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Publisher's Summary

Diving into a revolutionary new video game, Marcus and his friends escape a stagnant society, entering into a world that defies their wildest imaginations. But from the moment that he logs in, Marcus finds himself separated from his friends and thrown into a remote village under attack by a horde of goblins.

Forced into battle, Marcus rallies the beleaguered villagers and, with their help, manages to drive off the invading creatures. With the village in ruins and their supplies spoiled, the survivors desperately turn to Marcus for help in rebuilding the village.

Realizing that this game is nothing like he's ever played before, Marcus is swept up into a whirlwind of adventure as he struggles to defend his new home, quickly finding that marauding goblins are the least of his problems.

©2016 Luke Chmilenko (P)2017 Podium Publishing

What listeners say about Ascend Online

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Xsp
  • 2021-03-18

!! FANTASTIC AUDIOBOOK !!

I simply can't believe i didnt know this serie existed. it is, by far, the best i've "read" in a long time.

i was hooked after the first chapter. the pacing of the story is really good and it is PACKED with action.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Why would player death matter?

Fantastic story, I do have one issue though.
Kinda spoilers ahead, but I tried to keep my one complaint as vague as possible.



Since nobody is trapped in this game and you can respawn at a designated town why would it matter if one of your friends died? That part just kinda stuck with me. I understand the walk back could be a long one, but if you died next to your spawn point why would anyone be worried and screaming about your death?

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

a solid start

This series is another one based off a new game that steals the world's attention. it has its own systems and restrictions like all do.

The book takes about 4 hours to get into the meat of the game, and once it starts you won't be able to put it down.

I am a huge fan of The Ten Realms, and the building of a city and defense of said city. This scratches that itch, and I am eager for the next book.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this story

If you are hesitant about this one don't be, one of the best narrators I have had the pleasure of listening to reads a captivating story a little more mature than I was expecting for the genre. The story is centered between large amounts of action and enjoyable lulls.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great listen.

listened to this on my way to, and at work. for a gamer into MMORPGs it was an easy listen and halfway in had me wishing there was a pen amd paper version of this world to play in.

Characters were interesting, but I just wish that Lyrian eased off on the speeches, and the group found another expletive other than the F-Bomb every second sentence or so. I get it, they're a bunch of mid 20-30 year old gamers, but I'd like to think they had other ways of expressing themselves.

overall though, I enjoyed the book and look forward to more.

1 person found this helpful

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Fun but Dark

I really enjoyed the story and the game mechanics. I wish it would be a bit more light hearted. That and the large quantity of F-bombs diminished my level of enjoyment but i tried not to let my dislike for swearing to affect my rating. Its a great story if a bit too serious. I had trouble following at parts when my attention was divided so it took me longer to finish then an audiobook normally wood.

1 person found this helpful

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I don't have time to play MMO anymore

If you don't have the time to play WOW anymore... this book is for you!

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars

Boring, Bland, Eye rolling

I'm quite addicted to fantasy novels, and recently discovered the crack like addiction, which is litrpg books. After finishing off a couple other series, I was looking for my next fix and had heard great things about this book. I saw many mentions of this being among the best litrpg series. I was pretty excited, but after listening to it, I do not agree at all, I found myself bored with the book through out. Nothing was interesting, the classes were generic and boring, as were the characters and setting. I still don't know who the different people are in the adventuring party, because they are all the same boring character. I understand litrpg tends to be not the greatest literature out there, but usually it's super interesting and addictive. I didn't feel that at all with this book, and all the speeches about doing the right thing, over and over and over, only induced eye rolls. I do not recommend this book it is literally my least favourite litrpg book I've read. Also I really didn't enjoy the narrator. I may have been soured on him for jarringly taking over Dakota Krouts series' and not delivering. I may perhaps have given him a full shot, but I just don't enjoy his voices. I would recommend any of Dakota Krouts other series over this, as well as the excellent cradle series. Really this is the only series of this type I haven't enjoyed. I will say this is just my opinion though, if you disagree great, I'm glad others enjoyed it. I did not.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Minus some stars because...

-1 star because of all the swearing.
-1 star because spiders are way too central to this story.

Yes I have played WoW. Yes there are spider quests and even spider zones. But this was too much. I had to skip forward quite a bit even though I expected it. I think authors are supposed to write for their audience... and though spiders may be a part of video games, it is also a huge well-known common phobia.

Also the swearing among the group interaction... not even an Aussie fist fight vs sailors is this vulgar.

Great writing though. Perfect narration.

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Great litRPG!

This one is great! If you are into litRPGs this is a fine choice.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-05-16

I can't believe all the good raevorws.

Don't waste your time like I did. I listened at almost two times the regular speed just to get to the end. it was not worth it.

40 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Keith R. Dercole
  • 2018-06-20

An interesting attempt that mostly fell flat

This was a first LitRPG for me, a guy who loves fantasy fiction and online MMO gaming. Sadly this iteration of the two did not work for me and left me struggling for the finish line.

I honestly felt like this would have been a much stronger story without the MMO elements and instead tried to stand as it's own fantasy universe. The UI dialogue and stat talk felt monotonous, the quests felt unnecessary, and the fact the characters can respawn at will all but removed any aspect of danger, even at the climax of the story.

The story was your standard run-of-the-mill good guys versus bad guys game of supremacy, this time at play over the fate of a small town in the sticks. Moral direction was always obvious and clear, a black and white path with zero shades of grey or ambiguity to spicen up the plot. But you can't expect much character depth from a cast completely lacking of any real emotion. Before long, I began to confuse the players from the NPCs because they all kind of came off robotic and stiff.

The protagonist was your typical hero Mary Sue, usually stronger and smarter than most of the obstacles put before him. The side characters were incredibly one dimensional and never really grew throughout. Honestly it became a challenge even keeping track of them all. Finally, the villain came into the story late and did not offer much to enhance the narrative. More than anything the villain felt inept and bumbling and more than once I felt awkward just listening in on repeated failed attempts at dominance.

Finally, the voice actor's performance was normally fine, barring a few odd character voice choices that made my ears hurt to listen to, including a half giant oaf that sounded like a dimwitted stoner most of the time. He did the best he could with the material he had to work with.

All in all I do not recommend this story. As it was my first foray into literary RPGs, I cannot say if other authors do this kind of plot better, but for now I think I'm going to stray away from the genre. At first I applauded the author not going the hackneyed "if you die in the game you die in real life!" route, but he definitely needed *something* in place of it to create a feeling of loss you otherwise never felt whenever the characters engaged in battle. You may like this story if you're a lover of this genre, but don't expect any character depth or world building. You're better off spending your credit somewhere else.

114 people found this helpful

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  • Angus
  • 2019-02-01

It’s ok, not too special

The narrator is mono tone and it pulls me from the experience a lot, story is ok nothing special to make it stand out

16 people found this helpful

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  • Joel Lewis
  • 2018-11-25

Was great until his friends showed up.

I was enjoying this book immensely, until his friends showed up. The author was a bit long winded on spells, but when mc was alone, it was quite interesting. As soon as the friends showed the MC turns into a full time crafter/politician. Even considering you want to be a good person and help the town, I would think as a potentially without limits fighter, training would be the best use of MCs time. This all led to the book becoming a snore fest 80 % of the time after the rest of party showed. Oh and the jokes...I don't mind some completely pointless dialogue, but the idiot mc and friends speak loudly and pointlessly at THE WORST times. I don't mind some idiocy to advance the story but author threw it out there too frequently and usually without any logical need. How these people are supposedly "elite gamers" is a mystery to me. Damn near anyone should be better.

33 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jamie L. Nolte
  • 2017-08-20

Fresh to death

Don't get me wrong, the VR world is starting to become saturated and that's the only reason I was hesitant upon getting this one. Ripped through this in 4 days it was that good, beginning to end, I could not put it down. This is a must for your collection, highly recommended

61 people found this helpful

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  • Techie Type
  • 2018-09-14

After 3 hours, I had to stop

I got this because it had been compared to Ready Player One and Magic 2.0. Sorry to the author, no offense, but this book is definitely not in their league. Both of those actually have interesting stories. It's not enough for me to just have commentary on someone playing a video game, one that only a twelve year old would enjoy. Ready Player One has the mysterious underdog who, after 5 years, is first to put points on the board in a contest to win a fortune, and there are riddles to solve based on clues. The Magic 2.0 series has hilarious banter between funny characters. All the first 3 hours of Ascend Online had was someone tediously playing a game, one that's not very interesting.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Logen Felxon
  • 2020-02-21

A great listen

A great cast of characters, a narrator that seem to know what he's doing when he gives voices to characters and a believable plot with strife and build-ups in the right places, what more could you ask for in a LITRPG novel?

8 people found this helpful

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  • Don Gilbert
  • 2017-08-07

Luke Daniels and a great LITRPG; enough said

There are many LITRPG stories coming out seemingly every day, some good some not so good, “Ascend Online,” narrated by Luke Daniels is a great entertaining experience. My personal favorite in this genre has been “The way of the Shaman,” series and I rate the first book in this new series just as high, maybe even higher given the narrator. I hope the next book is just as good; can’t wait.

101 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2017-09-24

A humble hero story with cool action!

I love evolving hero stories where power ups or new abilities are tempered with ever more challenging situations! this book delivers that with entertaining action and new introductions that kept my attention throughout. even taking small 15 min bites of the story was enjoyable!

books it reminds me of:
ready player one
we are Bob: the bobiverse
codex alera series by Jim butcher
I'm off to be the wizard
the Chronicles of Jonathan tibbs

90 people found this helpful

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  • albert
  • 2017-08-02

The author found the right narrator

Would you consider the audio edition of Ascend Online to be better than the print version?

Most authors have to rely on the readers sense of humor to get their joke across, but this narrator knocked those parts out of the park. I found myself laughing from this book more than any other.

What did you like best about this story?

This book is better than your average Litrpg audiobook. While the first part of the book is great, it picks up a lot around 35 percent through. You will notice the difference

Have you listened to any of Luke Daniels’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Once, i found this to be the best one.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

That would be spoiling

Any additional comments?

I didn't want to waste another credit one a lit novel, considering how often the genre tends to stack to the same formula, but this book strays far enough from the normal path to make it worth while.

52 people found this helpful