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Publisher's Summary

Five years ago Corin Cadence's brother entered the Serpent Spire - a colossal tower with ever-shifting rooms, traps, and monsters. Those who survive the spire's trials return home with an attunement: a mark granting the bearer magical powers. According to legend, those few who reach the top of the tower will be granted a boon by the spire's goddess.

He never returned.

Now it's Corin's turn. He's headed to the top floor, on a mission to meet the goddess.

If he can survive the trials, Corin will earn an attunement, but that won't be sufficient to survive the dangers on the upper levels. For that he's going to need training, allies, and a lot of ingenuity.

The journey won't be easy, but Corin won't stop until he gets his brother back.

©2017 Andrew Rowe (P)2017 Podium Publishing

What listeners say about Sufficiently Advanced Magic

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The Name Of The Wind meets The Maze Runner

Rather than swishing a wand and having all sorts of crazy magic spring out of it, this is a world in which magic and the products of this magic are a tradeable resource, and those lucky enough to weild it will inevitably battle to weild larger amounts and more complex versions of it to improve both their wealth and standing within society. It sets up an interesting dynamic at the university, where everyone is not just concentrating on learning how to use their various types of magic, but battling to gain access to more magic than their peers.

As most young adult books tend to, this story has about 40 hours of reading/listening crammed into half of that so as to not lose the attention of the young adult reader/listener. This isn't a terrible thing, but in the end you are left wondering what might have been, had the author fleshed out some of those ideas a little. Still, not everyone is prepared to sit through 40-50 hours of listening to get through a book, and to cut some of the fringe scenes in favour of an action-packed story could be a winning combination. Reservations though I might have, I am sufficiently hooked and will be continuing on with the series.

Nick Podehl narrates the book in his own well known style. He has this elastic, cartoonish voice which means that the lead character is reminiscent of the likes of Hiccup from How To Train Your Dragon, Hiro from Big Hero Six, or even Jim Lake from Trollhunters. As a result of this, I haven't been able to shake the CGI cartoon imagery from my minds eye, and the whole story plays in my head as a computer generated, animated movie rather than a live-action one. There are worse things that could happen, and there is always a chance that I'm just a crazy person who sees weird things.

29 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Bursts of entertainment

This story is very intriguing. Well, parts of it are. Unfortunately, the characters are all very dislikeable. In addition, most of the story is just exposition dumps. If I have to hear the words "I'll have to research that more later", or something along a similar vein, I will lose my mind.

The main character whines about everything. Hates physical contact, avoids people (except he doesn't), and basically just complains the whole way through.

His sister is a hypocrite. Main character gets hurt? "Don't ever do that again! You worried me!" She gets hurt? "Leave me alone corrin! It's my body I'll do what I want!" Main character has a secret with a god? "You can't keep secrets from me! I'm your sister and it affects me too!" She has a secret? "I'm allowed to have things to myself sometimes!"

The tone is also all over the place. It's a very serious story, usually told in a serious way, but just randomly tries to be funny. It's not funny, so this doesn't work. Even in the middle of major conflicts, the author tries to be funny. It is incredibly jarring and annoying.

Most of the backstory is just from people talking over and over and over in classes about things that would be cool to see in real time. I get that rules have to be established, but having someone lecture you is just not entertaining to listen to.

The book has moments that are good. There are a few fights and interactions that are awesome. Unfortunately, for every good 30 mins, there is 5 hours of exposition and grating dialogue or character thoughts that just do your head in. This story would be better told by another author.

10 people found this helpful

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great story and charecters but .....

its a great book with a fun story but the author repeats details ALOT. i think it needs to have a bit more faith in the listeners memory for major details

9 people found this helpful

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Spectacular

This is an absolutely amazing find for anyone who enjoys the fantasy genre, definitely reccomended

3 people found this helpful

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Pretty good story

Like a cross between Harry Potter and The Name of the Wind, but not quite as good as either. Good story, original world and well defined magic system but the characters didn't ring true for me. Excellent narration however.

3 people found this helpful

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The heroic procrastinator of irrelevant things

Loved the world, Nick Podehl is one of my favorite narrators - but the MC is constantly just thinking along random trains of thought that have absolutely no relevance to the story from what i can see. Maybe the author wants to give the MC a contemplative air or something, but really its infuriating. If he did less thinking about things that he NEVER does and just acts on is intuition this book would be awesome.

2 people found this helpful

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Read it!

loved it.my new favourite book. read it do not wait! I love magic schools and the main character is really smart. it is so nice not to hate the protagonist ideas

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Started good but then got monotonous

Doesn't have a clear direction. Shoves "progressive" ideology in towards the end which messes with established characterisation. I was into it at the start but lost interest towards the middle of the book there is an over analysis of everything which began to wear down my interest in the characters and story.

There is brilliance in this book and the world though. I feel if an editor had pared out a lot of the crap it could be a 5 star. Will check out the second book to see if it tightens up if not will give up on the series.

1 person found this helpful

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thoroughly disappointing

I had decent hopes for this book as it had generally good reviews and an interesting premise but it falls flat in almost every dimension. it's my first foray into LitRPG-style so maybe I'm missing something?

about half the book is a mixture of harry potter and name of the wind but taking the worst of both. the main character is both inexplicably ignorant/stupid and unbelievably skilled as the story requires. the tone is a jarring mix of attempted serious, attempted humour with a bunch of snarky dialogue.

It's disappointing mainly because it comes close to touching on so many interesting things but fails to actual explore them. example is the protagonist- he's basically asexual with a touch aversion with a hint of queer curiosity. an interesting character, right? but it was never explored just the occasional reference here and there.

1 person found this helpful

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Where is it going?

Interesting characters. Well performed by the reader.
but no real indication of where it was going.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Brian
  • 10-04-2019

The protagonist gets on your nerves...

I almost sent this book back, but I kept slogging through it because the story had some potential. I liked some of the characters, some interesting plot twists, but it could not stay on track. It obviously is playing on the success of the Harry Potter line, which I really enjoyed, but it did not do a good job. The plot had "dragon-sized" holes in it. The Tristan "thread" did not ring true or authentic. The whole story with Corin's family was very thin. What is up with Mom?! Corin's level of angst, second-guessing himself and seeming incompetence (which the author describes in excruciating, annoying detail) does not make sense based on the level of training he did. This book was unnecessarily long (please don't have a spell that takes over five seconds to say while you are in combat!). Having said all that I did finish the book.

I am still debating whether I will buy the second book. I have not read the reviews and I don't know if I can take any more of Corin Cadence. If I do, I will have to change my mindset. Just try to enjoy what is done well. I read/listen to a lot of this genre. This is not IMHO a book as good as Rowling, Card, Bujold, Hearne but it has some good points...just not enough of them.

62 people found this helpful

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  • Midwest Male
  • 22-03-2019

juvenile

I assume the target audience is teens, because this book has no plot whatsoever. it's like a lame D&D RPG game brought to life. It essentially starts in a dungeon and assumes the reader gets excited by listening to how someone else chooses their adventure. literally that's how new characters are introduced....random encounters.

39 people found this helpful

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  • Colton
  • 10-02-2019

Feels like an RPG

In most magic based series it's hard to understand how strong/skilled a person really is and even harder to truly understand their growth. This author made it a whole lot easier by giving us actual numbers and words any gamer could easily understand.

One of the reviews here states the reader couldn't get passed a certain point because the protagonist of the series isn't remotely as skilled with magic as the reader assumed he would be based on the characters background, I happen to disagree, but maybe we understood that background a little differently.

The main character grew up in a family famous for being very skilled in regards to dueling. In fact it is their militaristic prowess that helped them become nobles in the first place, the author makes it clear that the character was pulled out of public school to be privately trained for the previous 5 years in the art of dueling. And one could assume this meant magic too, but reading onward you should realize that until they receive an attunement magicians are fairly weak and have little to no useful skills. Thus, the character was brought up as a "melee" duelist, he happens to be far more skilled than most of his peers in terms of physical combat. Not magic although he certainly has potential.

I'm not in any way a writer so please pardon any grammatical errors, I have also begun the second book so I'll stop here to avoid any spoilers. Give this series a shot, I definitely believe it deserves it.

89 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Keith Murray
  • 23-01-2019

Book is pretty bad

The narration is good, but the story is honestly not very good and poorly written.

29 people found this helpful

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  • Andrea
  • 15-01-2019

mc

an extremely unlikable main character, and even some of the side characters. I will not read the second book

20 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Max
  • 27-06-2019

Good Story Ruined by Gender Studies Training Camp

The first book of this series is solid. Great world building. I love seeing the real world explanations of tropes from classic RPG type games. Characters are, for the most part, likable and enjoyable. The narration was solid. The problem with this book series is only hinted at in this first book, but I'm hoping to give people a warning before becoming invested in the series only to have it ruined by the second book. If you don't mind LGBTTQQIAAP politics (not a joke, i just googled that), then great, continue on. But, if the series morphing into a gender studies political training camp sounds like a deal breaker, then look at the reviews of future books to see if it's worth it before getting invested.

17 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Matt V.
  • 07-08-2020

Easy to quit

There are maybe 2-3 books in my life that I haven’t finished, and this is one of them. Often, there are nagging questions or characters that I love too much to leave. I didn’t have any of those here. It is the first book that I will easily leave behind.

The main character stated that he was driven to a singular purpose, but we weren’t given any emotional ties to that purpose. It was simply stated and never demonstrated that the main character more than occasionally thought about this supposed purpose of getting to the tower.

The same lack of emotion was demonstrated with the main character’s relationship. Just being an LGBT relationship doesn’t automatically make it interesting or inspired. It felt artificial, like it was added as an afterthought. An LGBT relationship is likely a hurdle for many readers because they can’t relate. Situations like that would seem to require an even more compelling love story. However, this was not compelling or interesting. Nothing pulled my heart into this book.

16 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Bull
  • 21-08-2018

Gay? Yup or at least a for a freind...

Not going to rant. That was written earlier then deleted. The short of it is theirs a lot of mistakes in the book which I forgave do to the world being interesting. However being blindsided by a gay romance isn't something I'm going to pick up in the morning to read. It honestly feels like a political agenda not really part of the story. However please note there isn't swearing, graphic sexual conduct, nor is there truly graphic bloody mess scenes its honestly more light show then violent which is hard to find but I did stop read shortly after this scene.

The short rant because i can :D
Homosexuality? not sure; Sounds like he was really focus on the tower.... Just not that tower any more......; or his brother.... its more about getting his cheating Dad, and his amazing fighter of a mom back together) There a lot missing in the story. Lets not forget about the half sister..... you could smell the chemistry there, even the friend was like "you interested in your own sister there boss because I think she's pretty"......... No I really wanted to make her my bondage slave and human meat shield BUT... she's now noble.... You want the job!?! Heck yes then I can date her... moments latter (the sister) how could you make him your meat shield before me just because he wanted to date me... that was my job.....(at least that's what I was raised for.. ).
Latter.... oh hi mystery super rich man who looks Asian (I think) whats up?
Date me!
ahhhh what?
Date me!
well you do have an amazing jaw!
Date ME!
Okay :} my sister is busy

13 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 30-11-2018

Completely misleading book

This book had me pulled in and relating with the main character and took an awful turn in an attempt to be edgy.

26 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Andy Fullmer
  • 30-06-2020

Was good until 14hrs 41 min. Non-hetro.

The story was great until I got 14 hours 41 minutes into it. Main character accepts dating with a mysterious guy friend. Just not for me.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Joe
  • 05-08-2017

Fun "D&D" style adventure.

I really enjoyed this. If you like coming of age stories where a protagonist has to apply problem solving to overcome difficult situations and underdog encounters then you will probably like this.

The style is a bit unique, and I can see a huge influence from D&D or similar. The majority of the "fights" are dungeon type encounters, and other puzzle rooms reminiscent of games and tabletop gaming.

I really enjoyed it, but I could see some might have issues with the pacing in the middle-end of the book.

The narrator was excellent.

23 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-01-2018

Glad I kept going!

I regretted purchasing this book for some time as I struggled with the narrator's voice, but im.really glad I persisted. The story is excellent, a unique fantasy world and a twisting story that is well written. I even grew to... tolerate the narrator. I'm already looking for more from this writer!

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 31-07-2017

Awesome

Tower is interesting, the magic is well thought out with good rules and it keeps you on your toes. great ending to book one 1. loved it

17 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Steven Richardson
  • 22-08-2017

Amazing world building

I loved this story and was amazed by the level of detail given to the world. I could imagine this being made into a epic RPG game I would love to play.

The story was excellent and well thought out. I didn't see the final twist coming and it was very interesting.

I am looking forward to any more in this series as there is so much more to be explored in the world and the story line.

Also I though the narrator did an excellent job and made it an enjoyable listen. Hope it's not too long till the next.

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 18-03-2018

not too bad... well just okay... it was alright.

the magic system was unique but some times un-necessarily over powers the story. the main character's progression through the story is always underwhelmed by his mental regression so the two contanstly flip-flop back and forth which becomes tedious at times. Nick Podehl does an excellent performance but sometimes his voices don't range very well, which mixes up whose actually talking. otherwise enjoyed it and looking to what follows.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • ThatLibraryMiss
  • 17-10-2017

Whingy teenager plays RPGs

Listen to the preview. If you can deal with that, you might enjoy this book. If the whiny voice recounting what appears to be some sort of quest game sets your teeth on edge, do yourself a favour and stop. It doesn't get any better when the self-obsessed teen's friends show up. I literally lost count of the number of times they rolled their eyes.

And what's with authors making up swear words? You've imported names and offensive gestures from our English-speaking world: why make up some new swear and use it exclusively? Ooh, so edgy.

Maybe it gets better in the second half. I returned it before that.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Snuffles
  • 15-09-2017

shallow start but strong story

So I found that the story was straight in to the detail with no explanation of the world or concepts in the first chapter so it was hard to get in to the world to begin with, but wow, a few chapters in and boy did it pick up.

For context, I got to the end of the book and was like 'what, 20 mins left?'. I immediately went to look for book two, no luck, I'm hooked on this world now.

It takes a few chapters but you get great detail on the magic system and the world. It may sound odd but I like it when there is extra detail on how things work or the detail of the world the characters have to work within is explained in the story.

criticism incoming: characters are a tad shallow, we have a few hints of some potential and amazing depth, invites to dance.... and yet it stops there, just hints of depth, no development.

Main character is great and often amusing.

We have a lot of started maybes in plot and lots of incomplete something's, part of the authors grand plan? I hope so.

Second criticism incoming: the author switches from regular folks in the story, to super heroes defeating god monsters with no build up / little development which makes those scenes a little jarring.

What I do like is that the main character does not start off with no power and become a god by chapter 15, he basically runs on the skills he starts with and that is awesome because it makes the wins for him more poignant.

The book is well worth adding to your collection, it has the potential to be an A rated emerald but at the moment is probably an A rated sun stone. (Doesn't make sense? get the book).

I will definitely be getting book 2 and looking for other books in this world.

p.s. Narrator is great for me, no more to be said.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • bookworm
  • 28-02-2019

A gem of a read

To be honest I wasn’t sure about this book but was intrigued enough to try it. So glad I did. Full of drama, suspense and intrigue. A pleasant surprise and gap filler while waiting for the next in the Spellmonger series. Trouble is now I need to listen to the next in this series as well. What a lovely dilemma.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jonas
  • 19-02-2019

A solid fantasy book with a well made world

Though the narrator could do better if they learnt to do more varied female voices he was good with male voices and plenty good as expressing the dour emotions that Corrin often has.
The story itself was great even if it had a little too much "you think you've won? in your dreams!" hero moments. buy the stand out point of the book is it's unique world setting. it was very good at show, don't tell when it came to the mysteries of the world that our characters were unaware of.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Garry
  • 21-12-2018

Gripping listen!

Really got drawn into this book through well drawn engaging characters. In style it is like a hybrid of LitRPG and standard fantasy fiction but not so game-centric as LitRPG, making it more accessible. There is something quite addictive about listening to a character grow in power and ability as the book progresses. Can't wait for book 2 to get into audible.! Hurry up!!!

1 person found this helpful

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