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Publisher's Summary

In the latter half of the 21st century, Alexander and his guild mates play Io Online for fun and to earn a living. It's the largest VRMMORPG on the planet, and the source of income that supports families around the globe. While completing a rare First Kill dungeon in hopes of epic loot, they discover that demons have once again invaded Io.

Given the chance to test a new experimental immersion system, the veteran players must give up their high-level characters and begin again at level one. As they work through the noob zone quests, they discover that the new immersion system allows them to play in ways that hadn't been possible before. Casting is faster. Movement more fluid. Even magic itself behaves differently. They quickly run afoul of a party of player killers and become the targets of an entire PK guild bent on spawn-camping them until they leave the game. War has been declared.

The fight expands into populated areas, where innocent citizens are murdered, and player accounts are terminated. The guild works to help citizens rebuild what has been destroyed, but are repeatedly forced to stop and defend against enemy attacks. After the gods of Io and a powerful being of darkness get involved, Alexander and his friends learn the hard way that their in-game actions have consequences, both in the game and in the real world.

Soundbooth Theater has had the honor of working with Laurie Catherine Winkel once more, in the first installment of the epic Greystone Chronicles. Her bright and light performance matches the tone of this Gamelit romp about friendship and community, while perfectly framing Jeff Hays' performance as the male cast.

The Soundbooth Theater team for this production:

  • Laurie Catherine Winkel - narration, female characters, and Fibble!
  • Jeff Hays - male characters
  • Dalton Lynne - proofing, editing
  • Justin Thomas James - production, editing, mastering
©2017 Dave Willmarth (P)2018 Dave Willmarth, Soundbooth Theater

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

I like to think that online games are played like this but

The narration is excellent the story like is an enjoyable if unrealistic version of online gaming which nowadays is overrun by people who sit on quest spawn points and camp
On respawn points or your body or both have been that way for years But if you can disconnect from that reality then you can enjoy a good story worth of telling round some campfire 🔥 or ales or both. Enjoy

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

Privileged and Honestly Unfair VR

Every aspect of this game has a hightened sense of privilege. From the vip accounts to the beta pods, loots, relationships with high level npcs and even the games AI , custom skills, rich in real life, Mary sue level education, great parent, supportive friends, so called disease ( which you know he will get cured from) gives in game pain resistance?, mothers death gives in game motive to kill and imprison normal people and then gives them 1 year jail terms while they accept it, tearfully saying thank you?

The author tries to cover all these up and many more things by being self aware and trying to do good things but I simply found myself zoning out for a couple of minutes and not feeling the slightest bit regretful as most of what happens in the novel could be easily summerized into bullet points.

It also tries to make some allusions to lotr but fails in my eyes, lotr is about a journey while this is about getting stronger and winning and reacting to winning. mixed motivations and the fact there is literally no drawbacks in the entire novel with nothing new or interesting that I haven't seen before is the reason for the score.
also they talked a lot about roman gods yet they didn't put any of it in The game?!?! The narrators did a great job, but that's the only saving grace for me.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing

I’ve read the book and it was great, got the audio book purely because of Jeff hays input and he didn’t let down. Laurie winkel is also a great narrator and will be joining my list of favorites. A fabulous and fun listen that brought a great book to even greater heights! I look forward to listening to the next books.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jacob Goodrich
  • 16-03-2018

another masterpiece by soundbooth theater

An amazing story written by Dave and brought to life by the greatly talented Laurie Catherine winkel and Jeff hays. This is one of those audio books you can't pass on its that good. Dave did such an amazing job writing the story and creating loveable characters that want to help as much as they can and the talent at soundbooth theater made them come alive in ways unexpected.

I can't recommend this enough. I love the plot and advancement of the MC and his guild and the mysterious fibble.

If your looking for an adventure that will suck you in and make you want to go haring off on your own, then this is the book for you.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • N Powell
  • 09-03-2018

Love this series

Glad this book got a audio version it's a great story an hoping the put the next 2 out soon .

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • cosmitron
  • 30-03-2018

Very good production

What made the experience of listening to The Greystone Chronicles: Book One: Io Online the most enjoyable?

The entire book is first rate from the quality of the sound the talent of the narrators the interesting story.This book can be listened to by anyone at any age.

Who was your favorite character and why?

No favorite character because the narrators are so good you enjoy the totality of the book which contains many interesting characters that the narrators bring into focus.

Have you listened to any of Laurie Catherine Winkel and Jeff Hays ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

They are very good narrators their work is all among the best in the business.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

This work is 14 hours and 43 minutes...... what do you think?

Any additional comments?

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • Ray Johnson
  • 09-04-2018

Io, Io, it's off to the VRMMORPG I go!

Shew! This was a fun book. It has a lot going for it, so let me get the easy stuff out of the way first. I am a huge fan of Soundbooth Theater. Jeff Hays is my favorite narrator. Those tow facts mean that I was going to get this book no mater what. Seriously, Hays is a Master of the Vocal Arts, and if anyone can make a good book amazing it is him, BUT lo and behold he didn't do all the heavy lifting. Nope, Laurie Catherine Winkel takes the lead narration slot, and is kind enough to let Hays do the voices for the male characters. I have to say that I am being continually blown away by the talant that SBT has under their banner. So, be aware that the sound quality and narration just blows your expectations into orbit.

Next, the writing! Well Doggies this too is top notch, grade A stuff. The characters are all fun, and I would have a hard time narrowing out a favorite. Alexander has a cool side story about his being healed via his immersion in the game, but that plot line isn't resolved by the end of the book; so I guess that will be looked at in another book! Yeah!! Another one!!!! The action is really great and the book speeds along. You know it is good when it is three AM and you don't want to stop listening even though you have to get up a six. Yeah, it pulls you in deep.

I can see some people complaining that the characters are too overpowered, and while that might actually be the case I have found it to be the norm for a book in this genre. Just look at the uberleveling in Awaken Online and you will see my point. So, I do not hold that against the storyline at all. In fact, I've pretty much come to expect it. Willmarth knows how to hold your attention and make things exciting. I'll certainly be anticipating book 2!!! Even though I did receive a promo code for this review it in no way influenced my considerations of the material, and in fact, 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.


If this review helped, please press the YES below. Thank you immensely!!!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 20-03-2018

Promising

Simple and a bit slow at times, this still made for an interesting read. The two narrarators took we're excellent and definitely grew on me. Hopefully further books build upon this one well.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Marcopolo
  • 30-03-2018

It got better the farther I went!

I am very interested in the LitRPG genre a lot of the books seem to be very formulaic. That was what I feared initially in this book, rich sick kid fighting in the game world! Which is part of the story but the plot has become much deeper the farther I’ve listened and become much more interesting! So now I have another series I must follow and an old question to ask ....When is the next book out on Audible?

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sean Lankford
  • 16-03-2018

superb story even better performance

one of the best books in this is genre that I have ever read. The performance was over the top and was a complete Joy. The character interplay brought back memories of fun times both doing tabletop role-playing games with friends and also the new and current multiplayer online games with friends I can't wait to enjoy the next

3 of 3 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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  • Ed willson
  • 20-03-2018

lit RPG at it's best

I've likely read/listened to all the litrpg that aren't short stories. this is great. I can't wait for another installment.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jason
  • 15-03-2018

Great story with a great Audio team!

This was a great start to a LITRPG series! The story was serviced wonderfully by Jeff Hays and Laurie Catherine Winkel. I highly recommend this Book 1 to fans of the sub-genre of Fantasy/Sci-Fi.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-04-2018

Great start to a fun new series.

The Greystone Chronicles: Book One: Io Online was an absolute blast and a wonderful start to a new LitRPG series. New to me anyway. And I enjoyed every minute of it despite its flaws. Flaws? Yes, but I'll get to that in a moment. As I mentioned TGC: B1: IO (it's a mouthful I know, lol) is the first book in a LitRPG, and it hits almost all the typical tropes you'd expect from the genre. Many, though certainly not all LitRPGs, tend to feature dual storylines. One dealing with the full immersion world that has our heroes questing and leveling up, and we'll also have the real world where typically we see at least one or more of those same heroes deal with real world issues, often dealing with matters or life and death. Greystone Chronicles does indeed feature events in both world, and sadly there are flaws to the story in both the online and the real world sections of the story.

The problem with the real world issues is that they aren't really followed up on. Alexander, our main character, has a serious neurological disease and his immersion in the virtual world is supposedly going to help 'cure' him. There is plenty of time spent setting part of the story up, and I must say I found it fairly interesting. And yet by the end of the book we have no clue whether or not this 'therapy' is working. A completely different real world issue pops up. That issue is also interesting, but it almost feels like the original issue had been completely forgotten about, which is a shame. I do realize this is only the first book in the series, but I would have thought given the amount of time devoted to the discussing Alexander's condition, something would have been said about initial results of the therapy.

Now that's the flaw in the real world part of the book. The online section of the book suffers from two flaws IMO. Flaw #1 is that the characters are totally OP. After becoming fully immersed in the world they are started back at level 1, and yet they are almost instantly kicking insane amounts of high level butt. They develop unheard of skills and seem to master these new abilities instantly, easily taking out monsters and characters at insanely high levels. Toward the end Alexander basically singlehandedly destroys a level 80 character while he's still around mid-20s. I still enjoyed the heck out it, and if I were playing such a game I would love being as OP as the characters are. Flaw #2, IMO kind of goes hand in hand with flaw #1. I never felt as if the heroes were in any danger. And this goes beyond them just being OP, I simply mean there never felt like there would be consequences if they died in the game. Sure they'd lose a bit of experience, but there were no real consequences for failure.

Now that being said, the story was insanely enjoyable. I liked the characters and loved the humor. I appreciated how good natured Alexander is and his desire to make the kingdom a better place and to protect the citizens of the realm even if they were only NPCs and the he engages in with the player killers is great fun. I will say, however, that the author makes some odd choices. He's written long stretches where he describes build stuff, everything from a forge, to rebuilding multiple buildings in a town. Now if I was reading this I don't know that I wouldn't have just skipped ahead. There is nothing particularly wrong with these parts. It's just that describing every facet of crafting a house, even down to the plumbing, is really necessary to the story, never mind repeating that process by describing the crafting of a church, a barracks, an inn.....you get the point. Now as I said, if I had been reading it myself I might have skipped it, but I had no desire to that here mainly due the fantastic job of narration...which I shall hit upon next.

This book was narrated by Laurie Catherine Winkel and Jeff Hays. Well that is to say Laurie narrated and Jeff help by supplying the male voices. I don't really need talk about Jeff, do I? If you don't know how I feel about Jeff's work then check out some of my other reviews. When it comes to vocal work, Jeff Hays is a Swiss army knife! Seriously, the guy comes up with a unique voice and speech pattern for every character he voices in a book. So I don't really feel the need to harp on his talent. Now Laurie is someone who I don't believe I've ever heard before, but that is going to change. She was fantastic! Seriously. I mentioned how the author had an odd habit of detailed descriptions of how things got built...well that didn't bother me at all because I enjoyed listening to Laurie so much. Without question I'll be checking out more of her work in the future, and definitely hope she and Jeff are back for the next book in the series because they were a fantastic team. You can seriously never go wrong with a Soundbooth Theater production.

Bottom line: I enjoyed the heck of the story and absolutely loved the narration. The only question I have is when will book 2's audio be out?

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. Ir Pinch
  • 16-03-2018

two voices

both narrators were great and I really enjoyed this litrpg looking forward to more in this series