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Publisher's Summary

A game too good to be true. A golden opportunity. A nightmare he can’t escape.

If Arthur Mallory plays one more steaming pile of garbage disguised as a virtual role-playing game, he might hang up his gaming hat for good. When he discovers the new “deep dive” game Worlds Unbound, he decides it might be worth a try. If it sucks, he'll just return it the next day and cancel the financing.

The game is everything he could have wanted, even without elves or dwarves or character creation. The magic system has him hooked.

He’s willing to overlook the mangled sleep schedule and crippling nightmares if it means feeling that power running through his veins. But when an accident leaves his headset broken, he realizes he might be cut off from the magic - and the game - for good.

He’s not going to let that happen.

©2021 Gregory Blackburn (P)2021 Mountaindale Press

What listeners say about Unbound

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Story needs works and female voice for narration need work

The story line needs work as it doesn’t hook the listener, it’s a chore to listen to. The details feels superfluous with too much accent on the gore when fighting occurs. The interactions between the main characters and his friend/spirit or his companion are not believable. The female voice that the narrator takes to speak for her or any other female is horrible and truly gets on my nerves.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jonathan Richardson
  • 2021-04-16

Audible only, book cannot be bound

Interesting new release from a new author to MDP.

Favorite quote from the book:

"Ari get over here, I am about to do something stupid"

"I am going to destroy this ring so fast it will make Frodo's head spin"

There are a ton of cultural references that make this book fun to listen to. Very creative and fun to read.

Minimal profanity
No sexual content
No drugs or alcohol

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 2021-04-23

Fantastic Start to a New Series by a New Author

First let me say that this is a fantastic first book from a first-time author. The language and writing style are incredible. You can tell there is a bit of esoterism going on with the author. Let’s break down the book a bit since I know it is critical for good reviews for a first-time author beyond just the “5 stars”. I’ll go through the wins and growth points of the story, the author, and the reader.

Story Wins
The main character Korrash/Arthur is a fun character to read/listen. He reminds me of every tabletop game I have ever played where a min-max character wants to do something absurd and then either fails or succeeds spectacularly. The interaction between Arthur and a few specific characters is fun and engaging but it is clear that this character is largely antisocial and that certainly comes through in his interactions. The undercurrent of the story is where the real intrigue is though. There is clearly something else afoot. Finally, the ‘darker’ parts of the story is where this book really shines, the “nightmare” was just awesome.

Story Growth Points
It was slower than it should have been in parts and took some turns that were a little clunky. Also, in the beginning the combat was a bit hard to follow which happens with ever new author ever. Finally, the system stuff was a little heavy for a listener. I am a guy who likes some stat dumps so it never really bothered me but I can see some redundancies. For example, when someone trips over a rug we can just go ahead and assume that they failed a roll, telling us that doesn’t help us progress the story. All that being said, it never once took away from my experience at all.

Author Wins
This author clearly loves the written word. Some of the best writing in the book is when he waxes a bit poetic (Interludes). Also as mentioned above the nightmare and dark fantasy aspects were fantastic. The magic system is a bit esoteric and as a long time gamer made me think about things along the way. I also loved the technical writing as much of it made actual sense and wasn’t ‘just’ a bunch of technojargon put on the page. Finally, I really liked the fun easter eggs that were speckled throughout the book.

Author Growth Points
Did I mention Esoteric? I mean that the system in question is crazy abstract. I saw one person say it was like Big Bang theory describing quantum physics without anyone there to reign it in. While this is very likely good for those of us who like that kind of thing, I also saw that there was a person who couldn’t even finish the book because she wasn’t smart enough to figure it out. This can be a good or bad thing and as a first-timer the author should consider these types of readers.

Reader Wins
Okay so Christian is a fantastic and engaging reader. His characterization is phenomenal and I really enjoyed the vocal changes for the computer.

Reader Growth Points
Some of the words the reader use put the emphasis on the wrong syllables. It just breaks me out of the story every time. Also Rapier…

3 people found this helpful

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  • Icarus
  • 2021-04-15

Dark fantasy indeed

So yeah! Ooh boy! This takes a really dark turn on the litrpg genre.

Overall the book was brilliant! A good mix of deeper, darker moments and the main character being a nerdy goof.
There were a few moments in the book that got me genuinely cringing! Not due to bad writing or anything, but just to the realization that if i would be put to the situation, i would be trying the same thing!
In my opinion the author has a good graps on what is trendy, and makes a good job at adopting it into his own world.

The game system is really freaking complex, and it has some annoying parts, like constant updates on skill successes and failures, but i don't see a reason to deduct any points from anything that minor.

TLDR: Great book, great laugh, great mystery, can't wait for the book 2!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Donald
  • 2021-04-26

Wow just wow!

This book knocks it out of the park, and leaves it open to a whole new world of possibilities! The magic system is really really good! Narration is done well and draws you in. Looking forward to the next book!

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 2021-04-23

one person story

Struggled to finish. Storytelling is just from just the M.C. and a wall of character stats. Any other characters in the book are just added to move the story along. Nothing is surprising rather easy to tell where the story is going, and it's slow to get there. Would like so see the M.C. interact with more people and more character development.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nuri Nelson
  • 2021-04-19

easily one of the best

Mountaindale Press has done it again with a spectacular find of an author. this book is amazing and the sub plot is absolute nightmare fuel... no pun intended. Definitely a must read

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Steven Horton
  • 2021-04-17

An intense journey, in life of pure nightmares

It takes a little while to get past the tutorial and heavy exposition, but this book, once it gets up to speed, is VERY dark, but funny book, something that I haven't seen since reading the Drizzt DND books. The aspects of horror combined with LitRPG make for an experience akin to somebody playing Silent Hill in your head, but it doesn't get too scary so much that I'm uncomfortable continuing.

The writer's style is unusually explicit -- as in detailed, not as in implicit content, which leads to a style that sounds like a good dungeon master, which makes me wonder if a lot of lit RPG authors got their start with tabletop games. Eventually the main character's companion feels like an extension of the interface, which makes for large sections of content feel paranoia and isolation.

Christian Gilliland was an excellent narrator, and the audio effects were interesting, but not overused.

Without spoiling it, but the relationship between the main character and his first love interest is intense and dark. I loved the expansive universe.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rictus
  • 2021-05-05

great

wonderful first book to a world that holds great potential. all around thoroughly enjoyed this book. the prose was great, minimal info dumping and great descriptors. world building is clearly exspansive without being too much and while a bit lacking in its display at times I can see this as the type of series that will expound upon the previous displayment of world building in future installments to the series. story line set up/prologue is interesting and I am deeply interested in seeing more passages like it in the series. the horror/nightmare aspect was well executed without being overly squick or excessively gory, something many other stories that venture down that avenue fail to succeed at. characters are well fleshed out, displayed and have noticeable impacts on the world(s) around them as well as character growth/change based on events that occur and decisions made. classes, skills, abilities are interesting and I look forward to seeing them further explored. all around great first book from a break out author and am looking forward to future reading from them
the narrator was excellent, a good vocal/accent range with out over reaching he was able to clearly give various characters their own voices. no excessive noises/sound effects/voice modulation. great audio quality and editing. narrator clearly enunciated words and was easily understood when he spoke.