The Duty : Play to Live

  • by D. Rus
  • Narrated by Michael Goldstrom
  • Series: Play to Live
  • 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The perma players' new reality gains depth and color. The virtual world has seen its first birth - and its first death. The invisible umbilical cord connecting AlterWorld to Earth grows thinner, and even the Fallen One cannot prevent the looming catastrophe. Could Max have ignored the Russian girl who'd just escaped slavery in a virtual China? Could he have turned a deaf ear to her pleas as the desperate fugitive clutched at straws on hearing her native tongue? All this triggers a full-blown confrontation, sending armies of thousands into battle in the heart of the Frontier, burning kilotons of mana, melting desert sands and hacking through impervious mithril armor. The two nations' furious war cries obscure the sky as the gods shudder at humans' desperate cruelty.


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good, But Getting Weird...

So. I'm clipping through this series extremely quickly, just about a book a day- that should tell folks a lot about how engaging it is. I was rapidly developing into major fandom after I finished book II; this hasn't really been taken off the table, but it has been placed on the back burner pending book four. I'm going to preface the following with this: these books are translated and, as such, a *lot* can get lost in the process if it isn't done carefully. There are a few idioms and grammatical errors that are clearly translator/editor errors. The following issues may also be partially such as well.

Where the first two books were concerned with growth, building, and amazement (which isn't to say that isn't part of the current book), some very odd factors are starting to bleed into the story. Rus is starting to express some extremely xenophobic and... nationalistic feelings in his books. While we are rolling along in Alterworld, the protagonist goes on paragraphs long tirades about the glory of the Russian army in world war II, the cost of defeating the Germans, and centuries old hatred of Asians. Then we're ripped back into this world of magic and swords.

I'm not xenophobic myself, nor do I expect the world to conform to my "American Born During the Last Gasp of the Cold War" outlook on things. I fully understand that this is a Russian author writing about Russians who have melded into a virtual world. My issue isn't necessarily with the nationalism etc (not that I agree with it, obviously), but rather its bizarre juxtaposition in the book. I would take identical pause with a lot of talk about the glorious American spirit and centuries old anger at England for oppressing us, or how we liberated the concentration camps being interspersed in a piece of pure nerd fiction. It's almost like we have Monty Python sitting there saying "and now for something completely different..."

This being said, Rus has started to explore much more intense concepts as well. Slavery is discussed at length... but instead of it being a laudable denial of slavery in total, it is once more put through the nationalistic lens. For example, Russian lives are worth 10 of X race and, during one exchange, citizens from former USSR nations are left in captivity.

Religion is also tackled more intensely in this installment, which is always a touchy subject in MMORPGs. I don't think Rus does a particularly bad job of exploring it, nor is anything terribly offensive to the mind. Those more dogmatically inclined may feel differently.

Rus also exposes more of a chauvinistic side as well. In prior books it could be interpreted as a commentary on how women are treated in games (which is a very valid commentary indeed), but... it's verged a few times into the grey zone in this installment. Nothing outrightly 'bad' necessarily... just off.

I don't want to make it sound like the whole book was off-putting, it really wasn't. The vast majority was extremely entertaining and driven. The characters are developing nicely, drama is present, and we have moved into much broader topics. Overall I was less impressed, but still clipped along with the listening. Giving book four a shot, we'll see how it plays out.

Still worth a listen and your time, especially if you have been following along since book one.
Read full review

- Charlie

good story overcome by sexism and bad dialog

Any additional comments?

Since book one I have thought, that's not how gamers talk. Neither I nor any of my friends calls every girl on the mike babe, yet in this book series that is how every woman is referred too. I just saw it as a petty annoyance at first but ignored it because this writer is so good at describing in game character building in a way that you feel like you are the one building the character. As the books went on the sexism got worse and worse. While I will admit that the author does it to his male characters too (where the crap is bug!! Two and a third books since he was introduced and no Bug!!!) the lack of use of Tali in the this and the last books and only using her as a plot device in this book stripping her of what little character she had is unforgivable. I am going to have trouble continuing to read this book series. I don't know if I can last four more books of hearing about this guys inner greedy pig constantly without hearing about the characters in the story that I really want to care about. There are also parts in the book that make me worry about how the author might treat women in real life as he portrays them as being creatures that when not tamed and made to obey men only cause men pain only giving a woman the purpose of affecting a man and no character and purpose of their own. The only reason I did not rate this book lower is because I still love alter world and the concepts of the game.

Read full review

- cory

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-12-2015
  • Publisher: Audible Studios