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Publisher's Summary

Although he was once the promising young CEO of a successful corporation, Lucas abandoned everything he knew and retreated from both the real world and his demanding life following a horrific accident. In order to cope with tragic loss, he began spending his time in virtual reality, lazing about in the sun, and living a carefree life.

When he learns that his escapist paradise is being threatened and is about to disappear, however, Lucas is once again forced to take action and do what he does best: take charge. With newfound purpose, Lucas desperately begins making plans that will not only save the world that he has come to love but also propel him back into the spotlight once again - only this time as the villain.

In this GameLit LitRPG adventure, Lucas overthrows local lords, assumes command of the evil Imperium’s forces, and begins designing a dungeon that no player would ever want to miss out on. As he struggles to evolve his monsters and create an entourage of minions in order to become the greatest villain ever, however, Lucas realizes that things aren’t going to be as easy as they initially seemed.

Dave Willmarth, writer of the Greystone Chronicles: "A great start to a new series from a master storyteller! The MC being more of an anti-hero is a new twist for Charles, and I’m really enjoying it!"

This book is brought to you from the author of the Litrpg series War Aeternus, The Bathrobe Knight and Merchant of Tiqpa.

©2019 Charles Dean (P)2019 Charles Dean

What listeners say about The Heroic Villain

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

World not thought out

I’m always getting older. So I don’t have time or tolerance anymore for stories that don’t have well-thought out worlds. When it’s said he was the *only* player to *ever* fall into the negatives, I was like ‘okay sounds good’. When it said after that that the game had been out for eight years, given the previous fact I was like ‘well... ok... not impossible I guess but highly unlikely.’ When he discovered the bug, I was like ‘I’ll begrudge you that one given the first fact but I don’t like it.’ When she said that the devs *knew* about the bug, I was like, ‘okay super lazy for a futuristic tech but sure— human incompetence transcends time.’ Then. Then! It says that he is the *first* player to *ever* take the villain route. Nope. Fuck that.

Plus, through all of this, it danced weirdly around the protag’s background and never mentions nor demonstrates his personality as CEO-like, as provided in the synopsis.

Also the sounds engineering is pretty distracting. There are some parts where the effects are so loud it drones out the narrator. It could have grown on me though.

45 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

It’s like the Anime Overlord

Its almost like the anime Overlord only the MC isn’t overpowering & broken or trapped in another world. The story is pretty good as the MC makes his way towards the top, Jeff & co. did a really awesome job on the voices, I rather enjoyed it & can’t really say anything otherwise it might spoil the story. All in all it’s a really great book!

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

I like my LITRPG's without wine and cheese, thanks

I actually listened to this one twice. First time, I was distracted, so I didn't really get to notice how bad this one was. I guess I was distracted by all the pretty noises, the overused drum track and the other noises.

Before I year this a new asshole, I have to point out that the supporting characters were actually fantastic with their own personalities and I found myself caring for them more than the main character.

Now, lets talk about the overloaded MC.

First, a CEO; ok, so that's a trope to make the reader believe he is smart without actually having to prove it. Got it.
Second, he likes wine and cheese: which in our society somehow conveys sophistication? Got it...
Third, he somehow accidentally was the only person to stumble upon a cheat in the system. Ok?
Alright, so we have smart, sophisticated and lucky. Got it.

Then we go through the rest of the book and not only are those three traits completely ignored, the main character actually conveys opposite characteristics than those he was supposedly created to embody. Ugg.

This book was trying to be too many things at once. It was trying to be a love story, a tragedy a lit rog and a fantasy/sifi all smashed into one, yet it failed miserably at them all. It actually had terrible game mechanics that were built upon not so we'll thought out world progression, with trope mechanics that were only meant to scare the reader into thinking the main character was about to lose it all if he died.

Then there is the ending... Talk about an anti clamactic ending. Without spoiling it for those who.might be interested after all this, the ending resolution is explained away by his main love interest, for the most retarded of reasons. Basically, the main bad guy is a bad guy in IRL and his actions in and out of the game would land him in some serious shit, yet like true Asian anime style, lets just pretend it didn't happen and it will go away...

Yep, this is truly a trash story that could have been better if the writer had cared about the book. The writer knows nothing of gamers to think that people who played a game for eight years would not know every in and out of every quest line, event and character in a game. It's an insult to people who actually play games and I am surprised people are eating this so highly because it has sound effects.

Fucking melinnials!

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Doesn't deliver on premise

This book had so many good ideas, which made it all the more annoying when it failed to deliver on them at all.

Lucas is just a terrible villain, and the author didn't make me believe he was some ruthless CEO at all. He comes off as a regular ass litrpg protag that is just playing the game for a different faction. To use Warcraft as an example, he's more the first Horde playable character than he is the ruthless, cunning, diabolical Onyxia.

One of his companions is a straight up spymaster. Instead of sending her into enemy territories to sow discord and make his enemies fight amongst each other from within...he has her healing in most fights. I'm not joking.

A story like this doesn't actually need many fight scenes, but they are littered throughout and fought in the most uncunning way imaginable. Honestly, I just started skipping them entirely because the thought of him acting like the regular protagonist that proclaims he despises just got annoying.

I should add, I'm not complaining that Lucas wasn't cartoonishlt 'evil' enough. I'm disappointed that he lacked the cunning and charisma I wanted from a truly memorable antagonist... the kind the in-universe game actually needed.

Performance was stellar, as usual. However, SB have a habit of making spider monsters completely unintelligible that I wish they'd stop.

11 people found this helpful

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

Evilly good like an unhealthy snack cake

Awright, you know what time it is. That’s right it is time for another SOUNBOOTH SPOTLIGHT!!!! Whoop Whoop!

Sorry had to naughty up the narrators a little bit since this book technically lacks naughty bits. The actual narration is performed by Jeff hays, Annie Ellicott, Justin Thomas James, with a special guest appearance by Annileise Rennie.

So, I am including this in this show for few reasons. First, because we have a naughty MC who is the villain of the story rather than the hero. Secondly, because Charles Dean likes to create harems and then make you want action to take place but you never get to see any action. Third, simply because this book is such a departure from what he usually writes that there is barely any beer in the book, and nary a strip of bacon to be seen. There is a sultry bath scene that is nicely descriptive, but don’t go looking for other types of naughtiness.

I will say that I did talk to Charles about this book, and we had a bit of a disagreement over the ending. He claimed that when he wrote this he had no intention of writing more books in this series, and that it was a completely self-contained tale, but I disagreed. I think the end did nothing but set up a second book. We had too many things unfinished, such as the vampire’s questline, and the other continents that needed dealing with, so I’m calling him naughty for trying to make me doubt what I’d read.

The book is clever and smartly written, and centers on a lonely guy mourning a loss and trying to just spend his days drifting about a game world doing nothing but drinking wine and eating cheese until he learns that the game is going to be shut down. Now, any other player would just move onto a new game, but the MC, Lucas, has reasons for not wanting to see this particular game world die off. So he pairs up with a dev to figure out a new way to draw players back to the game without any new content being developed.

Dean is pretty slick in the way that he handles negative levels, and having Lucas handle betraying team members. As always, he creates a set of characters to titillate the reader, but for me the BDSM Mercenary was my favorite. Bonnie! That’s her name. I loved her, if I had to pick a favorite then she’d be it. There is also the sympathetic girl, played by his game changing accomplice who is more than she seems and closer to him than he realizes.

I especially enjoyed the fat spider and the flying gorilla, but the spider Saba made me laugh consistently. A body shamed spider is not something you see everyday. The story is whip smart and crafted meticulously and definitely leaves you wanting more.

The SBT crew add in a ton of SFX and music and they perform the hell out of this book. Oddly, I did think the drumming during the battle scenes didn’t fit as well here. They kind of distracted me from the story, and I know that I’ve said that I’ve enjoyed similar work in the past but here it just seemed out of place for some reason. It wasn’t a game changer, but it did throw me off when it started up. Otherwise, just amazing. Oh, and kudos for including the ever amazing Anniliese Rennie in the book. That was just chocolate sauce on my whipped cream banana split. I can never get enough of Rennie, and to hear her paired up with SBT was a really special moment. Hays is just fun, and takes a morose Lucas into a conniving villain role very believably. JTJ has fun with his role as the betrayed gamer. Anneliese fits right in with the SBT team. Personally, I think they all get better every time they do a new book.

Final score 8.6 stars. Super awesome, with some great surprises both story wise and in the narration.

11 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Narrator did best he could

Narrator did a good job.

I wanted to like this story. The story started out strong but fell apart pretty quick. It had a limited track and showed very little promise for growth.

It’s a bummer was looking forward to starting a good new series.

11 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Decent narration marred by amateur writing

The audiobook production quality on this is pretty good and there are a handful of interesting concepts marred by poor writing and storytelling.

The characters are unengaging and almost universally unlikeable. The backstory of the main character is bizarre and unconvincing, and the rest of the characters are walking anime tropes. The attempts at humor are sophomoric and lead to cringing about every five minutes like clockwork. Deus ex machina is the primary plot device and my eyes rolled so hard I was afraid my corneas would detach every time the author used the word "Philistine", which was often.

The worst part of it all is the main character seems desperate to not be labeled a white knight to the extent that he's pretty much a walking cliche of a white knight.

I'm really not trying to be mean, but this was really bad. I think masochism is all that drove me to the end.

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Thorough Audio Adventure

This story follows a traditional LitRPG troupe, but doesn't say within the virtual realm (though not enough for my taste for these types of voluntary litrpg inclusion-type stories). It follows a former higher-up in a company who helped create a vrmmo game but loses his wife and then his meaning for living. He spends months and months after her death by hiding and "dying" in the game in order to escape from the real world. Something that many people can relate to. The story touches on some aspects of depression and how it affects the families as a whole. It handles this subject well.

The story from there goes as expected. But what sets this audio book apart is the audio producers and the audio artists who give their all to this story. There are sound effects galore that DO NOT get in the way of the story. In my opinion it adds a much desired dimension to the narration.

I can not but recommend this book if you are in to litRPG. There is no harem. There are some strong sexual innuendos and situations however.

9 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Cringe filled mess

There is a lot of garbage in the LitRPG genre and this entry is no exception. This is one of those books where it is made very obvious that the author has either never played a game before or just doesn't understand how they work on a fundamental level. Quite possibly both.

The characters are bland and alternately annoying or unbelievably cringe inducing. Normally I'd say Sound booth Theatre is a redeeming quality for a book. In this case not at all. The readers were fine, but good lord the sound effects. Constant, intrusive sound effects.

Having read some of the author's other works I figured I'd give them another chance. What a miserable mistake that was.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The background music is way too loud

Read the title. Other than that the book was really good. And whoever decided to add the music please STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • 10-21-19

Decent story and exceptional production quality

Short

The book is worth a listen if you are willing to suspend your disbelief a little more than usual and accept that the story is there to facilitate it.

Narration

The narration is exceptional. Different characters are "read" by different voice actors and all are top quality marked especially by Jeff's brilliant voice narration.

Story

The main character is an X CEO of his own company that after his wife died retreated into the game. It's an alright premise, but so many plot devices are used throughout the story, where things are done and explained in a rather convenient and illogical manner to move along the story. The main characters tragedy being used as a primary but thin motivation. The book also sort becomes a parody of itself at times, by falling into many tropes it makes fun of.


World

The book doesn't cover a world ending scenario, which is rather refreshing and the mechanics of the game world are interesting and well described.

The characters themselves are also pretty good, if their motivation again rather thin. 1 character needs alot of money for hinted reasons, but could clearly be better of in many other ways.

If i could I would rate the book 3.5 stars. The game aspect of the book is interesting and characters well written. However personally I found much of the book light on well constructed story aspects.

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MK
  • 07-24-19

Ruined by sound effects

I don't know who added the drum beats and random low quality ambient sound but they should be fired and replaced by someone competent

The book itself I actually rather enjoyed but was always annoyed when the sound effects happened and couldn't concentrate on anything other than how stupid the person or people who added them must be

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jason K
  • 06-13-21

Good find - Not class leading but entertainment nonetheless

I liked the book it kept me entertained. By the end of the book I was had grown to like the protagonist.
If you’re a fan of LitRPG I would get in there.
I found it to be safe. The story arch was not the plot of the century and it was easy to see the direction it was taking. But the journey was light and fun. Sound booth is great per usual. Only thing is the voice of the protagonist sounds a little like Boxxy (Everybody loves large chests) making me wish I was listening that series instead. Ah well!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ian Rider
  • 11-12-19

The heroic villain.

I enjoyed this book, as a LITRPG fan, I'd class this as a softer side, really enjoyable though.
The main character Luke is really likable, his side kicks are great and compliment the whole story.
I'm quite sure there will more to come from the Heroic Villain.
Great narration.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ho-Man Yau
  • 08-30-19

more of an audio drama than book.

this is an interesting audio book as its more like a drama with multiple voice actors and background music. I really liked it as it gave it a feeling of it being more than your usual audio book.
I look forward to the next book in the series.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bugi344
  • 08-18-19

villian but not really

a good book with a good blend of litrpg elements. not too much of one thing. if the sound effects weren't too loud in a couple of places it wood have been perfect.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. Ir Pinch
  • 08-14-19

great performance

really enjoyed the story. Loved the use of sound effects and music. I see there are a some people in the reviews that wernt that into it but Imo it was fantastic. I felt it really added to the emersion for me at least. Hope to hear more like it in the future.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-12-19

A great setup for a possible sequel

Makes me excited for a sequel, despite the overused tropes in this book.

Kinda tired of the dark and broody characters who lost their loved ones, only to never acknowledge and engage with a love interest 😒

The atmosphere music is too inconsistent to be welcome and ends up being frustrating. The sound effects weren't bad and don't mind the continual use I suppose.

And that spider voice was so annoying that I almost dropped it right there....

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • L.
  • 07-25-19

What an experience

I've read this book on 3 separate occasions. I could never imagine, that the Audiobook would beat my imagination; but it did.

The storytelling of soundbooth theater has surpassed every experience I've ever had. I don't think any audiobook will every surpass this book. I've had so much fun listening to this book, and quite literally shoved it down my families throat so they would listen to it aswell.

I love you, guys.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • vebjørn
  • 08-10-22

Good overall but deteriorates in book 2

I find the worldbuilding and combat to be quite interesting. Having almost finished book 2 though, I find that the story suffers from unwilling-harem-protagonist syndrome. As someone who has been interested in video games for most of my life i find that i also have to apply a good deal of suspension to my belief. The author really had to underestimate the curiosity and tenacity of gamers to make this plot work.

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  • Ryan
  • 12-02-19

A Good Story except for the workplace toxicity

The overall story is a fun and generally interesting Light LitRPG story with the main character taking on the role of the villain for fun, profit and spiritual healing after a traumatic life event.
Not the worst I have read of this type but not the best either. That said the story suffers from one little plot point that makes me hate the main character and a lot of what he stands for.

**Spoilers for the ending**
The main character turns a blind eye to a truely horrible case of workplace sexual abuse.
The final antagonist, an in-game moderator and real world boss, who goes by the delightful name of Maidbanger. The final villain/boss/supervisor uses his real-world power to threaten an employee and direct underling with workplace consequences if she does not sleep with him. Everyone involved from victim to the hero let's it go as something that can't be stopped.
The victim explains that her boss has already been spreading rumours and will just use the "she was asking for it defence", the hero accepts it as something that can't be stopped as it's just a boy's will be boys situation.
The company that employs the victim and abuser is described as simply being willing to fire the victim as the simplest solution to keep the company and workplace happy.
All this describes a truely toxic and horrible work place and something that the heroes should be fighting against but in the end it is simply shrugged at as part of the system and something to get in the way of the game that they are all playing. This dispite the fact that 'The Hero' of the story is infact a rich and powerful individual real world and has a direct influence on how the company is run and who is employed by it.
They have to power to easily stop this kind of abuse, I repeat easily stop it with no consequences to themselves and they don't.

I have worked in a corporate environment for years and while I know these kinds of places do exist I have worked hard to stop them when I see them. I have counseled victims and abusers on numerous occasions and even had to deal with the horrible consequences when no one stepped in and a person has taken their own life.

This story treats the abuse as a minor part of the hero's journey, something that he see's as wrong but fails to stop because the victim says it will cause more harm to her to stop it. I can only hope that future books step in to fix this but the initial reaction turned me away as a reader.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-09-21

DNF

Boring, slow, it’s been done better. Try checking out Everybody loves Big chests for a villain plot line in an RPG world.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Vassili
  • 03-02-20

Boring and Insignificant but Great Narrating

Story is boring and inconsistent. Annoying Characters. Worse than the interlude parts of Assassin's Creed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Xravia
  • 09-22-19

Stellar Sound Design.

A great story with a clear progression, character development and storyline. The sound design accents it wonderfully and it combines into a geat listen.

Something I could add would be to give some more credit to the other players in the game. They already missed out on the negative level exploit and an entire facet of the system that lets players generate thier own quests. which would be a major selling point. That can all be addressed in the next book as what sort of gamer would spend 2 years in the tutorial zone
o.o

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Embrakh
  • 09-04-19

Amazing Quality and Better Writing.

Like how I ignored this author's other book series because the Book one's art. I avoided this series because of the name.

However, like that series I instantly fell in love with the story and the characters once I have it a shot. Jeff and Annie's amazing voice acting, the wonderful sound work and Charles Dean's solid writing made every minute a blast.

It's gotten to a point that every book he releases with Sound Booth is a Must Buy.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 08-07-19

The Heroic Villain

Charles Dean is one of the most talented and skilled author's I enjoy his work greatly. This book is bloody brilliant and can't wait to buy the next book of this series and with the voice acting talents and skills of Anneliese Rennie, Justin Thomas James,
Annie Ellicott and Jeff Hays who's narration makes the characters and world come alive this book is a must to listen to and owned... 12/10 stars.