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The Cost of Survival: A LitRPG Apocalypse

The System Apocalypse, Book 3
By: Tao Wong
Narrated by: Nick Podehl
Series: The System Apocalypse, Book 3
Length: 8 hrs and 36 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (108 ratings)

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Summary

The Onlivik Spores have been defeated; the dungeon tamed but at great cost. John and his friends are reeling from the losses, but the countdown to full integration to the System continues.

Threatened by System-integrated races and new, more powerful monsters, John will need to get creative if he and the city are to survive.

The Cost of Survival is the third book of the System Apocalypse series. A LitRPG/GameLit apocalypse book, The Cost of Survival combines modern day life, science fiction, and fantasy elements along with game mechanics. 

©2018 Tao Wong (P)2018 Tao Wong

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Brings opening arc to a satisfying conclusion

While this is not actually the last book in the series, there is definitely a feeling of this being the end of the first major arc of the series, both due to plot-lines covered throughout the book, but more particularly due to the way it ended. While I am glad that the series will be continuing, it is a nice approach from the author as it should allow the series to grow without getting bogged down by too much baggage later on.

As John and his friends have moved beyond the quick gains of earlier levels, the character levelling takes a bit of a back seat with the most prominent moment probably being his friend Mikito reaching level 50 and being able to upgrade her class, while some may not appreciate this change, it does make sense in the wider context of any kind of levelling system.

The balance in this book felt different too, the politics of the situation became a much bigger deal and was also the driving force behind a lot of the action set-pieces rather than them purely being about a question of survival like they were in the previous books.

The narrator delivers another strong performance with this book and his range of distinctive tones helps to nicely enhance the overall feel of the book too.

Overall, a strong end to the beginning of this series and it will be interesting to see where it goes next.

[Note - I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.]

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how does this manage to get better?

Holy hell this was like the greatest roller-coaster ride ever!
there's laughter, there's tears, there is a slight tense feeling of fear and the book almost reads itself, it's that hard to put down!

Nick continues to bring his a game and it's wonderful!

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The Cost of Survival


This is a very good litrpg story I have in audio book. Looking forward to the next book. The main character doesn't become over powered like many series

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seriously addictive

this series is great it has an in depth leveling system with a unique class. I'm loving how the mc progresses and how the surrounding environment evolves. managed to listen to this nonstop, the narrator does a fabulous job. on to the next book!

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fantastic series

very well written and superbly performed. i cant wait for book 4. I would certainly recommend to others

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  • Christopher
  • 11-07-18

Another good book in this series...

I really like this author’s approach. More than anything I like that he is actually “writing” LitRPG and not just chucking unedited and horrendously written, soft-core drivel all over audible like it’s a dorm building on the ASU campus.

I really appreciate the authors who contribute quality writing to the genre and who clearly take the time to have their work edited and revised.

My only reason for not giving this book 5 stars is that this author has yet to release a book on audible that breaks the 9 hour mark. I don’t mind a shorter book every now and then, but I rarely feel satisfied without getting at least 10-11 hours out of a story.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ryan
  • 17-08-18

Third time’s a charm

Finally a good book in this series. John manages not to be an angry idiot the whole book. Some characters develop and it has a meaningful and interesting plot. It fizzles a little at the very end but this was worth wading through the first two.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Trevor M. Lewis
  • 29-08-18

Not bad at all.

Overall I think the series is a pretty good example of litrpg that is different enough in concept and execution that it feels fresh. Well worth a listen if you enjoy the genre.

My only complaint is with the main character. For someone that practices meditation so much he really has issues keeping his anger in check. I don't think I can remember a story where the main character was so consistently grumpy and antisocial... Yeah, all this horrible stuff happens, but a year later he's still being an unrepentant jerk to his friends and treating them very poorly. Sure, they stick by him, but a lot of his problems would have been solved by an occasional apology.

I think if the author showed a bit more growth in the emotional control of the main character, and him working to strengthen the relationship between his companions, this aspect of the series wouldn't have bothered me so much. I really found that I had very little compassion or empathy for him because of this.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Ariel Mozeson
  • 15-04-19

I'm done now

Well I enjoyed book 1, and pushed through book 2 and I'm not finishing book 3. I'm just getting so bored of this protagonist and frustrated with this author. I'm 3/4th done with book 3 and John is still completely emotionally stunted to the point where it's not even entertaining. I dont understand if the author is planning on having the protagonist grow at all at this point. It seems like he's just getting off on some teenager level emo stuff on repeat. I get it man, the heroes are gone and now it's just antiheroes. But why tell a story of the same maladaptive feedback loop over 3 books without change. It's just boring. I'm disappointed, really disappointed, with what this could have been if the author was just a bit more mature in his writing/understanding of people.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Elena Foulkes
  • 04-01-20

Better than book 1&2

These books are predictable have crappie characters a stupid romance that you can find in any crappy novel and what is with the main character's mood swings and I thought he was the strongest guy there but was never actually in a situation that showed it was true.
Overall the unresolved question's and angry nonsensical rampages ruined the book for me

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jacob
  • 22-12-19

Book sucked

MC still whines too much. Boo hoo me pity parties left and right. Understandable but frustrating as a reader.

1 person found this helpful

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  • adam
  • 12-07-19

Good book, above most others

This series is pretty decent in the litrpg genre. The MC and the people around him are believable and struggle with their own issues. My only real complaint are the things that come out of nowhere. For instance an enemy suddenly being defeated by being sent flying in the air and having to rewind because I missed the one line that explains how this BS is accomplished. Other things like scene transition make it for a choppy listen if your not paying close attention which is hard when the MC is on his typical self hate monologue. Despite this it doesn't try to be more than what it is. The author keeps the scope of the book and what the MC can do within reason without shortcuts. That said I respect the work Tao Wong put into this book and making his own slice of litrpg. If you enjoy litrpgs then you will enjoy this book so I recommend you pick it up.

1 person found this helpful

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  • RukiaBlackBlazer
  • 16-03-19

LONG WINDED WORD VOMIT.

How do you, to make LitRpg Boring;? Ask Tao Wong. HE, BUILD'S NOTHING, HE PROTECTS NOTHING, He achieves Nothing, He learns nothing, We learn nothing but this book will cost you time, money & brain space, oh & he has confusion with his sexuality, eye roll. This character needs a therapist & I'm not licensed for that nor did I, go to school for that. CHECK PLEASE. I'm out. Oh, that was Cold;? Have you read the book..??? Yeah., hmm mm.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Patrick W
  • 16-08-18

A Different Point Of View

Though I liked the first two books of this series, much like the Path Of The Shaman Series by Vasily Mahanenko this third installment had an unsatisfactory ending to me. I won't go into detail, my perspective might be unique but I will offer a few spoilers, the hero doesn't get the girl, guy, or success. Like Chewbacca, in that famous narrative "Star Wars," this story ended with the main character getting was the shaft. Perhaps this author intends to continue his series, as Mr. Mahanenko did, and redeem his narrative. Though his writing is strong, and consistent, I honestly disliked this book so much that I literally skipped over something like five chapters. I get that stories can't always come out perfect or have a happy endings. But as a reader/listener, the last thing I need or want is to experience a story that has an ending that very much matches the rotten parts of real life. Why would I want to read about an adventurer that doesn't break even, much less win? With Mr. Mahnenko, his main character eventually not only broke even, he pulled slightly ahead. So, overall, though I liked the performance, I did not enjoy this third book of this particular series. Again, this is my opinion and is weighted by my own life experiences. Other readers/listeners obvious did enjoy the story. If you're looking for a good, happy, or exciting ending, this book will not meet your expectations. Keep that in mind as you go into this third installment.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Tom Sitlington
  • 27-07-18

Kind of a let down.

I am glad that White Horse is finally over and done with, the entire book seemed like build up to the final 45 minutes of let down. I have enjoyed this series and look forward to future books by Tao, however this was my least favorite of his in any series.

1 person found this helpful