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Law of Strength  By  cover art

Law of Strength

By: David Burke
Narrated by: Daniel Wisniewski,Rebecca Woods
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Publisher's Summary

Rob is a sheriff's deputy faced with a choice: die in a meaningless shootout six hours from now, or accept the offer of a new life in another world offered by a mysterious goddess.

But it won't be easy. He has to bring law and order to the wild frontier. The shocks keep coming when he finds out humans aren't native to Olimero. It is a land populated with fierce orcs, wild beastkin, and cunning elves.

He may not have their magic, but he does have an edge. As an outsider, he has no cap on his stats. He will need to train, fight, and survive if he wants to rule. But with that comes a world worth protecting, complete with exotic beauties he never imagined.

Disclaimer: Contains mature content and sexy monster girls.

©2022 David Burke (P)2022 Podium Audio

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Not that impressed

FYI, I used this on Amazon as well as an updated review, that's why it speaks of an old review since, on Amazon, I left my old review below it.

Fair warning, some spoilers are used as examples...

First things first, Daniel and Rebecca do a great job. They bring characters to life and as usual, I love the dual narrative approach as it helps one immerse themselves in the story as if listening to an old radio show.

Also, there's entertainment value here for some people and I recognize that although the bulk of my review is going to focus on criticism. Although I listened to the majority of the story (skipped the smut), I can't say that I found myself enthused. I feel like I'm starting to drift away from the current trends in HaremLit and Law of Strength didn't do much to help me feel different and in fact I found myself stating out loud to myself after listening to it, "I think I'm done with harems." Let me explain.

First, I'm not the type of fan/reader who favors the smut. In fact, if the author did a decent job getting me invested in the build up with one of the romantic interests, then I might read the first intimate moment and after that skim/skip as they all have the same qualities and none, if any after the first time, rarely benefit the plot or relationship development. They're just there for the smut content and counter. I'm not a prude, but when you have so much of this across the board throughout the genre, it's repetitive, boring, and as I said, often times unimportant. I realize there's a collection of readers, likely the majority, who want this given the high review numbers (which arguably isn't an accurate measure given some of the skewing and discouragement going on in the community in regards to negative opinions), but here we are. Not going to rant about that as ranting about that too much cause some of my reviews to get suspiciously "deleted."

Still, the point is that I'm not the type of fan who cares about the smut yet, MC's constant rejection of doing the deed annoyed me. That's saying a bit of something. Let me try to break this down further. I'm not against slow-burn harems and romances. In fact, as I've said before in other reviews, I actually prefer them. So what was the problem with this one? Well, I felt Burke handled it in a way that just brought the irritation out of you. What do I mean? Well, first, he sets it up with a character whose physical and mental stability is tied to having sex. The bunnykin in Burke's story, well the female ones, of course, when they reach puberty become the horniest of the horniest in this world. If they don't get enough sex, they start to lose their capability to reason properly and make proper decisions let alone the implication that it starts to influence them physically. Thus, by their nature, they will jump the bones of whoever to alleviate these negative side effects of not having enough sex.

To me, that's a giant problem. You'd think that the society around them would began to foster a safe environment for bunnykin girls to grow up and thrive in and ensure they have husbandos or friends who ensure they can alleviate their needs in a safe environment. Nope.

Still, the point is that MC's first love interest, is one of these bunnykin girls. MC is told, (this happens often) directly that bunnygirl has saved herself for him. Que in the aforementioned point about if they go to long without sex. She's already reached puberty, she's still a virgin tho, and none of the previous Sheriffs wanted to take her up on her offer. Her job is to alleviate the Sheriff's stress and ensure he's happy here in this world. She's essentially the Housewife figure, yet also the Nymphomaniac trope.

Yet, still the MC rebuffs her advances. Advances often caused by his actions. These are animal-girls, I'm reluctant to call them monster girls, but I guess that fits too. So, they have heightened senses and bunnygirl tells MC that she likes watching him work out, she likes watching his "muscles move" and watching him sweat. She's also the resident healer. So, when MC gets the bright idea to work himself to near death sometimes, he needs her to heal him. This puts them in close proximity where she, being an animal-kin smells his scent and he smells her. Where she, being what she is, has already been holding back and patient and when they ultimately end up in close proximity and, of course, in certain positions, she instinctively goes for it only to be rejected.

This happened again and again and again and I got what the author was going for with the MC. I understood it. It just started frustrating me. Especially when the MC gave the bunnygirl a definitivel line in the sand as a point where he promised he'd stop rejecting her. Yet, when he reached that achievement, what did he do the moment bunnygirl thought it was time to celebrate and had been patiently waiting on his promise? He rejects her again because he drudges up another issue to hem and haw about. He suddenly decided to focus on the fact (although he'd been told time and time again) that bunnygirl, as a Clerk in the Sheriff's employ, one of her jobs is to "alleviate his stress" codeword for do the nasty with him. So, he starts to worry that she don't like him like that for reals and so rejects her once more.

This caused me to ultimately not care once they finally got around to it. To piggy back on this, the author didn't do well showing the relationships developing. With bunnykin girl, this was one of the MC's hang ups, but instead of the author showing us their relationship developing and the MC actually putting in work to close this gap and solve this concern, we're told it. We're given a few lines about how over time they got closer in a short time skip. Yet, Burke has MC trapped in a building with bunnykin for a large portion of the beginning of the story "training" and misses an opportunity to use that time to allow them to have a few conversations revolving around getting to know one another, breaking the ice. Not conversations about sex, not conversations about the MC being a fish-out-of-water, and even if the author chose to do the latter, it could've been in the sense of the MC also getting to know bunnkin girl.

Burke also does this with the other girl. The MC goes on and on and on about how he won't force a woman to do this or do that. There's a point where the obvious future third member of the harem is promised to the MC in marriage. He inner monologues about how he's not down with that, etc. Right after doing the nasty with bunnygirl and saying to himself that he's going to stop approaching this world's culture with his own and trying to force his own views on this world. He goes right back to doing that. I digress. My point is he swears up and down to the reader (inner monologue) that he wont' force a woman to do anything against her wishes. He declares to Future 3rd Girl's father that he won't force his daughter to marry him if she doesn't want to. Yet with 2nd girl, Foxgirl (cover girl) at the end of the story he gets into bet with her that's supposed to be friendly, it's not until the author forces it to be, and forces her to kiss him (despite declaring he's not doing that.)

People who read this will say I'm misrepresenting it. I'm not. Let me explain. First, MC and Foxgirl had a sparring match. Up until this point she'd been beating him. He wins. She's upset. What little bit of a relationship they had, which wasn't much, takes a downward spiral as she's been unresponsive to him since that loss. After failing to have a proper adult conversation with her about their issues the next day, all his fault because he instead antagonizes her, MC still manages to get some time alone with her later the next day (I know, very short period of time, go with it), they go to an obstacle course MC had some people make. I won't get into it since I'm already dropping a ton of spoilers. The people who built the obstacle course want the MC and Foxgirl to race each other at the obstacle course.

MC, again, failing to have a proper adult conversation with the woman, decides to antagonize her to get her to do the obstacle course. Again, let me remind you that he knows she's already pissed off about losing among other things. He knows she's been on edge since he's been there because all of the humans sent to this world have died in a short time span and she feels responsible for his safety (despite a lot of his stupid ways). So, instead of having a heart to heart with the woman, taking charge like a mature adult male, the MC acts like a teenager who can't talk to people. He antagonizes her and manipulates her to accept a bet where she has to kiss him if she loses the competition? What? Seriously? Why is it that nearly all of the HaremLit authors, after some point and time, some morality heming and hawing, ultimately turn their MC's into jerks? Long story short, she loses the competition, of course, and MC forces her to kiss him (while saying he's not). Sure, she could've said "no" or showed disinterest, but when she tried to walk away after the competition, MC calls her back saying she forgot to give him a kiss and they had an audience and MC sort of points that out. Not necessarily, physically "forcing" her, I get that, but very very very heavy handed manipulation. So, still forcing her to do it. Still, of course, she's secretly "interested" and of course, this is a set up to get her into the harem because, of course, Burke forces the issue and she likes it and later ends up in the hot tub with him with bunnygirl. C'mon.

Then there's the inconsistencies or I would say the author forgetting he had characters or the narrative cover a thing only later to have the narrative or characters act like they didn't cover a thing. Two examples, the first one I covered below but will cover again. You're told that the goddess has sent Sheriffs to her world from Earth. Thus, they're not strange to that world. When MC gets there, some of the characters act like they never seen a human before. You're like, okay, maybe this is a remote area where humans have never been, and Burke tries to play that up, he really does, but he dropped the ball here. Why? Because when MC gets to the nearby town, he's told several times that all of the previous Sheriffs of that town were humans. Soooooo? Why did the first handful of people act like they never saw a human before? Also, throughout the story this vacillates. Some characters (yes, in the town) act like they're mesmerized by seeing a human.

Second example, bunnygirl and Foxgirl tell MC about the second floor of the Sheriffs office at some point in the story. They explain in tandem with other things, that it'll become available when MC achieves certain goals and the goddess, or whatever rewards him. They even express spending time with a sheriff who accessed the second floor, at least Foxgirl, IIRC. All in all, Indicating they have knowledge of the existence of this second floor. When MC wins the second floor and gains access to it and after the aforementioned loss of Foxgirl during the sparring match, he figures it might be a good idea to give her access to the Divine Console, for lack of better way of putting it, on the second floor to help with Foxgirl's investigation efforts and help them work as a team. Okay, cook, although I still felt like he could've just had a decent, adult conversation with her about everything. But still, he made an effort. When he goes to take them to the staircase that leads up to the second floor, they can't see it. Wait? What? I know, I know, I felt the same way. What made this an issue for me is that bunnygirl and Foxgirl act all in shock and like MC's making something up or acting crazy. Remember, they expressed knowledge that the second floor existed earlier in the story. Foxgirl even gets irate with MC because she lost last night and thinks he's mocking her even more. Even when MC walks upstairs to show them, they're all in surprised? I'm like, why? They know this place existed.

With that said, the story isn't horrible. Like I said, I can see entertainment value here, but these are the things that annoyed me. There's another point that I still felt annoyed about that I mentioned below such as the whole goddess bringing humans to Earth knowing they were ultimately weaker. Yes, while that point gets answered through the course of the story and I won't get into that since I've already dropped enough spoilers, suffice to say, it still raises questions about the goddesses ability. It starts to get into the discussion of having too much freedom and little security versus too much security and little freedom along with the topic of having so much freedom that a strong man (criminal element, etc.) comes along and either way, you're not really free. But, of course, as usual for HaremLit, Burke only uses that to give us faceless baddies for him to sick MC and entourage on from time to time.

I can nitpick on other things but won't. I'll leave it here and let you read the old review (on Amazon) if you choose to do so.

9 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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could not finish

Where to start... This story is a jumble of ideas that do not connect well. The author flip flops on lit-rpg and fantasy mumbo jumbo. I can tell the author is trying to create a unique world and setting but it fall very flat. Story is painfully slow with waaay too many paragraphs dedicate to characters appearance. A 1/3 of every chapter is spent re-hashing just how attractive already established characters are.

The MC is a lawman, but the author did zero re-search into that profession other than the Hollywood idea of generic cop guy. It seems to be a key part of the MC's character but it is neither integrated or expanded upon.

Daniel and Rebecca do a decent job of trying to bring this story to life but there isn't much to work with.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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omfg weak mc to the point he its stupid

idk if after the first few hours anything happens but after hour of the mc locked inside and doing jack shit other than get told he's no help I just couldnt keep interested anymore

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Monologue

Way way way to much monologue between that and the interlude just about killed the whole story Daniel tried way to hard the voice acting got so you hated listening to it Rebecca omg hit a home run lick always what a doll
As the story goes lacking action because of to much monologue people come ask for help and he’s more worried about lifting weights
I expected more good concept just got lost

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • JB
  • 04-14-22

good litrpg/cultivator

I liked the story, it was fun. the two narrators were great as always. similar to authors other work, which is a good thing.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Totally Awesome!!!

This book and the narrators drew me in from start to finish. I thought it would be good but it was even better than expected. five stars and two thumbs up. Definitely worth the credit.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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This is a harem series!

It seems really strange that there are so many people rating and reviewing this book and others complaining that this is a harem story.
The publisher AND the author tell you that in the preview of the book.
Reading a harem book and complaining about it being a harem book is as stupid as reading a Curious George book and complaining about it being a children's book. 🙄
Not only is this a start to a harem series... It is a great start to one of my favorite harem series, if not my favorite harem series.
David Burke has created wonderful characters in an extraordinary world full of love, sex, conflict and intrigue. And Woods and Wisniewski really bring it to life.
If you like harem LitRPG you are going to love this book and this series.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

loved it

my favorite David Burke series so far. looking forward to the rest of them coming to audio.

1 person found this helpful

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really good story with spicy moments

I really liked the story, it was the first "harén" book I've listened to.
the action was great, fight scenes well described, the MC isn't over powered from the start.
I think the "lucky stat" for the mc is too high in some cases but the pace of the story is great

and the "action" scenes are really well described.

this book convinced me that harén stories can be good too (I know it was a prejudice on my part since this was the first one I listened to...)

in general a great book, but just to be clear 18+ 😅

1 person found this helpful

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Fun listen

Great story and excellent performance by the narrators.

My only problem, and it's a minor one is with the MC. He can be a bit frustrating by wanting to be relied on but at the same time not entirely relying on others. Like when something happens to him, he decides to keep it to himself instead of asking about it. Then it's glossed over in a small time skip that they didn't know anything about it. Then what was the point of hiding it in the first place?

Then there is the MC's view on justice that I completely oppose. He thinks it's right to sacrifice an innocent if it meant to punish 99 guilty ones. That's frankly the type of attitude that has Police shooting people in the back for wearing a hoodie. Punishing an innocent is never acceptable when it comes to justice since that is not justice anymore. How can the people trust someone that isn't there to protect the innocent?
Fortunately, that hasn't come up as an actual issue in the book. I just don't like someone claiming to be in pursuit of justice thinking it's Okey for an innocent man to be unjustly punished for "the greater good". That is not justice. You are supposed to protect the innocent, even from yourself.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Emmanuel
  • 08-28-22

boring with not much of a plot

Couldn't finish it. main character is annoying spends too much time stressing over having sex with some bunny girl you would think he was a teenage virgin. There isn't really much if a plot either.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert
  • 11-17-22

Great story telling

This is the first book I’ve read of David Burke and it’s really been brought to life by Dan and Rebecca. I hope this series continues to grow.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • OB
  • 05-24-22

Ditching author

Between the dumb MC, the awful monologue and the whole I can't have sex with you for dumb reasons and the warped impressions of policing (eg for the greater good) , this whole book was a tedious mess.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • E Johnstone
  • 04-19-22

give this book a chance has a great storyline

was not too sure on it first but it Gets interesting fast great build up of character development as always good job by the narrators Daniel and Rebecca

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  • ObioneJZ
  • 05-26-22

Great book

Really interesting world building
Nice twist on the genre with a nice MC with a few morals
Solid females with depth of character
Nice intertwined stories that get you in and wanting more

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Athur E. Nonimus
  • 05-17-22

An time waster but don't expect intelligence

"There was a question at the academy" There are reasons why things are the way they are, most notably when you are the subject of the question. This frames the intellectual paddlepool that is this story in general. Don't get me wrong the action is decent, the pacing is good, the naration is excellent. But it's a C grade action audiobook at best.