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Level UP Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Ramon De Ocampo
Series: Level Up Series, Book 1
Length: 15 hrs and 3 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (108 ratings)

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Summary

At 30 years old, Phil is an unemployed gamer who struggles to make ends meet. His only source of income is freelance writing (when he feels inspired enough to add another article to his less-than-popular blog). His wife has just walked out on him, leaving him without money, purpose, or food in the fridge.  

On the day his wife dumps him, Phil receives a mysterious piece of wetware. A game interface seems to have been implanted in his brain, which allows him to see the world through the eyes of an RPG player.  

Now that Phil discovers his real-life stats, he can see they're far below average. With 4 pt. Agility, 6 pt. Strength, and 3 pt. Stamina, his most advanced life skill is predictably gaming.  

Luckily, real-life stats can be leveled up just like virtual ones. But will it help Phil get his wife back? Can he stop being such a couch potato? Would the new game help him become fitter? Or more successful? Can his gaming skills finally come in handy in real life? 

Last but not least, can he find out who could have uploaded the mysterious game to his brain? And how is he supposed to deal with this unknown but apparently omnipotent force?

©2018 Dan Sugralinov; English translation copyright 2018 by Irene and Neil P. Woodhead (P)2018 Tantor

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved it

I just listened book in one go completly engross in to it. This book is motivating to do allot of things and i actualy think someone might change their live style for better. Loved it and cannot wait for second book. And sorry for my bad english.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good take on the LitRPG Genre

This book does a good job of making an enjoyable LitRPG story based in the real world. The main character is relatable and not overly arrogant. The plot behind the main characters abilities is a little shaky but the book is very enjoyable in how it shows our day to day lives through the eyes of a game.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

one of the best

This is one of the best Audio books I've listened to in long time. So relatable, something I'm sure every Litrpg fan would want to happen to them.


I actually started working out again.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great reading.

Loved this book, well read enthralling storyline and I was feeling the characters emotions. Can't wait until the next book is downloaded. Brilliant from start to Finnish.

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Unexpected enjoyable listen!

First off, if your into LitRPG or Science Fiction Novels, i can't recommend this enough.

I read the Synopsis a while ago but didn't pick it up when i realised it was a translated book, usually with such books they are either poorly translated or very politically heavy in their MC's attitude towards their country of origin. I was bored with a credit to burn so thought why not give it a try. WOW very well written / translated for a start (I only noticed one wrong word used in the entire thing).

From a story POV its fun, clever and draws you into Phil's world.

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Absolutly Fantastic!

What a pleasure to listen to, both the writer and the reader made me sleep all the time.. 30 minutes of hearbeat and excitement every night in bed made me sleep right after.

I would love a third book.

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Profile Image for Ray Johnson
  • Ray Johnson
  • 26-12-18

Once you start you won't stop

Well this book has made me change my tune. I would never have thought that I would actually enjoy a Slice of life book, but that is really all this book is; as it follows around an average schlub named Phil who is in a loveless marriage, is unemployed, and has no ambition. Phil suddenly finds himself “awakened” to the realization that he is in a game and that he can level up, gain skills, make friends, and influence people. That is all the book is about, Phil slowly turning his life around one step at a time through meaningful social interactions.

That is what really stunned me. Dan Sugralinov made a book about going to the gym, buying an apartment, getting a dog, and making friends really exciting. Honestly, If you told me I would even read a book like this and loved it I would have said you were insane. I read fantasy and sci fi to avoid mundane stuff like that, but this book, with the wiley addition of the Lit Elements cleverly keeps all of the everyday stuff in the fun zone. Honestly, reading about a dude going to his estranged wife’s hotel room to make sure she is safe is not something that I would even glance at, by dang if Sugralinov didn’t keep me hooked the entire time.

The premise is brilliant, and is handled adeptly and wisely and he manages to balance the real world antics with game elements so that at no point was I bored or wishing for my life to end as so many books do to me. I actually cared about Phil, and got mad right along with him when something crappy happened to him. I hate to admit it, but the book was a roller coaster that really went from highs to lows really fast.

The narration was above average, but again I wasn’t overwhelmed. I have pretty high standards, and am used to Hays, Pohdel, Daniels, Parsanau, Rennie, Scarlato, and Toma setting such high standards that a good narrator comes across a lot weaker than he or she actually is. Either way, it takes a lot to impress me. Ramon De Ocampo does a nice job and manages to add vocal elements such as voices and emotion, and he has nice pacing.

I did have a little issue with the translations, for example one line that stands out in my mind was, “We made it back home without any further innuendo.” There was no innuendo before that statement was made, and it occurred again later. Some things just got mixed up or were misunderstood and I have to wonder if these translators ever looked at the spirit of the sentence or just words. I’ve studied Latin and ASL, and My Latin teacher would say that you needed to see the bigger picture when translating, you couldn’t look at a sentence word by word and get it right, there was more to it. I think that is what happened here. Still, the overall translation was pretty smooth.


I loved every minute of this book. It had real heart and made me enjoy everyday life type stories, and actually made me consider that I might want to start living my life like I was in a video game, but then I realized two things. First, I’d have to go to the gym and that I already live my life by code based on a cherished movie. I can’t go changing lifestyle creeds midstream.

My final score is 8.4. This is a strong first book to what looks like an amazing series, and I for one want another slice.

Even though I did receive a promo code for this review it in no way influenced my considerations of the material, and in fact, inspired me to be more honest. Getting a code generally makes me harsher as a reviewer as I am more often concerned what someone like Me will decide based on my review.

If this review helped, please press the YES below. Thank you immensely!!!

As seen on the LITRPG AUDIOBOOK PODCAST, please check it out on Youtube.com

38 people found this helpful

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  • zancroft
  • 05-12-18

Could've used more editing, but still great

I'll start by saying that the story kept my interest, even though there isn't much...drama. Stories tend to have peaks and valleys; high points for the MC, and low points for the MC. This story doesn't have much of that. It's just a guy getting through life with augmented reality helping him bounce back after his wife leaves him. It actually turned out to be very motivational for me, imagining myself with his ability and reflecting on what I can do to improve my life.

My biggest complaint is that the translators didn't seem to have a good grasp on the English language. Some very weird idioms are used and the conversations between characters seem very dry, I'm assuming because they were directly translated instead of trying to convey the original meaning of the conversation. Just some simple edits could have made this book a lot better. As a result, I think the narration suffered. When a narrator has to read a line that just isn't natural, it's difficult not to sound forced and robotic.

10 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • adam
  • 21-11-18

slow

I listened to it all the way through so that's something but I couldnt help feeling underwhelmed. Good writing though. my main issues is that there isnt much of a villain or conflict to rise against other than himself.

*spoilers*

The story is essentially about a main character who gets a "game system" that includes a google search bar for real life.
Using said google search bar he is able to become a fancy salesman for a packaging company, he levels up his salesman skill, he works out increasing his strength modifier and that's pretty much it.
The big reason I listened to is for so long is that I was expecting something more to happen. the most exciting thing in my opinion is that halfway through the book he fines out he can use the google search bar to find killers and kidnap victims. All of that probably takes up 10 pages.

not something a typical lit rpg enthusiast would like unless you find the idea of leveling up through paperwork to intriguing to pass up.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Edward
  • 10-05-19

Great story

Thoroughly enjoyed. Makes the hours fly by while driving across the country in a truck. Look forward to more of his work.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Philip
  • 14-05-19

Great narrator

I really enjoyed this book, it was a slow start to begin with but great none the less.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ChickIn Monkey
  • 08-05-19

Great read

this is my second time to listen to this book now I have the other two can't wait to hear the others

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Steve C.
  • 04-05-19

wow...

I havent been so moved by a book in a long time. the main character resonated with me on a level I dont think I can put into words. I don't think the book was literary genius, it's just that it struck me so close to home.

if you are a middle aged gamer it might do the same for you. very thought provoking and well written.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • S. Shock
  • 26-10-19

enjoyable book

the book was good and entertaining. looking foward to the next book in the series.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Demaro
  • 04-05-19

Fresh POV for LITRPG

Completely different feel of the LitRPG genre. Extremely enjoyable and gives you a more realistic feel of the genre vs the usual superhuman variety.

1 person 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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  • aaron haar
  • 04-04-19

Great Book

Freaking loved this book. Fantastic plot with a well thought-out cast that work well withing the believable rules of the world.

1 person found this helpful