• Dissonance

  • A LitRPG Adventure (Unbound Book 1)
  • By: Nicoli Gonnella
  • Narrated by: Travis Baldree
  • Length: 26 hrs and 44 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (1,097 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A new world. A thousand threats. Welcome to The Continent.

Felix's life on Earth had become a series of dead-end jobs, ruined relationships, and rotating apartments smaller than most postage stamps. By all accounts, even his own, he was a coward. Too afraid to move forward, to take risks. Yet when given the chance to choose between risking his life or walking away from a deadly encounter, he didn't hesitate. 

Moments before his untimely demise, Felix was snatched from earth and thrust into a magical world known only as "The Continent". Empowered by the "System", he learns that he can strengthen himself through combat and dedication. To survive, he'll have to push himself beyond his limits, or else fall to the monsters all around him.

Levels, stats, and magic. Death is the start of a terrible fate, but if he lives...no one knows what he will become.

©2022 Nicoli Gonnella (P)2022 Mountaindale Press

What listeners say about Dissonance

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    2 out of 5 stars
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I don't think my words can do this justice

I feel like I could write an essay on why I despised this book so much, but most of it will probably just be incoherent ramblings about personal preferences regarding fantasy and litrpg fiction in general.

This book utterly fails as a LitRPG. The fun of this genre is having a protagonist either outsmart the system they're subjected to to come out victorious, or struggle against it, desperately flailing in the face of adversity.

This book throws absurd hurdles (read: warheads) at our protagonist, ones he has no reasonable or credulous way to overcome. To combat this 'inbalance,' the author just throws bullshit, arbitrary and non-deterministic power-ups at him CONSTANTLY so that he can just survive. This never stops, it's the way Felix overcomes every obstacle in his path - or rather, I should rephrase that to say it's how the author has Felix overcome said obstacles.

Because he sure as shit doesn't do it himself.

The author basically rubs your face in it too. Several times clearly pointing out every one of his successes are because of luck.

I feel like I'm being trolled.

He's gifted myriad skills and powerups, each one used and discarded, never to be used cleverly to overcome adversity, or cleverly at all.

In my opinion, the biggest sin a LitRPG can make is to inundate the protagonist with powerups and skills they never explore or use to the fullest. The bloat just makes it all feel pointless and uninteresting.

The biggest sin a fantasy story can make is to ratchet up the severity of the scope and threat so much, that you actively NEED said absurd narrative devices to even have the protagonist succeed - and even WITH them he shouldn't! Felix has no right to come out on top here, but instead of feeling vicarious triumph through him when he does, I only feel disgust at how absurd everything was, and how much time I wasted.


I'm not even going to get into the infuriating arc with the assassin. I think I've conveyed my disgust sufficiently that I won't be stupid enough to forget my time with this and buy the second book.

Don't do it, future me! You'll regret it.

48 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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too much stats

the over abundance of stats keep breaking the flow of the story and every achiement feels cheaply earned via plot armor.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Might be too much LitRPG

Roger Ebert advised judging a movie by what it wants to be. Judge horror movies as a horror movie.

So I give this a high rating. This is a very stats-focused story. Nearly every page has lots of stats on it. Advancements are frequent. If you're familiar with the Threadbare series, about twice as much stats as that series. Perhaps three times as many as Dungeon Crawler Carl.

That all said, now I'll complain, there are too many stats for me. Also, despite some tough times near the beginning, too many times the MC gains multiple levels and blocks of 30 stat points. Often he gains 10 skill levels in something in the course of a page. These frequent sudden jumps cheapen the process. In the series I previously mentioned, such jumps only occurred after major events.

Still, the performance is great. The MC is likable and reasonably smart. The action is good. The action starts quickly. I enjoyed it.

However, the author should tone down the barrage of benefits for his hero in future stories, lest they become meaningless.

8 people found this helpful

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LITRPG at its finest. Magic / Mayhem / Monsters

First off lets start with WOW and how refreshing this book is.
LITRPG, Fantasy, Assassins, Frost Giants, Magic, We got everything that makes a book good in here. I honestly lost sleep because I couldn’t put it down. I had to finish, had to know the next step. Spend the credit, pick this up. So good!
Also the author was able to make the MC likable and relatable. He moves through multiple moral quandaries and doesn’t go all full white knight on us thank the gods! I find a lot of authors make the MCs stupid and unpalatable, trying to push the whole, never will I struggle or do something morally objectionable. I loved the MC almost immediately and we got to learn about him before entering in the secondary characters. This is another huge plus on this book. I mean how many books out their don’t let you learn about the MC before hitting you with 100 secondary characters to the point where you are just lost. This allowed me to get invested in the story before all the really crazy happened. Let me tell you it happened. Excellent story, Excellent Ending. CANNOT WAIT TILL BOOK 2. Don’t pass this up.

7 people found this helpful

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LitRPG + Isekai + GrimDark

Spends too much time torturing the MC to drive growth. Ends with a (predictably) less than happy ending. Artificially long listening time because of re-reading of RPG stats.

3 people found this helpful

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Baldree brings Gonnella's masterpiece to life

I discovered this story on RR when it originally started and got sucked into it pretty hard to the point that I've had the Patreon sub ever since. Between the great writing, heart clenching cliff hangers and non stop action, Felix's story was really hard to pull down and led to many readings way too late into the night.

I was a bit anxious about the audiobook because I wasn't sure how it would translate to the litrpg feel and I am happy to say Baldree nailed it. Even though I've already read this initial part of the story, the audio book really pulled me in and added an extra depth to the world that I didn't know was there. From Felix's survival struggles in the beginning to his advances later on, the audiobook is just pure joy to listen to.

If you're looking for a great story with an awesome narration, this is the one for sure.

3 people found this helpful

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A great new series!

I found myself unable to put this book on pause. I had to keep reading. it was so good. I cannot wait for the next book to come out. I got to go on Reddit and tell everybody.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Decent Start

I won't say I was blown away but it was a decent litRPG. I will detract a little from my review and explain why though.

1) Distracting / Distracted - I often found myself wandering mentally while listening. Some of this as other reviews have said the stat readouts start to get a bit excessive which seems to start a bit more towards the middle of the book. Early on the character sheet seems simple and fast enough to read off but it quickly becomes too much to get a full read off each time. I often find character sheets hard to listen to when read where as when in paper in a grid or whatever its not too bad to glance at. Beyond this though I found myself drifting sometimes as things were happening and I am not sure why that was but sometimes it just felt long winded in doing things which left me mentally elsewhere.

2) I am getting a bit tired of a character being in one location the whole time while massively moving forward but always finding the perfect maximum difficulty challenge to overcome. I guess what I am saying is that it makes sense for a character to start weak and ramp up towards the top of the difficulty of an area if they aren't really moving around a ton. I don't like how he is put to a maximum challenge the entire time. I guess I chalk this sort of a thing up to making the plot feel scripted and less natural.

Overall, the book was fine. I didn't hate it and I would probably be willing to try out a second but I am not so excited that I am looking to see if there is more to this on amazon / patreon.

1 person found this helpful

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amazing storyline

the story is pretty amazing where the hero is op but gets thrown into constant situations that utterly destroy him. even so much as losing himself and being internally attacked. with only a good luck.

1 person found this helpful

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More!

Finished this book saw the second one was released on kindle looking forward to the next one on audible!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ross Nicoll
  • 05-10-22

great book.

good levelling with a very interesting take on skill progression and how it effects the individual. always love royalroad stories that make it to book because you know they are this successful for a reason.

also, Travis Baldree!!!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jay
  • 07-07-22

Very repetitive

story doesn't go anywhere and the character stat iteration is far too frequent. gave up after around 7 hours after a long slog of stats, 4 sentences of story then more repeating of the exact same stats. not a huge fan of the narrator either, he's a tad monotone, but I guess he doesn't really have much dialogue or story to work with.. can't really add much feeling to "+1 to x" ad nauseum.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Morris
  • 06-17-22

Authors first book, but...

It was fantastic. The story was engaging and interesting. Admittedly there were times I questioned the MCs continuois luck, but...
After reaching the end it makes sense.
I am invested. I want to know what happens next.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-09-22

5/5 i recomend

200% the most epic litrpg so many or better all encounters where impossible to predict i hope there is more parts but after all Felix went tro is asking for to much.

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  • L C
  • 07-27-22

good book

Very much enjoyed this story. my only criticism is the same as most these RPG book, the stat readouts. When reading you can skip it but it can be a hassle in audio format. There was a book i came across that had the stat readouts at the end of a chapter so it can easily be skipped and it worked well.

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  • Thomas ly
  • 07-18-22

Strong start, looking forward to what comes next

Good start, good VA, interested in where it will go next.

Got this as a review copy but very surprised at how well it was written. Interesting system, quite a lot of levels, not sure how that will fair in future series though but excited to find out.

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  • Stephen Bond
  • 07-17-22

Well titled.

As listening to this caused a feeling of dissonance in me.
The prose is overly flowery and hackneyed. Similies and alliterations are splooged around with no care or attention given. The banter is so forced it is clearly being held against its will and blinking help me in morse code. I'm sorry you had to narate 20+ hours of this Travis, you deserve better.

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  • Alial1
  • 07-16-22

Wow - what a rush of an audible book

What am great book, building to a climatic ending. I haven’t read the book, only listened to the audible, but this was a well developed story with ace twists, that left you with a D’oh moment when your realised.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael Aguilera
  • 07-12-22

Pretty solid story

A little repetitive, but overall enjoyable. I found the performance really good, but a times monotonous.

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  • Mansoor786
  • 07-06-22

BRILLIANT!!!

You definitely need to listen to this, amazing story with amazing plot alongside fantastic narration by the awesome Travis baldree.
Everyhing from action to drama, the system is examined in enough detail but not completely fleshed out yet.
1000000% RECOMMEND💯💯💯💯

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  • Sunny Thompson
  • 05-29-22

Absolute Banger

It's rare that you get such a well crafted story that keeps you on edge, but an absolute diamond when you get a narrator like Travis Baldree that gives a real sense of individuality to each and every character.
11/10 will listen again.

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  • Chris
  • 05-23-22

A Jotun Hunting We Will Go

You can't really go wrong with Travis Baldree.. like ever.. the narration here is fantastic. In this one our hero gets isekai'd into a new fantasy world with those good ol' stats, and learns the lay of land on his own out in the boonies before he stumbles upon adventures guild-ers, evil Jotun and other hungry monsters. For the most part it's pretty upbeat with the occasional darkness and I'd liken in to the Beastborne series in tone

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Samuel Alpe
  • 05-13-22

fantastic piece of audio and literature

fantastic story, great depth and characters with real growth. brilliant system with a lot of fun aspects and unique takes on paths to power, can't wait for number 2!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-12-22

Good read.

Solid book with good story. Numbers are a tad on the chonky side but still good.