Publisher's Summary

Austin Zane leaves behind his CEO position with RB Corp to play Dave, a half-dwarf in the virtual reality game Emerilia, trying to escape his life.
What Dave doesn't know is that Earth as he knows it is really a virtual reality simulation and Emerilia is a world imbued with futuristic technologies to mimic early MMORPGs.
He just wanted peace and quiet, to build a house, do some fishing, to take some time to find himself once again. What he found out instead was a cause, he found out the biggest lie of his life. He found out the truth about Emerilia and the lies of Earth.
What's the best way to control slaves? Make them think that they're free.
©2017 Michael Chatfield (P)2017 Michael Chatfield
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Xravia on 17-08-2018

Convenient storytelling.

I suppose this was an attempt to mash together the matrix and the hobbit. The result was terribly paced with 80% being a slice of life build up stage that could have been delegated as a time skip, with the other 20% being a single long raid with most of it focused on characters that were not developed properly. they were introduced in a way told you how they would benefit the Mary sue MC and aren't given a life of their own contrary to MC's established motivations. once they serve their purpose don't be surprised when they are killed off.

The power disparities are insane, he might as well be stuck in a world of Neanderthals as despite 700 or so years or permutations of players none of them made patents to ultra common tech, allowing the MC to skip the money system entirely as it can be explained away as 'patent' money when he spends money.
on top of of all the repetition, inconsequential skill level ups, little or no character progression and unlikable personality.

There are so many plot devices and blatant cheat items that it makes the mind boggle. 1. rich and influential in real life(which he does not exploit at all! even though the grey god explained everything!) 2. runes... basically the coding language of the world allowing him to make broken items and has great potential to be even more broken as he learns more runes. 3. souls stones... aĺlows him to store mana indefinitely and power up abilities beyond their limit. 4. grey mana.. allows him to use every type of mana and combine them for a ??? power increase when it calls for it. 5. stat boosting/ he knows that this is real life so he is planning for the long game not giving hints to anyone else and is actively hiding this fact from everyone else so he can be a messiah or something. 6. nanomachines/ superior body thanks to working on his skills gradually, erasing his height disparity by playing as a dwarf by increasing strength and store memories and can access the web. 7. powerful allies + 1 or 2 gods on your side that gives you skills , info, underground world seeders which conveniently have portals. 8. artifacts from a cabin in the woods 9. friendly relationships with all people because he is a bleeder. 10. The ability to conjure any item or rune in existence 11. The ability to respawn with his own custom respawn point and many more so when he does die he can only be called an absolute bloody idiot with little to no repercussions at all.

The last point I'll touch upon is his motivations, he was the richest man in the world because he was the smartest most drivenest man in the whole entire world *rolls eyes*. He is sad because his family wanted a bit of the wealth of 10 TRILLION dollars and wants to get praised for paying his employees wages on time and destabilizing the entire world economy while keeping most of it for himself? Only to leave it all with a drop of the hat!?!?! I'm done with this novel.





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5 out of 5 stars
By A C Bennett on 28-07-2018

Fantastic

Great story, excellent narrative and enjoyable storyline and characters too follow. Looking forward to the next book in the series.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Don Gilbert on 05-03-2018

One of the Top Five LitRPG Stories

Lately it seems all I listen to are LITRPG stories, I really like the genre and there are a lot of stories from which to choose.
I really liked, “The trapped Mind,” it’s now in my top five LitRPG stories. To give some perspective, here’s my list.
1. “The Way of the Shaman” series; a six book rollercoaster series of exciting twists and turns that grab your attention and test your emotional resolve, but in the end it’s worth the ride.
2. “The Divine Dungeon,” starting with “Dungeon born;” very clever giving a different perspective and new dimension to the LitRPG story. This series is still in progress and I can’t wait for the next book.
3. “Ascend online,” narrated by Luke Daniels, only one and a half books into the series but a great start and might take over the top spot if the story quality remains the same
4. “The Trapped Mind;” so far I’m up-to-date on all of the audio books that have been released and I really like the story. It’s another LitRPG with a different premise.
5. “Ready Player One;” the original, my first LitRPG, written by Earnest Cline, he nostalgically brought me back to the old time gaming world, great experience.
There are so many of these LitRPG coming out virtually every week that my list could change, and I hope it does because that would mean another really great story.

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36 of 38 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Ray Johnson on 30-03-2018

A real mind bending trip

I generally try to purge anything negative from my system first, and then tackle the good stuff. I do have some nits to pick, but nothing overly bad. I listen to books in the car. I drive a lot, and my wife will listen along with me. Since the majority of what I have been listening to has been LitRPG/Gamelit stuff she gets really annoyed when all the crunchy bits start flying. In other words, when stats or alert notices start flying and never end. It can be distracting, but she had to make me turn this off, as it overwhelmed her. It does bug me, but I got over it. However I see her point. Damage reports, level alerts, and anything else that repeats is fine on a page, you can skim that. On audio it comes off like Dr. Strange meeting Dormammu. Thankfully, once we get into the meat of the story this sort of dies down.

Additionally, and this is only speculation, I have to wonder if Chatfield started writing his book twice, like from a point that he found interesting, and then at the begining because he does rehash some of his world building stuff several times. I don't know if this was two books that got folded into one, but it was a touch distracting to go over something we already knew.

Now the good stuff. This book fed my need for action, but it also sated my intellectual needs. There were great periods of character growth, story building, and some mind blowing concepts. Chatfield really flipped everything on its side and bounced it off a wall. Brilliant concept.

The characters are interesting. The plot grips you. The unexpected truth will knock you down. There is good action here as well as the quiet moments. The story will grab you and take you for one heck of a ride. All that stuff I said at first was just minor crap. The real meat of this book is delicious, and the amount of fat and gristle is negligable. The story and characters progress in a realistic speed

Morris makes a great first impression on me as a narrator. I had never heard him before, but I can see why he has this gig. He's really good, and brings the story to life. He works hard to give each characters a distinctive and individualized voices. Even though I did receive a promo code for this review it in no way influenced my considerations of the material, and in fact, inspired me to be more honest. In fact, getting a code generally makes me harsher as a reviewer as I am more often concerned what someone like Me will decide based on my review.

If this review helped, please press the YES below. Thank you immensely!!!

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16 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By kanundra on 15-07-2017

So long, but so worth it!

This series has been on my list for some time, but my actual reading time is so limited. When it came to audio I was super happy.

Michael is a complete wiz at weaving stories in and around characters that have amazing depth and motivation.

What starts off pretty slow build till you actually can't stop listening... there's good back story woven in, crafting (a must for anyone who loves litrpg) and intense action.

The 18 hours totally whizzed past me, and I wanted more. I know this series is a huge one, and I seriously hope that Tristan keeps with it because he was a great choice as far as voice and tone go. I'd not listened to Tristan before, but the tone and voices he had for each character, especially Dave were great. The sarcastic and then funny side to him just had me laughing while driving. Some parts I literally was on the edge of my seat. A total joy to the ears, and it made the book go so much quicker. I believe Michael and Tristan nailed this one, and I'm so excited for more.

Now for some deeper thoughts.

As I said the plot itself was slow to get going, I do admit that there were some word choices and lengthy sentences that even made me think twice about the meaning, but it really didn't detract from the story.

Dave is a very interesting character, from a big company to the game he wants to play it's totally opposite to his usual life and it's relaxing and interesting. The game mechanics aren't hard to follow and they develop nicely along the way, of course, there are some huge things for Dave to learn and to develop but he does so at a good pace. It's not over the top for me even though he does develop some interesting items and skills.

Overall this is good start to a series of over 7 books and I do believe he has more on the go! the man is insane.... can't wait for the next one on audio :)

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By C. Rowlands on 30-03-2018

Enjoyable fantasy twist on 'the Matrix'

I generally don't like books that tend towards the litrpg style, so I was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed this one, most of the time you could pretty much tune out the recitation of stats and simply enjoy a basic fantasy novel with a likable cast of characters.

When we meet the main character he is a rich CEO of a company on Earth who decides to play the virtual reality game Emerilia to get away from the stresses of real life, but over time while he is in the 'game' he learns that it is actually Earth that is the simulation and that in-game is actually the real world and a real world where humanity is not in charge.

The book follows his progress both from the perspective of his stats as a character growing and his personal as a real person in that 'game', culminating in a final battle that is obviously framed in the manner of a raid in an mmo.

The narrator gave a good performance overall, with Dave and the main supporting cast all sounding suitably distinctive without resorting to cliche too much with the wide array of dwarves and elves either.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and the narration and will be interested in hearing more of this series in the future.

[Note - I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.]

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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