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Book Reviews

Title
Author
Image
Rating
Defiance of the Fall, Book 3
J F Brink
9/10
All the Skills, Book 3
Honor Rae
9/10
The Guns of Avalon
Rojer Zelazny
8/10
CivCEO
Andrew Karevik
8/10
The Clockmaker's Daughter
Kate Morton
7/10
Defiance of the Fall, Book 2
J F Brink
9/10
Nine Princes in Amber
Rojer Zelazny
9/10
Primal Hunter Book 8
Zogarth
9/10
Defiance of the Fall, Book 1
J F Brink
9/10
Primal Hunter Book 7
Zogarth
9/10
Fire and Song: Warformed: Stormweaver, Book 2
Bryce O'Connor
9/10
The Training Grounds, Book 2: From the Ashes
Jason Clark
9/10
Wayward Galaxy
Jason Anspach
7/10
The Fusionist
Jonathan Brooks
9/10
Dungeon Crawler Carl 6: The Eye of the Bedlam Bride
Matt Dinniman
10/10
Primal Hunter Book 6
Zogarth
8/10
Red Rising
Pierce Brown
7/10
Derelict
Dean Henegar
8/10
The Villain's Chef
Cailan Wilkinson
7/10
All the Skills, Book 2
Honor Rae
9/10
The Training Grounds
Jason Clark
9/10
Azarinth Healer
Rhaegar
8/10
Destiny’s Champions: Sigma Worlds, Book 1
D. Levesque
6/10
He Who Fights With Monsters
Shirtaloon
6/10
Master of None: All Trades
Shane Walker
8/10
Bio Dungeon: Omnibus
Jonathan Brooks
8/10
Warden (Nova Online #1)
Alex Knight
7/10
All the Skills
Honour Rae
10/10
Overtaken Online (1-4)
Ben Ormstad
8/10
Horus Rising
Dan Abnett
6/10
War Core: Hold the Line
Dean Henegar
10/10
Initialization: Paths of Power
Sean Barber
6/10
Dungeon Crawler Carl
Matt Dinniman
10/10
Iron Prince
Bryco O'Connor
10/10
Primal Hunter
Zogarth
10/10
Fifteen Hours
Mitchel Scanlon
9/10
Noobtown (Series)
Ryan Rimmel
10/10
The Gam3 (Series)
Cosimo Yap
9/10
The Land: Chaos Seeds (Series)
Aleron Kong
8/10
Way of the Shaman (Series)
Vasily Mahanenko
10/10
Life Reset (Series)
Shemer Kuznits
10/10
11.22.63
Stephen King
10/10
The Perfect Run (Series)
Void Herald
10/10
First Life: The River Saga
Nathan Hystad
9/10
Uncontrollable: Class Shift Book One
Sean Oswald
8/10
Another instalment of Defiance of the Fall? Yes please. When you combine the length of these books with the two facts that they are an absolutely amazing read, plus there are thirteen of them? What more could your normal everyday LitRPG fan want?
So book three in the defiance of the full series centres mainly around the hunt that we've all been waiting for I know it's big trope in LitRPG books, but that never really stops us wanting to read them after all tropes are tropes for a reason and everyone loves them, right?
Let's be honest though if you've already reached this partner series you're probably going to know what's going on and you will know already if you want to carry on reading or not, given the sheer amount of content that you're receiving in each book.
Zach continues to grow in strength and wisdom becoming the powerhouse of the world that we all know he should be given the direction of the series but we also have a rich tapestry of secondary and supporting characters that grow with each passing chapter. A particular favourite of mine is Billy, who utters the immortal phrase: “Billy is not stuck with you you're stuck inside Billy!” Honestly there are some segments of laugh out loud comedy in the series though it's not particularly geared towards the comical.
The new world government is evolving into much of a protagonist which was kind of expected as nothing would ever be easy as the world government returns and everything's going to be fine. Instead they see Zach as a threat and although we kind of know that they've got some serious ulterior motives going on they've not done anything particularly harmful towards Zach.
This one is a serious page turner though because there are so many high stakes fights meditation self-improvement exciting interactions with not just Zach's friends, but also a number of creatures that he encounters along the way. 
I'm looking forward to seeing how the protagonist grows and how the author holds him back from becoming too powerful that no one can stop him before he becomes the all powerful ruler of the universe.

9/10

My Rating:

Defiance of the Fall, Book 3

Gamelit, LitRPG, Fantasy

J F Brink

After traversing the dangerous Dead Zone, Zac has finally managed to save his sister and bring her back to Port Atwood.

But Zac knows he can't relax. Not if he wants to keep her safe. The foreign factions keep spreading their influence, and ancient foes have set their sights on Earth.

With his newfound abilities, Zac has joined the Limited Hunt to gain the strength needed to protect his family and his world.

However, the System is unwilling to let Zac train in peace, and the hunt is not what it seems...

Don't miss Book Three of the hit Defiance of the Fall LitRPG series with over 20 ,illion views on Royal Road.

About the series: Jump into a story that merges LitRPG elements with eastern cultivation. Class systems, skill systems, endless choices for progression, it has everything fans of the genre love. Explore a vast universe full of mystery, adventure, danger and even aliens; where even a random passer-by might hold the power of a god. Follow Zac as he struggles to stake out a unique path to power as a mortal in a world full of cultivators.

My Review:

Another instalment of Defiance of the Fall? Yes please. When you combine the length of these books with the two facts that they are an absolutely amazing read, plus there are thirteen of them? What more could your normal everyday LitRPG fan want?
So book three in the defiance of the full series centres mainly around the hunt that we've all been waiting for I know it's big trope in LitRPG books, but that never really stops us wanting to read them after all tropes are tropes for a reason and everyone loves them, right?
Let's be honest though if you've already reached this partner series you're probably going to know what's going on and you will know already if you want to carry on reading or not, given the sheer amount of content that you're receiving in each book.
Zach continues to grow in strength and wisdom becoming the powerhouse of the world that we all know he should be given the direction of the series but we also have a rich tapestry of secondary and supporting characters that grow with each passing chapter. A particular favourite of mine is Billy, who utters the immortal phrase: “Billy is not stuck with you you're stuck inside Billy!” Honestly there are some segments of laugh out loud comedy in the series though it's not particularly geared towards the comical.
The new world government is evolving into much of a protagonist which was kind of expected as nothing would ever be easy as the world government returns and everything's going to be fine. Instead they see Zach as a threat and although we kind of know that they've got some serious ulterior motives going on they've not done anything particularly harmful towards Zach.
This one is a serious page turner though because there are so many high stakes fights meditation self-improvement exciting interactions with not just Zach's friends, but also a number of creatures that he encounters along the way.
I'm looking forward to seeing how the protagonist grows and how the author holds him back from becoming too powerful that no one can stop him before he becomes the all powerful ruler of the universe.

The All the Skills series by Honor Rae is truly something special. After thoroughly enjoying the first two books in this card-magic saga, I was eager to dive into Book 3. Before discovering this series, I didn't realise that a card-based fantasy novel could be so captivating, but I've been proven wrong.
The series' premise revolves around a unique card-based system where cards come in various rarity levels, granting different powers to their users. Our main character, Arthur, is fortunate enough to possess two legendary cards. Dragons are a big thing in this world, with each one linked to a specific card at birth. This connection allows dragons and their riders to bond, becoming inseparable companions and if that isn’t enough to get you hooked then I don’t know what is.
At the start of Book 3, we find Arthur and his dragon, Brixaby, leading a group of dragons and their riders, preparing to defend against scourge attacks. However, there's a catch — Arthur isn't skilled in combat, and his dragon is still too small to ride. This sets the stage for an interesting journey where we see Arthur as a leader, but having to learn pretty much everything as he goes along.
Here's a spoiler alert so heads up: Arthur and Brixaby are captured by a Free Hive, a group of dragons and riders who operate outside the kingdom's laws. This shifts the focus of the story to their time within the Free Hive, limiting the development of the external plot. However, this smaller setting allows for in-depth character development and introduces new cards to their growing collection. By the end of the book, Brixaby has grown large enough to ride, hinting at exciting developments in future books.
Arthur and Brixaby's relationship evolves, becoming a very interesting dynamic that perhaps should be so. Brixaby is all-powerful as a legendary dragon and Arthus is… Arthur. It's clear that the dragon cares for Arthur more deeply than we initially realised though and this emotional connection between them adds depth to the story and keeps us all engaged.
As with the previous books, the characters are well-developed and likeable, the card-magic system is unique and fascinating, and the plot keeps the story momving along at a nice pace. The only drawback is that the narrative focus within the Free Hive limits the broader story's progress, but this is balanced by the character growth and intriguing card reveals. There certainly isn’t much you can switch off at in this one, because you’ll quickly find yourself going back to figure out what on Earth just happened. 
If you've already read the first two books, you won't want to miss this one. We need to know if Arthur gets that third legendary card for his set and I'm eagerly awaiting Book 4 to see how the story unfolds.

9/10

My Rating:

All the Skills, Book 3

GameLit, Fantasy, Card Magic, Magic, Dragons

Honor Rae

Where power is measured in cards, Arthur stands among the elite as a Legendary card wielder now forever linked to a frighteningly powerful dragon.

Or Brixaby will be once he grows from the size of a parrot.

Before that can happen, a chance encounter whisks Arthur and Brixaby away to a place they never thought possible: A new dragon hive outside the kingdom. This Free Hive doesn't suffer from the scourge that's infected the rest of the planet. It's a place where crafting using card powers is king.

But even here, an old enemy sings threats from the shadows. The Free Hive cannot defend itself; it needs the strength of Legendary card wielders.

To protect the Free Hive, Arthur and Brixaby must become stronger. That means more skills and, most importantly, more cards to add to their decks.

My Review:

The All the Skills series by Honor Rae is truly something special. After thoroughly enjoying the first two books in this card-magic saga, I was eager to dive into Book 3. Before discovering this series, I didn't realise that a card-based fantasy novel could be so captivating, but I've been proven wrong.
The series' premise revolves around a unique card-based system where cards come in various rarity levels, granting different powers to their users. Our main character, Arthur, is fortunate enough to possess two legendary cards. Dragons are a big thing in this world, with each one linked to a specific card at birth. This connection allows dragons and their riders to bond, becoming inseparable companions and if that isn’t enough to get you hooked then I don’t know what is.
At the start of Book 3, we find Arthur and his dragon, Brixaby, leading a group of dragons and their riders, preparing to defend against scourge attacks. However, there's a catch — Arthur isn't skilled in combat, and his dragon is still too small to ride. This sets the stage for an interesting journey where we see Arthur as a leader, but having to learn pretty much everything as he goes along.
Here's a spoiler alert so heads up: Arthur and Brixaby are captured by a Free Hive, a group of dragons and riders who operate outside the kingdom's laws. This shifts the focus of the story to their time within the Free Hive, limiting the development of the external plot. However, this smaller setting allows for in-depth character development and introduces new cards to their growing collection. By the end of the book, Brixaby has grown large enough to ride, hinting at exciting developments in future books.
Arthur and Brixaby's relationship evolves, becoming a very interesting dynamic that perhaps should be so. Brixaby is all-powerful as a legendary dragon and Arthus is… Arthur. It's clear that the dragon cares for Arthur more deeply than we initially realised though and this emotional connection between them adds depth to the story and keeps us all engaged.
As with the previous books, the characters are well-developed and likeable, the card-magic system is unique and fascinating, and the plot keeps the story momving along at a nice pace. The only drawback is that the narrative focus within the Free Hive limits the broader story's progress, but this is balanced by the character growth and intriguing card reveals. There certainly isn’t much you can switch off at in this one, because you’ll quickly find yourself going back to figure out what on Earth just happened.
If you've already read the first two books, you won't want to miss this one. We need to know if Arthur gets that third legendary card for his set and I'm eagerly awaiting Book 4 to see how the story unfolds.

And here we have the second instalment in the Amber series where we return to Corwin after he’s managed to (spoiler alert) regrow his eyes after his brother annoyingly stabbed them out, and after Corwin tore a whole in the fabric of the very universe, allowing ‘something’ bad to happen that threatens everything we know. Cliffhanger!
As we already know, you can’t use guns in Amber, though as the title of this one would suggest, Corwin knows of a kind of loophole to this whereby a certain jeweller’s rouge can be used in its stead – thus giving him the advantage he always needed to go up against his brother (Didn’t he learn his lesson the first time?). The plan is, as always, gain an army (from shadow earth), give them rifles that can be used when storming Amber, and take the throne by force.
And then enter Dara. This was a dynamic I really didn’t see coming, but Corwin’s great grand-niece shows up to join in the fight.
Corwin gets his army, surges forth into Amber and… finds that it’s already under attack! Eric finally steps down after being gravely wounded and passes the crown to Corwin, who of course becomes Regent.
Finally, an ending where everyone’s happy! Corwin back on the throne, Eric gets his comeuppance and everything is back the way it should be.
But of course that could never happen, could it?
Dara walks the pattern and reveals herself to be a creature of the Court of Shadows – and she wants to destroy both Amber and the shadows… 
What I still love about the Amber series is the blending fantasy with what I consider to be science fiction. It’s not just sword and sorcery here, it’s multiple dimensions, (now) guns mixed in with what we normally expect to read in fantasy novels. And Zelazny has such a way to tie it all together. 
And does he like ending on cliffhangers? Well who can blame him?
The character development is really impressive too. Considering that we are looking at a world with infinite ‘shadows’ and a vast host of characters it would be easy to forget about those less important to the story. But the thing is in Amber, they’re all important, and that’s a big factor in the desire to continue (and finish) a series.
Zelazny doesn’t hand-hold, and it’s this challenging yet rewarding nature of his storytelling that will have you reading back a few pages wondering if you missed something.
Overall, The Guns of Avalon is a brilliant continuation of the Amber saga, offering an amazing blend of fantasy, drama, and action. It’s a book that doesn’t just take you on a journey through its pages but leaves you contemplating the very nature of reality and fantasy. A must-read for fans of the genre, and a worthy challenge for newcomers!

8/10

My Rating:

The Guns of Avalon

Fantasy, Sci-Fi

Rojer Zelazny

The Guns of Avalon is the second book of The Chronicles of Amber; an epic fantasy series written by six- time Hugo Award winning and three-time Nebula Award winning author, Roger Zelazny.
The ten books that make up the series are told in two story arcs: The Corwin Cycle and the Merlin Cycle.

The Audible audio rendition of this classic sci-fi/fantasy series is started off by 2012 Audie Award nominee, Alessandro Juliani, who reads the first five books that make up the Corwin Cycle and whose narration vividly brings the world of Amber to life.

Across the worlds of Shadow, Corwin, Prince of blood royal, heir to the throne of Amber, gathers his forces for an assault that will yield up to him the crown that is rightfully his. But, a growing darkness of his own doing threatens Corwin's plans, an evil that stretches to the heart of the perfect kingdom itself where the demonic forces of Chaos mass to annihilate Amber and all who would rule there.

My Review:

And here we have the second instalment in the Amber series where we return to Corwin after he’s managed to (spoiler alert) regrow his eyes after his brother annoyingly stabbed them out, and after Corwin tore a whole in the fabric of the very universe, allowing ‘something’ bad to happen that threatens everything we know. Cliffhanger!
As we already know, you can’t use guns in Amber, though as the title of this one would suggest, Corwin knows of a kind of loophole to this whereby a certain jeweller’s rouge can be used in its stead – thus giving him the advantage he always needed to go up against his brother (Didn’t he learn his lesson the first time?). The plan is, as always, gain an army (from shadow earth), give them rifles that can be used when storming Amber, and take the throne by force.
And then enter Dara. This was a dynamic I really didn’t see coming, but Corwin’s great grand-niece shows up to join in the fight.
Corwin gets his army, surges forth into Amber and… finds that it’s already under attack! Eric finally steps down after being gravely wounded and passes the crown to Corwin, who of course becomes Regent.
Finally, an ending where everyone’s happy! Corwin back on the throne, Eric gets his comeuppance and everything is back the way it should be.
But of course that could never happen, could it?
Dara walks the pattern and reveals herself to be a creature of the Court of Shadows – and she wants to destroy both Amber and the shadows…
What I still love about the Amber series is the blending fantasy with what I consider to be science fiction. It’s not just sword and sorcery here, it’s multiple dimensions, (now) guns mixed in with what we normally expect to read in fantasy novels. And Zelazny has such a way to tie it all together.
And does he like ending on cliffhangers? Well who can blame him?
The character development is really impressive too. Considering that we are looking at a world with infinite ‘shadows’ and a vast host of characters it would be easy to forget about those less important to the story. But the thing is in Amber, they’re all important, and that’s a big factor in the desire to continue (and finish) a series.
Zelazny doesn’t hand-hold, and it’s this challenging yet rewarding nature of his storytelling that will have you reading back a few pages wondering if you missed something.
Overall, The Guns of Avalon is a brilliant continuation of the Amber saga, offering an amazing blend of fantasy, drama, and action. It’s a book that doesn’t just take you on a journey through its pages but leaves you contemplating the very nature of reality and fantasy. A must-read for fans of the genre, and a worthy challenge for newcomers!

So I’d heard of this series before but must admit that I thought of it as a bit of a filler. It’s seven hours long on audio and the premise isn’t action-oriented at all. But it was perfect for filling out a bit of spare time I had in between writing, editing and reading all the things on my TBR list. 
My problem was, that this book managed to turn itself from what was supposed to be a filler, to much more of a priority. Little did I know that this book was one of many in the series, a series which, as I write this review I have reached book three in, in less than a week. 
SO we start off with the MC being shown to us as a powerful CEO, business type guy. He’s whisked away to a fantasy world by a god and given the powers of a champion – one who can control his village from above. There’s more detail to this and I paraphrase because it gets us to the good part – this book is essentially a story-driven run through of a 4X game. And who didn’t used to love them when they were huge? I mean they’re probably still huge but as we get older we tend to play fewer games, until eventually you put down your controller for one last time and never pick it up again. But where were we? Oh yes. 
The story is about Charles doing his best to get his town: Tyne, to grow and flourish. It’s essentially all about managing finances, build queues, population growth, morale and happiness, administration styles – all that good stuff you play those games for. 
Fighting and wars, so far, this is not what this is about. There isn’t really action to be spoken of, nor are there any real threats as of yet, but we can see that they will come, as they always do in these kinds of games, uh, books. 
The seven hours flew past in this one, and I found myself quickly at the end of book two shortly after. I’m just so glad there’s a lot more to look forward to!

8/10

My Rating:

CivCEO

LitRPG, Settlement Building, Fantasy

Andrew Karevik

When Charles Morris is forced into retirement, the old multinational company CEO has to accept that it is all over. The days of running his financial empire have finally come to an end. All because of a stupid heart attack. Now what is there for him to do but to curl up in a corner and die?

While Charles is attending a fundraiser, however, something happens and he's transported into a strange medieval world where magic is real and legendary heroes coexist with mythical monsters.

Follow Charles as he takes on the challenge of a lifetime. Follow him as he builds roads and shops, hires heroes, develops alliances with neighboring villages...but also fights terrible foes while struggling to maintain the Happiness and Satisfaction levels of his village in the positives.

My Review:

So I’d heard of this series before but must admit that I thought of it as a bit of a filler. It’s seven hours long on audio and the premise isn’t action-oriented at all. But it was perfect for filling out a bit of spare time I had in between writing, editing and reading all the things on my TBR list.
My problem was, that this book managed to turn itself from what was supposed to be a filler, to much more of a priority. Little did I know that this book was one of many in the series, a series which, as I write this review I have reached book three in, in less than a week.
SO we start off with the MC being shown to us as a powerful CEO, business type guy. He’s whisked away to a fantasy world by a god and given the powers of a champion – one who can control his village from above. There’s more detail to this and I paraphrase because it gets us to the good part – this book is essentially a story-driven run through of a 4X game. And who didn’t used to love them when they were huge? I mean they’re probably still huge but as we get older we tend to play fewer games, until eventually you put down your controller for one last time and never pick it up again. But where were we? Oh yes.
The story is about Charles doing his best to get his town: Tyne, to grow and flourish. It’s essentially all about managing finances, build queues, population growth, morale and happiness, administration styles – all that good stuff you play those games for.
Fighting and wars, so far, this is not what this is about. There isn’t really action to be spoken of, nor are there any real threats as of yet, but we can see that they will come, as they always do in these kinds of games, uh, books.
The seven hours flew past in this one, and I found myself quickly at the end of book two shortly after. I’m just so glad there’s a lot more to look forward to!

"The Clockmaker's Daughter" by Kate Morton is the first book by this author that I've read—or more accurately, listened to. It deviates from my usual genres of Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and LitRPG. Additionally, it's narrated by a woman, which isn't typical for the genres I frequent. The recommendation came from my girlfriend, who suggested I might enjoy the way Morton shifts between the past and present in her stories. Given my interest in historical fiction, I thought it was worth a try.

The book begins with Elodie, an archivist living in London. She discovers a leather satchel containing a photograph and a sketchbook. Through her investigations, she learns that the sketchbook belonged to the famous artist Edward Radcliffe. What stands out is a drawing in the sketchbook of a twin-gabled house by a river, which Elodie recognizes from her childhood stories.

Elodie’s journey to uncover the history of this house and the identity of the woman in the photograph leads her into a deep dive into the past, back to the 1860s. During this era, a group of artists known as the Magenta Brotherhood, including Edward Radcliffe, gathered at Birchwood Manor, which is the same house depicted in the sketch.

Without giving away too much, I can say that the story involves Edward Radcliffe, who was engaged to a woman named Fanny but had an affair with his model, Lily Millington. On one fateful day in the 1800s, Fanny was shot dead, Lily disappeared along with a priceless family heirloom, and Edward's life changed forever.

One of the unique aspects of this book is the shifting perspectives and timeline. The transitions can be complex and occasionally disorienting, but each chapter starts with a time reference, which helps. However, there were moments when I found myself questioning what was happening, as there were many characters with their own backstories and motives.

Kate Morton's writing style is engaging and easy to follow, though the number of characters can be overwhelming at times. The pace of the story is generally well-balanced, but some parts, especially in the middle, seemed to drag.

A surprising element is the presence of a ghost as one of the narrators. I wasn't expecting anything supernatural, but I quickly caught on. Given my preference for fantasy and sci-fi, this twist didn't bother me; in fact, it added an intriguing layer to the narrative.

Despite its length, I enjoyed the audiobook version of The Clockmaker's Daughter. Although some sections felt unnecessary, I generally prefer longer books because they offer more content for the same price. After finishing the book, I read some reviews that highlighted similar issues, suggesting I'm not alone in my critique.

Overall, I would read another Kate Morton book, but I might check the blurbs first to ensure the plot aligns with my interests. Being from England, I appreciated the detailed descriptions of London and the surrounding areas, as well as the historical context. Morton's research into historical London is evident, and I look forward to exploring more of her mysteries in the future.

7/10

My Rating:

The Clockmaker's Daughter

Romance, Time Trave, Historical, Victorian

Kate Morton



Prepare to lose yourself in the enchanting new novel from Kate Morton.

'My father called me Birdie; he said I was his little bird. Others knew me as his child, the clockmaker’s daughter. Edward called me his muse, his destiny. I am remembered as a thief, an imposter, a girl who rose above her station, who was not chaste. My real name, no one remembers. The truth about that summer, no one else knows.'

In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor in rural Oxfordshire. Their plan: to spend a secluded summer month in a haze of inspiration and creativity. But by the time their stay is over, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared, a priceless heirloom is missing and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins.

Over 150 years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items: a sepia photograph of an arresting-looking woman in Victorian clothing, and an artist’s sketchbook containing the drawing of a twin-gabled house on the bend of a river.

Why does Birchwood Manor feel so familiar to Elodie? And who is the beautiful woman in the photograph? Will she ever give up her secrets?

Told by multiple voices across time, The Clockmaker's Daughter is a story of murder, mystery and thievery, of art, love and loss. And flowing through it like a river is the voice of a woman who stands outside time, whose name has been forgotten by history but who has watched it all unfold: Birdie Bell, the clockmaker’s daughter.

My Review:

"The Clockmaker's Daughter" by Kate Morton is the first book by this author that I've read—or more accurately, listened to. It deviates from my usual genres of Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and LitRPG. Additionally, it's narrated by a woman, which isn't typical for the genres I frequent. The recommendation came from my girlfriend, who suggested I might enjoy the way Morton shifts between the past and present in her stories. Given my interest in historical fiction, I thought it was worth a try.

The book begins with Elodie, an archivist living in London. She discovers a leather satchel containing a photograph and a sketchbook. Through her investigations, she learns that the sketchbook belonged to the famous artist Edward Radcliffe. What stands out is a drawing in the sketchbook of a twin-gabled house by a river, which Elodie recognizes from her childhood stories.

Elodie’s journey to uncover the history of this house and the identity of the woman in the photograph leads her into a deep dive into the past, back to the 1860s. During this era, a group of artists known as the Magenta Brotherhood, including Edward Radcliffe, gathered at Birchwood Manor, which is the same house depicted in the sketch.

Without giving away too much, I can say that the story involves Edward Radcliffe, who was engaged to a woman named Fanny but had an affair with his model, Lily Millington. On one fateful day in the 1800s, Fanny was shot dead, Lily disappeared along with a priceless family heirloom, and Edward's life changed forever.

One of the unique aspects of this book is the shifting perspectives and timeline. The transitions can be complex and occasionally disorienting, but each chapter starts with a time reference, which helps. However, there were moments when I found myself questioning what was happening, as there were many characters with their own backstories and motives.

Kate Morton's writing style is engaging and easy to follow, though the number of characters can be overwhelming at times. The pace of the story is generally well-balanced, but some parts, especially in the middle, seemed to drag.

A surprising element is the presence of a ghost as one of the narrators. I wasn't expecting anything supernatural, but I quickly caught on. Given my preference for fantasy and sci-fi, this twist didn't bother me; in fact, it added an intriguing layer to the narrative.

Despite its length, I enjoyed the audiobook version of The Clockmaker's Daughter. Although some sections felt unnecessary, I generally prefer longer books because they offer more content for the same price. After finishing the book, I read some reviews that highlighted similar issues, suggesting I'm not alone in my critique.

Overall, I would read another Kate Morton book, but I might check the blurbs first to ensure the plot aligns with my interests. Being from England, I appreciated the detailed descriptions of London and the surrounding areas, as well as the historical context. Morton's research into historical London is evident, and I look forward to exploring more of her mysteries in the future.

Ok I am fully invested. I can’t believe I waited so long to start this series but what’s done is done and we’re all a little embarrassed about it. 

Continuing on from the first book, as many sequels tend to do so. DotF follows Zac on his path to become supreme Hatchetman and protector of the people of earth, after the ‘fall’ of the system.

Growing stronger by the chapter with new skills, abilities and titles this book (and series so far) fits into the genre as perfectly as anyone could possibly expect.

But then I have to say, we have been seeing a lot of tropes appearing, along with a lot of familiarities – which in my mind is a good thing; tropes are tropes for a reason, and that reason is because we love them. Similarities that come to mind are the treasure hunt from Primal Hunter (love it too), the zombie apocalypse, and the split core like in Cradle (wait I need to write that one up too, don’t I?). Again I must reiterate: we like tropes! Give me what I expect from the genre and I’ll give you my time!

Moving back to the story, we get plenty of developments in the story and characters, with interaction with the wider world, the central government, Zack’s sister (spoiler alert) and the introduction of the shapeshifting assassins – something that needs a little more planning than brute force and ignorance to kill.

Alliances with alien races is the soup of the day for this book, which is a nice way to turn given that most humans we encounter with a bit of power have a tendency to become the worst of the worst. I would have liked a little more on the kingdom building front though, but I guess we’ll have to wait until after the treasure hunt finishes – which is where the book ended.

I’m really looking forward to where this series goes and I know if I opened my eyes I’d see the spoilers everywhere. But this series is too good for that, I’m just sitting back and enjoying the ride.

See you after the treasure hunt, back in Port Atwood where I’m hoping to see some amazing developments!

9/10

My Rating:

Defiance of the Fall, Book 2

LitRPG, Gamelit, Progression Fantasy

J F Brink

Earth is fast crumbling from the pressures of not only the invaders, but from nature itself....

Zac has managed to secure his island for the time being, growing into a true powerhouse through his endless struggles. However, becoming the strongest man in the world does not come without complications.

A target has been placed on his back. Natives, aliens - everyone has their eye on the throne. Even the System itself seems intent on forcing him into one desperate situation after another.

Zac knows he is running against the clock in his mission to find his family, prompting him to set out to New Washington in search of answers. Meanwhile, powerful beings from a long-forgotten cult gather in the dark, their goal unknown.

Don't miss book two of the hit Defiance of the Fall LitRPG series with over 20 million views on Royal Road.

My Review:

Ok I am fully invested. I can’t believe I waited so long to start this series but what’s done is done and we’re all a little embarrassed about it.

Continuing on from the first book, as many sequels tend to do so. DotF follows Zac on his path to become supreme Hatchetman and protector of the people of earth, after the ‘fall’ of the system.

Growing stronger by the chapter with new skills, abilities and titles this book (and series so far) fits into the genre as perfectly as anyone could possibly expect.

But then I have to say, we have been seeing a lot of tropes appearing, along with a lot of familiarities – which in my mind is a good thing; tropes are tropes for a reason, and that reason is because we love them. Similarities that come to mind are the treasure hunt from Primal Hunter (love it too), the zombie apocalypse, and the split core like in Cradle (wait I need to write that one up too, don’t I?). Again I must reiterate: we like tropes! Give me what I expect from the genre and I’ll give you my time!

Moving back to the story, we get plenty of developments in the story and characters, with interaction with the wider world, the central government, Zack’s sister (spoiler alert) and the introduction of the shapeshifting assassins – something that needs a little more planning than brute force and ignorance to kill.

Alliances with alien races is the soup of the day for this book, which is a nice way to turn given that most humans we encounter with a bit of power have a tendency to become the worst of the worst. I would have liked a little more on the kingdom building front though, but I guess we’ll have to wait until after the treasure hunt finishes – which is where the book ended.

I’m really looking forward to where this series goes and I know if I opened my eyes I’d see the spoilers everywhere. But this series is too good for that, I’m just sitting back and enjoying the ride.

See you after the treasure hunt, back in Port Atwood where I’m hoping to see some amazing developments!

I know this book is a little older than what I’m used to (from the 70’s!) but nevertheless, my uncle recommended it to me, so how could I refuse? Besides, it doesn’t read like it was released before I was born – except of course when every now and then the narrator would say: ‘said she’ instead of ‘she said’. Though I suppose it could be argued that this is more of a preference by Zelazny rather than an indicator of the date.
I have to start off by saying that Zelazny really has crafted something special and I can see why he’s got such a good reputation. Nine Princes in Amber is the first in the Chronicles of Amber series, and honestly I’m glad that there’s more to read. Not least of course because of how the first book ended (no spoilers)!
Our MC, Corwin, awakens with no memory of his identity, which perfectly sets the stage for a journey of self-discovery where we learn about Corwin, his past and his family as he tries to bluff his way through the conversations with the people who know him. Gravely injured from the beginning, we find out that Corwin has some more than human abilities to heal himself. 
But in this story, Corwin’s not just recovering his memory; he's rediscovering his place in the cosmic hierarchy of Amber and its shadow worlds. Because that’s what this book is – a fantasy through and through.
Blending a first-person perspective with a rich, descriptive style that immersed me for one in Corwin's world. The pacing is perfect, maintaining a balance between action-packed scenes and thoughtful introspection (and nail-biting scenes where we hope beyond hope Corwin manages to keep his inner monologue to himself). I was hooked from start to finish, and found that because the book in its entirety was relatively short, I was left wanting more. 
And then there’s the world-building. Amber, as the only true world, casts infinite reflections known as Shadows, a concept that's well written and described. Zelazny doesn't just create a setting; he crafts a multiverse, filled with so many characters that interweave through what I’m calling the multiverse here. 
Finally, there’s a great battle. What fantasy book would be complete without a huge war for the throne of the (insert appropriate noun here: City, World, Universe…) and this one does it so well. Gathering an army at his back, Corwin storms the throne of Amber, where his brother resides as the singular ruler. 
This one really set a high bar for the rest of the series, and I for one, can’t wait to continue.

9/10

My Rating:

Nine Princes in Amber

Fantasy, Sci-Fi

Rojer Zelazny

Amber is the one real world, casting infinite reflections of itself - Shadow worlds, that can be manipulated by those of royal Amberite blood. But the royal family is torn apart by jealousies and suspicion; the disappearance of the Patriarch Oberon has intensified the internal conflict by leaving the throne apparently up for grabs.

In a hospital on the Shadow Earth, a young man is recovering from a freak car accident; amnesia has robbed him of all his memory, even the fact that he is Corwin, Crown Prince of Amber, rightful heir to the throne - and he is in deadly peril . . .

The five books, Nine Princes in Amber, The Guns of Avalon, Sign of the Unicorn, The Hand of Oberon and The Courts of Chaos, together make up The Chronicles of Amber, Roger Zelazny's finest work of fantasy and an undisputed classic of the genre.

My Review:

I know this book is a little older than what I’m used to (from the 70’s!) but nevertheless, my uncle recommended it to me, so how could I refuse? Besides, it doesn’t read like it was released before I was born – except of course when every now and then the narrator would say: ‘said she’ instead of ‘she said’. Though I suppose it could be argued that this is more of a preference by Zelazny rather than an indicator of the date.
I have to start off by saying that Zelazny really has crafted something special and I can see why he’s got such a good reputation. Nine Princes in Amber is the first in the Chronicles of Amber series, and honestly I’m glad that there’s more to read. Not least of course because of how the first book ended (no spoilers)!
Our MC, Corwin, awakens with no memory of his identity, which perfectly sets the stage for a journey of self-discovery where we learn about Corwin, his past and his family as he tries to bluff his way through the conversations with the people who know him. Gravely injured from the beginning, we find out that Corwin has some more than human abilities to heal himself.
But in this story, Corwin’s not just recovering his memory; he's rediscovering his place in the cosmic hierarchy of Amber and its shadow worlds. Because that’s what this book is – a fantasy through and through.
Blending a first-person perspective with a rich, descriptive style that immersed me for one in Corwin's world. The pacing is perfect, maintaining a balance between action-packed scenes and thoughtful introspection (and nail-biting scenes where we hope beyond hope Corwin manages to keep his inner monologue to himself). I was hooked from start to finish, and found that because the book in its entirety was relatively short, I was left wanting more.
And then there’s the world-building. Amber, as the only true world, casts infinite reflections known as Shadows, a concept that's well written and described. Zelazny doesn't just create a setting; he crafts a multiverse, filled with so many characters that interweave through what I’m calling the multiverse here.
Finally, there’s a great battle. What fantasy book would be complete without a huge war for the throne of the (insert appropriate noun here: City, World, Universe…) and this one does it so well. Gathering an army at his back, Corwin storms the throne of Amber, where his brother resides as the singular ruler.
This one really set a high bar for the rest of the series, and I for one, can’t wait to continue.

Another book review and another Primal Hunter book. Honestly I can’t get enough of this series and if you’ve made it this far then I’m betting you cant either. 
This instalment features a battle for earth, some time in the Order of the Malefic Viper, and some hilarious encounters with some strong (and I feel sarcastic) creatures. Also if you think Jake has learnt how to name things since Hawky and Sylfie, then prepare to meet Sandy…
One of the focal points in this story is the fact that Jake isn’t the most powerful (overpowered) being in existence. Yes I know he’s only D grade and there are Gods etc etc. But to me he’s always been framed as having no equal. This book changes that. Without giving too much away, the old man grows as a character, and his rival Chosen shows he’s a force to be reckoned with.
But there’s so much going on, and that’s to be expected this far into a series isn’t it? The Order, Earth, the Risen, the United Cities, the battle against a faraway enemy, the voting for ruler of the planet… honestly it’s so well rounded that every chapter just brings you right back into another issue, and that keeps it both fresh and interesting.
All in all, another solid instalment to the Primal Hunter series, and one that ends (again) with me wanting more.
Maybe next book he’ll find a boat and name it Boaty. Who knows?

9/10

My Rating:

Primal Hunter Book 8

LitRPG, Gamelit, Fantasy, Progression Fantasy

Zogarth

Enjoying his time in the evil Order of the Malefic Viper, Jake finds himself unprepared as Earth calls…

Out of nowhere, Jake gets his alchemy training interrupted as he is forced back to the first universe to deal with a sudden emergency. Earth has been invaded by another Chosen with plans that do not include a fair fight, assisted by natives unsatisfied with the status quo.

The feeble political balance on Earth is shattered as factions take advantage of the sudden turmoil to exercise the wills of their gods. War breaks out, and every force finds themselves implicated one way or another.

On his way to face the enemy Chosen, Jake explores parts of Earth he has never seen before, makes new allies, gets to know more of the Malefic Viper’s most treasured secrets through incredibly invasive visions of the past, improves his abilities, and gets plenty of those sweet, sweet levels.

But before all that… it’s time to dispense justice upon the most evil beings in all of existence: Mushroom Men.

Book 8 of the hit Primal Hunter LitRPG Series is here. Grab your copy today!

About the Series: Experience an Apocalypse LitRPG with levels, classes, professions, skills, dungeons, loot, and all of the great traits of Progression Fantasy and LitRPG that you've come to expect. Follow Jake as he explores this new vast multiverse filled with challenges and opportunities. As he grows in power and slowly transforms from a bored office worker to a true apex hunter.

My Review:

Another book review and another Primal Hunter book. Honestly I can’t get enough of this series and if you’ve made it this far then I’m betting you cant either.
This instalment features a battle for earth, some time in the Order of the Malefic Viper, and some hilarious encounters with some strong (and I feel sarcastic) creatures. Also if you think Jake has learnt how to name things since Hawky and Sylfie, then prepare to meet Sandy…
One of the focal points in this story is the fact that Jake isn’t the most powerful (overpowered) being in existence. Yes I know he’s only D grade and there are Gods etc etc. But to me he’s always been framed as having no equal. This book changes that. Without giving too much away, the old man grows as a character, and his rival Chosen shows he’s a force to be reckoned with.
But there’s so much going on, and that’s to be expected this far into a series isn’t it? The Order, Earth, the Risen, the United Cities, the battle against a faraway enemy, the voting for ruler of the planet… honestly it’s so well rounded that every chapter just brings you right back into another issue, and that keeps it both fresh and interesting.
All in all, another solid instalment to the Primal Hunter series, and one that ends (again) with me wanting more.
Maybe next book he’ll find a boat and name it Boaty. Who knows?

I recently dove into "Defiance of the Fall" by J.F. Brink, and honestly, it was a thrilling ride. This first book in the series completely captivated me with its unique blend of fantasy and science fiction. Imagine waking up one day to find Earth fused with a game-like universe - that's exactly what happens to Zac, the protagonist, and I couldn't help but be pulled into his journey.

The funny thing was, after about two hours I realised that I’d started the book before, but had left it – probably with the release of the next part of a different series.

And this is what LitRPG is all about: Zac's transformation throughout the book was nothing short of remarkable. He starts off as just an average guy on a camping trip with his friends, but as the world around him suddenly changes, so does he. 
It's not just about him getting stronger or gaining new skills; it's about how he adapts, both mentally and emotionally, to a world that's constantly throwing curveballs at him. 
For a good long section of the book, Zac is alone and fighting for his life against strange creatures, twisted by the unknown.

The induction to the system is quite quick, with Zac winning an incomprehensibly weighted roll of a dice against an invading being (one of them has to die), and that’s how he firstly survives, but also gets some titles – essentially he’s the luckiest guy ever, but I’m OK with that.

The way the game elements are written into the story is brilliant. The action scenes were also vivid and intense, I found myself on the edge of my seat needing to know what happened next on more than one occasion.

I liked the secondary characters, with unexpected allies being there to explain things we wouldn’t otherwise have known (always good).

Sometimes, the plot did seem to follow a predictable path, typical of the genre – but that’s a part of why we all like it so much – we know the end goal but it’s about the journey isn’t it?

And then there’s my favourite: the city building. I had no idea it was going to be a thing, but ever since Life Reset I’ve wanted a good settlement builder. In this, we see Zac converting his previous campsite into a system-sanction settlement with a shipyard, then a teleporter, and then people! It’s only book one though, so not huge amounts happen with settlement building, but it’s there, and I suspect it’s going to be big. (I can’t wait).

Defiance of the Fall was an incredible read and certainly top tier LitRPG. It's a story of survival, transformation, and the sheer will to adapt in a world that's forever changed. It's perfect for LitRPG enthusiasts and anyone who loves a good tale of adventure and resilience. I can't wait to see where Zac's journey takes him next.

9/10

My Rating:

Defiance of the Fall, Book 1

LitRPG, Gamelit, Settlement Building, World Building, System Apocalypse, Base Defense, Progression Fantasy

J F Brink



Zac was alone in the middle of the forest when the world changed...

The whole planet was introduced to the multiverse by an unfeeling System... or God. A universe where an endless number of races and civilizations fought for power and dominion.

Zac finds himself stuck in the wilderness surrounded by deadly beasts, demons, and worse. Alone, lost and without answers, he must find the means to survive and get stronger in this new cut-throat reality.

With only a hatchet for his weapon, he'll have to seek out his family before the world collapses... or die trying.

Experience the start of the hit LitRPG series with nearly 20 Million views on Royal Road. For the first time, Defiance of the Fall is now available on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, and Audible narrated by Pavi Prozcko.

About the Series: Jump into a LitRPG Apocalypse story that merges LitRPG elements with eastern cultivation. Class systems, skill systems, endless choices for progression, it has everything fans of the genre love. Explore a vast universe full of mystery, adventure, danger and even aliens; where even a random passer-by might hold the power of a god. Follow Zac as he struggles to stake out a unique path to power as a mortal in a world full of cultivators.

My Review:

I recently dove into "Defiance of the Fall" by J.F. Brink, and honestly, it was a thrilling ride. This first book in the series completely captivated me with its unique blend of fantasy and science fiction. Imagine waking up one day to find Earth fused with a game-like universe - that's exactly what happens to Zac, the protagonist, and I couldn't help but be pulled into his journey.

The funny thing was, after about two hours I realised that I’d started the book before, but had left it – probably with the release of the next part of a different series.

And this is what LitRPG is all about: Zac's transformation throughout the book was nothing short of remarkable. He starts off as just an average guy on a camping trip with his friends, but as the world around him suddenly changes, so does he.
It's not just about him getting stronger or gaining new skills; it's about how he adapts, both mentally and emotionally, to a world that's constantly throwing curveballs at him.
For a good long section of the book, Zac is alone and fighting for his life against strange creatures, twisted by the unknown.

The induction to the system is quite quick, with Zac winning an incomprehensibly weighted roll of a dice against an invading being (one of them has to die), and that’s how he firstly survives, but also gets some titles – essentially he’s the luckiest guy ever, but I’m OK with that.

The way the game elements are written into the story is brilliant. The action scenes were also vivid and intense, I found myself on the edge of my seat needing to know what happened next on more than one occasion.

I liked the secondary characters, with unexpected allies being there to explain things we wouldn’t otherwise have known (always good).

Sometimes, the plot did seem to follow a predictable path, typical of the genre – but that’s a part of why we all like it so much – we know the end goal but it’s about the journey isn’t it?

And then there’s my favourite: the city building. I had no idea it was going to be a thing, but ever since Life Reset I’ve wanted a good settlement builder. In this, we see Zac converting his previous campsite into a system-sanction settlement with a shipyard, then a teleporter, and then people! It’s only book one though, so not huge amounts happen with settlement building, but it’s there, and I suspect it’s going to be big. (I can’t wait).

Defiance of the Fall was an incredible read and certainly top tier LitRPG. It's a story of survival, transformation, and the sheer will to adapt in a world that's forever changed. It's perfect for LitRPG enthusiasts and anyone who loves a good tale of adventure and resilience. I can't wait to see where Zac's journey takes him next.

This series has quickly become one of my favourites, and to be honest, I didn’t know this one was on its way out. Sure you can go and ready what’s out already, but what’s the Primal Hunter without the voice of the malefic viper?

I was really hoping that in this book, Jake was going to head back to the insect nest to take down his first C grade, but where this doesn’t actually happen – he does make his first C kill. And it’s a good one. I was waiting for someone to shout ‘Puma Check!’ but unfortunately it never happened. 

We had some great advancements in his, um, personal life – and that of Carmen. The scene where she finally managed to catch up to her old family is nothing short of fantastic. Revenge is always good. 

I’d have liked to have seen more of Sylfie in this book, but there was a lot going on, and she’s a busy bird. 

The series for me has kind of morphed into a power grab like it was at the start – struggles and hoping for the MC to level quickly, get new abilities and such so that he could keep fighting stronger and stronger creatures. But now, it’s a bit more like a cosy slice of life thing. Don’t get me wrong I don’t think it is that, or even supposed to be, but the way we know that Jake is going to be the No1 everything, he has no real threats, can pretty much do whatever he likes – yeah it’s just kind of ‘nice’.

This book mainly focusses on Jake and Carmen, but also has a fair amount of Academy stuff going on, which is a particular favourite of mine. 

In any case, the series goes on, from strength to strength and here I am waiting for book 8.

9/10

My Rating:

Primal Hunter Book 7

Gamelit, LitRPG, Slice of Life, Progression Fantasy

Zogarth

aving arrived at the Order of the Malefic Viper, Jake is eager to improve his alchemy....

However, reality can often be cruel. Because while trying to do just that, Jake will be dealing with the political landscape of the Order. Between hiding his identity as the Chosen of the Big Boss, being forced to attend get-togethers, visiting vampires to sell ancient memorabilia, and trying to actually learn some alchemy, Jake's busier than ever.

Earth also still calls. There, he helps friends deal with family issues by going on a nice road trip with Carmen and Sylphie. On the way, he can hopefully find time to hunt down the final Primas he needs—powerful monsters with unique key fragments—to participate in the upcoming system event dubbed the Seat of the Exalted Prima.

An event that hopefully—no, certainly—won’t have any unforeseen Bloodline-induced shenanigans.

Definitely not.
Book 7 of the hit Primal Hunter LitRPG series is here. Grab your copy today!

About the Series: Experience an Apocalypse LitRPG with levels, classes, professions, skills, dungeons, loot, and all of the great traits of progression fantasy and LitRPG that you've come to expect. Follow Jake as he explores this new vast multiverse filled with challenges and opportunities. Witness as he grows in power and slowly transforms from a bored office worker to a true apex hunter.

My Review:

This series has quickly become one of my favourites, and to be honest, I didn’t know this one was on its way out. Sure you can go and ready what’s out already, but what’s the Primal Hunter without the voice of the malefic viper?

I was really hoping that in this book, Jake was going to head back to the insect nest to take down his first C grade, but where this doesn’t actually happen – he does make his first C kill. And it’s a good one. I was waiting for someone to shout ‘Puma Check!’ but unfortunately it never happened.

We had some great advancements in his, um, personal life – and that of Carmen. The scene where she finally managed to catch up to her old family is nothing short of fantastic. Revenge is always good.

I’d have liked to have seen more of Sylfie in this book, but there was a lot going on, and she’s a busy bird.

The series for me has kind of morphed into a power grab like it was at the start – struggles and hoping for the MC to level quickly, get new abilities and such so that he could keep fighting stronger and stronger creatures. But now, it’s a bit more like a cosy slice of life thing. Don’t get me wrong I don’t think it is that, or even supposed to be, but the way we know that Jake is going to be the No1 everything, he has no real threats, can pretty much do whatever he likes – yeah it’s just kind of ‘nice’.

This book mainly focusses on Jake and Carmen, but also has a fair amount of Academy stuff going on, which is a particular favourite of mine.

In any case, the series goes on, from strength to strength and here I am waiting for book 8.

This book has been ready to take its place on my review pile for so long, ever since I read Iron Prince and recognised it as one of my favourite books of all. Seriously the wait from a 10/10 book to get the second was like torture, but here we are, and it’s been read!

After the events of Iron Prince (Spoilers) we are left wanting to know more. How Rei was going to grow, if he would ever reach Godhood, if he would finally confess his love for Aria, how his CAD would grow and evolve and so much more. And what about his real family? They were there somewhere right? Honestly there’s so much going on that you can see how the book’s such a monster.

Well there are answers. And they are Lots, yes, yes, quickly and kind of. 

To scratch that progression itch, Rei and Shido both grow as a character and a CAD. Rei develops more in the way of perception and intuition and Shido evolves, gains abilities and becomes exactly what you want it to – legendary. This interspliced with future segments looking back on the rise of Rei and Fire Song was particularly well done in my opinion, because we both knew that they were all going to have a meteoric rise, but also got to sit along for the ride. 

The book mainly focusses (in my opinion) around the first tournament that Rei and his squad are participating in and as always the fight scenes, the training and the intricate details of CAD fighting are really well done. All of the characters go through a ton of growth too, which was really nice to see, especially Logan.

Rei’s secrets come out, but Grant pulls off a fantastic heel turn to become one of the good guys and we learn a lot more about his past and upbringing – which in itself was well written and thought out. 

The only downside to the book – and I can only assume that we will find out in book 3 – is that the arc of Rei’s family seemed to be half-baked. It was the only think that let it down for me. There were scenes of intrigue like Rei getting offered wealth and riches by (unbeknownst to him) his real family – but then he figures it out – as does everyone else – and nothing ever really comes of it. There are a few shady-dealings scenes with them, but other than that, its kind of alluded to and then forgotten. For me, this should be addressed in book 3 and it’ll round off the story nicely.

All in all, This was pretty much everything I wanted from book 2 in this fantastic series, and I will no doubt be back for a second read before long – with these two books, there’s always something to pick up on the second time around.

9/10

My Rating:

Fire and Song: Warformed: Stormweaver, Book 2

Progression Fantasy, Progression, LitRPG, Military, Sci-Fi

Bryce O'Connor



The Iron Prince will claim his crown.

Reidon Ward's first semester at the Galens Institute hasn't been without reward. In just over half a year he's gone from the weakest cadet at school to one of the strongest in his class, and there's no one left who would argue that his Device, Shido, isn't the most terrifying CAD they've ever laid eyes on. Still, Rei knows that his climb has barely begun, like he knows that the true fight is only just starting.

After all… The Sectionals tournament has arrived.

Rei, along with Aria, Viv, Catcher, and a couple unexpected squadmates, are about to face the first real battle of their careers. Squaring off with some of the best Users in the Astra System, they're going to have to put everything they have—as individuals and as a team—into their coming fights if they want to ultimately end up standing at the top. As ever, though, their journey is hardly bound to be a smooth one.

Especially not when Rei and Aria begin to suspect that Shido may be even more formidable than it appears, much less as the powerful entities who've already taken notice of the 'Iron Prince of Galens' begin to make their moves, some casting their hands in his favor, others very much against…

My Review:

This book has been ready to take its place on my review pile for so long, ever since I read Iron Prince and recognised it as one of my favourite books of all. Seriously the wait from a 10/10 book to get the second was like torture, but here we are, and it’s been read!

After the events of Iron Prince (Spoilers) we are left wanting to know more. How Rei was going to grow, if he would ever reach Godhood, if he would finally confess his love for Aria, how his CAD would grow and evolve and so much more. And what about his real family? They were there somewhere right? Honestly there’s so much going on that you can see how the book’s such a monster.

Well there are answers. And they are Lots, yes, yes, quickly and kind of.

To scratch that progression itch, Rei and Shido both grow as a character and a CAD. Rei develops more in the way of perception and intuition and Shido evolves, gains abilities and becomes exactly what you want it to – legendary. This interspliced with future segments looking back on the rise of Rei and Fire Song was particularly well done in my opinion, because we both knew that they were all going to have a meteoric rise, but also got to sit along for the ride.

The book mainly focusses (in my opinion) around the first tournament that Rei and his squad are participating in and as always the fight scenes, the training and the intricate details of CAD fighting are really well done. All of the characters go through a ton of growth too, which was really nice to see, especially Logan.

Rei’s secrets come out, but Grant pulls off a fantastic heel turn to become one of the good guys and we learn a lot more about his past and upbringing – which in itself was well written and thought out.

The only downside to the book – and I can only assume that we will find out in book 3 – is that the arc of Rei’s family seemed to be half-baked. It was the only think that let it down for me. There were scenes of intrigue like Rei getting offered wealth and riches by (unbeknownst to him) his real family – but then he figures it out – as does everyone else – and nothing ever really comes of it. There are a few shady-dealings scenes with them, but other than that, its kind of alluded to and then forgotten. For me, this should be addressed in book 3 and it’ll round off the story nicely.

All in all, This was pretty much everything I wanted from book 2 in this fantastic series, and I will no doubt be back for a second read before long – with these two books, there’s always something to pick up on the second time around.

Wow I hadn’t been expecting to miss the characters as much as I did since the first book. I WAS surprised that Darius hadn’t hand waved himself back to life from the beginning - but I guess that was just wishful thinking, right?

Another book with my favourite trope - the academy. But this has something different. Again, not just sword and sorcery, but a trickle of weapons from the future (or cyclical past - whatever you get the point). And they aren’t just a total whitewash of OP-ness, but few and far between, used to fight an enemy with power that can’t be rivalled.

Belladonna is the BBEG and she fits the role perfectly. A great mix of sinister, mystery, power and outright blood-thirst. What more could you want?

And then there’s the depth to the characters. Dean Anders’ voice (narrated amazingly by Jamie Treselyan by the way) was something I didn’t know I’d missed since the last book, but as soon as he spoke it was like everything came rushing back to me.

Millicent, Adelaide and Oakes are the meat of this story, with the main drive being a split between preparing for a war that students perhaps shouldn’t be involved in, and trying to find a way to bring Darius back.

Oh and did I forget to mention that the ever tantalising threat of Darius’ father is still up there?

Honestly there’s a lot going on in this instalment of the training grounds, but it is well written and well narrated. Certainly a series that I’ll be continuing, and I hope that many others do too.

Because otherwise we’ll never know if the green rot gets its cure.

9/10

My Rating:

The Training Grounds, Book 2: From the Ashes

Magic, Swords, academy, progression

Jason Clark

After suffering devastating losses in the pursuit to destroy the reaper, Millicent, Adelaide, and Oakes try to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. As they prepare for another year at the Training Grounds, events unfold that provide hope—and the promise of more bloodshed.

The discovery of an ancient map presents a world of possibilities, along with whisperings of a device that holds the potential to bring Darius back. Millicent and her friends will embark on an epic journey and attempt the impossible—to cheat death. While increasing her control over the elements, a strange voice from beyond reaches out, offering a deadly proposal.

As the three students search for a way to bring Darius back—or decide to finally let him go, Dean Anders joins forces with Bao and Bixia to prepare the Training Grounds for an imminent attack. Not only must Anders juggle the external threats of Belladonna and the Unified Republic, but a new foe emerges, threatening to destroy the school from within.

The stakes are higher as cataclysmic battles bring Merchant Valley to the precipice of annihilation. Will the new weapons Anders creates for his prize students be enough? Can they possibly withstand the inevitable onslaught destined for the school? This time everyone must fight to stay alive—or die trying.

My Review:

Wow I hadn’t been expecting to miss the characters as much as I did since the first book. I WAS surprised that Darius hadn’t hand waved himself back to life from the beginning - but I guess that was just wishful thinking, right?

Another book with my favourite trope - the academy. But this has something different. Again, not just sword and sorcery, but a trickle of weapons from the future (or cyclical past - whatever you get the point). And they aren’t just a total whitewash of OP-ness, but few and far between, used to fight an enemy with power that can’t be rivalled.

Belladonna is the BBEG and she fits the role perfectly. A great mix of sinister, mystery, power and outright blood-thirst. What more could you want?

And then there’s the depth to the characters. Dean Anders’ voice (narrated amazingly by Jamie Treselyan by the way) was something I didn’t know I’d missed since the last book, but as soon as he spoke it was like everything came rushing back to me.

Millicent, Adelaide and Oakes are the meat of this story, with the main drive being a split between preparing for a war that students perhaps shouldn’t be involved in, and trying to find a way to bring Darius back.

Oh and did I forget to mention that the ever tantalising threat of Darius’ father is still up there?

Honestly there’s a lot going on in this instalment of the training grounds, but it is well written and well narrated. Certainly a series that I’ll be continuing, and I hope that many others do too.

Because otherwise we’ll never know if the green rot gets its cure.

This is a great listen - very military oriented… I should not be surprised of the quality that Podium produce!

Space, time distortion, aliens, guns and an android, this really scratches an itch that you know you have!

The story can be a little slow at times, though it's still enjoyable. I liked the way that the author has taken old and used standards in faraway colonist stories and struggles, and told them in a new and interesting way - it could have been the opposite for sure!

The AI personalities are fun too. I wonder if as AI evolves over the next few years, it's something we're destined to see in real life?

7/10

My Rating:

Wayward Galaxy

Sci-Fi, Military, Aliens, Space

Jason Anspach

The future isn’t what they expected.

A company of Army Rangers is sent on an interstellar colony ship to secure a foothold on a dangerous, alien planet through violence of action. Leaving behind a warring Earth flung headfirst into a conflict of mutual assured destruction, the Rangers and the accompanying crew of first colonists are guided on a 40-year journey by an unprecedented artificial intelligence.

But when they emerge from the frigid embrace of cryosleep, they awake to a nightmare, finding themselves greeted by the same ruthless enemy that brought about the ruin of Earth. Alone on a dangerous, alien planet and with no hope of rescue or relief, the military colonists are forced to finish the war they thought they’d left behind. And in an unknown galaxy, friends and enemies alike prove to be much more than they seem.

Wayward Galaxy is an explosive military science-fiction adventure featuring defective AIs, valorous soldiers, a brilliant scientist, and gritty combat written by Jason Anspach (Associated Press best seller and cocreator of Galaxy’s Edge) and J.N. Chaney (USA Today best seller and author of the Renegade series).

My Review:

This is a great listen - very military oriented… I should not be surprised of the quality that Podium produce!

Space, time distortion, aliens, guns and an android, this really scratches an itch that you know you have!

The story can be a little slow at times, though it's still enjoyable. I liked the way that the author has taken old and used standards in faraway colonist stories and struggles, and told them in a new and interesting way - it could have been the opposite for sure!

The AI personalities are fun too. I wonder if as AI evolves over the next few years, it's something we're destined to see in real life?

It’s clear to me that Mr. Brooks writes in a way (and a genre) that I enjoy. It’s also clear that Miles Meili is a narrator that I can listen to over and over. 

But this book offered something different from the usual dungeon core fun that the author is well known for, and very talented at.
This is a LitRPG… with stats!

Larek is a big lumberjack, though finds himself on the end of some rotten luck and is whisked away to a magical academy (best trope ever). While there he discovers that he has the ability to create fusions (essentially enchantments). 
Enchantments are the name of the game for this book and are detailed exactly how you would want them to be - in depth. 

The enchanting system is a multipart process depending on multiple skills and stats, and it’s very nice to see that it isn’t just a ‘you get the skill and you can do it’ kind of thing. It’s very clear that the author’s previous genre focus has lent itself very well to this kind of system, because it is detailed, in depth and makes a lot of sense.

Larek is very OP, though it’s balanced by the fact that he’s OP at making fusions, but not much else. He’s big and strong, but generally the enemies we see are better fought with magic and by spellcasters - which he isn’t (this isn’t always the case).

I found myself wanting more and more as the book went on and there was less and less to come - which is exactly how it should be!

I’m really looking forward to book 2 in this series, a great transition from Dungeon Core to LitRPG from Jonathan Brooks!

9/10

My Rating:

The Fusionist

LitRPG, Gamelit, Progression, Fantasy, Magic

Jonathan Brooks



A young man and his axe, along with a magical life he never asked for....

Larek Holsten is different from most people living in the Kingdom of Androthe, where his seven-foot-tall frame is looked at with suspicion and anger from its shorter residents; but as long as it helps him become the best Logger he can be, he doesn’t let it bother him all that much. He and his best friend, an axe with a powerful Fusion that causes it to become sharper and stronger than a normal tool, are feared by the trees in the magical forest north of his home, as he can fell the quickly growing monoliths faster than anyone else in the community.

Unfortunately, after visiting the local village, a deliberate misunderstanding lands Larek in trouble; as a result, he is taken away from his family and the only home he has ever known. Along the way, his dormant magical potential is discovered by those more knowledgeable than him, and he is ordered to attend some sort of academy for Mages.

The problem? Contrary to many who might jump at the chance of wielding powerful magic to fight the monsters that threaten the towns and cities around the Kingdom, Larek has absolutely no desire to become a Mage, especially when he has no choice in the matter. All he wants is to be allowed to return home to his family and to chop down the trees in the Rushwood Forest.

But once he discovers a unique talent that stems from his newly unlocked latent power, he might just have to stick around to see what he can do....

This weak-to-strong MC story contains LitRPG elements such as character progression and statistics, as well as a heavy crafting emphasis. No explicit sexual content or harems.

My Review:

It’s clear to me that Mr. Brooks writes in a way (and a genre) that I enjoy. It’s also clear that Miles Meili is a narrator that I can listen to over and over.

But this book offered something different from the usual dungeon core fun that the author is well known for, and very talented at.
This is a LitRPG… with stats!

Larek is a big lumberjack, though finds himself on the end of some rotten luck and is whisked away to a magical academy (best trope ever). While there he discovers that he has the ability to create fusions (essentially enchantments).
Enchantments are the name of the game for this book and are detailed exactly how you would want them to be - in depth.

The enchanting system is a multipart process depending on multiple skills and stats, and it’s very nice to see that it isn’t just a ‘you get the skill and you can do it’ kind of thing. It’s very clear that the author’s previous genre focus has lent itself very well to this kind of system, because it is detailed, in depth and makes a lot of sense.

Larek is very OP, though it’s balanced by the fact that he’s OP at making fusions, but not much else. He’s big and strong, but generally the enemies we see are better fought with magic and by spellcasters - which he isn’t (this isn’t always the case).

I found myself wanting more and more as the book went on and there was less and less to come - which is exactly how it should be!

I’m really looking forward to book 2 in this series, a great transition from Dungeon Core to LitRPG from Jonathan Brooks!

There aren’t many 10/10 books on this list, but credit where credit is due. You know those books that you just seem to fly through and all of a sudden it’s over? That’s this book. And well the series as a whole.
We all know what DCC is about in general, so some specifics. Book 6 is centred around a floor that focuses on card battles. Donut gets a deck and starts battling first NPCs, then other crawlers. And there’s a whole thing with Carl’s dad and his past… and there’s an uzi Jesus card! 
Honestly it’s so insane that at some points you’re left thinking ‘what the hell just happened’, and then Donut or Samantha pipe up with their usual hilarious responses and you’re right back where you need to be.
Well thought out mechanics, a juicy storyline, an amazing dungeon floor full of twists, turns, curses, illnesses, killings and card battles. I’m annoyed that I have to wait again for book 7.
Oh and if you were wondering about Jeff Hayes’s narration, you don’t have to. It’s perfect as always.

10/10

My Rating:

Dungeon Crawler Carl 6: The Eye of the Bedlam Bride

Dungeon, LitRPG, Magic, Card Magic, Fantasy, Dungeon Core

Matt Dinniman



A pantheon of forgotten gods. An old grudge between a talk show host, an heiress, and the man they shattered along the way. A rapidly deteriorating AI system. An inconvenient tiara upon the head of a friend.

It is bedlam on the eighth floor.

As management reels from the unexpected conclusion of the seventh level, the surviving crawlers stumble onto the eighth and find themselves scattered. It’s a map based on Earth’s final days before the collapse, where ethereal, intangible ghosts of humanity go about their lives, oblivious of the impending doom. Living amongst these ghosts are monsters based in Earth lore. “Legendary” creatures tied to the geographical location they inhabit.

Each team of crawlers is given a task: find and capture six of these beasts. The captured monsters will be turned into cards. Cards that can be summoned into battle again and again. The stronger and deadlier the better.

At the end of the floor, the bad guys will also have decks, and they will have some of the most powerful cards available. So it’s crucial to assemble the toughest squad possible.

But like always, there is a catch. There’s always a catch.

As Carl and Donut know all too well, just because someone is captured, it doesn’t mean they have been tamed.

Her name is Shi Maria. She’s easily the most powerful monster in their area. If they want to survive, they must capture her. But she is no ordinary beast. She’s intelligent. She was once married to a god, a god who is now missing. Her special attack is known to drive one insane. They call her the Bedlam Bride.

“Beware, beware. Beware the eye of the Bedlam Bride.”

My Review:

There aren’t many 10/10 books on this list, but credit where credit is due. You know those books that you just seem to fly through and all of a sudden it’s over? That’s this book. And well the series as a whole.
We all know what DCC is about in general, so some specifics. Book 6 is centred around a floor that focuses on card battles. Donut gets a deck and starts battling first NPCs, then other crawlers. And there’s a whole thing with Carl’s dad and his past… and there’s an uzi Jesus card!
Honestly it’s so insane that at some points you’re left thinking ‘what the hell just happened’, and then Donut or Samantha pipe up with their usual hilarious responses and you’re right back where you need to be.
Well thought out mechanics, a juicy storyline, an amazing dungeon floor full of twists, turns, curses, illnesses, killings and card battles. I’m annoyed that I have to wait again for book 7.
Oh and if you were wondering about Jeff Hayes’s narration, you don’t have to. It’s perfect as always.

Ok so there’s a lot to cover in this book, and it takes a wild trope swing that I hadn’t been expecting. But first, Jake.
Jake decides to take more crazy risks and they continue to pay off through sheer determination. I don’t want to say too much because spoilers, but more than a few things happen simply because system f***ery – which I’m totally fine with.

It’s well documented that this series is top tier and narrated amazingly by Mr Baldree (is there anything he can’t do?), so of you’ve already made it this far, I don’t really know what I can say to convince you either way.

I loved the fight with the queen and then king (you know what I’m talking about), because it really put into perspective how although Jake is some OP maniac, that he’s still a nothing compared to a C grade.

Then the trope twist – academy life! One of my favourites, Jake goes to a special levelling up school owned by Villy, and general school-life ensues. 

All in all, book six in the series was a winner… now onto Dungeon Crawler Carl 6!

8/10

My Rating:

Primal Hunter Book 6

LitRPG, GameLit, Progression Fantasy

Zogarth

Back from the treasure hunt, it’s time to explore Earth a little more....

But first, Jake has a family to visit, and an auction to attend. Then, it’s time to face the challenges the planet has to offer, and by using the many rewards from the treasure hunt, Jake aims to improve his repertoire while getting some more levels under his belt.

And what could be a better idea than invading a massive termite hive to craft a new weapon using the extremely powerful curse of resentment from an ancient vampire land? Yeah, nothing could possibly go wrong with that. Ancient curses are well-known for being harmless, after all.

Assuming all goes well–which it surely will–Jake has one more challenge he must face. Perhaps his most dangerous one yet.

That’s right, it’s back-to-school season.

School in this case being an ancient Order worshipping a Primordial snake god.

Book six of the hit Primal Hunter LitRPG series is here. Download today!

About the series: Experience an apocalypse LitRPG with levels, classes, professions, skills, dungeons, loot, and all of the great traits of progression fantasy and LitRPG that you've come to expect. Follow Jake as he explores this new vast multiverse filled with challenges and opportunities as he grows in power and slowly transforms from a bored office worker to a true apex hunter.

My Review:

Ok so there’s a lot to cover in this book, and it takes a wild trope swing that I hadn’t been expecting. But first, Jake.
Jake decides to take more crazy risks and they continue to pay off through sheer determination. I don’t want to say too much because spoilers, but more than a few things happen simply because system f***ery – which I’m totally fine with.

It’s well documented that this series is top tier and narrated amazingly by Mr Baldree (is there anything he can’t do?), so of you’ve already made it this far, I don’t really know what I can say to convince you either way.

I loved the fight with the queen and then king (you know what I’m talking about), because it really put into perspective how although Jake is some OP maniac, that he’s still a nothing compared to a C grade.

Then the trope twist – academy life! One of my favourites, Jake goes to a special levelling up school owned by Villy, and general school-life ensues.

All in all, book six in the series was a winner… now onto Dungeon Crawler Carl 6!

Ok so who wouldn’t like the concept? Civilisation is divided by the colour of one’s skin. The reds are expected to work and work and work to terraform mars, while the golds sit in their ivory towers. The MC’s wife is brutally taken from him and this one’s all about revenge. 

A quick face-off style revamp, and Darrow is now a gold. Off to a training institute, he has to not only fit in with the rest, but also become something better than any of them.
Becoming a brutal (pretty much monster), he gives them what for, and discovers along the way that he might not be the only one with this idea.
I really enjoyed the book, though at times I felt like it dragged a little but honestly, it took nothing away from the enjoyment of the story, the world and the characters. A friend sent this as a recommendation and I have to say, more please!

7/10

My Rating:

Red Rising

Progression, Military, Sci-Fi

Pierce Brown



Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children. But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet.

Darrow - and Reds like him - are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class. Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity's overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society's ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies...even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

My Review:

Ok so who wouldn’t like the concept? Civilisation is divided by the colour of one’s skin. The reds are expected to work and work and work to terraform mars, while the golds sit in their ivory towers. The MC’s wife is brutally taken from him and this one’s all about revenge.

A quick face-off style revamp, and Darrow is now a gold. Off to a training institute, he has to not only fit in with the rest, but also become something better than any of them.
Becoming a brutal (pretty much monster), he gives them what for, and discovers along the way that he might not be the only one with this idea.
I really enjoyed the book, though at times I felt like it dragged a little but honestly, it took nothing away from the enjoyment of the story, the world and the characters. A friend sent this as a recommendation and I have to say, more please!

Ok I’ll admit it, I didn’t realise that this was written by the author of War Core until after finishing the thing. Why am I not surprised? The premise is really innovative and engaging and again I’ve found a sci-fi gamelit that I really enjoyed. 
The military component is very well researched and thought out and I loved the use of fantasy creatures in a futuristic setting. Especially the gnomes. Gnomes suck. The third book, Sarton station was my favourite, so you can be assured the series gets even better as it goes on.
If you’re looking for a futuristic, sci-fi dungeon core that makes you root for the core, even though it isn’t really a person (but kind of is), then this is absolutely the book for you.

Jack Voraces also does a great job with the narration.

8/10

My Rating:

Derelict

Base Defense, Dungeon Core, LitRPG

Dean Henegar



One captain’s death might turn out to be humanity’s best chance at survival.

As humanity expands into the stars, it discovers the universe is a hostile place.

When Captain Slater of the USS Franklin is assigned to a deep-space reconnaissance mission, his ship is destroyed by an unknown alien race.

Much to his surprise, Slater isn’t killed - he’s transformed. He is now a “derelict” - a consciousness bound to his old vessel.

Slater must quickly adapt to his new existence before raiders, alien armies, and mysterious forces seek to destroy him for a second and final time.

My Review:

Ok I’ll admit it, I didn’t realise that this was written by the author of War Core until after finishing the thing. Why am I not surprised? The premise is really innovative and engaging and again I’ve found a sci-fi gamelit that I really enjoyed.
The military component is very well researched and thought out and I loved the use of fantasy creatures in a futuristic setting. Especially the gnomes. Gnomes suck. The third book, Sarton station was my favourite, so you can be assured the series gets even better as it goes on.
If you’re looking for a futuristic, sci-fi dungeon core that makes you root for the core, even though it isn’t really a person (but kind of is), then this is absolutely the book for you.

Jack Voraces also does a great job with the narration.

Ok well I have to start with saying I’m annoyed. Annoyed because now I’m going to have to read the Flesh Golem’s Tale of Resurgence… because I just can’t leave Varney out there all alone!

The story, characters and creatures are so unique, and I hadn’t been expecting to be surprised in a genre that I’ve been immersed in for a very long time. 

Yes there are a few gruesome parts and yes there are one or two narrator pronunciation errors, but for me it does nothing to take away from the story. I’ll be reading more from Mr. Wilkinson for sure.

Storyline: 9/10
Character Depth: 8/10
Narration: 7/10

7/10

My Rating:

The Villain's Chef

LitRPG, Gamelit, Fantasy, Dungeon

Cailan Wilkinson

With great power comes great appetite!

Varney Lorington, head chef and proprietor of The Harvest Spread, was just your average self-aggrandizing chef—until fragments of a lost world impacted Earth, leaving the planet in a state of transformation! Now Varney serves as personal chef to his new master: a thief, child abductor, and murderer by the name of Viral.

In a desperate attempt to gain power and build an empire, Viral steals two items from the Adventurer’s Guild. One that allows him to leave the fragment moments after it impacts Earth, and another that secures him his very own personal chef.

On the run from the guild and hounded by quickly manifesting monsters, Viral, Varney, and 10 orphans are forced to flee into a dungeon. A dungeon that just so happens to be composed entirely of food matter. Trapped in the food dungeon, and with his enemies closing in from all sides, Varney concocts a treacherous plan to betray Viral and seize the villain's power for himself.
©2023 Cailan Wilkinson (P)2023 Cailan Wilkinson

My Review:

Ok well I have to start with saying I’m annoyed. Annoyed because now I’m going to have to read the Flesh Golem’s Tale of Resurgence… because I just can’t leave Varney out there all alone!

The story, characters and creatures are so unique, and I hadn’t been expecting to be surprised in a genre that I’ve been immersed in for a very long time.

Yes there are a few gruesome parts and yes there are one or two narrator pronunciation errors, but for me it does nothing to take away from the story. I’ll be reading more from Mr. Wilkinson for sure.

Storyline: 9/10
Character Depth: 8/10
Narration: 7/10

I was really looking forward to this book after finishing the first, and I have to say that it didn’t disappoint in the slightest. A lot of time has passed, which allowed Arthur to learn more about his cards, how they work and life in general away from his border town. I’m also a sucker for the ‘tournament’ trope, so that was a good addition for me. 

Competing against his friends and enemies, Arthur must try to gain the favour of a new legendary dragon so that he can cement himself as a dragon rider of note. 
I really enjoyed how the types of dragons have different personalities that match their colours, and without giving away any spoilers, the last two hours of the book really had me wondering how Arthur was going to get out of his ‘sticky situation’ alive. 

All in all, a great second book that has made me wish book 3 was out sooner. Plus, as usual it goes without saying that Luke Daniels gave the book life with his brilliant performance.

Storyline: 9/10
Character Depth: 9/10
Narration: 9/10

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9/10

My Rating:

All the Skills, Book 2

Gamelit, LitRPG, Magic, Card Magic

Honor Rae



With his new card, Master of Body Enhancement, slotted in his heart deck, Arthur has his hands full discovering how he can best pair it with his powerful Master of Skills card.

Time is not on his side. A once-in-a-generation legendary dragon egg has been laid. But the competition to bond with it will pit Arthur against the most powerful card-wielders in his generation…including his own cousin.

Don’t miss book 2 of this LitRPG card deck-building series with over 3,500+ ratings on Amazon!

My Review:

I was really looking forward to this book after finishing the first, and I have to say that it didn’t disappoint in the slightest. A lot of time has passed, which allowed Arthur to learn more about his cards, how they work and life in general away from his border town. I’m also a sucker for the ‘tournament’ trope, so that was a good addition for me.

Competing against his friends and enemies, Arthur must try to gain the favour of a new legendary dragon so that he can cement himself as a dragon rider of note.
I really enjoyed how the types of dragons have different personalities that match their colours, and without giving away any spoilers, the last two hours of the book really had me wondering how Arthur was going to get out of his ‘sticky situation’ alive.

All in all, a great second book that has made me wish book 3 was out sooner. Plus, as usual it goes without saying that Luke Daniels gave the book life with his brilliant performance.

Storyline: 9/10
Character Depth: 9/10
Narration: 9/10

#books #bookreview #litrpg #gamelit #reading #kingdombuilding #sliceoflife #litrpgbooks #fantasy #audiobook #bookstagram #booklover #reading #bookworm #bookish #booklover #author #sci-fi #litrpg #alltheskills #honorrae #dragons #deckbuilding #cardmagic

You know how you love a specific sub-genre and have no idea how to find great books in it? This was one of the times for me where the narrator reached out and told me to listen to this book, and I’ve never been so accurately assumed.

The story is of a man named Darius, a simple small-town farm hand who receives an invitation to attend The Training Grounds – the most prestigious academy in all of the Merchant Valley. A group of friends quickly form with their own interesting back stories, skill sets and most importantly, wonderfully portrayed voices by a very talented narrator.  
Secret plots, ominous visions and a plethora of interesting characters with unknown intent kept me listening, and listening, and listening… and then it was over. But at 19 hours for a single credit too? It’s basically robbery, right?

But then… it turned into something different. It had to, right? Because that’s what always keeps us guessing with the books we love. Suddenly my second favourite genre began to creep in: time travel. No I wont spoil it, and no I wont go into too much detail, but this book really did have everything I wanted but had somehow forgotten along the way.
So many decisions to make of who to trust, who to like and who to just outright hate. I loved this book, and I hope you will too.

Special praise for the narrator too. He goes out of his way to bring the characters to life with voices, actions and everything else you’d want from a book of many characters!

9/10

My Rating:

The Training Grounds

magic, swords, sorcery, coming of age, academy, time travel

Jason Clark



Debut author Jason Clark presents an exciting new genre-bending sci-fi/fantasy story set in a brutal future world, where swords settle disputes and those who can control the elements are the most feared warriors. Get ready for a fantastic escape from reality.

When Darius receives an invitation to attend the Training Grounds, he wonders why an insignificant farm boy would be asked to join the most elite training academy in Merchant Valley. The only thing special about him is that he has unsettling visions he can’t understand. Despite the unknown, he accepts this privilege, and with his best friend, they set out on this new adventure. While there, they quickly form alliances with a skilled archer, a talented blacksmith, and a powerful wielder of the elements.

Together, this new band of friends will learn that not all is as it seems at this new school. In fact, secret plots abound. It makes them question everything and everyone, including the head of the school, Dean Anders. Now it’s up to this adventurous group to uncover the truth about their world and find out the meaning of Darius’s vision. Visions that include a weapon known as the reaper that carries with it apocalyptic repercussions. But between classes, finding love, and training, will he and his friends be able to discover the truth before it’s too late?

My Review:

You know how you love a specific sub-genre and have no idea how to find great books in it? This was one of the times for me where the narrator reached out and told me to listen to this book, and I’ve never been so accurately assumed.

The story is of a man named Darius, a simple small-town farm hand who receives an invitation to attend The Training Grounds – the most prestigious academy in all of the Merchant Valley. A group of friends quickly form with their own interesting back stories, skill sets and most importantly, wonderfully portrayed voices by a very talented narrator.
Secret plots, ominous visions and a plethora of interesting characters with unknown intent kept me listening, and listening, and listening… and then it was over. But at 19 hours for a single credit too? It’s basically robbery, right?

But then… it turned into something different. It had to, right? Because that’s what always keeps us guessing with the books we love. Suddenly my second favourite genre began to creep in: time travel. No I wont spoil it, and no I wont go into too much detail, but this book really did have everything I wanted but had somehow forgotten along the way.
So many decisions to make of who to trust, who to like and who to just outright hate. I loved this book, and I hope you will too.

Special praise for the narrator too. He goes out of his way to bring the characters to life with voices, actions and everything else you’d want from a book of many characters!

Firstly, you get A lot of bang for your credit with this one. At 25 hours long, if you really want to get your teeth into something with a lot of meat, then this is the book for you. A LitRPG with a female MC, narrated by Andrea Parsneau this really is tier 1 gamelit. 

The story follows the life of Ilea, a young woman with a troubled past who suddenly finds herself in a magical world brimming with danger. After awakening a unique healing ability (always good), Ilea embarks on a quest to explore her newfound powers and navigate the treacherous landscapes of this new world. There are plenty of people, both good and bad and a handful of separate story arcs – which for me is where it loses some marks.
I know that a lot of people want multiple stories that intertwine in new and complex ways, but to me this meant that as my attention wandered, I was quickly lost in the story and had no idea what was happening or where we were. (It’s not such a bad thing to have a gripe with though, is it?).

The world is rich and diverse, infused with intricate details, unique magic systems, and fascinating lore. From vast and perilous dungeons to lush forests teeming with mythical creatures, each setting really does feel alive and vibrant. The author's attention to detail creates a vivid and tangible backdrop for the story, enhancing the overall reading experience.

The action sequences in Azarinth Healer are intense, fast-paced, and expertly choreographed. Whether it's battling fearsome monsters or engaging with deadly elves, Rhaegar's vivid descriptions and precise writing style make the action scenes come alive, keeping me on the edge of my seat, and having said that I quickly became lost, when a battle scene arrived I knew exactly who I was rooting for. The strategic nature of the LitRPG elements adds an additional layer of excitement, as Ilea gains experience, levels up, and learns new skills to enhance her healing abilities.

I quite liked that the MC was portrayed as an unfeeling monster, cocky almost. It would be exactly how someone would act if they felt no pain, but also managed to best their opponents even when they’re much higher levels.

The character development in Azarinth Healer though is a definite highlight. Ilea faces numerous challenges, both physical and emotional, and her growth as a character is palpable, and I did find myself rooting for her every step of the way. The supporting cast is also well-developed, with each character bringing their unique personality and motivations to the story.

Without a doubt the strengths of Azarinth Healer make it a worthwhile addition to any fantasy enthusiast's bookshelf.

Storyline: 7/10
Character Depth: 8/10
Narration: 9/10

8/10

My Rating:

Azarinth Healer

LitRPG, GameLit, Fantasy, Progression Fantasy, Progression

Rhaegar

Ilea likes punching things. And eating.

Unfortunately, there aren’t too many career options for hungry brawlers. Instead, the plan is to quit her crappy fast-food job, go to college, and become a fully functioning member of society. Essentially—a fate worse than death.

So maybe it's lucky that she wakes up one day in a strange world where a bunch of fantasy monsters are trying to kill her?

On the bright side, "killing those monsters right back" is now a viable career path! For she soon discovers her new home runs on a set of game-like rules that will allow her to punch things harder than in her wildest dreams. Well, maybe not her wildest dreams, but it’s close.

With no quest to follow, no guide to show her the way, and no real desire to be a Hero—Ilea embarks on a journey to discover a world full of magic. Magic she can use to fight even bigger monsters.

She’s struggling to survive, has no idea what will happen next, and is loving every minute of it. Except, and sometimes also, when she’s poisoned and/or has set herself on fire. It’s complicated.

Listen to the story that took Royal Road by storm with more than 60 million views and counting.

My Review:

Firstly, you get A lot of bang for your credit with this one. At 25 hours long, if you really want to get your teeth into something with a lot of meat, then this is the book for you. A LitRPG with a female MC, narrated by Andrea Parsneau this really is tier 1 gamelit.

The story follows the life of Ilea, a young woman with a troubled past who suddenly finds herself in a magical world brimming with danger. After awakening a unique healing ability (always good), Ilea embarks on a quest to explore her newfound powers and navigate the treacherous landscapes of this new world. There are plenty of people, both good and bad and a handful of separate story arcs – which for me is where it loses some marks.
I know that a lot of people want multiple stories that intertwine in new and complex ways, but to me this meant that as my attention wandered, I was quickly lost in the story and had no idea what was happening or where we were. (It’s not such a bad thing to have a gripe with though, is it?).

The world is rich and diverse, infused with intricate details, unique magic systems, and fascinating lore. From vast and perilous dungeons to lush forests teeming with mythical creatures, each setting really does feel alive and vibrant. The author's attention to detail creates a vivid and tangible backdrop for the story, enhancing the overall reading experience.

The action sequences in Azarinth Healer are intense, fast-paced, and expertly choreographed. Whether it's battling fearsome monsters or engaging with deadly elves, Rhaegar's vivid descriptions and precise writing style make the action scenes come alive, keeping me on the edge of my seat, and having said that I quickly became lost, when a battle scene arrived I knew exactly who I was rooting for. The strategic nature of the LitRPG elements adds an additional layer of excitement, as Ilea gains experience, levels up, and learns new skills to enhance her healing abilities.

I quite liked that the MC was portrayed as an unfeeling monster, cocky almost. It would be exactly how someone would act if they felt no pain, but also managed to best their opponents even when they’re much higher levels.

The character development in Azarinth Healer though is a definite highlight. Ilea faces numerous challenges, both physical and emotional, and her growth as a character is palpable, and I did find myself rooting for her every step of the way. The supporting cast is also well-developed, with each character bringing their unique personality and motivations to the story.

Without a doubt the strengths of Azarinth Healer make it a worthwhile addition to any fantasy enthusiast's bookshelf.

Storyline: 7/10
Character Depth: 8/10
Narration: 9/10

I was a little put off with this one because it’s written in the present tense - but you do king of get used to it after a while.
Entry into the game seems quite standard and whilst I’m not generally into the harem thing, but it’s not really that evident in the story.
It’s an easy listen and short gap filler, with a tantalising twist at the end.
#books #bookreview #reading #sliceoflife #fantasy #bookrelease #newbook #litrpg #gamelit #audiobook #bookreview #booktok

6/10

My Rating:

Destiny’s Champions: Sigma Worlds, Book 1

LitRPG, Fantasy, Audiobook, Slice of Life, Gamelit

D. Levesque

Jason Morgan's life has taken a turn for the worse.

Once an able-bodied man, he is now confined to a wheelchair after a devastating car accident. Two experimental surgeries later, he still cannot walk. As a ward of the State, he longs for the freedom he once had and the ability to walk again.

Enter Games For Life, a gaming company that has developed a massive VRMMORPG system. With their groundbreaking pod technology, Jason is invited to test the system and explore the vast world of Destiny: a place where time and reality are not what they seem, and anything is possible.

At first, Jason is skeptical, but when he discovers he can walk again in the game, he is overjoyed. He starts to spend more and more time in the virtual world, making friends and building relationships he never thought possible.

However, as he delves deeper into the game, he begins to realize that there is more to it than he first thought. The fine print on the contract he signed becomes more important, and he discovers that he may be in over his head.

Adventure waits for no one, and Jason finds himself embroiled in a battle to save the game from a dangerous threat. With the help of his newfound friends, he must face down foes and solve puzzles to save not just the game but the world outside of it.

In the end, Jason discovers that Destiny is not just a game but a way of life. He learns to appreciate the people in his real life and the new ones he met in the virtual world.

A tale of loss, friendship, and adventure, Destiny's Champions is a thrilling ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

My Review:

I was a little put off with this one because it’s written in the present tense - but you do king of get used to it after a while.
Entry into the game seems quite standard and whilst I’m not generally into the harem thing, but it’s not really that evident in the story.
It’s an easy listen and short gap filler, with a tantalising twist at the end.
#books #bookreview #reading #sliceoflife #fantasy #bookrelease #newbook #litrpg #gamelit #audiobook #bookreview #booktok

Ok so I saw this series recommended so, so often that I couldn’t just ignore it. The first thing to note is that it’s narrated with an Australian accent - because it’s supposed to be - it was just a little bit of a shock being used to the normal American tone. Not that it was bad though, I actually quite enjoyed it! The system seemed interesting and engaging and I found myself wanting to listen more and more, until suddenly I was lost. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but there’s just so much going on that once I’d let my attention wander for a moment, I had no idea what was happening. I know the answer is to concentrate more, but this doesn’t happen with other books I read, so I honestly don’t know what the issue was. At the end, I was rooting for the good guys though as I caught up with the world… the only thing was, was that I didn’t feel overly compelled to read the next right away.

6/10

My Rating:

He Who Fights With Monsters

LitRPG, GameLit, Progression Fantasy

Shirtaloon



Selected as one of Audible's best audiobooks of 2021

Jason wakes up in a mysterious world of magic and monsters.

It’s not easy making the career jump from office-supplies-store middle manager to heroic interdimensional adventurer. At least, Jason tries to be heroic, but it's hard to be good when all your powers are evil.

He’ll face off against cannibals, cultists, wizards, monsters...and that’s just on the first day. He’s going to need courage, he’s going to need wit, and he’s going to need some magic powers of his own. But first, he’s going to need pants.

After cementing itself as one of the best-rated serial novels on Royal Road with an astonishing 13 million views, He Who Fights with Monsters is now brought to you in professionally formatted audio.

My Review:

Ok so I saw this series recommended so, so often that I couldn’t just ignore it. The first thing to note is that it’s narrated with an Australian accent - because it’s supposed to be - it was just a little bit of a shock being used to the normal American tone. Not that it was bad though, I actually quite enjoyed it! The system seemed interesting and engaging and I found myself wanting to listen more and more, until suddenly I was lost. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but there’s just so much going on that once I’d let my attention wander for a moment, I had no idea what was happening. I know the answer is to concentrate more, but this doesn’t happen with other books I read, so I honestly don’t know what the issue was. At the end, I was rooting for the good guys though as I caught up with the world… the only thing was, was that I didn’t feel overly compelled to read the next right away.

Ok I’ll admit it… don’t kill me! I may have judged a book by it’s cover a little bit with this series - and yes, I listened to the whole series in one go. 

It’s a really really innovative story’s and system and I can’t believe I didn’t listen sooner. Nick Podehl (and later Eric Michael Summerer) once again does the perfect narration job and I can’t wait for more to come! The MC is powerful, cocky and untouchable - everything you’d want from a man who’d named himself “Jack Alltrades” and started the company ‘Alltrades Inc.’

Storyline: 8/10
Character Depth: 8/10
Narration: 10/10

8/10

My Rating:

Master of None: All Trades

LitRPG, Progression Fantasy, Settlement Building, Progression

Shane Walker

Alex is broke.

He's pretty much always been broke. A misspent youth led to mistakes that led to convictions and plea deals. No career, no education, no hope.

Now he has a chance to make things right for him and his family when the newest immersive MMO comes with the ability to convert money earned in the game into real currency. Well, it's cryptocurrency, but that's real-ish, right? Seeing an opportunity, Alex joins The Realms as Jack Alltrades, looking to make money any way he can. He may be a Master of None, but he's determined to learn every way possible to make money and turn his life around. Along the way, he'll find answers to important questions like:

Can he win employee of the month?
Do gnomes dream of electric sheep?
How many kobolds does it take to swing a pickaxe?
Can NPCs commit tax fraud?
Okay, maybe he won't answer most of those, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't come follow the high-margin adventures of Jack Alltrades!

My Review:

Ok I’ll admit it… don’t kill me! I may have judged a book by it’s cover a little bit with this series - and yes, I listened to the whole series in one go.

It’s a really really innovative story’s and system and I can’t believe I didn’t listen sooner. Nick Podehl (and later Eric Michael Summerer) once again does the perfect narration job and I can’t wait for more to come! The MC is powerful, cocky and untouchable - everything you’d want from a man who’d named himself “Jack Alltrades” and started the company ‘Alltrades Inc.’

Storyline: 8/10
Character Depth: 8/10
Narration: 10/10

Jonathan Brooks I feel like I’ve committed a crime! 

You sent me an audible code for Bio Dungeon: Omnibus and I was happy before, not knowing what I was missing from this godforsaken listen…
I was shocked when I saw that it was 45hrs long, shocked when I saw that it was actually three books in one, and shocked at how much I want to listen to more dungeon core books!
I’ve listened to a few, though this one just has everything I wanted, plus, what is basically two independent stories rolled into one… so is this like 6 books worth?? 
If anyone here likes both dungeon core books AND getting an absolute bargain, go get this one!

Storyline: 8/10
Character Depth: 8/10
Narration: 8/10

8/10

My Rating:

Bio Dungeon: Omnibus

LitRPG, Gamelit, Dungeon Core

Jonathan Brooks

In the icy north exists a young orphan, and a war on a microscopic scale.

Marstin Hardgrove was orphaned at a young age, forced to live on the streets, and needed to turn to thievery to survive. When a job goes wrong and the young man was caught, he was forced to eat a handful of dirt and rocks before being abandoned to die; unbeknownst to Marstin, he also ended up swallowing a tiny dungeon crystal.

Thrown into a highly unusual world filled with cells, bacteria, and other dangerous pathogens, the tiny dungeon crystal was, at first, confused by his surroundings. After seeing how the different complex systems of the body worked together, the crystal was quickly fascinated; it wasn’t long before he decided that, instead of trying to escape, he wanted the body for himself. He desired to possess the living being for his own use, wholly unlike anything the world had ever seen before.

To get to that point, however, the fledgling dungeon crystal has to learn how to survive against the different enemies trying to destroy him. In short: He has to turn the body into a dungeon.

But will his new Bio Dungeon be enough to keep the crystal–and the body he wants to possess–alive?

Contains LitRPG/GameLit elements, such as character progression, statistics, and resource management. Also contains an in-depth, science-based portrayal of how the immune system responds to foreign pathogens via different white blood cells and other microscopic protectors, complete with a glossary of medical terms (factual and fictional). No harems, sexual content, or foul language.

My Review:

Jonathan Brooks I feel like I’ve committed a crime!

You sent me an audible code for Bio Dungeon: Omnibus and I was happy before, not knowing what I was missing from this godforsaken listen…
I was shocked when I saw that it was 45hrs long, shocked when I saw that it was actually three books in one, and shocked at how much I want to listen to more dungeon core books!
I’ve listened to a few, though this one just has everything I wanted, plus, what is basically two independent stories rolled into one… so is this like 6 books worth??
If anyone here likes both dungeon core books AND getting an absolute bargain, go get this one!

Storyline: 8/10
Character Depth: 8/10
Narration: 8/10

I’d say Ready Player One meets Halo is a good description. I liked the uniqueness of this in the way that the MC is tasked with keeping the peace and looking after the new players. A good amount of unique skills, but maybe the story could be a little predictable. Either way, I’d read more books by Mr Knight.

Sci-Fi LitRPG needs more books like this, and slowly the genre is seeing more and more, but it’s still outweighed by the fantasy/Isekai/apocalypse books. Don’t get me wrong, I really don’t have a preference, but when I see a Sci-Fi LitRPG pop up in my to read list, I can’t help but look forward to it.
Game mechanics were easy to follow and the pacing was well matched to the suspense of the overarching plot and theme of the book.

Storyline: 7/10
Character depth: 8/10
Narration: 8/10

7/10

My Rating:

Warden (Nova Online #1)

LitRPG, .Sci-Fi, VRMMO

Alex Knight

Book 1 in the complete LitRPG trilogy!

Imprisoned for a murder he didn’t commit, Kaiden’s only hope of early release is in serving as a Warden in the game-world of Nova Online.

Playing as a unique class while surrounded by aliens, pirates and warring guilds, he and his squad are tasked with protecting new players and enforcing the rule of law.

But Kaiden has other ideas; he is intent on proving his innocence. The keys to his freedom lie hidden in the game’s seedy underbelly. And as he’ll soon discover, the bloody trail that led to his arrest is more twisted than he could have ever imagined.

My Review:

I’d say Ready Player One meets Halo is a good description. I liked the uniqueness of this in the way that the MC is tasked with keeping the peace and looking after the new players. A good amount of unique skills, but maybe the story could be a little predictable. Either way, I’d read more books by Mr Knight.

Sci-Fi LitRPG needs more books like this, and slowly the genre is seeing more and more, but it’s still outweighed by the fantasy/Isekai/apocalypse books. Don’t get me wrong, I really don’t have a preference, but when I see a Sci-Fi LitRPG pop up in my to read list, I can’t help but look forward to it.
Game mechanics were easy to follow and the pacing was well matched to the suspense of the overarching plot and theme of the book.

Storyline: 7/10
Character depth: 8/10
Narration: 8/10

What could anyone possibly want more from a deck building LitRPG, that what is given in All the Skills? A unique magic and progression system, a big bad evil guy for the main character to fight back against, dragons who can talk… I can’t believe I waited so long to read this, but I find myself looking forward to book two already. This one is top-tier gamelit for me, and if you’re into deck building or a system of magic based around cards (and a deck thereof), this one’s for you. Plus, you know, dragons.

Storyline: 9/10
Character depth: 9/10
Narration: 10/10

10/10

My Rating:

All the Skills

LitRPG, GameLit, Magic, Card Magic, Progression, Dragons

Honour Rae

In a world where all magic has been captured into cards, those who can build a deck have the power.

The most Arthur could hope for was to someday earn a trash-tier spell card. When fate grants him a Master of Skills card, he's thrust into a world of opportunity and danger.

To survive and grow strong, Arthur must learn skills. All the skills.

©2022 Honour Rae (P)2022 Podium Audio

My Review:

What could anyone possibly want more from a deck building LitRPG, that what is given in All the Skills? A unique magic and progression system, a big bad evil guy for the main character to fight back against, dragons who can talk… I can’t believe I waited so long to read this, but I find myself looking forward to book two already. This one is top-tier gamelit for me, and if you’re into deck building or a system of magic based around cards (and a deck thereof), this one’s for you. Plus, you know, dragons.

Storyline: 9/10
Character depth: 9/10
Narration: 10/10

This was the first LitFPS book I’ve read, and I was pleasantly surprised. Not just because of the fact that you get a mammoth amount of audiobook for just one credit, but the voice acting was great, the story engaging and the battles detailed and thrilling.

It really did remind me of Doom.

Storyline: 8/10
Character depth: 8/10
Narration: 9/10

8/10

My Rating:

Overtaken Online (1-4)

Sci-Fi, LitRPG, LitFPS, FPS, VRMMO, Shooter

Ben Ormstad

Demonic alien-killing, blood-splattering LitRPG/LitFPS action in a dark science-fiction world.

[Overtaken Online. The world's first FPS VR-MMORPG with 100 percent immersion. Reminiscent of classics like Doom and Dead Space, but with RPG-elements that enable players to level up and develop skills—and sprinkled with a pinch of magic. ]

Thirty-three-year-old game designer Dex Walsh spends an entire year devoured by sorrow after the death of his wife. As a last-ditch effort to regain his joy, he sells everything and joins Overtaken Online.

Expecting to spawn in a noob-friendly area with guidance from his personal assistant, he instead finds himself naked and alone in a dark prison cell rapidly filling with gas.

Under-leveled and not knowing how to escape, he has no idea how far he will be able to progress as long as he pushes forward and doesn't give up.

Beware! This story contains:

Blood and guts
Foul language
Notifications/pop-ups/inventory management
No harem

My Review:

This was the first LitFPS book I’ve read, and I was pleasantly surprised. Not just because of the fact that you get a mammoth amount of audiobook for just one credit, but the voice acting was great, the story engaging and the battles detailed and thrilling.

It really did remind me of Doom.

Storyline: 8/10
Character depth: 8/10
Narration: 9/10

So this is the second Warhammer 40k book I’ve listened to, mainly because the Astra Militarum book was so good. But this is different. The first book in a long series called the Horus Heresy, I’d heard a bit about it before but no details really. I was upset that the narrator wasn’t the same as the last time (or even the author), but that was just wishful thinking.
The story focusses on an unrivalled army who have had their fear bred out of them – it makes them emotionless and perfect soldiers. Unfortunately it also meant that they were quite unrelatable as characters and although I did enjoy the book and it was narrated well, I found that it didn’t hold my attention for more than fifteen minutes of so at a time.
I probably will listen to more in the series, because the story was good, but hope the characters develop.

Storyline: 7/10
Character depth: 6/10
Narration: 8/10

6/10

My Rating:

Horus Rising

Warhammer 40k, military, war

Dan Abnett

It is the 31st millennium. Under the benevolent leadership of the Immortal Emperor, the Imperium of Man hasstretched out across the galaxy.

It is a golden age of discovery and conquest. But now, on the eve of victory, the Emperor leaves the front lines, entrusting the great crusade to his favourite son, Horus. Promoted to Warmaster, can the idealistic Horus carry out the Emperor's grand plan, or will this promotion sow the seeds of heresy amongst his brothers?

©2006 Games Workshop Limited (P)2014 Games Workshop Limited

My Review:

So this is the second Warhammer 40k book I’ve listened to, mainly because the Astra Militarum book was so good. But this is different. The first book in a long series called the Horus Heresy, I’d heard a bit about it before but no details really. I was upset that the narrator wasn’t the same as the last time (or even the author), but that was just wishful thinking.
The story focusses on an unrivalled army who have had their fear bred out of them – it makes them emotionless and perfect soldiers. Unfortunately it also meant that they were quite unrelatable as characters and although I did enjoy the book and it was narrated well, I found that it didn’t hold my attention for more than fifteen minutes of so at a time.
I probably will listen to more in the series, because the story was good, but hope the characters develop.

Storyline: 7/10
Character depth: 6/10
Narration: 8/10

I absolutely loved War Core (do I say that too much?). A guy is taken away and turned into the invisible man controlling an RTS game. But the soldiers are real, the enemies are aliens and when people die, they die. The universe is at stake here. 
I loved how the MC could speak to his soldiers, but they were censored if they said anything that could help.
Perks, intervals between battles and dinosaurs with guns… love it, love it all.

10/10

My Rating:

War Core: Hold the Line

Gamelit, LitRPG, LitRTS, War, Military

Dean Henegar

Earth is under siege.

For decades, the governments of our world have been fighting a desperate and secret battle to keep hordes of alien invaders away from our planet.

When the guardian of the United States falls, a new champion must be chosen. Sadly, the choice of a champion isn’t ours to make, and the Galactic Conflict Authority selects a human, seemingly at random, to lead the United States of America’s efforts at holding back the tide.

Hugh Logan is in the middle of teaching a class when he is taken against his will and informed that he is now the newest member of Earth’s defense against alien invasion. He must give up everything to become our champion. He must give up everything to prevent our destruction. He must become...a War Core.

My Review:

I absolutely loved War Core (do I say that too much?). A guy is taken away and turned into the invisible man controlling an RTS game. But the soldiers are real, the enemies are aliens and when people die, they die. The universe is at stake here.
I loved how the MC could speak to his soldiers, but they were censored if they said anything that could help.
Perks, intervals between battles and dinosaurs with guns… love it, love it all.

In the beginning, I found it strange that we were talking about other litrpg books so often, and for apparently no reason the number one fan of the genre was suddenly dropped into one. But then I got used to it and actually, it read quite well. I enjoyed the story and the world/characters, but there were a few editing choices that I wouldn’t have made. Not any real issues, but things I found noticeable.
By the end of the book, I wanted more – which is a good thing if you ask me, especially when you take into account the fact that book two is already out.

6/10

My Rating:

Initialization: Paths of Power

Gamelit, LitRPG, World Building, System Apocalypse, Settlement Building

Sean Barber

A mid thirties truck driver must make hard choices on his quest to get home to his family while the world as we know it comes to an end. 700 miles, no truck, and just his loyal dog to accompany him, can he survive in this new world? A world where The System spawns monsters and mutates plants and animals to absorb and refine essence? Let us find out.
©2022 Sean Barber (P)2022 Tantor

My Review:

In the beginning, I found it strange that we were talking about other litrpg books so often, and for apparently no reason the number one fan of the genre was suddenly dropped into one. But then I got used to it and actually, it read quite well. I enjoyed the story and the world/characters, but there were a few editing choices that I wouldn’t have made. Not any real issues, but things I found noticeable.
By the end of the book, I wanted more – which is a good thing if you ask me, especially when you take into account the fact that book two is already out.

I have to say it, if you haven’t read Dungeon Crawler Carl, I don’t know how you’ve made it this far in the LitRPG space. The perfect mix of dungeon crawling, a sarcastic talking cat, a post apocalyptic world and a tv show broadcast to the whole universe. It’s original, innovative and ridiculously funny. 
The world has been disintegrated and turned into a multi level dungeon with stats, loot boxes and a particularly creepy system AI… and the whole time, the infighting is being broadcast to aliens across the universe.
Without going too overboard, this is the number one book you have to read, and I mean right now.

10/10

My Rating:

Dungeon Crawler Carl

LitRPG, System Apocalypse, Comedy, Gamelit

Matt Dinniman

The apocalypse will be televised!

A man. His ex-girlfriend's cat. A sadistic game show unlike anything in the universe: a dungeon crawl where survival depends on killing your prey in the most entertaining way possible.

In a flash, every human-erected construction on Earth - from Buckingham Palace to the tiniest of sheds - collapses in a heap, sinking into the ground.

The buildings and all the people inside have all been atomized and transformed into the dungeon: an 18-level labyrinth filled with traps, monsters, and loot. A dungeon so enormous, it circles the entire globe.

Only a few dare venture inside. But once you're in, you can't get out. And what's worse, each level has a time limit. You have but days to find a staircase to the next level down, or it's game over. In this game, it's not about your strength or your dexterity. It's about your followers, your views. Your clout. It's about building an audience and killing those goblins with style.

You can't just survive here. You gotta survive big.

You gotta fight with vigor, with excitement. You gotta make them stand up and cheer. And if you do have that "it" factor, you may just find yourself with a following. That's the only way to truly survive in this game - with the help of the loot boxes dropped upon you by the generous benefactors watching from across the galaxy.

They call it Dungeon Crawler World. But for Carl, it's anything but a game.

My Review:

I have to say it, if you haven’t read Dungeon Crawler Carl, I don’t know how you’ve made it this far in the LitRPG space. The perfect mix of dungeon crawling, a sarcastic talking cat, a post apocalyptic world and a tv show broadcast to the whole universe. It’s original, innovative and ridiculously funny.
The world has been disintegrated and turned into a multi level dungeon with stats, loot boxes and a particularly creepy system AI… and the whole time, the infighting is being broadcast to aliens across the universe.
Without going too overboard, this is the number one book you have to read, and I mean right now.

This is probably the best book I’ve read for a long time, and trust me I don’t say this lightly. It’s a progression fantasy from weakness to ultimate power and the fact that there’s only one book out right now pains me. Though as I write this review I know that you can keep up to date on the author’s Patreon.
Reidon starts of weak, broken and works tirelessly with the help of his special CAD to begin to challenge his peers in the academy where once he stood no chance.
Honestly, I can’t recommend this book enough. It had beautiful combat scenes, a real sense of rooting for the underdog, tangible advancement and the looming fear of danger.

Storyline: 9/10
Character Depth: 10/10
Narration: 10/10

10/10

My Rating:

Iron Prince

Progression Fantasy, Sci-Fi, LitRPG

Bryco O'Connor

Reidon Ward will become a god.
He doesn't know it yet, of course. Reidon was born weak, sickly, and small. Afflicted with a painful disease and abandoned by his parents because of it, he has had to fight tooth and nail for every minor advantage life has allowed him.
However, his perseverance has not gone unnoticed, and when the most powerful artificial intelligence in human history takes an interest in him, things began to change quickly. Granted a CAD - a Combat Assistance Device - with awful specs but an infinite potential for growth, Reidon finds himself at the bottom of his class at the Galens Institute, one of the top military academies in the Collective. Along with his best friend, Viviana Arada, Reidon will have to start his long climb through the school rankings and on to the combat tournament circuits that have become humanity's greatest source of excitement and entertainment.
So begins the rise of a god. So begins the ascent of the Stormweaver.
©2020 Wraithmarked Creative (P)2021 Podium Audio

My Review:

This is probably the best book I’ve read for a long time, and trust me I don’t say this lightly. It’s a progression fantasy from weakness to ultimate power and the fact that there’s only one book out right now pains me. Though as I write this review I know that you can keep up to date on the author’s Patreon.
Reidon starts of weak, broken and works tirelessly with the help of his special CAD to begin to challenge his peers in the academy where once he stood no chance.
Honestly, I can’t recommend this book enough. It had beautiful combat scenes, a real sense of rooting for the underdog, tangible advancement and the looming fear of danger.

Storyline: 9/10
Character Depth: 10/10
Narration: 10/10

For me this is top-tier LitRPG. Seriously it’s up there with Dungeon Crawler Carl… 
It has a fairly standard introduction to the system, i.e. the MC is suddenly thrown into a system world after some threshold had been reached. This means that everyone is dropped into a kind of ‘tutorial’ where they must fight to survive. The magic/progression system is unique and interesting.
The audio version of this is top notch too, narrated by the ever-magnificent Travis Baldree. I couldn’t stop with this series and ran out of books pretty quickly. It has everything, animal companion, world-building, settlement-building, deep motives and interactions, action… honestly, you can’t go wrong with this one.

Storyline: 9/10
Character Depth: 10/10
Narration: 10/10

10/10

My Rating:

Primal Hunter

LitRPG, Gamelit, Progression

Zogarth

On just another average day, Jake finds himself in a forest filled with monsters, dangers, and opportunity....

It was a day like any other when suddenly the world changed. The universe reached a threshold humanity didn’t even know existed, and it was time to finally be integrated into the vast multiverse. A place where power is the only thing anyone can truly rely on.

Jake, a seemingly average office worker, finds himself thrust into this new world. Into a tutorial filled with dangers and opportunities.

His new reality should breed fear and concern. His fellow coworkers falter at every turn. Jake, however, finds himself thriving.

Perhaps... This is the world Jake was meant to be born in.

Don't miss the start of this hit LitRPG fantasy series with millions of views on Royal Road. Grab your copy of Primal Hunter today on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, or Audible (narrated by Travis Baldree).

About the Series: Experience an apocalypse LitRPG with levels, classes, professions, skills, dungeons, loot, and all of the great traits of progression fantasy and LitRPG that you've come to expect. Follow Jake as he explores this new vast multiverse filled with challenges and opportunities. As he grows in power and slowly transforms from a bored office worker to a true apex hunter.
©2022 Aethon Books (P)2022 Aethon Audio

My Review:

For me this is top-tier LitRPG. Seriously it’s up there with Dungeon Crawler Carl…
It has a fairly standard introduction to the system, i.e. the MC is suddenly thrown into a system world after some threshold had been reached. This means that everyone is dropped into a kind of ‘tutorial’ where they must fight to survive. The magic/progression system is unique and interesting.
The audio version of this is top notch too, narrated by the ever-magnificent Travis Baldree. I couldn’t stop with this series and ran out of books pretty quickly. It has everything, animal companion, world-building, settlement-building, deep motives and interactions, action… honestly, you can’t go wrong with this one.

Storyline: 9/10
Character Depth: 10/10
Narration: 10/10

Fifteen Hours really did have everything I wanted from a book based around military, war, fighting and killing. Set in the grim darkness of the Warhammer 40,000 universe, the book offers a raw and intense portrayal of the horrors and sacrifices of battle.
The story follows the journey of a young Imperial Guardsman named New Fish by the rest of the soldiers, who is thrust into the brutal war against the Orks. As the title suggests, the narrative unfolds over a span of fifteen hours, during which New Fish faces unimaginable challenges and struggles to survive.
New Fish is dropped into the wrong warzone: a place that has seen years of terrible battles and a defending force that is almost all out of numbers, and options.
While "Fifteen Hours" provides an engaging and action-packed reading experience, it should be noted that prior familiarity with the Warhammer 40,000 universe is beneficial. The novel assumes a certain level of knowledge about the setting, its factions, and the overarching conflict. However, even for readers new to the Warhammer universe, the book offers a thrilling and immersive introduction to its grim and violent world.
I loved it, it made me want to get more, though sadly, I haven’t seen a sequel available.

Storyline: 9/10
Character Depth: 9/10
Narration: 9/10

9/10

My Rating:

Fifteen Hours

Warhammer 40k, action, war, military, space

Mitchel Scanlon

An Astra Militarum Novel

A young soldier of the Astra Militarum is thrust onto a battlefield where the average life expectancy is just fifteen hours – facing brutal orks, artillery bombardment, and the horrors of no man's land.

Listen to it because

It's a sharp, incisive look at the first hours of war for a new Guardsman, and all the terrors that accompany it…

The story

Arvin Larn is terrified. On the battlefields of the far future, only an insane man wouldn't be. Seventeen years old and still new to the Imperial Guard, he is thrust straight into his first war, and must face horrors that his sheltered upbringing could never prepare him for. The trenches of the 41st millennium are filled with worse things than rats and trenchrot. For one, the world they fight for is being contested by the monstrous alien orks. The greenskins live for battle and fight without fear, so it's no wonder that the average life-span of an Imperial Guardsman on this forsaken world is only fifteen hours.

©2023 Games Workshop Limited (P)2023 Games Workshop Limited

My Review:

Fifteen Hours really did have everything I wanted from a book based around military, war, fighting and killing. Set in the grim darkness of the Warhammer 40,000 universe, the book offers a raw and intense portrayal of the horrors and sacrifices of battle.
The story follows the journey of a young Imperial Guardsman named New Fish by the rest of the soldiers, who is thrust into the brutal war against the Orks. As the title suggests, the narrative unfolds over a span of fifteen hours, during which New Fish faces unimaginable challenges and struggles to survive.
New Fish is dropped into the wrong warzone: a place that has seen years of terrible battles and a defending force that is almost all out of numbers, and options.
While "Fifteen Hours" provides an engaging and action-packed reading experience, it should be noted that prior familiarity with the Warhammer 40,000 universe is beneficial. The novel assumes a certain level of knowledge about the setting, its factions, and the overarching conflict. However, even for readers new to the Warhammer universe, the book offers a thrilling and immersive introduction to its grim and violent world.
I loved it, it made me want to get more, though sadly, I haven’t seen a sequel available.

Storyline: 9/10
Character Depth: 9/10
Narration: 9/10

As I write this review, Nautical Noobs is waiting for me in my to listen line, and I’m so excited about it. The MC is called Jim, which is the source of a lot of laughs from the other characters in the book because it’s not a real name – like calling someone Rover. Also there’s this thing called Shart and a talking badger called Badgelor. It’s wild, honestly and I couldn’t stop laughing whilst listening to it. If I’m honest it took me a while to get to simply because of the title, but what a mistake I made.

​Storyline: 9/10
Character Depth: 9/10
Narration: 10/10

10/10

My Rating:

Noobtown (Series)

LitRPG, Fantasy, Progression, Magic, World Building, Comedy

Ryan Rimmel

It could be worse. You could be stuck with a literal shoulder demon.

After dying and being reborn into a world that's built like a video game, Jim has found himself stuck in a very old world style new player zone for low level adventurers. Unfortunately, the zone fell out of use centuries ago, and no one told the monsters they were supposed to take it easy on the Noobs.

Even worse, the only new player around is Jim.

Jim has been given an opportunity, and he'll do his best to take advantage of it.

My Review:

As I write this review, Nautical Noobs is waiting for me in my to listen line, and I’m so excited about it. The MC is called Jim, which is the source of a lot of laughs from the other characters in the book because it’s not a real name – like calling someone Rover. Also there’s this thing called Shart and a talking badger called Badgelor. It’s wild, honestly and I couldn’t stop laughing whilst listening to it. If I’m honest it took me a while to get to simply because of the title, but what a mistake I made.

​Storyline: 9/10
Character Depth: 9/10
Narration: 10/10

The Gam3 for me happened early on in my LitRPG search for more and more books to devour and it was one that stood out for me as a cornerstone of the genre. There are now three books in the series so if you’re after substance then this is good for you. I loved the sci-fi AI alien feel of the story and it always left me wondering what was waiting for me around the next corner.

​Storyline: 9/10
Character Depth: 8/10
Narration: 9/10

9/10

My Rating:

The Gam3 (Series)

Fantasy, Sci-Fi

Cosimo Yap

An Artificial Intelligence, LitRPG, Cyberpunk adventure.

The Earth is changing. The alien invasion brought social upheaval, advanced technology, and an armada of peacekeeping robots. But Alan, a college student pursuing a now-useless degree, cares little about all of this. He has only one thing on his mind: the Game.

A fully immersive virtual reality, the Game appears to be a major part of the invading civilization. Alan can't wait to play, recklessly diving into the digital universe. Soon though, Alan realizes the Game is anything but simple, and the stakes are higher than he ever imagined.

My Review:

The Gam3 for me happened early on in my LitRPG search for more and more books to devour and it was one that stood out for me as a cornerstone of the genre. There are now three books in the series so if you’re after substance then this is good for you. I loved the sci-fi AI alien feel of the story and it always left me wondering what was waiting for me around the next corner.

​Storyline: 9/10
Character Depth: 8/10
Narration: 9/10

I know I know this author’s name is a bit taboo because of some of the strange things he’s tried to do with trademarks (don’t take my word for it, Google it), but write books – and long ones – he can do. To be fair to the series, the first few books are actually pretty amazing. I felt myself rooting for the Mist Village throughout them, but then… the books got so so long that I just couldn’t take the time to face them – I think the last one was something like 40 hours plus and that’s the only reason this series drops a star for me. Just split them into more books! Two books at twenty hours good, one book at forty hours bad. I don’t know why it works like this for me but it does.

​Storyline: 8/10
Character Depth: 8/10
Narration: 10/10

8/10

My Rating:

The Land: Chaos Seeds (Series)

LitRPG, Fantasy, Progression, Magic, Settlement Building

Aleron Kong

Enter a mesmerizing tale reminiscent of the wonder of Ready Player One and the adventure of Game of Thrones.

Tricked into a world of banished gods, demons, goblins, sprites and magic, Richter must learn to meet the perils of The Land and begin to forge his own kingdom. Actions have consequences across The Land, with powerful creatures and factions now hell-bent on Richter's destruction.

Can Richter forge allegiances to survive this harsh and unforgiving world or will he fall to the dark denizens of this ancient and unforgiving realm?

A tale to shake "The Land" itself, measuring 10/10 on the Richter scale, how will Richter's choices shape the future of The Land and all who reside in it? Can he grow his power to meet the deadliest of beings of the land? When choices are often a shade of grey, how will Richter ensure he does not become what he seeks to destroy?

My Review:

I know I know this author’s name is a bit taboo because of some of the strange things he’s tried to do with trademarks (don’t take my word for it, Google it), but write books – and long ones – he can do. To be fair to the series, the first few books are actually pretty amazing. I felt myself rooting for the Mist Village throughout them, but then… the books got so so long that I just couldn’t take the time to face them – I think the last one was something like 40 hours plus and that’s the only reason this series drops a star for me. Just split them into more books! Two books at twenty hours good, one book at forty hours bad. I don’t know why it works like this for me but it does.

​Storyline: 8/10
Character Depth: 8/10
Narration: 10/10

I remember the moment I started listening to this book - that’s just how good it is. It was at Dublin airport, flight delayed and I was in a terminal on my own. The crafting was so mouthwatering that all I remember thinking is that I wished my flight was delayed twelve hours so I’d have the chance to listen to every word this author wrote. I mean the carding is so good in this series, if that’s what you’re after you won’t be able to put this down.

​Storyline: 10/10
Character Depth: 10/10
Narration: 10/10

10/10

My Rating:

Way of the Shaman (Series)

LitRPG, Fantasy, Progression, Magic, Crafting

Vasily Mahanenko

Barliona: a virtual world jam-packed with monsters, battles - and, predictably, players. Millions of them come to Barliona, looking forward to the things they can't get in real life: elves and magic, dragons and princesses, and unforgettable combat. The game has become so popular that players now choose to spend months online without returning home.

In Barliona, anything goes: You can assault fellow players, level up, become a mythical hero, a wizard, or a legendary thief. The only rule that attempted to regulate the game demanded that no player be allowed to feel actual pain. But there's an exception to every rule. For a certain bunch of players, Barliona has become their personal hell. They are criminals sent to Barliona to serve their time.

They aren't in it for the dragons' gold or the abundant loot. All they want is to survive the virtual inferno. They face the ultimate survival quest.

My Review:

I remember the moment I started listening to this book - that’s just how good it is. It was at Dublin airport, flight delayed and I was in a terminal on my own. The crafting was so mouthwatering that all I remember thinking is that I wished my flight was delayed twelve hours so I’d have the chance to listen to every word this author wrote. I mean the carding is so good in this series, if that’s what you’re after you won’t be able to put this down.

​Storyline: 10/10
Character Depth: 10/10
Narration: 10/10

Ok I admit it, this author was the first time I’ve ever signed up to a newsletter because I just needed to know when the next book was coming out. The perfect book for someone wanting to dip their toe into the world of LitRPG books, this one has levelling, crafting, special powers, bad guys to hate and a foreboding worry that the MC’s world is going to crash down around them at any point. I listened to the first book in the series while in the car going to a meeting and it ruined my day that I had to leave it behind to deal with boring work.

This year I finished the series with the last book and it was wrapped up rather well though it was a bit of a bitter pill for me to swallow. I didn’t want it to end.

​Storyline: 9/10
Character Depth: 10/10
Narration: 10/10

10/10

My Rating:

Life Reset (Series)

LitRPG, Fantasy, Progression, Magic

Shemer Kuznits

The best selling six-books series is now complete! In video games, players hunt monsters.

But what happens when a veteran player finds himself on the monster's side?

Oren, a high-level guild master, wakes in the body of a lowly goblin. Cast out, betrayed by his most trusted advisors, Oren is stuck in New Era Online. However, there are advantages to being on the monsters’ side. Starting from scratch, he’ll have to build up a powerful monster clan to take revenge. But first, he'll have to survive long enough not to be someone else's fodder.

Life Reset is the first book in the bestselling fantasy LitRPG series that follows a monster main character who wields darkness-based magic. Includes heavy elements of town-building, raising a monster clan, magic, powerful enemies, and asking the deep existential questions of what it means to be alive inside a digital reality.

The Soundbooth Theater team for this production: Jeff Hays - Narration, Characters, Production Supervision Dalton Lynne - Proofing Alex Tate - Production, Editing, Mastering

My Review:

Ok I admit it, this author was the first time I’ve ever signed up to a newsletter because I just needed to know when the next book was coming out. The perfect book for someone wanting to dip their toe into the world of LitRPG books, this one has levelling, crafting, special powers, bad guys to hate and a foreboding worry that the MC’s world is going to crash down around them at any point. I listened to the first book in the series while in the car going to a meeting and it ruined my day that I had to leave it behind to deal with boring work.

This year I finished the series with the last book and it was wrapped up rather well though it was a bit of a bitter pill for me to swallow. I didn’t want it to end.

​Storyline: 9/10
Character Depth: 10/10
Narration: 10/10

Yes I know it’s a TV show – and it was bloody brilliant by the way. I also got the audiobook AND hardback because it was that good. I listened to it twice and even after the second time through I didn’t want it to end. Actually thinking about it as I write this, it’s kind of like the perfect run (above). Guy finds a time portal to the past (1963, shocker), can stay there as long as he wants and when he returns to the future anything he changed stands. If he goes back again though it is to the start of the time again and all his changes get wiped. Action, adventure, romance and time travelling this one hit the nail on the head for me. Oh and there’s something about JFK too. Whatever, it’s great, read it.

​Storyline: 10/10
Character Depth: 10/10
Narration: 10/10

10/10

My Rating:

11.22.63

Time Travel, Action, Romance

Stephen King

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? Stephen King’s heart-stoppingly dramatic new novel is about a man who travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination—a thousand page tour de force.

Following his massively successful novel Under the Dome, King sweeps readers back in time to another moment—a real life moment—when everything went wrong: the JFK assassination. And he introduces readers to a character who has the power to change the course of history.

Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students—a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk.

Not much later, Jake’s friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane—and insanely possible—mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake’s life – a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.

My Review:

Yes I know it’s a TV show – and it was bloody brilliant by the way. I also got the audiobook AND hardback because it was that good. I listened to it twice and even after the second time through I didn’t want it to end. Actually thinking about it as I write this, it’s kind of like the perfect run (above). Guy finds a time portal to the past (1963, shocker), can stay there as long as he wants and when he returns to the future anything he changed stands. If he goes back again though it is to the start of the time again and all his changes get wiped. Action, adventure, romance and time travelling this one hit the nail on the head for me. Oh and there’s something about JFK too. Whatever, it’s great, read it.

​Storyline: 10/10
Character Depth: 10/10
Narration: 10/10

​OK I admit it, I listened to the three audiobooks back to back and I just couldn’t put them down. Decent length audiobooks too so don’t think I didn’t put the effort into it. I read some other reviews about the series before I started and they were pretty mixed, though the ones that didn’t like it were because of reasons I did. They said that they didn’t like the MC just restarting from a save point over and over was no good – but who doesn’t want that? I loved the MC’s attitude and cockiness that worked perfectly in tune with his backstory; that he was a bit twisted because he had done everything over and over so many times. A bit of Groundhog Day in this one mixed with Greek gods and good old fashioned sarcastic fighting. I loved it start to finish.

​Storyline: 9/10
Character Depth: 10/10
Narration: 10/10

10/10

My Rating:

The Perfect Run (Series)

Military, Action, Time Travel, Time Loop ​

Void Herald

Ryan "Quicksave" Romano is an eccentric adventurer with a strange power: he can create a save-point in time and redo his life whenever he dies. Arriving in New Rome, the glitzy capital of sin of a rebuilding Europe, he finds the city torn between mega-corporations, sponsored heroes, superpowered criminals, and true monsters. It's a time of chaos, where potions can grant the power to rule the world and dangers lurk everywhere.

My Review:

​OK I admit it, I listened to the three audiobooks back to back and I just couldn’t put them down. Decent length audiobooks too so don’t think I didn’t put the effort into it. I read some other reviews about the series before I started and they were pretty mixed, though the ones that didn’t like it were because of reasons I did. They said that they didn’t like the MC just restarting from a save point over and over was no good – but who doesn’t want that? I loved the MC’s attitude and cockiness that worked perfectly in tune with his backstory; that he was a bit twisted because he had done everything over and over so many times. A bit of Groundhog Day in this one mixed with Greek gods and good old fashioned sarcastic fighting. I loved it start to finish.

​Storyline: 9/10
Character Depth: 10/10
Narration: 10/10

I really enjoyed listening to this book, the narrator was well matched to the tone of the characters and the writing style. To be honest, I've been on a bit of a search for a sci-fi book that I liked after reading the REV Warriors series and this certainly scratched that itch. It took me about two days so not a particularly long one and by the end, I must admit I did feel as though the time was right for it to be over. It's not five stars from me but definitely a solid read. In some places, the story was a little predictable, but hey - if it makes me feel smart that I figured it out then that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Storyline: 8/10
Character Depth: 9/10
Narration: 9/10

9/10

My Rating:

First Life: The River Saga

Sci-Fi, Military, Aliens

Nathan Hystad

A dangerous expedition. Extraterrestrial alliances. Unpredictable enemies.
Colton Beck has six months to live. He works for the Angor near Los Angeles, aware that any day could be his last.
The Angor arrived twenty years ago, resolved to help mankind survive, but not everyone believes their motives are honorable.
When the Angor offer humanity a colony world, Colton is determined to see another planet before his final breath. He’s been diagnosed with Xeno, a rare disorder that surfaced with the Angor’s arrival, but he won’t let this stop him.
With the help of his old friend Indie Hart, now the single most powerful human on Earth, he joins the Expedition to Dicore.
They access the River, an alien technology that allows nearly instantaneous travel between worlds, and their universe is quickly expanded.
What they find on Dicore is far from idyllic, and Colton struggles to navigate their new existence while coping with his impending death.
First Life is a gripping science fiction adventure tale from the Best-Selling author of The Event, Lost Contact, and Final Days.

*******Peace by the Stars*******

My Review:

I really enjoyed listening to this book, the narrator was well matched to the tone of the characters and the writing style. To be honest, I've been on a bit of a search for a sci-fi book that I liked after reading the REV Warriors series and this certainly scratched that itch. It took me about two days so not a particularly long one and by the end, I must admit I did feel as though the time was right for it to be over. It's not five stars from me but definitely a solid read. In some places, the story was a little predictable, but hey - if it makes me feel smart that I figured it out then that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Storyline: 8/10
Character Depth: 9/10
Narration: 9/10

This LitRPG/GameLit audiobook was included in my Audible membership for FREE! so what more could I really ask for? The MC was transported to another world where some demonic presence rolled the dice to see what kind of character he was going to be. Sure the premise sounded familiar, though in this one, the MC starts off at level 19, then every time he goes to sleep he wakes up as a new and interesting class. There's no time to get comfortable or bored in this book, well worth a read and I am definitely looking forward to the next one!

​Storyline: 8/10
Character Depth: 8/10
Narration: 9/10

8/10

My Rating:

Uncontrollable: Class Shift Book One

LitRPG, Gamelit, Fantasy, Magic, Audiobook

Sean Oswald

If Tim is to survive his new world; he'll have to combine the skills of his shifting classes.
Whether it be the heroes of legends or the characters in games, few things are more defining than Class. Except maybe Class isn't always static. Tank, DPS, healer, and more. They are all just different sides of fate's die.
Taken from life as an office drone by a trickster god, Tim finds himself in the magical world of Iocusinte, where change is his only constant. It grants him great potential, enough to be sought out by different factions looking to use him for their own ends.
That potential, however, is mercurial. His Class and very appearance change at random even as his Skills and Stats progress. He'll have to solve the riddle of his nature and learn to master the uncontrollable if he hopes to survive.
Experience the next LitRPG saga from the Amazon Bestselling author of Life in Exile, Sean Oswald. It’s perfect for fans of Dakota Krout, Luke Chmilenko, and Troy Osgood.

My Review:

This LitRPG/GameLit audiobook was included in my Audible membership for FREE! so what more could I really ask for? The MC was transported to another world where some demonic presence rolled the dice to see what kind of character he was going to be. Sure the premise sounded familiar, though in this one, the MC starts off at level 19, then every time he goes to sleep he wakes up as a new and interesting class. There's no time to get comfortable or bored in this book, well worth a read and I am definitely looking forward to the next one!

​Storyline: 8/10
Character Depth: 8/10
Narration: 9/10

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