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  • The Great Core's Paradox

  • A LitRPG Adventure
  • By: Zendran
  • Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
  • Length: 19 hrs and 13 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Summary

Just because he's small doesn't mean Paradox can't level up big-time. The Great Core demands it!

Name: Paradox

Species: Snake

Description: A tiny snake with great potential.

That was who I was. That was what I was, a tiny snake with great potential. The sole creation of the Great Core. It was just us—the great core and I—tucked away in our little corner of the world dungeon. Together, we hid from the bad things and the Coreless of the world outside, safe from the horrors that would consume us. Until one day, the Coreless found us. Until they tried to steal away my creator. Until with no other option, I swallowed the Great Core that had made me. Only after that, did I become what I was always meant to be.

At last, I became the Great Core's Paradox in more than name.

Thus begins the story of a little snake zealot and his journey to greatness in Book One of a crunchy time-loop LitRPG series perfect for fans of Kenneth Arant, RinoZ, and Jonathan Smidt. Get your audiobook today!

©2022 Aethon Audio (P)2022 Aethon Books

What listeners say about The Great Core's Paradox

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Nearly stopped listening

I came close to putting this book to one side as I couldn't put up with Paradoxe's monologues. I'm glad I kept going as I found myself chuckling at some parts.
Looking forward to the next book.

1 person found this helpful

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Can’t wait to hear more!

I had no idea what to expect from this book and was very pleasantly surprised. A great concept and I love the conflicting perceptions of the characters; it put a huge smile on my face.
Great narrating with a real sense of peril and atmosphere!
It’s just a great book and I was gutted when it came to the end. I hope there’s more to come soon!
This is my honest opinion on a free review copy.

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Sssuprrb

A lovely change, having the story told from the perspective of a snake with its own priorities.

Definitely worth picking up if you want something different.

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Paradox rules!

I wasn’t sure what to expect with a story from the perspective of a little zealot snake but I loved it. I can’t wait for book two to be released. The narrator was brilliant too and really brought the story to life. I recommend this book.

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Profile Image for Lonnie-The GreatNorthernTroll-Moore
  • Lonnie-The GreatNorthernTroll-Moore
  • 15-07-22

The cutest dungeon monster evarrr...

Surprisingly I didn't know that the protagonist was gonna be a cute little danger noodle, a snek! I didn't know the author, but I did suspect that Zendran posted on the Royal Road because of the nom de plume. What I did know was that the amazing Peter Berkrot was the narrator, and the book was published by Aethon, who tends to provide amazing books for the discerning SF&F reader!
This book just takes my breath away, a whole book written from a Snakes POV. How amazing is that? I ask you?!? And it's a very small snek, with a humongous amount of confidence in both the Great Core and in it's own ability, as is fitting for a dungeon boss named Paradox Ouroboros. A boss who can control destiny and thus honor the Great Core. So with his pet hooman adventure team, they set out for adventure. The humans of course have their own notions of what's goin on, but they all realize that their chances of survival has dramatically increased with the "tame" dungeon monster's help!
Ohhhh and yeah, I was right Zendran is a Royal Road author! And RR has yet to fail me!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Pokezeb
  • 30-07-22

Adorable fun

Hearing the snake misinterpret the humans over and over kept making me chuckle and the bonding that happened later was touching. Can barely wait for book 2

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Nate
  • Nate
  • 27-07-22

really great!

This book really reminded me of chrysalis, for those who read my chrysalis review you'd know i loved chrysalis. This book was so good!!!. Certainly one of my favorites, zandran brought alot to the table, and I don't know which one I like more. I'll certainly be getting the sequel, I can't wait to see how this story progresss!!!.


The Narration is so good!, Peter berkot performed this book so well, Peter is a superb narrator with alot of voices at his disposal. he has something that other narrators don't have. Do you wanna know what that is? it's the way he can put emotion into his voice. it's like nothing I've ever heard before, he can put such raw emotion into his voices, it gives the characters a depth that alot of narrators just can't do. I certainly give Peter a 5 star.



i like the characters, certainly the mc. he is written with depth and I personally like how he rolls. some of the stuff he thinks is just downright funny, I really felt a connection with our awesome mc. I also like some of the side characters, I don't feel a connection with them like I do with the Mc, but there pretty good, and I think that there written really well.
I give the characters a 4.8 star.


the plot is good, certainly one of the better things about this book, I really liked it. it follows without much guidance from the author, it has alot of depth to it, and it's honestly just entertaining.
I really like the world building, it's detailed, and intriguing. I feel the author explains just enough to keep us on our toes. the world building is excellent in this book, and I rate it a 5 star. the plot is a 4.8 star.


this book was really good, i really liked it. I actually loved it, I can't wait for the sequel. I recommend this story to anyone who likes chrysalis or anyone who wants to hear a paradox find his way in the world.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-09-22

funny

author did a good job POV of a snack and it's funny misinterpreting humans and their misunderstanding of him.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • CoreEater
  • 03-09-22

Extreme Cute MC

This has been one of the more enthralling books I have gone through of late. The MC is indeed a "Little Cutie" with a personality to match his adorable little character. I love how much we get to go through his experiences as well as those that witness what he does or goes through. I love the means of his evolution and his cores initial designation plus how it affects him.

Personally, I enjoyed a lot of the abilities/skills plus their detrainments though like every mc he falls to the uses of magics more the physical transformations which has become a bit sadder to see. It's a cliche when there is so many other things that could be done. Though some of these magical means he finds his way into the hearts of many more then he might have.

Sadly, it goes mainly from dungeon delving to somewhat more of a lighthearted cult building story for a lot of the last part of the book. I mean do not get me wrong it was very character development driven and heart felt. I just can't help feel that the poor things needs a respec.

This is a must grab book for all litrpg lovers especially those wanting a heartwarming tale of a little animal with a nice dash of fantasy!

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  • Gryffen
  • 30-08-22

Amazing and Engaging

A fresh and delicious approach to experiencing a story. Early on in the story it was a little challenging to understand the terms used by the MC, which is a snake. But as the snake’s understanding grew so did mine. The story and characters became more developed and simultaneously became a joyous addition for me to keep going. The Audible narration was fabulous. I highly recommend the book and the narration.

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  • Maxwell T. Trainor
  • 08-08-22

awesome book

Some parts reminded me of The Perfect Run. but with a snake main character. I will definitely get the sequel.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John Stringham
  • 31-07-22

original snake mc

very original. I liked seeing both sides of the story. from the snakes point of view to the various human characters. very interested for more in this series

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Daniel
  • 25-07-22

A nice twist on the genre

The narrative style using ore flesh, scale flesh, smell taste, etc is quite annoying initially. Once you get used to that however the story is great! I love the spin taken on the litRPG genre and doing it all from a snake's point of view is quite fascinating.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • O-C
  • 24-07-22

Non-Human MC ruined by Humans

So, overall, this book had a really good concept, with an interesting non-human premise and a flexible powerset. It reminded me of the six-star masterpiece "Chrysalis: The Antventure Begins", which you should definitely go read if you're considering this book. As for "The Great Core's Paradox", I rather enjoyed everything up the the spider arc's concussion, as it showcased a smart and daring main character who used his skills to the best of his ability despite his shortcomings. The god-worship relationship with the Great Core also made a lot of sense, and was an interesting twist that added depth to an otherwise simple character.

That said, the reason I will not be continuing this book is because of the Coreless (a.k.a. human) elements. The first time they are introduced, they are undeniable and quite powerful antagonists who threaten everything the man character stands for. The only reason our MC gets out of it alive is because one of them (V-something, I'll just call her V) tried to keep the MC as a pet, since she thinks he's "cute". Overall, a good sequence, and a plausible reasoning for why he's not just killed outright.

The issue appears when the humans show up again, shortly after our MC's victory over the spiders. (Complete spoilers for this scene, as I have a lot of issues with it). That whole scene doesn't make a lot of sense, despite the fact that it could have, and ends up butchering the main character's ability to reason.

First off, he attempts to take on the entire nest of spiders instead of escaping after he got what he came for, which needlessly risked his life and put him at the eventual mercy of the humans and spider Matriarch. Considering how exhausted he was, and how much he had already achieved, he should have been trying to escape and consolidate his gains, not fight the no-longer-poisoned and fully-alerted-and-enraged nest of spiders. It made him seem greedy and incautious, which contrasts what we've seen of him up to this point and doesn't bode well for the futire.

Second off, he manages to make an (unexplained) leap of logic to assume that the food the humans are trying to tame him with are offerings to the Great Core, to beg it's forgiveness. Considering his full lack of context, and that the human's actions were not compared to his own offerings to the Great Core, it feels like the author gave him a shortcut to speed up the interaction and smooth the path to befriending the humans. This is further compounded by how he accepts the offering of the spider Matriarch's death, seeing it as penance for the sin against the Great Core.

This makes NO sense as a conclusion for him to come to, as up to this point the humans have committed the worst insult possible against the Great Core, and currently stand the greatest risk to him and the core. That said, it could have worked if he had considered the Thought-Light's descriptions of "assistance" for the kill, and chosen to ally with them from there. Instead he simply jumps to seeing them as supplicants and disciples instead of the ecliptically dangerous enemies their actions have previously proven them to be.

Third off, he allows himself to be carried and safeguarded by these evil beings (his words), which is further baffling if we're supposed to believe his is a reasonable and rational individual. While all the right elements for him to risk trusting them DO exist in the situation, none of them are properly presented or addressed. Instead, the MC's valid and honestly understated distrust ends up being treated as a point of humor, and the human menace ends up being treated as misunderstood allies.

This, again, makes NO sense, considering all the information we have been provided about this world. He is a monster who's goal is to protect his Great Core, they are a godless (coreless) evil who hunt monsters like him and steal their cores, AND they have previously attempted to hunt him and steal his core. The only reason the humans could possibly be thought of as "allies" is because of the audience's predisposition to trust and sympathize with other humans, a predisposition the main character distinctly does NOT share. It's clear that the author wanted him to ally with them, and just didn't put enough effort into justifying it from his perspective.

I'll stop with the play-by-play breakdown now, but in the following Fire-Core arc, there are several more items that degrade the main character's supposed ability to reason, and contradict his status as monster. You see, he insists on establishing a Xianxian Cultivator-like arrogance and disdain towards the humans, which makes no sense considering who powerful and dangerous they are. The only one worthy of such disdain is V, who's constant attempts to tame/befriend him seriously get on a reader's nerves as she insists on looking down on our MC and never respecting him in any way. He should have been calculating and wary of them, not dismissing them as dumb brutes. He also refuses to rebuke them in any way, even when they further insult the Great Core by handling his divine shed-skin, which is again dumb, considering his professed opinion of them.

Additionally, considering how much exposure he gets to them, it takes WAY too long for him to come to the conclusion that they are capable of intelligent thought. We are shown he has some level of a superiority complex, but it gets to the point where he's starting to look dumb as he ignores clearly intelligent tactics and language. He even starts to deny their usefulness rather than admit they've helped them, so caught up is he in his dismissal of them. It's clearly played for comedy and cuteness, but I instead find it deeply insulting that a character who we're supposed to respect and root for is making such obvious mistakes, without the shield of optimism or naivete to explain it.

In the end, I know where this book went wrong. The author felt that without a cast of humans to provide perspective, there wouldn't be enough character interplay to keep the audience invested. In doing so, Zendran failed to commit the non-human main character twist the story was based off, falling into the age old trap of not having enough confidence on their work to go through with a good idea. This feeling of "needing" a supporting cast is why the human party was so cleanly shoehorned in to a story where their presence made no real sense, even when the recursion powers make supporting casts so hard to execute properly. This is a real tragedy, as the MC was quite interesting and had a wonderful dynamic with his Great Core that would have provided more then enough levity on it's own.

To this, I say: Look at "Chrysalis: The Antventure Begins", and see how it masterfully balances a non-human MC, an interesting magic system, and a complete lack of a supporting cast to create one of my top five books EVER ( and considering I've listen for more than 10k hours on audible, that's serious praise). Undermining a MC's judgment and established values for the sake of comedy is never a good move, and once again, will be the reason I am dropping this book.

However, HOWEVER, if you perhaps, say, don't go into this expecting a serious story about how a non-human underdog (undersnake?) manages to survive in a wold filled with battle, monsters, and humans, and instead are looking for a seriously puffed up little snake parading his way through a dungeon with a bunch of adventurers, then you may enjoy some aspects of this book. The things I said about mocking the main character's values holds true, though. Totally not cool.

TL;DR: Good premise and strong start, but the author crippled the story by clumsily forcing in a human element where one wasn't really necessary, and then compound this error relying on the comedy of mocking our MC's values to keep the audience entertained instead of committing to and exploring the unique facets of non-human life and how devotion to a dungeon core would play out. This is all the more apparent given how "Chrysalis: The Antventure Begins" nailed ALL of these aspects with stunning precision and masterful executing when it was release two weeks before of this book.