witch spoke, but even as corny as it was it worked.

Final score 7.8.  I enjoyed it, but don’t know if you are going to swing triple Georges for a listen.  It was fun.


What Else Have They Done?

Future's Orphans: Ouroboros Cycle Series, Book 2

By: A.K. Alliss

Narrated by: Anneliese Rennie

Length: 7 hrs and 34 mins


So, I’m always curious when a book comes out in a series that isn’t the original starter for the series, like getting book three before 1 and 2.  Well, here we get book two, with no hint of one on the horizon. So I just have to run with it. So, let me tell you a little about the book. It has two things going against it for me right off the bat.  First, it is told in present tense. I hate stories written in present tense and literally go out of my way not to read them. I know the producer of this podcast, the amazing Ramon Mejia, writes in just that style and I had been debating listening to his stuff because it would be an automatic bias for me before I even started.  I have authors that I actively avoid reading because of this style. Secondly, the book starts of a little slowly. Well, pretty slow, in fact. I am ok with the slow stuff so long as it gives payout in the long run. But I am warning you now that the book doesn’t take off like a race car in the red.

The book is set in an undisclosed future and centers around two characters, a junkie journalist named Cass, and a street punk named Paco.  It seems that after all the spit hit the fan the world is barely getting by. The government is controlling people will dermal patches that control their emotional states, but makes the populace addicted and believe that it is saving their lives.

Needless to say that stuff happens and before you know it the pair are in it up to their necks.  So, when I said it started slow, it did just that, but once the initial setup was over the book began to gather some steam until it was flying along.  A lot of stuff happens, but it is really about the journalist and the street kid keeping each other going that steals the show. Yes mysteries abound, betrayals occur, and they are hounded by a relentless mercenary; even the post apocalyptic setting takes a backseat to the relationship the pair have.  I can see elements of Blade Runner and Mad Max here, and maybe the Road by Cormac McCarthy and some Philip K. Dick influences as well. A lot happens in this book.

I do want to really talk about Anneliese Rennie for a minute, since this is her spotlight on the What Else Have they Done segment.  I first “discovered” her on Akillia's Reign, Book 4 of the Puatera Online Series. She’s since become a big part of the community, and is doing more books in the genre, so I thought it would be nice to give her some time on the show, and this was the perfect opportunity to do it.  The topics in the book hit a lot of things that also pop up in LITRPG, so it isn’t out of place, and you might want to look at her upcoming audiobook, The Song Maiden: A LitRPG Journey. It should be popping right about the time this podcast is released.

Anyway, I like Rennie’s style.  She really paces her story and dialogue, and she provides distinct voices for each character, and I think her voice slips into male voices pretty easily.  I think that she is the only reason I was able to get passed the perspective in the book to be honest, that present tense still rattled my cage, but she made it a little easier to swallow, and the same with the whole slow set up process.  If it had been anybody else I might have dropped it altogether, and I’d have been sorry that I did because once the story gets going you are on a satellite that is out of control. Yes, I was having a good time.

As you know, I do not rate the What else have they done or Izzit lit segments.  I will only use books that I have enjoyed as a showcase, but I do have a third segment coming in which I will be rating the books normally, so just be aware that this is strictly something for awareness and that I have to really enjoy the book to do it on here.  If you want numbers I suggest that you rock it on over to audible to see a score.


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.

I did ask Ramon if it would be ok, and he said that I could let you all know that I do have a couple of books on Royal Road, and I would ask that you drop over there and check them out.  They are:

The Nightmare Game  

Apocalypse On Endless Earths: Apocalypse How?    

The first is straight up horror litrpg, and the other is a sci-fi/humor Litpg book.  Please give them a look.

Remember, please leave a review for any book that you’ve listened to or read.  Authors really depend on reviews.

For LitRPG Audiobook Podcast, I’m Ray. Keep listening!!!

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

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