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The Culling of Man

A LitRPG Apocalypse (Peril's Prodigy, Book 1)
Written by: Craig Kobayashi
Narrated by: Michael Norman Johnson
Length: 10 hrs and 30 mins
5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

I'll bet you've never listened to anything like the final boss at the end of this 24-hour LitRPG apocalypse.

Garath was a gamer that spent his time adventuring in magical worlds behind a keyboard. He was exploring one of those very worlds when the planet that he actually inhabited became suddenly, and drastically more interesting.

The ability to shapeshift into a house cat or summon a demon to serve him were things that were only possible in video games and epic fantasy novels, until they weren't. He may not have had the luxury of a controller or mouse to explore his new abilities, but Garath's dream came true when Earth was fundamentally altered. More akin now to the RPG games that he loved so much than the 9-5 grind he'd woken up to that morning. He's a quick study, though, and learns quickly that this new Earth isn't just fun and games. 

The tutorial kills everybody. 

Well not everybody. Almost everybody. Garath and a motley crew of friends and neighbors band together to survive. They are forced to work together using their new abilities to hold off the increasingly deadly waves of monsters. 

The Peril's Prodigy series features 30 unique Classes, a human racial ability to shapeshift, character leveling, some things you really just can't un-hear, and a look into the future of this new Earth. It will make you laugh. It will make you cringe. And if you're anything like Garath, it'll make you wonder where in the hell on this new video game Earth were all the god damn hot elves?

***Full disclosure: This is not a harem novel. There are no hot elves.

©2019 Craig Grimes (P)2019 Spectrum Audiobooks

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  • David
  • 2020-02-14

This book isn't good at all.

I keep trying to listen to it but just can't because of the bad writing, weird comparisons, poorly developed characters, dumb fight scenes, and a main character I wouldn't want to play with. Bad writing example, "Words flew from Daisy's mouth at the speed of sound." My guy words are sound LOL. What other speed would sound travel at but sound. As for weird comparisons well lets just say this author does drugs. No one that doesn't would ahve a main character that smokes weed and pops aderal then compares a lot of things to aderol. Kind of makes me a bit uncomfortable. Yah who survives this apocolyps? A stoned, aderal high casual gamer. Poorly developed characters example is Gram. Gram could have been such a cool character but rather then give us some comedy with Gram rediscovering er younger self and being able to relive her glory days. Rather we get a crochty old bird in a smoking hot 20 year old body. I guess that's funny. I don't believe it though listen to old people talk they'd go wild and it would be funny. Bad fight scene is dragon dick. You heard right dragon dick. There will be a dragon and for some reason he is at half chub when he fights our hero and so things get messy. Lizards don't walk around with their dicks out so why is this dragon? Really forcing it there cough no pun intended. Finally the main character is selfish. Whenever he fights he always goes for play of the game. Yah he's a leeroy jenkins and a loot hog. He snags the boss weapon and it doesn't even work for his character. He never even asks if anyone else could use it. Then he keeps pocketing loot and the rest of the pary are happy with scraps! WTF. Don't buy don't spend a credit unless you have literally read everything else.

13 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Joseph
  • 2020-02-11

Eh. Middling.

There's not much that separates this story from other post apocalyptic litrpgs - which is fine, you don't need to reinvent the wheel. The problem is in the details.

One thing that definitely separates this story from other litrpgs in this genre is that every human has an innate ability called Beastscape, allowing them to transform into basically any creature they lock eyes with.

My issues with this ability are numerous. First, the superficial; this is the kind of ability that should be tied to a class - there is a class that specialises in it too. Majority of the fight scenes in this book are spent focusing on this one ability, which is a bit weird given the protagonist is a Warlock-type. Any innovation on his part comes from its usage, not from using his class abilities cleverly.

Now, the less superficial issues. The ability is broken. One can cast spells in their animal form. The author even shows you how broken it is with unintentional examples he doesn't take to the logical conclusion, which is super frustrating (the protag has a 100m radius decay dot he could farm non ranged creatures with forever if he turned into a bird and just flew above without engaging... he does the plague bird thing...mid combat with allies in danger, and never connects the dots).

Ultimately, while everyone being an infinite animagus is unique, I think it detracts from the story.

I also dinged the narrator a couple stars for a certain character's voice. She's a hot, de-aged septuagenerian that still sounds like an old crone.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ohtochooseaname
  • 2020-02-22

Great, funny, fresh LitApocalypse!

This is a great book, especially if you have read other LitRPG apocalypses. It is pretty self aware arms breaks the 4th wall quite a few times to highlight its differences and similarities to other books in the genre, which I found to be pretty funny. In fact, I would almost call it a parody. Overall, it is a good mix of adventure and comedy. The main character is delightfully (and frustratingly) flawed, making the story have a good deal of suspense.

I have listened to most every LitRPG on audible, and I would put this book in the top 10 percent for me, easily. No harem, mc has some serious blind spots/flaws and is not overpowered, a good amount of comedy and genre references, and an exciting story. As soon as the next one is out, I am buying it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Big Mack
  • 2020-02-15

This is going to be a good series.

I will keep this short. I found this to be real enjoyable. The storyline was smooth and the action intense but believable. I will keep track of this series.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Alaric
  • 2020-03-04

Wow

Writer lost my intrest with, the world is ending I want to summon demons and use death magic, over being a Paladin. Because of course that's the thing to do in an apocalypse. I'm sure the writer had it all work out in the end, but I couldn't get past the start of this story.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • kevin
  • 2020-04-08

Just Wow

I am always on the lookout for discovering a new great book, unfortunately the great ones are few and far between. The Culling of Man is one of those rare books that makes weeding through all the bad ones worth it. It is perhaps the most unique and original entry into the a LitRPG world that I have read to date, and best of all it’s realistic. The main character is not overpowered and what he does makes sense with the overall story arc. If you like LitRPGs than this is one of the top ones that I have read. I truly cannot wait for the next one.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jonathon
  • 2020-04-04

Good if you aren’t looking for anything to deep and serious.

Stoner obsessed with adoral in an apocalypse that everything just works out for flawlessly and everyone wants to follow and obey even though he isn’t particularly intelligent in any way and has the same potential strength as anyone else.
It’s fun but not a very intriguing book, there’s no real concern for anything and shallow characters, there are plenty of chances for the book to go more in depth and build the characters and make you care for them but it’s never done.

Narration is pretty good but overly cheesy for me, far from my favorite but for this book it works pretty well.

Overall if you’re looking for a book that’s not to serious and is about a stoner/druggy having fun in an mmo apocalypse go for it!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kyle Hempel
  • 2020-04-03

Apocalypse that is perfect for a gamer

If you are just getting into the LitRPG genre this is a decent book it walks you through a lot of the lingo and trooped that you will find in other works without hitting you over the head with any of it. My issue with the book is that there is really nothing much unique in the book and while the fight scenes were done well Craig Kobayashi did not build a lot of tension with Garath’s character while not in battle. I think the premise is decent but the execution could be greatly improved. I hop Kobayashi is able to improve on their craft with book two because it really could be a good series. This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Chas
  • 2020-04-02

Unique take on Lit-RPG

This was a really refreshing take on Lit-RPG. The characters were interesting even though they weren't super fleshed out. I thoroughly enjoyed this first book and am definitely going to pick up the sequel.

1 person found this helpful

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  • John Stringham
  • 2020-03-28

Really Great Start

Apocalyptic Litrpg. Very reminiscent of Tao Wongs Litrpg series. The Mc is much more tolerable though. Heavy system mechanics. Very interested in the future of this series.

1 person found this helpful