Listen free for 30 days

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

In the latter half of the 21st century, Alexander and his guild mates play Io Online for fun and to earn a living. It's the largest VRMMORPG on the planet, and the source of income that supports families around the globe. While completing a rare First Kill dungeon in hopes of epic loot, they discover that demons have once again invaded Io.

Given the chance to test a new experimental immersion system, the veteran players must give up their high-level characters and begin again at level one. As they work through the noob zone quests, they discover that the new immersion system allows them to play in ways that hadn't been possible before. Casting is faster. Movement more fluid. Even magic itself behaves differently. They quickly run afoul of a party of player killers and become the targets of an entire PK guild bent on spawn-camping them until they leave the game. War has been declared.

The fight expands into populated areas, where innocent citizens are murdered, and player accounts are terminated. The guild works to help citizens rebuild what has been destroyed, but are repeatedly forced to stop and defend against enemy attacks. After the gods of Io and a powerful being of darkness get involved, Alexander and his friends learn the hard way that their in-game actions have consequences, both in the game and in the real world.

Soundbooth Theater has had the honor of working with Laurie Catherine Winkel once more, in the first installment of the epic Greystone Chronicles. Her bright and light performance matches the tone of this Gamelit romp about friendship and community, while perfectly framing Jeff Hays' performance as the male cast.

The Soundbooth Theater team for this production:

  • Laurie Catherine Winkel - narration, female characters, and Fibble!
  • Jeff Hays - male characters
  • Dalton Lynne - proofing, editing
  • Justin Thomas James - production, editing, mastering
©2017 Dave Willmarth (P)2018 Dave Willmarth, Soundbooth Theater

What listeners say about The Greystone Chronicles: Book One: Io Online

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    42
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    48
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    39
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

Let me start by saying that Jeff, as always, did a masterful job with the voices, as did Laurie. But I did find Laurie's narrative to be a bit flat but still very good. Here comes the painful part: It's billed as a LitRPG but there's very little in the way of character and skill progression. I don't think a character sheet came up more than two or three cursory times. The characters start off with new toons at level 1 but keep their legendary artifact demigod gear from the beginning. Coupled with substantial wealth, this leaves them with absolutely no character growth whatsoever, which for me is the most enjoyable part of RPG's and LitRPG books. No one learns skills through actual training or leveling up. They just kind of have all these abilities that are OP as all hell. They can waltz through dungeons filled with demons and destroy player characters 50 levels higher than them without hardly taking a scratch. The combat is largely glossed over. You get to a few descriptive opening shots on the first encounter then a, "They continued to battle their way through the dungeon until meeting the boss." They shoot a couple of arrows and launch a couple spells and the boss is dead and they add thousands of gold (seemingly the default amount for nearly every battle) to their already endless coffers as well as some awesome loot that is perfectly suited for each character, even the goblin the recruited just a few minutes prior. The character themselves are fairly bland and ultra-goodie goodie, going through the game world like benevolent gods tossing handfuls of gold at the peasants and magically erecting entire buildings and towns and paving miles of roadways in minutes or hours. The main premise of the book revolves around a PK guild being dicks by playing in a way that the game allows but they don't like. This main plot encompasses maybe 30 minutes with 4 brief encounters where the PKers act like morons and get wiped out every time by people a fraction of their numbers and level with the heros once again not even getting scratched. Their encounters are boring and over in seconds. The other 95% of the book is mostly detailed corporate accounting reports and describing their numerous ingame meals. Had the narrators not done such a good job, I doubt I would have finished it. As it was, I skipped through probably three hours of tedious, pointless conversations and dinner descriptions and made it to the end. It was a decent premise that was poorly executed.

8 people found this helpful

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

I don’t like it.

This book took the meaning of the main character to the new meaning. Overall the whole book revolves around Alex and his friends while they play a VR game. The game seems rather lacklustre, it’s your typical knights vs demons and that’s it. I haven’t listened to the whole book simply because it was tedious to listen to. There are other books with VR elements that are much more sophisticated with more interesting characters, a simple example would be Ascend Online. Jeff and Annie still did a good job, they were a major factor in my decision to take up this book and I honestly wish I didn’t. Still have them 5* for performance.

2 people found this helpful

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

two voices

both narrators were great and I really enjoyed this litrpg looking forward to more in this series

1 person found this helpful

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

Could have been far better.

Okay, there is some good and some bad with this book. I found the characters to be good, with enough depth and variety to keep me interested in them. The plot wasn't that bad either, though nothing ground breaking, given that it was supposed to be LitRPG. What dragged this from a four or five star review for me were the glaring issues with this and it supposedly being a LitRPG. The author decided to have high level characters starting over at level one, but keeping some of the gear they had in their guild vaults, their money and the epic or legendary drops they get off the last boss they fight. This might be okay, but it massively limited character progression with their gear, and I don't think he ever bothers to mention their item stats again after the first time. Also, he so rarely bothers to give any stats from the characters character sheets, and certainly not any one other than Alex's stats. But why bother when the WHOLE book he doesn't spend his earned points. I think he has 21 points to spend on attributes by the end of the book. If he mentioned he was saving them for a reason I might have accepted it, but given they were constantly fighting creatures or players over their level it made utterly no sense at all, and made players calling him a noob totally apt. This last point leads to my next issue. Level disparity and OP characters. I'm sorry I cannot deal with a book where characters battle monsters twenty or more levels above their own. To me this is like a raid of level forties killing Ragnaros in WOW vanilla. WHen in truth they should get one or two shotted by characters or creatures that far above them in levels. While some of their wins can be considered good planning or tactics, it would still be unlikely unless the game was horribly balanced. They also start winning with some very OP spells, while other players seem to never use any ability against them at all. Then there is the whining about PK (player killing) players, when you may as well whine about a game that allows PVP (player vs player) as they are only playing to rules the game allows. The last straw was when they make a huge deal out of the death of an NPC child. Not that I object to them being mad at players that murder NPC's when the world appears real, but it was the fact that one of the characters has the ability to resurrect once per day and doesn't fricking resurrect him. I cannot forgive an author that forgets the abilities his characters have in a situation that would have been radically different otherwise. Not to mention the main character made a load of amulets for all the villagers to prevent instant deaths too. So all in all these flaws just dragged teh book down and down from being a potential five star review. Oh, and last point. The narration was good, but not as good as it should have been for me. When your main character is male and the majority of his guild is male - certainly in the beginning - I find it very odd when you make the primary narrator a woman. It was jarring for me, despite both narrators being good. Still with someone of the quality of Jeff Hays it would have made vastly more sense with him doing the narrative, plus the male voices and then Laurie doing the female voices.

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

ONE OF THE BEST AUDIO BOOKS I'VE LISTENED TO

A VERY WELL WRITENED & VOICED BOOKS I'VE BEEN FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO PRIVILEGED TO ADD TO MY EVER GROWING COLLECTION INTRIGUING.. FUNNY..SAD AND GRIPPING.. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH PLEASE KEEP THEM COMING EXCELLENT

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

Empty story

Will make this sort The story it was like it was being made up as it was going along. Every thing in the vr was so goody goody to the point it was painful. The in game money was thrown about like sweates. Overall there are far better books out there.

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

Great start to the series

Greystone is the story of Alex as he enters IO online as part of an experiment to develop a treatment for a neurological condition he suffers from. I particularly enjoyed the significant amount of time Dave Willmarth spent setting up the characters in the ‘real’ world. Often, I find litrpg rush into the in game world but there’s great mix here. The in game world was interesting and has plenty of combat and world building. It reminded me of low level World of Warcraft, which was nice. One thing I found odd however was the speed in which the characters levels up, however they never felt like they were becoming too powerful or moving too quickly etc. The narration was absolutely fantastic. Laurie Winkel does a great job of telling the story and Jeff Hays male voices are wonderfully varied. A really enjoyable, easy listen.

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

Brilliant New Series

Hat's off this is world building at its best and is up there with the best. The characters are very well thought out and are very compelling and interactive as are the secondary and tertiary characters. The mix of humour and the intriguing, innovative solutions to the problems used in the real world and in game show great foresight and I was drawn in by every word due in part to the great skills of Jeff Hays and LCW. the editing and these two working together are a great match and well picked by Dave Wilmarth. I will be eagerly awaiting the 2nd audio and shall also follow along by the written word as well. I got this audio at no charge by competition and have left my thoughts on this for you to peruse.

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

GOOD BOOK

I have over 300 audible titles and I have to say that the narration and performance of this book is one of the best I've heard. It's a compelling universe with a great story and awesome characters

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Don Gilbert
  • Don Gilbert
  • 04-11-19

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Graystone Chronicles The Good: Jeff Hayes and the Sound booth Theatre. They really make any audio production a terrific entertaining event. Also good is the world building, the story line; both inside the game and out in the real world, character development, and the vast array of creatures and other humanoids that are introduced into the story. The Bad: the lackluster pace and absence of anything resembling a thrilling tense filled conflict, Alexander and his clan simply destroy any enemy regardless of level discrepancy or number, it’s all very anticlimactic. The Ugly; Relationships; they all act like virgins on prom night. I know this isn’t a Harem book but Alexander and the rest need to grow a pair. Also fuzzy bunnies Overall I like this series, despite the lack of intensity; I like the story progression and listening to Jeff Hayes and the rest of Sound booth Theatre makes it entertaining

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jason
  • Jason
  • 08-03-19

Disappointing

The addition of the romance element feels like it was added by someone who never met or had a conversation with a woman. Nothing was done by the protagonist to earn the affection, and the game system is heavily weighted for the protagonist, basically cheating like a fiend non-stop. With much eye-rolling I finished the book, but will not be buying the next installment. The narration was excellent, it kept me going when the story started to sour.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anthony
  • Anthony
  • 11-02-19

Tremendous Start Followed By A Great Decline!!

This story started out great. I loved the idea of the game itself and and the banter between the MCs as well as the quick thinking implemented in the first battle. The author did a great job of making you emotionally attached to the characters as well. The delivery of the storyline was top notch. Then, "KERTHUMP"!!! The character development became bleh. All you get is hey we found some OP abilities that let us kill strong enemies without getting hit. Now I can kill PKers that are 70 levels above me in one hit. The last few hors of the book becomes a how-to-guide for how to build a village with earth magic. I suffered through hours of what stone to use and how tall to make the walls. The only damage the MC takes is the damage he does to himself while building the village. And by building I mean literally making walls and windows, with detailed explanations about how to use magic to do it. It became really underwhelming really fast, which is really a shame because the story outside of the character development was really fluent and interesting.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Charles Grayson
  • Charles Grayson
  • 06-01-19

Boring

This story is so insipid that it makes me angry. It's as if the author deliberately set out to remove everything that makes you care about characters or plot resolution. here's a list of the problems: 1) the main characters are essentially Mary Sues. Everything comes easy to them and they continually win effusive praise from all the supporting characters. 2) no real conflict. Yes, there is the enemy guild, but our heroes effortlessly defeat/humiliate them at every encounter, even though the enemy characters have vastly higher levels. 3) conversational interplay among characters is very unrealistic 4) no real plot. The “conflict” between our group and the enemy guild occupies only a small amount of their time and is never represented as an important challenge. Even the leveling up is portrayed as meaningless, because our main characters acquire god-level skill the moment they acquire a skill at all. 5) failed humor. Most attempts at being funny aren't funny at all. One guy teases another “if you don't stop bothering me, I'll tell the waitress about the rash you had last year!” Ha, ha, ha, yes, hilarious.

27 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-12-19

not worth it

it has an okay plot line, but there is no drama. it's the equivalent of a game nerfed to no challenge for the main hero and his friends. level 5s taking on a group of 16s twice their number and easily defeating them? never a challenge in any monster encounter? just learn magic and now moving tons of Earth to improve their guild? anything they do and they profit from. gave it four hours and I couldn't stand it anymore.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Brandon
  • Brandon
  • 28-10-19

let down...

This book came so highly recommended I just had to get it, and man was I let down, the main characters felt stupidly over powered, a level 15 beating a level 80 without breaking a sweat, the characters were childish including childish taunting. the main character literally was a cheat character and the book became more the main character getting the highest social ranking with everyone. the beginning he was so excited to play a battle mage, but then only had a few actual fights and a bunch of name calling PvP, the main character spawn camps a PvP player just because he is over confident, taunts him and harasses him and that harassment becomes the center of the book and that just turned me the wrong way. it felt like a grade schooler got spawn camped in WoW and is now getting his vengeance in this book, it completely surrounded that and nothing else, well other than the NPCs and other players thanking him for bullying. on the bright side, the choice acting performances were impeccable.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for R. Stroup
  • R. Stroup
  • 22-03-19

Where's the story?

The book starts off with 4 high level established characters. They've known each other for a really long time and already have good team work. Right there goes 2 major draws of litrpg, progression and character building. We find out that the main character is extremely rich and while the author claims 2 of his friends are poor they apparently make enough money playing the game rather than have full time job. The main character also has a full time nurse/cook/masseuse/ physical therapist. His father also owns the company that makes the game and has instructed the AI to give his team better loot. The absolutely only conflict in the book is that the main character has a rare neurological disorder. Of course it doesn't matter because not only does it not impact him at all in the book, but apparently his father has been giving him experimental miracle drugs without his knowledge. This is both highly unethical but extremely illegal. What does the main character say? "Thanks Dad." Absolutely ridiculous.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Beachcombers
  • Beachcombers
  • 18-02-19

Privileged OP players go on SJW quest set on EASY

First, Soundbooth did an excellent production. Second, this book is terrible, don't buy it. SPOILERS! I have listened to a lot of LitRPG, and as is usually the case when the Main Character gets overpowered or has some kind unique edge, you at least understand and appreciate the effort required to become that way. However these characters are quite literally given every advantage right from the start. Unique abilities, a unique character class, Mythical gear for them. Every NPC they meet, soon starts praising and treating them like family, the "Evil" faction is comically inept and is humiliated at every turn. The team steam roller their way through dungeons, with zero effort. The female characters are so bland and generic, fawning over the MC and anything "cute". If it wasn't for the swearing, I would put this firmly as a kids book. Team America for SJW's. Uggh.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lokii
  • Lokii
  • 06-10-19

Way too OP! Returned it unfinished.

All LitRPG book generally have overpowers characters but this is crazy. Instead of one you get a party of 5. I like to see them earn a least a little bit these guys were given way too much advantage from the start and it totally killed it for me. Also the PK vendetta was a bit over the top too. I enjoyed the humor in what I read though. if the author writes something else similar with a better story I might give it a try.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Adam Streble
  • Adam Streble
  • 01-10-19

Boring and extremely tedious

The only reason I was able to finish this book is because like always soundbooth theater did an amazing job. This book is so boring and was tedious to get through. The last 6 hours of the book was explaining every little detail that it took to rebuild a town and about 20 minutes of it was the final conflict, the majority of it happened when the main character's weren't even there. Also the main character's are painted as these white knights that are so righteous yet they are just as bad as the people that they are up against. They are all for skating the edge in torturing someone, saying it is fine because in their eyes they are evil for something they did in a game. They also have no problem in looking the other way when a large group of these people are burned alive. BTW you feel the pain in this game as if it was real. The main character is also a Mary Sue and the only reason he succeeds against the PK guild they are up against is because they are all so stupid to a very unrealistic level. Did I mention that they manage to build an artifact level forge at level 15... The first couple hours of the book was decent but as soon as they started dealing with the PK guild it took a massive nosedive into the dumpster. Don't waste your time with this and go on to something else. Unless you like characters they don't grow, antagonists that loose only because they are morons and every single detail on how to rebuild a town.

2 people found this helpful