He Who Fights with Monsters 7: A LitRPG Adventure (He Who Fights with Monsters, Book 7) Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Jason arrives at a kingdom in peril and he's surprised to discover that it's not his job to save it.
With the authorities fulfilling their responsibilities (for once), he looks forward to some quiet time to rest and recuperate.
The locals might not find ceaseless monster onslaughts and an interdimensional invasion relaxing, but Jason has had a rough few years. He's doing his best to let go of his anger.
While his team is caught up in duty, Jason has no shortage of people looking to interfere with his rest. Enemies—old and new—are circling, and even would-be allies are trouble. A princess finds him inconveniently alive, an ancient king arrives at his barbecue, and the local Church of Fertility are uncomfortably enthusiastic about including him in their practices. As his friends strive to reach him from the far side of the world, they are all frustrated by obstacles.
Jason is finally back in the world he longed for, but he is not the same man he was when he left. As the pressure on him mounts, allies and enemies alike will find that out the hard way.
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|Listening Length||18 hours and 39 minutes|
|Author||Shirtaloon, Travis Deverell|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||September 13, 2022|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #221 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#2 in Urban Fantasy
#7 in Paranormal Fantasy
#15 in Action & Adventure Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
Top reviews from the United States
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Back on Earth, Jason and Farrah are leaving and beginning the long journey home.
Jason and Farrah make it back to Pallimustus without issue. They appear in the Sea of Storms and register for the monster surge, after visiting the Church of Death to get some documentation proving they are who they say they are and did in fact come back from the dead.
They get checked out and then a wonderful surprise! Rufus is here with Gabrielle, Priestess of Knowledge. The rest of their family and friends are on the other side of the world planning a raid on a dam. They are able to interrupt a ritual that involved sacrificing hordes of Purity's followers (and their families) to open a hole into the astral to allow Messengers through. The disruption causes many of the Messengers to die horribly and more interestingly, summons everyone (100+ people) who was near the bridge back on Earth, including 2 favorites... Taika Williams (who was in charge of Asano security) and Travis Noble (the magitech guy).
The Magic Society intends to take possession of this group when Geller "Pirates" show up and escort the outworlders back to Greenstone and the Geller Family Estate.
Zara, the Hurricane Princess, that we met at the end of the Reaper Trials apparently used Jason's name and death (to the Builder) to break off her engagement and enter a period of mourning. Jason coming back to life has complicated things. The Royal Family has to decide what to do about it, since Zara's marriage was a political affair and having that blow up during a monster surge would cause all kinds of problems. Jason, unfairly, gets shoved into the middle of it with very little way out.
Fortunately, it endears him to Soramir Rimaros (the diamond rank ancestor of the kingdom) who arranges to get Jason's friends to him. This comes courtesy of Dawn.
Initially they play down the relationship, but when the Builder says he will wipe Rimaros off the face of the map for their insolence via Diamond Rank City constructs... Jason gets Dawn to use her one intervention to annihilate one of the Diamond Rank Builder Cities coming to destroy them.
Multiple diamond rankers work on one coming from the sea, while Soramir Rimaros is hanging back...
Meanwhile, Jason is defending Arnot - Dawn's sole condition on using her intervention was that Jason had to stay in Arnot. He defeats a Gold Rank giant coming in from the sea. Then helps fight off some very bold sky pirates. He manages to (presumably) collar some of the silver rankers, but the bronze rankers died too quickly.
As he and Pelli (the gold ranker who lives on Arnot) discuss the pirates, Dawn's intervention is made and a new fortress city arrives over Livaros, just as Dawn expected.
Fortunately, Travis creates a magic nuke to destroy another. The royal family and their forces head in to take it down. Liara plants the bomb, but loses a few team members, including Vespa.
Various church members channel the powers of their gods to ensure the city does NOT destroy Livaros on its way down.
Jason feels weird about not being directly involved with all this (after the events of the last 6 books), but Arabelle (his therapist) reminds him that he has been forced into things by forces that shouldn't even know he existed for so long it feels strange to NOT be involved. But that it is a good thing to not be involved.
She forces Jason to confront an issue he has been avoiding. That he is scared to show his team his spirit vault, since only those that completely trust him can enter it. She tells him to show it to them, and that he doesn't have to explain about the trust issue until later if he wants.
He shows them and they ALL can enter which helps him immensely.
On to volume 8! The Monster Surge Continues!
Everytime Jason attempted to take hold of some semblence of peace or otherwise make things better for himself it was shattered. He was punished. This trend continued in this book. One dimension in this book could be explained through intervention, everything else popped into existence out of the writing ether.
Speaking of intervention. That, too, demonstrates the cynical and nihilistic nature of this universe. Here we have a cosmic level being playing petty games and waging wars on mortal kingdoms and what do the other beings do? Make minor concessions that do not balance the scales. They're token responses at best. (By the one's who gave him that power and position by the way.)
Even the 'positive' ending of this book seemed more a token than anything else. It really felt like the author realised that he was painting a picture so dark and distasteful that he need to do something to try and curb it back. The truth is that the positive turn of things is temporary and we have every reason to believe that things will turn back to dark and depressing; both in the local situation and the story as a whole. There seems to be this balance being struck where the story sits at just the right border to keep you reading but never letting things brighten enough to actually give you hope. Otherwise, Jason must be punished. Often in contrived ways. It's not because 'it only makes sense because he's in over his head.' By that logic he should be dead and stayed that way already. By that logic the gold ranker on Earth should have kept pushing and not made peace with Jason, even temporary. By that logic F should have stayed dead. She was brought back because, if not, that "careful balance" would have been lost and many would have dropped the story. Just examine his love life for a moment... point made.
It's becoming obvious that this story, though relatively well written, is a pratice of seeing how much suffering the reader and the character can experience without completely alienating the fans of the fantasy genre. It's giving the protagonist just enough plot armor to make it to the next bout of misery. The characters and the universe as a whole move to that tune, plot driven, and less so to internal motivations and circumstances. Making the story well written but sadistically contrived.
This book did actually have a slightly more up beat tone than the last few. It was the contrived and unusual naively positive ending that helped me to really see the big picture.
My real concern is that the next installment will just be more of the same; reintroducing the cycle of balance of misery and slight hopefuleness before plunging back into the darkness again. Where no one good cares beyond a token effort and evil engenders loyal zealots that go to inconceivable extremes to acheive their assigned roles.
Top reviews from other countries
The middle though! The fragmented narrative style that came in around book 4 onward (jumping from multiple characters and short "asides" every few paragraphs) is extremely disorienting and frankly annoying after 4 books of it. I miss regular chapters of progressing narrative.
In book 4-6 the fragment story asides were "who is Jason? Why's he so strong for his rank? Let's get him"
In this book the fragments were "Who is Jason? Why is he so important and how is he not dead?".
I get that it's a weird situation that people will discuss but as the reader, I dont really think we need to see that same conversation play out from 6+ different sets of support cast who didn't do much else other than have this repeated convo?
At most it made sense from the main political faction of royals, maybe a couple times, and the battle report thing that happened.
But It kept repeating I think, more than 5 times, almost the exact same conversation, or at least it felt like it. I just... why? It ruins an otherwise good story and narrative flow to have to retread information thats already been given clearly. And this on top of flitting rapidly between characters completely stalled the narrative making it feel very slow going.
Also the fact the story acknowledges that most of this (the power struggles between Jason x politics beyond his power level) has happened before in some form or other. so the author actually explicitly knows there is a lot of repetition in various aspects of the narrative. It came across very poorly to me to kind of wave that in the readers face I have to say.
That said, I do still enjoy the series despite this things being extreme bug bears for me. The characters are great, the reunions are great, the "Al" Septuplets(?) were great. It was good to see Jason in tourist mode again, and have more of the humorous side come through in this story. I still want to know what happens next
So I am not going to say that again, but they really are my favourite things in the series. So I did say it after all...
Jason is finally acknowledging his Celestine fetish, finally restocks his Crystal Wash stores, and ups his game in that rather than going toe-to-toe and arguing with gold ranked essence users, he is now butting heads with diamond ranked essence users. Thankfully, he has pants now so they do not kill him for the lack thereof, and his beard hides the chin that might be seen as a deadly weapon. Oh, and as the Fertility priests are told at every opportunity, he is in perfect working order. I am sure he is not developing a complex about that, given that he is surrounded by beautiful women.
I also found the repeated tropes are starting to became rather stagnant in thier over use. Aka: "that's just hurtful" "I died, I die alot." "Flashed an impish/sly grin", And the twisting of expressions to fit niches within conversations. There's also a lot of directly repeated text for some reason. You'd end a chapter with 5 people in a fancy office, then the next would start by explaining there are 5 people in a fancy office. A few times I thought I had accidentally skipped back a page or two as the copied text was almost identical. You could play the worlds sadest and loneliest drinking game with your self whilst reading this book, every time he uses one of the tropes written above you have to drink as they're repeated so often.
I'll still read the next one, but I'm not looking forward to the excessive super emo parts. Maybe after this series the author could write a love story for teenage girls, I'm confident it'll be better than twilight
Jason being Jason , they find themselves in the Kingdom of Storms just as the monster surge and the cultists attack and as always happens Jason is dragged into events way above his pay grade. The rest of his team eventually arrive and they haven't changed much Clive along with Farrah,Gary and Rufus are still his rocks and several old friend from earth make an appearance. The war is going to continue , Sophies quest is going to cause a lot of heartache , hopefully Humphrey will step up , Jason has grown immeasurably and hopefully has realised that he doesn't have to solve all the world's problems by himself.