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Publisher's Summary

How Often Do You Get a Second Chance in Life?

Seth Kinnaman's dream has always been to become the best fighter the world has ever seen. After spending his entire life training, he's finally ready to test his skills in the biggest tournament on Earth, where hundreds of the fiercest competitors vie for the supreme title.

In the semifinals, Seth is getting the upper hand when his opponent uses an illegal blow to take him out. Upon waking up from a coma, Seth finds out he's lost his sight. He's become blind, and he's completely devastated. All his dreams are now shattered, and he soon falls into depression. What is he going to do with his life?

That's when he's introduced to Bushido Online, a game that promises to keep his skills sharp while he figures out what his next move is going to be. Set in feudal Japan, this VRMMORPG is the land of ninjas and samurai. A world where the most honorable warriors meet the vilest bandits and where mythical creatures roam free. When he'll enter that new reality, Seth will discover that while it's easy to make friends there, one doesn't have to try very hard to get his fair share of powerful enemies.

Soon he's going to have entire clans hunting him down as he struggles to learn the ropes and regain a sense of normalcy. Thankfully, Seth has a few things going for him: his extensive knowledge of combat and a never-say-die attitude.

Bushido Online: The Battle Begins is the first book in the Bushido Online series, a work of litRPG fiction.

Credit: Cover art by Pindurski

©2017 LitRPG Freaks (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

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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

Great premise with lots of potential!

A start is what this book ultimately boils down to with A lot of introductions into interesting concepts and elements within the online universe, alluding to many things that could happen without really commiting to anything yet in regards to customising his personal skills. Hopefully now that the character has reached a personal/emotional milestone he can focus a bit more on the samurai/ ronin premise and elements like capturing territory or developing some side skills/ professions.

coincidence plays quite a big factor in the book, hopefully in the next book the main character can make their own deductions and decisions.

I do have a gripe with the blindness thing, which is if technology had progressed enough to have full immersion VR then why can't they simulate a camera attached to a go-pro or something. solving the root of the problem rather than the aftereffects.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

one of the good ones

yeah, an good story, could do with more description of the fighting, the guy is an ex world champ and it feels glossed over in parts. also it feels odd that we never had a moment back in the real world dealing with his blindness.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Awaiting book two, but missing a couple of things.

I've listened to other titles read by Christian Rummel, I like Samurai, and Ready Player One is an annual read for me. So I'm probably the target audience for this novel. Whilst I certainly did enjoy the story there were a couple of things that I struggled with:

The Narration.
As I said, I've listened to other books narrated by Christian Rummel and enjoyed them. He does a fantastic job with all of the character voices, but when it comes to the plain text (non dialogue) and his (or the producers) choice to be completely monotonous/repetitive in tone I really struggled and almost quit the book several times in the first couple of hours.
Get past that and you'll get some great characterisation with the different "players" in Bushido Online.

Two Worlds.
I thoroughly enjoyed Ready Player One and the back and forwards between the Real and Virtual worlds. The real life struggles the character faced when not in the virtual world greatly enhanced the story. That, sadly, is lacking in this story. The fact that the main character becomes blind is a means to an end (getting him into Bushido Online) and nothing more. The story really becomes completely about the virtual world and the physical world plays little to impact on the story aside from a couple of throw away remarks about sleepless nights.
I often found myself asking, ok so what's happening in the real world? How is he providing for his existence, how does he overcome the struggle of the mundane?

Overall.
Putting those aside, this is a really cool story and I'm eagerly awaiting the rest of the series. I can't wait to delve back into Bushido Online. I even went looking for Samurai-esque MMO-RPGs to pass the time whilst waiting for the next books. (Sadly I didn't find any)

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  • AudioBook Reviewer
  • 18-06-2018

A Gamer's Fun Ride!

Bushido Online is something that I have waited for, for a very long time. Most of these GameLIT, LITRPG books all tend to play out in a western fantasy setting. That is fine, as most fantasy novels I have read are in that setting but I really wanted something new and different. In fact, I was thinking about this and recalled when AD&D put out a hardcover called Oriental Adventures. That book changed my RPG life. I added ninjas and martial arts to my campaign, and soon I was having more fun than I had in years. Bushido Online made me think of that as I read it. This is the kick in the pants writers need to do something different and fun. No need to stick to the same old stuff, and man, did Thorn ever end up miles away from all the other books in this gaming category.

Are there some issues with the book? Sure, all books have some problems, and I like to get those out of the way first, so we can get into the good stuff later. We start with a protagonist who is a master martial artist, but after an accident, he becomes blind. As a result, he ends up spending all of his time in a new game, the titular Bushido Online. A game in which he can see and act normally again.

So what is the bad? To be fair, there is nothing that says you must have a character overcoming adversity. However, I do think that the MC, Seth, should have had some issues dealing with his loss of vision. Could he learn to cope better? Could he accept it? I don’t know because it seemed like he never logged out of the game. Other people seem to do so, but not Seth. He has hunkered down for the long haul and seems to have no plans to ever go back to eat, take a bath, or have a real life. So, I would have liked to have seen this addressed a touch more than it was.

Beyond that, this book was, to be blunt, a fun ride through feudal Japan. A place we rarely ever get to experience in the US as most games are Eurocentric. Another boon is the fact that Seth is not some overpowered Ogre running rampant with special abilities or opportunities no other PC seems to have. His training in the martial arts does help him a little; but not so much that it makes him untouchable. He is an average everyday player in Bushido Online. He is only 9th level when the book is completed and has some nice gear, but there is nothing that can secretly slay gods. It is very refreshing to find an MC in this genre who isn’t at least level 70 by the end of the story, and possess magic or equipment that no one else will ever find. I loved this aspect. Additionally, the story flowed. There were some emotional parts and action-filled episodes. The plot, the pacing, and the characterizations wound together in one nice tight story.

Rummel does a fine job narrating. His voice fits in with the characters and the setting. His voice is almost whiskey hardened, nice and deep. He plays each character, no matter how big or small as if they mattered, so no throwaways here. He adds a lot of emotion and gravitas that is needed. I loved his work.

I did receive a copy of this book from ABR for an honest and unbiased review, which I have fairly given here. Even though I did receive a promo copy for this review it in no way influenced my considerations of the material, and only 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.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

23 of 24 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Damon
  • 19-05-2018

love this book!

all I want to know is when the next book is going to be out? This book is good. I have listen to this book multiple times, and I still can't wait until the next book comes out.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • William stewart
  • 25-07-2018

Great, fast paced, but I wish there was more of a difference in time.

This book is great for the short answer, if you need a book to get you through until your regular series gets the next book out. The only little hiccup is that time is not really distinctive when it comes to how long Seth is in game. I hope on another listen I’ll know how long Seth is in game or if it’s just one long play through.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David Riemer
  • 21-04-2018

A very good LITRPG Book.

I saw a review that almost scared me away from the series but I spent the credit anyway. This guy does not mope about his handicap through the entire book or take a lot of time bringing it up. Everything that happens has relivance to the plot and the story as a whole.

38 of 42 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • RJ
  • 08-08-2018

Entertaining and original LitRPG!

Our protagonist Seth Kinnaman is a young man approaching the pinnacle of his dreams in the MMA world. Those dreams are shattered in the world-class semi-finals. Seth wakes up from a coma in the hospital and he is blind. Falling into a deep depression, Seth does not know what to make of his life. His manager, wanting to help put Seth on the road to recovery, enlists him into a VRMMORPG game called Bushido Online. With the aid of cutting edge technology Seth will be able to see, feel, smell, and experience a virtual reality to compare with the real world. In what I deem a novel and original approach, the setting for Bushido Online is that of feudal Japan around the 10th and 11th centuries where warlords called Shogun ruled and retained power through the Samurai. Seth enters the game as SethK, a level one noob in a tiny Japanese village with an elderly Japanese instructor to teach him a few beginning skills. As SethK slowly advances in statistics, skills and levels he makes both friends and enemies. Having no gaming experience whatsoever SethK must learn all the rules, mechanics, norms, and intricacies of the game world. This knowledge does not come easily and SethK makes a few minor and a couple major mistakes along the way. Given the rich environment and interesting setting of feudal Japan, Bushido Online is extremely fun and exciting to imagine. The game mechanics are fairly accurate and hold true to a world-building, dungeon crawling MMORPG path. I am liking this series as well as The Land: Chaos Seeds LitRPG Series, which I also found interesting and entertaining. I’m looking forward to volume two and more.

22 of 24 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • ScubaQ5
  • 24-09-2018

Disappointment

After reading all the good reviews, I had high hopes for this book that the work failed to deliver. The books is basically two distinct stories. First is a quick intro to Seth Kinnaman, setting up what you would think would be part of a main plot line. But no, the moment Seth Kinnaman enters the Bushido Online VRMMORPG and becomes SethK, the book never returns to the real world with a slight indirect reference at the end of the book. The second part of the story is just a series of RPG style battles as SethK explores the world and ranks up. SethK never once exits Bushido Online and there is no more character development in the real world, so by the end I was stumped to understand the point of this story.

The narration is very good, but I can't say that the narrator had much to work with. I found that I had to re-listen to many sections of the book when I realized I had tuned out or fallen asleep. Book 1 is where this series ends for me.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Logan79
  • 07-04-2018

Second chance at badassery

a talented fighter gets a second chance at being a badass. pretty awesome book and athletic non-gamer has a reason to enter a game world and he thoroughly enjoys it.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Kurtis Karr
  • 23-09-2018

Starts strong. Ends weak.

Left too many questions unanswered. I realize it is part of a series but basic essentials like food and water IRL are never addressed.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Binkers
  • 22-09-2018

More game mechanics than story

I prefer litRPG’s which use the game aspect as a backdrop to the story. For me this title overemphasized game mechanics and stats. It felt almost like hearing play by play of a D&D session with half of the text being in-game stats (level, hp, spell names, etc.). A bit too heavy a mix for me to enjoy. A nitpick regarding the story premise: a computer game developer setting up the tech described would more than likely make an FPS, not an MMO.

I had a tough time with the narrator. His character voicing for the most part I thought was fine but his actual narrator voice sounded to me like a top 40 radio DJ. I can usually get used to the timbre and phrasing of a narrator after a few chapters but I really couldn’t in this case.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tim V.
  • 23-05-2018

I was very hesitant to buy this book, Glad I did

Very cool story, The names are hard to follow and the narrator speaks rather fast. But nothing worth complaining about. The story line is outstanding, It is well worth the listen. Just be ready for a new play style and skill reference tree..

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Ms. Gl Sharp
  • 08-08-2018

Would recommend

LitRPG is fast becoming my current favourite genre & my latest listen, Bushido Online: The Battle Begins, did not disappoint. I really enjoyed the characters and the narration. The story was also fast paced, but still managed to fit in the explanations as to how everything worked. I'm looking forward to listening to the next book in this series.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-07-2018

Very interesting book

What an interesting series. Love this game and the world building. Rummel is still a great narrator. the end of the book was heartbreaking