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Once in a while a really good story is written by an author that is not that well known. This is certainly one.
I have heard Orson Scott Card talk about the audio book being the best medium for reading his books. My understanding of what he speaks of is that a movie takes all the imagination and places it on the director/producer to tell the story. The written book requires the engagement of the mind to decipher the letters on the page to bring the story to life. The audio book, on the other hand, allows the listener/reader to sit back and take in the story and let it play in the “theater of the mind”.
I listen to a lot of books and really enjoy most of them. But once in a while, one comes along that truly creates Card’s “theater of the mind” experience. This book was one of those for me.
The narration was not up to par. The character voices were not well differentiated although the narrator did not really just drone on. I got used to the narrator by the end of the book but think it would have been an even better experience by someone else.
The story however, was well above par. This is one that draws you in and don’t let go. The character development was well done with good pacing and did not leave you wondering who was who and what was going on. The story is about a video game that is so completely immersed in reality that while in the game it is easy to forget who you were before you entered. This audio book has such an experience in the “theater of the mind” that it is just like the game in the book. It is easy to get lost in the story and forget reality for a time.
Although this book stands alone as a complete story, it is the first book in a series and is a great introduction into the world for the stories to come. Can’t wait for more and if this book is any indication worth every credit I will be spending on the rest of the series.
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audio book by the author, narrator, or publisher.
29 of 31 people found this review helpful
This is book one in the Continue Online series, and it's unlike any LitRPG novel I've read so far. Grant Legate works with an AI companion to repair virtual reality capsules. Grant throws himself into his work to distract from his recent loss and bouts of depression. When he's gifted a copy of the virtual reality game Continue Online, he finally takes the time to explore the game that the rest of the world is obsessed with. Once he does, he faces questions about the concept of reality and AI.
The author created an absolutely fascinating virtual reality world, and I can't wait to see Grant explore more of it. This wasn't a traditional LitRPG novel with hack and slash action scenes, level stats, and awesome gear. This book was more intellectual and explored more mature concepts. Like James, it asked more questions than it answered. It was very character driven, Grant was a broken man and it didn't shy away from showing the depths of his pain. While that could be difficult to read at times, it was deep, and real, and so worth reading.
The narration was well done, it fully immersed me in the story. His character voices aren't overacted and dramatic and they don't detract from the actual story. I requested a copy of the audiobook, and I'm voluntarily leaving a review.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
I read the e-book back in December and this was my review for a magazine. Following is the audio review.
Concept/world-building – 4
Plot - 4
Character – 5
Dialogue – 4
Prose – 5
Conflict/resolution – 4
Overall rating 4.5
It takes me a good while to get through a book, not an audiobook. So this was read before bed at night.
As far as LitRPG goes, I’m still wetting my appetite, absorbing all the audiobooks I can, and devouring works from Royal Road Legends.
For me, this novel stands out already for its incredible emotional impact as well as the attention to detail, both inside the VR world, and the Mc’s outside life. There were some excellent visuals in here, of the Mc as well. I mean who doesn’t wander around their own home in underwear?
The novel itself takes a little time to get going, and I didn’t mind that because instead of a prologue, which I do tend to skip. The writer gave us some very interesting passages of time. And then we’re launched into the main story.
Grant and his family are just like most people, they have a connection, but don’t always get along. I think that is one of the deciding factors as to why I enjoyed reading this as much as I did. I also thought a lot about the darker tendencies of the story. It’s very deep. It deals with a lot of inner struggles, and I believe that’s why the game helps out our sometimes depressed MC.
I enjoyed the journey that Grant goes on. When his niece shows him inside the game he is hooked, just as much as I was on the book. Old Man Carver, is an interesting character his life is almost peaceful within the game, ie, not quite as exciting as some, but the fact is he’s not really all there to go hunting big monsters, and such. This book has a much deeper level than all the regular litRPG’s, and his journal is very interesting, as is his life as an NPC.
With lots of humorous events throughout the novel, and I admit, I’m hard to make laugh. I also found this to be one of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time. I do hope there were supposed to be funny moments because I couldn’t help myself but laugh, maybe it’s my brit humour ‘go moo at that’ lmao.
I don’t want to spoil anything else for this reading journey, but there are some well-defined sub characters, backstory, world-building and more.
On the whole, this was a refreshing change to some of the litRPG books’ I’ve read and listened to so far, and it was and hopefully will be (as I’m heading to pick up the next one) one of the more memorable this year.
Pavi was a very easy listen, I also have another of his LitRPG audiobooks. What made him stand out in this one for me, was I think the emotional tone of the story was very different.
What Pavi brought to the table here, was just pure emotion, and really out great effort into the characters tone and emotions. Compared to the ebook this was a totally different experience. I laughed out loud with Carver, and the others in the 'Game'
The ending was just perfect.
Well done Pavi. I look forward to more audio from you.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Waiting a long time for something to happen, the book didn't go anywhere, found myself getting bored and at poi T-Shirt losing g the will to live.
Had promise but failed.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful
While the story is filled with troupes and the characters motivations circumstantial at best and the depression bogs and slows down the story. This part is redeemed in its opening narrative of how the A.I was made and classic hero's journey arc the main character plays out.
Yet there is a definite lack of progression that I expect from a VR novel and that does not seem like it will change until he gets closure on his wifes death.
overall its an interesting story.
virtual reality with a slight twist from the others.
no over powered main character or a struggle for power. so wouldnt say its completely original but i liked it.
one annoying part was the constant repetitive use of the dead fiance sob story... used every 20 minutes of the story. We get it. the fiance died. dont need to keep shoving it in our face
1 of 2 people found this review helpful