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Guild of Tokens

(Guild of Tokens #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  94 ratings  ·  45 reviews
She wants to level up her humdrum existence. But her next quest could spell life or death.

All Jen Jacobs has achieved in life is loneliness. So when she stumbles across a real-life game of epic quests on the streets of New York, she jumps at the chance for some excitement and gold tokens. Little does she know that the items she strives to collect hold a darker purpose…

Kindle Edition, 410 pages
Published June 25th 2019 by ARC Worlds Publishing
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Jon Auerbach Hi Richard,

I just checked my notes to see if I had chosen that number for a particular reason, but it looks like it was just a random number I came up…more
Hi Richard,

I just checked my notes to see if I had chosen that number for a particular reason, but it looks like it was just a random number I came up with. But I'll have to consider doing something with an in-book phone number in book 2. If you're looking for hidden easter eggs in the book, check out the second-to-last paragraph of chapter 26!


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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  94 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Kitty G Books
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spfbo-2019
* This is one of the #SPFBO entries I am reading as a judge *

I have to admit, this one drew me in a whole lot more quickly than some of the other titles I have so far read for the competition and I really enjoyed it. I do think that there are quite a few missing words/grammatical amends needed to make it a really solid title, and some editing to make the book flow a little better, but the premise and general ideas worked well for me.

This story follows Jen, a coder with a life she's rather bored
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
4.5 tokens

Incredibly imaginative!

The book that keeps on giving.
Guild of Tokens is one of the most imaginative and ingeniously choreographed novels I have ever read. I had the pleasure to listen to this novel on audio and was blown away by its dimensions. Elements from history, fantasy, and fiction all play in concert to create a uniquely crafted plot filled with surprises and suspense.

Jen works in the gaming industry and leads a lackluster life. Days in and out are just mundane. She's in a lo
So wow, what a ride.

Meet Jen, a 28 year old New Yorker who has a coding job at a start up, a boyfriend she never sees because he works in Hong Kong; and friends who are shelf adsorbed, shallow and catty but are her longest friends and all she has. Her life is normal albeit lackluster. Until the emails come with
"Epic Questers wanted!"

Little did Jen realize what she was getting herself into when she clicked the link and was sent to the Quest Board. Lists of quests to retrieve items, drop offs wi
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, review-copy
3.5 Stars
This was an incredibly unique and addicting Lit RPG. I loved the premise because I would also love to quest in real life. The magic in the novel was also particularly cool.

The beginning of the story initially pulled me in with the mysterious setup. However I found the middle of the narrative to be a bit muddled and could have been tightened up a bit. Overall, this was a really fun story that I would recommend to fans of lit RPGs looking for fantastical adventure.

I received a free digit
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing

I will say right now this is one of the most enjoyable reads of this year, as much as I enjoyed this a huge wave of nostalgia washed over me reading this, as a player of several MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) this book was brilliant. This has been my first work of urban fantasy for some time, a sub - genre of fantasy that I enjoy and this was no exception. Told in the first person, everything happens from Jen’s perspective as she slowly becomes enveloped in a real world qu
Holly (The GrimDragon)
"I felt something grasping my shoulders and I struggled to stay in the moment. The power that had been at my command was unlike anything I had experienced before. It wasn't borrowed or siphoned or tapped, it was raw and it was mine."

Guild of Tokens is the debut novel and start of a new series, self-published by Jon Auerbach. Storytellers On Tour is promoting the book in celebration of the release of the audiobook!

Jen Jacobs is a video game developer for a startup. She's in a long-distance relati
Sep 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have a read a bunch of urban fantasy books in my years, but this one is definitely one of the more unique takes on the concept. I didn’t know what to expect with this but I had a good time with it. A young woman named Jen, who’s a game developer, gets a strange email about a game she’s never played before. It kind of feels like geocaching mixed with low level grinding levels of games like WoW. She was asked to pick up random ingredients from all over the city and deliver them to different part ...more
Yvonne (The Coycaterpillar Reads)
Guild Of Tokens. An urban fantasy that gives you everything you didn’t know you were craving. A plot that warrants its highly ambitious execution, Auerbach has created a world that chews you up and spits you back out with his rich and vibrant world building. It certainly didn’t take long to be transported into the world of questing, tokens and mystique. I typically know if a book is going to be for me within a few chapters, but it was even shorter with Guild Of Tokens. Auerbach quick paced prose ...more
Travis Riddle
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spfbo5
Guild of Tokens is a clever twist on the urban fantasy genre, with a unique premise and a compelling mystery.

The book takes place in New York, and it seems clear to me that author Jon Auerbach is intimately familiar with the setting. The city in the book feels intricate and real, like Auerbach has a map sitting out on the table while he writes--or better yet, is going out into the city himself to garner inspiration for the book and plan out scenes in the actual places his characters end up gall
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-request
Guild of Tokens is a thrilling and highly imaginative urban fantasy tale of adventure, secrets, magic, and betrayal. Set in an alternate version of our own modern world, there are plenty of things that appear familiar and relatable, but even more to discover beneath the veil of normalcy. Within its pages, author Jon Auerbach takes us on a massive and dangerous scavenger hunt for vastly coveted tokens and the truth, presenting an account that perfectly portrays the concept that every action has a ...more
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is an urban fantasy that's more MMO than murder-mystery, and a bazillion times more engrossing for it. I don't think I've ever read one quite as self-referentially sneaky that doesn't go too far into humour territory. It's all a bit point-n-click adventure, only with more grit.

In this strange tale we follow Jen Jacobs, coder and geek extraordinaire. Underappreciated by her startup bro colleagues, she's all up for the mysterious Quest Board that appears on her computer screen one evening. O
Jon Auerbach
Jun 07, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
[Update: 1/27/21] The Guild of Tokens special hardcover edition is now live on Kickstarter!
[Update: 6/25/19] Guild of Tokens is out now!
[Update: 6/18/19] One week til release! Guild of Tokens is also an entry in SPFBO5! Check out Mark Lawrence's blog here for all the details.
[Update: 6/12/19] Check out the cover reveal for Guild of Tokens here!
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Intriguing as always. All Jen wants out of life, is something more than disappointment. She does, but not exactly what she expected. Don’t miss out.
Jordan (Forever Lost in Literature)
Find this review at Forever Lost in Literature!

Guild of Tokens is an inventive, adventurous, and highly compellng urban fantasy with a dash of litRPG elements and an exciting plot. Urban fantasy is still one of those subgenres that I haven't read extensively in, so I was excited to check out this book and explore some more urban fantasy, and I'm happy to say that I had a blast with this one.

In Guild of Tokens, we follow Jen, a woman who is looking for something more in her life. It's not that he
Katie P.
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Blog ✍ | Facebook 👩 | Twitter 🐦 | Instagram 📸

It's so hard for me to begin this review, because I enjoyed this book so much! This is a self-described unconventional urban fantasy, which a tantalizing mystery, an all knowing secret organization, and a secret that runs so deep through the heart of New York City.

Jen is a coder by day and Quester by night, but also day sometimes too. In the beginning, we get glimpses of Jen's regular life as a resident of NYC, but the reader is quickly introduced to
Jun 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Rating: 7.0/10

Thanks to the author for an audio copy of Guild of Tokens for review consideration. This did not influence my thoughts or opinions.

Guild of Tokens is an enjoyable little romp that mixes LitRPG with Urban Fantasy and a tidbit of mystery. It is fast-paced, full of tongue-in-cheek humor, and produces plenty of nostalgic moments which is pretty par for the course when it comes to the LitRPG genre. Having said all that, Auerbach spins a very unique tale that I believe will appeal to a t
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Guild of Tokens is an inventive urban fantasy that is rife with fun, quick pacing, and morally grey characters. With references to The Matrix and Alice in Wonderland, this is a piece that is self-aware and has chosen an engaging tone, that is at once lighthearted and a serious look at relationships and life. Auerbach tells part of the story through a leap-frog plot device. He tells a little concluding plot point and then backs up to relate how the characters got there. It’s a good way to tease t ...more
Jennifer (bunnyreads)
I won a copy of Guild of Tokens in a twitter contest. Thank you so much to Jon Auerbach for the paperback! And to Justine over at Whispers & Wonder @__its_justine__ for hosting the @CalltoArms contest.

What an enjoyable read! This was just what I needed to get me back in the groove.

Guild of tokens is an easy access not-quite litrpg, quest fantasy, which actually reminded me more of geocaching than litrpg. The story does well at blending the fun of collecting items to level up, without the grindi
Otto Benz
Jul 23, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantasy set in modern New York in which two women are drawn into the guild of alchemists. The characters are not all straightforward, and all have secrets. They’re all searching for hidden knowledge from the 18th century, and some characters appear to have survived all the time since then- although not with all their memories. It’s an interesting and confusing read, leaving you wanting to know more.
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to the author for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion. It’s available to purchase now.

If you enjoy RPG’s, read this book. If you’ve ever spent hours on end trying to defeat the end boss in a video game, read this book. If you enjoy scavenger hunts, adventure, mystery, and excellent writing, read this book.

I had so much fun with this one! Poor Jen just wanted a bit of escapism, but ended up wondering what was going to do her in first: the Guild or her mentor. A
Abel Montero
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Calvin Park
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a review copy of this novel from the author. This has not impacted my review.

Jon Auerbach treats us to a rousing litRPG-like adventure through Manhattan. Guild of Tokens is a unique blend of genres, one-part urban fantasy, one-part litRPG, and one-part mystery. There’s a lot to like in Auerbach’s first novel.

Guild of Tokens has one of the most unique and interesting concepts I’ve ever encountered. Our main character, Jen Jacobs, discovers what is essentially a Craigslist for weird qu
Caitlin G
Rating and review based on a free copy of the book provided by the author.

Final Rating: 3.5/5 Stars - Liked it!

Jen Jacobs' life is going nowhere fast, so when she receives an email inviting her to partake in real live questing, she decides to give it a try.  At first, things are simple enough.  Log onto the Quest Board and choose a quest.  Complete the test, get wooden tokens.  Do enough of those, and you can start earning iron tokens, etc.  It's harmless fun, with quests ranging from leaving a
Jun 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Check out my blog post here:

This book had me interested from the start. The premise is interesting and something that I have never seen before. The idea is that Jen Jacobs gets an email to start doing quests in real life. She completes the quest and in return gets tokens. The quests range from easy and mundane, such as getting blueberries and popsicles and leaving them at a certain location, to difficult and seemingly impossible, such as stealing a certai
Alex Vega
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Guild of tokens works as both an entertaining fantasy story and a fantastic love letter to New York City.
John Auerbach has crafted an intriguing fantasy world that feels lived in and authentic.

The novel takes Jen Jacobs from her life as a video game developer into a realm of urban fantasy that’s hidden in plain sight, a sort of mmorpg meets craigslist that plays out in real life. The novel slowly takes Jen from her life of conformity to a literal scavenger hunt in search of purpose, answers and
Matt McAbee
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Guild of Tokens is a modern urban fantasy that bring the grind of rpgs to life for Jen Jacobs. Jen by day is a video game developer., at night she is working her way up the ranks by questing from the quest board. She soon grows tired of the gathering item quests and sets out to learn the why behind the quests.

This book is very well written, the plot will keep you guessing, and watching Jen go from mild mannered doormat into a confident problem solver. Most of the change happens after she meets
Karen Tankersley
This book was fun! I think that anyone who liked The Matrix, National Treasure, and gaming would like this book. It’s a bit of an odd mix, but somehow it works.

The story centers around Jen, a software developer for a startup video game company living in New York City. Looking for a little excitement, she gets drawn into the world of questing, and discovers a hidden world of magic controlled by the Guild, a secretive organization. There are apples which let you read someone’s mind, a knife that w
The Mysterious Reader
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read Trainee and Enforcer, the two Guild of Tokens Origins prequels to Jon Auerbach’s Guild of Tokens, which is the first full book in the series of the same name. As a result I knew to expect a complex tale with betrayals and plots galore. Add in to that a neat concept of effectively a real life RPG - with actual magic - plus a great lead in Jen Jacobs and a complex and really well-crafted character in Beatrice Taylor (and that’s all I’m gonna say about her as I don’t want to spoil anything). ...more
Jun 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"This is not a game. The Quests are real. The rewards are real. The glory is real. Do you have what it takes?"

I always choose carefuly what novels I read in English besides my own mother tongue and I have to say, it was very worth reading Guild of Tokens because not only is the story terribly enjoyable, but also special and has potential in it.

Guild of Tokens is a refreshing urban fantasy full of action and adventure. The world of the volume itself is a bit gloomy, a little dark, but very enjoya
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Guild of Tokens is filled with twists, turns and surprises. Poor Frankie, I was shocked and disturbed by her plight. Mr. Auerbach has an imagination that is sometimes delightful and sometimes terrifying but almost always entertaining. There are a couple of times when the action slows down but it picks up in just a few pages. And I absolutely loved the ending. I highly recommend it and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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Jon Auerbach's love of fantasy began at the tender age of six, when his parents bought him the classic 1977 animated version of The Hobbit.

Jon hopes to pass on his stories to the next generation, including his kids, who have their own copy of The Hobbit that they lovingly call "the Bilbo book."

Sign up for Jon's newsletter at to get two free short stories!

Other books in the series

Guild of Tokens (2 books)
  • Guild of Magic

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