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A Dark Path (Grimdark LitRPG)

Forsaken Talents, Book 1
Narrated by: J. Scott Bennett
Series: Forsaken Talents, Book 1
Length: 13 hrs and 15 mins
4.0 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)

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Summary

From International Best-Selling Author Stuart Thaman:
 

The Seven Portals to Wonder changed the world. The most advanced AI ever created powered the worlds, bringing infinite possibilities and endless adventure to everyone across the globe. War on Earth practically ceased as most of the planet's population became addicted to the game.
 

Ben Hales was no different. He spent a few years saving enough money to buy lifetime passes for himself and his daughter, Ingrid. Now he has the cash, and Ingrid just turned 16, the minimum age required to play.
 

Not everything - or everyone - in Wonder is quite as it seems. Evil lurks both inside and outside the game, and that evil finds Ben all too soon.
 

Ravaged by loss and consumed by hatred, Ben awakens an ancient necromancer and a host of long-forgotten classes. Now he's building his citadel of darkness and raising an army of the dead with a singular goal: revenge.
 

If it means the death of everyone inside Wonder...so be it.
 

Check out Stuart Thaman's other epic fantasy and LitRPG novels!

©2019 Stuart Thaman (P)2019 Stuart Thaman

What listeners say about A Dark Path (Grimdark LitRPG)

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Let's be evil

I recieved a review copy of this book, it's well written and narrated, but the main character is quite irredeemably unlikeable. Given the choice between right and wrong, he chooses wrong, flimsily justifying it. Its a testament to the quality of the writing and performance that story remains interesting despite this and I look forward to the next installment.

3 people found this helpful

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Dark litrpg

I did enjoy this book, although I did find it tough to listen to in long sessions because of how dark it was. The main character is intentionally (I think!) unlikeable: he is admittedly evil and seems to care little for others. His motivations for his evil actions are explained, but I didn't feel this justified his callous behaviour and sociopathic tenancies. It was interesting though to explore the mind of sociopath - this is the first litrpg I've read/listened to that features an unreliable narrator, and I commend the author for taking such a risk! The plot was really good - fast paced and an interesting take on an established rpg trope of settlement building. The narrator was also excellent. Even though the book was gripping and engaging, I will not be purchasing other books in this series as I find myself disliking the main character so much that I'm just not interested in what happens to him. I recommend this book to listeners who are fans of both litrpg and books such as Hannibal etc. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request via Audioboom and have voluntarily left this review

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Unrealistic Emotions

I'm about 4 hours into this and I'm really bothered by the unrealistic portrayal of emotions. The story starts out with a widowed father playing a game with his daughter teaching her the ropes, when suddenly a bug in the game kills her in real life. How long does he grieve? About 2 seconds. Instead he's just like "Oh I guess I'll keep playing this game. Lah di dah, not a care in the world. Oh I better start thinking about my class and finding a trainer! Never mind that the last living member of my real life family is dead. Nevermind that the girl I raised from birth just died because I encouraged her to play this game with me." A sob story that reads like a cliff note does not make good writing. I'll keep listening and finish, but at about a third of the way in this is mediocre at best. The book ends on a lame cliffhanger with no goals accomplished. There's nothing really there to compel me to keep on with the series.

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dark and dirty, but interestingly done

In the Future, everyone really wants to live in a semi-real virtual rpg, where you can respawn back in your home, so the consequences are relatively low. The world has gone through some nasty times and everyone is happy to see that most people's urges to murder/steal and otherwise fight are in the virtual world where there is little consequence, until it goes all wrong! A great take on an evil character, that still occasionally falls back to "is what i'm doing actually okay?". While some of the moral dilemma's are shoved aside too easily occasionally, it doesn't impact the story too much. Well narrated, well written and fun with not too much side-tracking, fun and hopefully continues the same in book 2 as well.

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What a great listen!

Such a great, enjoyable listen. Made a great change having an anti-hero and a nice twist on the LitRPG and I thought it was a lot of fun. Filled with tons of adventure and character building. Scott does a fantastic job with narration and all his characters are easily identifiable, he’s just a great storyteller!! I must just add though, despite it being great, I wouldn’t really call it Grimdark. It does follow a dark path, there’s acts of dark violence and the MC definitely doesn’t have any morals but it doesn’t have the grim/gritty feel I usually expect from grimdark. This is my honest opinion of a free review copy.

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great book loved it

loved the story nice to see a book from the bad guys side of things and not all goody goody

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One for the Gamers...

This was a fun and weird read. I play a lot of video games, and this was reminiscent of missions/quests I would have to do in ones such as Fallout and/or Skyrim. What I particularly liked about this book is we're basically shown the conception of a Raider gang, and it's rather refreshing having that point of view. Narration was done well and suited the style of book. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request via Audioboom and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • Josh Noneya
  • 12-12-19

Intriguing

Interesting story and good narration! A man looses his daughter to a griefer and a game glitch that trapped them in the game and made death real. She was his life, now he will be the griefer's death if its the last thing he does. No one shall stand in his way. A well done story about a man who doesn't care anymore.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Austin
  • 15-11-19

Lots of Evil

I can enjoy a good villain. The MC can definitely be classified as evil. The main supporting characters are also evil. The writing of all of the evil acts is well done, fleshed out, and provokes emotions regardless of how numb to it all you might be at that point. My main problem with the story is the reasoning. During the beginning there is too much setup. I understand you want us to become attached to his daughter so we can feel the loss. However, when you have over an hour and a half of exposition, it slows your story and I imagine it might even turn people off from the book entirely. On top of that, the change in the MC's reasoning doesn't gradually or immediately shift. It is like a heart monitor rather than a steady graph upwards. His personality is all over the place. When his daughter dies, he doesn't suffer from a complete psychotic break and go on a rampage. He doesn't make a well thought out plan of revenge either (Although the author tries to portray this, it fails.) I can clearly tell the MC has no idea what he is doing. He only reacts, never planning until the enemy is on his doorstep. ALSO, he is basically handed a cheat in the very beginning in the form of sword and armor. He is a noob with a nuke throwing a temper tantrum. The MC isn't simply unstable. He jumps from being a grizzly dictator lopping off heads, to a grieving father, to a widow, and says "It is all for you Ingrid, it is all for you." She didn't ask for this. His reasoning is completely unfounded based on nothing. You might say that this makes a nice deranged MC. You are likely right. But I can't get behind him. The reasoning seems so forced. Like the author was trying too hard to give him a reason to be evil. Just let him be evil. OVERALL: I think the attempt is nice. The story was slightly enjoyable. The exposition was too long. The Litrpgs elements are limited. The MC was given a cheat. The development of the evil characters and supporting characters were extremely well written. The author is able to successfully keep the reader on their toes. Thus, I am conflicted and give this book a 3/5.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-11-19

Meh

The narrator sometimes struggled to use the correct voice for a character and some of his voices didn't seem to match the character it was meant for. However, mostly it wasn't a problem. As for the story, The main character never really seemed to face any challenges and this was a problem in many different ways. Anytime there was an opponent with a higher level including "bosses" the MC killed them quickly and with little effort. He was given strong items despite putting in no effort and always seems to be able to loot everything despite other characters not having that same luxury and previous statements about some loot system that never appears again. There is supposed to be a NPC revival mechanic in the game separate to the "players" system but it is forgotten about. Overall, it seemed as if the author knew what video games are but had no idea as to how they actually work and it became a constant frustration. The story had some fun moments but had too many repeating problems, some of which I haven't even mentioned.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Stephen
  • 13-11-19

Narrator

Narrator breaths heavy into the microphone after every few words, it distracts from the story. It's like a great picture with a finger in the corner of it.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-07-20

great story but the southern accent

so hard to enjoy the story when the readers voice is reminiscent of scraping rusty moonshine bottle. ugh... pausing for no reason.............. UGH!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mary Karowski
  • 25-05-20

Dark LITRPG revenge is sometimes all that someone has left

A man spends his time working hard to get himself and his daughter lifetime passes to the worlds greatest mmo game. day one on their new pass something goes horrifically wrong And there is a moment where real death occurs to any player killed. His daughter was taken from him. He will do what he must to Anyone who gets in his way to get the revenge he desires. Really good story and well narrated. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator or publisher

1 person found this helpful

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  • Travis E Frost
  • 20-05-20

Loved it!

I really enjoyed this book! I'm not a huge fan of the narrator's voice but that's just personal preference. That said, Bennett does an excellent job narrating. I love the angle this book takes, the good guys don't always win, and sometimes the bad guys aren't all that bad. Ruthless murderers, yes, but still good people. Thank you for writing this book.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Hunter
  • 08-05-20

medium dark and only a bit grim

A good shell for a villain POV gamelit. The characters are particularly believable in that the main character goes from voice of reason to mass murdering maniacal overlord on what you may think of as a reasonable excuse but on a hair thin time frame. He just goes whelp I guess I'm gonna be evil now, time go murder a bunch of people. since he's our POV character some level of concious acknowledgement of guilt seems like it should present with how he is portrayed in the beginning. As it happens it seems more like they are two different people with the same name instead of a character that falls to the darkside. but anyway this book was fun, there wasn't much character development per se but there were exciting and interesting events and it could be fun to see how the story progresses. For being labeled as grim dark it's pretty reasonable. The main character kills people to get what he wants and leads a town of necromancers eventually he'll have a kingdom and an empire but there is very little in the setting that you would associate with the despair that comes to mind with the term Grim Dark. There also wasn't any strong body horror or sex abuse or anything like that which can be a concern with "grim dark" settings. i received a free review copy of this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • michael martins
  • 06-04-20

LitRPG that embraces the Dark Side.

A Dark Path is a LitRPG whose main character really embraces the dark side, so it is quite different from what you might be used to. It follows the main character Ben Hales who is a middle aged man who enters the world of Wonder which is a completely immersive Virtual Reality game that is completely life like and extremely popular on this future version of Earth. It begins with him bringing his young teenage daughter into the game for the first time and showing her the ropes. Things soon go wrong in the game world of Wonder after it is attacked/hacked and people can no longer logout of the game and an in game death means real life death. After a tragedy, Ben Hales vows revenge and turns down "A Dark Path". Ben becomes a necromancer which is quite different for these types of books as that isn't a very noble calling. Ben seems like a good guy and treats most of his allies quite well but he does not shy away from death and killing and can definitely not be called a hero. The story is fairly interesting and the leveling and skills are also pretty well done. Ben soon becomes quite powerful even though he is at a low level which kind of seems a bit weird and doesn't make his situation seem as dangerous. The narration by J. Scott Bennett was well done and seemed to fit the character well. If you like LitRPG and wouldn't be turned off by a main character who isn't really a hero or doing the noble things than I think you will enjoy this story. I am interested to read the next book in the series to see how things progress and learn more about who is behind the attack/hacking of Wonder. "Please note I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kenny ray
  • 02-04-20

definitely a dark path

well written. see what happens when a man decides to take a darker way of life. a man that does the things he needs to do to get what he wants most in life. there are some parts that the mc annoys me. the way he relies on certain things to make choices. but that could just be me being cautions in his shoes. narration is done well. as always with j Scott Bennett

1 person found this helpful