Henry and Jason suddenly find themselves on Ludus, a strange and violent planet run by the homicidal god, Dolos. They are given a bag of goodies and instructions to either save the world, have a chance to return to Earth, or more likely die in the effort.
The story is an unapologetic fictional creation of a roll playing video game (RPG). Henry and Jason can gain points, improve their magic skills and get better weapons and knowledge with their efforts and successes. Ludus is full of Orcs, Goblins, Hell Hounds and other demons who simply want to kill everything and everyone. Ludus is mostly inhabited by transplanted humans, but also a host of other humanoid aliens, some friendly, some not. Ultimately, Henry and Jason must kill or be killed.
There is a sense of unreality throughout the story, like the main characters could simply wake up from a bad dream. They are perhaps a little too lucky at everything they face. And like a video game, the challenges get harder with their greater skills and weapons. Though Dolos says he doesn’t expect them to live, he has given them extreme advantages.
Delvers LLC starts off slowly and takes some sustained effort to get into. But with the effort comes a very entertaining listen. There is plenty of action and clumsy love interests to keep the listener involved. To the author’s credit, it doesn’t take itself too seriously and is pretty funny. The story is cartoonish and somewhat unbelievable – like a game; but that is the point and is true to itself.
The story is performed by Jeff Hays, who does a very good job. The characters are clearly differentiated and sound true to their personalities. He generally stays out of the way, just giving enough interpretation to allow the listener’s imagination to fill in the rest.
Delvers LLC is like watching over the shoulder of someone playing a video game. It is very entertaining and full of action and video violence. The characters are defined early, but evolve into something resembling real people. Though you really don’t expect them to fail, the action is engaging. If you enjoy roll playing games, or the recent genre of bringing these games to fiction, you should definitely put this novel at the top of your list. A good dose of humor throughout the novel keeps it fun too. Delvers LLC is not listed as a series, but is clearly written as one. It neither ends, nor wraps up the story. If you like it, you will want to continue on to book 2 when it is released. Recommended for the intended audience.
Note: Appropriate for the right young-adult audience. Keep in mind there is graphic violence, sex and adult language. The equivalent of an R rated movie.
Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.
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