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Beginner's Luck

Character Development, Book 1
By: Aaron Jay
Narrated by: Rhys David
Series: Character Development, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 5 mins
5 out of 5 stars (99 ratings)

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Summary

Miles Boone is finally an adult and able to roll up his permanent character. He will join the Game that the world has become. Most of the planet is now dominated by feral AIs and nano who behave as all the monsters of man’s imagination. Every adult left alive plays, striving to keep the the AI and nano from wiping us out completely. Success in the Game is survival itself. Success in the Game is success in life. If only the game wasn’t rigged against anyone who isn’t a member of the Party.

A desperate bid to get the same chance at success in the game as Party members lands him at the mercy of his family’s enemies. Now his freedom and life rest on winning a bet. Lose and he will grind the rest of his life in the beginner’s area for the Eastman clan. He will need all the luck he can get. Too bad his enemies have broken his character and gotten rid of his luck stat. How do you play a game without any luck?

Miles is going to have to outplay and outsmart his family’s enemies, corrupt Game Masters, the Party, and of course the game itself. Life is a game. His father always told him, win or lose, it’s how you play that matters. Now he is praying his father knew what he was talking about.

Beginner’s Luck is the first book in the Character Development Series.

©2017 Aaron Jay Weingrad (P)2019 Aaron Jay Weingrad

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Couldn’t stop listening!

This book is an amazing addition to litrpg and has you enthralled from the moment it starts, from great character development to finally having a smart main character this book will tickle every fancy my only complaint is that the second is not out yet, however the author does and will keep you updated on further updates. Thank you again for a gripping story to fuel my imagination.

2 people found this helpful

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Unashamedly of its genre but a cut above most

There is a LOT of litrpg out there at the moment and frankly, I am tired of it. We see the same tropes over and over with nothing new to say.... and then we have this book. It is well written, generally well paced and it grabbed and held interest. It didn't forget the need for story or bury us in stats. I was well balanced and a refreshing read in a genre that has been done to death. I liked the characterisation. I liked what was hinted at but never quite revealed. I liked the conflict between the main character and "The party". I was a bit less keen on the politics - the main character has a few rants against socialism that I felt were unnecessary. Over all, a good listen, well read and well written.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

top 50 litrpg

informative, good story, not many characters. the economics made it a grade higher but it does not fill the gap of

1 person found this helpful

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Great gamer fun. Excellent voice actor

I loved this book as it brought out the fun of gaming with DnD and MMORPG references with a unique twist. Lots of enjoyment and didn't want to put it down.

1 person found this helpful

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Ironic luck

Really loved this book. I would highly recommend this book. I also enjoyed the cheeky "The Land" reference.

1 person found this helpful

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Rarely write reviews, but the author deserved it.

This is about 95% into perfection as books go. At the end, you just want to stand up and say bravo. The structure, the characters, the creativity. It was really well done. To the author, thank you. Looking forward to book 3.

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Great!

I really liked this book only problem i had with it is that it sometimes becomes a little bit to preachy. I am going to get the next book right now!

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Litrpg done well

Good story, well told. Narration is good, action is great and the plot moves along well. Looking forward to the next book.

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Really good listen

I’ve listened to lots of litrpg and this one was up there in the top 3. Looking fwd to book 2

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slow start but worth listening

I nearly didn't bother with this but ended up thoroughly enjoying it. good under-dog story where intelligence beats op enemies. next in series does not appear to be on Amazon, this is annoying as this type of thing has happened before with a audible book series. if Amazon cant get the rights for an entire audible book series by an author they shouldn't sell the one or two books they do have because it just pissed me off, it's not as if the books are cheap to buy.

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  • Mitchard Apides
  • 02-09-19

Post-Apocalyptic+VR+LTRPG+Cultivation

PROS: - Steadfast MC, doesn't give in with his principles and morals - Finds unique ways to solve problems or fights which kept me on edge on what he is going to do, not a lot of cliche here. - Has the balls to stand up and speak up to his enemies, uses it to bait a lot of fools. And his arguments actually made sense. - The leveling system is fair and balanced, while he gets somewhat of an advantage it comes with a lot of downside - The world building is okay, there is still a lot of things not explained and I hope the next book expounds on it. - Uses a lot of different weapons, doesn't stick to one. Every advantage is eked out. - Inner monologue is well thought out, makes you understand why he does what he does. Its not one of those min/max characters. - Narrator adds a lot of emotion and is not monotone, thank god. CONS: -There is a lot of genre going on and it kinda is too much at first but it kinda made sense at the later parts. But I still think it is too much. - Narrator needs more practice with female voices, he kinda sounds like and angry little male child. I mean no offense dude. - I hope the cultivation is fleshed out more - I hope the next book every time he passes an achievement he won't get pulled out and punished for "CHEATING". It gets old real quick. I want him to give them the hurt. FINAL THOUGHTS: I really like this book, It has its faults but the overall experience is positive. I can't wait for the author to flesh it out and bring more to the table. Will pre order for the next.

23 people found this helpful

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  • Eric W. Brown
  • 12-09-19

Loved it

great book, started slooow, but once things are set up it really took off. good characters, good reader.

3 people found this helpful

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  • BlindWanderer
  • 11-09-19

Asimov's ghost

If it weren't for a little eastern religion, it would be easy to mistake this was a lost work of the late master of science fiction. Usually I steer clear of dystopian-futures, especially those in litrpg. The plots are all to often all the same. The government/company is corrupt, people get trapped in the world, deus ex machina, magic in meetspace etc. This book was refreshing, it's got the Singularity going horribly wrong, grey goo and political commentary that hits the mark. As to the eastern philosophy, it lands pretty well too. Just enough to get some good stuff but not so much to get lost in the weeds. It even fits with the world.

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  • Christopher
  • 03-09-19

A solid 4 star book with a few non-fatal flaws...

So you ask, why did I give a 4 star audiobook a five star rating? Because this is Audible and this is a promising new author. I try not to give a 5 star rating to anything that isn’t at least a near masterwork. I wish this was the case for more people on Audible. It’s frustrating when you see the reviews that list pros and cons and flaws underneath a 5 star rating. Anyone with a 4th grade understanding of math should be able to figure out why regularly handing out 5 star (and 1 star) reviews to books without any discretion results in a crappy and mostly useless rating system. Honestly, I think if Audible would just switch to a ten point scale it would at least add some nuance to the ratings and help get rid of how heavily skewed the system is at present. Anyway, back to the book, I broke my own rule and gave this 5 stars because it deserves listeners and is a gem hidden amongst the unedited/poorly written/harem-cringey garbage that has been polluting my recommendations list for the last two years. This book has an imaginative and somewhat unique setup for the problem that all LitRPGs have... why should the characters care about the game they are playing? Moreover, the characters are compelling and the outside world has as much depth as the game world does... It was an interesting and enjoyable listen. The Non-fatal flaws... The author’s explanation as to how the politics of the pre-dystopian world resulted in the collapse of society shows a childish understanding of world politics. It definitely has the flavor of the oversimplified and ignorant rhetoric of the current idiocracy that we’ve been living in for the past 25 years or so. And of course it leans heavily towards one side of the Isle vs. the other. To be clear, my problem isn’t about which side of the political divide the author seems to be adhering to. It’s that the things, ideologies, and “events” that are sited amount to the same fatuous reductionism that has been crapping all over the political discourse for over half of my lifetime... Most importantly the political slant is totally superfluous to the story. So boo to that. My other main complaint is the narrator’s ridiculously annoying insistence to pronounce the word “again” so that it sounds like a-GAYN and the word “been” so that it rhymes with “spleen.” It would be fine if he had the accent of a stuffy old English barrister..., but he doesn’t. He sounds like a dorky, middle-aged American except when pronouncing those two words. And yet every now and then he forgets to jarringly pronounce these two words so you know it’s just a stupid affectation. He should just stop. It pulls you out of the story every time he says been or again... which turns out to be all the effing time. Lastly, the book is told in first person by a teenager. So it’s weird when his voice and inner thoughts are narrated by your not-very-cool, 55-year-old uncle. Again these aren’t deal breakers but they are definitely WTFs. So spend the credit and forgive me for contributing to the continuing inaccuracy of the Audible ratings system.

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  • Tom Jung
  • 13-06-20

Shower thought book, meh for toilet reading

After setting up the premise and going through the story, there is a point where you realize something seems a bit off with the story. I’m not talking about using the concept of a singularity event as some nebulous doomsday marker, or the idea that there was only one man smart enough to save the world from said event, or even that the world now consists of about 10 people running a group of small villages that is never really described. I’m talking about how the characters don’t seem real. I know it’s fiction and I should give the author some benefit for creating characters to go through the story for my entertainment. It just feels like the author stopped trying to develop characters that do anything but wax poetic about some shallow philosophy. Even worse, there is no use for the shallow philosophical inner monologues that seem to plague each piece of the story. The only time this type of prose begins to make sense is during the yoga training montage. And the training montage, while being one of the best pieces of the story, is itself long and drawn out for seemingly no reason. The realizations are slow and remind me of YouTube yoga videos where they repeat the same thought 100 times before sounding the gong and going on to the next repetitive thought. It’s nice and all but I’m still kind of trying to listen to a story so it gets old pretty quick. So after the shallow character development, repetition, and stale philosophy there is some political intrigue where you find out that the world is even smaller than the 10 people running villages because apparently only two people are smart enough to have different views of how to save the world. Surprise surprise one of those two views is authoritarianism! It’s like a full circle cliche that comes home to shit on your porch when you’re not paying attention. The author is trying to set one of these two parties up as a genius, but the grumpy old man comes off just as arrogant as the rest and has some sort of autism which prevents his cooperation with the only people in the world that could save the everyone since they are now the only people in power. This convenient autism plot device seems much lazier than a weaponized autism plot character, and it kind of feels bad too. At least if the autism was a plot character instead of a convenient plot point to cover for the author’s lack of character development I might have been content with the character. As it stands, a character central to the entire world has a convenient autism that prevents the person from working for the worlds benefit. Even the ending is a shallow pool of cliche relationships that feels empty. At that point I doubted the main character was able to even understand interpersonal relationships. I didn’t even worry about how the main character’s relationships cleared up by that point because honesty, his entire world view seem to be made up of vague relationships and it was pretty disconcerting. I feel I need to end by saying that it wasn’t all bad, it just felt like the author lazy character development was a detriment to my enjoyment of the story after a while. Instead of going through an adventure, I found myself wondering why I was listening to shallow philosophical viewpoints of an incomplete future dystopia. I was hoping to explore the author’s world, but I ended up listening to his vague shower thoughts that really never made any point. I tried to start the second book but the premise would not just get on with it so I’ll leave that one for a time when I’m feeling extra masochistic. 3/7

2 people found this helpful

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  • Brandon M. Salazar
  • 27-03-20

Take That, Liberals!

Is the overarching message permeating the whole book. It kind of hits you over the head with it. If you can get past the heavily right-leaning political diatribes, the rest of the book has some really cool ideas on world building that I found extremely unique and interesting. It also introduces a lot of problems for the MC that were solved in fun ways. I ended up finding it very misguided, but it gave me a new perspective on people of other viewpoints reading stories I like from more left-leaning authors. But then, I’m pretty hard to offend and I know a lot of people who would be a lot more bothered by that part of it. Your mileage may vary

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 21-12-19

If Ayn Rand wrote LitRPG

Love this story. If Ayn Rand were still alive, she would have approved of this story. Thank you for this great read.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jake
  • 12-09-19

Amazing just amazing

I’ve been listening to lit RPGs on audible for the last two years. This stands on its own as an amazing testament to the trials and tribulations life and game life can throw at you. Even if your new to the genre, give this one a shot and I promise you won’t regret it! So excited for the sequel and bummed my next one most likely won’t be anywhere near as good. Amazing writing, story and voice casting, what more do you need.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Professor Lust
  • 09-06-20

Poorly written YA dystopia

Like most litrpg novels, the first chapter is entirely exposition. I can not speak to the rest of the book because I stopped listening after the first chapter. This review focuses on my issues with the novels exposition, but the Narrator's lumbering pacing and almost painful lack of inflection certainly didn't help foster a desire to keep listening. I want to explain that despite what might potentially be a decent litrpg story, I quit before the "game" was even introduced. The reason is that at 15:57 minutes in length, the first chapter has approximately 2800 words. Of which at least 2000 can best be summarized as telling the reader a very generic dystopian setting. I want to emphasize that again, most entire chapter is the reader being told things. Not having them described, not having them shown, discussed, demonstrated, or explained, but simply told them. We're told about Nano smuggling but not given any context. We're told that the MC has shaved his head because of Bio production, but we're not given any context/ We're told about abandoned streets but given no context. We're We're told about the party but not given context. We're told that the MC wont be accepted into the party. We're indirectly told that the Party controls everything. We're told that before people had the Courts to protect them from bad products but the Party doesn't care about making quality products. Over and over, the author tells the reader things about the world but Jay never actually does more than create a fuzzy dystopia.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Bryan S Guzman
  • 15-12-19

pretty great

I have a few minor issues but I am looking forward to the next volume. unlike other litrpg novels this one manages to get some personal investment in both the fate of man kind and our hero I hope he wipes the floor with the rest of the Eastman clan.

1 person found this helpful