• Awakened

  • The Quintessence: Crucible, Book One (An Epic Cultivation LitRPG Saga)
  • By: C.M. Carney
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (593 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Cultivation. Progression. Ascension. 

On the world of Crucible, where humanity’s spiritual artists train to fight in a war of universal proportions, Aryc Tal Venn has the potential to be one of the gods.

But when he accidentally unleashes heretical powers during his Challenge, he is forced to flee his home or face the wrath of the Inquisition. 

With his sister by his side, Aryc begins a quest to uncover the truth of his own existence. 

Only to discover a terrible secret.

A secret with the power to destroy humanity. 

Will Aryc master his unnatural powers in time to save the people of Crucible or will he be the harbinger of humanity’s destruction?

Hit "Buy Now".

Awakened – Book One of The Quintessence: Crucible is the first novel in a new epic LitRPG cultivation universe brought to you by C.M. Carney, author of the number one best-selling LitRPG saga The Realms that began with Barrow King.

The book is chock full of Qi cycling, measurable power progression, immortal gods, intriguing characters, deadly mysteries, and universe shattering threats. It is perfect for all fans of progression fantasy, including lovers of  LitRPG/GameLit, western cultivation, wuxia, and xianxia.

©2020 C.M. Carney (P)2020 C.M. Carney

What listeners say about Awakened

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It’s neither as bad, nor as good as the other reviewers say...

First of all, this audiobook is almost automatically at least listenable due to the fact that Nick Podehl is narrating. I won’t try to argue that every book narrated by Podehl is a five star listen... There are at least a few I was unable to finish. But on the whole I have found that 90% of his performances are better than 90% of the other narrators on Audible. Just my opinion, but I have lost count of the number of decently written books in the cultivation/GameLit/LitRPG genres that have been rendered unlistenable by their narrator’s performances... Mathew Broadhead, Jack Voraces, and most recently Wayne Mitchell are just a few of the perpetrators. Avoid these guys at all costs. They’re audiobook ruiners of the highest order!

Ok, my narration biases aside, there are some very interesting and unique aspects to the world building that CM Carney has created here. The plot has some good mystery and intrigue as well as some compelling characters. I was very engrossed in this audiobook, and I felt bereft when it ended. I’m absolutely looking forward to the next one.

On the other hand, while I think Carney’s writing has steadily improved from his first books to this one, he still hasn’t made it to the point where an objective person who understands how rating systems are intended to work can give his books five stars. In this book, as in Carney’s others, the characters’ inner monologues are still a bit YA (in a bad way). Also, the characters’ nonsensical actions aren’t justified and often they do things whose internal motivations are not just nonsensical but unfathomable; it’s obvious the author has gotten lazy and written them this way to add tension. These scenes come off as insulting to the reader’s intelligence, and they pull you out of the story right when the climaxes are peaking. It’s frustrating.

Lastly, as with every single one of his books, Carney has yet to write a volume where I have felt like I got a full novel’s worth. Regardless of page count/audio duration all of his books feel like we’re getting between 2/3’s and 3/4’s of a full work. Even with books like this one where you could argue that he ended at an appropriate stopping point, the pacing just makes me feel like Carney owes us least 2-3 more hours of plot.

And yet, this book has much less of these issues than Carney’s earlier works. The story is compelling enough that I was pulled in quickly and had a hard time putting it down.

So here’s my attempt to sum it all up... A hardcore cultivation novel this is not, nor is it among the best of the genre. However if you go into this audiobook without expectations as to what a cultivation novel “has to be,” you will find a compelling story with good world-building, decently crafted characters and some flaws that while annoying are not deal breakers.

If you’re like I am right now and have 50 books in your cue and still can’t find a single book that you’re excited to listen to then this will definitely be worth your credit.

40 people found this helpful

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Letdown.

Nick Podehl. Amazing narrator. Period. 5 stars.

The story starts slow and the world building doesn't tickle my fancy. The MC is basically the "chosen one", while he does face some adversity, it never feels like anything bad or some consequence will happen. Every time he gets a plot armor pass at the last moment. I wish the author just concentrated on either being a litrpg or a cultivation book, but I do see that litrpg and cultivation is pretty popular right now. While I am not happy with the book, I won't return it since I listened to the whole thing. But I don't expect to get the next one.

10 people found this helpful

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great start to a cultivation series

I will start by being blunt. I have loved everything that both C.M. Carney and Nick Podehl have done. That said, I still think that this is a great start to a cultivation series. If you don't know, this means that the main character (and typically the society) spends time cultivating Chi to improve and strengthen themself. This book was quite fun to listen to and looked at cultivation in a fun way. There was a bit of world building in the book that may detract from the enjoyment of some listeners, but I don't think it was overdone for the first book in a series. The little touches of sci-fi elements just added to the story for me! Great job! I highly anticipate the next book in this series!

4 people found this helpful

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unique cultivation book

I'm generally not into cultivation books, but I really enjoyed this one. The storyline moved well and had some interesting aspects to it. really looking forward to book 2.

3 people found this helpful

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loved it!! 5 stars!

This was a fantastic start to what seems like could be a great series! I can't wait for the next book to be ready!

3 people found this helpful

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Pretty vanilla for the genre

It had a lot of elements that I liked, the story was left wanting. Enjoyable

3 people found this helpful

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Wonderful start

This is a wonderful start to a new series, can’t wait till the next book comes out

2 people found this helpful

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give it a shot

always a fan of cultivation books. another good audio by nick podehl. great story, thanks for the hours of entertainment

2 people found this helpful

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Very entertaining.

The premise for the book and world is well done. The story itself is fairly captivating. There were a few very small hiccups, but they didn't detract from the overall experience. I very much look forward to the next installment.

2 people found this helpful

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The Realms author starts a great new series!

Love this start to a new series! Can't wait to see what happens in the next book!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Nevextra
  • 04-27-21

Plot Armour MC

The MC of this book isn't your typical cultivation protagonist. He is lazy and ill-mannered, quick to act on impulse and this is used for story progression.

He has zero progression on these traits leading the is book ending with the fool blighting himself (destroying his ability to cultivate) and it is made clear that there is no cure for this multiple times in the story but this is the MC so we know Ass Pulling Escapades will ensue in the next book to fix it after all he is the only thing stopping the entire human race from being culled because of course he is.

An MC doesn't need to be goody two shoe perfect but this is too far in the other direction.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dalton
  • 12-31-20

Loved it ! Can’t wait for book 2

Really enjoyed this listen as I always do with C.M.Carneys’ work. Couldn’t put this down and I can’t wait for the next book.
Enjoyed the story and the MC and am excited to see how this continues.
Thank you to both the author and narrator, both done a brill job

1 person found this helpful

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