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The Trapped Mind Project

Emerilia, Book 1
Written by: Michael Chatfield
Narrated by: Tristan Morris
Length: 18 hrs and 19 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Austin Zane leaves behind his CEO position with RB Corp to play Dave, a half-dwarf in the virtual reality game Emerilia, trying to escape his life.

What Dave doesn't know is that Earth as he knows it is really a virtual reality simulation and Emerilia is a world imbued with futuristic technologies to mimic early MMORPGs.

He just wanted peace and quiet, to build a house, do some fishing, to take some time to find himself once again. What he found out instead was a cause, he found out the biggest lie of his life. He found out the truth about Emerilia and the lies of Earth.

What's the best way to control slaves? Make them think that they're free.

©2017 Michael Chatfield (P)2017 Michael Chatfield

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

4 star story 1 star humour.

The narrator does a great job and there are many likeable characters. The story is fresh and well paced. But those jokes are pathetic and the mc is not funny at all. Why does he tell himself so many bad jokes is it to torture the reader? Also the relationship feels like too much too soon. Some relationships can progress quickly like that it just seems to easy and not really entertaining without an obstacle or two.

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

Good story with forced unlogic

First of all: the audio is just horrible. The narrator used his laptop microphone or the producer has no clue of audio conversion. You get used to it after a time but it‘s embarrassing to sell this.

I‘m very ambiguous about the story. It‘s one of the best LRPGs I have read without those endless character sheets or the sex orgies Kong favors so much. I just don‘t like the framework. Aliens did it. Okay, right, why not say Bush did it? You can just feel how the author used excuse over excuse to make it work, in the first half of the book he repeats the explanation wird for wird multiple times without convincing me a single bit. I would like to continue the series but am rather afraid the Alien nonsense will grow bigger.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Don Gilbert
  • corona, ca United States
  • 2018-03-05

One of the Top Five LitRPG Stories

Lately it seems all I listen to are LITRPG stories, I really like the genre and there are a lot of stories from which to choose.
I really liked, “The trapped Mind,” it’s now in my top five LitRPG stories. To give some perspective, here’s my list.
1. “The Way of the Shaman” series; a six book rollercoaster series of exciting twists and turns that grab your attention and test your emotional resolve, but in the end it’s worth the ride.
2. “The Divine Dungeon,” starting with “Dungeon born;” very clever giving a different perspective and new dimension to the LitRPG story. This series is still in progress and I can’t wait for the next book.
3. “Ascend online,” narrated by Luke Daniels, only one and a half books into the series but a great start and might take over the top spot if the story quality remains the same
4. “The Trapped Mind;” so far I’m up-to-date on all of the audio books that have been released and I really like the story. It’s another LitRPG with a different premise.
5. “Ready Player One;” the original, my first LitRPG, written by Earnest Cline, he nostalgically brought me back to the old time gaming world, great experience.
There are so many of these LitRPG coming out virtually every week that my list could change, and I hope it does because that would mean another really great story.

71 of 82 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ray Johnson
  • Ohio
  • 2018-03-30

A real mind bending trip

I generally try to purge anything negative from my system first, and then tackle the good stuff. I do have some nits to pick, but nothing overly bad. I listen to books in the car. I drive a lot, and my wife will listen along with me. Since the majority of what I have been listening to has been LitRPG/Gamelit stuff she gets really annoyed when all the crunchy bits start flying. In other words, when stats or alert notices start flying and never end. It can be distracting, but she had to make me turn this off, as it overwhelmed her. It does bug me, but I got over it. However I see her point. Damage reports, level alerts, and anything else that repeats is fine on a page, you can skim that. On audio it comes off like Dr. Strange meeting Dormammu. Thankfully, once we get into the meat of the story this sort of dies down.

Additionally, and this is only speculation, I have to wonder if Chatfield started writing his book twice, like from a point that he found interesting, and then at the begining because he does rehash some of his world building stuff several times. I don't know if this was two books that got folded into one, but it was a touch distracting to go over something we already knew.

Now the good stuff. This book fed my need for action, but it also sated my intellectual needs. There were great periods of character growth, story building, and some mind blowing concepts. Chatfield really flipped everything on its side and bounced it off a wall. Brilliant concept.

The characters are interesting. The plot grips you. The unexpected truth will knock you down. There is good action here as well as the quiet moments. The story will grab you and take you for one heck of a ride. All that stuff I said at first was just minor crap. The real meat of this book is delicious, and the amount of fat and gristle is negligable. The story and characters progress in a realistic speed

Morris makes a great first impression on me as a narrator. I had never heard him before, but I can see why he has this gig. He's really good, and brings the story to life. He works hard to give each characters a distinctive and individualized voices. 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. In fact, 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!!!

66 of 78 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dante Mekaj
  • 2019-01-28

This is a review for 9 of the books in this series

I will keep it short:

The story and premise are quite good, but the writing and narration take it to a 4-star (still good!) overall.

first the bad:
My biggest issue is that Mr Chatfield reiterates the same stuff a lot. And he also has an issue repeating words that follows him into his other works as well. Here is a pretend example to illustrate what i mean more clearly because i don't know how to explain it:

Dave picked up the sword, he really appreciated the craftsmanship of the sword, he noticed a dent in the sword and began to repair it.

This sentence could have been:

Dave picked up the sword, the craftsmanship was beautiful but he noticed a dent. He began repairs immediately.

Now in the context of this one example it may seem like a frivolous complaint, but he does it constantly. "His eyes started to become misty as tears fell from his eyes" like why did you have to say eyes twice. His eyes became misty as tears began to fall.

This writing style uses a lot of basic descriptions to say one thing which makes it feel very verbose at times and can be a little jarring. Essentially the writing itself is average C+-B level but the story is very interesting. The emotions he wants you to feel can be very forced at times, even when they don't need to be. Ex: The previous chapter talks about two characters relationships, the current chapter one of them dies and then he goes on to completely re-explain their relationship and throw in how crushing the death is at multiple points in this re-explanation. He does too much tell, too much expository dump and not enough letting the events of the story speak for themselves.

The good:
Like I mentioned above the story and chain of events is quite good. The scale goes from minuscule to galactic, and the characters have a lot of development time, there's epic battles, cool powers. the whole nine. Not many twists but it doesn't necessarily need them.

Overall i would recommend this book on the condition that like me, you have listened to or read a TON of books and there isn't a whole lot of litrpg left that has this many entries. Comparing this to a great authors works makes the writing here look bad, but I think the story is worth it if you are looking for a long litrpg series with a great story and many hours of listening.

PS: The narrator got 4 stars for his variety of voices. I am comparing him to someone like nick poedhel or jeff hayes. He still did a great job, but some of the characters voices are really similar to the point where you aren't exactly sure who is talking until he gets to the "Said X" at the end of the sentence.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Trav
  • 2018-02-04

Meh

I really tried to like this book but the author made it almost impossible. Halfway through the book and the main character is already a massively overpowered fighter that acts like a wise old monk. Then, in the 2nd half, he becomes a master smith and creates god-level armor. Yeah....no. I don't even like playing games with cheats enabled but the author is basically handing his main character everything on a silver platter. Is there anything Dave is not good at? Of course not.

What is the point of this book when the main plot point is breached with the introduction of Bob? Everything afterwards seems trivial and contrived. A handful of pages were given to Dave to deal with the fact that his entire life has been a sham, but Dave is good at everything so of course he has no problem with it. Again, it is apparent that Michael Chatfield has limited patience and is incapable of developing a story over an extended period of time.

I tried reading the book on Kindle, once I got tired of that, I tried the audio book. I reached the halfway point then refunded my credit because I just couldn't go on. About a month later I decided to give it another shot, hoping that the story would improve. Here I am now, I have 2.5 hours left of the book and can't take another second. I am returning this for good. I love a long series of books that I can binge on, so it's too bad that this series makes me want to put my head through a wall.

Oh and the narrator wasn't horrible. He isn't a Nick Podehl (the best narrator in the business) but he did a good job.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew
  • 2017-09-23

The most infuriating 5 stars ever given

It's truly a testament to this books premise, story, and characters that depicts the many writing flaws it's an amazing experience.
That said FOR THE LOVE OF GOD THE REPETITION OF INFO DRIVES YOU NUTS THE FIRST 10 HOURS
Seriously you wanna shake the author screaming "I @$@(&(($&& KNOW ALREADY"
But once the final act gets going it stops completely and really buckles down on a rather spectacular and thrilling finale.
Worth the listen and greatly look forward to what looks to be a pretty expansive series

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Humility
  • 2018-09-16

fun start, exciting dnding, boring middle.

So first the positive things. The beginning was interesting, the fighting was not overly arbitrary, the climax was exciting and THERE IS NO LUCK STAT.

The book's mechanics ect are basically a tweaked version of the lands. Tweaked mostly to give the protagonist a leveling advantage but the advantage is close enough to actual game exploits to not be too noticable.

Now my first big problem with the book is that the middle is basically all filler. And its all really stupid filler. Just one example, the protagonist invents the screw. You know, the screw, been around since before the founding of egypt screw. What makes it worse than that though is even if you think the screw is a modern invention. There have been thiusands of generations of players run through the game, constantly inventing stuff. And apparently none ever thought to make a screw.

Thats basically the level of dumbness this book's filler has. And dont even try to think about the economics of the game's world. You'll herniate. In addition to just that dumbness for filler there is also a dull uninteresting romantic plot. Which is just shoehorned in to fill in pages with needless kissing, flirting, groping and (thankfully) pg-13 sex scenes. But worst of all, are the redundant explanations. Every opportunity the author got he would repeat explanations in varying degrees of lengthy detail. Sometimes repeating thevsame information multiple times in a single conversation. It got to the point where I was dreading new character. Because every newly introduced character meant all the information would be repeated at least twice. Once from Dave or bob or whoever explaining things and once from their own perspective as they came to the same revelations everyone else did.

It was horrible, even at 1.75 speed I still had to skip ahead in many 30 second chunks. And for that insanely horrible filler I knock off 2 stars.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Joshua Lucas Fox
  • Petaluma, CA, United States
  • 2019-01-03

Can't believe I'm downloading the next book!

It reads a little bit like fan fiction for two or three other stories I can recognize. It was a little while before I realized that the author had some ideas of their own, that were quite..... Good.

The author needs more <or> better proof readers like a walked dog needs a pooper-scooper.

The narrator needs to slow down and remember or learn the pronunciation and meaning of the words he's reading. He has a nice voice, though. Maybe he just needs a proof listener.

There are parts of the story that are great and an amazing new take on this kind of story. These parts are mixed just a little too liberally with drivel. At times I was just shaking my head at the nonsensical writing. The author seemed a little too taken with certain aspects of other stories. Hence my comment on "fan fiction."

There is also time and attention wasted on presenting things that are just the opposite of certain other stories. It occurs more as criticism of those other authors choices, than as original ideas.

However it's not so much any relationship to other stories that is the problem. It that there are parts that appeared grafted on to the story that make no sense with the story itself. Mostly the story seems to become more and more the authors as it goes along.

That being said this whole genre is profoundly cliched. When the author pulls it off it's fun. When they don't it's super annoying. On that premise I can cut this author some slack, especially because this appears to be their first stab at the genre. There are apperently
9 more books!

I am hopeful for improving skill and, Proof Reading!!


-Update: I read most of the way through book six. then I just couldn't take it any more. The lack of proof reading, and the authors sloppiness are still my main complaints. I am down-grading my stars a little more, and asking for some refunds. I do not recommend starting, Mr. Chatfield seems to have achieved quantity at the price of quality. And the price is just a little too high.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 2017-10-15

Meh

Not well written or edited but relatively entertaining. It's pretty uneven, some parts very enjoyable while others can be a little excruciating...

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jeff Larsen
  • LAKEVILLE, MN
  • 2019-09-05

this story could be so much better

Have you ever heard the advice, show don't tell? if you haven't this book will show you why you should.

the author constantly tells everything instead of showing. if you don't mind that you will probably love the book. if you do, it still is ok, but it isn't something I would ever recommend to anyone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Johnny B
  • Archer, FL United States
  • 2019-08-06

This book is so stupid.

I find it hard to believe you can get a book this poorly written published. Very boring.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful