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Reviews of the Audiobook

SpeedRunner


SpeedRunner
Written by: Adam Elliott
Narrated by: Vikas Adam
Series: Tower of Babel #1
Genres: LitRPG | Fantasy
Published: 5th of December, 2017
Length: 11 Hours 19 Minutes

 

Listen to Samples:

Audible
Audible UK
Amazon

Description
Launch day.

That was what they called it. The day when over four million people vanished in an instant from the island of Manhattan. The day earthquakes ravaged the east coast. The day a 101-kilometer tall tower rose from the wreckage of the now empty city. The day every screen, newspaper, and smart phone displayed a single message from an unknown source: The Great Emperor has issued his challenge. From the ruins of the Old World rise the Tower. Its doors will soon open, and the great game will begin. A hundred floors and a hundred challenges await the worthy. And to the victor? A Wish of Unlimited Power.

Cayden Caros yearned to play that game. His only problem? The Terms and Conditions. A strict set of rules that, among other things, prevented anyone under the age of 16 from entering the tower.

Forced to wait for over two years, Cayden did the only thing he could do to pass the time. He researched, he practiced, and he prepared. It would take a lot to catch up to players with such an enormous head start. Lucky for him, he was a special type of gamer.

 

The Audiobook Review
Morgan Hobbes Morgan Hobbes

Performance: 
Quality: 
Story: 
Engagement: 

Average Score: 

Reviewed: 2021-09-28

Slow to Start, but Gets Good Quick

I picked up both books in the Tower of Babel series during a recent Audible sale on a bit of a whim. I was trawling through Reddit, looking for some recommendations when someone mentioned SpeedRunner, written by Adam Elliott. Without doing much more research than finding it, ten bucks later and both were in my library.

Honestly, at first blush, I thought perhaps I'd made a mistake. The book started off slow and took a couple of chapters to get moving, but once it did, I didn't want to stop listening. It was a little heavy on stats and skills early on while the character build is going on, but that calms down after a while with only the occasional stat dump cropping up.

The premise is straightforward, without too much time trying to explain how the 101-kilometre tall "Tower of Babel" came into existence, wiping out most of Manhatten with it. Our hero, Cayden Caros, is a "speedrunner"; someone who specialises in completing computer games as quickly as possible. The initial conceit involves Cayden travelling to the tower to get up it faster than anyone ever has.

This idea is abandoned rather early on due to circumstances (no spoilers), which seems odd at first given the title, but the series is about the Tower, not speedrunning, so in a way, it's more describing the intent and the character rather than the story as a whole.

With only a general understanding of MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games) because I've never played one, some of the terms and acronyms had me reaching for Google, but fortunately not too often. I've picked up enough through multiple different series to at least follow along with most of them, though I think it would be more annoying if I weren't.

The narration by Vikas Adam was excellent. There were no obvious production issues, and I think his characterisations suited Cayden and the cast of supporting characters well. I'd certainly listen to something voiced by him again (and will, with book two!)



Narration Sample



All that said, I do wish I'd spent a little more time researching the books. It seems as though the author abandoned the series, the last book being produced back in 2018. That's likely to be disappointing come the end of book two.

 

 

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