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Dominion of Blades

A LitRPG Adventure
Narrated by: Andrea Parsneau
Series: Dominion of Blades, Book 1
Length: 12 hrs and 33 mins
Categories: Young Adults, Ages 13 & Up
4.5 out of 5 stars (40 ratings)

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Summary

For over 30 years, Dominion of Blades has been the hottest online role-playing game in the world. Any gamer with an immersion rig can enter the world of sword and sorcery, of goblins and dragons, and they can hack and slash their way to glory. But the game is too real for some, and after an epidemic of real-life fatalities, public use of the immersion technology has been banned, causing the game to be shut down.

Jonah wakes to find himself in-game, level one, with no memory of how he arrived and no way to eject. With only two companions, trapped in a world that once hosted millions, Jonah must battle his way across a treacherous landscape, fighting virtual monsters, all too real pain, and a very human enemy in a desperate bid to survive.

©2017 Matt Dinniman (P)2017 Matt Dinniman

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

Really makes you think! (and laugh)

The good thing about this genre is all the new audiobooks coming out in it!

I did get a little behind in my reviews, but here are some thoughts on this as audio.

The main characters are really nicely done. We're thrown into the deep end of this story and world without getting to know them before, but during and in the game. I loved this more so than most might because some stories really do slow up the drama and tension of their world with the long intros with little conflict. Very nicely done here.

The fact that there was trans gender, and different sex's playing different characters was so refreshing and expertly handled by the writer and narrator. It really makes you think about not only the world inside their story but in our own and how people handle things in the wrong ways. (I've seen some of the reviews put up) but this really didn't deter from the story and enhanced it in a way that a lot of people can relate to and of course enjoy.

There's no rest up for us or the MC's as they go on this journey, and the narrator kept a wonderful pace throughout. I really loved her choices with each person, from the Mc's to the NPC's which each spoke just as if they were real people.

There really is a lot of twists and turns in here, some I did think were coming, but others were a total shock! It keeps you guessing and thinking which is what all the best books do.

Highly recommended and although this was a great book on its own although my only real jibe is the length, (cause I wanted more) I do think there's another on the cards, which I can't wait for!

4 people found this helpful

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Interesting premise and strong start to series

While many books in this genre have the main characters trapped in the game world, this one adds an extra layer to that by also having them locked into a monotonous existence as highly-scripted npcs until something happens to wake them up from that.

Besides an interesting and diverse range of characters, the underlying mystery over why these people are stuck in the game and the potential impact on their real world leads to an interesting overall story that draws in the listener and maintains a strong pace throughout.

The narrator helps greatly with drawing in the listener too, providing an extensive range of voices for the characters that helps to bring them to life very effectively.

Overall, an entertaining book in its own right that also provides a strong foundation to this series and I will be interested to see how it progresses.

[Note - I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.]

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Amazing twist to the genre

I recieved a review copy of this book. The story is a great balance between the gameplay mechanics and an underlying mystery that the players must unravel. You follow the characters as they struggle against the odds to uncover the secrets of both the game, and the world outside.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-07-17

Original

Most original and well written litrpg I've read in a while. I returned the last two or three litrpg audiobooks I bought because the clichés and bad writing was getting to be overwhelming. I'm happy to finally find a book in this genre that takes the writing as seriously as it does the litrpg conventions.

I look forward to the next book.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Christopher
  • 22-02-18

Great LitRPG, ignore the negative reviews...

As a rule, I try not to comment on other reviewers' opinions for reasons that should be obvious. I only break this rule when I feel that a number of reviewers have grossly misrepresented a book on factual grounds, not on personal opinion or subjective taste. So...

Several people have said they didn't like the "proselytizing" of LGBT issues in this book. To be clear, at no point in this book is there anything even resembling propaganda or preaching about LGBT issues or lifestyles. That is, unless you believe that just having an LGBT character exist in the book qualifies. In fact, though the coming of age experiences of an LGBT person are discussed, it is only a tiny part of the book and done with no hyperbole nor with any more drama or detail than would be given to someone who struggles with social anxiety about interacting with the opposite sex. In fact for a fantasy novel the discussion of these issues is so tame as to be little more than a tiny subplot when taking in the scope of the book as a whole.

In conclusion, this is a well-written, far above average, LitRPG novel, and I would hate for people to skip it based on the reviews of some people who's intolerance appears to be so sensitive that the mere idea of LGBT people is offensive.

P.S. Though it shouldn't matter, I'm a straight male, and I'm leaving this review because I love books, not because I'm trying push a socio-political agenda.

60 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew
  • 27-09-17

Something extremely special and promising

Truly I can't espouse the positives of this book enough. Don't judge this by the authors previous works, this is the start of an opus. There is just enough actual tension, comedy, action and character growth to fill your soul here. The twists are smart enough to not be obvious but if your observant you can figure them out just as they get confirmed or disproven..... all the way to the last sentence.
This is not LitRPG like you know it.
It's a thriller, a mystery, a few other genre I won't go into. This is a true novel that brilliantly incorporates the traits of the LitRPG genre into the basic fiction structure we know today. Don't get me wrong I LOVE the genre as a whole but you get used to the tropes and cliches that are starting to show up.
This is not like that (very much at least)
On top of a unbelievable engaging story, I was EXTREMELY skeptical of a female narrator covering a male MC. I almost feel kinda bad even thinking it now, it also fits in a way you'll start understanding throughout the novel. This is truly a book above any sort of labeling or stereotype.
DESPITE my hesitation, Andrea is unbelievably wonderful. Her range is amazing, various nuances, accents, even deep gruff voices are well done. She truly made this brilliant story come alive, especially poppy and Alice. I am truly happy she narrated this novel.

This book is wonderful, though it will show some flaws like most books do. I do not claim it to be perfect. It may not fit your style. But I think this is worth more than a credit, it's worth buying outright. I truly had a wonderful riveting time listening and I cannot tell you how much I crave more of this world, even if the perspective is to shift in book 2 as reports suggest. May you enjoy this book, and if my review helps you decide to try it I hope you come to enjoy and love this book as much as I did.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Ray Johnson
  • 10-02-18

Cutting edge

Ok, in all honesty, there are a few moments where the story doesn't quite flow as well as I would have liked, and game mechanics are an issue. I always ask myself if I can see that game being as popular as the author says if it was in the real world, or if I would play it myself. Quest completion and leveling would make that difficult. I can understand the memory loss and gender switching though, how many dudes play a female character? So having gender changes happen is not out of line. Wouldn't forgetting about who you are make the game feel more real? I think so. These are just hiccups.

The story is fun, and bops along at a great pace. Characters are interesting, and I like how playing too much might make a person lose their mind. It could be a bit crunchier in the game stuff, but then I find a repeat of stats in an audiobook can be repetitive.

As RPGLit, this hits every nail right on the head. As a fun read it keeps you going and gets better as you move ahead (like I said, flow is a little wonky in spots). The narration is spot on, and keeps you going. Andrea Parsneau is my favorite female narrator. She just elevates the books she reads to a new unforseen level. Much better than the voice I hear when I read, and I use Morgan Freeman's voice when I read!

I can't wait for the next book, so you shouldn't wait for this one one, get it today.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Rhiannon Rhys-Jones
  • 26-07-17

GREAT BOOK!!!!!!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this book HIGHLY to anyone who plays MMORPGs or RPGs.. whether electronic or paper. It is amusing and well written, and makes you feel like you are playing Dominion of Blades with the characters. Even the system messages and player messages are perfect.

What other book might you compare Dominion of Blades to and why?

I can't compare this book to any others, this is the first in this Genre I have ever read. The closest I can get would be to the comic Knight of the Dinner Table... but this is better.

Have you listened to any of Andrea Parsneau’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not listened to any of Andrea Parsneau's other performances, but what she did with this book, I am going to look her up and listen to another one of her readings.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

YES, omg, YES. However, even at a comfortable setting (listening at 1.25), I can't take that long to listen to it in one sitting. It, however, has been my companion for the past while for my commute to work, my commute from work, while I'm AT work, and while I'm at home, editing.

Any additional comments?

Is there another in this series??? Matt Dinniman is a superb writer, who throws you into his stories, just *plop*, and makes you sad when it's ending because the book is ending. Andrea Parsneau is an absolutely fabulous narrator with a range in her voice that I've only ever heard from an opera singer before.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • James
  • 06-07-17

So Good

this is a lit RPG of the highest quality. the characters are well-written the twists and turns well delivered and wholly enjoyable I had a great time reading it and I know you will too.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Gpop
  • 24-04-18

fresh take on the situation

This was a great fresh take on the traditional situation. I liked the idea of the waking. Poor unlucky Charlie.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Erik Magnusson
  • 11-03-18

Great book and performance

Good storyline and great ending. MC was a plesant surprise, not super macho badass but human and deep.

A breath of fresh air in a often cliche genre.

2 people found this helpful

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  • John Walley
  • 13-02-18

awesome

slow start but keeps a steady pace. unique story with interesting twist that keep you engaged. I can't wait for the next one!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Tina L.
  • 28-07-17

This is the best book I have read in a long time

Excellent story, excellent storyteller! This was one of those books that you could really get into, it was deep and detailed enough to enable me to visualize the story. I didn't want it to end. I'm not into video games so I wasn't sure if I would like this story, but I absolutely loved it! I would recommend it to everyone.

2 people found this helpful