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Summary

What happens when the world’s most realistic game becomes more real than reality?

Logout button disabled, Jeff and crew find themselves stuck until they can defeat King Tom and the rogue patcher. The mystery still looms: who is behind Infinite Worlds’ attack?

Dan Shaklee, CEO of Hard Rock Data, makes discoveries with implications beyond anything he could’ve ever imagined.

King Tom, having assimilated nearly all of IW’s Principalities, has continued his onslaught. This time, creating an army of adorable but vicious Vorpal Rabbits, he has issued a command to the Dragon’s Banes: find and destroy all before they end the world.

Jeff, along with Dak, Jeweliette, Oliver, Torvi, Snapdragon—oh, and despite everyone’s desires, Crush and Vilecutter—must traverse the underground bunny burrows to put and end to it all.

It’s a race against time. Tensions are high. Patience is thin. Will they do it before their TerraMount systems give out and their mortal bodies follow?

Find out in the final installment of Jeff the Game Master by Washington Post and Audible #1 bestselling Jaime Castle and Dragon Award nominated Troy Osgood. 

©2022 Aethon Books (P)2022 Podium Audio

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  • Jas P
  • 12-06-22

Death by Bunny!!! Just Brilliant!!

Mastering Magic picks up straight after the events of book 2, and sees Jeff and the crew, Snapdragon, Dak, Torvi, Oliver, Jeweliette, with the addition of Crush and his sidekick Vilecutter all still in the game as a result of Crush’s failed hack to kill the boss Dragon Shelarag, and fulfil Tom Servo’s goal of making Jeff the Game Master happy. As events unfold from this though, the players suddenly come to realise that things have become a whole lot worse, as they can now not log out of the game, and they are now trapped within the VR world. This means that their physical bodies are not capable of being looked after, as their minds are trapped within the gaming construct, something that should not be possible, but because the AI Tom Servo has become enraged by the actions of Crush, and set on making the game ‘Harder’, as well as fulfilling both Jeff’s and Crush’s requests, he has locked them in.
In book 1, the game was struggling with a kind of catastrophic failure as bugs couldn’t get fixed, and the game was staring to fall to bits, and only the GM Jeff Driscoll had any hope of fixing things. In book 2, things elevated, as the game become even more overwhelmed with these issues, and Jeff, now a player character, was forced to play the game to try and end the lock that this rogue AI had placed on things, so that Hard Rock Data (HRD), could get their game back, and potentially save their game Infinite Worlds.
But in book 3, things have taken a turn for the worse, as it is now not just the company and the game that the players are trying to play for, but their very lives. Mastering Magic is a very clever story, in that books 1 and 2 had really taken the story as far as it could go, a third book would have just been more rehashing of the same, but locking the characters into the game, so that they are now fighting for their very existence is such a clever twist. Further to this, the rogue AI, Tom’s Servo, has also taken things to the next level, believing that the ‘concept’ of hard means ‘more’ and at a ‘higher’ level. This translates to some rather interesting scenes as a new world event unleashes on the game in the form of a plague of murder bunnies – yes, that’s right, the vorpal bunnies have bred like rabbits and been unleashed on the world like a plague of terrifying flesh eating horrors – reminiscent of the Warner Bros cartoons of the Tasmanian Devil ripping through everything in sight, these cute little fluffy bunnies can shred a human quicker than a pack of hungry piranhas.
What is even funnier is that now they have special abilities to (My favourite is still the hypnotic Vorpal Bunny!!)
Jeff and his band of very ‘Unmerry’ People, must not only try and stay alive, defeat a crazed AI intent on killing them, defeat hoards of killer fluffy bunnies, but worst of all, they have to put up with the absolute intolerable idiot that is Crush.
On the other side of the coin, we also get to see those outside of the game, as they struggle to cope with the ramifications of what is happening, how do they deal with this situation of having actual people locked in the game. Dan Shaklee, the company CEO is trying to not only save their lives, but determine what has happened, and this takes a turn for the worst, when a new competitor is announced, but worse, there is the possibility that this might have been caused by an inside threat. Meanwhile, those that work for him Cross, Gallup, etc, are all struggling to work out what is going on. It is fascinating watching how this unfolds and the reactions of people
There is a subtle element of LitRPG in this book, whilst there are aspects of it within Jeff’s character and some of the other characters, it is not an overwhelming part of the story. It is really blended into the storyline well, making it a fun part of the book rather than something that is constantly stopping and taking up a lot of the storyline with facts.
The character work is perhaps the best part of this book, Jeff continues to amuse as the poor Game Master, who is trying desperately to work out what is going on, with everyone looking to him for answers, and his favourite answer of ‘I don’t know’ becoming annoying even to him. The only thing keeping him going is his growing relationship with Snapdragon, but she carries a secret that could destroy their relationship before it starts. Dak and Jeweliette are cute as anything, if they live to see the future. Torvi is hilarious shooting one liners faster than she shoots arrows. But the truly wonderful character is Crush, who is so absolutely horrific in his obnoxiousness, that you almost have to admire him for being just such a total, well you know….
The world-building continues to amaze in this book – from the cute little bunnies (you are never going to look at a rabbit the same way again, trust me), to the absolutely stunning and epic landscapes of Infinite Worlds that make you wish for a leap in technology so you could immerse yourself in this game.
This series has been something unique and special from the start, and this book only adds to this.
If you want a fantastic read, with exceptional character work, and a brilliant story (and some utterly terrifying bunnies), then this is for you – it s a must read for any Fantasy/LitRPG fan – you won’t be disappointed.
Nick Podehl is just brilliant as the Narrator of this story, he does such a wonderful rendition of each of the Character voices, regardless of the gender (or species – he does a wonderful AI). Each of the character voices he does is so unique that you can tell who is talking without having to be told, and Castle and Osgood have done a brilliant job of writing this story with an Audiobook in mind, so that the story flows so nicely as it is Narrated (not being broken up by lots of ‘he said, she said etc), just allowing for the performance of the Narrator to tell the story. Podehl really provides the emotional state of the characters as well, so you know how they are feeling as the story unfolds, whether that be happy, sad, frustrated, or afraid, even starting to fall for another person. The is a wonderful performance and an absolute must listen!!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 21-07-22

Ahhh the sweet sounds of Nick

This series is excellent writing and performance could not ask for more. It took me a little bit to absorb the role of the MC but that was the first book now I am just loving the interactions forced upon him.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tim
  • 17-07-22

Great conclusion

What a trio we have in this series. Troy and Jaime have created a great cast of characters and some of the most hilarious moments in LitRPG. Nick’s narration is a blast from the past and nails every character and scene in ways only he can. Bravo! Thank you!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Brothanoomsy
  • 05-07-22

Outstanding finish to a fantastic series.

I loved this book, I loved the first two. I can't recommend this highly enough to fans of LitRPG and good clean fun. Awesome ending. If you are like me and check reviews on the last book before reading the first, then the answer is yes. This is worth your time. Kudos to the authors!

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  • Mercedes White
  • 27-06-22

wonderful series

I loved the series and especially especially the narrator. I love the characters and story. Nick Podehl does a masterful job in his narrating the epic story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lonnie-The GreatNorthernTroll-Moore
  • 25-06-22

That cover! It's just eye-candy!!!

First of all have you gotten over the cover? It's just eye-candy and a true sight to behold!!! Who says covers don't sell books? In actuality the cover depicts a scene straight outta the book... and yes there is references to Monty Python.
The book has so much action that it'll make your heart sing! And the action is on so many levels! Of course there's Jeff and his team who are dealing with the fact that they're very lives are at stake dependent upon figuring out the quest and beating it. But also there's the actual game company trying to figure out what happened to their glitch free game and struggling to fix it before they're ruined. And there's two AI's deep in the system fighting for control of the games play.
Nick Podehl narration was as usual perfect. So grab the book and sit back because Nick Podehl has a story to tell!

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  • Musefish Press
  • 24-06-22

good read with a few minor issues

the series is very entertaining, good characterizations and overall an entertaining read. my only real negative is that there is way too much repetative and frankly annoying inner conflict and questioning motives, its just goes on and on and on, i found myself just skipping through large sections of internal debate in later chapters and didn't miss any plot points. the fights are also just too long. the game is supposed to be tedious and annoyingly drawn out to the point of making players leave, the fight sequences were doing that to me.
great premise, entertaining style. just skip some sections to keep the storey moving.

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  • iain
  • 16-06-22

Great series!

Loved all three books. My only real complaint is Jeff’s continuing lack of imagination in this book. I wish he’d tried more things.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Angela
  • 09-06-22

Fun ending

It has been my experience with LITRPGs that stories rarely come to an end, of course that could be me bailing on series before they get to the end, but trilogies seem to be in short supply. The one other I read recently that ended did so badly. It was obvious the author quit on that story so the ending was not satisfying. This story though, I really enjoyed the ending. I thought the series started a little slow but ultimately I got hooked by the story and really, really enjoyed it.

Characters: I liked them and would happily hang out with them in game. Crush was a little disappointing as he had no real character growth that I hoped for and, well, poor Ricardi. Though in a way it is nice their stories did not become cliche.

Narrator: One of the best on audible and always a joy to listen to.

Summary:

Series starts a little unconventional with the Main Character being a non playable Game Master. The main character is then set up to be an over powered "chosen one". In the end (This book) the main character played more like a utility support character to the assemble cast of the party (while still being chosen one). I do recommend this series as long as you are not some fan of grimdark realistic litrpgs, or don't like LitRpgs at all. Though in the final book the stats and typical gamer stuff was mostly dropped in favor of other aspects of the story. I guess once you are fighting for your life leveling up is not a high concern.

PS: This is the scond series where bunnies are little demons. What do LitRPG writers have against bunnies?

1 person found this helpful

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  • Willis Burns
  • 07-06-22

What a fitting end...

I won't spoil it, but unlike a lot of books in this genre, it ends! And it ends beautifully. I'm so glad I took a chance on this series. Castle and Osgood definitely wrote a fine tale. I'll be watching them for sure. Just picked up Castle's Cold as Hell and Osgood's Sky realms online books to see how they are in other books not written together.

1 person found this helpful