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On the Shoulders of Titans

Arcane Ascension, Book 2
Narrated by: Nick Podehl
Series: Arcane Ascension, Book 2
Length: 24 hrs and 46 mins
5 out of 5 stars (835 ratings)

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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 members say

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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 of 2 people found this review 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 !

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Identity Politics should stay out of Fantasy Novels

Overall I quite enjoyed the book, so let’s start by saying it’s enjoyable!

My main issue is the shoehorning of a none binary character into the story, it felt force and felt like the author was trying to tick a diversity box, which I really dislike!

A characters sexuality shouldn’t even need mentioning, unless it’s story driven (in my opinion), and this was my biggest gripe! As it felt like everyone needed an angle and to tick a box.

Regarding the rest of the story, I felt the magic system was a port from a computer RPG game, it was a little too complex maybe, with more effort in clever magic fixes, than story telling.

The narration was good, clear differences between characters and generally well read!

I listened to the first book, probably won’t bother with the 3rd onwards.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

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Enchanting

I got well involved in the story, totally brilliant book I loved all of it.

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good story with a fantastic performance

the performance really elevated this from an enjoyable listen to being unable to stop listening, highly recommend

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The story just gets better and better...

Loved this book, unlike the first in the series I fell straight into this one, after the first two chapters are done with its hard to click pause...I listen to them on long drives and I found myself parking up at home and sitting in the car for long periods of time as I couldn't bring myself to leave the book until the chapter ended. Luke Podehl yet again brings another masterpiece to life with his range of vocals and characterisation that I am yet to see rivaled. 10/10!

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Sjw really ruins immersion

Very little time spent in the spire, cheese low quality writing, just a bit frustrating really.

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great book

love it enjoyed it to the very end and now I'm looking for a follow on

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Grrrrrreat!

Great story telling, gripping plot, characters likeable and despicable for the right reasons.
looking forward to the next one.

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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.

40 of 47 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • quelSaabOwner
  • 19-01-19

well performed, good story

Wish there was more, climatic battle not as epic as last one. Feels like a foundation or bridging book to the overall story.

21 of 25 people found this review helpful

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    2 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.

17 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • DJ B Wamm
  • 09-08-19

Great Story. Distracting elements.

Author deeply interested in pressing an agenda within the story. It was very distracting.

Ending seemed rushed and a bit inconsistent with some of the "power level" rules established throughout.

Nick could read me a cookbook and I'll sit for every word.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Timothy
  • 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.

27 of 34 people found this review helpful

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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.

31 of 41 people found this review helpful

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  • Jonathan park
  • 16-01-19

The author tries awfully hard to be hip and modern

The author likes to talk about using gender-neutral pronouns, and mixes in our cultural biases without any explanation of how it fits into the fantasy society. It's often distracting and haphazard at best. Sarah seems more likable than our main protagonist. Other than that the story is good for the most part. Neat ideas and directions are taken that makes the story still enjoyable. I just wish our author introduced the society a little better, it just takes away from the story when you add in random modern day political beliefs into a fantasy story without even doing it smoothly. I read these kinda of books to get away from all the political stuff on TV today. Not be reminded of it again in a random way that doesn't even fit with a medievalish society.

98 of 132 people found this review helpful

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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.

24 of 32 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael B.
  • 16-01-19

I really dislike the chapter on gender neutrality. it felt fake and nearly ruined the entire story. focusing so heavily on one religion of the society and breezing over the many other religions make it seem as a ploy to express the writers whim or real world beliefs. I dont want a book with a sprinkling style of writing to force political beliefs down my thought all at once but by slowly dispersing the information threw out the book building to a clear picture like all the other aspects of the world so far.

49 of 67 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Patrick
  • 18-01-19

Improved on much, but...

I appreciate the author didn't beat us to death with the word "disconcerting." In fact, he probably got so much negative feedback from using it 1000 times in the first book that he omitted the word completely this go around. However...this time he decided the word of the day would be "presumably." He presumed, I presumed, presumably this and that, all the way through Book 2. It isn't always necessary to explain presumptions are being made. Most of the time it's obvious because the majority of the author's writing style is to write a story utilizing the main character's thoughts (much of the book is what is happening inside Corin's head, although less this time).

Story: I don't know why, but I found myself not caring one bit about the characters' academic life. I actually skipped three entire chapters as the children completed their final exam because I just didn't care. I wanted them to get on with it so they can continue the larger plot, which is by far the interesting parts of the story. Their growth and development is more rapid, defined, and interesting when they're training at the mansion, meeting with the researcher, obtaining information from sources that aren't teachers, tracking spies, and/or developing their relationships off campus. The school aspect adds very little to the story whatsoever, as the main character predominately teaches himself through experimentation and research on his own. The school portion of the plot is neither exciting nor inspiring. All of the characters with actual depth, aren't part of their school. More of that please...

As mentioned in the other reviews, the author also hits you over the head repeatedly with the asexual nature of Corin. We got it the first few times it was mentioned. He doesn't understand love and doesn't like to be touched. Every single time somebody touches Corin we have to hear about how he doesn't like to be touched... He doesn't like relationships, dating, being touched romantically or otherwise, and doesn't like being social. Great. We all understand him now. There is absolutely no reason to constantly remind the readers that touching him makes him wince. (redundancy intended)

I appreciate the fact that the author found a way to make Sarah less of a raging "B" this time. She was utterly unlikeable in the first book, and just as in the first book, the magic system is really well done and continues to be developed nicely. Also, Nick Podehl continues to shine. I just don't think I have another two books worth of "Hogwartz: Sophomore Year" in me....I'm hoping I'm wrong.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful