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A Dark Path (Grimdark LitRPG)

Forsaken Talents, Book 1
Written by: Stuart Thaman
Narrated by: J. Scott Bennett
Length: 13 hrs and 15 mins

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Publisher's Summary

From International Best-Selling Author Stuart Thaman:
 

The Seven Portals to Wonder changed the world. The most advanced AI ever created powered the worlds, bringing infinite possibilities and endless adventure to everyone across the globe. War on Earth practically ceased as most of the planet's population became addicted to the game.
 

Ben Hales was no different. He spent a few years saving enough money to buy lifetime passes for himself and his daughter, Ingrid. Now he has the cash, and Ingrid just turned 16, the minimum age required to play.
 

Not everything - or everyone - in Wonder is quite as it seems. Evil lurks both inside and outside the game, and that evil finds Ben all too soon.
 

Ravaged by loss and consumed by hatred, Ben awakens an ancient necromancer and a host of long-forgotten classes. Now he's building his citadel of darkness and raising an army of the dead with a singular goal: revenge.
 

If it means the death of everyone inside Wonder...so be it.
 

Check out Stuart Thaman's other epic fantasy and LitRPG novels!

©2019 Stuart Thaman (P)2019 Stuart Thaman

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  • Josh Noneya
  • 2019-12-12

Intriguing

Interesting story and good narration!

A man looses his daughter to a griefer and a game glitch that trapped them in the game and made death real. She was his life, now he will be the griefer's death if its the last thing he does. No one shall stand in his way.

A well done story about a man who doesn't care anymore.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-11-22

Meh

The narrator sometimes struggled to use the correct voice for a character and some of his voices didn't seem to match the character it was meant for. However, mostly it wasn't a problem. As for the story, The main character never really seemed to face any challenges and this was a problem in many different ways. Anytime there was an opponent with a higher level including "bosses" the MC killed them quickly and with little effort. He was given strong items despite putting in no effort and always seems to be able to loot everything despite other characters not having that same luxury and previous statements about some loot system that never appears again. There is supposed to be a NPC revival mechanic in the game separate to the "players" system but it is forgotten about. Overall, it seemed as if the author knew what video games are but had no idea as to how they actually work and it became a constant frustration. The story had some fun moments but had too many repeating problems, some of which I haven't even mentioned.

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Austin
  • 2019-11-15

Lots of Evil

I can enjoy a good villain. The MC can definitely be classified as evil. The main supporting characters are also evil. The writing of all of the evil acts is well done, fleshed out, and provokes emotions regardless of how numb to it all you might be at that point.

My main problem with the story is the reasoning.

During the beginning there is too much setup. I understand you want us to become attached to his daughter so we can feel the loss. However, when you have over an hour and a half of exposition, it slows your story and I imagine it might even turn people off from the book entirely. On top of that, the change in the MC's reasoning doesn't gradually or immediately shift. It is like a heart monitor rather than a steady graph upwards. His personality is all over the place.

When his daughter dies, he doesn't suffer from a complete psychotic break and go on a rampage. He doesn't make a well thought out plan of revenge either (Although the author tries to portray this, it fails.) I can clearly tell the MC has no idea what he is doing. He only reacts, never planning until the enemy is on his doorstep. ALSO, he is basically handed a cheat in the very beginning in the form of sword and armor. He is a noob with a nuke throwing a temper tantrum.

The MC isn't simply unstable. He jumps from being a grizzly dictator lopping off heads, to a grieving father, to a widow, and says "It is all for you Ingrid, it is all for you." She didn't ask for this. His reasoning is completely unfounded based on nothing. You might say that this makes a nice deranged MC. You are likely right. But I can't get behind him. The reasoning seems so forced. Like the author was trying too hard to give him a reason to be evil. Just let him be evil.

OVERALL: I think the attempt is nice. The story was slightly enjoyable. The exposition was too long. The Litrpgs elements are limited. The MC was given a cheat. The development of the evil characters and supporting characters were extremely well written. The author is able to successfully keep the reader on their toes. Thus, I am conflicted and give this book a 3/5.

11 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephen
  • 2019-11-13

Narrator

Narrator breaths heavy into the microphone after every few words, it distracts from the story. It's like a great picture with a finger in the corner of it.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-01-08

Other side of the coin

The evil rpg! What forces a man to snap?! Very cool plot.

Hail Nimrod!

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Byron Kevin Andrew Price
  • 2020-01-02

A delightfully dark surprise



This book does and excellent job of departing from the normal hero trials of the lit rpg world. As somone who has read more then a few this was a pleasant surprise, and an excellent example of the depths a person can fall with nothing holding them back.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mitchard Apides
  • 2019-12-29

almost perfect

if the mc wasn't so op, author needed to make him bleed or atleast rely on his allies more. he barely needed any help or rest. a little toning down might suffice.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Brian
  • 2019-12-24

Dark Lit RPG

Lit RPG is an interesting genre that I've found myself enjoying but a lot of it's been pretty light and easy going. This flips that on it's head as our main character finds himself losing everything and working for horrific revenge on an incredible scale especially because it's thanks to his loss that he understands what taking his revenge can mean for everyone else in the world.

It's a little too easy for the main character as things seem stacked against him at times but he manages to get through rather easily, but that's not a big turn off. The narrator is alright and doesn't act as a negative.

I received the review code for this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this honest review.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nomi
  • 2019-12-21

👍🏻

This one surprised me. I loved the whole evil revenge thing. It’s dark and gritty with a cliffhanger ending so hopefully there will be more books. Definitely enjoyed it.

The narrator isn’t my favorite but he did ok.

-I received a free review copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.-

1 person found this helpful

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  • Robert Rowe
  • 2019-12-10

Fun if you like evil characters

And I do mean evil, not just misunderstood. Ben is out for blood and nothing gets in his way.

The author's take on VR gaming is unique. It's kinda like if you entered a teleporter and between the entry portal and exit portal is the game. You are actually, physically in the game. It took a while for me to realize this but it turns out to be central to the plot.

It starts as a father/daughter jaunt in a VR game much like other LitRPG stories but it turns into a base builder later on. The mechanics of the game are more vague and less statistical than other stories.

Grimdark is an apt descriptor for this story. Lots of player killing, lots of undead. Pretty dark overall. It ended in a cliffhanger so there will surely be more books in the series. I enjoyed it even though it's different than what I normally listen to. I will definitely be watching for the next book.

The narrator did ok. His voice was clear and his pacing was appropriate but his pronunciation of some words were strange. He had multiple voices but they weren't very different. I could tell the characters apart but sometimes it was tough to do so.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful