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Summary

Diving into a revolutionary new video game, Marcus and his friends escape a stagnant society, entering into a world that defies their wildest imaginations. But from the moment that he logs in, Marcus finds himself separated from his friends and thrown into a remote village under attack by a horde of goblins.

Forced into battle, Marcus rallies the beleaguered villagers and, with their help, manages to drive off the invading creatures. With the village in ruins and their supplies spoiled, the survivors desperately turn to Marcus for help in rebuilding the village.

Realizing that this game is nothing like he's ever played before, Marcus is swept up into a whirlwind of adventure as he struggles to defend his new home, quickly finding that marauding goblins are the least of his problems.

©2016 Luke Chmilenko (P)2017 Podium Publishing

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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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

Great listen! more please!


Concept/world-building – 4
Plot – 4
Character – 5
Dialogue – 5
Prose – 5
Conflict/resolution – 4
Overall rating 4.5


I picked this up as Luke's highly recommended in the litrpg facebook groups. So, when the audio was put up for pre-order with Luke Daniels as the narrator I nabbed it quick.

It's a long listen, so it did take me a while. But it was well worth it.

Plot

For me, the start to anything takes a while, and I do admit this was a little slower for me than usual, but it's more than worth it.

Where the world that Marcus actually lives in, isn't very well defined or spoken about much. The interaction with his friends at the start and then into the game is. I enjoyed all what each character brought to the story, and more from the NPC's.

Once the story really does start to move forwards, you get the experience of Luke’s gaming and background as the world of Ascend Online develops, bits of history and information are peppered in just the right places so not to feel like too much of an info dump and you are as excited as the players for the challenges they’re about to face.

It’s got enough crafting, fighting and loot to make all the gamers want more, and the stats read out aren’t as heavy as some other litrpg books. It doesn’t slow the pacing at all, and Luke does a great job with reading them so they’re also not just hard core skill lists. The story telling around these alone helps make this a book to remember.

Character

There wasn’t quite enough of the ‘real’ world for me. I would have wanted some more interaction with it through Marcus, even if it meant he had to log off once. However, each of the characters that Marcus/Lyrian enter the game with are well defined enough once he meets back up with them in the game.

As for them being supporting characters, they’re pretty great all by themselves. As for a fav one, I’d have to say Natasha has a spot, but defo Amaranth has the biggest. (sp)

Dialogue

I thought all the characters had decent dialogue. And also with Luke narrating, they were a breeze to listen to, each with their own personalities which really shined through. Luke did a great job with the ladies in the group and also with the demons and other worldly creatures. I did however think that the two overlords of the game were brother and sister at first, till I realised they were sisters.

Graves’ character drawl was also really good to listen to. Awesome job from both narrator and writer in design of the bad guys and in the way he really stood out in the narration.

Conflict/Resolution

I think because this has so much scope for the series, that there’s always going to be underlying threads we don’t see tied up. But the overall conflict in this book was left with a satisfying ending. Even if I did want more of the book and story world.
You can’t expect me to listen to almost 18 hours of something and not come away with a book hangover! Omg give me more!

I am glad I picked this up. And I really do look forward to more in this series from both Lukes’

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

No Awaken online

narrator amazing as ever but some of the later voices are quite smilar. Cant really remember any of the secondary characters. not really any hold to story. The whole game aspect of the book seems to be lost with it having very little to do with story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A fun adventure!

Would you consider the audio edition of Ascend Online to be better than the print version?

Certainly easier to enjoy in a casual setting. It makes walking to work more fun.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Ascend Online?

The climactic final battle was suitably gripping I'd say.

What does Luke Daniels bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

A good flow of narrative that leaves me free to do other things.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I chuckled a few times at some of the funnier bits, and was suitably eager to listen to the action scenes.

Any additional comments?

A very entertaining story, one that I hope to see continued soon.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A template for a computer game

I found the narrator a bit off-putting to start with but got used to the delivery. The story shows imagination and I feel is aimed at the younger game playing set who appreciate the details of the role play. Far too much detail of acquisitions although I can see why they are important to the role players and can imagine readers/listeners of that mindset identifying with specific characters. Not gripping enough for me so will have to abandon it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • O. Almond
  • New Mexico, United States
  • 31-05-18

Fun action packed story.

I am not a RPG player so I was a little hesitant to read this book, but I have really enjoyed it. There are frequent stat and character trait updates that I found a little confusing, however, they are blended into the story well, and by the end I was starting to get the hang of it ( a little like the first time you play munchkin, at first no clue and by the end you are shouting +5 with the rest)
Luke Daniels gave another brilliant performance, as he did with the Magic 2.0 series, I love his almost dry reading, which with his characterisations makes for some fun narration.
The story itself is fun, with plenty of action, and left me looking forward to book 2... actually book 3 as book 2 deals with other players apparently.
I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoyed books like Ready Player One, Magic 2.0 series ( off to be the wizard) or Sufficiently AdVanced Magic. This book is probably best for teens and up, as the battles are rather graphic and the language is consistently colourful.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant book!

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

It’s a story about a world I know i would love to experience, and it gets better with every addition!

What did you like best about this story?

The actions were all the same I would have made, no random weak areas to just justify a change in the story, a brilliant book overall.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Lyrian deciding to devote himself to the town, after appearing naked and having to fight for his life!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The growth of amaranth’s conscious mind

Any additional comments?

If you’re only going to buy one book this month, it needs to be this one.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Escapism

I downloaded this only because I enjoyed 'Ready Player One' so much and wanted something set in a similar world. I wasn't disappointed.
Almost immediately there is action and throughout there is usually only the briefest of pauses before it starts again. The story has lots of tension and suspense but kind of leads you into each chapter with a good idea of what's coming. The whole thing is performed really well and I enjoyed the characters. A little more detail about the Ascend universe/world would've seen a five star rating from me but it's still an addictive story.
It finishes with me wanting more and I'm going to download the next book after I'm done typing this!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Liam
  • Hull, United Kingdom
  • 26-01-18

A grate story and world

This was a grate book. The world is amazing and a fun premise. Can't wait till the next one.
Narrator is a very easy listen (x2 speed personal preference ) and quality was good.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • alex
  • HIGH PEAK, United Kingdom
  • 19-11-17

Great ztory

Interesting take on the gaming fantasy genre look forward to more in the future soonish.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great voice acting!

great voice acting and story. warmly recommend for anyone that likes a good coming of age story

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Don Gilbert
  • 07-08-17

Luke Daniels and a great LITRPG; enough said

There are many LITRPG stories coming out seemingly every day, some good some not so good, “Ascend Online,” narrated by Luke Daniels is a great entertaining experience. My personal favorite in this genre has been “The way of the Shaman,” series and I rate the first book in this new series just as high, maybe even higher given the narrator. I hope the next book is just as good; can’t wait.

52 of 60 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-09-17

A humble hero story with cool action!

I love evolving hero stories where power ups or new abilities are tempered with ever more challenging situations! this book delivers that with entertaining action and new introductions that kept my attention throughout. even taking small 15 min bites of the story was enjoyable!

books it reminds me of:
ready player one
we are Bob: the bobiverse
codex alera series by Jim butcher
I'm off to be the wizard
the Chronicles of Jonathan tibbs

40 of 46 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jed
  • 23-09-17

Enjoyed more action for a LITRPG

Just a quick note... sometimes these LITRPG stories can get too bogged down in listing the stats of the protagonist. I appreciated a little more excitement and action in this one. Not quite my favorite (sufficiently advanced magic) in a LITRPG, but in the top 10.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John C Crabtree
  • 22-07-17

I want more

loved it, great story. And Luke Daniels continues to be one of my favorite narrators.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • albert
  • 02-08-17

The author found the right narrator

Would you consider the audio edition of Ascend Online to be better than the print version?

Most authors have to rely on the readers sense of humor to get their joke across, but this narrator knocked those parts out of the park. I found myself laughing from this book more than any other.

What did you like best about this story?

This book is better than your average Litrpg audiobook. While the first part of the book is great, it picks up a lot around 35 percent through. You will notice the difference

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

Once, i found this to be the best one.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

That would be spoiling

Any additional comments?

I didn't want to waste another credit one a lit novel, considering how often the genre tends to stack to the same formula, but this book strays far enough from the normal path to make it worth while.

30 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jamie L. Nolte
  • 20-08-17

Fresh to death

Don't get me wrong, the VR world is starting to become saturated and that's the only reason I was hesitant upon getting this one. Ripped through this in 4 days it was that good, beginning to end, I could not put it down. This is a must for your collection, highly recommended

21 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • matt
  • 24-07-17

Excellent LitRPG!

I won't go into the details of the Book, but as someone who has almost 24 months of logged listening time on Audible, this book not only has excellent content by Luke Daniels (who is a fantastic narrator) but it also has the hours to create the background and build the story.. it is a great listen. if your like me and you look to reviews before spending the credit then trust me, this is a worth while listen.
I was not given this book for free, I purchased it, and I did not have to write this review. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

47 of 59 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • M. B. Richards
  • 16-10-17

LitRPG like it SHOULD be written!

Instead of endless number crunching to act as filler, like so many books in the genre do, this book is a masterpiece. It COULD have been chopped into three small novels, because each act was so compelling in its own right, but instead the author gives you a satisfying complete story that has all the meat you want in a first-in-the-series novel.

Most LitRPG is very episodic, and the first book usually feels like a pilot episode. This, however, is the LitRPG full-length cinematic release type of title that makes you know that you'll be enjoying the next installment the first day of its release.

The characters were likable, the main character has drives and motivations that are logical and relatable, the narrator is brilliant, and the world is both realistic and compelling.

I truly cannot recemend this title enough, and look forward to the next in the series.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • jerimia
  • 17-09-17

definitely entertaining

this is a fun story. I love the character development and the system. keep em coming, please.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew
  • 11-09-17

A new standard. A breath of fresh air.

Seriously I love the LITrpg genre, but the many common flaws and tropes cause me to enjoy the first few books and then be unable to stand it.
One thing that is prevalent is the singularity of protagonists. One player, one central person with no friends or is socially inept and is the perfect fit for the video game world.
NOT HERE MY FRIENDS!!!
Unlike so many stereotypes in the genre not only is the main character a fairly average life like person, he BRINGS HIS FRIENDS WITH HIM. If you are reading this review trust me. The difference this makes is unbelievable. Suddenly things feel more life like, it doesn't seem like the writing feeds into tropes.

I honest to god am praying this series stays true to its promise because this book set a new type of standard for genre. I haven't been this excited for a series since Aleron Kongs "the land"

2 of 2 people found this review helpful