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Publisher's Summary

An apocalypse. An epic change in biology. Humanity’s new powers. No instructions. So, everyone created their own!

Born over a century after ‘The Rise,’ Jeff scavenges with his tyrannical mother for survival. Banned from cultivating freely, Jeff wants none of this life; his one objective is to join the immortal rankers as they attempt to climb the Northern Tower. On the day of his escape, a powerful guild attacks Leah’s group, and Jeff is thrown through a unique dungeon portal - a portal that hasn’t been used in nearly a hundred years.

In the pursuit of Jeff’s ultimate goal, he must choose whether to follow the church, join a guild, or try it all on his own. Predators don’t only come from dungeons, and he must dig through mountains of misinformation for one straight answer.

When spells and skills unleash chaos, a special blue screen powers up, and Jeff’s journey to the peak or the grave begins.

©2021 Ryan DeBruyn (P)2021 Ryan DeBruyn

What listeners say about Starred Tower

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

It's good ...but there r issues

For at least the first half of the book I hated the MC. He was just an unlikeable idiot, but I realized eventually that Mr. DeBruyn was taking us on a journey with this one.
The MC is a child, his mom has some serious Love/Hate psychological issues so he's kind of a victim of abuse, and he's been overly sheltered from pretty much everything. In short he's ignorant. So with that in mind, it's not bad writing the kid is just a kid, and as such he's childish and prone to anger and foolishness.
Once I got over my issues with the MC, I started to appreciate how the story was being told. It's a nice slow pace, but things are still happening to keep you engaged. Like I've been alluding to, there's a ton of character growth and insofar as cultivation and levelling up I love the details about circulation of chi and clearing vessels/capillaries. The storyline has some aspects of political intrigue and its actually really well done.
I honestly thought that this was going to be more of a tower climb novel, and it will be ...but the crazy thing is this first book didn't really get into that aspect of the story too deeply. To me that means there's just that much more to look forward to in the next few books.

I'm rambling, but let me end with this ...get the book, give it a try, and be patient with it. The first book did a lot of foundation building, and I think the story will only get better as the series goes on.

Definitely worth getting. I highly recommend it to fans of cultivation fantasy and litrpg.

17 people found this helpful

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I don't like a DUMB MC who never learns

This book was a waste of 16 hours that I can't get back....the image on the cover is very fitting for this book because the MC was a recalcitrant manchild and all through the book I wished someone would bash his head in...I would say more but I'm becoming angry writing this review.

6 people found this helpful

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Great Story with Superb Narration

I really loved this book! It's well-written, witty, and the events unfolded at an exciting pace. I really liked how the story started. It intrigued me and got me hooked.

Steve Campbell and Andrea Parseneau were absolutely awesome! They did a superb job in bringing the characters to life. They definitely made my listening experience so enjoyable!

Can't wait for the next one. For sure, the story will just get better!

4 people found this helpful

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Really wanted to like

This audiobook is great to listen to but the decisions and plot holes are insane.

Literally insane.

The author gets stuck and just makes an awful decision then spends a chapter fixing it.

All of this book is based on one group of murderers who never have to do anything and a character who has to why me no fair through it all in a no sense unreasonable situation.

Literally great writing horrible choices.

Example: squatting in a house only basement left. Murder group buys house to get a special item?

Give us item or we destroy item and you can’t come here without trespassing

3 people found this helpful

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Looking forward to book 2 in the series.

I was leery because the cover looked different than I am but see to but it gave it a whirl and I’m glad I did. Interesting progression model but not completely fleshed out. I’m not sure how he is growing but not progressing. I could have easily missed it as I listen with 1 ear while chasing around toddlers or driving. But the story is good and the characters are interesting. I enjoyed the progression of the Main Character and especially his building then falling relationships. This also sets up well without a major cliff hanger leaving me pandering which I appreciate. But there are several more storylines to progress that should be darn good.

3 people found this helpful

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Another engaging story from Ryan DeBruyn

I enjoyed this story a lot and look forward to book 2. As with many LitRPG books, the start of the story is a bit stat-heavy as our main character discovers how the world works. After getting over that, we find a an interesting main character who discovers that his sheltered childhood has left him unprepared for the real world. As he learns and explores we learn with him. Along the way we pick up a few extra characters who I am looking forward to getting to know as they evolve in the series. My first reaction to the end of the book was to wish that book 2 had been released. Narration by Steve Campbell and Andrea Parsneau is up to the high standards that the both regularly achieve. Andrea is a delight to listen to and she portrays Leanne's tenuous grip on her sanity very well. Steve once again does a wonderful job of bringing the character's personalities to life. Bring on book 2!

3 people found this helpful

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nice read

I really enjoyed this read. I seldomly listen to books twice but I enjoyed this one so much I came back after a month to listen again. can't wait for book 2!

2 people found this helpful

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One of my favorite audiobooks.

I am updating my review. This is one of my favorites and this is my fourth reread. I have purchased both the ebook and audiobook and am awaiting the sequels. Please get on that Ryan.

2 people found this helpful

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5 stars for potential

This book has massive potential. The MC is so frustrating though. I’m just going to be honest. He sucks. That’s the best way to put it. Sorry this review has spoilers. He tries to come up with witty lies to keep his secrets and fails a lot. He gets picked on a lot but shows his anger at weird times. He thinks slowly at times and he is terrible with people. There is more I can say, but let’s get with the good.
The potential. The ranking and all of that is standard. He did luck out with the training room. He does have to work hard for his gains. He did save a damsel. He is different. Lol.
I just hope he has better outcomes in the next book

2 people found this helpful

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Fun times.

From nothing....to something? Good story, very naïve and sheltered MC which is frustrating at times but very believable. I will be eagerly awaiting the second book in this series. Steve Campbell does an excellent job of narration, and the bloopers at the end are quite entertaining. Always worth a listen when he's at the mic.

2 people found this helpful

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  • SystemState
  • 07-13-21

Training focused LitRPG.

World: The book is primarily set 100 years after an event called The Rise. An event in which 7 pillars rose from the Earth and led to the ultimate fall of civilisation as we know it. Each person alive discovered they now contained a new organ, the God Organ, an organ which provided humanity with new powers to face the new threat...only there was no instruction manual. Tone: In terms of litRPGs despite being a post-apocalyptic world with many houses reclaimed by nature. The general tone relatively light with a sense of adventure about the new world. This send there are darker themes that do crop up, which in my opinion are handled well and with the correct tone. Plot: The book centres around Jeff Smith (a name which I suspect was chosen by the author intentionally because it is so regular), who travels around with a band of mercenaries and his overbearing mother. A mother who's past trauma haunts her and who is intent that he should learn as little as possible about cultivating and making his God Organ stronger. One who Jeff plans to escape from. This is his life until he is one day separated from his mother and finds himself in a unique dungeon portal. One that has not seen use in nearly a hundred years. Now free of her tyrannical rule Jeff finds himself trying to make his way in a world he is not entirely unfamiliar with but has been sheltered from. Why I love this book: The first thing to note is that in LitRPGs there are a number of different standard trope and this book pulls on some providing its own unique flavour and does so well. The main character feels rather real, making wise decisions as well as understandably naive or occasionally irrational ones. Resulting in a well rounded feeling. He is a product of his upbringing and acts accordingly. The world is wonderful with the foundation of it set, the author drops hints and notes about other events have and will occur in the future. Some to help round out the world and some as portent for a later narrative. The LitRPG system is based on this mysterious organ and what they refer to as "liquid" (effectively Chi) with humanities understanding or lack there of driving it to become more powerful. What this results in is a system in that increasing in strength is not a matter of slaying enemies but rather by improving and cultivating oneself and one's understanding of the God Organ and internal path ways. There a quick routes to power, but the quickest routes may not always be best. An additional aspect I love about this system is the foundation of exercise and study in making oneself stronger, in addition to the regular acclimation of stat points. The author's background as an ex-professional athelete, makes an appearance here as full exercise routines are dotted throughout the book. (Yes before you ask I do intend to give them a go 😊). The main story arc is set such that it is completed within this narrative but as the story progresses enough points are hinted as to where the narrative may follow and the adventures that are yet to come. This left me finishing the book with a good feeling of completion but with excitement for the next in the series. Narration: This is the first time I've listened to Andrea and I am confident to say that it will not be the last as I'll have to look for more of her work. I have listened to Steve before and continue to enjoy his narrations. His pacing and inflection is excellent, his range of character voices enables you to easily identify who is speaking, I'm always happy to listen to his books. Overall: Loved it and I hope others give it a try.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Nicholaspoiuy
  • 11-24-21

Not bad but very slow progression litrpg

This is not a bad listen. The story is let down by a few problems. 1) the MC is incredibly stupid. He lies to and refuses help from all the good people who want to help him and tells the truth and asks for help from all the evil people who want to kill him. As the MC this level of stupidity gates. 2) the story has a lot of plot holes where the MC is concerned. Like he is the only half human who can speak to monsters etc the story suffer from many illogical, deus ex machina plot holes. 3) the MC hardly even progress a single level by the end of the book. 4) without the deus ex machina plot holes the MC would have died 100 times because of his stupid decisions.

On the positive side, the dialogue between crash the AI, and the goblin side kick is fun. The story dose have some fun action.

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  • Eddie
  • 10-01-21

great book!!

I loved this book but I think that it's a to fasted passed at some bits and it also took me awhile to get actually like this book but in the end it's a good book :D

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • James Dick
  • 09-30-21

Amazing listen

I listen to a lot of audiobooks when driving at work and I’ve got to say that I’ve enjoyed this more than most. The narration and story kept me interested and listening even when not out driving which isn’t usual for me. If it were a book it would definitely have been one I wouldn’t put down. Now going to buy the book 2 so I can keep reading it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Pen Name
  • 09-24-21

Amazing

Great story, interesting characters lots of world building, cultivation, lots of funny moments and one liners a must read if you like apocalyptic litrpg books

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Cogentnick
  • Cogentnick
  • 09-22-21

Good story, terrible protagonist

This is probably one of the most stressful books I've listened to.
the protagonist is entitled, a pathological liar and every possible bad choice that can be made he will.

on the other hand, the story is good, I ended up listening to the end wanting to know what happens next. despite constantly screaming at Jeff while driving. I mean constant frustrated screaming.

But other than that... worth a listen, the author writes well and the main performer is very good and of course Andrea P is always amazing.

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  • Carl Pierce
  • 09-02-21

Original and good.

Deserves five stars. Starts a little weird but all soon makes sense. Definitely buy if you enjoy lit rpg.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Morris
  • 08-07-21

10/10 Defo Ryans best work! I loved the story but.

The MC comes across as a baby! He's 21 but carries on like a child. Fortunately he does appear to mature towards the end. (That was my only negative)

On a more positive note this book shows great character progression through training and cultivation. The MC's companions show great promise and adds comedic elements to the story. I'm fully invested. I can't wait for book 2.

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  • SignalThor
  • 08-04-21

Can't wait for book 2.

Literally read this in 1 day. Man what an amazing ride this was. Probably 1 of my favorite cultivation litrpg stories.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cj
  • 08-01-21

great new series!

I'm a fan of the author's other work and was not disappointed by this, I highly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-21-21

Good book

This is a great first book to for a series can’t wait for the next one give it a try.the voices were great too.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-30-21

Excellent

The end credits are still rolling and I am already johnessing for the next book. An interesting story although perhaps a little slow as the MC is not quickly becoming op. I am frustrated that he does not sell dungeon finding as that would seem to be a massive money maker.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-25-21

Great!!!

Really enjoyed the characters and the story had a few new interesting twists on a great genre!
I would highly recommend this book to people who enjoy the game like cultivation of other books.
looking forward to the next instalment.