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The Trapped Mind Project

Emerilia, Book 1
Narrated by: Tristan Morris
Series: Emerilia, Book 1
Length: 18 hrs and 19 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (167 ratings)

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Summary

Austin Zane leaves behind his CEO position with RB Corp to play Dave, a half-dwarf in the virtual reality game Emerilia, trying to escape his life.

What Dave doesn't know is that Earth as he knows it is really a virtual reality simulation and Emerilia is a world imbued with futuristic technologies to mimic early MMORPGs.

He just wanted peace and quiet, to build a house, do some fishing, to take some time to find himself once again. What he found out instead was a cause, he found out the biggest lie of his life. He found out the truth about Emerilia and the lies of Earth.

What's the best way to control slaves? Make them think that they're free.

©2017 Michael Chatfield (P)2017 Michael Chatfield

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

So long, but so worth it!

This series has been on my list for some time, but my actual reading time is so limited. When it came to audio I was super happy.

Michael is a complete wiz at weaving stories in and around characters that have amazing depth and motivation.

What starts off pretty slow build till you actually can't stop listening... there's good back story woven in, crafting (a must for anyone who loves litrpg) and intense action.

The 18 hours totally whizzed past me, and I wanted more. I know this series is a huge one, and I seriously hope that Tristan keeps with it because he was a great choice as far as voice and tone go. I'd not listened to Tristan before, but the tone and voices he had for each character, especially Dave were great. The sarcastic and then funny side to him just had me laughing while driving. Some parts I literally was on the edge of my seat. A total joy to the ears, and it made the book go so much quicker. I believe Michael and Tristan nailed this one, and I'm so excited for more.

Now for some deeper thoughts.

As I said the plot itself was slow to get going, I do admit that there were some word choices and lengthy sentences that even made me think twice about the meaning, but it really didn't detract from the story.

Dave is a very interesting character, from a big company to the game he wants to play it's totally opposite to his usual life and it's relaxing and interesting. The game mechanics aren't hard to follow and they develop nicely along the way, of course, there are some huge things for Dave to learn and to develop but he does so at a good pace. It's not over the top for me even though he does develop some interesting items and skills.

Overall this is good start to a series of over 7 books and I do believe he has more on the go! the man is insane.... can't wait for the next one on audio :)

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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

Enjoyable fantasy twist on 'the Matrix'

I generally don't like books that tend towards the litrpg style, so I was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed this one, most of the time you could pretty much tune out the recitation of stats and simply enjoy a basic fantasy novel with a likable cast of characters.

When we meet the main character he is a rich CEO of a company on Earth who decides to play the virtual reality game Emerilia to get away from the stresses of real life, but over time while he is in the 'game' he learns that it is actually Earth that is the simulation and that in-game is actually the real world and a real world where humanity is not in charge.

The book follows his progress both from the perspective of his stats as a character growing and his personal as a real person in that 'game', culminating in a final battle that is obviously framed in the manner of a raid in an mmo.

The narrator gave a good performance overall, with Dave and the main supporting cast all sounding suitably distinctive without resorting to cliche too much with the wide array of dwarves and elves either.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and the narration and will be interested in hearing more of this series in the future.

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

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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

Great story needed proof reading

Would you listen to another book narrated by Tristan Morris?
Yes

Any additional comments?
I really enjoyed the world, characters and game mechanics of this story but there were two problems that almost made me quit reading early on. This almost feels like an early draft with lots of inconsistencies throughout creating the impression that the author was changing their mind about how they wanted things to happen. For example the main character discovered the same levelling mechanic for the first time on multiple different occasions. There were also grammar mistakes that changed the meaning of a sentence to the opposite of what had obviously been intended.

Despite this I'm still giving it 4 stars and I felt it improved as it went on. I'm mainly posting this to encourage people not to be put off by these problems.

Edit: Sadly I ended up dropping this series. Later books spend more and more time on long drawn battles that are not that interesting individually, let alone one after another.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

An amazing twist on LitRPG. Loved this book.

This is a fantastic twist on the LitRPG genre. It provided a wonderful basis to truly explore the story and characters. I think that the characters were well developed and crafted to add balance to the groups.

The story rolls along nicely never feeling slow or strained. It provides some lovely twists and grows as you move through building to a crescendo.

I loved the twist right at the end to give a gateway to the follow up book.

The narration was spot on providing in depth characters and distinctive throughout.
You never tire of listening to the narrator and you feel completely immersed throughout.

In summation a fantastic book giving a good intro to LitRPG or just a great fantasy book.
If you are already into LitRPG then this is a bit of a twist on the normal telling and adds a slightly different component.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily provided this impartial review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great book,


This was a great story, great idea, well written and brilliantly read by Tristan Morris.

I would happily listen to the other books in the series if read by the same narrator

This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

seems to start off better than it ends.

imaginative premise and world construction that doesn't get adequately developed or lead to anything surprising.

everything else is fairly consistent with an average to good level of the genre

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Enticing start

An absolutely brilliant start to a series. Story has depth, without getting too bogged down in details.
Narrator did a great job of bringing characters to life, with consistent voices throughout.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Love it

Love it can't wait for the next one. I have now read and listened to this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Well narrated

Having read the book already there were no surprises with the storyline.
I enjoyed the way that the narrator worked the various accents into the story. Good pace and pitch, overall an enjoyable listen.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Best ever

Amazing loved everything about it can wait to download the next on!! Three words remaining 😂

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Don Gilbert
  • Don Gilbert
  • 05-03-18

One of the Top Five LitRPG Stories

Lately it seems all I listen to are LITRPG stories, I really like the genre and there are a lot of stories from which to choose.
I really liked, “The trapped Mind,” it’s now in my top five LitRPG stories. To give some perspective, here’s my list.
1. “The Way of the Shaman” series; a six book rollercoaster series of exciting twists and turns that grab your attention and test your emotional resolve, but in the end it’s worth the ride.
2. “The Divine Dungeon,” starting with “Dungeon born;” very clever giving a different perspective and new dimension to the LitRPG story. This series is still in progress and I can’t wait for the next book.
3. “Ascend online,” narrated by Luke Daniels, only one and a half books into the series but a great start and might take over the top spot if the story quality remains the same
4. “The Trapped Mind;” so far I’m up-to-date on all of the audio books that have been released and I really like the story. It’s another LitRPG with a different premise.
5. “Ready Player One;” the original, my first LitRPG, written by Earnest Cline, he nostalgically brought me back to the old time gaming world, great experience.
There are so many of these LitRPG coming out virtually every week that my list could change, and I hope it does because that would mean another really great story.

66 of 77 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ray Johnson
  • 30-03-18

A real mind bending trip

I generally try to purge anything negative from my system first, and then tackle the good stuff. I do have some nits to pick, but nothing overly bad. I listen to books in the car. I drive a lot, and my wife will listen along with me. Since the majority of what I have been listening to has been LitRPG/Gamelit stuff she gets really annoyed when all the crunchy bits start flying. In other words, when stats or alert notices start flying and never end. It can be distracting, but she had to make me turn this off, as it overwhelmed her. It does bug me, but I got over it. However I see her point. Damage reports, level alerts, and anything else that repeats is fine on a page, you can skim that. On audio it comes off like Dr. Strange meeting Dormammu. Thankfully, once we get into the meat of the story this sort of dies down.

Additionally, and this is only speculation, I have to wonder if Chatfield started writing his book twice, like from a point that he found interesting, and then at the begining because he does rehash some of his world building stuff several times. I don't know if this was two books that got folded into one, but it was a touch distracting to go over something we already knew.

Now the good stuff. This book fed my need for action, but it also sated my intellectual needs. There were great periods of character growth, story building, and some mind blowing concepts. Chatfield really flipped everything on its side and bounced it off a wall. Brilliant concept.

The characters are interesting. The plot grips you. The unexpected truth will knock you down. There is good action here as well as the quiet moments. The story will grab you and take you for one heck of a ride. All that stuff I said at first was just minor crap. The real meat of this book is delicious, and the amount of fat and gristle is negligable. The story and characters progress in a realistic speed

Morris makes a great first impression on me as a narrator. I had never heard him before, but I can see why he has this gig. He's really good, and brings the story to life. He works hard to give each characters a distinctive and individualized voices. 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. In fact, 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!!!

65 of 77 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dante Mekaj
  • Dante Mekaj
  • 28-01-19

This is a review for 9 of the books in this series

I will keep it short:

The story and premise are quite good, but the writing and narration take it to a 4-star (still good!) overall.

first the bad:
My biggest issue is that Mr Chatfield reiterates the same stuff a lot. And he also has an issue repeating words that follows him into his other works as well. Here is a pretend example to illustrate what i mean more clearly because i don't know how to explain it:

Dave picked up the sword, he really appreciated the craftsmanship of the sword, he noticed a dent in the sword and began to repair it.

This sentence could have been:

Dave picked up the sword, the craftsmanship was beautiful but he noticed a dent. He began repairs immediately.

Now in the context of this one example it may seem like a frivolous complaint, but he does it constantly. "His eyes started to become misty as tears fell from his eyes" like why did you have to say eyes twice. His eyes became misty as tears began to fall.

This writing style uses a lot of basic descriptions to say one thing which makes it feel very verbose at times and can be a little jarring. Essentially the writing itself is average C+-B level but the story is very interesting. The emotions he wants you to feel can be very forced at times, even when they don't need to be. Ex: The previous chapter talks about two characters relationships, the current chapter one of them dies and then he goes on to completely re-explain their relationship and throw in how crushing the death is at multiple points in this re-explanation. He does too much tell, too much expository dump and not enough letting the events of the story speak for themselves.

The good:
Like I mentioned above the story and chain of events is quite good. The scale goes from minuscule to galactic, and the characters have a lot of development time, there's epic battles, cool powers. the whole nine. Not many twists but it doesn't necessarily need them.

Overall i would recommend this book on the condition that like me, you have listened to or read a TON of books and there isn't a whole lot of litrpg left that has this many entries. Comparing this to a great authors works makes the writing here look bad, but I think the story is worth it if you are looking for a long litrpg series with a great story and many hours of listening.

PS: The narrator got 4 stars for his variety of voices. I am comparing him to someone like nick poedhel or jeff hayes. He still did a great job, but some of the characters voices are really similar to the point where you aren't exactly sure who is talking until he gets to the "Said X" at the end of the sentence.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Matthew
  • 23-09-17

The most infuriating 5 stars ever given

It's truly a testament to this books premise, story, and characters that depicts the many writing flaws it's an amazing experience.
That said FOR THE LOVE OF GOD THE REPETITION OF INFO DRIVES YOU NUTS THE FIRST 10 HOURS
Seriously you wanna shake the author screaming "I @$@(&(($&& KNOW ALREADY"
But once the final act gets going it stops completely and really buckles down on a rather spectacular and thrilling finale.
Worth the listen and greatly look forward to what looks to be a pretty expansive series

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Trav
  • Trav
  • 04-02-18

Meh

I really tried to like this book but the author made it almost impossible. Halfway through the book and the main character is already a massively overpowered fighter that acts like a wise old monk. Then, in the 2nd half, he becomes a master smith and creates god-level armor. Yeah....no. I don't even like playing games with cheats enabled but the author is basically handing his main character everything on a silver platter. Is there anything Dave is not good at? Of course not.

What is the point of this book when the main plot point is breached with the introduction of Bob? Everything afterwards seems trivial and contrived. A handful of pages were given to Dave to deal with the fact that his entire life has been a sham, but Dave is good at everything so of course he has no problem with it. Again, it is apparent that Michael Chatfield has limited patience and is incapable of developing a story over an extended period of time.

I tried reading the book on Kindle, once I got tired of that, I tried the audio book. I reached the halfway point then refunded my credit because I just couldn't go on. About a month later I decided to give it another shot, hoping that the story would improve. Here I am now, I have 2.5 hours left of the book and can't take another second. I am returning this for good. I love a long series of books that I can binge on, so it's too bad that this series makes me want to put my head through a wall.

Oh and the narrator wasn't horrible. He isn't a Nick Podehl (the best narrator in the business) but he did a good job.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Joshua Lucas Fox
  • Joshua Lucas Fox
  • 03-01-19

Can't believe I'm downloading the next book!

It reads a little bit like fan fiction for two or three other stories I can recognize. It was a little while before I realized that the author had some ideas of their own, that were quite..... Good.

The author needs more <or> better proof readers like a walked dog needs a pooper-scooper.

The narrator needs to slow down and remember or learn the pronunciation and meaning of the words he's reading. He has a nice voice, though. Maybe he just needs a proof listener.

There are parts of the story that are great and an amazing new take on this kind of story. These parts are mixed just a little too liberally with drivel. At times I was just shaking my head at the nonsensical writing. The author seemed a little too taken with certain aspects of other stories. Hence my comment on "fan fiction."

There is also time and attention wasted on presenting things that are just the opposite of certain other stories. It occurs more as criticism of those other authors choices, than as original ideas.

However it's not so much any relationship to other stories that is the problem. It that there are parts that appeared grafted on to the story that make no sense with the story itself. Mostly the story seems to become more and more the authors as it goes along.

That being said this whole genre is profoundly cliched. When the author pulls it off it's fun. When they don't it's super annoying. On that premise I can cut this author some slack, especially because this appears to be their first stab at the genre. There are apperently
9 more books!

I am hopeful for improving skill and, Proof Reading!!


-Update: I read most of the way through book six. then I just couldn't take it any more. The lack of proof reading, and the authors sloppiness are still my main complaints. I am down-grading my stars a little more, and asking for some refunds. I do not recommend starting, Mr. Chatfield seems to have achieved quantity at the price of quality. And the price is just a little too high.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Humility
  • Humility
  • 16-09-18

fun start, exciting dnding, boring middle.

So first the positive things. The beginning was interesting, the fighting was not overly arbitrary, the climax was exciting and THERE IS NO LUCK STAT.

The book's mechanics ect are basically a tweaked version of the lands. Tweaked mostly to give the protagonist a leveling advantage but the advantage is close enough to actual game exploits to not be too noticable.

Now my first big problem with the book is that the middle is basically all filler. And its all really stupid filler. Just one example, the protagonist invents the screw. You know, the screw, been around since before the founding of egypt screw. What makes it worse than that though is even if you think the screw is a modern invention. There have been thiusands of generations of players run through the game, constantly inventing stuff. And apparently none ever thought to make a screw.

Thats basically the level of dumbness this book's filler has. And dont even try to think about the economics of the game's world. You'll herniate. In addition to just that dumbness for filler there is also a dull uninteresting romantic plot. Which is just shoehorned in to fill in pages with needless kissing, flirting, groping and (thankfully) pg-13 sex scenes. But worst of all, are the redundant explanations. Every opportunity the author got he would repeat explanations in varying degrees of lengthy detail. Sometimes repeating thevsame information multiple times in a single conversation. It got to the point where I was dreading new character. Because every newly introduced character meant all the information would be repeated at least twice. Once from Dave or bob or whoever explaining things and once from their own perspective as they came to the same revelations everyone else did.

It was horrible, even at 1.75 speed I still had to skip ahead in many 30 second chunks. And for that insanely horrible filler I knock off 2 stars.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for jakob
  • jakob
  • 15-10-17

Meh

Not well written or edited but relatively entertaining. It's pretty uneven, some parts very enjoyable while others can be a little excruciating...

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Austin
  • Austin
  • 10-12-18

Great!

Cons: Voice acting is sketchy in a few places. A few too many time skips where more could have been drawn out of the story. Character sheet information is read out too often in the beginning. Chapters could have been put together rather than being separated into so many chapters. There were no consequences for the main character's early find that made him overpowered. (Althought something does seem to be planned)

Pros: Good character development and interactions lead places. Length of book prevents one from easily bingeing it in a single day. Good sense of hard work being paying off. I like the way the author portrayed power as not being measurable by levels alone. Author seems to have a good idea of where the story is going. Bob continues to be the name for interesting characters in LitRpg's! (Listen to the Alpha World series)

Neutrals: The book is a mix of Sci-fi and Fantasy. It looks like it is starting off more Fantasy based and moving more into Sci-fi in later books.

TL;DR A good start to an interesting series with a few hangs up but nothing drastic. Would recommend if you want something interesting to eat up your time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Trevor M Scarem
  • Trevor M Scarem
  • 27-09-18

not just useless details

read the whole series several times and Loved it All. the sixth time through this book i paid attention to what i thought were throw away line fillers the first time through... so well thought out and put together. Well worth the time and money!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful