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Publisher's Summary

From International Best-Selling Author Stuart Thaman:
 

The Seven Portals to Wonder changed the world. The most advanced AI ever created powered the worlds, bringing infinite possibilities and endless adventure to everyone across the globe. War on Earth practically ceased as most of the planet's population became addicted to the game.
 

Ben Hales was no different. He spent a few years saving enough money to buy lifetime passes for himself and his daughter, Ingrid. Now he has the cash, and Ingrid just turned 16, the minimum age required to play.
 

Not everything - or everyone - in Wonder is quite as it seems. Evil lurks both inside and outside the game, and that evil finds Ben all too soon.
 

Ravaged by loss and consumed by hatred, Ben awakens an ancient necromancer and a host of long-forgotten classes. Now he's building his citadel of darkness and raising an army of the dead with a singular goal: revenge.
 

If it means the death of everyone inside Wonder...so be it.
 

Check out Stuart Thaman's other epic fantasy and LitRPG novels!

©2019 Stuart Thaman (P)2019 Stuart Thaman

What listeners say about A Dark Path (Grimdark LitRPG)

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Austin
  • 15-11-19

Lots of Evil

I can enjoy a good villain. The MC can definitely be classified as evil. The main supporting characters are also evil. The writing of all of the evil acts is well done, fleshed out, and provokes emotions regardless of how numb to it all you might be at that point.

My main problem with the story is the reasoning.

During the beginning there is too much setup. I understand you want us to become attached to his daughter so we can feel the loss. However, when you have over an hour and a half of exposition, it slows your story and I imagine it might even turn people off from the book entirely. On top of that, the change in the MC's reasoning doesn't gradually or immediately shift. It is like a heart monitor rather than a steady graph upwards. His personality is all over the place.

When his daughter dies, he doesn't suffer from a complete psychotic break and go on a rampage. He doesn't make a well thought out plan of revenge either (Although the author tries to portray this, it fails.) I can clearly tell the MC has no idea what he is doing. He only reacts, never planning until the enemy is on his doorstep. ALSO, he is basically handed a cheat in the very beginning in the form of sword and armor. He is a noob with a nuke throwing a temper tantrum.

The MC isn't simply unstable. He jumps from being a grizzly dictator lopping off heads, to a grieving father, to a widow, and says "It is all for you Ingrid, it is all for you." She didn't ask for this. His reasoning is completely unfounded based on nothing. You might say that this makes a nice deranged MC. You are likely right. But I can't get behind him. The reasoning seems so forced. Like the author was trying too hard to give him a reason to be evil. Just let him be evil.

OVERALL: I think the attempt is nice. The story was slightly enjoyable. The exposition was too long. The Litrpgs elements are limited. The MC was given a cheat. The development of the evil characters and supporting characters were extremely well written. The author is able to successfully keep the reader on their toes. Thus, I am conflicted and give this book a 3/5.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-11-19

Meh

The narrator sometimes struggled to use the correct voice for a character and some of his voices didn't seem to match the character it was meant for. However, mostly it wasn't a problem. As for the story, The main character never really seemed to face any challenges and this was a problem in many different ways. Anytime there was an opponent with a higher level including "bosses" the MC killed them quickly and with little effort. He was given strong items despite putting in no effort and always seems to be able to loot everything despite other characters not having that same luxury and previous statements about some loot system that never appears again. There is supposed to be a NPC revival mechanic in the game separate to the "players" system but it is forgotten about. Overall, it seemed as if the author knew what video games are but had no idea as to how they actually work and it became a constant frustration. The story had some fun moments but had too many repeating problems, some of which I haven't even mentioned.

10 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephen
  • 13-11-19

Narrator

Narrator breaths heavy into the microphone after every few words, it distracts from the story. It's like a great picture with a finger in the corner of it.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Josh Noneya
  • 12-12-19

Intriguing

Interesting story and good narration!

A man looses his daughter to a griefer and a game glitch that trapped them in the game and made death real. She was his life, now he will be the griefer's death if its the last thing he does. No one shall stand in his way.

A well done story about a man who doesn't care anymore.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-11-19

Well done

Good story! Nice to finally get a story that's a bit darker than average à

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Hunter
  • 08-05-20

medium dark and only a bit grim

A good shell for a villain POV gamelit. The characters are particularly believable in that the main character goes from voice of reason to mass murdering maniacal overlord on what you may think of as a reasonable excuse but on a hair thin time frame. He just goes whelp I guess I'm gonna be evil now, time go murder a bunch of people.

since he's our POV character some level of concious acknowledgement of guilt seems like it should present with how he is portrayed in the beginning. As it happens it seems more like they are two different people with the same name instead of a character that falls to the darkside.

but anyway this book was fun, there wasn't much character development per se but there were exciting and interesting events and it could be fun to see how the story progresses.

For being labeled as grim dark it's pretty reasonable. The main character kills people to get what he wants and leads a town of necromancers eventually he'll have a kingdom and an empire but there is very little in the setting that you would associate with the despair that comes to mind with the term Grim Dark.

There also wasn't any strong body horror or sex abuse or anything like that which can be a concern with "grim dark" settings.

i received a free review copy of this book.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Lucas
  • 05-12-19

Don't really like the MC being psychopathic murder

The book is semi interesting I didn't really like the person reading the story they did a good job just don't like his voice the story itself I really enjoy revenge stories and movies but this guy is just a murdering psychopath who claims hes killing people for his daughter when he'll kill anything anyone no matter if they're innocent or not

2 people found this helpful

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  • D. Sturgeon
  • 03-12-19

Excellent Story!!!

This is an extremely entertaining tale. If you're a fan of this genre, then you're going to love this one!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jonathon
  • 03-12-19

Flimsy logic at best.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
I really didn’t want to give this book a bad review but I just can’t recommend it and don’t know how it has 5 star reviews, without getting into spoilers there’s no logic behind anything and mechanics are introduced and forgotten when convenient, and the story is very slow.

*mild spoilers (for the first 1/2 of the book)*
The logic of the world starts with things people dying of cancer in a world where there are giant magic portals that digitize you into a game and reconstructs your body wherever a you put a (handheld?) transponder such as leaving it on your bed, and shortly into the book someone hacks all the data for the people in the game which is most of the people in the world basically, and even though the company has the ability to look the bodies of players in place they don’t have any response to this other than wait a month for us to fix it, and this starts out with a loving dad being concerned about his being violent when she fights in the game before anything goes bad but as soon as it’s permadeath mode and he thinks she might be dead he doesn’t check with anyone to find out for sure he just goes crazy and starts murdering everyone and creating an empire to kill 2 people that ar about 20 levels higher talks about it all being for her....and shortly after this he one shots a high level player in the best armor that can be crafted and kills 4 guards almost singlehanded with no effort....so the entire point of building this empire is made pointless.
I didn’t want to dislike this book but it just makes no sense and doesn’t follow any path of logic fact or fictional.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jeremy Pierre
  • 28-11-19

BRING FORTH THE CORPSES! Finally A Dark Hero!

So if you are looking to get out of the Happy Friendlier Side of LITRPG this book is for you. Our Hero has been beat upon and had to much taken from him. Its time to BURN THE WORLD! Excellent read and really nice to see some Dark Hero Books. Time to bring out the sacrifices and continue this SERIES! Book structure was good and the LITRPG elements were not overwhelming. We didnt get that all to amusing Sarcastic System Notices but I still loved how the book was done. Highly recommend for anyone who loves LITRPG and wants to see a Darker Side

2 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jonathan
  • 22-11-19

Let's be evil

I recieved a review copy of this book, it's well written and narrated, but the main character is quite irredeemably unlikeable. Given the choice between right and wrong, he chooses wrong, flimsily justifying it. Its a testament to the quality of the writing and performance that story remains interesting despite this and I look forward to the next installment.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Queen of Swords
  • 12-06-20

Unrealistic Emotions

I'm about 4 hours into this and I'm really bothered by the unrealistic portrayal of emotions. The story starts out with a widowed father playing a game with his daughter teaching her the ropes, when suddenly a bug in the game kills her in real life. How long does he grieve? About 2 seconds.

Instead he's just like "Oh I guess I'll keep playing this game. Lah di dah, not a care in the world. Oh I better start thinking about my class and finding a trainer! Never mind that the last living member of my real life family is dead. Nevermind that the girl I raised from birth just died because I encouraged her to play this game with me."

A sob story that reads like a cliff note does not make good writing. I'll keep listening and finish, but at about a third of the way in this is mediocre at best.

The book ends on a lame cliffhanger with no goals accomplished. There's nothing really there to compel me to keep on with the series.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sasa
  • 25-12-19

Dark litrpg

I did enjoy this book, although I did find it tough to listen to in long sessions because of how dark it was. The main character is intentionally (I think!) unlikeable: he is admittedly evil and seems to care little for others. His motivations for his evil actions are explained, but I didn't feel this justified his callous behaviour and sociopathic tenancies. It was interesting though to explore the mind of sociopath - this is the first litrpg I've read/listened to that features an unreliable narrator, and I commend the author for taking such a risk!

The plot was really good - fast paced and an interesting take on an established rpg trope of settlement building. The narrator was also excellent.

Even though the book was gripping and engaging, I will not be purchasing other books in this series as I find myself disliking the main character so much that I'm just not interested in what happens to him. I recommend this book to listeners who are fans of both litrpg and books such as Hannibal etc.

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

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Allen Stark
  • 02-12-20

awesome

one of the most enjoyable litrpg's I have had the pleasure of listening too, 5 well deserved stars, an awesome listen

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • kharnynb
  • 18-02-20

dark and dirty, but interestingly done

In the Future, everyone really wants to live in a semi-real virtual rpg, where you can respawn back in your home, so the consequences are relatively low.
The world has gone through some nasty times and everyone is happy to see that most people's urges to murder/steal and otherwise fight are in the virtual world where there is little consequence, until it goes all wrong!

A great take on an evil character, that still occasionally falls back to "is what i'm doing actually okay?".
While some of the moral dilemma's are shoved aside too easily occasionally, it doesn't impact the story too much.

Well narrated, well written and fun with not too much side-tracking, fun and hopefully continues the same in book 2 as well.

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  • J Smith
  • 10-01-20

What a great listen!

Such a great, enjoyable listen. Made a great change having an anti-hero and a nice twist on the LitRPG and I thought it was a lot of fun.
Filled with tons of adventure and character building.
Scott does a fantastic job with narration and all his characters are easily identifiable, he’s just a great storyteller!!
I must just add though, despite it being great, I wouldn’t really call it Grimdark. It does follow a dark path, there’s acts of dark violence and the MC definitely doesn’t have any morals but it doesn’t have the grim/gritty feel I usually expect from grimdark.
This is my honest opinion of a free review copy.

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  • Angela
  • 10-12-19

One for the Gamers...

This was a fun and weird read. I play a lot of video games, and this was reminiscent of missions/quests I would have to do in ones such as Fallout and/or Skyrim. What I particularly liked about this book is we're basically shown the conception of a Raider gang, and it's rather refreshing having that point of view.
Narration was done well and suited the style of book.

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

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  • james mcadam
  • 13-11-19

great book loved it

loved the story nice to see a book from the bad guys side of things and not all goody goody

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Xravia
  • 10-11-19

Identity crisis.

This book dosent know what it wants to be. Although the start was interesting even though the MC was purposely weighted. They abandoned the daughter-father party dynamic in the most contrived and stupid way imaginable. It wasnt even a surprise once the admin messages showed up, there was no weight to the death since they had one quest together.

The only unique element was the so called gates of wonder was abandoned aswell. The litrpg elements are mishandled as the novel doesn't follow the cause and effect style the genre is associated with.

The MC is woefully immature for a 47 year old, he blames all his actions on his dead daughter. He recruits literal terrorists and psychopaths and claims that he had a job in government where he fired someone for being lazy which is the worst excuse the author could come up with. There is alot of double standards and events that do not mesh well with what would really happen.

Its not dark, its stupid. Im not keen for a second book.