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Vortena: Everybody Loves Large Chests, Volume 3

Written by: Neven Iliev
Narrated by: Jeff Hays
Length: 14 hrs and 11 mins
3 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

What happens when one takes a murderous psychopath and forces them to team up with a cowardly tinkerer? Though not a question Jeremiah ever expected to ponder, he is nevertheless looking forward to seeing what the aforementioned duo will cook up. Success or failure does not matter to Richard, only that the journey be entertaining.    

Things are far less jovial for the one under Tom's "care", however. Stuck in the monster-infested wilderness, lacking the usual backup, hunted by the Empire's top brass, and tasked with an incredibly vague and obtuse Quest, Boxxy will face a world of uncertainty and adversity. However, this is nothing new. Pain, suffering, and loss are things that have been commonplace since day one, and Boxxy is not only entirely undaunted, but also eager to share those valuable lessons with its new "companion". With things both shiny and tasty on the line, the crafty killer has every intention of showing that lich who's boss.    

Assuming Boxxy manages to find it, of course.    

Content warning: profanity, gore, violence, explicit adult content.

The Soundbooth Theater team for this production:      

  • Jeff Hays - narration, music, and sound design   
  • Dalton Lynne - editing and proofing  
  • Griffin Malnar - editing and mastering
©2018 Neven Iliev (P)2018 Jeff Hays

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  • Ray Johnson
  • 31-10-18

Boxy's back and your gonna be in trouble . . .

. . . hey ya, Boxy's back.


Everybody's favorite murder box has returned for yet another installation of this amazing series of monstrous adventures. It has a few things going for it right off the bat. First, it pretty much picks up where the last book ended. I like that. Sometimes a months later type opening works, but not here; it is important to note that Boxy is still very young, in spite of his powers, and it is good to stay with that. Secondly, we get right into the lich action, we don't really dawdle around trying to set the story up.

Iliev knows how to write so that the more things change the more they stay the same. By that I mean that no matter what happens to Boxy, no matter how he evolves he is still that little chest full of teeth and as brutal as ever. Truth is, every time someting happened I nearly panicked thinking things were going to dramatically alter the way our monster worked, and no matter what evolution Boxy went through he remained Boxy. Clueless, cunning, and without mercy. There are numerous battles that are fairly epic in nature; I really enjoyed the encounter with the Lich and how the murder box dealt with her. The demons are as nasty as you remember, which means lots of naughty fun. The only issue that I have with the book comes in how the mimic treats Fizzy. Her brutalization actually bothered me a bit, because unlike the demons or undead she was a living being who was basically tortured on a constant basis, and then there is an event that occurs that pretty much nearly made me stop listening just because it was rather real. I sort of wish Iliev had just pulled a Shawshank move and rolled away around the corner and left things to our imaginations, but later on it is clearly spelled out what happened. As an adult, I can say that this is an adult book, and how can I complain about something like that when people are being murdered left and right and I didn't blink an eye. So, contextually it fit, but I have to admit it hit me kind of hard. So be warned, there are some very grown up issues taking place. One thing that really amazed me is that this somehow turned into a harem book, with the mad box at the center of all the sexcapades. Considering that Boxy is basically an amorphous asexual I didn't see that part on the horizon at all.

Vortena is not heavy most of the time. Generally you will find your self chuckling at the antics of one of th characters or situations. The book is funny as hell, and it made me laugh multiple times, and I won't lie I never enjoyed the book more than when Boxy was slaughtering people. Ignorance is his armor and his confidence is his sword. A paragon of humility he is not.

The narration is top of the line, and Hays really nails the vocals. Seriously, I think he played Fizzy so well that she become pretty real, and that was why her incident bothered me so much. Also, there are only two books that have amazing hotline phonecalls, one is After Life by Domino Finn, and the other is this killer series. I cannot wait for the moments when boxy calls Carl and talks things over. Those moments are so precious that I really appreciate the way that they are handled. Jeff really upped his game this time around, as the emotional stakes also increased to such a high point. He made some stuff real. Kudos, because as much as I admire Jeff's voicework I don't think he ever hit a Fizzy emotional rollercoaster moment like this before. This is some top tier narration, and it rocked me right back to 1981, when Stray Cats released Rock this Town, cause that ws just what he did. He rocked it inside out. Hays just continues to get better and better.

This isone of those books that you burn through like it was soaked in gasoline. You have so much fun that you are sorry that there isn't a new novel lined up, so I get jealous of people who are just discovering this series, because they can SBT and chill as the series unfolds. Seriously, I was not panning the events in the book, but I will say that they will hit you hard, so be prepared. Get the latest installment now, because I need my Boxy to come back and eat more towns. 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. 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!!!

As seen on the LITRPG AUDIOBOOK PODCAST, please check it out on Youtube.com

56 people found this helpful

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  • cmreviews
  • 08-11-18

Mimics gotta' mimic

🡺🡺 Warning: semi explicit sexual content, goreific violence, and a general disregard for moral standards. NC-17🡸🡸

A LitRPG that's not afraid to make fun of the adventurer. If one was to take the players charter sheet and give it to a monster who lives day after day watching its dungeon kin die at the hands of adventures one might get Boxxy T. Morningwood; A mimic given access to jobs, magic, and feats no god ever expected it to possess.

Neven Iliev's writing is most enjoyable. He builds a story that starts with a snowflake and ends with an avalanche. Humor abounds in every chapter with everything from a telephone to well' ... that escalated quickly, expect cute references, tropes, and witticisms. The adult content is explicit enough to be thoroughly enjoyable without becoming a story line focus or a drag; fair warning, it is much more than sex.

Jeff Hays and Spoken Realms produced a masterpiece. Jeff keeps all his voices straight and provides depth and diversity to make charter recognition easy and enjoyable. The sound effects are without a doubt the kind of quality audio productions should strive for, they add to the story without distracting the listener or feeling repetitive. Additionally, planning the parts so skipping the charter sheet without missing any story is a nice touch.

🡺Note: This is a series long review of books 1-3 available from audible at the time of this review. All the books are every bit as tasty as the others, so no book specific criticisms for this review. And thank you for taking the time to read my review.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Tobin L. Wallace
  • 14-11-18

O-O-O-oa-oa

It’s amazing that it’s possible to create such a consistently dark, violent, lewd world and have it be so completely upbeat. It blends multiple styles together, harmoniously. I especially love Jeff’s rendition of Caramelldansen. I never would have guessed that it had metaphysical influences, but... I guess I can see it

8 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-11-18

Hilarious

The Antics of Boxxy never disappoint. This series is a true gem. Definitely read! Amazing

8 people found this helpful

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  • jeffrey
  • 31-10-19

this thing keeps growing

i know lets get boxy, he eats everything! teeth, gore, a happy succubus, and more mayhem!

1 person found this helpful

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  • James
  • 06-07-19

Caramelldance FTW!!!

To the narrator, thank you for watching the entire Caramelldansen video. It made an already amazing book even better. I basically had to explain a level 6 meme to my shop minions after I started laughing uncontrollably in the middle of the work day. Thank you again.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Simon
  • 29-04-19

good but with some caveats

the story is still entertaining and seems to me to progress a bit faster (a good thing) than the previous book but i still find it a bit too descriptive at time. A lot of text feels like its there as a filler and could be removed without removing anything from the story. in fact, if it was a bit more concise i would have given 5 stars.

1 person found this helpful

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  • deathsangel5
  • 05-11-18

the madness continues. 👍

I gave the story 4/5 stars because the dark and twisted tale was quite a bit darker this time around possible minor spoiler. but overall a great addition to the series.












the mental and physical abuse experienced by a certain character was uncomfortablely close to home for how easily an individual's consciousness and sense of self could be twisted and broken and this relatively small part of the story lacked the typical hilarious insanity that I have grown accustomed to.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Hayster_
  • 07-11-18

the anwser to your question of what song that is

Caramell look it up :)

ps buy this fucking book it is amazing cruel and horrible

6 people found this helpful

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  • Ryan Caldwell
  • 05-02-19

Facepalm

I was particularly drawn to this series because I found its obscurity hilarious, but sadly this entry into the series falls a little flat. It's a bit hard to make anything like rape and psychological trauma entertaining. However, once you can get through that stomach-turning portion of the audiobook, the quality slightly recovers, but it still leaves you feeling uncomfortable.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Chuck stuff
  • 18-07-19

Is it tasty?

I wasn't sure about these books at the start of the first one as it's something completely different but damn I love them. story is fun, funny, sexy, gory, disturbing and just everything your dark fantasies want.

even got the point now where I ask myself if things look....tasty.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Dilbert
  • 17-12-18

tasty

another great instalment to the chest series.
a very tasty listen can't wait for the nxt book!!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jolly Joe
  • 01-12-18

Favourite Litrpg at the moment

I have listened to every book in the series thus far and continue to be impressed. Feels like the series keeps getting better.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Rod
  • 14-06-19

Just as brilliant as the previous two instalments

I love boxy and I love the adventures and mischief this chest gets mixed up in.

Amazing tongue and cheek humour and sarcasm.

1 person found this helpful

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  • stephen
  • 22-05-19

A fabulously tasty installment of adult fun !

I blame this author for my initial dip in the LitRPG genre several years ago, have a had mixed feelings about the violence and weird sex scenes, however if you look past these elements the narrative wins through, and it is hard to imagine how this story sound without the darker scenes. This third installment continues with more of the same dark black adder-esk humor that you would come to expect from Neven, and long may it continue. Roll on book 4 !

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ho-Man Yau
  • 28-10-19

Operation Tasty Cock.

this book was really funny and enjoyable. i couldn't help but laugh at the intelligence of the main character.
I really look forward to the next book in the series.

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  • Stuart Lilley
  • 02-05-19

amazing

great story Cant wait to hear what happens next. would recommend this series for sure.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-04-19

Split feelings, but a solid concept and story

The overall story of ELLC has had me hooked from the first book - I love the flipped narrative and Boxxy as a ‘protagonist’. There has been some decent character development too which makes me hungry to see where the story has yet to go - particularly with Edward.

What is increasingly bothering me though is some of the descriptions and attitude toward female characters that is getting sometimes a bit too chauvinistic - even the more developed female characters seem to be reduced to pornographic caricatures (in particular Fizzy). I’m increasingly wondering the extent to which it benefits the story rather than just being a cheap sexist attitude reminiscent of the Twitter Warriors of ‘GamerGate’ who threatened sexual violence or those who claim to be ‘InCels’. If indeed the former, then some of the writing quality needs to improve to adequately convey this, as it damaged my enjoyment of an otherwise excellently entertaining story a few times. I know the book is comedic and lighthearted, but that doesn’t mean that it cannot be intelligent and has to stoop to unveiled sexism for cheap laughs. I have wondered a few times what Iliev’s own attitudes to women are and whether the book reflects this or is written knowingly and tongue in cheek.

Some will say I’m overthinking things and perhaps I am as, the concept and majority of the storytelling are great.

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  • Paul Salley
  • 30-03-19

Loved these 3 books

A bit smutty sometimes, but past that is a funny adventure story where you end up rooting for the anti hero. Cant wait for book 4

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  • S. Nash
  • 10-03-19

Outstanding narration

A great finale to a fun trilogy. Jeff Hayes and the special effects team were brilliant. The characters were lovable and unique, and endearingly saucy.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-11-18

Awesome

As good as the second book, and Jeff Hays makes it one of my favorite audio books to date. Love it when the performance and writing is good enough to make me laugh out loud multiple times during the book.

Thanks Neven and Jeff, can't wait for the next one.

1 person found this helpful

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  • aaron
  • 24-01-20

I love this series and the narrator

the narrator does a great job of bringing the world to life with all the different voice's and expressions

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  • Embrakh
  • 19-02-19

Great.

Jeff Hays + good writing makes for another awesome book and hours of fun. Highly recommended.

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  • e
  • 23-12-18

0118999881999119725 3

You wouldn't shoot a policeman, and then steal his helmet! You wouldn't go to the toilet in his helmet, and then, send it to the policeman's grieving widow. And then steal it again!

References n stuff are expertly integrated. Didn't like manga, Re:Monster so... Didn't like the moral dilemmas, too deep of an emotional investment for this type of polarised-theme/litrpg considering the antagonist is as bad as the protagonist... but that's just personal preferences.

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  • Simon
  • 18-11-18

amazing. recommended 100%.

fantastic. funny. unexpected. check this book out. and have fun. can't wait for next book