Author: Azalea Ellis
Narrator: Natalie Duke
Length: 16 hours and 48 minutes
Series: Seeds of Chaos, Book 1
Publisher: Seladore Publishing
Released: Aug. 21, 2018
Genre: Science Fiction; LitRPG
My name is Eve Redding, and I am the new god.
They captured me in a dirty alley and injected me with a virtual reality chip, a GPS tracker, and my first Seed. They made me a Player. At first, I loved the miraculous ability to level up anything about myself.
Then they yanked me off my world for the first time and sent me to fight for my life on a vicious alien planet where the other Players are just as dangerous as the monsters, and if you can’t level up, you die. But I’m the type to cling to life by the tips of my bloody fingernails. And I hate it when people try to control me.
Gods of Blood and Bone is the first book in the Seeds of Chaos series, a LitRPG/GameLit book that combines science fiction and game elements. Fans of Ready Player One, Red Rising, and The Hunger Games will likely enjoy this series.
Azalea Ellis loves to bend the world to her will. Maybe that’s why she likes writing books. Creating worlds and people and then sending them through every ordeal imaginable might even give her some kind of sick thrill. Who knows? Maybe she just likes taking things from her head and bringing them to life. She’s fascinated by almost everything, and wishes she could live to be a thousand, so she would have time to learn and do everything she wants.
Natalie Duke has been a working voice actor and member of SAG-AFTRA since she was eight years old. Natalie’s young announcer voice could be heard on spots for big-name companies like McDonald’s, Payless, Chex Cereal, Embassy Suites Hotels and many more. She even lent her singing talents to Gatorade’s famous “Be Like Mike” campaign with Michael Jordan. Now an adult, Natalie’s still going strong. These days, you can hear her on national TV and radio campaigns for Kellogg, Flintstones Vitamins, McDonald’s, Sears, Laughing Cow Cheese, Safeway, Alka-Seltzer, Potbelly, Purina, Kmart, Famous Footwear, Nationwide Insurance, DeVry, KFC and more.
In the past few years, Natalie has also discovered a new passion in the voice world with audiobooks. An avid reader since she was a wee child, Natalie has immersed herself in the world of audiobooks and is grateful that she is lucky enough to have a career where she gets to read every day while also using her voice to create dozens of interesting characters. To date, she has recorded over 50 titles. She has a professional home studio where she can record any time day or night, but when she wants to escape her cave and be around other humans, she also has access to record from ARU Chicago, a state of the art recording studio in downtown Chicago. Natalie is a proud member of the Audio Publishers Association (APA). You can find all her titles on Audible.com.
Ellis’ story had a really good beginning. It was creepy and scary. I felt for the characters and the horrors they were going through. I was never sure what was going to happen and I was honestly scared for them. It seemed like all would be lost! But then about halfway through the novel changed and it became more about the bigger picture/greater unknown person to fear. It was pretty weird how it shifted. I don’t think there was a good transition and there wasn’t enough explanation of all the horrors going on after that point either. The characters themselves were interesting and felt realistic, I just wish I had seen more than been told in the novel. So for me I’m giving it about a 3/5 stars.
The narration by Duke is great! I loved her voice and all the little things she did to distinguish the characters. The bickering between the siblings felt natural as well. She has good pacing and studio production seems to be great as well. It was the narration that kept me hooked into the novel even when I felt the storyline seemed to fall apart a bit. I just really enjoyed listening to her and would definitely listen to another audiobook by her in the future! 5/5 stars.
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Azalea Ellis. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
Azalea Ellis’ Top Ten Literary Inspirations
Like most writers, I read a lot as a child. Some of those stories and world definitely influenced my desire to write and molded my view of the world.
- Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy.
- This series has an unforgettable charm, a certain spark of life that calls to the child in all of us.
- Garth Nix’s Abhorsen trilogy.
- This series introduced me to a new way of looking at magic. I felt excited, and a little sneaky, as I realized that darkness could be the used for good, and that morality and even power are in the eyes of the beholder.
- Tamora Pierce’s Tortall world books.
- I adored reading about girls who were the heroes of their own stories, even when those types of “adventure” slots were usually taken by boys.
- Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy.
- This series had a big impact on me, because it subverted my expectations of what it means to be a hero, a savior, and a revolutionist. Heroes are important, but sometimes our heroes aren’t the messiah figures that stand out the most. When the hero falls, step up and become your own hero.
- J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.
- Magic. The whimsical world Rowling built has always felt just on the other side of real, and I think that’s why it’s captivated so many people.
- Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game.
- I remember being overjoyed as a child to read a book where all the young characters weren’t idiots. I wondered if, when people got to be adults, they forgot that they once had brains when they were children. This book may have been the start of my search for well-written intelligence.
- Patrick Rothfuss’ Name of the Wind.
- Rothfuss’ prose, worldbuilding, and main character are works of art. This is my favorite book, and I think it’s a great example of how you can make people fall so in love with your characters and world that it feels almost real to them. I also have a soft spot for hypercompetence in my characters, especially when it’s offset with very real flaws.
- Cynthia Voight’s A Solitary Blue
- I read this book during the beginning of my adolescense, and it has always stuck with me. The reality that you can’t depend on those you should most be able to, and that your heroes are only human felt very true. Yet, the impetus is on us, as we become adults, to forge our own world and life, no matter what obstacles may stad in our way.
- L.A. Meyer’s Bloody Jack
- Once again, I loved seeing a girl kicking ass and taking names in a predominately male role–and even disguised as a male.
- Jack London’s Call of the Wild
This is the first “real” book I ever read completely of my own free will, around the age of 5. I was given the illustrated version by a family friend along with some other classic books, and I thought I would like this one the least, so I read it first to save the best for last. I started just as evening fell, and by the time I was meant to go to bed, I was begging my mother for just a little while longer so I could figure out what happened to Buck.
Interviewer: So, now that you’re basically a superhero, what do you plan to do with your abilities?
Eve: World domination.
Interviewer: Wait, really?
Eve: No, of course not. That sounds like way too much work. Besides, with everything else going on, I don’t know when I’m going to get a chance to stop simply fighting for my life.
Interviewer: *Laughs awkwardky.* Okay, that’s good…
Eve: You think my problems are “good?”
Interviewer: That’s not what I meant. I just — not taking over the world, that’s good.
Eve: Relax. I’m just messing with you. Besides, if I was going to take over the world, I definitely wouldn’t label my efforts “world domination.” That’s just begging someone to rise up against you in the name of goodness and righteousness. No, I’d probably go for “world optimisation.”
Interviewer: *Coughs and checks notes* Let’s change the subject with a more lighthearted question. What’s your favorite dessert?
Eve: Candied blood of my enemies.
Eve: *Bursts out laughing.* Man, you’re just too easy. I’m joking. I like pudding. Blood doesn’t taste very good at all. Plus, it’s just not sanitary. I always make sure to spit it out if some gets in my mouth while I’m fighting.
Interviewer: Yeah, accidentally swallowing your opponents’ blood…that’s the worst. *Looks away as if pleading for help from someone off-screen.* But what’s not the worst is that armor you’re wearing. People are dying to know, where can they buy a set just like it?
Eve: *Leans forward to show it off.* It is cool! It’s basically impenetrable against stabbing or piercing attacks, and it even disperses blunt force. It disperses kinetic energy over the whole surface area. I probably would have died a couple times over if not for it. As for where you can get one, I have no idea, since I pulled this one off a skeleton in one of my first Trials. I do not recommend that method.
Interviewer: Don’t forget the children watching! No need to go into any more detail about how you got the armor.
Eve: *Scowls.* You do realize NIX captures children to experiment on all the time, right? How is sheltering them from the realities of life going to do them any good?
Interviewer: I understand your desire to be…frank, but we have to meet the censorship requirements of the network. Why don’t we talk about something less contentious? What do you like to do to relax?
Eve: I…I’m not really sure, any more. It’s been a long time since I was really able to relax. I like to train, maybe? I like hanging out with my teammates, too.
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