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  • Grim Beginnings

  • The Ashen Plane, A LitRPG Series, Book 1
  • By: Maxwell Farmer
  • Narrated by: Armen Taylor
  • Length: 9 hrs and 10 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Grim Beginnings

By: Maxwell Farmer
Narrated by: Armen Taylor
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Summary

Twenty-five-year-old janitor-turned-professional gamer John is so good at the latest virtual reality fantasy game that he attracts the attention of an imprisoned, undead magical beast while competing in the Kingdoms & Valor World Championship.

Murdered in his gaming chair and summoned to another world full of magic and wonder, John is given a choice: inherit the beast’s power and work to free it, or die. Accepting the undead creature’s power and a second chance at life, John is given a new name: Grim.

As a new man with the ability to use death magic, Grim sets off into the Ashen Plane to fulfill his quest. Join him as he befriends a mutated orc, fights an army of gnolls, and works to free his patron in this first book of the LitRPG series The Ashen Plane.

©2019 Max Farmer (P)2020 Max Farmer

What listeners say about Grim Beginnings

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It's a lot of fun!

This book was a lot of fun to listen to - it's quite fast paced so I'll definitely need another listen to take in all the details, but I had a really good time with it. I expected it to have a serious tone and the book doesn't pull its punches on the dramatic moments, but it's also quite witty. Look forward to checking out other books in the series!

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Janitor gamer given a 2nd chance

When I saw the cover I though it was going to be a meat head barbarian character, but instead it was an gaming - janitor tasked to assist an imprisoned being. He gets some death magic and an orc friend to help in his quest.

A nice story of making friends and defeating the enemy.

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A bright new series

A bright new start to series with a lot of potential, I particularly liked the world and lore building, and you’ve got to love the janitor who gets the chance to kick ass!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-01-21

Solid good book

It's a solid good book. Narration is good. Story is very good. It's good to hear a story about an actual good guy who is willing to do what it takes.

1 person found this helpful

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  • A. R. Holloway
  • 05-11-20

Simply A Good Listen!

Alright everyone, I've finished my listen through of Max Farmer's "Grim Beginnings" here are my highlights :)

Portal fantasy (already makes it higher on my list then most, i'm a fan of portals personally). With an extremely interesting premise, a fascinating big bad / big... good? We will find out in later books, that is the impetus for the entire "portal" thing.

MC gets into the world and gets thrown in the middle of a war between Bad - A Orcs and some real nasty Knolls. savagery ensues, along with some hijinks.

Over all the book is a fantastic addition to the genre, a fun romp through a game world, with some high stakes and awesome fights. All with a fascinating backdrop of an epic fantasy game system esq world that the story doesn't lose sight of which can sometimes be a problem in portal fantasies. Particularly for new writers in the genre.

I'm not going to give it a score, because I'm not a 'professional' reviewer I'm just sharing stuff with y'all I really enjoyed :)

So go pick this one up if you get a chance or are looking for another portal fantasy.

PS: Bonus points for being PG-13 Max, thanks for that bro :) Doesn't shy away from adult topics and subjects, but addresses them in a tactful way that I personally appreciated.

PPS: The narrator, Armen Taylor knocked this out of the PARK! Great job!

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  • Tim O'Halloran
  • 26-09-20

A fun and quick listen

Exciting and funny story. Following Grim on his a quest feels like I'm reading a great D&D adventure. The book has fun heroes and awful villains, an interesting setting and it's an easy/short read. check it out.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-07-20

Loved It

It's a well written story that's easy to follow with an intriguing plot line. Definitely recommend!

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  • Louis Gailes
  • 08-06-20

warning it's a slow start

I like books like this when the story takes some time to let you get to know the characters and understand the world it's not an amazing story or something brand new but its it's pretty good.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-06-20

wow just WOW !!!

This book is amazing the characters lovable and the hooks that you will never see coming

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  • Daniel Radford
  • 04-02-21

WARNING: HAREM ELEMENTS

I really enjoyed this first book and despite my headline it had no overt warning signs of the hated harem. It wasn't until I got to the second book that the harem elements really started rearing their horribly unrealistic head. I chose to write this review on the first book in order to spare anyone who, like me, finds them so unrealistic and juvenile as to instantly turn me off to any book with them in it. Ah yes, a woman who has been rescued from slavery and repeated sexual abuse would definitely become sexually obsessed with her rescuer within days, not weeks or years, but days after her rescue. And not only that but decide to share her chosen partner with another rescued slave who weirdly days after being rescued from weeks or months of slavery with sexual abuse involved is immediately sexually attracted to her rescuer. It's very disappointing because I did genuinely enjoy the first book because it doesn't have the obsessive stat analysis and need to read the entire character sheet every other chapter that so many other LitRPG's do. And I was looking forward to the further development of the character and the city/nation building aspects included.

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  • Joseph
  • 01-02-21

Not for me

This story features my least favourite kind of protagonist. A weak one.

Not weak in body. It's a LitRPG, these are all about progression. That kind of weakness is expected. He's weak in will, however.

I just don't buy a person like this surviving in a harsh world like this one. He panics too quickly, is very doormat-y and wears his emotions on his sleeve.

I stopped during the meeting with the Orc clan. I just couldn't buy someone like that not being killed instantly. There's no guile, no wit. I got halfway through the book and it just feels like Grim is being pulled along by the plot with no agency of his own.

It was at the point where, when he's facing death by the Orc clan, he instantly spills the beans and tells all. Him not being killed on the spot for such lunacy is a level of plot armour I don't appreciate.

He either needed to come up with a more believable story, or the Orcs should not believe him. Neither happens. It's why I say I don't buy it. Someone of this character shouldn't succeed in his trials the way he does, so I find it very frustrating.

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  • Christopher Rosenbum
  • 06-01-21

Holy crap

Holy Crap my dude. What an awesome adventure I just went on listening to this. I highly recommend it and can not wait for the next one!

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  • Robert OToole
  • 04-01-21

Grim and (polar) Bear it.

Really good portal LitRPG book. The story moves along well, if slow on leveling, with well rounded characters. The book can get a bit crunchy on stats, but no more than any other LitRPG series.

Armen Taylor did an amazing job narrating.