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Summary

Corin Cadence finally has a firm reason to believe his brother, Tristan, is still alive. Unfortunately, finding more information isn’t going to be easy. Tristan appears to be entangled with a clandestine organization that calls themselves Whispers. And Corin’s last brush with the Whispers didn’t exactly end well.

As much as he wants to follow that lead, Corin has more pressing problems to deal with. Sera is still suffering from a mysterious malady that has stolen her voice and her magic. Corin knows that a portion of that is his fault, and he’s determined to fix it. His mother is still off in another country, and there are growing odds that she’s involved with a conspiracy to overthrow the visages.

Corin has also been branded with a new magical mark on his right hand - one that even veteran climbers don’t seem to recognize. He’s going to need to figure out how it works, otherwise it could be more of a vulnerability than an asset.

Corin still hasn’t finished his first year at Lorian Heights. If he fails his final exams, he’ll be sent off to the military and lose his chance to investigate his brother’s fate. And finally, there’s the issue of enemies. He might have made a few of them.

The biggest problem? He’s not sure if Jin, once one of his closest companions, is one of them.

©2018 Andrew Rowe (P)2019 Podium Publishing

What listeners say about On the Shoulders of Titans

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  • Mr
  • 21-11-19

Great story, Main character got on my nerves

Start with the good -
I like the story. The magic system is interesting, although I think the whole 'School' thing is a bit too Harry-Potter-esque, but I did like that it was basically a literary dungeon crawler.

Now for the bad part - Sorry Author.
The main character was really really annoying. I reckon the author was projecting his own insecurities into him, but I don't know.

So the main character is socially awkward, and doesn't understand social cues and avoids other people if he can. Doesn't drink at all. Doesn't really care about romance or sex, because he's focused on his selfless goal, and intellectual pursuits. He hates physical contact - Not a big deal normally, but it's mentioned literally every single time someone touches his shoulder or he takes someones hand. He is smart - as can be seen from the stuff he does, but his school grades don't reflect that because the teachers and exams are biased, and don't take note of all of the new discoveries that a mere teenager is making (another annoyance) in a world that has had this magic for hundreds of years.
Basically, he is the personification of the standard Redditors self-image. I think my main point was that a lot of these traits don't develop the character in any positive way. They just make him sound whiney and annoying and none of these traits help to move the story along at all, other than to 'ex machina' the reasons why a teenager who is living away from a pretty strict and oppressive home for the first time isn't checking out girls/boys of their own age like normal people do. Some parts feel forced enough that is almost like the author only realised the omission later, and needed to show-horn in an explanation and so used his own experiences to fill the gap. This may go a little ways in explaining how the only people who get along with the main character is a family member, an old friend, a social outcast and an exchange student - Everyone else in the school is depicted as sneaky/suspicious or a straight-up jerk.
Then there is the gender neutral stuff. There was a whole section where it's explained that some people choose their gender and it's normal in their country. Same as the main characters traits, it did not add to the story at all. It was a pointless affectation which was clearly the author using the book as a soapbox for his own direct opinions - It was just so..... Out of sync with the universe.

All that being said - The Narrator is amazing, I forget that it's one person doing all the voices sometimes!
I'm getting the next book in the series now, as the story is good, and I'm invested enough to see past the main character!


2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It’s fine, Nick Podehl is a BIG plus.

The story is fine, although Corrins behaviour can be a bit frustrating at times. He gets easily sidetracked and his social awkwardness can be a bit annoying at times but I guess that’s the way Andrew wanted it. My two favourite characters are Lord Teft and Karis and Nick have them the perfect voices. Overall the book is fine, after reading book one I don’t imagine not reading this one as it answers a few questions from the previous one, it’s also quite long which was a definitely a plus for me. The only thins I would change would be the MC but besides that everything would stay the same.

2 people found this helpful

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good listen

ill be short here , the first book started so badly i wondered for a while if i should get this one . Iam glad i did it was way better than book 1 !

2 people found this helpful

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excellent!

highly recommend for any Harry Potter, Grimnoir fans or other magic lovers.

Fantastic concepts, few funny moments as well as thrilling. One you'll find difficult not to binge on.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

it's not great.

it's not great but quite long and better than tinnitus. In my opinion I don't think the healer will ever be a real woman.

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Great 2nd book

If you enjoyed the first book, then you won’t be disappointed with the 2nd!
Can’t wait for the next instalment.

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...It just aint bussin

1st book was BUSSIN. It was interesting, the set up and the plot was just *chefs kiss*

This one..eehhh....not so much. I just can't appreciate this book as much as the 1st one and will be dropping it half way mostly due to two reasons and those are;
1. The forced representation.
I love representation of different groups of people but its just so awkward in this book. Gender Inclusion is cool and all but its so damn forced and wishywashy.
2. The downright awkwardness of the MC.
In the 1st book, I found Corins awkwardness to be interesting, one trait which we could watch him grow out of as he spent more time with his friends and got more in touch with his attunement...but no...every single time that boy has any form of physical contact, WE MUST KNOW HOW HE DESPISES IT EVERY SINGLE TIME.
Flipping hell Corin she touched your flipping hand, dont have a stroke...

BUT DONT GET ME WRONG, the plot, the fighting the lessons all are amazing but Corin just annoying asf.


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Great narration, decent writing

Andrew Rowe writes very enjoyable characters and an interesting world, and Nick Podehl does an excellent job of narrating the whole story giving great variety to the voices.

That said, the book is not without issues. There seem to be several threads that go nowhere (and past the point where resolving them would be relevant), some passages feel like infodumps posing as a conversation between the main character and another entity, and - most damning in my own eyes - some of the events towards the end of the book seem to ignore several facts for the sake of plot armour. (As in, 'there's no way that was possible, I'm sorry but no', rather than 'they can do that?? Wow!').

Overall I probably will continue the series, at least into the third book. I'll decide from there whether I'm still enjoying the series, but as a sucker for fantasy - and several of the characters - I likely will be.

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Info dumps on how to be woke

Mostly good story aside from screeching to a halt to lecture us on pronouns. If you want to normalise the, show it, don't have the annoying MC sit down and explain it.

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Most enjoyable

Great story and performance. With more plot twists in the world of attuned Happy to recommend.

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  • Samantha Knight
  • 31-01-20

Fantastic, in more than one sense

It isn’t often that I encounter fantasy with so many passing nods to nerdy tropes. It’s even less common that the work normalizes inclusion. Not only is Corin likely Ace (possibly spectrum?), but non-binary folx are a normal part of this world. This book also addresses some of Corin’s trauma at the hands of his garbage father. As a genderqueer ace person myself, I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes on this series.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Tucker Danell
  • 08-09-20

Everything good about the 1st book was thrown away

I cannot understand how such an awful book can come after the first great book in the series. There is so many terrible parts to this book it will be tough to list them all here.
First the author arbitrarily decides to put in a secondary magic system in the book but can’t even explain it or have anybody who uses it without being so broken the story grinds to a halt. What was wrong with the first magic system you made in the first book? You got tired of it?
Next you decide that all the cool things that happened at the end of the last book were too cool so you threw them out. Sarah one of the best characters in the first book can’t even talk for half of this book. She had the coolest powers too. So naturally the author makes her utterly helpless in this book.
I have no idea how many times the stupid MC said “I’ll have to research that later.” He said it in practically ever chapter and never goes back for the info. The info always gets brought up by some other character instead. Speaking of the MC, how is he possibly this stupid? He knows even less about the world than the reader does somehow. He is supposed to be an expert on the spires but that never pans out.
Lastly I don’t understand why this author dropped many of the great subplots from the first book. Why does the patent for his magic device never pan out? No instead of making him self sufficient, let’s just give him magic items from practically every random character he meets. It’s not like we were expecting him to be making things like he did in the first book.
Then we come to the magic swords, the utterly pointless armcandy they carry around for two books and use for like less than ten pages. Why give them the legendary weapons in the first place if they never use them? If I had a legendary blade I’d train to figure it out, then the teachers would have to let them use it during tests. That would have made the main characters actually feel powerful instead of side characters in practically every big battle.
I am so upset by this thrown together mess of a book that I angry, angry at the potential you squandered and threw away from the first book.

10 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert Taylor
  • 18-01-19

Fills a void.

I was super excited for the second book in the series with the ramp up of the previous. I just couldn't get into this one the same way. There was interesting magic, a few exciting scenes, but it was also very fluffy and dragged in many parts. Corin can get very annoying, and it starts to grate on you. I'm not saying to skip it, but don't expect the same excitement as the first book.

52 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dante Mekaj
  • 26-01-19

A great continuation, just as good as the first.

First off, I think that the other readers who are giving this story 2-3 and even some 1 stars because they are complaining about the political view on genders have completely allowed their prejudice to cloud the splendor of the story. To be clear I am a straight man and literally could not care less about gender politics. For people on the fence about this because of those reviews, I would like to offer that the entire portion other people are complaining about is all of 3-5 minutes long and is literally talked about twice for less than 3 minutes each time. Although I can clearly see how this reflects the authors views and the current political climate I am amazed that people are giving this excellent story such low reviews for all of 4 minutes of audio and one character being nonchalantly referred to as they or them instead of him or her (literally completely unobtrusively) and in addition to that although it was not the most graceful way to include a quick opinion the author does use an at least semi viable way to bring the subject up and uses it in the context of the story. It still feels a little bit forced but I don't think it is as horrible as some reviewers would like you to believe. If you are like me and don't care much for what people want to call themselves or don't really care about politics and other peoples made up problems then i think the story is well worth listening to and is a great successor to the first, and the issue that other reviewers are bringing up is not even enough to make this 4 stars instead of 5. It's like literally .00001% of the story.

As for the actual book, if you liked the first one, you will like this one. More of the mystery unraveled! More mysteries introduced! Epic battles! Structured magic! If you liked the first one this is easily 5-stars. I love that the main character uses intelligence to solve issues with a limited set of hard rules and tools. It's so different compared to some books where the character has a ton of unfair advantages. I have listened to tons and tons of litrpg and although this is a bit more light-rpg I think that this is one of the top books and is very entertaining on top of being well-written, much moreso than many other books in this sphere. Highly recommend.

87 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jeff Dibonas
  • 18-09-20

WhooooHoooo!

Amazing! Fantastic! Extraordinary! And any other words of excitement and awesomeness. Well worth the purchase.

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Tim
  • 23-05-19

Well, yea...

I wanted to like this. I love Nick Podehl's work. After I finished one of his narrations I looked to see more of his work. Found this series and got both books. The rating for it was quite high. While the world was well built. Some of the characters were likable. Unfortunately the likable characters were not the main ones. The sexual orientation and gender neutral elements seemed forced. It feels like the gender war parts were a pushed in as after taught. I should of read more reviews before getting both books.

58 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • jon
  • 17-12-19

stop ruining books with SJW stuff.

I'm so sick of having social engineering reflectied in books, movies and music. Enough already. It's having the reverse effect. I'm an adult and don't need to be told how to think.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Geoffrey Dang
  • 25-01-19

Really wanted to love this

World building is great, characters are unessessarily annoying. That's what makes it really difficult to review this book. There're many times in throughout these first two books where I just mentally cringe at what the main character says and does thinking to myself what? That's not something anyone would actually do or say especially if they are supposed to be some super shy introvert who doesn't like other people. It feels like every other thought he had was thinking about how someone was gonna feel about him doing something which really contradicts his whole supposed introvert persona. Also on the thought on contradictions there are many things that just absolutely made me stop listening and think "wait did he say that he was an unfit bookworm when he had been supposedly training for the past 3 years" only then to have him say later in book 2 that he was fit from training his whole life. It's just things like that, that absolutely ruins and takes you out of the world. Overall characters are one dimensional and hoping for that to change in the next book because the world and magic system has alot of potential to be interesting.

30 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Jared
  • 18-01-19

Eh...

This book was disappointing after the first one. Never hooked my interest. Also I am all for characters with diverse sexual orientations, but I do not think that that should be a characters defining characteristic. It feels like the author would rather push a agenda rather than tell a story.

45 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • 12-03-19

Fun and Interesting take on LitRPG

This is a fun second book that I enjoyed. As others have noted, the characters can fall a little flat, and sometimes the story seems to needlessly meander, but I still think it's worth the time. I like the authors take on the encounters the characters go through, and their ability to overcome obstacles with more than brute force. Cunning and intuition are rewarded just as much as hack and slash problem solving.

All of the comments about the "political SJW being shoved down your throat" stuff are grossly overblown. Yes the author has a character that uses genderless pronouns. No it isn't shoved down your throat for a full chapter. It is introduced in a single exchange, and then later in that chapter the reasoning behind it's introduction is tied in as a part of the world's Pantheon. After this, it's utilized as the characters would view it. Socially normal. That being said, if you're the type of person that's triggered by the bare mention of gender neutral pronouns, don't get this book.

6 people found this helpful