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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

What listeners say about Dominion of Blades

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  • Overall
    4 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!

5 people found this helpful

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Not Carl but pretty good

Dinniman stands above many other LitRPG authors in that he really sells his premise. He doesn't just say "Bob woke up one day and he was in a video game world." Or "Once upon a time, Eric was a level 8 ice crusher." He gives you a plot, a reasonable explanation for why things are happening and stakes to worry about. Really great writing and a pleasure to read.

The plot was solid and makes me wish (slightly) that this series had enough traction for him to come back to it instead of DCC. The characters were fleshed out and surprisingly deep. They felt like real people. And the setting, while fairly standard sword & sorcery sort of stuff, was well described.

My only real problem was the narration. Parsneau does a great job but the book being written from a male character's perspective in the first person with a female narrator threw me off a bit. Without going into spoilers I feel a female narrator waivered between confusing and offensive for this protagonist.

I would recommend this book.

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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.

24 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.

141 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.

19 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.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Elijah
  • 28-06-21

Forcing a trans character into the story for woke points

Half decent story, half decent concept and then whammy the author has to wave the pander flag around. Why? It was ok the way it was, adding the trans narrative felt forced and cringe. The characters are what they are, but this felt like it was a afterthought addition just for points.

15 people found this helpful

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  • John
  • 18-05-21

Absolute garbage.

If you enjoy amateur storytelling and thinly veiled propaganda, this book is for you. garbage.

9 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Edward W. Brinkhoff
  • 06-08-21

meh

The narration was good. The story was okay until propaganda. MC complains about almost everything.

7 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Mats Backlund
  • 11-06-21

wtf?

what is this? A bunch of whining from the start. Really really good beginning, not.. Refund please

7 people found this helpful

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  • John Doe
  • 22-10-21

Could have been so good

Gender whining / lord’s name in vain nonstop.
Would have been a damn good first book otherwise

6 people found this helpful

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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.

6 people found this helpful