Narrator: Jeff Hays, Justin Thomas James, Laurie Catherine Winkel
Series: Dark Elf Chronicles #1
Published by Soundbooth Theater on 15 August 2018
Length: 13 hrs and 52 mins
Genres: Contemporary Zombie, Epic Fantasy, LitRPG
Source: Publisher, Submitted
Shari is a med student, months away from being a doctor. Mace is a coder on his first day of an exciting new job. When the world comes to a sudden and horrifying end, none would have expected them to be among the few survivors.
Hyper-aggressive undead zombie creatures hunt anything living on the surface, where even the grass and trees can kill you. Hiding underground is safe, but not much of a life. Their only escape is a virtual world of magic and monsters where Shari can use her healing skills, and Mace can focus on something other than his fears.
But Shari is a light elf, and Mace is a drow. Their people are ancient enemies, and neither would be welcome in the other's world. Still they strive to come together in the game, while they scavenge for food and fight to stay alive in the real world.
The odds are against them, and their food will eventually run out. Is their best hope for survival to find a way to upload themselves to the game permanently?
©2018 Dave Willmarth (P)2018 Dave Willmarth
ABR received this audiobook for free from the Publisher, Submitted in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the audiobook or the content of our review.Buy from Audible Buy from Amazon.comAdd to Goodreads
I chose this audiobook based on the title and the front cover. I didn’t read the blurb so I wasn’t expecting a Lit RPG, science fiction, and fantasy. In the past, I’d wondered what it would be like to combine several genres and do it successfully.
Well, Dave Willmarth nails it. I had to listen to the whole audiobook in one sitting, it’s that good.
Mace, voiced by Justin Thomas James, is a coder who was applying for a job at the worlds most popular VR gaming company when the end hits. He is eventually all alone and to deal with the loneliness and bleakness of his current reality, he immerses himself in the game “Alesia”. While in-game he can interact with Non-Player Characters (NPC) which simulates some much needed human contact. Back in the real world, he meets up with Shari, voiced by Laurie Catherine Winkel, who is a med student and has been surviving in the outside world. She joins up with him in the real world and in the MMO game. In order to survive in the real world, they must periodically leave to scavenge as they can only eat sealed or prepackaged food. Almost all animals, humans and vegetation have become tainted so their supplies will eventually run out.
“Alesia”, an MMO and VR game is loosely set in a Dungeon’s and Dragon’s type world. Mace is a drow (an evil elf/sorcerer, for those not familiar with D&D) and Shari is a light elf/druid. Mace is concerned about their survival in the real world and via the VR pods, he hopes to sync their consciousness with the world Alesia is set in thereby extending their lives.
I found myself relaxing while they were immersed in the game Alesia. If they die in the game, they will lose a level but can respawn to try again. In the real world, the threats are deadly and permanent. Those parts of the audiobook were a bit nerve-wracking.
There is a bit of light romance between Mace and Shari, that I had a difficult time relating to. It’s been ages since I’ve been inclined to flirt so that’s probably just me.
This audiobook production has a cast of three voice actors, Justin Thomas James, Laurie Catherine Winkel, and Jeff Hays. James and Winkel voice our two main characters, among others and Jeff Hayes supplies the voices of other minor characters. My inner two-year-old loves having a variety of voices and/or accents in an audiobook (“Read to me again and do the voices!”). The production of The Land of the Undying does this especially well.
From the ending, I’m sure there will be more books chronicling Mace and Shari’s journey. I definitely recommend this audiobook.
P.S. Keep an ear out for the geek references! I had to laugh aloud quite a few times.
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