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Dungeon Born

Divine Dungeon Series, Book 1
Written by: Dakota Krout
Narrated by: Vikas Adam
Length: 12 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (124 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A powerful dungeon. A sheep-herder turned Noble. Their path to ascendance through cultivation. 

Conquering dungeons and using them to grow has long been the most efficient way to become a powerful adventurer. The only thing keeping the process from being easy is the Beasts that inhabit these places. Questions plague those entering this particular place of power: Where do the "rewards" of weapons, armor, and heavy gold coins come from? Why is a fluffy bunny charging at me? For abyss-sake, why are there so many monsters? 

Cal has all of the answers to these age-old questions for a very simple reason. He is a Dungeon Core, a soul forced against his will into a magical stone. With the help of an energetic friend, Cal grows a dungeon around himself to bring in new sources of power. 

When a threat he doesn't fully comprehend bares its many teeth, Cal is determined to survive the attempt on his life. Unfortunately for adventurers, the only way for him to achieve his goal is to eat anyone that enters his depths. 

©2016 Dakota Krout (P)2017 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Performance

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Story

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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

Audio version of Classic video Game

OMG, It is dungeon keeper, it's such and interesting perspective and I am really enjoying it so far. I like it when Characters make progression and have changing views of the world♡

Has been great to listening too.♡

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great start for a fantasy series

I was hooked within minutes. What a blast! Never a dull moment in this book.

The stories revolves around Cal and Dale. Cal is a new born dungeon. With the help of his bonded wisp, Dani, his sole focus is to become a stronger dungeon. Like a newborn baby, he has no knowledge of the world. He sees everything with child like fascination and curiosity. He doesn't kill for fun or malice, he is born to kill the explorers that enter him. Watching him grow as a dungeon is absolutely fascinating.

Dale is a sheep herder that first discovered Cal, taking ownership of him and the mountain he resides on. Within moments of his introduction, he does something that made me question his person. When the only other surviving member of the group refuses to share the dungeon ownership, Dale kills him. From then on, everything he does I took with a grain of salt. However, through fantastic character development, he redeems himself as a person though I still preferred reading Cal's storyline.

This is a fantastic introduction into a world full of mystic beings and endless possibilities of magic. I can't wait to get started on the next book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story

I enjoyed reading this novel, more than I did listening to it. The glee in the dungeon voice, as people were dying did bug me a bit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Couldn't finish

I managed to just pass the 2 hour mark (1/6 of the book).
The story feels more like exposition from some fantasy game rulebook than something meant to be taken as an actual story.
I don't know if the characters were meant to be so annoying and grating or if the performance just made them that way, but this was the first book I won't be completing in a long time.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Lit RPG - a Dungeon's perspective

An interesting perspective - that of a fledgling dungeon and its Will'oWisp side kick and lfe teacher. Worth a listen.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

bleeding ears

thou I found the story interesting I had to give up on this book. I listen to books at work with earbuds in and the guy they have reading this book YELLS LINE FROM CHARATERS randomly threout the whole novel. like almost everything the will of the wisp says he shouts it a ear piercing voice he uses for her. wreaked what I imagine would of been a series I would of enjoyed

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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dark humour great performance

loved it the story was extremely funny. very dark with the deaths and the dungeon finding humour in his work lol. performance is good gets better as book progresses and more diversity is added.

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great for multiple listens

I will continue to re visit all of these books. simply well done. would suggest to anyone that likes constantly developing story lines and characters

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I was hooked instanly

I originally picked this up as a deal of the week. I did not know what to expect. I loved it from start to finish. Krout's narrative through out the novel can be a little campy at times but it just adds to the enjoyment. Vikas Adam makes this book with his performance and it truly is that a performance.

In the novel you follow the intertwined lives of Cal and Dale one is a newly formed Dungeon Core who with the help of his trusty Wisp Danni is just trying to grow and survive in the hard world. The other is a Sheppard whose life is altered when he and his fellows find a resource that is sure to attract adventures from all over the land a neutral affinity dungeon.

In a word this book if fun. I have listened to it 10-15 times since i picked it up.

Great Job Dakota....

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Need better character names

Good book and story. I just got annoyed about all the generic names for the characters. I thought it was a joke at the start but after a while it erodes the immersion

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  • SirMehr
  • 2017-04-01

A Gem in the RPG/Fantasy Genre

I stumbled upon this book while sifting through the Audible store. It sounded like a fun twist on the RPG World style fiction that I have recently been drawn to. What I did not expect is how quickly I would get drawn into the world that Dakota was spinning. This story takes you through the nostalgia filled settings of many a great RPG/Fantasy World from a perspective that I never even thought to envision; through the eyes of a young and only recently sentient Dungeon Core. You the dungeon through discovery after discovery as it comes into it's own developing itself into a great dungeon worthy of the best adventurers. Dakota weaves the mechanics of the symbiotic relationship between Dungeon, Adventurer, and Society as all grow and evolve around each other.

With the Audiobook, Vikas Adam excellently portrays the childish wonder behind the young and growing sentience that is the Dungeon Core. I feel Vikas portrayed the personalities of Dakota's characters so well that, even though I am dying to move on to book two, I feel I must wait for the next Audiobook to be released so that I can experience the book in all the excellence that is created via the pairing of Dakota and Vika's work.

I highly recommend checking this book out and I will be sharing it with all my friends.

166 of 188 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Stefan Baltasiu
  • 2017-09-04

Refreshingly cliche

Steeped in RPG lingo and lore and a tongue in cheek atmosphere, it kept me hooked start to end.
It has amazing world building in some regards managing to explain all the intricacies of its society and magic systems at an easy pace that everyone can comprehend. This coupled with the progression of the two main characters through the story kept me entertained and wanting to see where the story was headed even when it seemed predictable.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Squeak
  • Alaska
  • 2017-05-20

The Dungeon is Alive!!

I had heard this story compared to Ready Player One, but where that was a futurist game going back to earlier well known games, this one was more like going back to beginning game programming. Back when you programmed in DOS. I remember writing little programs where first you learned to put a pixel character on screen, then learned how to move the character around, then learned to make the character interact with other things you programmed. This book reminded me of that. First Cal learned to create things, then learned to move them around, then each time he would see how his little monsters interacted, he would go back and re-do them to make them better.

I think this would be teen - young adult range, but as a (sometimes) adult I still enjoyed the story and would go onto the second in this series, just to find out all the changes the dungeon would come up.

Since I listened to this as an audiobook, the narrator, Vikas Adam, did a good job on all the characters. The Dungeon Heart (Cal) and his little willow-o-wisp (Danny) were portrayed in young pre-teen voices and like most pre-teens they seemed to get into little arguments over nothings. Vikas did a good job portraying their teen angst.

57 of 68 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Lore
  • SAN JOSE, CA, United States
  • 2017-11-01

A fun concept poorly executed

To anyone who enjoys fantasy RPG games, including old school paper Dungeons & Dragons, the premise of this book is an interesting one. Why are there so many dungeons around just sitting there waiting for a party of adventures to come and plunder them? How did they get there and where did the monsters come from? What do those monsters in each room do all day long when the dungeon is not being raided? How can a rat drop a helmet twice its size as loot after it is killed? Well this book attempts to explain all of that and while a tongue in cheek book about the illogic of fantasy RPG video games may sound like fun, let me tell you why you might want to avoid this one.

This review serves as a word of warning to anyone interested in this book that you should put some extra effort into your screening process before deciding to pick it up. The book itself is fun at times but the majority is mediocre at best and sometimes it is just downright poorly written. This makes me question the many 5 stars ratings of this book on Amazon and Audible. Even very popular, best selling works by talented authors don't garner such ratings. My advice to you is that you should go out of your way to look at some of the lower rated comments on Amazon as well as the good ones to allow yourself to form a balanced opinion. Don't forget that people who return the book on Audible don't get to post a review.

The over-emoted narration of the audiobook is often beyond annoying with the first few hours of dialogue between the dungeon and the wisp being quite painful. I certainly encourage you to listen to the sample here on Audible to decide for yourself if the narration is ok for you or not. Note that they carefully avoided the really bad over-emoting in the audio sample but you can still experience a few hints of it. Vikas Adam clearly has talent but any time there is dialogue between the dungeon and the wisp his reading makes me cringe.

I quickly decided during the very annoying first few hours of the book to return it to Audible to get my money back, which made me wonder why the other reviews did not warn me off. So I decided to finish listening, just in case there was indeed a 5 star listen hiding behind a slow start, but sadly, there is not. At least by not returning it I can post this review to offer a different opinion, but I suspect it will get buried by unhelpful votes from those behind the skewed ratings.

163 of 197 people found this review 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
  • Justin
  • 2017-12-04

Lackluster storytelling.

Reads like a video game tutorial written to sell future games in the series. Interesting concept, but no closure to the story, it just stops.

The performance of the book is excellent, though.

22 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • W. Bowen
  • 2017-09-28

interesting idea with terrible execution.

over all this book leaves me feeling disappointed. It has such a compelling concept and idea that I couldn't help but get excited about it but it's terrible execution left me wanting. The author has a childishly immature way of narrating the story that made me cringe at its awkwardness. the characters were flat and two-dimensional, their interactions were cringe-worthy and lackluster. the voice actor acted the crap out of it but the poor material just made it feel awkward.

39 of 47 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 2017-11-02

Very interesting premise. Disappointing execution.

I like the ideas, world building, and arc of this story, but I feel like it's let down by poor overall writing and performance. I think the author might be fairly new, I'd like to see how his next books turn out.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • harbinger
  • Oakland, CA
  • 2017-11-18

Dungeon Dive Gone Wrong

Dungeon Born is a book I wanted badly to like. It promised an unconventional story told from the perspective of a dungeon - how cool - and had it followed through on this premise, I would have hung on every word.

Unfortunately, it let me down on multiple levels (pun intended). The first four chapters were an absolute slog, a "tutorial" of sorts that instruct the reader on the rules of dungeon building. I understand that this is probably a calculated risk that the author takes, but it still could have answered the who, what, where of the story, instead of just the how. What it does do is clue the reader into the fact that Dungeon Born takes place in a game world, where visions, hopes and dreams matter less than rank, loot and gold. Cal, the dungeon-main character, is thinly painted, and I still don't understand his motivations or his backstory (although I guess it has to do with the necromancer in the epilogue).

Despite the book's rocky start, I was looking forward to following Cal and his sidekick Dani as the focus of the book. The introduction of Dale spoils that. Dale and his friends are the first to enter the dungeon, and we have Dale murder his obnoxious jerk of a party member before he exits, leaving him as the sole survivor and beneficiary of the knowledge of the dungeon.

Dale then goes on to buy the land the dungeon sits on, and wheel and deal his way to greater fortunes and rank. He had all the makings of a good antagonist, a villain that Cal will eventually swallow up, except that he isn't. We come to learn that he, too, is a protagonist, which is odd considering the initial premise of the book (a fantasy tale told from the perspective of a dungeon).

Having Dale as the de facto protagonist wouldn't be so bad if the world he inhabited weren't completely borrowed from World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings. It has both dark elves and high elves. It uses the concept of video game guilds, which is different than what a guild would usually mean in a true fantasy world. It has barbarians modeled after Conan, even though they seem out of place. Dungeon Born promises an unconventional story, and then baits and switches it with the most conventional story of all. It's as if we were sitting down to read Rosencranz and Guildenstern are Dead, only to be fooled into reading about Romeo and Juliet instead.

I'm glad there are people that like this book, even if I am not one of them. There were certainly moments I enjoyed (for example, having people automatically removed from the mountain by simply saying that weren't welcome made for a good visual). The battles were well-written and easy-to-follow. The final boss and ending seemed inspired. But having Cal and Dani take a backseat to a guy I personally had a hard time rooting for - a murderer whose greatest instincts are those of a businessman - ultimately killed the story for me.

45 of 55 people found this review 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
  • L. Vazquez
  • 2017-10-30

Good book but some dialog is cringe-worthy

I thought this was a good book however, dialog between Cal and another character are extremely cringe worthy. The other side of the tale and he's growth with the humans was much more interesting. Don't want to introduce spoilers but you'll notice the cringe worthy dialog within the first few chapters.

The narrator was great.

3 of 3 people found this review 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
  • R. Sanchez
  • Jackson, Ms
  • 2017-06-06

Very similar to Chinese wuxia cultivation stories

it is a great combination of a litrpg and fantasy martial arts (wuxia) where the 2 main character have opposing views but both stride to cultivate towards immortality. loved the story waiting for the second book

7 of 8 people found this review helpful