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Life in the North: An Apocalyptic LitRPG

The System Apocalypse, Book 1
Written by: Tao Wong
Narrated by: Nick Podehl
Series: The System Apocalypse, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (37 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

All John wanted to do was get away for his life in Kluane National Park for a weekend. Hike, camp, and chill. Instead, the world comes to an end in a series of blue boxes, animals start evolving, and monsters start spawning. Now, he has to survive the apocalypse, get back to civilization, and not lose his mind. Life in the North is book one of the System Apocalypse, a litRPG apocalypse series that combines modern day life, science fiction, and fantasy elements along with game mechanics.

©2017 Tao Wong (P)2018 Tao Wong

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Loved it

MC oggles others like a weirdo but doesn't over do it too much like other books. Seems to be explained through the Charisma stat.
Great book! Absolutely getting the next two.

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Not for me

I absolutely hate this type of main character
Story ok just can't get my self to like the main character and the only thing going for this audiobook was narrator in my opinion. Maybe if mc will be better in later on but I don't think I will be

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

Meh

Its a litRPG. I love the idea of this genre. I just felt like the main character was hard to warm up to, very ragey, and made dumb decisions.
Also felt like this story had more drama and colorful description than it needed. Im mostly a nerd, and want a litRPG to be about the stats, the leveling, the skills, the rules, and the owning. Didnt feel like there was enough 'numbers' updates.
(spoiler) Also a few things that seemed inconsistent with the new rules like: "paying for a scan of human survivors within X square kilometers" didnt exist. Not much talk of or use of radios or any other communications.
Also, compared to the previous 3 litRPGs i read before this, it was quite a shorty. But who knows. Maybe this would appeal to other litRPG lovers.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • adam
  • 2018-08-13

Great Book! Negative reviews are misleading!

This is a great LITRPG! I loved it! I bought book 2 and 3 already and can’t wait to listen to them.

WARNING ABOUT MISLEADING AUDIBLE REVIEW COMMENTS!!!
Despite being a LitRPG enthusiast I refused to read this book for multiple months because of the negative reviews. There was a similar trend of issues mentioned in audible comments which are typically red flags for books that I will not enjoy. These concerns were unfounded and I want to mention them just in case other listeners are deciding to not read this for the same reasons:
1. I cannot stand it when the main character is dumb or when stupidity drives plot. If I am fifteen minutes in and I keeps screaming “WHY DID YOU DO THAT?” then there is a high probability that the book is being returned. There were a lot of comments which seemed to suggest that the main character kept making dumb decisions or that his rage caused him to make dumb decisions. Yes…The main character has a rage problem, but other than some emo moments in the last ~10 minutes of the book I didn’t see it leading him to dumb decisions. In some ways I understood it. Minor spoilers…There was a moment when he sees a terrible sight and his “rage” drives him to want to kill a bunch of overpowered monsters that “an army would have trouble fighting.” His companion warns him not to, but he risks his life and moves in to fight anyways. At first I was slapping my head because I expected him to run into the middle of these monsters’ guns blazing. I was pleasantly surprised when he formulates a plan, which takes most of a day to implement, and manages to kill all of the monsters. A risky well executed plan leading to great rewards, thumbs up scene in my opinion.
2. This refers to the many comments mentioning “HOMOSEXUALS.” Typically I have a lot of trouble stomaching sex scenes in general. I prefer them to be vaguely hinted at and if not, I usually skip them because they are typically awkward to overhear or to melodramatic for me. For example; my heart was burning with such intensity that I worried it would melt through me, around him, and down my legs…
Really?
Really?
That being said explicit man-on-man sex or man-on-man emotions are a bigger turn off. I don’t think I’m homophobic, I believe in gay rights and really don’t care where you put your sexual organs, as long they are willing and past the age of consent. I think my issue is that when I read books I typically see myself as the main character and I don’t find men attractive. If I am putting myself into the viewpoint of someone who is pining over a wilder beast of a man, then its difficult for me to maintain immersion because I can’t see myself in that situation.
With all that being said, let me state that the “homosexual” sentences (because I can’t say there is a homosexual scene in the entire book) is so trivial that I am surprised anyone even mentioned them. I went into this expecting to be skipping chapters where the main character is having “ball slapping sex” with Joe the Lumber Jack. Instead I have maybe ten sentences in the entire book that may suggest the main character is Bi but prefers women. Not only that but other than a single sentence that states “I dabbled back in college.” the only male he seems to be attracted to is an elf who has a MAGICAL ABILITY WHICH MAKES PEOPLE ATTRACTED TO HIM. So the three scenes with the elf are pretty much like:
*Sees elf* “I want to kiss him.”
*Elf smiles coyly at him*
“I don’t trust him, and I don’t have time for this.”
The only other thing is that some people actually think that the main character is interested in this elf but the only actual sexual encounter he has is with a women and thankfully its pretty much just mentioned.

Legitimate concerns
These concerns did not impact my enjoyment of the book but if you are someone who can only spend a credit on a perfectly written book, then it may impact your enjoyment of it.
1. This is a LitRPG. If you don’t know the genre a writer uses role playing game themes or systems when creating their fantasy world. For example, a leveling system is used in this fantasy world. That being said some LitRPG enthusiasts will not enjoy this book as the LitRPG aspects are kinda light. Although I preferred it… rather then 10 minutes of reciting spreadsheets this book focuses more on the characters.
2. I felt like this book didn’t have a good antagonist, climax, or resolution. The closest thing to a main antagonist seems to be the world itself. When the book ended it left me wanting more and if there wasn’t a book 2 for me to immediately jump into I would have been disappointed.

108 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kurtis Karr
  • 2018-10-10

Just couldn't get into it.

I usually like litRPG but this one wasn't for me. I made it half of the way through before I realized that I just didn't care about any of the characters or what happened to them. Always a bad sign.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • TampaDave1968
  • 2018-04-06

A promising concept ruined by the main character

Would you listen to Life in the North: An Apocalyptic LitRPG again? Why?

I probably won't listen to it again. The protagonist, John, is supposedly a late 20s or early 30s computer programmer with severe interpersonal problems. It felt like watching a teenager in an adult's body with superpowers flop around with zero self-awareness

Which character – as performed by Nick Podehl – was your favorite?

Ali the spirit

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 2018-03-06

Great story and performance

I love this storyline but I don't know why. I really like the narrator and he has done other Lit RPG books just as well. It makes me nervous that the third book is "not available yet" I hope this doesn't become a never ending wait like a few other series I am waiting STILL for the next book in the series to become buyable! Some of these I have been waiting YEARS for not exaggerating. DON'T WAVE THE CARROT IN FRONT OF MY FACE IF YOU NEVER GIVE IT TO ME! But yah worth the credit and would buy book three as soon as it becomes available.

9 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2018-03-26

annoying main character

the worst character is by far the main character. I stopped the book half was and went through another before finishing it.

12 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2019-10-29

should have read the reviews

the main character was whiney and borderline psychotic. it was really offputting to have him go from whiney self loathing to raging out and slaughtering small animals. anytime he heard or saw something he didn't like he screamed and swore and threw a little tantrum. if this is what the author thinks makes a good and relatable main character then maybe he needs to see a psychiatrist......

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Jaryn Drakeln
  • 2019-01-20

Protagonist becomes increasingly disturbing

As the story progresses the protagonist more and more frequently deals with his anger by seeking out things to kill. It was fine the first couple times when there was an element of justice but the narrative tends toward sadism in a way that's increasingly disturbing.

The climax was very unsatisfying, cementing my decision not to continue reading this series.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-08-06

Interesting concept

Post apocalypse rpg is a very interesting concept. I may be old school in disliking the modern tech that's available but it makes sense for the story. What turned me away is how much it jumps around, sometimes hard to completely follow. Not a bad story by any means and I will, at a later date, come back to the following works to finish the series.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jed
  • 2018-04-25

Great narrator, no real story

This book is fun with sufficient amount of leveling and action but with no real direction. I guess the book is titled appropriately in that it’s just following various characters life of survival. I just wish there was an overarching goal or mystery or something that drives the story forward. (For example finding out a way of defeating the system that has been set up and working toward it). The more I listened the more bored I became due to this weakness.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • ED
  • 2018-04-07

good till the end

it's a good book up till the last hour or two. then it just turns into I'm a winey little baby that can got over my feelings. real though the last hour of the book kill the hole thing for me.

5 people found this helpful