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Fostering Faust

Written by: Randi Darren
Narrated by: Stephanie Savannah
Length: 13 hrs and 16 mins
5 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

(Minor spoiler and warning at the bottom of the blurb.)

Alex is dead.

Dead and apparently with a one-way ticket to a place that only the worst of the worst go.

All for a simple choice he made about a product his company owned.

Damned for all time.

Luckily for him, he’s about to be given a chance.

Another choice to make.

He can instead return to the land of the living, though his soul would belong to another. Except the world he’s being sent to isn’t the same one he came from. It’s not even a similar period in time, but from something long past in history.

The dark ages.

And part of the deal to live again, is to make pacts with others. Pacts that would bind the soul of those who take a deal to the same entity who owns Alex’s soul.

How much would you give of yourself to live on is an easy question.

The better question, is how much would you take from others?

If Alex wants to keep living, to keep his soul from being sent to the darkest corner of hell, he’ll have to ask himself that question.

Daily.

Warning: This novel explores dark subjects, and what people will give up of themselves, and each other, to get what they want. The main character is written as a real person in a tough situation, and will not make choices that line up with societal and cultural norms.

It contains adult themes and moral ambiguities. 

As with my previous work, explicit scenes are found within. It has violence and a harem relationship.

©2018 Randi Darren (P)2018 Randi Darren

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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome

This was awesome, I love the joke that you make about the name felix being a pencil pusher name, just tying it back to your other series and the one where felix is the star. I can totally see this guy being either an allie or enemy if that's the way you do this. Regardless great book, great story.

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  • Ray Johnson
  • 2018-12-26

Fostering Naughty thoughts

I am at a loss as to how to delicately describe this series. The best I can come up with is it is the Marquis De Sade shakes hands with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. This book both impressed me and appalled me, which is no easy task, and I am not being negative when I say that. Randi Darren is pretty fearless in tackling what is basically a story about a man who tries to keep his soul out of hell by creating deals with other people. Each deal he makes helps him meet a monthly quota that he has to fill for the evil goddess of murder, Lea. Darren very wisely breaks away from the possibility of having a monster as the protagonist, Alex, by making bargain for people’s souls. No, if he had done that then this book would have been very different. Alex is caught between the Scylla and Charybdis, no matter what he does he is damned and he has to make deals in which he always comes off with the better end of things. People need to unwillingly part with a piece of themselves in exchange from very little from him. The more he gets, and the less he gives the better off he is.

Alex, to his credit, doesn’t revel in his newfound power over people. He is actually pretty cool about it, and this too helps to mitigate the creepiness factor that he could have. Darren really pushes boundaries, but manages to male Alex likable and sympathetic. I’m going to be honest, this book is not something someone new to LITRPG should start with. If you are a fan of Randi Darren from his other books in the Wild Waste saga, or even books by William Arand, then you will love this book. The characters are all well written, have very distinctive personalities, and come across as the broken people that they are. The only person in the entire book who isn’t broken or damaged in any way that I could see is Alex’s main wife. She is an incredibly stable and sane individual who allows nothing to phase her. In fact, I loved her the moment she was introduced.

Every character is so well fleshed out that they feel real, and if you know Darren from Wild Wastes then you know that you are gonna get hit in the feelz somewhere along the way. The only character that felt like a potato was Alex’s second wife, who was about as bland as they come. She is so shattered that it takes nothing for him to break her within minutes of their meeting. That’s ok, as that is what she is meant to be, but you will have no connection with her at all. The actions scenes are all fun and range from a fistfight duel to a full on warfare. Darren really had fun storming the castle.

In spite of all the lurid things that happen in this book, and I mean all the breaking of people, not all the graphic sex scenes this was a great book. Did I mention sex scenes? Yep. If the general content wasn’t enough to let you know, this ain’t a book for kiddies, so don’t listen around the house if you have children. The sex is pretty graphic, and does last, as Darren does not do a fade to black and he doesn’t hold back. Also, Alex is more powerful than most porn stars in the volume of the product of his loving, and the frequency in which he is able to perform.

The story is a fun look into what you might do if you were put into a bad situation. Alex really reminds me of Felix (who actually gets a nod here) from Super Sales on Superheroes. Felix has to deal with the issue of slavery for the sake of his powers. So, the two both handle tough subjects in their own way. Now I want to see a William Arand and Randi Darren collaboration in the future.

Stephanie Savannah handles the narration, and she is actually really wonderful. She is also a new voice for me, and I thought she just killed this reading of this book. I mean she played every number (that would be Alex’s conquests) with a clear and distinctive personality so that I NEVER wondered who was speaking. She also played Alex really well, showing that she can crush masculine voices as well. I’m really surprised that she only has four narrated books to her credit so far. She really is incredibly talented and hopefully this book will get her noticed. I loved listening to every second of her.

This book was a blast, and it was unrelenting. I can very easily see how some of the content can put people off, and know that the disclaimer that Darren uses in his book description is warranted. Either way, I had fun, I enjoyed Alex, numbers 1 through 5, and the whole concept of the story. I cannot stress how difficult it had to be to create a sympathetic lead who has to do really nasty things in order to keep from burning in hell. I’m going to give this an 8.4 star review, because I think the next book will be better, and while it was emotional I don’t think it quite had the heart of his Wild Waste series. I think that will come a little bit later. Either way, this is a very different kind of book, one that I have no doubt that you will enjoy.

Even though I did receive a promo code for this review it in no way influenced my considerations of the material, and in fact, inspired me to be more honest. Getting a code generally makes me harsher as a reviewer as I am more often concerned what someone like Me will decide based on my review.

If this review helped, please press the YES below. Thank you immensely!!!

As seen on the LITRPG AUDIOBOOK PODCAST, please check it out on Youtube.com

46 of 48 people found this review helpful

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  • Hyogwa
  • 2018-09-13

Harem done right

It's like Super Sales on Super Heroes but with less supernatural abilities and more pervy goodness. Stephanie Savannah did a phenomenal job with the narration! She absolutely nailed the characters and her voice is incredibly sexy. Overall another great release from Randi/William.

37 of 44 people found this review helpful

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  • Ozzy Inatullaev
  • 2018-10-05

Awesome narrator. Good self-contained story

Don't usually read these kinds of books, but hot damn was this a good one to start!
As mentioned, the narrator was perfect for the job, good variety between the (various) female charters to help differentiate them.
The story being very self-contained really helped get the action going (take that as you will), and as a fan of tedious books like LitRPGs I loved the way the contracts and technicalities and just overall scheme-y nature of it all worked. The main character basically took his "ruthless CEO style" marketing strategy to a more primal project, and sometimes I wish there would be a bit more of that modern-strategy-to-fantasy-realm lingo, but then that would take away from all that graphic goodness.

Now onto that! The warning in the description did not lie, this gets graphic and descriptive, luckily it does not prattle on like some of the bad examples of erotica, but give you the juice bits, and pull back before it overextends itself into smut. This was a quick read for me, as it held my attention throughout. Going to get more from the author.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • andrew
  • 2018-10-04

interesting story, but didn't seem to go anywhere

overall I enjoyed it and the narrator was amazing. the story was interesting and brought up some tough ethical questions. however the ending was rather disappointing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Cody
  • 2018-09-13

super good

man was this a good book, I definitely would recommend this book to anyone above the age of 18 I loved this book.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Wrencher
  • 2018-10-28

our hero is soooo bad.

the MC acts like a human would if placed in the same position makes for a fun read. really hope there is second book. narrator did a wonderful job. I like when you can hear the emotions that characters are feeling from the narrator.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2018-12-14

Meh...

The book has a lot of potential. Alex dies and makes a deal with a Wraith trick other people into signing away their soul to keep him from suffering eternally in hell. He's transported in time to take over the body and life of a baron who had recently died.

It's a good idea that could have created a lot of conflict, but there isn't a drop of it in this book. Instead he's a perfect guy who wins every battle, outsmarts everyone and never makes a bad choice. Everything goes his way all the time and he's arrogant as hell about it. ZZZZZZ.....

He could have been conflicted about tricking a good person into losing their soul. Or he could have damned an entire family line that would turn out to be his later in time. The story could have created a domino effect where more and more people had to keep signing souls to save themselves making all of humanity eventually sold to the devil and Wraith. But there is none of that.

The story goes like this. "You're in a really bad spot. Want to sign your soul away? Great, this also means that you got to have sex with me all the time." Then the damned souled woman falls in love with him and and goes with anything he proposes.... skldj;aklajoifjw gioanbkjnraswb'apsrjg

Sorry I fell asleep on my keyboard just reminiscing about the it.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Donovan
  • 2018-10-04

Great plot ideal turns into plot hole

This story suffers from a few critical flaws that turns it into a bland power fantasy with a harem. Early half of the story used in examples below.

Plot: The MC has the power to make deals on a God's name in order to stay alive. The problem with this is that others who make loyalty oaths have to follow them as well or die but no one ever makes complex binding oaths to stop betrayal and scheming. This leads to issues of strife that just make no sense later in the story.

Setting: This takes place in another world's medieval period which is standard and fine though the author misses a huge part of that time faith. Since loyalty contracts seem to work because they are sworn on God's there is little reason everyone would accept swearing on a dark god. No one ever says no or gets into arms over what would anger quite a few. Also deals seem to suffer from the convince factor as they are less to the spirit or letter and more how the MC wanted. Also i my have missed something but how he turned things around because CEO and not gambling seems massively dumbed down to the point of hurting.

Characters: The MC a CEO of a company who is in trouble because he approved something dangerous after making people sign wavers but does the same thing again in the new world. The MC is a pychopath because he never seems to have remorse or even a hard time basically trying to break and condition these women. He never seems to regret or feel bad or try a broader way just break women sexually and of course only deal with women.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Shawn Grueb
  • 2019-05-01

Another wonderful story knocked out of the park

I loved the story for this entry! It was very captivating and kept me compelled to listen all the time! It never felt too slow or rushed, but kept a very nice balanced pace!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alexander Carl Ignatious
  • 2019-04-29

Dirty good times

First I'd like to take a moment to warn that this book has some very graphic scenes portraying violence and sex.

A lot of negative reviews seem to take the prevalent nature of these scenes as a sign of poor story making and reviewers seem to think that it takes away from the story as a whole. I disagree with that view. Given the setting that the story takes place in, the nature of the main character and the terms under which he operates, I feel that this is very natural. I've read far more egregious romance novels, and if that's not your shtick then don't read this series.

As for the writing and logic of the story as a whole: it's alright. It was fairly predictable with its plot, and that didn't really detract from the quality of the experience. I didn't go into it expecting a cerebral psychological thriller that would warp my very notions of reality as I see it (heh). I didn't expect to be led on a mysterious chase for the culprit a la murder mystery.

I came into it expecting a main character dealing in faustian bargains but as the major benefactor in power. As the bad guy.

It fully delivered on that aspect and had some pleasant harem padding to make it more fun. Even if it was somewhat predictable, it was still a complete romp to listen to and I'll happily be listening through the series again when the third book comes out in June-ish of 2019.

If you enjoyed this story, please take the time to head to the author website as they write lots of trilogies all based loosely in the same universe. Their other works are pretty great and really give a depth to characters that make appearances...

Also dig around for a list by the author explaining what order to enjoy the trilogies in. There are some big reveals that really give a whole new perspective to a lot of the stories and BE CAREFUL not to look on the wiki of the timeline/universe as it has MASSIVE SPOILERS (!) The author hasn't posted a direct reading order on his website so you need to Google around to find it as an answer to a fan question somewhere (I forgot where, sorry).

The author is still pretty new to writing full time and if you enjoy any of his trilogies please recommend them to like minded friends! Not everyone is into the Randi Darren soft porn, and the William D Arrand books are meant to step further away from that. Clearly the author is trying to keep to what they enjoy writing under one name, and to tone it down for a wider audience under the other name. So if you like their stuff, please support them!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful