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Dungeon Born

Divine Dungeon Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Vikas Adam
Series: Divine Dungeon Series, Book 1
Length: 12 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (167 ratings)

Non-member price: $23.67

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Publisher's Summary

A powerful dungeon. A sheep-herder turned Noble. Their path to ascendance through cultivation. 

Conquering dungeons and using them to grow has long been the most efficient way to become a powerful adventurer. The only thing keeping the process from being easy is the Beasts that inhabit these places. Questions plague those entering this particular place of power: Where do the "rewards" of weapons, armor, and heavy gold coins come from? Why is a fluffy bunny charging at me? For abyss-sake, why are there so many monsters? 

Cal has all of the answers to these age-old questions for a very simple reason. He is a Dungeon Core, a soul forced against his will into a magical stone. With the help of an energetic friend, Cal grows a dungeon around himself to bring in new sources of power. 

When a threat he doesn't fully comprehend bares its many teeth, Cal is determined to survive the attempt on his life. Unfortunately for adventurers, the only way for him to achieve his goal is to eat anyone that enters his depths. 

©2016 Dakota Krout (P)2017 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Generic

Every dungeon book I have read had some feature which drew me in . this book is just a generic dungeon story there are several books in the audible library that are more interesting in the dungeon genre this book takes all the standards of the dungeon genre and tries to put a little twist on them but just come out more bland characters are interesting but that's about the best of it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Fairly awful

This is an unimaginative story written in a pedestrian and irritating way. There are little moments of drama, but they are buried in clouds of poor descriptive language and strained metaphors.

The narrator’s voicing of the wisp is just horrible. Aside from that, he did a workmanlike job, but doesn’t know how to correctly pronounce a great many words.

Don’t waste your money.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Can't wait to see what's next!

What a fantastic story! If you've ever played an RPG you should seriously read this book. So fun and light hearted with cool stuff happening from start to finish.

Only downside is the volume difference between some of the characters. But other than that the narration is phenomenal.

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Badly written

Unique concept but characters are not fully thought out and interactions make no sense with personal background i.e Dani is 2 dimensional as a major character with repetitive speech and limited growth as a character pretty much sums up all the characters, not worth the buy

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Best series ever

A friend recommended I get audible and listen to this series and I have only just started and love it already.

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  • e
  • 24-03-2018

mix of leveling, drama, and power research.

tis a story from 2 overlapping perspectives. the leveling is a manhua cultivation style adaption for western audiences. the drama is mild but well-timed and moderated for the most emotional investment. the power research is a picturesque loretastic overview of easily conceivable powers made ponderous for the reader.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Truly a perfect LitRPG.

very interesting point of view. loved it alot, time to buy the next two books!

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Great voice acting

This is a really nice take on the dungeon idea, well thought out. The voice actor really sells the characters and makes the playfulness of the script come to life. I've listened to many audio books and read many books, this is the first l've wanted to recommend. Immediately getting the next two in the series!

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now I know

been reading random litrpg stories . n ok w I know what one they were ripping off or thinking they could do a better job. Hope there is more of this made.
doise a good job of showing a town grow. And epic quest of one location.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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review

A little different then i expected and sometimes feels like a rpg manual but fun

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  • SirMehr
  • 01-04-2017

A Gem in the RPG/Fantasy Genre

I stumbled upon this book while sifting through the Audible store. It sounded like a fun twist on the RPG World style fiction that I have recently been drawn to. What I did not expect is how quickly I would get drawn into the world that Dakota was spinning. This story takes you through the nostalgia filled settings of many a great RPG/Fantasy World from a perspective that I never even thought to envision; through the eyes of a young and only recently sentient Dungeon Core. You the dungeon through discovery after discovery as it comes into it's own developing itself into a great dungeon worthy of the best adventurers. Dakota weaves the mechanics of the symbiotic relationship between Dungeon, Adventurer, and Society as all grow and evolve around each other.

With the Audiobook, Vikas Adam excellently portrays the childish wonder behind the young and growing sentience that is the Dungeon Core. I feel Vikas portrayed the personalities of Dakota's characters so well that, even though I am dying to move on to book two, I feel I must wait for the next Audiobook to be released so that I can experience the book in all the excellence that is created via the pairing of Dakota and Vika's work.

I highly recommend checking this book out and I will be sharing it with all my friends.

166 of 188 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Stefan Baltasiu
  • 04-09-2017

Refreshingly cliche

Steeped in RPG lingo and lore and a tongue in cheek atmosphere, it kept me hooked start to end.
It has amazing world building in some regards managing to explain all the intricacies of its society and magic systems at an easy pace that everyone can comprehend. This coupled with the progression of the two main characters through the story kept me entertained and wanting to see where the story was headed even when it seemed predictable.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Squeak
  • 20-05-2017

The Dungeon is Alive!!

I had heard this story compared to Ready Player One, but where that was a futurist game going back to earlier well known games, this one was more like going back to beginning game programming. Back when you programmed in DOS. I remember writing little programs where first you learned to put a pixel character on screen, then learned how to move the character around, then learned to make the character interact with other things you programmed. This book reminded me of that. First Cal learned to create things, then learned to move them around, then each time he would see how his little monsters interacted, he would go back and re-do them to make them better.

I think this would be teen - young adult range, but as a (sometimes) adult I still enjoyed the story and would go onto the second in this series, just to find out all the changes the dungeon would come up.

Since I listened to this as an audiobook, the narrator, Vikas Adam, did a good job on all the characters. The Dungeon Heart (Cal) and his little willow-o-wisp (Danny) were portrayed in young pre-teen voices and like most pre-teens they seemed to get into little arguments over nothings. Vikas did a good job portraying their teen angst.

57 of 68 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Lore
  • 01-11-2017

A fun concept poorly executed

To anyone who enjoys fantasy RPG games, including old school paper Dungeons & Dragons, the premise of this book is an interesting one. Why are there so many dungeons around just sitting there waiting for a party of adventures to come and plunder them? How did they get there and where did the monsters come from? What do those monsters in each room do all day long when the dungeon is not being raided? How can a rat drop a helmet twice its size as loot after it is killed? Well this book attempts to explain all of that and while a tongue in cheek book about the illogic of fantasy RPG video games may sound like fun, let me tell you why you might want to avoid this one.

This review serves as a word of warning to anyone interested in this book that you should put some extra effort into your screening process before deciding to pick it up. The book itself is fun at times but the majority is mediocre at best and sometimes it is just downright poorly written. This makes me question the many 5 stars ratings of this book on Amazon and Audible. Even very popular, best selling works by talented authors don't garner such ratings. My advice to you is that you should go out of your way to look at some of the lower rated comments on Amazon as well as the good ones to allow yourself to form a balanced opinion. Don't forget that people who return the book on Audible don't get to post a review.

The over-emoted narration of the audiobook is often beyond annoying with the first few hours of dialogue between the dungeon and the wisp being quite painful. I certainly encourage you to listen to the sample here on Audible to decide for yourself if the narration is ok for you or not. Note that they carefully avoided the really bad over-emoting in the audio sample but you can still experience a few hints of it. Vikas Adam clearly has talent but any time there is dialogue between the dungeon and the wisp his reading makes me cringe.

I quickly decided during the very annoying first few hours of the book to return it to Audible to get my money back, which made me wonder why the other reviews did not warn me off. So I decided to finish listening, just in case there was indeed a 5 star listen hiding behind a slow start, but sadly, there is not. At least by not returning it I can post this review to offer a different opinion, but I suspect it will get buried by unhelpful votes from those behind the skewed ratings.

163 of 197 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Justin
  • 04-12-2017

Lackluster storytelling.

Reads like a video game tutorial written to sell future games in the series. Interesting concept, but no closure to the story, it just stops.

The performance of the book is excellent, though.

22 of 26 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • W. Bowen
  • 28-09-2017

interesting idea with terrible execution.

over all this book leaves me feeling disappointed. It has such a compelling concept and idea that I couldn't help but get excited about it but it's terrible execution left me wanting. The author has a childishly immature way of narrating the story that made me cringe at its awkwardness. the characters were flat and two-dimensional, their interactions were cringe-worthy and lackluster. the voice actor acted the crap out of it but the poor material just made it feel awkward.

39 of 47 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • 02-11-2017

Very interesting premise. Disappointing execution.

I like the ideas, world building, and arc of this story, but I feel like it's let down by poor overall writing and performance. I think the author might be fairly new, I'd like to see how his next books turn out.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • harbinger
  • 18-11-2017

Dungeon Dive Gone Wrong

Dungeon Born is a book I wanted badly to like. It promised an unconventional story told from the perspective of a dungeon - how cool - and had it followed through on this premise, I would have hung on every word.

Unfortunately, it let me down on multiple levels (pun intended). The first four chapters were an absolute slog, a "tutorial" of sorts that instruct the reader on the rules of dungeon building. I understand that this is probably a calculated risk that the author takes, but it still could have answered the who, what, where of the story, instead of just the how. What it does do is clue the reader into the fact that Dungeon Born takes place in a game world, where visions, hopes and dreams matter less than rank, loot and gold. Cal, the dungeon-main character, is thinly painted, and I still don't understand his motivations or his backstory (although I guess it has to do with the necromancer in the epilogue).

Despite the book's rocky start, I was looking forward to following Cal and his sidekick Dani as the focus of the book. The introduction of Dale spoils that. Dale and his friends are the first to enter the dungeon, and we have Dale murder his obnoxious jerk of a party member before he exits, leaving him as the sole survivor and beneficiary of the knowledge of the dungeon.

Dale then goes on to buy the land the dungeon sits on, and wheel and deal his way to greater fortunes and rank. He had all the makings of a good antagonist, a villain that Cal will eventually swallow up, except that he isn't. We come to learn that he, too, is a protagonist, which is odd considering the initial premise of the book (a fantasy tale told from the perspective of a dungeon).

Having Dale as the de facto protagonist wouldn't be so bad if the world he inhabited weren't completely borrowed from World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings. It has both dark elves and high elves. It uses the concept of video game guilds, which is different than what a guild would usually mean in a true fantasy world. It has barbarians modeled after Conan, even though they seem out of place. Dungeon Born promises an unconventional story, and then baits and switches it with the most conventional story of all. It's as if we were sitting down to read Rosencranz and Guildenstern are Dead, only to be fooled into reading about Romeo and Juliet instead.

I'm glad there are people that like this book, even if I am not one of them. There were certainly moments I enjoyed (for example, having people automatically removed from the mountain by simply saying that weren't welcome made for a good visual). The battles were well-written and easy-to-follow. The final boss and ending seemed inspired. But having Cal and Dani take a backseat to a guy I personally had a hard time rooting for - a murderer whose greatest instincts are those of a businessman - ultimately killed the story for me.

45 of 55 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • L. Vazquez
  • 30-10-2017

Good book but some dialog is cringe-worthy

I thought this was a good book however, dialog between Cal and another character are extremely cringe worthy. The other side of the tale and he's growth with the humans was much more interesting. Don't want to introduce spoilers but you'll notice the cringe worthy dialog within the first few chapters.

The narrator was great.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • R. Sanchez
  • 06-06-2017

Very similar to Chinese wuxia cultivation stories

it is a great combination of a litrpg and fantasy martial arts (wuxia) where the 2 main character have opposing views but both stride to cultivate towards immortality. loved the story waiting for the second book

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Dan Wright
  • 05-05-2017

loved it

great book. alittle daft but lots of fun. well worth a read. give it a go.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Ben
  • 31-03-2017

Fantastic Book

Any additional comments?

Whilst, for my personal taste some of the voices felt off, I loved every moment of this book, and am eagerly awaiting book 2. Throughout the experience of listening to the novel, not once did I feel bored or had to force myself to continue; each and every chapter added to the book in an interesting way.I really did love listening to this. (Apart from some minor voice issues)

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Meera
  • 29-03-2019

Amazing

I could not put this book down! It was so full of descriptions that brought the images clearly to mind, a growth and magic system that made sense, a new concept and view on gaming dungeons from the view of the dungeon. I fell in love with this series and just can't wait to see how it grows. Danni and Cal are wonderful and the battles as well as the mechanisms just make so much sense to me. I introduced my other half to the series shortly after and am currently rereading them with him.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Morris
  • 25-11-2018

dungeon born?

Well let's just say the book isn't the only dungeon born. after listening to this I feel as if I'm a dungeon born too! this book is a must read it is fun light hearted and has amazing characters. I love the authors way with words, it really captures you inside of the story

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • LexZ
  • 13-11-2018

unique and great fun

In the fantasy genre this is, unique. I can't say I have ever read anything so totally original. Apart from being in the fantasy genre, it stands alone. I don't want to spoil it at all and suggest you read it to find out why it really is so good and original. Great fun and compelling read, loved it. Highly recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • j o Huntington
  • 02-03-2018

Brilliant idea let down by sloppy writing

I really wanted to enjoy this book. The idea is original and exciting with so much scope for bringing a wonderful genre to life in a fresh way, however the writing just isn't strong enough to carry the premise to its full potential. There are some truly awful moments with plagiarised jokes "don't call me Shirley" (Airplane) and really lazy moments, "it was dark, until it wasn't" (not exact quote) but there are several of these moments.
Vikas Adam is clearly a talented voice artist however here it is very much a case of trying to hard. Some voices are overdone to the point of being unbareably annoying and as a result any possibility for character nuances are entirely lost.
I would only recommend Dungeon Born to die hard fans of the fantasy genre or D&D games; give it a go and see if you are happy to overlook it's many shortcomings and make it to the second book, sadly not for me.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joanna R.
  • 06-08-2019

Great! ...but Dani's voice though

I have read all the books and I wanted to listen to it while doing other things but the vikas Adam's voice doesn't fit well with Dani and some others which can grate on my nerves so... Best book ever but not the narrator

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dave M
  • 23-07-2019

Funny, original and fast paced

Excellent book with very funny original story lines. Fun and tast paced, worth a read

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Artemis
  • 04-04-2018

Great Concept, Novice Writer

The best part of this book is the concept of an entire Dungeon being a kind of Mimic and forming a symbiosis with Dungeoneers for food while giving them loot.

The worst is that the author isnt that great at writing stories. Its not bad and has its moments which were quite amusing but he needs to learn more, refine his ability. Same goes for the voice actor used too.

Im giving no2 a shot as I did enjoy the ride.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Texnik
  • 27-10-2019

Excellent if you skip the last book

I originally gave the series a 5/5 because it just kept getting better. The narration got better, the plot picked up, the characters became more fleshed out and by the end of book 4 I *cared*.

Book 1 is a little clumsy, especially at the beginning.

Book 5, the finale, is rushed and sounded like the author just wanted to be done with it quickly. The voices of all the characters and the narrator were changed for some contrived reason. The conclusion was rushed. Maybe it was writer's block or something because while the ending wasn't surprising or bad, the method of achieving it wasn't well executed.

I deleted my previous review of the series as a caution to new readers. I regret picking up the last one. Everything building up to it was much better.

I can't advise you on what to do because I have mixed feelings too. This was one of my favourite stories/series, until I got to the last book.