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The Last Warrior of Unigaea Written by Harmon Cooper is a new book in the LitPRG genre. If you do not know what this is, let me explain. LitRPG is a fairly new genre that mainly consists of story and characters based in either a Virtual reality world, MMO game (Massively Multiplayer Game Online Game - Like World of Warcraft), or other similar RPG (Role Playing Game).
The story follows Oric Rune as he lives in the world of Unigaea as a special class of character called a "Player Killer". This class is universally hated and untrusted by other players and NPC's (Think computer controlled characters) alike. Oric chooses this profession in order to be able to seek revenge on other "Player Killer" characters who had previously wronged him in the game. While he is on his quest he discovers another threat that is threatening his new world of Unigaea and must make a decision to ignore this threat or to put off his mission of revenge and face this new threat for the sake of the virtual world that he loves.
Harmon Cooper drops us into the world of Unigaea without any explanation of how this world works. We do learn a few things such as in Unigaea when you die, your character is DEAD and you must start completely over as a new character. We also learn that Oric in real life has opted to be "Perma logged" into this game. How or why is never explained. To me, these things are both a blessing and a curse. Other books in this genre that I have read have the tendency to explain these things as if they were explaining to someone who has no idea how video games or RPGs work at all and tend to go a little TOO into the details to the point that it is too much. Pretty much these days most people get the concept of Virtual Reality, Video Games and such. If not, then this genre is probably not for you.
On the other hand, it would be nice to have some more information than is provided in this book. I get the feeling that this book is in the same universe as other books by Harmon Cooper such as Fantasy Online and if I had read those books then I would have a better understanding.
Overall, I was still able to enjoy the story. The pace was a bit slow at first (never too slow though), and picked up nicely by the end. I found myself not wanting to put the story down and finding excuses to find time to jump back in!
The narration by Jeff Hays and Annie Ellicott was done very well! I enjoyed how the game voices had effects on them and how the character of Sam Raid was performed by Annie Ellicott. The dual roles really lent a great contrast to the experience!
** I received this book free of charge from the author / narrator / publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. **
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I really enjoyed this book. the story was well thought out and I really liked the characters. the only part I did not like was the insta kill sounds, a bit too much but that could just be my tastes. having a female voice was a nice touch
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
Unlike the action packed adventures Harmon usually does this is a more personal close up review of a player who after losing his town to player killers decides to seek revenge by becoming a player killer and going adter them. His character shunned by the rest of the world in general gives us a lighter side with his companion a massive Wolf adaptly named Wolf (what better name is their). His personal quest for revenge and his levelling give us some great one on one interactions and background to his personality making this a great read. Although not as action packed as a lot of Harmons work it's easy to feel for Oric and to quickly feel for his quest and its motivations.
The audio version does great with the usual skills of top narrator Jeff Hays as main narrator with our female lead played by Annie Ellicott adding a bit extra in with her talents, this helps pick up the book from very good to great.
This is the first book but i feel invested in our hero so im looking forward to his book 2 due out soon.
Any additional comments?
The dream team of author, Harmon Cooper and multi voiced narrator Jeff Hays, come together again with the first of a new series set in the Proxima Galaxy.
Eric's body might be held in suspension somewhere in Chicago, but in the world of Unigaea, his incarnation as Oric Rune lives as a killer player, despised and feared by others as he and his only companion, a pony-sized Tagvornin wolf, seek vengeance and destruction on the Drachma killers who destroyed the village he had created and loved during a previous lifetime there.
Written in the first person , the reader follows Oric as his personal quest proceeds, alongside him as he fights and kills, remembers and plans, and often struggles simply to stay alive. Because Unigaea is an unforgiving world where to die means to return to the very beginning with nothing more than memories that can be brought back.
Jeff Hays is, as always, wonderful as Oric, his versatile voice expressively conveying the player's thoughts, words and deeds. From exhausted to elated, and everything in between. Plus Jeff is also almost everyone else, each character, be they male or female, dwarf or Governor, given their own distinctive and very appropriate voice. His ability to consistently and flawlessly switch between so many would be awe inspiring were it not for the reader's immersion in the story preventing such speculation. And there are no production problems to jar the listener from total absorption.
The one exception to Mr.Hays' cast of, if not millions then, at least, dozens is the entry of Annie Ellicott as the fun loving, thrill seeking, militia leading player, Sam Raid, towards the end of the book. Her beautifully cadenced voice is warm, filled with laughter and captures the essence of her flirty somewhat crazy character well. A really nice addition to the already excellent narration.
I am not, and have never been, an on-line games player but I do so enjoy the LitRPG genre when it is well written. So much is possible in these real feeling but make believe worlds. And so much can also go wrong where the code is king! After a slightly (though action fi!led) slow start, in this, The Last Warrior of Unigaea, Harmon Cooper again shows his mastery as story teller of imagination and wit. A terrific book, in every aspect.