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Limitless Lands: The Commander's Tale, a LitRPG adventure

Limitless Lands Series, Book 1
Written by: Dean Henegar
Narrated by: Jack Voraces
Length: 8 hrs and 39 mins
5 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Colonel James Raytak is about to die. The 93-year-old combat veteran is living his last days in a nursing home; his only hope for survival is an experimental Medpod life support system controlled by an artificial intelligence. 

Co-developed by the world’s largest gaming company, Qualitranos the AI will also control the soon-to-be-released game Limitless Lands. Without its creator’s knowledge, the AI decides the best course of treatment is to import its patient’s consciousness directly into the game. 

Colonel Raytak must dust off his military training and lead his virtual troops in a fight to repair his broken body and mind while exploring the Limitless Lands.

©2018 Dean Henegar (P)2018 Dean Henegar

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Unique

Unique and a nice change from other litrpg novels. It was a bit short but I can see that the books get longer later on in the series. I look forward to listening to book 2.

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Put this one off for too long

Not sure exactly why, but I hesitated for a long time before buying this audiobook. I finally decided to give the series a try and it was a great decision! MC isn't overpowered (yet..), he doesn't complain the entire book, he just gets stuff done.

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Fantastic book

It hits all my boxes city building,MC isn't a moron and no spell sword loved it

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    5 out of 5 stars

A different twist to lit RPG

it has like RTS feel to it. it's just a different twist from all the other lit RPG books I've listened to and that's good.

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  • Dewey Gough
  • 2019-01-30

Well worth a Listen!

Personally speaking ive listened to 90% of the LITRPG books on audible and can say that this book has a far different focus then most if not all the other ones. without giving to much away, it focuses mostly on military and the development of a unit and commander, with aspects of a developing loot system for units and some forshadowing to potential city building elements(although it could be minor).

The story itself is short, but well worth the listen especially for people that are a bit older, as the MC is an older man with a military background. The real world aspects develop well with the in game aspects creating a more complete story. The battles were okay but at least in my opinion the focus seemed mostly on the commanders perspective, so although the MC saw and was part of numerous battles the command was more of the MCs focus.

Finally the preformance, for some listeners the narrators choice of sounds and effects could be off-putting, an assessment i dont believe is fair in this genre as most narrators do it but to each their own. looking past those elements(regardless of opinion) the narrator was an outstanding choice for the role the MC plays and the general vibe of the story. To say he brings alot to the table in this story is an understatement, the narrator clearly worked hard to produce this and it shows. His voice even fits the MC perfectly.

Overall this book although different from most in the genre, is more than worth picking up if you are a fan, it brings a newer aspect and amazing preformance.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • thompson
  • 2018-11-21

Unique take on LitRPG

Fun listen, good world building, new perspective with interesting mechanics, look forward to next book

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Midwestbonsai
  • 2018-12-10

Fresh ideas for LitRPG, real-time and fantasy

“Limitless Lands” is a blending of a LitRPG, real-time strategy, and a fantasy world containing some unique and fresh ideas. Who would have imagined and army of Roman soldiers in a fantasy-like setting? It is the first book in the Limitless Lands series and a premiere work from author Dean Henegar. The audiobook edition is narrated by Jack Voraces, who appears to be a newcomer to the narration scene having three audiobooks listed on Audible at the time of this review. I found the author’s closing chapter impactful even though it was short, detailing his reasons and perspectives driving him to write the book; in many ways I which it had been the first chapter listened too. Overall, I liked the story and found enough fresh ideas to make it interesting and entertaining even though there were a few potholes along the way. I felt the author attempted to blend too many elements and genres which at times made the story more muddled, faded and disconnected from the core reasons people often listen to this genre. Additionally, I had issues with the overly used sound effects, character voicing, and production quality in the audiobook edition. Some of these audio problems may have taken away from the story itself instead of enhancing it. In such a crowded and rather hot LitRPG space, it can be hard to stand out. For me, the book was not bad, but it also was not to the standards that many now expect from the genre. If you are more a fan of military tactics and movements, this might be the book you are looking for. I thought the story diverged from many of the basic RPG fundamentals (stats, experience, etc.) for me to recommend it to people interested solely in LitRPG type books. There was some stats usage, but this was not the focus nor did one feel it was necessary nor impactful to the story’s outcome. I felt more like I was watching a real-time strategy game being played then an RPG, and I was never a fan of that type of game.

I enjoyed both the physical and virtual worlds the author created in the book. In the physical world we have a very utopian futuristic place where drones and robots are now the way wars are fought. Physical human military personnel are no longer required and many of those who remember wars involving humans are few and far between. Like many of our remaining World War II veterans today, the story’s main character is aged and finds himself in a rather different world. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR) and game immersion are the things that some use for both escape and entertainment. The new system being brought online may have the ability to not only entertain, but help in slowing the aging process of our ninety-three-year-old veteran. A way to keep him alive is by having the all-knowing AI, running the game, import the patient’s conscience directly into the game. Here the main character leverages his skills and knowledge of war to win the many battles he faces all the while his body and mind are sustained and even enhanced in the physical world. There were some good transitional periods where the story shifts between the physical and virtual worlds. As with many other books in the genre, we have nanobots, medical reasons, and a few other standard tropes, but again it felt well-thought out and planned.

I liked some of the extra detail the author included such as the time compression of those in the game from those outside. A language translation system being included to make conversations with others around the world much easier, and there is the concept of one earning and converting virtual currencies to physical real-world ones. The world consisted of goblins, dryads, wolfs, spiders, and halflings along with quite a few others one meets along the way. The writing style was detailed and descriptive allowing the listener to be dropped in to the story having a good visual understanding of both worlds. What felt somewhat different for me was the additional RTS components around town building and resource management. It simply did not seem to fit the mold of a fantasy-based LitRPG, and in some ways it worked, but in others it just seems like an odd fit. A town requiring one building to be constructed before another could be built just did not feel right. I felt there was a good balance of action, adventure, strategy, and even emotion throughout the story. As I said earlier, it was entertaining but at time too different for my comfort level.

I think one of the main issues I had keeping me from enjoying the book was its audio quality and narration. No offense to Jack Voraces, the narrator, as such quality production takes time and honing and I’m sure will improve as he performs more books. But it was a bit too much for me and I can say that it was more a distraction than help. Many of the notes I took while listening to the book related in one way or another to the audio. During very quiet times or silence, I could hear audio compression artifacts. These were not excessive, but quite noticeable. Some of the character differences and voicing felt forced and a few times confused with another during conversation. As with many male narrators, voicing of female characters was not fluid, nor did it feel natural. In situations like these, I would rather a narrator just read the portion of text and not attempt to voice it as a character. I understand this is not easy for most narrators to get right when dealing with the opposite gender. Lastly, I think the sound effects often overpowered the narration and I would have liked to have had them more in the background.

For parents and younger readers, the book had some graphic scenes of war and violence which is expected in a book of this genre. I do not recall any mature subject matter or vulgar language used by the author which is quite unusual and in my opinion a welcomed change. I believe the book could be enjoyed by both younger and older audiences.

In summary, the premise, story and world are solid. A few of the components I felt did not belong in a LitRPG and I would have liked to have had more integration and impact of the main character’s stats as I watched him grow. I just felt this was a bit lacking. My biggest concern was with the narration of the different characters, the overpowering sound effects, and the annoying background compression noise. The story is detailed, yet it seems to lack continuity. I hope future books in the series are more RPG focused. A good listen if you can get past the issues I found while listening.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • brandon
  • 2018-11-19

one of a kind

Takes military tactics into a litrpg! really bad ass. main character is simple yet ideal

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-01-30

Overall, a great book.

The book starts out a little slow, but once all of the world building is out of the way it’s a great story. Anyone who likes action/adventure and litrpg will probably like this book. I am looking forward to listening to more in the series

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • jese llavona
  • 2018-12-18

A fantastic surprise!

I took a gamble and won. This book may not be revolutionary but it has a great story and characters while also being a nice change of pace from more traditional litRPG titles.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Alex
  • 2018-10-27

Roman Legions, litrpg, love it

Didn't expect this new angle but loved the direction. Iv played the total war series and so loved this as an idea for a litrpg. Great job by the narrator, very distinct voices for each character. Get book 2 done quickly!!

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Ray Johnson
  • 2019-08-21

Unlimited entertainment

OK, so here is an example of what is a good book but mediocre narration. LL doesn’t blow you mind away with new concepts or avoiding tropes. This is a pretty standard novel, insofar as it centers on James Raytak, the MC, a vet who is coming to the end of his days. Fortunately for him, his son is employed by one of the best VR gaming companies in the biz and he sets his old man up with a special dive tank that provides both life support and medical care in addition to being a VR immersion portal. So, yeah, he sets his pappy up to be a test subject like all loving and caring kids should. Now, I know that I said this book doesn’t really break the standard tropes, but in this case the company the kid works for actually has a heart. It cares about its employees and their families, as opposed to the standard “there are hidden or shadowy motives behind their help” stuff we usually see in LITRPG. So that was refreshing. What I sort of found to be interesting was that this is basically just the company shoving some old dude who is 90+ years old into a RPG for some weird version of rehab. Like the tank was going to fix his mind and body. Either way they shove his butt right into a coma. The plan is to fix up his failing memory and his old man bod with nanites while he’s comafied.

That’s where the fun begins. The book is primarily a battle oriented tale. So, if you are into military sci-fi or just very authentic feeling ancient warfare then this is the book for you because that is exactly what you get. Loads of action, with some other gaming stuff on the side. One aspect I found interesting is that the MC only gains XP for full scale battles. That’s it. So, in order to advance he’s got to be on the battle field, and I have to say this feels very genuine in the way the battles are run and described. If you are more of a one on one sword fighting person then this book might not be for you. Military books are not for everyone. This is a fantasy world so you do get lots of monsters and humanoids to see in battle.

I think the biggest flaw in the book is the OP but not OP “ness” of the MC. He starts out the story with a very specialized class that will allow him to command different troops and so one, and it can come across as being handed to him. I’ve thought about it, and the whole point of the story was to rebuild his brain, and to do so he needed to be in a place of comfort for that to happen. If he had started off as say a private it wouldn’t have felt natural for him, he had been in command for a long time and was used to being in charge. He would have needed to start from a position of power and authority for him to feel like he belonged and it was a natural fit. Other than that he primarily uses his skills and knowledge from his lifetime as a soldier in order to win battles. Also, the show don’t tell rule does apply here as a fail, because there were times that the squads would do maneuvers and the reader would be told that they had drilled and drilled until the squads had it down pat.

The real issue with this book is the narration. This was all over the place. It was in fact one of those books I just wanted to read instead of listen too. There are audio issues throughout the story, and it is distracting. In today’s age there is no reason that there isn’t a nice clean sound coming forth. This was like listening to a book on a vinyl record in spots. Secondly, I found the narrator himself dry and boring. His feminine voices were his biggest weakness, but he also seemed to struggle to differentiate male voices as well. There were points that I had a hard time following who was talking, and I hate it when I am forced to suss out who is doing what. I should never have to guess who is speaking. The sound effects were utterly annoying and distracting. I generally like SFX when done right, such as by SBT, but here it is heavy handed and improperly used.

My final score? 6.8. I would have gone more if not for the narration and the fact that there’s no ending. It’s not a cliffhanger ending, but none of themes, goals, or concerns of the story have been at all addressed by the end of the book. Also, as a fan of military writing I do think that as fun as the battles were I would have liked to have seen some research done on how the legions really fought. Banners, flags, etc. Flags were used a great deal to cover distance and instances in which a soldier could not hear a commander yelling.


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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Tycomaru
  • 2019-05-24

Hot potato

I had been passing this book up more than a few times for various reasons. At first had no idea it was a litrpg book and then kept thinking it was just about Romans.

Finally i decided to buy the book and it was more than a surprise. The starter for the story isnt original, in the fact it takes place with the main character being in medical need before entering the game. But after that it becomes very original.

For those who may not be familiar with different types of litrpg books, it is usually on the point of view of a few key people that usually travel alone or in a small party. This book cha ges that by having squad and army based mechanics.

This means the MC isnt alone through most of the book, he is in charge of various numbers of troops while playing the game.

Being a Service Vet myself i greatly enjoyed that he used stories of Vets and even talks about real world experience with the VA that is very true to our own life.

The narrator did a great job with voices acting multiple people. The only negative remark i can make is the halting style of speech that comes up. Not sure if it is written that way or it was end of a page. Other than that the narrator was very enjoyable.

Overall the story and acting was great and i have already bought and listened to book two and wait for 3 with great excitement.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ian McAdams
  • 2019-01-25

fantastic story and great narrator

The story is very well written, the world flushed out and well built. All the characters are believable and have depth and meaning, and the game world is well designed. And the story is very content rich, with a good long adventure that leaves me looking forward to the next in the series.
The narrator does justice by each character, and his pronunciation is clear and easy to understand. A good reasonable pace and tone of voice making any speed of play work fine. So good I will have to wait for the sequel audio if the same narrator is used.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful