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Summary

From international best-selling author Stuart Thaman: 

The world of Wonder has been thrown into chaos. Servers crashed, cities are in disarray, and death is permanent. Amidst all the upheaval, a new dungeon is growing. 

Undercroft Citadel. 

Ben Hales stands on the front lines, sword in hand, ready to continue his dark work. With an army of the dead and the blessing of a goddess, he’ll bring more fire and brimstone to Wonder than the game has ever known.

©2019 Stuart Thaman (P)2020 Stuart Thaman

What listeners say about A Black Soul

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    4 out of 5 stars

decent follow up of book 1

Once again we dive into the evil empire of Ben Hales, the story continues quite well, if with a few too many last minute saves, unlikely surprises and plain stupid tactical errors on both sides of the field.

The ending is kind of over the top, but we shall see what book 3 holds.

Narration is good if not amazing, but pacing is very good and characters are well-separated.

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So So

The story was ok I suppose, but not the best, It got a little slow towards the end and began to drag . The last 10 mins if the book was just stupid I hate things like that so annoying. I will probably get the next book as I want to know the outcome but let's hope it's a little less boring.

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Grim dark LitRPG

If you like LItRPG, then you’ll like this! A great story with a dark storyline instead of the usual hero adventure.
It’s full of action, magic and dark deeds.
If I’m honest, it doesn’t feel as gritty as I expect from GrimDark, but there’s no denying he’s a nasty fellow!
As always, Scott’s narration is great. He makes it so easy to listen to with great character differentiations and some great voices too!
Highly recommend and will be keeping my eyes peeled for the next instalment!
This is my honest opinion of a free review copy.

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  • Aquatic Kumquat
  • 15-06-20

MC Has No Redeeming Qualities

By about 75% I was just waiting for this to be over. I didn't care what happened to the MC because he's just not a good person. There's no emotional throughline to help listeners relate to him (and thus care what happens to him). All he does is murder people in a world where he knows game death is real death.

I really hated that in the first book that he failed to grieve for his daughter who died in real life after already being widowed by his wife. These people were supposed to be his entire world and yet he just casually went about trying to advance his character like he didn't lose the most important people in his life. This book doubles down on that nonsense, when he "sacrifices" the memory that they were even real to advance his game character. An already unlikable character becomes even worse.


I only started listening to this book because I bought #1 and #2 at the same time. I should have listened to my gut and not started this one even though I already owned it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Travis E Frost
  • 21-05-20

Loved it! Can't wait for the next book

I love this series! This is a great book that shows the darker side of humanity and what drives people to it. The main character is a psychopath and I love him because he could be anyone of us given the circumstances. I like that he fights, even though he is evil. Evil is the only route he can take, and he does what he must.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Nick
  • 17-07-20

Meh. Could have been much better.

It's fun to be the bad guy, but this is sloppy. Big LitRPG fans only.

1 person found this helpful

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  • D. Sturgeon
  • 09-06-20

Excellent Story!

This is an action packed tale that I'm sure any fan of the genre will find very entertaining. The writing and narration are both impeccable.

1 person found this helpful

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  • M Remington
  • 17-04-20

just okay.

what did I just listen to? This book was all over the place. Grab it on sale.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mitchard Apides
  • 16-04-20

Evil Powertrip!

Is this book perfect? No. There is a lot of questionable decisions and inconsistencies with the story. But with that said, I find this book enjoyable. Not a lot of stories that delve on someone insane and twisted, so if you are looking for an anti hero then you are in the wrong place. This is for someone who wants to itch that scratch at the back of your brain that tells you to do bad stuff, for someone to feel powerful and despicable without fearing consequences because you hold unquestionable strength. Narration is pretty good, he tries to differentiate the accents for everyone and that helps a lot. So there, want real evil? Read this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kenny ray
  • 05-04-20

down with the sickness.. or should I say evil

there is a Easter egg in here that I really liked. not going to say more then that but I think listeners will enjoy it. another great book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • chancee young
  • 04-04-20

Couldn’t believe how great it is.

I do have to say this book had it all because I love cheering for the bad guy and if you cant this book isn’t for you. I hope the author doesn’t change and get on a path of good and righteousness. I really can’t wait for the next book, the only thing I disliked about the book was the constantly way he mentioned how strong the armor and sword is, it’s like every fight before and after sometimes during he had to say something about it. We get it your stuff is OP. Other then that I highly recommend this book.

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  • Michael
  • 02-08-21

Great continuation of absolutely phenomenal story

This book is just as well written and performed as the first. Stuart Thaman's writing shows great attention to detail/continuity and realism. The world he has created shines with polish and very well thought out mechanics for a video game world. The narrator does a tremendous job with his various character voices and conveying all sorts of emotions in the story. This sequel unlike many other sequels who fall short is just as entertaining/enjoyable as the first in the series. I cannot recommend this book enough for veteran listeners of the LitRPG genre and newcomers as well. Please listen to the first book in the series before this one. Has a terrific twist that I did not see coming at all. Character development continues and is very prominent in this book. World building continues to grow and is very very well done. I cannot recommend this book enough and I hope you enjoy it just as much as I did.

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  • 🦑
  • 04-05-21

Lacks special spice, even for litrpg fans

This is a hard review to give because I like the genre of this book; I like the author; I like the ideas and fresh twists introduced in the series.

Only problem is, I hated the actual story. No real character development. I know nothing of the MC’s likes or dislikes. I don’t know any of the characters’ likes or dislikes. Everyone is replaceable and forgettable. They are only noteworthy for how they can advance the plot.

MC does a lot of cool things, but they feel meaningless. The point of view of the novel gives us intimate knowledge of how the MC thinks and yet I still hate him. He’s a wet rag with unbelievable plot armor.

If people are stuck in a game, why wouldn’t the world demand and manage to make that game world a safe world? You can’t make a patch change that causes all monsters to disappear? There are tons of quality of life changes that would only be reasonable in the situation that was presented to explain why everyone was stuck in-game.

I had plenty of questions throughout the series, and most of them are unanswered.

I’m also all for anti-heroes and can dig a villain MC. The only problem is, the MC here is two-dimensional. He’s cookie cutter evil, and there isn’t even a tiny semblance of moral struggle, which would have at least created some more interest for the reader.

Dialogue is incredibly stagnant. None of the characters ever really talk to each other, none of them chat about their lives. They serve no purpose but to be fulcrums for the next mindless battle or questionable atrocity MC has in mind.

Descriptions of the world is pretty nonexistent. If I’m supposed to know what anyone looks like, I really don’t.

Also this is petty, but I also greatly dislike the narrator for the audiobook. My review might be colored a bit by my distaste for the narrator, but I think it more compounded my general feel of discontent consuming this novel.

In all, I am disappointed in this series because I think it had good ideas to run with, but failed to execute in a way that can captivate a reader.