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War Aeternus 3: The Culling

Written by: Charles Dean
Narrated by: Jeff Hays, Annie Ellicott
Length: 11 hrs and 50 mins
5 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Struggling to recover from his losses in Kirshtein, Lee is swept back into the fray when a dangerous new Herald sets her sights on him. Hell-bent on reshaping the world in her own image and with her own ideals, she is willing to commit even the most immoral acts in her pursuit of righteousness. At risk of losing everything he has worked so hard to create, Lee has to find a way to defend the weak against a madwoman whose deranged sense of justice has twisted the limits of the game. 

To make matters even more difficult, Lee is forced to face these problems while dealing with an increasingly erratic system he doesn't understand and the Goddess of Blood's own strong-willed Herald. 

This is the third installment of War Aeternus, a popular LitRPG gamelit book that focuses on the adventures of Lee, a regular office worker stuck in a game-like world.

©2017 on Charles Aylett Ashby Dean (P)2018 Charles Aylett Ashby Dean

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  • Ray Johnson
  • 2018-09-27

The weak must be eradicated

Lee and the surviving team return for book three, and all I can say is that this is a welcome return after the kick in the feelz that Dean gave us in the last book. One thing I will say about the Lord of Beards is that he knows how to entertain. After the events in the last novel, Lee is in a funk, and he isn’t looking to break out of it anytime soon. To say that the quality of his mercy is strained would be an understatement. This leads to one of the funniest scenes in the book, in which Lee and the amazing Miller rush to defend a monument Lee built at the end of book two. Sorry, spoilers and all that, so I can’t reveal anything, but there are two moments in which Miller steals the show. The first comes from the eating of the nobleman’s heart, and the other is the spear to the face and Miller playing thing off with the line, “Well, you said to kill anyone moving towards the statue.” I burst out laughing, and chuckled for another ten minutes after the scene was played out. I admit that I am a Miller junkie. And, if I am being honest, that is the only complaint that I have about this book. There is not enough Miller. He is missing for a big chunk of it, but it is for reasons that I cannot reveal. So, I just cherished every moment I had with him.

Thankfully, Lee keeps things interesting as he goes around killing blind children and old people, this is all about culling the weak, after all. While this might sound controversial, it is simultaneously funny, heartbreaking, horrifying, and moving as Lee is only doing what he must. Meanwhile, poor Augustus is getting his butt chewed off for having a herald who goes around killing other heralds. Even though that is pretty much expected of him. Augustus is probably my second favorite character, because he just does what he wants, and worries about consequence later, since he doubts they will ever affect him.

Dean also introduces a new character, Jade, who could be a Patty Duke styled cousin to the Bathrobe Knight’s Stephanie. She is a fun character who has no issue speaking her mind, lives as if she were in a Manga Anime series, and just so happens to see non heralds as NPC’s who are not real. Her POV is . . . . . . . . . . . . . .different , to say the least. You can tell that Charles had a blast writing her, and that Lee is in some serious trouble with her as a companion. To say that she makes life complicated for him would be an understatement. Dean is almost making a harem for Lee, who just isn’t biting. We have Ling, Brigid, and Jade, but for me Masha is the best and most practical choice for Lee in my humble opinion. I really like her, and think that he has an emotional tie with her that the others all lack. If I was going to play MFK with these ladies, I would marry Masha. I love Jade, as a character, but she is far too crazy town for me. Like I said, she reminds me of Stephanie, and while both I and my kids loved her, we wouldn’t want to marry her.

The story is fast paced, and we finally get back to Satterfield. Lee gets to know the game AI, and the herald he faces off against is about a bat crap crazy as you can get. I don’t think that there was ever a moment that wasn’t dragging me along at a break neck speed, an awesome fight was taking place, or danger didn’t loom off in the corner. This is a tightly written tale that fulfills every need for comedy, action, adventure, emotion, and big events. Dean just continues to step up his game. I see him improve in every book he has written, and I know that WA4 is going to be even more amazing. I have no complaints on the word front.

As for the narration, well I have to say that I have never heard Jeff Hays do better. I don’t think there is another person who could pull off Jade the way that he does. Are multiple reasons Jeff is amazing, and his ability to do believable female voices is one of them. Still, he hits the attitude and exuberance that is Jade like he lived with her as a kid. Between his performance of her and that of Miller I don’t know how Lee ever gets a voice of his own. Jade definitely steals the show. Annie plays a fine Brigid, and who I’ll call the crazy chicken lady (because that is all I could see when she transformed). She nails them both like she was a gas powered hammer. I really like their chemistry, these two don’t work so well together as they just blend flawlessly with one another. They go together like water and a Kool aid packet. Like peas and carrots. As always, the sound production is exemplary and the book is as clear as Crystal Lake right after summer break. SBT has the highest quality standards when it comes to storytelling that you could ask for.

War Aeternus: The Culling literally cut away every weak moment that it had, and left us with the most choice cut of pure Kobe Beef. This story had real meat on its bones, and I most happily dug in and asked for thirds when it was all over. I am giving this book a 9. It is solid, surprising, funny, and poignant. I could not have asked for or expected more.


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

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-11-05

Great narrative, but the MC is jerk!

Ok, finished the 3rd book and I have to say, what the heck happened!!!!

before I go and rant I will say that the series is worth a read. starts slow but gains speed and Its fresh take on litrpg is creative. I wish there was more of a back story on the what and whys but it's still a good read.

NOW, after finishing the 3rd book, I HATE Lee. he has become unlikable, his decisions are completely contrary to logic in any way. like all the time. at least in the 3rd book. the 1st he was lovable in a way and unknowing, the 2nd he was gaining speed and becoming confident, and then after one death he has lost sight of what the point of this war. people far above him telling/suggesting what to do and he does the opposite. straight up refuses to talk to his people and expecting them to fall in line or get out without any explanation whatsoever. he wants yes men, not people who have a brain. his emotions are crippling his ability to use common sense and ruins this book!
This bugs me because the author and narrator do a great job of getting you emotionally evolved. this being said, I want to smack Lee!

THIS IS MY TAKE on his behavior and other than the main character acting like an arrogant teenage monk who thinks girls and sex are icky, the other characters make up for it. jade is an absolute riot!!! I love her. she needs her own book for sure, and Miller is a star aswell. I got plenty of looks for laughing out loud at what they thought was nothing.

The narrator was brilliant and is now in my top 3 hands down. he has more so many variations to his voice that sometimes I swear theres more than one guy. he even has a different narrative voice than he did in other series. I love him and sound booth audio aswell. those guy are fantastic.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Thomas
  • 2019-07-15

Very good.

Very entertaining story and the narrators are as awesome as always. Thanks for the performance!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jennifer
  • 2019-07-11

the best junkfood!

Jade completes me! she is the perfect addition to the harem. she the destroyer of the 3rd wall lolz.

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  • Nighteyes
  • 2019-07-03

For broads!

well if the last one shagged my mind, this one broken the bed...
bloody hell...
I feel like I need a cigarette after this trip and I don't even smoke...

a true masterpiece of humour and entertainment from both Charles, Jeff and Annie...
what else is there to say?

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  • Asher
  • 2019-06-26

Hello darkness my old friend

First off narration was amazing. Second damn did miller really hit me, I was very focused during his pivotal moment. Lee is changing and boy it's rough but needed for him to survive. I really enjoyed this and suggest you pick it up.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Steven Parks
  • 2019-06-09

Were tigers and otaku girls

As Lee continues on his journey he seems to keep drawing the attention of other heralds and this time it’s two very different girl heralds...hell has no fury like the scorn of an angry WereTiger or the obsessive puppy love of a hyper active anime otaku girl, good luck Lee

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Austin
  • 2019-05-15

Unsure.

I read the first two book a several months ago so I had try to remember everything going into this book. The first book was slow to start and only decent in my mind, the second was really good but ended on a sour note for me so I refrained from the third for a while.

This book started out great back in the real world with Masha. Lee gets to show how much of a badass he is in the real world. Then he goes back to the game world and starts killing people left and right. True the people mostly deserve it. But Lee seems to turn into this cold blooded killer. I almost quit the book right there.

However, I came back to it a couple days later since it was the only book left unread in my library. After the Council meeting, it gets better. Lee still acts like a douche, but game mechanics are reintroduced. The system starting to have a personality is highly amusing and also frustrating at times.

Like other reviews, it picks up drastically after the 6 hour mark. Jade is introduced who is by far a fan favorite. She is a herald but she treats the world like an anime instead. As a huge anime geek, this was hilarious to watch. If you don't know anime, you will likely be very confused.

The ending was unexpected. I figured some things out but not all of them and therefore I was tripped up.

Like book 1, book 3 is hard to get through in the beginning and it takes time to pick up. I believe it is worth it though. I might even grab the next book. We'll see. Happy Listening!

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  • Jonathan
  • 2019-04-24

PG-13

this is a good book the narrators are awesome the story is really good. but they don't deal with in the game very much like selling it to vendors. what I wouldn't give for like NR rating LOL

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  • David A.
  • 2019-04-06

Conan meets anime

as the characters development continues, you don't know whether to like Lee's real world relationships more, or the game world.