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Life in the North: An Apocalyptic LitRPG

The System Apocalypse, Book 1
Written by: Tao Wong
Narrated by: Nick Podehl
Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (19 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 25.00
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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
  • Performance
    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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

61 of 67 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • David Riemer
  • 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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-10-26

Interesting back drop but poor characters

I loved the story concept, but could not handle the juvenile pathetic male lead character. Very realistic of the millennial male, but i don't read fiction for the realistic character flaws!!!

literally could not finish this book. Daddy issues, mommy issues, sexual orientation issues, anger management issues, entitlement issues. Psychologists could write multiple doctorals on what's wrong with this dude.

The only redeeming part of this story is the concept, the quirky russian spirit sidekick and Nick Podehl.

I don't often give bad reviews... but good god this was terrible

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

3 of 3 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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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ryan
  • 2018-08-09

Fun Environment, Lame Main Character

The systems created, skills, and encounters are fun. The combat isn’t described very well. But the emo angry idiot main character feels like he was written by a teenager. It would be nice if people in the litRPG world could write adult characters. John literally says things like blood, pain, and death to himself... the dialog is rough in places.

Nick Podehl (who is fantastic) and the systems developer are worth the ride, but this isn’t a good story with interesting characters.

6 of 7 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
  • Joshua
  • 2018-10-12

very under rated. this gets really good

I just finished book 5, coast on fire and i would like to leave a review on the first book for new comers. firstly this series is one of my favorites. it is a bit serious and people do die game of thrones style. so brace urself for a punch right to the feels once in a while, but it is so good.

Now in the first two books the main character is rather angry and moody. His apartment burnt down he lost his job and when he moved with his girl friend to start over he found out shes been sleeping with some other dude. the man has a right to be mad at the world for a little bit and yes he lashes out once in a while, but i am letting everyone know now that stops by book 3. this isnt just one big emo rage trip. he is a dynamic character and he changes overtime...alot.

so that aside. this is one of the more adult oriented litrpgs that ive found. there are many books in this serious and trust me u only find yourself delving deeper into the plot and world building. it is well thought out and a definite must read if.

also nick podehl is the man. nailed the voices.

2 of 2 people found this review 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Martynas
  • 2018-08-31

Dissapointed

I was really disappointed with the story. Listened for till the end and hoping that it will become better.

Main character is bland and not interesting. As if all story doesn't know where it will go.

5 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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    3 out of 5 stars
  • 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

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Bryan S Guzman
  • 2018-02-28

God damn it John

Right so the thing is this so mostly a fun listen. There is a lot to like but the thing is John our hero is the fucking worst. I understand where he is coming from and why he does a lot of what he does but the things the man is still a bloody idiot and extremely frustrating. Can we get a new protagonist like Lana or Richard or any one but this jack ass who is a fucking idiot. It is rare for me to hate a protagonist this much. I can only that in the future he either improves and stops being a selfish man child or we change main characters.

28 of 37 people found this review helpful