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Publisher's Summary

A game too good to be true. A golden opportunity. A nightmare he can’t escape.

If Arthur Mallory plays one more steaming pile of garbage disguised as a virtual role-playing game, he might hang up his gaming hat for good. When he discovers the new “deep dive” game Worlds Unbound, he decides it might be worth a try. If it sucks, he'll just return it the next day and cancel the financing.

The game is everything he could have wanted, even without elves or dwarves or character creation. The magic system has him hooked.

He’s willing to overlook the mangled sleep schedule and crippling nightmares if it means feeling that power running through his veins. But when an accident leaves his headset broken, he realizes he might be cut off from the magic - and the game - for good.

He’s not going to let that happen.

©2021 Gregory Blackburn (P)2021 Mountaindale Press

What listeners say about Unbound

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

Audible only, book cannot be bound

Interesting new release from a new author to MDP.

Favorite quote from the book:

"Ari get over here, I am about to do something stupid"

"I am going to destroy this ring so fast it will make Frodo's head spin"

There are a ton of cultural references that make this book fun to listen to. Very creative and fun to read.

Minimal profanity
No sexual content
No drugs or alcohol

22 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Not As Advertised

I was pretty surprised by some of the great opinions and thorough reviews of this title. I listened to 90% of it before I remembered I could get my credit back (thanks for that great feature audible!). Here are the issues I had with this title.

1- Its not a dark fantasy, I know whether something is dark is subjective. However calling this "dark" is like calling Paranorman "dark". Its dark if you're a 5 yo
2- The MC is an actual and consistent idiot. The entire book he just clicks yes on everything and reads nothing about the pros and cons. Then ignores the catastrophe that follows. He even does it in the middle of the battle. I lost track of how many times he said "guess I cant do anything now but wait for death" too many times for me to keep track. Literally every side character keeps saying how dumb he is. Its annoying to listen to because I just want him to die by mid book.
3- The voice actor was decent, but he really needs to learn the correct pronunciation of gaming terms. It can get pretty "how are you reading that word that way!?"
4- The world system is weird. I don't need the moment broken to be told that the MC rolled a negative with his athletic stat and then tripped on a pebble while walking.... why would the reader care about that?

16 people found this helpful

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Fantastic Start to a New Series by a New Author

First let me say that this is a fantastic first book from a first-time author. The language and writing style are incredible. You can tell there is a bit of esoterism going on with the author. Let’s break down the book a bit since I know it is critical for good reviews for a first-time author beyond just the “5 stars”. I’ll go through the wins and growth points of the story, the author, and the reader.

Story Wins
The main character Korrash/Arthur is a fun character to read/listen. He reminds me of every tabletop game I have ever played where a min-max character wants to do something absurd and then either fails or succeeds spectacularly. The interaction between Arthur and a few specific characters is fun and engaging but it is clear that this character is largely antisocial and that certainly comes through in his interactions. The undercurrent of the story is where the real intrigue is though. There is clearly something else afoot. Finally, the ‘darker’ parts of the story is where this book really shines, the “nightmare” was just awesome.

Story Growth Points
It was slower than it should have been in parts and took some turns that were a little clunky. Also, in the beginning the combat was a bit hard to follow which happens with ever new author ever. Finally, the system stuff was a little heavy for a listener. I am a guy who likes some stat dumps so it never really bothered me but I can see some redundancies. For example, when someone trips over a rug we can just go ahead and assume that they failed a roll, telling us that doesn’t help us progress the story. All that being said, it never once took away from my experience at all.

Author Wins
This author clearly loves the written word. Some of the best writing in the book is when he waxes a bit poetic (Interludes). Also as mentioned above the nightmare and dark fantasy aspects were fantastic. The magic system is a bit esoteric and as a long time gamer made me think about things along the way. I also loved the technical writing as much of it made actual sense and wasn’t ‘just’ a bunch of technojargon put on the page. Finally, I really liked the fun easter eggs that were speckled throughout the book.

Author Growth Points
Did I mention Esoteric? I mean that the system in question is crazy abstract. I saw one person say it was like Big Bang theory describing quantum physics without anyone there to reign it in. While this is very likely good for those of us who like that kind of thing, I also saw that there was a person who couldn’t even finish the book because she wasn’t smart enough to figure it out. This can be a good or bad thing and as a first-timer the author should consider these types of readers.

Reader Wins
Okay so Christian is a fantastic and engaging reader. His characterization is phenomenal and I really enjoyed the vocal changes for the computer.

Reader Growth Points
Some of the words the reader use put the emphasis on the wrong syllables. It just breaks me out of the story every time. Also Rapier…

9 people found this helpful

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Poorly conceived & Poorly written.

could not finish, I'd swear this was written by a retarded 12 year old.

3 people found this helpful

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Not sure what went wrong.

I tried to listen to this book all the way through because of the great reviews. I couldn't make it. It just didn't seem well put together. A new character defeating Legendary class mobs from the start doesn't make sense. The dialogue would just get lost and seem jumbled at times. I usually like the narrator but even he seemed off his game with this one. I will admit that it could just be me. I hope the author continues to write and I will give other books a try. I'm always willing to give a book a listen. I'm sorry this book didn't work for me. I just kept thinking "Huh" or "really, that doesn't even make sense". I can only do that so many times. Good luck to the author and narrator on future books. I do wish you the best.

3 people found this helpful

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one person story

Struggled to finish. Storytelling is just from just the M.C. and a wall of character stats. Any other characters in the book are just added to move the story along. Nothing is surprising rather easy to tell where the story is going, and it's slow to get there. Would like so see the M.C. interact with more people and more character development.

3 people found this helpful

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Dark fantasy indeed

So yeah! Ooh boy! This takes a really dark turn on the litrpg genre.

Overall the book was brilliant! A good mix of deeper, darker moments and the main character being a nerdy goof.
There were a few moments in the book that got me genuinely cringing! Not due to bad writing or anything, but just to the realization that if i would be put to the situation, i would be trying the same thing!
In my opinion the author has a good graps on what is trendy, and makes a good job at adopting it into his own world.

The game system is really freaking complex, and it has some annoying parts, like constant updates on skill successes and failures, but i don't see a reason to deduct any points from anything that minor.

TLDR: Great book, great laugh, great mystery, can't wait for the book 2!

3 people found this helpful

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Wow just wow!

This book knocks it out of the park, and leaves it open to a whole new world of possibilities! The magic system is really really good! Narration is done well and draws you in. Looking forward to the next book!

2 people found this helpful

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An intense journey, in life of pure nightmares

It takes a little while to get past the tutorial and heavy exposition, but this book, once it gets up to speed, is VERY dark, but funny book, something that I haven't seen since reading the Drizzt DND books. The aspects of horror combined with LitRPG make for an experience akin to somebody playing Silent Hill in your head, but it doesn't get too scary so much that I'm uncomfortable continuing.

The writer's style is unusually explicit -- as in detailed, not as in implicit content, which leads to a style that sounds like a good dungeon master, which makes me wonder if a lot of lit RPG authors got their start with tabletop games. Eventually the main character's companion feels like an extension of the interface, which makes for large sections of content feel paranoia and isolation.

Christian Gilliland was an excellent narrator, and the audio effects were interesting, but not overused.

Without spoiling it, but the relationship between the main character and his first love interest is intense and dark. I loved the expansive universe.

2 people found this helpful

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Its alright

It just feels like the story was aimless for a while and the mc is just moving forward but with no real goal. it was also very slow. I cant express how slow this book is.

This book is a pile of warm cafeteria food, I would eat it, but it would be bland and I would be unsatisfied.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Mansoor786
  • Mansoor786
  • 01-15-22

A good start

A nice LitRPG VR story where the MC goes through quite a few things which makes the plot and story quite exciting and interesting.
Definitely recommended.

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  • Ryan Pascall
  • 06-16-21

Ok but not exactly gripping.

Thisbis a tough book to review as, while on one hand I enjoyed it, at no point did I feel invested in any of the characters.

Main character is just a little boring and the sode cast are equally just a bit bland. The RPG system is ok but again you never really feel you've become comfortable with the skill checks or able to preempt how things will turn out as 90% of skills fail, but don't or vice-versa.

I enjoyed the story well enough, and the narration is fantastic but again, there's just the fact I was never feeling the 'one more chapter' that a lot of books offer.

Worth a listen but I don't think I'll move on with the series.

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  • Luke Sidaway
  • 05-05-21

Good listen

Good story, sets the scene for the next book nicely. I personally found a couple of the characters too whiny at times though

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  • Wayne Knighton
  • 04-23-21

Like LitRPG? Like this.

The usual blurring of realities, the overpowered hero with a crippling flaw. What's not to love?
The first in the series, so goin friends, losse friends, gain enemies, kill enemies.
It does what it does well andI will follow the series.
Where the hero was pulling spells from was not always clear, going from clueless to modern Merlin in a short order, otherwise the story was well paced.
No real cliffhanger ending, more of a leve you wanting more.
Well read.