LitRPG Audiobook Podcast 036 -  Radioactive Evolution, Dan the Adventurer 2, Siphon, Supers - Ex Heroes 2

LitRPG Audiobook Podcast 036 -  Radioactive Evolution, Dan the Adventurer 2, Siphon, Supers - Ex Heroes 2

“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: ”

Radioactive Evolution : A Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic Adventure (00:21)

Score: 8.5 out of 10

Dan the Adventurer : Gold Girls and Glory, Book 2 (13:56)

Score: 8.45 out of 10

Siphon : A Touch of Power, Book 1 (26:58)

Score: 8.1 out of 10

Supers - Ex Heroes 2 : A Gamelit Space Opera (54:24)

Score: 8.35 out of 10


Radioactive Evolution

A Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic Adventure

By: Richard Hummel

Narrated by: Armen Taylor, Anneliese Rennie

Length: 15 hrs and 27 mins


The first thing I should say about this book is that I loved it.  No, no, that’s short changing it. I freaking loved this book. I generally use a couple of criteria to tell if a book is really good.  The first is the sleep test. If I fall asleep without prompting it isn’t a good sign. When I go to bed I usually leave the book on for fifteen minutes, and pass out after that is over.  If I fall asleep, no matter how tired I am, it isn’t a good sign. If I stay away its good. If I listen to it for the whole fifteen minutes, and reset it its better, and if I do that for a second time or more The book really has my interest.  There’s only been a few that I’ve tagged three times or so. This is one of them. Another indicator is when my son, Prop guy, goes for a ride with me and has me pause the book to update him on what happened before he came in, and what the name of the book is because he wants to read it, tells me it is good.  And that is exactly what happened. He became very vested in the story by the time our ride was over. So, given that I wanted to listen to this book every opportunity I had, and that Prop guys was interested after only a few moments I know this is an excellent book. It kept me riveted throughout, I only had two drawbacks to the book, and they were minor.

First, this is what I would call lite Litrpg, the elements are all there but not in a way that they pop up continuously.  There is progression and increases to stats, but not a ton of the rpg stuff, and that’s fine. I’m only throwing this out as a heads up for people who like their stuff a lot more heavy.  I’m cool so long as a story has some elements, and it does.

My only issue was that the advancement/progression wasn’t very refined.  It runs off of percentage points, which I completely get. I’m terrible at math and stats is hard, so making things easy by going with percentages was smart, but it never really detailed what the percentages did when they were applied other than to say they assigned 35% to this ability or stat.  I followed, but it needed some more mechanical work before it left the garage. Again, nothing major, but it needs noting.

Anyway, the book is set in a post apocalyptic setting in which radiation threatens to wipe out the humans left on the earth unless they receive periodic shots of nanites from the upper class dudes that done escaped on floating cities.  Life below is heard, life above, not so much. The MC, Jared, is an explorer who scouts out areas looking for anything he can salvage. He ends up being led into an area that gives him some pretty good loot, after following in the footsteps of another dead explorer.  He manages to find a few nanites injectors and a mysterious stone before being forced to flee when the sounds of a large monster makes itself known. He later discovers that he has stolen a dragon’s egg and ends up bonding to it via a special set of nanites. I honestly thought that this was the way that Dragon Seed was going to go, but that book really emphasized becoming a rider before you got to meet the dragon.  Here we get to see the dragon go from hatchling into horror as it grows and maxes itself out.

The interplay between Jared and Scarlet (the Dragon) is really well done, and it feels natural and organic.  They play well off of one another, and this is the best part of the story. To me, the only time that the story slightly bogs down is when they focus on other creatures like the Mer-people or the dragons.  I get that they both need some sort of love interests, but the book really flows when it is just them against the world. I think the nanites interaction was fun, and a great way to deal with the dystopian issues that they faced.

The narration was just banging.  The tag team of Armen Taylor and Anneliese Rennie was just unstoppable.  Like Jared and Scarlet they played well off of each other. Taylor has a presence and a voice that makes me wonder why he’s not sought after more often.  Aside from Hummel the only other LITRPG authors who’ve used him have been James Hunter and Chris Carney. Rennie brings a nice sardonic attitude to the dragon, and lets you believe that the dragon can be wise beyond her years while still being played as young.  It’s a nice balancing act. It was good to hear her voicing Scarlet. She made this just as fun as Taylor, and I look forward to the next installment.

Form me, this was a couldn’t put it down once I got started kinda book, and I think you’ll feel the same way.  The book ended in a nice solid place, the characters were well fleshed out, as was the world (although I did have some questions that might not have been fully answered, like how did all the animals get nanites, or keep getting them is the bigger question).

Final score, 8.5 stars.  Man this was a fun ride.


Dan the Adventurer

Gold Girls and Glory, Book 2

By: Hondo Jinx

Narrated by: Andrea Parsneau

Series: Gold Girls and Glory, Book 2

Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins


Aw geez, another great book to review this week.  Dan the Adventurer is pure cheesy fun. It’s kind of like Conan mixed with a Saturday morning adult cartoon.  Silly, fun, and sexy but not made for kids. This is just a brilliant series from concept to completion on the page, or in this case, my ears.

This time around we leave the campus to go and visit Dan’s new In-laws.  Now, speaking as a married man there are few words that will send a shiver down your spine faster than the I hyphen L word.  So, I can understand when he would rather face down the Mafioso type dude that is looking for him than go on a vacation in the forest to meet his new mom and pops.

There is a lot that happens in this book.  Dan gets to meet his D-bag dipped in an A-hole brother in law, gets the cold shoulder from his new mama, and a super stink eye from his pappy in law.  Standard marriage stuff, but soon the fun all comes to an end when some extra dimensional monsters start ripping up the forest, and a band of raiders decides to wipe out an entire race of elves.  A race that Dan, ever the barbarian, wants as little to do with as possible, cause he has crap to do elsewhere, and these folks are just slowing down his quest. Hell, the sidequest becomes the main quest, and soon he is helping the fire elves rebuild, regroup, and regrow as a race.

As I will say in another segment later, the sex scenes are just as engrossing as the battles.  There is always a purpose behind each one, and poor Dan has the onerous burden of having to please his ladies, while fighting of the advances of a horny red-faced hobgoblin, and defending the fire elves keep.  One does wonder when he finds time to sleep. One thing that kind of surprised me was just how little we get to see Dan level, he goes through hell, but we only get to see him level once. I’d have thought that he had gained at least three levels just dealing with the extradimensionals.

Now, I will say that this is Andrea’s show.  Man she is in complete command here and there is no question of her masculinity as she helms her Dan puppet through the storyline.  I just talked about how amazing she was in KT Hana’s Fragments, but I have to say this is really some of her best work. She places soooo much emotion into one little word, please, that it really hit me deep in my feels.  There is a scene where the hobgobolin warrior maiden is literally begging Dan to have his way with her, and she just says one word. One word. Please. Just that please made me want to say Dammit Dan, if you can’t pony up I’ll do it.  That girl needs some lovin. Truthfully, I am not into red-faced muscular green gals. Definitely not my type, but Andrea filled that one little word with so much emotion that it moved me, mentally and emotionally. That is narration power.  That is a mastery that few ever achieve. I say it repeatedly, Andrea puts so much emotion into her characters that they become real. I have no doubt one day she’s going to go overboard and she’s gonna end up having a Purple Rose of Cairo situation on her hands.  It’s a movie, go watch it, it ain’t half bad.

So, the book is amazing good fun.  I love the characters and the adventures, and Dan just shows you what a modern barbarian is like.  I am loving this series. It is solid as granite. Final Score 8.45 stars.



A Touch of Power, Book 1

By: Jay Boyce

Narrated by: Samara Naeymi

Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins


MountainDale Press is really kicking some serious butt.  I have to say that I thought that Advent would be a tough book to follow, but Siphon manages to keep up with the pressure Xander Boyce instituted when he set so high a bar.  Two Boyces bringing their A games, if I was an established writer out there right now I’d be scered because these two have some serious talent. So let me tell you about Jay for a second, her style is pretty laid back.  This is one of those books that does not focus on much fighting, and you barely noticed that very little blood was shed. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few monster attacks, but overall the book is about a girl from earth who was always on the brink of dying, that ends up in a magical realm with game-like rules after she shuffles off her Earthly mortal coil.

How bad is it for her?  She literally has to learn to eat and walk.  Luckily for her she has the ability to siphon stats and skills from the people she touches.  This allows her to learn anything and increase her stats far more easily than if she had to go about it the normal route.  Which is fortunate because she is pretty weak when she first arrives in Dragonia.

The book is a fun, dare I say it?, Slice of Life (wince) in which we basically just follow the MC, Jade, around as she meets people and sucks them dry of their powers, so to speak.  There were just a few flaws. First, there are a ton of secondary characters. So many that towards the end there was a point that she was rattling them all off and it felt like the end of Romper Room, I see the King, and jared, Susan, Dave, Bob, Tom, Charles, Ramon, etc.  They tended to get a little lost in the mix. I went more by their job titles than names like Prince, Spymaster, Librarian, and so on. Secondly, there is very little conflict in the book and by that I mean that nothing that jade does is wrong. She is mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way, and all I can say is if someone acted that way around me that’d be up for a right smack.  Taking things just because she wanted them, like the Prince’s library card was vey childish. I have to admit that it fit the character, as she had little interaction with people prior to coming to the new world, but it was very childish and everyone just over looked it. Personally, it was fun to listen to her do her stuff, but if I knew her in real life I would want to throw her down a flight of stairs for being so entitled.

My biggest beef is that this is an audiobook, and there were a lot of places that just went on and on endlessly about stats and abilities.  They were repeated ad nauseam, thankfully there was a point where it stopped saying you have touched so and so, would you like to siphon strength, intelligence, luck, wisdom, etc over and over.  I think once or twice with that stuff on audible is enough after that it becomes an unfun repetitious mess. All that was really necessary was to disclose what she took, and what the results were and it would have been a lot smoother.  I will admit that about three times I jumped over those parts because it just went on and on. I don’t listen to Thoreau’s Walden on audible because I can’t stand him listing everything out as he does there. I only point this out because it is done a lot.  I hope next time around the audible version gets that stuff trimmed back, or follow the lead of the great Charles Dean, and just list all of your changes at the end of a chapter.

Samara Naeymi, a newbie to our neck of the LITRPG neck of the woods narrates this tale, and I think she does a decent job.  She reads out the story in a sublime way, very mellow, very relaxed, but when she has too she does manage to amp it up, such as when Jade cries out for help.  This was better than average narration that could find a home here if she wanted it. The only part that I had to question was when the word brassiere came up.  What was described were braziers. What was said was brassiere. I know, because I went back and listened to it three times to make certain that I hadn’t imagined it.  I have no problems with little mistakes here and there, but when you are talking about something holding glowing coals it is important to use the right word. I’m not sure if it was Boyce who wrote the wrong word or if Samara said the wrong word but it made me laugh.

While it might seem like I was just crushing the book, I really liked it.  It has a lot going on, and I think with some tweaking it could be really great.  Final score 8.1


Supers - Ex Heroes 2

A Gamelit Space Opera

By: Jamie Hawke

Narrated by: Justin Thomas James, Jeff Hays, Yvonne Sinn, Carly Crawford

Length: 6 hrs and 11 mins


My Soundbooth spotlight for this week is Super-Ex Heroes 2.  In honor of the SBT team taking on some “burlesque” names I decided that I will refer to Justin Thomas James as Smokewagon James for this review.  One, because he has that smokey voice that clouds your mind as he speaks, and the other is that a smokewagon is another name for a handgun. I think the Euphamism is clear, and the connotation should go unquestioned.  I will be reviewing with my own Burlesque name, going by the non de plume of Belly Bucker. I even had to grow this awesome Burlesque mustache for this segment.

I have to say that I enjoyed this book much more than I did the first one, and I liked it a lot.  It had some great pacing and the storyline just kind of came together. We get to see Breaker do some new things, and add a member to the slowly growing harem.  The only negative was that one of the most interesting characters, Charm, is absent for a good chunk of the book. Naturally, the book revolves around the remaining members of the team trying to rescue her.  It is all bloody good fun and I enjoyed it from start to finish. I honestly thing that a bonus is that these books are short in length, under 7 hours, which means I have no problem finishing it up completely in one day.  I like it because it keeps the book light and fastpaced.

The sex scenes are hot and steamy and the fights are fast and furious.  Oops, hope I didn’t step on a trademark. The funniest part of the book is how Breaker keeps getting offered sex, and has to turn it down due to some outside factor, and when he actually tries to woe a bedmate things don’t go as planned.  That is the best part of this novel, the desire competing with the denial, just as it is in real life. The sex scenes are tastefully done, and I have to say that those tow burlesquey ladies really know how to paint a mental picture.

So, you’re yelling at me to tell you a little about the book itself.  Whelp it picks up right where the other left off, and the team finds themselves trapped in another dimension.  A place where their powers don’t work right, or not at all. Once Charm gets snagged the team does their best to find her, but that doesn’t stop Breaker from stealing quinjettes or fighting in an arena to level up.  I think Breaker actually grows a lot in this book, and it was nice to see him dedicated to his team of ladies.

The SBT sound team rocked this out.  Like I said, the ladies, Yvonne Sinn & Carly Crawford know how to make hot and bothered look like it was taking a nap while horny and ready to go took their place.  The only thing missing was some bronchikawowwow music when they character started to get it on. Smokewagon, you are pretty sweet on the keyboard, you might want to add that in next time for flavor.  I could listen to their dulcet tones and be mesmerized easily. Smokewagon James manages to play Breaker as a dude who is just a little unsure of himself, but coming into his own. You can still hear a little of Breaker’s awkwardness, but it is slowly sloughed off as he begins to come into his own.

    His own what?  No, I did not just go there.  Blame the mustache. I’ve gotta go shave this off.  I’m glad I recorded this segment first or I think I’d be outta control before the show was really finished.  Maybe I’ll tape the end segment next, and then shave it.

Either way this was a real blast, SBT brought their A game and converted it into a whole alphabet.  Final score 8.35 stars.


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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