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Watcher's Test: A LitRPG Saga

Life in Exile, Book 1
Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
Series: Life in Exile, Book 1
Length: 19 hrs and 57 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (45 ratings)

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Summary

This isn't a game. This is his new life.

Dave has been wandering through life for a long time. His day job bores him and he never seems to be able to meet his family's expectations. The only escape he's ever had is his love of MMORPGs.

But when he becomes the subject of a test without even knowing it, he's portaled into a game-world called Eloria with no way out. It's a frequent daydream of his, however, in none of those dreams did his wife and daughter ever accompany him.

Now, Dave must balance protecting his family with exploring his dream...oh, and trying to stay alive. Monstrous beasts roam Elaria, worst of all, an undead army led by the vile Death Knight.

He'll have to adapt fast and learn to cooperate if he hopes to make a new home for his family. And just maybe, along the way, he'll find out why they're living a life in exile.

Experience the epic first installment of a litRPG saga perfect for fans of C. M. Carney, Blaise Corvin, and Charles Dean.

Narrated by Peter Berkrot (Alpha World, Earth Force).

©2020 Aethon Books (P)2020 Aethon Audio

What listeners say about Watcher's Test: A LitRPG Saga

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

“They were a long way from Kansas”

Great story and great take on the LitRPG book. Loved it from start to finish and found myself perched on my seat during the big fight scene!
I found Dave a little annoying at times as he’s a bit too self centred, but it fits well with the story.
Great narration with great voices, pacing and tension!
Can’t wait for another book to come out!
This is my honest opinion of a free review copy.

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Good in parts, but somewhat annoying characters.

If this is the first book the author has done, then it should be given credit to a degree. Overall it is not a bad read, but I would put in very much in the average range.

For me the problems started with Dave - the father/husband - who is supposed to be a avid MMORPG gamer who does everything including raiding, but as someone that ran a raid guild I would say Dave would be the guy that joins your raid when you can't find someone else in your guild that night, due to the fact Dave will be the guy that runs right when he should run left or doesn't see he is standing in AOE and will stay there till he dies.

In the book he bangs on constantly about being all about protecting he family while doing everything that would be opposite to that end. He doesn't keep an eye on his kids. Back to back occasions near start where they let them wonder right into trouble. He goes off trying to grind like he is playing a game and leaves his family alone in what is unsecured and unknown territory. Often out of sight and hearing distance. Time and time again this goes wrong and they learn nothing. The definition of insanity is repeating the same action and expecting a different outcome.

There is a moment later in book where he finds a dungeon and what he does there would have had me throw the book across the room in contempt at the author for expecting me to believe ANYONE would do what he does there.

The only way I could buy Dave doing half what he does in this book is if there were respawns, but with death the outcome for losing one fight I just don't buy someone constantly running alone into danger when he has a balanced group with his family. Raising the strength of all with complimenting skills is wise, he is just dumb. I see what he did as being like a lawyer going to the jungle on earth and asking for a spear before running off into the jungle to hunt big cats over and over again. Not believable where one mistake is your death.

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unique take on the standard litrpgs

This book is a gem. It took a little while for me to get into but I absolutely love this book. The concept of transporting a family rather than an individual is unique and provides extra challenges. I like the world building, mechanics and the families cohesion. Through thick or thin they will survive together!

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excellent book. cannot wait for the next.

It is rare to find a good clean litrpg with such a great story line with such great character development. Cannot wait for the next book

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Different dynamics work well to start this series

While the basic premise of somebody being taken against their will to a game or game-like world is a common one in this genre, the change to include a family of various ages gives this element an interesting and unique twist on this basic idea. This change allows the author to give a wider range of perspectives on the situation, ranging from the generally enthusiastic reaction of the father through varying degrees of apprehension of the non-gamer members of the family. Another bonus to this approach is that it also allows the author to look at a number of classes and powers without the main character being overpowered by being able to do too much themselves which is a common problem in the genre.

I initially found some of the characters in the family to be unnecessarily unsympathetic to start with, it seemed like the author had gone out of their way to portray them as caricatures such as the moody teen girl and the bossy wife, but after this indifferent start things did improve significantly once they were on the new world and were better coming to terms with their new reality and their new powers.

The performance of the narrator was a good one with a distinctive range of tones that helped to enhance the enjoyment of the book, bringing to life both the human and monster characters very well.

Overall, this book delivered an entertaining listen while also setting up a number of interesting threads for subsequent books in the series.

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

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An interesting twist

I received a review copy of this book. The story and narration is excellent, with the perspective of the story moving between the various family members as they adjust to their new life.

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Awesome book

Good story, plenty of action. A diverse group of characters. Looking forward to the next book

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 01-05-20

way too religious

while it started off pretty damn good, i had a very hard time with the way things played out after the heavy undertones of Christianity started to pop up. the watchers are unsaid angels weather fallen or not, and the family that this book is based around has both parrents as full on devout followers, to the point that the mother is the daughter of a pastor. things took an even more skewed turn toward "religion is good for you" when right after they apear in the world when the son gets attacked.

now dont get me wrong. im not against religion, but understand that i find it difficult to continue, when the instead the mother healing her son which she knows how to do since she had the knowledge planted into her mind in "character selection", she screams at the sky quite litterally "God, help me" and... time ... fucking freezes... just so she can make a choice of serving one of three aspects of the "creator" and after making said choice she get not one or two lvls but 7 lvls added AND access to a rare class.... im sorry what? that trivializes the whole conflict in which the monster is lvl 8 and they are lvl 1.

she is then (again quite literally) struck by the light of god and given said power and lvls and class. that is when i stopped and just couldnt continue.

im sorry, i tried but this is not for me.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Kevin Culp
  • 14-04-20

Great take on an amazing genre

I don't think anyone who has dreamed of waking up in a fantasy world dreamed of doing so with their wife and kids. It's interesting to see the family dynamic. The system is fun and easy to follow. Definitely looking forward to the next!

17 people found this helpful

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  • Wesley
  • 20-05-20

Religious jargon really turned me off

So, I made it up to chapter 3, and the incredibly painful parallels to christian mythology just really turned me off to the story. First, the wife is portrayed as about the most stereotypical Nagging Housewife in the Book of Tropes, so that wasn't very enjoyable to listen to. Add to that, her blind faith, and the game system reinforcing that faith, just really annoyed me personally. "Daughter of Truth" ? Really? Just because she believes in christianity? Come on.

I'm an atheist, and so I'm sure some of you will probably say "oh well that explains it" , but I don't really have an issue with religion in stories. Some of my favorite characters in fiction are religious characters, and people of faith. But this just feels way too much like the author inserting their own belief system into the book.

Maybe that's not the case, maybe the book gets better and goes beyond that, but I doubt it. Between having the obvious Satan stand-in character, who is clearly the antagonist, being evil because he dared question things, and propping up the annoying wife as a Daughter of Truth because of her religion, and constantly telling her that her faith will save them, blah blah...yeah I just...I really doubt it will change with the book. I found myself totally tuning out right around the time I'm supposed to be getting interested. I seriously didn't even make it through the character generation sequence, which is usually right where things get good.

But, yeah I just lost all interest in this, in record time.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Zeadman
  • 15-04-20

Great epic fantasy and LitRPG!

This novel mixes LitRPG with Epic Fantasy and is just simply a fantastic listen narrated by Peter Berkrot, for any lover of either genre.

EDIT: I've edited my review specifically to address the stupidity and nigh unto out right bigotry of some of the negative reviewers reasons for 1 staring this book. If a family just BEING religious, if religious people just existing in a mild way is that offensive too you, how do you go about your day? Yes, the main cast is religious. But it in no way is addressed in an inappropriate manor, and the author even leaves theological interpretation of events to the characters and the audience. The audience, like myself, can out right disagree with the characters interpretation of events... That is a hard and fine line to walk and Sean Oswald the author does an amazing job doing just that.

As for the cosmic beings doing their thing... virtually ALL portal fantasies have SOME kind of cosmic power that directly interferes... would they have been as offended if it was Oden and Loki? Because those were real world religions... and guess what, you can interpret the two cosmic entities as just that if you wanted to read it that way. If you're looking to be offended by even the slightest hint of real world people being real world people, then you're going to be... nothing will stop you. Just don't lie about the book.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Legend117
  • 16-04-20

This is what LirRPG is about.

I was given a chance to try this book and I’m so glad I did! This has to be one of my top three LitRpg books to date. It starts a little bit slow but by chapter 4 I was hooked. I will definitely be buying book 2 when it comes out.

14 people found this helpful

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  • TJ Reynolds
  • 14-04-20

Solid Debut LitRPG novel... Looking for more

Enjoyed several things about this book. Narration is solid for one. Also, I love the bang for your buck with audiobook. You want a lot of listening time for one credit, this is your next read, haha. But the relationships between characters, the cool twists on classes, and the fight scenes all got me the most.

13 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tiffany
  • 20-04-20

Can't wait for the next one

I love the narrator in Alpha World and now I've got another series to look forward to.

I really enjoyed the authors take on how different a gaming world would be if you weren't alone making decisions, but had to take into consideration how these choices would affect your family, and your ability to protect your family. It was also cute the jealousy the MC showed at times when his wife or daughter would do something spectacular just because they didn't have any preconceived limitations on what is possible in a gaming world.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Tim V.
  • 18-04-20

Really Good Book

I really enjoyed this book, Kind of a new spin bringing the whole family into the world set in a RPG by 2 Powerful beings.. No one seems over powered and having to learn together. Can not wait for book 2!! Tim V

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Whispers
  • 19-04-20

A refreshing take on the LitRPG genre

At first I was concerned that Dave and his family would be logging into yet another virtual world but I was wrong. While getting teleported to an alternate dimension which adheres to game rules is not entirely original, doing so with your entire family is a plot structure I have yet to encounter.

I loved the way the story never focuses on one member of the family too heavily and how we see the world through the various family members perspective. This keeps things exciting and fresh. I hope future installments will focus more on Jackson and Sara. I do feel bad for Jackson not getting to play much of a role in this book.

The narrator Peter Berkrot does an excellent job. He excelled with the evil character, although sometimes his voice tends to sound a little more sinister than the situation calls for.

My only complaint is now I have to wait for more. I am greedily awaiting whatever future installments in this series have to offer and hope they come sooner rather than later.

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Marlon
  • 16-04-20

Good start, give it a chance

I enjoyed this litrpg while it was new and different I truly still had some issues with it. I seriously hope that the author doesn't negotiate deals as a lawyer as his character does because this guy only gets the short end of the stick, whether contract, criminal or family law this guy needs to be more aggressive about to win.
I also don't understand that if he complains all the story about protecting his family and wanting a class why he didn't take the unique one of kind death knight class and become immortal to always be around to protect his family.
The other issues I have are little things, such as him failing to use all his gaming experience, but talks about that same experience in another breath. This can be worked out in the next book, but we will see. I look forward to seeing where this goes and if the MC starts using logic for his decision making rather than emotions such as leaving the family with level zeros or asking the same 13 year old to protect a younger 8 year old while not allowing him to level up to do just that.
Well overall I still think this is a good listen and worth the credit so give it a chance.

8 people found this helpful