Winter Trials: A Xianxia Cultivation Series (Threads of Fate, Book 2) Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
He’s told to save the world. To stop the death of billions. But the only thing he’s given is a chance.
Jim has saved his clan, but has become a wanted man in the process. His journey toward the capital must continue. He needs to warn the king of the danger his kingdom now faces, and Jim only has the support of his friends. Winter is trying to freeze them to death; the forces of darkness are on high alert; and the monsters are hungry. The hunt is on.
Jim must find a way to survive the storm. Even if his team does make it, Jim knows his enemies will be waiting for him to show his face once more.
Failure isn’t an option, and Jim only hopes that he can fight through without sacrificing his friends along the way.
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|Listening Length||9 hours and 49 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||March 17, 2021|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #12,386 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#576 in Horror Fiction
#774 in Dark Fantasy
#857 in Epic Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
Top reviews from the United States
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That being said, it is starting to fall into some common pitfalls of this genre:
1. Main character is super strong, but he cannot show his strength! Because... reasons. Even though anyone that will witness that strength is a friend or about to die, but still, cant show it! Even at the cost of putting all his friends lives in danger. Honestly, this kind of stuff becomes extremely annoying after a while and given how few times he used his 'brain core' to help asses the situation (like the author kept telling us was his special quirk last book) it feels like an intended reduction in his ability.
2. Main character seems to have reverted in the maturity and foresight department in this book. I actually quite enjoyed his callousness and mindset last book -- made me actually believe it was a 700ish year old dealing with a newly weakened body. This book, it just seemed like he was making a lot of 'amateur' mistakes that I did not find convincing.
3. Lastly, the nox. Sold as the big bads who are only weak to one specific element and who will be spread throughout this huge gigantic world. Took a pseudo-atomic blast to kill one of them in the last book. This book? Just run of the mill weaklings; can be fought on equal footing by anyone with a semi-decent cultivation level. Takes nothing special to take them out. Overall - just very underwhelming.
Still a fun book, but definitely running into some snags for me. I'll give book three a try, but am worried it is losing the charm it had in book one.
I don't however think the writing is very good, anything emotional comes off as false and forced and often something presented as obvious fact is nonsense but my biggest problem is the formula for this story seems to be:
The guy with 600+ years of experience at being an elite soldier constantly behaves very incompetently which gets him and his friends into trouble (while commenting "oh that was dumb I should be doing better than this" or something similar) then uses his greater level of power and/or knowledge to get out of trouble. The few times he doesn't behave like an idiot he and his friends congratulate him for being a genius.
With good packing there was never a time that I had to check out the story. There is a bit of language but overall it's clean and appropriate for young adults and above. The fast-paced nature of the story itself doesn't allow for a grand amount of character development which is the one drawback of the sort of story and pacing he is setting. The characters do have some moments but at times especially in the audible version and it seems easy to get swept up into the story and not really have an idea about what a character really looks like or who they are outside of how they fight and perhaps who they were romantically involved with. Still the characters do feel real enough and you have an emotional attachment to them. The author does create some real poignant moments and has some "oh wow" moments.
Even listening to the story is easy to get through this in one day or a couple evenings of relaxed listening. Reading through it you can burn through it quickly as it is easy read without too many heavy concepts or drawn out scenes.
For the genre and style this is easily a five-star book. It has a complete story with a good beginning middle and end. The antagonist are interesting but not overwhelming. The main purpose of the story is on the protagonist and how competent he is and of course hilarious and option painful results of his actions.
This is a great read and I cannot recommend it enough for something fast and easy to go down. I do think that the author knows how to be funny and keep the story going. He also was able to get a professional editor in and the content itself is smooth and doesn't contradict itself. The consistency of the story makes it a clean read absent of the reader speed bumps that can sometimes appear in the genre.
When looking at the cultivation magic system which will catch many of the genres fans interest I would have to say that it is explained clearly in the first story though not rehash too much within book too. It does have the feel of a soft magic system continuing to be a hard magic system but with the pacing and story style it is easy to get sucked into it. I love good long epic fantasies and action packed stories, but also getting several books that are quickly paced while building out and filling out an entire world can be an enjoyment in its own.
The humor is lost on me though, personally, I find it too repetitious.
I think it would be better if more of the future knowledge could come into play in regards to all the things the main character: makes, skills he teaches and world building knowledge that allows him to make the plans. As it stands, a lot of things we have to take for granted because they happen off the page and the author just informs us when they are done without much detail. Which keeps the pace and action up but reduces the complexity. I prefer something more substantial to sink my teeth into.
Top reviews from other countries
1. Insanely paced. There are 5-chapter encounters followed by 10 month timeskips almost at random.
2. Teenagers go from beginners to hardened combat vets who are decades ahead in cultivation after a couple of fights.
3. Good guys are "Good", regardless of how evil their actions are. This includes theft, murder, and torture.
4. All opponents have some "evil" characteristic that warrants their death, like making sexist comments.
5.Deus Ex Machina is now a legit plot device. It's used at least 5 times in this book.
Book 1 was over-the-top but enjoyable. Book 2 makes the author look like a sociopath. This is a violent power fantasy where the entire protagonist cast is OP and they don't have to worry about petty things like law, ethics, and morality.