Jason logs into Awaken Online fed-up with reality. He's in desperate need of an escape, and this game is his ticket to finally feeling the type of power and freedom that are so sorely lacking in his real life.
Awaken Online is a brand new virtual reality game that just hit the market, promising an unprecedented level of immersion. Yet Jason quickly finds himself pushed down a path he didn't expect. In this game, he isn't the hero. There are no damsels to save. There are no bad guys to vanquish.
In fact, he might just be the villain.
©2016 Travis Bagwell (P)2016 Travis Bagwell
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"Very engaging, and the narrator works hard to make a splendid performance."
Very good! I couldn't stop listening. The narrator surprised me when he used sound effects to add to his performance so it took me a while to get used to it. Once I got into the swing of things though, I really enjoyed what he was doing. Add to that the fact that the story is engrossing and addictive, and it led to a very late night of giddy childish squeals of delight. If you are looking for that nich of video game books, then this scratches that itch in a powerful way.
"Hands down the best Lit-RPG genre book"
Awaken online is a marvel among a growing genre of immersive mmorpg books. The main character, Jason, is unique, clever, likable, and flawed and the world around him grows and changes to parallel his own personal growth.
Unlike other lit-rpg books, no one is trapped inside the game during this book, there is no contrived death-is-real shenanigans, and the MC doesn't exploit some miraculous luck or cheap exploit to mindlessly indulge the audience's power fantasies.
The game is run by a borderline illegal AI (from the future *spooky noises*) that's sole prerogative is to enhance the lives of its players. To do this, it gets personal and the quests reflect MC's real life issues. Overcoming them helps him to become the player he fantasizes himself to be outside the game world.
So if the game enhances his real life, lets hope his real life is interesting! Well, it isn't. He's got parents who have high expectations but pay him very little attention, he's got an extremely cliche elite jock bully who's out to make his life miserable (complete with teachers and principal who are hellbent on his expulsion), as well as an assortment of other problems dealing with being an insecure teenager. Most of these issues are pretty generic, but they're symptoms of an underlying problem with the MC's lack of self-worth and ability to stand up for himself. As he delves into the gameworld and grows - his bitterness and desire for righteous vengeance dissolve - the symptoms of his problems are made irrelevant and he begins to focus on his own happiness and future. This is a refreshingly adult take on a generally YA style power fantasy
"Very well executed - top-rank LitRPG"
Enjoyable start that didn't squander its potential. Ingredients not too different from other Lit RPGs but well seasoned and delicious. Shows great promise for future books.
Out of four different Lit RPG series I've experienced, only Shaman Mayon can compete with this strong storytelling.
Room for improvement:
No high schooler learns emotional maturity and communication skills that quickly, and especially without making painfully embarrassing mistakes first. This is still quite minor. It felt artificially convenient, but the story invested enough points in vitality to survive the injury.
For the narrator, great job and enjoyed sound effects. Stuttering was a bit over-the-top and please opt for the other pronunciation of trebuchet.
"great literary RPG"
great literary RPG. however I struggled with the ending. it just leaves you hanging with no actual closing. it is excusable and maybe understandable as this is a serious. the narration took me a little bit to get sucked in. I had to speed up the tempo to 1.2 to be able to handle his monologue voice. can't wait to continue the series.
"MMORPG Fan's Book"
I loved this book, but I am somewhat a videogame nerd. If you liked Ernest Kline's - Ready Player One, you'll love this read as well.
Most of these types of books I've read have not left an ending on which to build, however AO has me anxiously awaiting its sequel.
The narrator did an overall good job, but I couldn't seem to get used to some of his pronunciations and accent.
"Great story, great voice."
Was anxious at the beginning because the main character is quite unlikeable at first, and I didn't know if he grows out of it over the course of the story or not. Ended up decided to stick it out and I'm so glad I did. Before I knew it, I was rooting hard for jason and fully into the plot. Great narration too, I hope he sticks around for the sequel.
Actually reminded me a lot of Mother of Learning, as far as character power and personality growth, if that's of interest to anyone.
Engaged from start to finish, cannot wait until the next book! The character development is well-done, It feels like the characters have reasons and motivations behind their actions. The like the narrator too, he did a good job of bringing the characters to life.
"Pulls you right in!"
This is not my usual genre and I was a bit suspicious at first. Also this is a debut book. But the plot really pulls you in and I love books that make you root for the villain.
I can't wait to see where the author takes this next!
This was the best novel i have read in years. I loved it. I found the story interesting and refreshing.
"Best Book I've Listened to in a Long Time"
This is the best book that I've listened to in a long time. The characters are (mostly) complex and relatable. There is a balance between a fantasy/RPG and "real world" sci-fi plot. I am excited to see where the next book goes!
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