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Publisher's Summary

Five years ago Corin Cadence's brother entered the Serpent Spire - a colossal tower with ever-shifting rooms, traps, and monsters. Those who survive the spire's trials return home with an attunement: a mark granting the bearer magical powers. According to legend, those few who reach the top of the tower will be granted a boon by the spire's goddess.

He never returned.

Now it's Corin's turn. He's headed to the top floor, on a mission to meet the goddess.

If he can survive the trials, Corin will earn an attunement, but that won't be sufficient to survive the dangers on the upper levels. For that he's going to need training, allies, and a lot of ingenuity.

The journey won't be easy, but Corin won't stop until he gets his brother back.

©2017 Andrew Rowe (P)2017 Podium Publishing

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Fun

The whole book is structured like a dungeon crawler video game. Right down to the progression stats, loot system, items, and monsters. If you want to read a book that mirrors an RPG or rogue-lite format look no further.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I love this book.

Just finished my second time through this book. I can't wait for the sequel. Donkey.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

listened 3 times time a row.

enticing world, loveable characters and a story that moves. The main character thinks like a real person.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Overall a Great Listen

I enjoyed the story, really have nothing negative to say. It is in my opinion geared more towards a younger audience, in saying this, regardless I still found it entertaining. The bottom line is entertainment. Would I listen to a sequel- absolutely!! Nick Podel is an awesome narrator, I have listened to several books read by Podel and he does a great effort in taking on the characters in each story. Basically, any story that he takes on to narrate is a safe listen!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Wes
  • 2019-01-15

Slow start, but really great book!

The book had a really slow start focusing on just first person of the main character as he described his own trials. But despite how slow it was, once he encountered other characters it was a wild ride that was thoroughly enjoyable!

Excited for the 2nd book, just in time for it to come out!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Unexpected in the best way

Sufficiently Advanced Magic is an absolute enjoyable listen and wonderfully crafted story. Corin makes for an unlikely protagonist in this genre, but is a delightfully witty, flawed, clever young man. He is well developed, with plenty of past scars and present hurdles to overcome (including his own intellectual pursuits piling up in an unachievable pile). This is hardly the typical OP main character!

The magic system is also very interesting. I am really looking forward to learning more in the sequel!

While some of the naming follows classic tropes and Corin's chin is alarmingly the itchy (him scratching his chin is an emote he does a lot), I hardly found that those took away from the overall quality and enjoyment.

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A book to pick up and listen too.

The story is amazing. Enjoyed the mystery and the magic system. Excited to what Andrew Rowe does next.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

well that was good

I hate finding a series like this at book 1. Hard to say if you should listen to it.... waiting for the next book could be hard! not king killer hard, but close :)

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  • AS
  • 2018-09-20

Impressed; one of the best reads all year

I love the fantasy genre and so I'll often tolerate something sub par as a guilty pleasure. I thought that was what I was getting and was in for a great surprise. Rather the diluted and recycled typecast I expected I found the world writing both familiar and unique allowing this to remain true to the genre but break away from the crowd. it clearly draws heavily from the gaming world and given its largely focused around dungeon crawling I can only imagine it will appeal to the D&D crowd but don't be mistaken to thinking it's only for that niche. Best read in this genre inaugural while and very well performed.
 #Audible1

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5/5

Best book on audible yet! The author and narrator were very good. I'll be listening to this again shortly

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  • Jason N.
  • 2017-07-20

Very good book

Books I like.

Name of the wind series
Anything from Brandon Sanderson
The warded man series
The light bringer series.

I say this to you in hopes that if you liked those books you will probably like this one as well. I won't tell you about the book as it does matter what I say. Nick is a very good reader makes the book easy to listen to. Looking forward to the next book.

146 of 162 people found this review helpful

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  • Bee Fisher
  • 2017-10-23

Great beginning to a series

This was such a fantastic book. It took certain things I don't normally care for in a story and made them interesting and good. I like the idea of DnD style challenges and puzzles. And I absolutely love the concept of getting new powers items and abilities thus changing the fundamental capabilities of different characters. I can't wait to read more of the series and see where it all goes.

22 of 25 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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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Eric
  • 2017-07-10

Worth a listen.

What did you love best about Sufficiently Advanced Magic?

This could easily, with a few changes fit squarely in the Lit RPG category. It is not told that way but I get the feeling the idea may have started that way with the author. that is obviously just my opinion and I could be wrong. It is a good book and I will get the next installment as soon as it comes out. There is only one thing in the whole book that irritates me, and again this is just me and may not bother anyone else. The creatures, and there are many are all called simply "monsters" throughout the book. I don't know why precisely, it just grated. Also, I think at this point I would listen to a cook book if it was narrated by Nick Podehl as he seems to only narrate stuff I like, within whatever category it resides. This is no exception.

40 of 47 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joseph Zurat
  • 2017-07-08

Great first volume of a series

Andrew Rowe is definitely writing for me specifically. Both of his series scratch the itch that I feel for Anime/Game-inspired Hard Fantasy. The characters and plots are fun. There are some nice twists at the back end. As far as structure, it feels like each chapter is a chapter or so of a Manga, and the first book is roughly three story arcs. I dig that pacing.

Also, Nick Podehl is always a very consistent reader, and this time is no different. I look forward to more!

46 of 55 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 2017-07-11

Couldn't make it through the whole book

Any additional comments?

I got to chapter 9 and just had to quit. (minor spoilers follow)

Let me explain the problem: The main character is the son of a noble house known specifically for their ability to fight and win in magical duels, and his parents are particularly famous for this. It should be noted that he was removed from public schooling specifically so that his father could teach him (for years) to fight in such magical duels. His family lives in a magically warded house that has a library full of books on magic, and virtually every aspect of his world is run by people who have magic abilities gained from 'atunements'. He comes off as studious, intelligent, introspective, cautious, prepared, and completely focused on one goal, going into a magical tower and participating in a coming of age type challenge, where he will fight magical creatures and overcome magical traps, to gain an atunement (granting magical abilities) and to find his brother, who disappeared 5 years ago in his own tower test. Notice how many times I used the word 'magic'?

Now, the story starts with the hero going into the tower, and moving from room to room on his quest fighting monsters and such. At this point it's pretty good, and I would probably give the story a 4 star rating. However after the first few chapters he makes his way out of the tower and gets sent to a Hogwarts style academy for new people to learn how to use their new magical powers. It is at this point made painfully clear (for the reader) that the main character knows NOTHING about how magic works. zip. zilch. nada. No understanding WHATSOEVER other than that it exists.

Now, this would make sense if our hero was a peasant from some distant village who had never had any schooling or reason to learn about magic, but, considering the character's backstory, it makes no sense at all. This would be like talking to an intelligent 18 year old whose parents are doctors, and whose whole life mission has been to also become a doctor, and when you point out that he's going to have to take an admission test says to medical school says, "words? letters? sentences? numbers? what are those? I've heard of them before, but I've never seen them. What's a scalpel? You mean the human body has organs in it?" I wouldn't expect the main character to know complex magic any more than I would expect our hypothetical 18 year old to know about dissecting a kidney, but he doesn't seem know ANYTHING about it.

The reason for this is that the author has created a very complex and detailed magic system and needs some way to explain it to the readers, but good God if he didn't pick the absolute worst way to go about it. I really wanted to like this story, but I can't get over this MASSIVE plot hole.

Oh, and the other thing is that the kid never gives any reason for why he might believe his older brother is still alive after FIVE years in the tower when it's made very clear that anyone who doesn't come out after a very short period (given the lack of food and water I'd say it lasts no more than a day) has died from some monster or trap .

245 of 297 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jonathan
  • 2017-07-09

Overall great

I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The author did a great job of creating well thought out world.

My problems, which keep me from giving a 5. ** may contain slight spoilers **
Corin - it is annoying how he can so scared and brave throughout the book. In addition, he wants to (has to grow stronger faster than anyone) progress but refuses to use his own mental powers. It's so frustrating.
Plot line - the are many different threads that the author will probably get to but they are weaved in and out and a lot aren't answered.
Characters - are all unique but don't have the greatest depth or growth
Pace - jumps around and gets slow at points.

54 of 65 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ray Johnson
  • 2018-12-26

Nice start to a good series

This is one of those books that I have heard a lot of people saying that it had a LITRPG feel to it. In fact, it inspired my idea to do this segment in the first place. I would be looking for books and see comments about how lit the book felt or that it should probably qualify as being almost lit, and so it sort of spurred my idea on doing this particular segment. I didn’t do it first, because once I had the idea and asked for suggestions several books popped up that were heavily suggested, and so I ran with them first, but I have always had this book in mind for this segment.

The book opens with a young man, Corin, about to take a life altering test. He comes from a famous noble house that is renowned for its fighting abilities. The test itself is life threatening, and he can die if he doesn’t fight well enough or isn’t smart enough to solve the various puzzles contained therein. Of course he makes it through, but not in the way he expected or in a manner that pleases his father and he is quickly demoted in the family ranking and his half sister gets pushed as the family heir. From there he goes on to a school that will teach him how to use the attunement, I.e. school of magic, that he acquired in the deadly tower. After two years he will then serve in the military. All Corin wants to do is get strong enough to find out what happened to his older brother, who never came back after his tower test. Now this is all a simplification, and things happen in the tower that impact the rest of the novel. Things like Corin freeing three prisoners, angering an aspect of a goddess, and getting the weakest attunement he can.

I have to admit that the book really feels like it was going to be another Harry Potter, pardon me while I vomit, rip off in which we get to see Corin make friends, struggle with other students, and struggle to learn about his magic, and for a little while it really comes across that way, we attend his classes with him, and learn about the magic system but gradually an intrigue starts to build and things happen that pull us back to the tower over and over. Naturally we get to see him improving his magic, but it doesn’t play out like you would expect. For example one of his instructors tells him he needs to get to a certain color level of attunement within three months, and Corin silently vows to get there in a week. Annnnd he doesn’t even come close to fulfilling that vow. The book does that a lot, it sets you up to expect one thing and then does another.

I think the only time that the book actually became predictable was at the end in the tower. I pretty much called every twist and turn that happened, but not because it was easy to see. I kept saying to myself that if I was writing this story this is what I would do here, and then it pretty much happened that way. And that only worked because I am a deeply twisted, troubled individual. The story is long, but it is a well worthwhile trip, and I will probably get the next book in the series. It certainly caught my interest, and had a nice ending that leads right into the next book.

Pohdel is amazing. He pulls out voices that I haven’t heard him do before, and really hits a nice stride with the pacing of the story. I think my favorite voice was of the mysterious upstairs dorm mate who seems to be a ninja. Nick uses a Raj from Big Bang theory voice on him that is dead on, and I do mean perfect. I snickered every time he used that voice, because it was so good.

Now we get down to the nitty gritty, is this LIT, close to it, or not at all? Well, without much suspense I’m going to say not even close. While it was a fun and interesting story with great characters the only part that made it even have a whiff of lit was the way in which he leveled up his abilities and even that part to me was sketchy for a lit book. It was more about practice and control than it was about fighting or gaining exp. I have to admit that I was really disappointed by this assessment, because I was really hoping going in to this that it would be a lot closer than it was. Alack and alas it is not even close in my book. Still, it is a fun ride and I suggest it if you are looking for something close to lit as you might find it interesting. No score on this, as I am only looking to find out if it is lit or not. Still, great book, don’t miss it.

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Gus
  • 2017-07-04

My brain was engaged as much as my heart in this.

1st. it probably goes without saying. Nick Podehl is an outstanding Narrator. He is the reason i decided to pick up this book and I am so glad that I did. Not only does he make the story come to life like no other, but it seems like he only reads books that have worthy content.

This book has a lot of world building, a richly thought-out magic system, and strong main characters that really feel good to root for. At the end of the book I found myself drooling with anticipation. Truly a Gem of a book. I cannot wait for the next.

64 of 80 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jonathan
  • 2017-12-19

First ever review

I’m listening to it as I write this. I’m a 75+ books deep and most of those multiple times. This is my first ever review.

Disconcerting. I heard the word “disconcerting” a thousand times. “Well that’s disconcerting” to be more exact. One time, I was thinking about the main character saying “well that’s disconcerting” and would you know it, he said it.

The magic system isn’t very fleshed out. The most in depth it gets is pushing “mana” around through different parts of their bodies. Where the used the mana and where they had a mark changed how the mana works? Don’t know how. Never really effects anything either except that the main character is a little bit of a bitch and is afraid to use his head mana for few of hurting himself. Dude is obsessed about not using his head mana.

There are kinda cool monster and demigod things but, they are talked about more than actually being present in the book. Maybe book 2? I’ll give it a shot mostly because of Nick Podehl. He’s one of my favorites.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael A. Mullin
  • 2017-09-03

very fun book to listen to.

the book is kind of like reading an MMORPG video game. very fun. if you like fantasy video games, you'll like this.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful