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Fostering Faust

Written by: Randi Darren
Narrated by: Stephanie Savannah
Length: 13 hrs and 16 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (17 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
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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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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ray Johnson
  • Ohio
  • 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

71 of 78 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Hyogwa
  • Sol
  • 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.

38 of 48 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-08-18

Definitely worth your time.

I have listened and read many books over the last 7 or so years using audible and kindle. I have never once written a review for any of them on either platform. I usually don’t judge books too much and try to enjoy them for the effort the author put in. I enjoyed this series more than any other in this genre by far and felt like conveying that.

Each of the three books were consistently interesting and only left me wanting more. While the introduction of the plot itself was somewhat generic (MC sent to another world for whatever reason), the author did an incredible job putting their own take on this type of story creating a somewhat darker atmosphere portraying the MC as a conniving, manipulative and highly intelligent man creating dark deals to bend people to his whims for his goals.

The tone of the book, for the most part, was funny and cheerful while, at the same time, dark and tense but I never felt any ominous presence as if I was worrying something bad was about to happen around every corner and enjoyed every second.

The character development over the books was fascinating and always had me wondering who the MC would meet next and what he would do to them while also building up the current relationships. There are a large amount of characters but each one felt unique and I had no issue of remembering the names. There were plenty of sex scenes but not an unnecessary amount, although they could get pretty graphic.

The narrator did an excellent job creating unique voices for each character and their personality. The male voices didn’t feel overly feminine and there were no typos nor mistakes in pronunciation resulting in the loss of immersion as far as I could tell.

I would recommend this series and hope that the author continues it as well as his other series’. The ending definitely invites room for more books while also leaving a feeling of closure. I will listen to these again without a doubt.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • SomeGuyNamedRick
  • NEW YORK, NY, United States
  • 2019-07-31

Best “harem” style book series for adults

The story is a unique take on the portal fantasy, where the protagonist makes a contract to save his soul and is transported to a (low fantasy) world where he has to make “highly favourable contracts” to satisfy his dark patron goddess. The harem occurs as he focuses on “adult-themed” contracts with uniquely talented women.

The story could have been just another trite harem fantasy, but Randi Darren hits a home run on his execution. There is no needless narration, details are provided when they are relevant, and dialogue is spot on. The protagonist is not a good guy, but has strong internal consistency and manages to be someone the readers can identify with as he makes the best of a potentially awful situation. Harem women have unique personalities and add depth to the story rather than being just another conquest.

Stephanie Savanna does an excellent job with the narration, especially the pacing and adding personality to the characters. She manages to carry both the male and female parts equally well. ; I’ve re-listened to the audible book many times just to hear a well-read story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • tjalfe
  • 2018-10-19

2 issues with this. the rest was nice :)

so i really liked the book, it was nicely written, story was good, had reasonable pace, like the setup etc.
my only two issues is:
1. my biggest issue is the sex scenes. they feel misplaced and the way they are done either makes me annoyed, at best, uncomfortable, most times, and angry, at worst.
i admit i've heard to book twice now and both times i've had to skip some of the sex scenes and those i heard i skipped entirely second time around.
i don't feel like they add anything to the scenario and the way the MC constantly tries to make it "morally ok" with so many extremely weak excuses is just annoying. one thing is the fantasy of these things another is to be so stupid to delude oneself to the idea that "it is totally of their free will, can just say no and choose death"...
at least the MC is pretty blunt about being a bad person etc. so he is aware, it just gets tiresome with all the constant "this is consensual, totally consensual... now back to the slave cages" :/

i also don't see why it has to revolve entirely around him getting laid. the story setup, world building etc. could be used a lot. the deal-making etc. would be very useful and interesting. yet the only purpose he apparently got is getting laid (and let's just be honest if you get sex 2-3 times every day it doesn't take too many months before your "need" is fulfilled enough to start focusing on something else)

2. there is a lot of situations where the language turns extremely ugly/vulgar for no other reason than trying to see how vulgar it can be. no one talks like that and it is very clear the author have never talked to anyone who actually got a vulgar/ugly way of speaking, this feels to forced and there are to many extra words just to increase the idea that it is a vulgar/badmouthed person.

as a last note the idea of being capable to swear your soul etc. away so easily with so few rules seems a bit lacking in its explanation.
especially since coertion with death as the other option is apparently ok, and magic binding oath to lords etc.
it is hard to imagine such a setup without everyone being given the "free choice" of getting their head chopped off or swear to whatever god is giving your lord his "power/wishes".
it seems like a bit of a rule needing setup ^^

besides that as said i really liked it and i am looking forward to seeing what is next, if there is a next; else the ending was a bit meeh ^^

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew
  • 2018-10-09

It's basically Akubar's Princess Trainer, the book

Honestly I was expecting something else from the Publishers Summary and the sample clip. I should have read some of the reviews which better illustrate what the book is actually about, but I was in a hurry and needed something to listen to for a prolonged period of time. So in that regard you're already doing better than me. I was hoping for more moral ambiguities in a book, and less Akubar's Princess Trainer the game in medieval Europe. The book is basically about a, not terrible, but pretty douchey guy that gets granted what amounts to all the power in the world over a variety of women, and instead of straight up raping them he slowly bends and breaks their moral compass until they want him to... Yep, enjoy.

11 of 15 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
  • 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.

10 of 14 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.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 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.

15 of 22 people found this review helpful