Quantum Hughes' life is stuck on repeat. While trapped in The Loop, a virtual entertainment dreamworld, he struggles to free himself from a glitch that forces him to re-live the same day over and over. Everything changes after Quantum receives a mysterious message from a woman named Frances Euphoria, the first human player he has made contact with in years. Once Frances appears, members of the Reapers, a murder guild, begin surfacing in The Loop, hoping to capture Quantum, or worse - kill him. To further complicate matters, The Loop itself is doing everything it can to stop Quantum from escaping. With time running out, will Quantum break free from The Loop before he's captured or killed by the Reapers? Who is Frances Euphoria, and what does she actually know about how long Quantum has been trapped in the virtual dreamworld? The thin line between dream and reality is pixelated.
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"France is dangerous? Maybe if you're a snail."
Easily one of, if not the most enjoyable audiobooks I have heard for a long time. Colourful characters, well constructed interesting storyline, ongoing often hilarious action, dialogue humour - sometimes laugh out loud - and a brilliant narration. This book has it all.
The Feedback Loop is a type of Groundhog Day, set in cyberspace. Quantum ("Call me Quantum") Hughes is stuck in a loop, the only real player in a Proxima Galaxy game, his logout having stopped working some 540+ 'days' before.- he knows that because he added a new item to his inventory after each awakening. He can't die but he's often murdered only to return the next morning to the predictable day ahead, starting at 8.05 when the Morning Assassin crashes through his window with some new way to kill him, or be killed. Then the crow flies past his window ...
Quantum is sick of it. He wants out. Then into his cyber life comes something strange, a new player - and she is a real person.
Written in the first person, Quantum is trapped with his emotions on edge, yo-yoing between boredom, depression, hopelessness, self pity, paranoia, callousness, anger, gallow's humour and fear. And Jeff Hays is Quantum, the slick, fast talking fighter, tired of being alone, afraid of what might have become of his body in the real world, hating the loop in which his is stuck. As the book progresses, the humour intensifies. And the narration echos it all. I have been an admirer of Mr.Hays' work for some time but in this performance he excels both in his interpretation of the text and in giving fitting voice to each and everyone of the other characters. (There is even a delicious little throwaway joke in which Quantum remarks to one of the in game personalities about another group, that their "accents are off ...like Dick van Dyke in Mary Poppins." and receives the reply that, looking for cultural diversity, the game makers " had voice actors create characters. Some were more successful than others." ).
There is so much I would like to write about and quote from this book. Snippets keep being recalled to make me smile. I want to recommend it to everyone I know. As soon as I heard the last sentences played, I purchased book two, Steampunk is Dead, in eBook format. But I haven't opened it yet: I am waiting to see if it, too, will be made into an Audiobook with Jeff Hays narrating. If so, it will be top of my shopping list.
- Norma Miles
I don't think I'm ready for this video game.