The never-ending wars, pollution, and overpopulation of the near future have caused the outdoors to become uninhabitable, and the government is forced to create a new world, a virtual existence that allows civilization to continue. Shopping malls, schools, concert venues, and religious gathering places all exist in the infinite confines of this new reality, yet the most popular domain for most teenagers is the one that houses the endless array of digital games.
When the sequel to a popular title is released to the public for a special beta test, a group of players eagerly log in to try out the new experience. What seems like harmless violence quickly turns all too consequential when the players realize the game's biggest error: They can't log out. Forced to battle their way through an endless army of monsters programmed to kill their avatars, the players must fight against the clock and find a way out of the game before the real world catches up to them.
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LitRPG with a Brain - Nice Twist on the Genre
This is a smart, beautifully described world set in the not too distant future. It's not all RPG mania. There is something much more deep and intelligent about this book. Don't get me wrong...pure RPGers will enjoy the action, but the more astute listener will clearly understand that the book is about technology warping what it mean to be human. The descriptions of the city, it's politics and culture reminded me of a mix between the movie Brazil and the book 1984. The plot is unique and the story moves at a fast pace. The narrator was outstanding. Creating voices for characters that are basically avatars had to be challenging. One character's voice purposely changes dramatically midway through from a youth to an adult. No spoilers here. I really enjoyed this book. Hope book 2 is just as good.
This is a lot different from a lot of LitRPG stories. Your hero isn't here to be one and he's good with that.
The premise is different from the mainstream of the genre so it'd be hard to directly compare.
John does a pretty solid job with personifying the characters, I wasn't left wondering who'd said that.
Jaron did a great job with the characterizations, just because I didn't LIKE some of them as people doesn't mean he didn't do his job!