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Publisher's Summary

Sparrow wants to be the greatest warrior in all of Warscapia. But he's not. He's just a kid with mediocre magic skills.

When he's asked to team with ax bro Rock and ninja girl Jade, he will have to fight for his life and much more as the crew takes on some of the most brutal and fantastic monsters in the land of Warscapia - a videogame fantasy universe like none other.

©2016 Garrett Boggs (P)2017 Garrett Boggs

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Hope you like jovial arguing

The first thing you need to realise is that this is a book for children. This theory was tested by the occasional mention of guts and intestines, as well as one or two moments of blood (or blood-sucking) but I had to concede the point when people wouldn’t use language any harsher than “gosh darn”, not even the rudest and most callous character in the story.
Before I carry on, this book does have a Disney/Pixar sort of charm, and the writer does care about the world he’s created. If you’re in the mood for something light and easy to visualise (the author is especially good at setting a scene, describing the way creatures and places look), and you’re under the age of 14, then this is the one for you.
Even for a children’s book though, some characters, or rather the main characters, had about the depth of a kiddie pool (appropriately). The overexcited girl could have had some sort of baggage underneath the smiles, the musclehead could have been a bit kinder beneath the snide comments, and so on. I was under the impression that these characters themselves were children, especially in Jade’s case, who you could replace with a five year-old and no one would notice, until near the end of the book when they are finally referred to as teenagers.
There are plenty of side characters, some pretty good—especially the posh wizard who was in the doghouse with his wife—but half of them are the same person. I won’t say what kind, but I at least can’t have any doubt to what music genre the writer is into. On that subject, the lingo is a bit hard to put up with, between the yeah dude’s and the chill’s and bro’s. The use of the word “random” is particularly grinding, but then this is a children’s book, so I can hardly complain.
Random seems to be the theme here, as villains, side characters, problems and answers to those problems seem to be pulled out of a hat. The formula is this: animal + urban legend/element/historical warrior. I can’t say I dislike that though, especially as this is a spoof, but I would have thought the main villain deserved something a bit more thought out than what he ended up being.
To be honest, I was suckered in by the audio sample. A Star Wars reference got my attention, I had a decent chuckle, and that was good enough to hear the rest, surely. I had waded through myriad gritty grimdark fantasies and I was in the mood for something comedic. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get any more nuanced than referential humour, and even that is scarce.
As for the narration itself, I have to give the reader points for enthusiasm, and was especially impressed by how he was able to read the entire book without taking a single breath. However, his emphasis could use work. In sentences that ends with statements like “Jade retorts” or “I say”, it just kind of hits the ear wrong in the way he stresses his words. This could be in part to do with the present-tense writing style, a rare form of writing for a reason. I don’t know why the author went with that style, but past tense would have worked just as well, if not better.
The story itself is no more complex than the quest that is ahead of them. There’s a monster they need to defeat otherwise there will be consequences, they travel to defeat it, they visit interesting places on the way. It’s a simple formula, but it does work. The closest thing to a subplot is a hint of romance between two characters, but only because it’s pointed out by an outsider. I expect this is something to be touched upon in a further book, but there really needs to be some kind of chemistry between characters before their creator can push their heads together going “now kiss”, otherwise it comes across as a touched forced.
I thought there might be a twist coming when someone asks why the warrior organisation they work for would sent them to fight something so dangerous, but like several other observations made here and there, it doesn’t come up again.
Well, there is a subplot for the main character who wonders if he’s a bit too weird, which in itself isn’t a huge problem to have, but even less so when said character is the least weird person in the entire story. Which is another problem. Cliché characters are all well and good, but a main character who can only react to things around him demands something more frictional. I think it would have helped the book a lot for Sparrow to be the resident cynic, someone to question the odd ways people and places behave around him rather than going “hey, that’s pretty weird but whatever”. His quirkiest point is that he isn’t very good at conventional magic and the thing he’s best at is summoning various flavours of duck: zombie ducks, electric ducks, tracker ducks (which apparently translates to punk duck) and so on. This was more interesting, and there is a magic system applied to the summoning element, which I can appreciate.
The potential for a good story is here, but if I get through an entire book that calls itself a spoof comedy with only one mild chuckle, there must be an issue. Next time around, I would hope for more varied side-characters, maybe a few more women, and cleverer humour than saying look at this thing, so strange, okay moving on.

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  • Brandon
  • 11-10-2017

Looked cool, and was a great story!

Really I bought it because it was on the recommended list and had a stylish cover. I loved the story, great book and worth the read!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cameron Willes
  • 27-07-2017

Good book

Funny litRPG book. I enjoyed the narrator's perspective on the characters. Fun to listen to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Anders Lerberg
  • 27-07-2017

Felt more like a "young teen litRPG" than a spoof

Would you try another book from Garrett Boggs and/or Matthew Broadhead?

Yeah, sure

Would you be willing to try another book from Garrett Boggs? Why or why not?

I would, but not another "spoof"

What about Matthew Broadhead’s performance did you like?

It was ok... Funny. I think the book would be hard to narrate better

Was Warscapia worth the listening time?

Yes. But it might not have been if it was longer

Any additional comments?

Short... There are lots of great LitRPG on audible you rather can get for your credit. This one is different from most om the though.

I felt like I was too old for the book. Might not be for LitRPG fans...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kathy Rae
  • 10-09-2017

Humor Amidst Imagination

Broadhead brings life to a story full of colourful characters. Mixed in a tale of training for battle, are lessons of teamwork, patience, courage and possibility thinking. The most unlikely trio conquer situations that will make you laugh outloud!! A great book narrated by a great voice talent!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Todd Wilkinson
  • 22-08-2017

check it out

The story was ok. The narrator did a good job with the different character voices.