Mark of the Founder: A litRPG Saga: Beastborne, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
A new Founder marked with otherworldly power. An epic quest to build a sanctum settlement. A fabled class that wields monstrous magic.
The Founders were the first marked, and they used those powers to build kingdoms, subjugate the land, and enrich themselves. They will not suffer another to join their ranks.
Lost in a world with levels, stats, and monsters, Hal fights to survive in an unforgiving land, and to escape execution from its rulers. Ingenuity and courage won’t be enough. With marked powers he doesn’t understand, he’s easy prey for all the goblins, bandits, aberrations, and foul monsters that plague the realm. He’ll need to abandon his humanity by embracing the beast within. To fight monsters, one has to risk becoming a monster...if he can survive long enough to level up.
Freedom and safety cannot be achieved alone. Only by forging bonds with fellow adventurers and monsters alike do Hal and his would-be kingdom have any chance of surviving the hazardous realm.
Beastborne in an isekai litRPG adventure series full of dungeon crawling, spell-slinging action, and deep magic systems.
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|Listening Length||29 hours and 33 minutes|
|Author||James T. Callum|
|Narrator||Eric Michael Summerer|
|Audible.com Release Date||March 16, 2021|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #5,680 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#238 in Horror Fiction
#276 in Action & Adventure Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
#353 in Dark Fantasy
Top reviews from the United States
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The MC doesn't start off knowing everything about a the "game" experience, something he gradually gets into but not annoyingly so like those who are in denial for the first 20+ chapters (ugh). We see a MC who gradually builds himself up, often with the help of his party, and you constantly get glimpses of his potential all through out the book. There is no overpowered MC, only someone trying to make best of what could have been a very, very bad intro (read the sample, you'll know what I'm talking about). It's about halfway through that you realize how bad it could have really been, and this grand over-arching mystery with his ties to the villain definitely will have you drawing wild conspiracies about what could be.
Its this constant thought provocation and the wonderful world building, amazing characters, and cool creatures that will have you reading non-stop through this book. The fact that the book is also so polished especially as a first time author has you really appreciate the 1000+ pages.
I don't often write high praise for books, often with portal fantasy or litrpg books there are enough rough edges that there is a critique here or there but other than a hand full of typos (in a 1000+ page book no less), I would say this is a really well done book and would stand up there with some of the big name established authors. I will definatley add this author to my "must read" list and really look forward to the next book.
That being said, I'm only part way into the book. I plan on keeping on, b/c the world is interesting in and of itself. I love the #Isekai genre when its got a bit of creativity to it.. so I'll keep reading. I just hope things start panning out in a better direction. I mean, from rock bottom you can only go up, you'd think... so I really really hope the MC is going to grow a little bit. At least learn not to shoot himself in the proverbial foot.
Right now, I'm ranking this story at "2 stars"..
So my knee jerk reaction to the book, was 2 star rating, because.. I didn't like the main character. He seemed about as capable & smart as a box full of kitten shaped rocks. Anyways, after making it to the end. I really really liked the Authors imagination. The story turned out to be a real romp. The world building though is by far the best of any #Isekai stories I have read to date.
I feel things moved weirdly pace wise.. like.. most of the details were filled in so it wasn't too bad. .. the pace just seemed horribly slow sometimes, & then it would just "warp forward" kind of.. I grew used to it, though it was trying at times.
Also the author went all "grimgar dark" a couple of times(I hate the grimgar series so it was really really trying for me, like eating a piece of rotten food).. one where he killed off a character he just introduced. (yeah that really made a not positive impact on me) If the author was trying to get empathy out of me as a reader.. well I was a little wore out by that point in the story, and after learning that a WHOLE TOWN of people had died in the book, so.. one more after that I could care less really. It was like a chess piece was taken off the game board. I was just annoyed if anything.
Then another was this fight scene, that just drug on.. and on... and ON.. I was like "Jesus how long is this going to go on?" after all he's the main character, the book goes on, I can predict what was going to happen. BUT it was a nice twist once it was all said & done. And really it was interesting how the author used this set up, later on in the story.. very creative.
Another scene really did get some empathy out of me. A female character was being harmed, she had just been "born" into this world.. & I hate incompetent leaders.. or men.. like.. "Utter incompetence" I really disliked how "Hal" the main character "hum hauled" around in the fight allowing his new companion to get figuratively fastened with a screw. I can understand how this scene set the stage for round 2 of the fight.. but it was definitely a tough arc to deal with.
I can see myself buying book 2 if it continues with this kind of character growth & it comes out sometimes REAL REAL SOON.. while this fire is still lit in me for this world.
TL;DR This is one of the best Western Isekai stories I have read to date. I am glad I took the chance & bought it. Like everyone says, it starts out slow (God does it start out so slow).. but by the end of the book, you'll really appreciate, or be overwhelmed by the "World shard system".. but hopefully find it equally cool. I know I loved the world & characters.. & Vorax. And the little Koblins.. I really grew to like the koblin creatures.. I don't know if the author picked this up from some Japanese DND or what.. ?
If you like the Isekai genre.. (One of the best things Japan has created).. Buy this book. Enjoy the story.
"Hal was about to answer but her use of the phrase “hulk out” brought him up short. That wasn’t a common phrase. Not here. It was back on Earth, however. And judging by the curious glances Ashera and Elora shot the Dragoon, they didn’t get the reference."
This is an ENTIRE PARAGRAPH of the MC noticing something VERY strange... and THEY DON'T EVEN ASK ABOUT IT!
The excuse given? The main character doesn't want to pry into her past. Really? Asking her how she knows about the Hulk is sensitive information now?
If you wanted to keep a secret about why she knows it, you DON'T have the MC notice! You let her say it, most readers breeze by it, and you use it as foreshadowing. You DO NOT have the MC notice, then just not ask because "that would be an invasion of privacy". It isn't an invasion of privacy to ASK A SIMPLE QUESTION. You're ASKING her, not sneakily reading her diary to discover her secrets. ESPECIALLY when she knows the one secret the MC has to keep from EVERYONE or risk getting killed - or worse - by the big bad of the story. She can have his secret, but he can't ask a reasonable question about how she knows Earth's cultural references? If we, the readers shouldn't know yet - which is the ONLY reason for this action - then DON'T DRAW ATTENTION TO IT.
Well written story in every other respect, utter IMBECILE of a main character.
Definitely give this book a try. It's really remarkable to read a book that clearly has a plan, and equally surprising plot twists. So many book series out there feel retconned later in the series to force depth that never existed, so it's truly refreshing to read and know each hint leads to something meaningful and logical.
Top reviews from other countries
Really happy to find neither of the above were true. Really good pacing to the book, and I remember thinking a few times how I could see multiple points where it could have ended in order to boost the amount of books one would need to buy to get through the story.
Characters were good, the MC is on the over powered side, but does have a bit of a balance in place to try mitigate this (though definitely still leans towards being OP).
Really looking forward to the next book as want to see what happens to a few of the potential plot points that were set in motion! Also, no major cliff hangers at the end which makes a nice change (outside of the over arching story).
All in all, really happy I bought it and cant wait for the next