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Into the Light

Axe Druid, Book 1
Narrated by: B. J. Harrison
Length: 16 hrs and 18 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A tight-knit group of buddy gamers. A relentless galactic conqueror. One big ol' ax and a whole bag of magic.

Chris and his friends had been hearing voices begging for help, but aren’t dreams supposed to stay dreams? When they finally answer the call, they’re pulled into a fantastic world with themes similar to modern role-playing games. The world of Brindolla. This is what every gamer has always wanted...right? 

There's one major problem: War. The big baddie of the universe has come to collect another planet for his relentless march. The Brindollan Gods have the power to hold him back only for a short while, which they can only hope will be long enough to give Chris and his buddies a fighting chance. Either this team gets rid of War’s vanguard of minions and generals, giving the Gods a chance to keep him out for good...or War comes for Earth.

The group is ready to dive into combat, magic, and any other obstacles that come their way. No matter what needs to be done, Chris and his buddies will always do it together.

Warning: This book contains profanity.

©2019 Mountaindale Press (P)2019 Mountaindale Press

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  • CL
  • 30-05-2019

Axe Druid scores a critical hit!

I very much enjoyed this audiobook. Into the Light is the first entry for the Axe Druid series and it has done a number of things very well. The main character and his gaming buddies have been pulled into another realm that utilizes role playing game mechanics as physical law. Their quest is to save the realm from destruction, no pressure right? Christopher Johns has done a great job developing the main characters. Although we follow a main character who is occasionally solo, I find emotional buy in with the rest of the team through the story. Each character felt unique and it was fun to listen to the group antics as they worked towards their goal. I'll also say here that there is copious cursing throughout the book, but it seemed appropriate to the scenes and characters when and where it was used, though some people may find it a turn off.
I liked the level of 'game' content, it was well balanced for my taste. I've enjoyed series with a lot more stat blocks and character sheet reading, and ones with less. At no point was I considering skipping forward to get through data table narration. Yet there was enough of that content to maintain the game experience. The characters get gear and abilities that sound awesome, are impactful to the story, and leave you wishing you could play a game with that content.
If I were to offer some constructive criticism for the story, it would have to be about the pacing. I feel like there are portions of the book that we could've pumped the brakes and spent a little more time on that content. The end result is that when killer gear or boons are bestowed it hardly seems they've used the previous stuff before getting upgraded. I say that slightly flippantly because the scenes where gear and power are bestowed is good dialogue and character building. I would merely suggest that the scenes between major character upgrades feel like they go quick.
I'd also like to praise the voice actor and narrator B J Harrison, he killed it. He did a great job with accents and voices. His range added to the experience tremendously.
I'm eagerly awaiting the next book!

Mountaindale Press gave me this audible title in exchange for an honest review.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • EMPIREriot
  • 09-06-2019

Camaraderie, adventure, and fun

Great for anyone who likes there LitRPG full of spells and abilities, there's a lot of meat there. The camaraderie between the characters is a great addition, making you feel like each of them matter. The language used is definitely adult. with lots of swearing, which would normally bother me. However, none of the curse words feel mean spirited, rather, it's just how they talk, so it ends up feeling less intrusive. The narration is laid back, and I always felt like the characters were having a good time in their new world. For me, it was a fun book to chill with and destress at work.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Frank
  • 01-06-2019

A Veteran Fantasy tale

This was a trip and a half. Going from "Oh this is just a game" to "No this is real and we need to care" was amazing and there were so many feels. The tone was light and airy, with touches of shadow and darkness that made you feel for the characters. I got veteran shudders from how the team interacts and loved it. This is a great tale and I can't wait for book 2.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Margaret Stempson
  • 10-06-2019

Underwhelming

I don't like leaving a negative review without giving my reasons doing so. So I guess here is where I am at for my reasons saying that I was not very interested by this book.

1) I constantly found it incredibly difficult to keep my attention. I was drifting and on several occasions fell asleep and had to backtrack. The combat situations move very quickly and its easy to get lost as to exactly what is happening. I found that I had to backtrack a lot and sometimes I just missed parts because I couldn't keep track of what was going on.

2) Support characters - there are a number of the main characters IRL friends that get ported into the world with him. I felt that they were incredibly hollow and lacked depth. The author didn't really set them up well or go in depth into who they are plus I felt the names weren't easy to keep track of who is who. It doesn't help that all of them come in at the same time and there is kind of no character building of them in my opinion. I felt that they had very bland personalities and they really just kind of melded in as other people with him.

3) Boring Main Character - normally speaking you want the main character to stand out. From what I saw it seemed like he had no real advantages over his friends and in a lot of cases he seemed weaker or the same as his friends. It doesn't help that all of his friends seemed to have the same mentalities and personality as the main character. I just found the support characters to be like..... duplicate copies of the main character with different classes but all of which were equal in terms of power. In a lot of books you get a main character that distinguishes themselves due to an ability, unique class, unique ability, intelligence or something. I found that the main character probably could have been any of them and it probably wouldn't have changed anything in this book.

4) Combat - When they would get into combat sometimes it was fine and I could track what was going on but at times it was just a cluster of me not knowing what they were fighting and or what was happening. Extended combat seemed like the worst on this front.

Ultimately, I found several points a bit underwhelming and I am not even sure if I plan to finish. I am writing this review half way through the book and I don't know if I have intention to finish. If I do, I guess I will update this review if I find reason to do so.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 22-06-2019

Read the best, this is better than the rest

this is a good not great litrpg, that I'm willing to cut a lot of slack because it was a lot of fun to read.

The good:
I like that all the main characters were fairly well-developed, even though the story was told from one person's perspective we got to get a pretty good feel for the rest of the party. all the main characters seem like well-rounded realistic characters.
I really like the animal transformation aspect of the main character strategies. in the story they were quite well used both combat and non combat scenarios and I thought it was all very fun concept that the author seem to have put a lot of work into getting right.

the bad:
the main character is a oppressed minority race that is blindly mistrusted, and the author does nothing to make me feel the normalize racism that this implies. the few attempts at racism the story are lackluster at best.
the character seemed really aware that they have video game concept in the world protecting them. For example they were surprised to find out that death was real, and some combats they relied on status menus to check on enemy status.
The unreality of there View of the world really took me away from the story for a while.

Final review I had a lot of fun with this book despite its flaws and I will look forward to reading the sequel.

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  • Dale Yates
  • 21-06-2019

Loved it.

Story and Performance make for a fast listen and bring a bit if grit to Lit

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  • Michael
  • 20-06-2019

good book but a bit slow.

when it got good it ended. I would recommend it I think other might enjoy it more than me but I'll be getting book 2. lol

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 18-06-2019

lit rpg adventure!!!

What you getting. it gold. Im gonna just get the hardback for my collection. you have lotsa fun lit rpg with no nasty harem grossness and its a fun romp around the world.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • christopher Baldinger
  • 15-06-2019

Good listen.

The background and story it self where pretty great. The main part that I had a problem with was the constant need to put the power of friends or love or some other campy stuff. The language used in the book would make you think it was written for adults but the constant push of morals and power of friendship that seems to hit every chapter gets old. It felt like it should of been a young teen book but the language used says otherwise. Since that happens allot, atleast once a chapter if not more, is the only reason I gave a 3 star review without that it would definitely been a 4 star review. I don't mind teen books some of my favorites are teen books, but campy morality of the book seems out of place in the book. The narrator was great B.J. Harrison always does a fantastic job.

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  • Dennis Payne
  • 09-06-2019

great concept

the story is a great concept and a wonderful experience for me will be looking for book 2

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  • G T.
  • 16-06-2019

worth a listen

was a little unsure of the narrator at first, as I had never listened to him before, a few chapters in I realised my worry was unfounded.

story was excellent, cant wait for further audio in the series

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  • Maks
  • 09-06-2019

Not my kind of book.

This book was somewhere between “good” and “meh” on my book judging spectrum. My main problem with this book was that it was filled with goody goody characters. The story presents everything as either black or white and it gets really tiring after some point. This kind of approach just isn’t for me and I am not likely to read the second book. But if you are a reader who likes all the talk about the chosen ones and saving the world from big bad than this book should be right up your alley.

The narrator was a big redeeming quality and the reason I gave this book 4 stars instead of 3. He has a large spectrum of voices and is overall pleasant to listen to.