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Towers of Heaven: Book 1

Narrated by: Steve Campbell
Series: Towers of Heaven, Book 1
Length: 7 hrs and 37 mins
5 out of 5 stars (32 ratings)

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Summary

One day, six towers appear on Earth. Each one stands hundreds of stories tall, and are invulnerable to all attacks. At the base of each tower is a portal, welcoming in all who dare enter it. All sorts of magical monsters can be found inside the towers. Even treasure, magic, and superhuman strength can be acquired.

The problem is that the towers aren't a friendly place. Even worse, the towers sometimes release waves of monsters to attack Earth. In the year 2083, there are only a hundred survivors. In one last attempt, they challenge the final floor without regard for their lives. By some miracle, they manage to beat the floor at the cost of their lives, leaving only one survivor. As a reward for clearing the tower, he is granted one wish. He decides to go back in time to before the towers arrived. His goal is simple: prevent humanity from being wiped out.

©2019 Cameron Milan (P)2019 Cameron Milan

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Solid enjoyable LitRPG with a few twists

General Thoughts
Don't be put off with the boring generic chapter set in the far future. This is the weakest point of the story but doesn't last long. The rest of the book has great pacing and I finished it very quickly.

Story - 9
The story starts at the end. In the year 2083, there are only a hundred human survivors. Jason is one of the strongest survivors who has been fighting demons and ascending the mysterious towers which appear on Earth. He defeat the end boss Ba'al and given one wish. He decides to go back in time, to before the towers arrived and prevent humanity from being wiped out. The first problem is he is not sent far back enough and only has 5 years to beat the towers and has to start from level 1 again. He has all the knowledge but lacks stats, skills, money and allies. He has to ascend the tower which original took decades as quickly as possible.

Characters - 7
The main character Jason is very knowledgeable but doesn't come across overly arrogate. It helps that at his current state he is powered down. I love how he becomes a mentor figure when he meets Roy. Roy is a very young boy with high aspiration. He is an orphan of parents who were very talented ascenders. Some of these talents where pass on to him which gives him a huge advantage starting but has never set in the tower so is lacking experience. Jason spends a lot of time with Roy training him because Jason knows who Roy will become. Later on they meet Olivia who is a bit of a 'Frenemy’. She comes across as not caring and only in for herself but you know it's only an act.

The Narration - 8
This is the second audio booked I've heard by Steve Campbell; the first being Star Touched (not sure which order he did these). Steve has another outstanding performance with Tower of Heaven. He is a very good narrator with good vocal range and great pacing. As this is the second audible book I've listen to by Steve which I've enjoyed I might have to start following his future releases.

Wrap Up
Basically ticks all the boxes. If you like manga/ anime genre Isekai you will love this. The tower has distinct floor themes a bit like Made in the Abyss, Sword Art Online, etc. With loads of different mechanics and monsters which keep it interesting. I really liked the idea of the 'real life' game so they have conversation rates between the tower's gold and real world money. The whole economy aspect was great with spells having a real world value because once you learn them they will cure disabilities. It took aspects of many different games I've played like World of Warcraft (who probably nicked from another place but I can only comment on the things I've seen and played) like heritage armour which level up as you do. With all these different element brought to together in a book I really liked and more than the sum of its parts. I would recommend this and going to buy the second audible book when it's out.

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Simply excellent

You know that you love a book when you finish it and immediately go and look for the next one. I did that with this book! It's different in all the right ways. I don;t think I've ever read a book quite like this. The characters are great. Our hero is incredibly likable because he's believable. He's nice and he likes people, he wants to save the world. He also wants to live through it and come out rich and famous. I think if we are honest we can relate to that! He also has an honest desire to do the right thing. The pace of the story is great. The actions is cool and I love the world that the author has crafted. I think it is excellently crafted as well!

Very good. Stop reading the review and jump into the book!

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

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review

i received this audiobook for free in exchange for a review. i think this story was good, especially for fans of mmorpgs or anime in that genre.

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I like it.

Good book. Bal's pronouciation was a bit weird but not a deal breaker. the story is pretty good but I'm still sad that someone had to die. They didn't have to; surely the protagonist could have simply gone with them and kept watch.

Only tough part is that it's a bit short. it's more of an and not much happens during the book. honestly I wish it had more defined arcs with start, middle and climax. but the story is really enjoyable never the less.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Joseph Moore
  • 19-06-19

Apocalypse + Time-travel + Litrpg = Yes Please

Honestly amazed that the author managed to combine these concepts in what feels like such a smooth way. None of the individual elements are particularly groundbreaking but the way they are put together here is fantastic. The story drops right in with excitement and then fills in the world components once it has you hooked. The main character is well-rounded, he does seem to fail to rely on his years of experience in a few cases, but mostly displays the wisdom that should be expected. The story is a lot of fun and has me hooked for a sequel.

The narration by Steve Campbell brings things to life very naturally and just allows you to immerse yourself in the experience. Could not ask for more.

I was given a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an unbiased review.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • craig
  • 15-06-19

I love this book!!!! I can't wait for the next one

why must I have to wait! if you like tower climbing books this is by far one of the best!

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Max R
  • 07-06-19

Great first entry!

I just finished Towers of Heaven and I have to say that I definitely enjoyed my time with it. Usually, audiobooks are something that I listen to on my (admittedly horrible) commute and while doing housework like laundry. I don't often turn a book on "just because", and yet, that's exactly what happened with this book. This is definitely a story that draws heavily upon Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey archetype, which I particularly enjoy. It's a story cadence and flow that has been with us since the dawn of storytelling itself. It feels familiar in a really comforting way. We, as listeners, are able to easily slip into the tale and allow ourselves to be transported into the tower to fight alongside comrades new and old alike. I'm not sure if Cameron Milan did this on purpose or not, but it certainly helped to align our expectations of the book.

There were definitely some parts that could use some polish. The first chapter feels a little sluggish and heavy-handed but evens out quickly after the first confrontation with "the big bad". It's difficult to care enough about the MC in those early chapters for the emotional punch of their big moments to land. This is remedied pretty quickly once the story gets rolling. Outside of 2 or 3 characters, the other inhabitants of the world felt a little one dimensional. This isn't necessarily distracting, but it would help to have a firmer grasp on the motivations for more of the characters to go into such a deadly business. There has to be something more than getting sweet loot to drive someone to risk life and limb in the way that many of the characters do.

From an RPG-System perspective, the character abilities and game terminology are familiar enough to not warrant significant explanation to those that are likely to be reading this book, but for newer or non-gamers, there may be a bit of a learning curve. I found the RPG elements of the book to be satisfying and a definite enhancement to the story, as opposed to many in the LitRPG space where they can feel excruciatingly distracting. This is helped along significantly be a very competent narrator in Steve Campbell. Not every narrator will thrive in these types of stories, as the technical nature of the game world itself can be a challenge to portray. Fortunately for this story, it's definitely a subgenre where Mr. Campbell excels.

I'm definitely happy with my decision to invest 7 1/2 hours into Towers of Heaven and will look forward to book 2 upon its release. To the "would recommend to friends" list it goes!

**Note: I was given a promotional copy of this book at my request in exchange for the unbiased review above.**

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Pat
  • 10-07-19

Great Story! Great Narration!

I don't usually go for these types of books(Demille, Connelly, Baldacci, Ludlum,Koontz is more my speed)but was gifted this one. Once I started it, I was hooked! Loved the story and the narration.
Really looking forward to the Next one!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jason
  • 01-07-19

Finished in one sitting

247 Audible titles in (most of them litrpg) and this is my first review if only so that Audible would let me know when the author releases a sequel. I bought the book right after I read the description. I mean, it's got towers, dying actually means something (ie. it's not a game), and it's got time travel all together. I was hooked in the first 5 minutes (what an awesome intro) and the rest surpassed my expectations. The characters were the best part and I just enjoyed everyone in it. When I recount all of the top litrpg works I know, I'll be adding this one to the shortlist.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-06-19

I LOVED this story

Wow...this story took me right back to my Middle and High Schooldays, staying up late playing Dungeons and Dragons, I was just riveted to the story, especially the character stats. Can't wait for book #2.

Steve Campbell does a wonderful job narrating this book.

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • RJ
  • 25-06-19

Awesome story, where is book two?

“Towers of Heaven” begins at the end. Bear with me, my friends. We are given a glimpse of what may be the end of the world. I suspect aliens or some unknown god has tired of the world and its evil ways. Six huge towers comprised of hundreds of floors are put on to earth across the globe. The towers are full of monsters and demonic beings, each floor progressively more difficult as you ascend. In order to save mankind, each floor must be conquered including the boss monster Ba'al on the top floor; this is reminiscent of dungeon crawling with skills and stats. Each week portals appear throughout the world releasing monsters of increasing quantity and power to advance the deadline of the earth being overrun. Sixty years have passed, and billions of people have died. The situation we view at the beginning of the book is the last one-hundred high-level warriors, the remaining survivors on earth, advancing on the top floor. At first, it appears they failed. Ba'al is mortally wounded but the last warrior dies first. We have failed! But wait, one warrior Jason Waltz who was believed dead arose. We have completed the quest, and Jason is granted one wish. In an unbelievable turn of events, Jason’s wish cannot be granted. Jason decides to go back in time, before the towers appeared, in order to attempt to prevent it from happening. This is granted but Jason’s rearward progress in time stops too soon. He awakens twenty-years after the towers have appeared! In this new existence, Jason believes he has only five years before mankind begins taking serious casualties. Jason starts over at level one with no equipment. This is the true beginning of “Towers of Heaven”. Can Jason ascend to the top floor and defeat Ba'al in five years? This is Jason’s compelling story. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Ceiling Chair
  • 25-06-19

Hard to put down

This is the third book I have read from this author now and I have been impressed each time. I think I am becoming a fan.

Like the others, we have an overpowered main character kicking ass and taking names. It is a fun book, very not serious. The protagonist and his friends are surprisingly complex. The world is a bit weak and the towers are a little bland right now. We are still in relatively low tower floors, so I imagine the floors will become more unique as they become harder to murder our way through.

The skills and leveling are well done, well paced, and interesting. I like how the main characters over-poweredness comes from advanced knowledge rather than simply skills that are clearly outclassing everyone elses for no reason.

I am not sure what it is exactly that makes this book so easy to listen to, but I definitely had some difficulty putting it down.



*A copy of this book was provided to the reviewer upon their request, but the review is their honest and voluntarily provided thoughts.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • N. Nitzel
  • 22-06-19

Incredibly good LitRPG with OP Protagonist

Man I love OP Protagonists. This is a great book. Interesting world that has been crafted, loveable main character, awesome RPG elements, great story that starts off making you think will be somewhat shallow but as it starts to peel back the current you realize it will be an incredible story. Cannot wait for book 2! Narration was really well done as well. A couple accents were a bit rough but was only for maybe 20 seconds and everything else kept me immersed. Great job.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-06-19

Best lit rpg yet.

Main character is not a whiny bitch. Smart, strong yet still emotional. Must listen. Same premise as Sufficiently advanced magic but set in modern times with a smart knowledgeable mc.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful