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  • The Path of Ascension

  • A LitRPG Adventure
  • By: C. Mantis
  • Narrated by: J.S. Arquin
  • Length: 24 hrs and 5 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (70 ratings)

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The Path of Ascension cover art

The Path of Ascension

By: C. Mantis
Narrated by: J.S. Arquin
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Summary

Orphaned by Monsters. Matt must power up to save others from the same fate.

Matt plans to delve the rifts responsible for the monsters that destroyed his city and murdered his parents. But his dreams are crushed when his Tier 1 Talent is rated as detrimental and no guild or group will take him.

Working at a nearby inn, he meets a mysterious and powerful couple. They give him a chance to join the Path of Ascension, an empire-wide race to ascend the Tiers and become living legends.

With their recommendation and a stolen Skill, Matt begins his journey to the peak of power. Maybe then, he can get vengeance he seeks....

Experience the start of an action-packed fantasy adventure that blends everything you love about LitRPG with Xianxia. With five million views on Royal Road, this hit web serial is new and improved and now available.

About the series: This is a mix between LitRPG and Xianxia. It's like a car that looks like a LitRPG with dungeons and skills, but the interior and engine are all Xianxia. It features a magic system and progression system that are logically and internally consistent, as well as realistic fight scenes and a rational MC.

©2022 Aethon Books (P)2022 Aethon Audio

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Annoying is my lasting memory.

I don't like to be too picky with first time novelists, but what was done in this audiobook was so grating I actually downloaded the Kindle book as well to see how the author had written it for some idea why on Earth, they did wat they did here. Even afterwards I am not sure if the author or the narrator is at fault, but I have to assume the author requested the narrator to do it like this.

What was done is based around the use of the "System voice" which you get narrators do when reading a character sheet in litRPG novels. Also, when a character gets new skills or at other times it's suitable. What is done in this one it's nuts. To explain here is example of text from the Kindle version.

Vinnie chimed in, “Yeah, but you can get lucky and have higher Tiered skills drop. What if we got something like [Regeneration] or a healing skill? That would sell for a lot more.”

Now imagine that every time in the book that the narrator gets to a skill in the [} he uses the voice he is using for the systems voice and you can picture how jarring it is. It's bad enough doing it in the narrative, but to use it in dialogue is ludicrous. I mean am I supposed to believe the character gets halfway through a sentence, then pauses speaking for a robotic voice to say a skill name only to carry the sentence on like nothing happened to them? Just crazy and really distracting while listening.

Book itself is promising start. CHaracters are interesting enough and keep me wanting to see where the plot will take them. THe magic system is a little on the weak side if I'm honest and he might be penning himself into a corner with potential character level growth given he has set that it can take two hundred years to get to level twenty-five, but he may have plans on that so hard to be certain on that.

I'd like to see the action be a little less dull. I found myself drifting off a bit with the combat because there is a feeling of a lack of danger with the characters due to the MC's armour seems to always be impossible for anything to get past, and the author seem to ignore physics affecting him when he gets slammed into things or weapons except early on in the book when the MC is injured.

I down scored the narration because of what I wrote at the start, but overall, I liked him. He was easy to listen to with clear and separate character voicing.

Overall, despite my negatives being the main focus I will give book two a chance, as there is some good to be had here too and I'd like to see if the author catches the problems with this one with his second. I'd drop it in a heartbeat though if he hasn't got rid of the silly constant use of the system voice for anytime a skill or talents is used. It's just not natural or needed to constantly put it in brackets in the book, and certain not to do it in the audiobook.

1 person found this helpful

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

Great concept and story

I really enjoyed the story but there are several things which bugged me out. The MC begins his journey at 13 he starts his adventure around the age of 14, that would be okay however the way the author speaks about his interactions with girls seems far too adultish. Also, the way other characters treat the young MC's feel as if they're talking to adults.

Secondly, the narrator does something rather annoying. He announces all skills in a system voice whenever anyone says the skill, I think in one instance he mentioned several skills in a paragraph. It was grating on the ears.

But with all said and done. this is a good book, I will more than likely get book 2 because it was a fun listen. The story universe is huge, the MC is actually a small fish in a big pond FOR ONCE. and ultimately he is not one of those OP characters, you see him lose and struggle which is nice as it adds realism.

I think without the silly audio I'll rate the story alone as a 4.5/5.

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

ok story rough naration

Pretty generic story but enjoyable enough and he's not to OP or overly winey

the narrator is fine most of the time but his vocal range isn't great and a lot of the time he sounds like he is shouting and it leaves my ears ringing even when you turn down the volume,it's like he's trying to talk over loud music or something and then changes to a different character and then back to normal.

Overall it's a decent listen if you've got a free credit

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

An alright if a little boring litrpg

The story starts off well enough setting up the main character Matt as an underdog and showing us his struggle to get started as a cultivator.
My problems with the book are tied to the rift-delving parts of the story, the delves generally have little to no tension to them. They are generally smooth runs with nothing out of the ordinary or interesting happening.
I found myself enjoying the later parts of the story more as those chapters don't include any delving and are focused on introducing new and developing the cast of characters.
I also felt a general lack of tension to the story overall as there isnt a threat or the like to push the main cast to grow or to make me become invested in their journey.
Its about as interesting as grinding to max level in an mmo without following a story and just rerunning dungeons.

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

Unusual but a new favourite

The story is enthralling and something I want to have more of. The growth of the characters is realistic and endearing. And the way they talk about things like periods, same sex relationships, mental health, therapy and sex is mutch more talked about, open minded and unstigmatized than what one would expect after living in the current sosiety.

The narration is a bit odd at the start but it slowly shows a charm and personality

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Really let down by narration

Really robotic every time crack phantom armour, or things like mages retreat is said sounds like they are dubbed on.

Really bizarre choice story is ok narration is very poor

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

Skill read out really let's the narration down hope they fix in the next

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

As good as when I read it.

The story was excellent, skill readouts was more mechanical and disrupted the flow of words and ultimately lowered the performance of the otherwise excellent narrator.

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

Enjoyable story, skill repeat is kind of annoying

Its a good story and I like the Main character but I feel like it should of gone though Quality Assurance the skill names feels like they have been copy/paste over the top its pretty jarring

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 05-10-22

New Pet Peeve in an otherwise good story & listen

the narrator seems to have pre-recorded the skill names in non character voice then cut and paste the audio in.
Quite jarring to have a female voice change to male narrator when she say "Fireball" or"ReGrowth"
No joke every skill name is done like this
Bad move narrator/audio editor
J.S. Arquin PLEASE don't make this lazy mistake in the future

29 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Joseph
  • 06-10-22

Boring story narrated horrendously.

I really, really did not like this book. I need to say that up-front. I'll get in to a few of the reasons later, but it's important to start with the narration, because honestly it might be the reason why the rest was so unbearable for me.

The whiny way Arquin does the narration of the MC aside, the biggest, most glaring, infuriatingly incomprehensible issue with the narration is the inclusion of Mister McSkill.

You're confused, I understand.

Mister McSkill is this bizarre character Arquin interjected into the story whose sole purpose is to pop up EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. the name of a skill is named just to... name the skill. He's his own character who has his own voice (one that makes him sound like an annoying game-show host, which makes everything so much worse) apart from everyone else's.

It's honestly absurd.

MC and his female companion could be having a conversation about two skills, and every time the name of the skills comes up, the voice will change from whichever character is speaking to Mister McSkill to say the name, only for the original character to continue speaking.

I...

This is, without doubt, the stupidest thing I've ever experienced while listening to an audiobook. It's completely turned me off ever listening to any book narrated by this man again. Ever.


As for the story? Boring and filled with cringe and clunky dialogue, with characters that have forced chemistry. It was inoffensive in how much I disliked it, way too heavy on the exposition with a character who has no real goal, so is mostly aimless - there are even several points during the book where he outright says 'Um... what now?'

I dunno. The book was boring and definitely not good, but the narration is the real 'star' of the show here. I'd give this a heavy pass recommendation on that alone, even if the rest wasn't bad enough.

I'm not even sure why I finished it, the story just made me mad in the end and I've returned better books. I guess that speaks to the quality of everything else being released lately that I felt guilty returning another book, so I didn't.

I'm rambling now. Don't get this.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Brad Garner
  • 05-10-22

Great Story but one major flaw.

This series is a great story. I have been reading it for a while first on royal road then on Patreon. So when it came out on audible i thought this was the perfect time to start from the beginning and I still love it.

BUT there is one major flaw. That is the narrator says the skill names in a robotic voice to try to differentiate it from just regular text. Making this very jarring every time it is done. Like if the character is speaking and he says the skill instead of in his, the chr voice, it is a robot system voice. Like the world takes over the people anytime they speak a skills name. Other then that the narrator does an ok job. Hoping he changes Matt’s voice as he grows up and not just have him sound like a kid the whole time

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-10-22

love the story and reader

I've read this story multiple times so i knew that i would like this since I can now listen to it at work.

My only gripe is the change in tone whenever a skill name is mentioned, even when a character is talking in normal conversation. It feels like "Hello [insert name here], we want to talk about the warranty on your [moterized vehicle]. It expires in [6] days.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • CDM860
  • 05-10-22

I wanted to like it, but I just cud'n get there

The whole book is one long training montage. Story doesn't seem to have a goal/purpose/point.
Couldn't get myself to like the MC. He struck me as an idiot who gave all his secrets away, n committed himself to a stranger based on nothing. N the girl herself also does nothing but annoy ...totally unnecessary character.

I think it's a cool setting for a story, but there's no actual story. I think a cool story cud be told in this world, but this ain't it

Narrator did a good job tho

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • colton
  • 23-10-22

Narrator should be fired. *Edited*

honestly, the story seems good, but the narration is ruining it. like others have said, the narrator was lazy and copy pasted every skill.

It doesn't matter who is speaking, boy, girl, or the system description, it all sounds the same. like others have said, it's distracting, annoying, and breaks immersion.

I don't know how this got approved, but if it were me I would scrap this and start over. this narrator is going to severely affect the ratings.

****
I talked to the narrator, and he told me his reasons for reading the skills the way he did, and he has told me that going forward they will be discussing changing the reading style from "system read skills" because of this I am upgrading his performance from 1 star, with the hope that they will not do this in future books.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-10-22

PTSD, from "CRACKED PHANTOM ARMOR"

Great story, and narration was fine, except when the narrator hollers out the skills.... I was constantly cringing with the anticipation of hearing "CRACKED PHANTOM ARMOR!!!!"

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chandler Corbett
  • 08-10-22

Great Story but...

Narrator almost ruined this did me. Please don't say skills like that, it was horrible and immersion breaking.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • John P. Cronin Jr.
  • 30-10-22

Two stars

Please stop using pre-recorded words it’s annoying “ cracked phantom armor” I swear I cringed every time I heard that and almost returned the book. The story was long but if there is a part two I have no idea what it’s going to be about or what I am suppose to be on the edge of my seat waiting for in the next book. I live litrpg and the story is good but fell far off the mark of a great story.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Camorri
  • 04-02-23

Awesome

i wish the 2nd one was coming out on audiobook. this was great. really fun.