• Life in the North: An Apocalyptic LitRPG

  • The System Apocalypse, Book 1
  • By: Tao Wong
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Series: The System Apocalypse, Book 1
  • Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 09-02-18
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Tao Wong
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.6 (51 ratings)


All John wanted to do was get away for his life in Kluane National Park for a weekend. Hike, camp, and chill. Instead, the world comes to an end in a series of blue boxes, animals start evolving, and monsters start spawning. Now, he has to survive the apocalypse, get back to civilization, and not lose his mind. Life in the North is book one of the System Apocalypse, a litRPG apocalypse series that combines modern day life, science fiction, and fantasy elements along with game mechanics.
©2017 Tao Wong (P)2018 Tao Wong
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Natalie @ ABookLoversLife on 25-05-18


This book rocked!! I read the blurb and had a picture of what I thought it was about, but this is so much better than I thought. The plot was unique and intriguing!! The basic premise is that John needed a break and so went to Kluane National Park for the weekend, little did he know that his life is about to change beyond anything he ever thought! He wakes up to a world completely changed. He is living in a game, but it's not a game, it's real life and he needs to figure out how to survive and level up before it's too late! The plot was fast paced, intriguing and exciting!

I didn't really like John. I found his anger issues just.... weird and annoying. I felt like there was no need for them, but then again, maybe it's revealed in a later book!! All I know is that I had a hard time connecting with him. Not that I totally hated him, he did have some redeeming qualities and I'm hoping he grows a bit more in the next one.

The world building was the best thing about this book. I loved the idea behind it and feel like it's a novel and unique LitRPG book that everyone should read. I loved trying to figure out the world along with the characters. There is also a plethora of magical animals and beings to satisfy everyone. I fell in love with the world and can not wait for the next one!!

In all, a fun and fast read. It captured my attention right from the start and held it till the end. An intriguing and exciting book and I highly recommend!!

I've heard of Nick Podehl before but never listened to anything he has narrated, but that was my mistake because ,wow, he was amazing!! He had an array of tones and voices for all the characters and really brought this to life. It was like listening to a cast of characters instead of just one person. I've already added some of his other ones to my wish list.

I was given this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Ash on 17-09-18

Great story

More laughs per chapter than most LITRPG.
Due to both the writing and the performance of narrator.
Great different twist to the genre. And very funny.
If you’re looking for a good LITRPG to go for, this won’t disappoint you.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By adam on 13-08-18

Great Book! Negative reviews are misleading!

This is a great LITRPG! I loved it! I bought book 2 and 3 already and can’t wait to listen to them.

Despite being a LitRPG enthusiast I refused to read this book for multiple months because of the negative reviews. There was a similar trend of issues mentioned in audible comments which are typically red flags for books that I will not enjoy. These concerns were unfounded and I want to mention them just in case other listeners are deciding to not read this for the same reasons:
1. I cannot stand it when the main character is dumb or when stupidity drives plot. If I am fifteen minutes in and I keeps screaming “WHY DID YOU DO THAT?” then there is a high probability that the book is being returned. There were a lot of comments which seemed to suggest that the main character kept making dumb decisions or that his rage caused him to make dumb decisions. Yes…The main character has a rage problem, but other than some emo moments in the last ~10 minutes of the book I didn’t see it leading him to dumb decisions. In some ways I understood it. Minor spoilers…There was a moment when he sees a terrible sight and his “rage” drives him to want to kill a bunch of overpowered monsters that “an army would have trouble fighting.” His companion warns him not to, but he risks his life and moves in to fight anyways. At first I was slapping my head because I expected him to run into the middle of these monsters’ guns blazing. I was pleasantly surprised when he formulates a plan, which takes most of a day to implement, and manages to kill all of the monsters. A risky well executed plan leading to great rewards, thumbs up scene in my opinion.
2. This refers to the many comments mentioning “HOMOSEXUALS.” Typically I have a lot of trouble stomaching sex scenes in general. I prefer them to be vaguely hinted at and if not, I usually skip them because they are typically awkward to overhear or to melodramatic for me. For example; my heart was burning with such intensity that I worried it would melt through me, around him, and down my legs…
That being said explicit man-on-man sex or man-on-man emotions are a bigger turn off. I don’t think I’m homophobic, I believe in gay rights and really don’t care where you put your sexual organs, as long they are willing and past the age of consent. I think my issue is that when I read books I typically see myself as the main character and I don’t find men attractive. If I am putting myself into the viewpoint of someone who is pining over a wilder beast of a man, then its difficult for me to maintain immersion because I can’t see myself in that situation.
With all that being said, let me state that the “homosexual” sentences (because I can’t say there is a homosexual scene in the entire book) is so trivial that I am surprised anyone even mentioned them. I went into this expecting to be skipping chapters where the main character is having “ball slapping sex” with Joe the Lumber Jack. Instead I have maybe ten sentences in the entire book that may suggest the main character is Bi but prefers women. Not only that but other than a single sentence that states “I dabbled back in college.” the only male he seems to be attracted to is an elf who has a MAGICAL ABILITY WHICH MAKES PEOPLE ATTRACTED TO HIM. So the three scenes with the elf are pretty much like:
*Sees elf* “I want to kiss him.”
*Elf smiles coyly at him*
“I don’t trust him, and I don’t have time for this.”
The only other thing is that some people actually think that the main character is interested in this elf but the only actual sexual encounter he has is with a women and thankfully its pretty much just mentioned.

Legitimate concerns
These concerns did not impact my enjoyment of the book but if you are someone who can only spend a credit on a perfectly written book, then it may impact your enjoyment of it.
1. This is a LitRPG. If you don’t know the genre a writer uses role playing game themes or systems when creating their fantasy world. For example, a leveling system is used in this fantasy world. That being said some LitRPG enthusiasts will not enjoy this book as the LitRPG aspects are kinda light. Although I preferred it… rather then 10 minutes of reciting spreadsheets this book focuses more on the characters.
2. I felt like this book didn’t have a good antagonist, climax, or resolution. The closest thing to a main antagonist seems to be the world itself. When the book ended it left me wanting more and if there wasn’t a book 2 for me to immediately jump into I would have been disappointed.

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26 of 30 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Ryan on 09-08-18

Fun Environment, Lame Main Character

The systems created, skills, and encounters are fun. The combat isn’t described very well. But the emo angry idiot main character feels like he was written by a teenager. It would be nice if people in the litRPG world could write adult characters. John literally says things like blood, pain, and death to himself... the dialog is rough in places.

Nick Podehl (who is fantastic) and the systems developer are worth the ride, but this isn’t a good story with interesting characters.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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