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
Having enjoyed Sword Art online, this was along a similar vein, the anti-hero aspect is a nice story mechanic and I found myself enjoying more of this than I thought.
While people discredit the voice actor, you might find the tone a little off putting, the story is worth the perseverance, and Druid really makes the story his own. I grew to enjoy the story more due to his efforts.
Have fun, make your own decision - Sword Art/Armada and Ready Player One fans will enjoy this.
if you're a fan of Ready Player One, Armada, Magic 2.0, or even the Critical Failures series you'll love this. The narrator can be a little off putting at the beginning, but his voice actually lends well to the characters and story. I can't wait for book 2 :)
As I started this book I found the character development a little under done at best, I think it was my judgement of the main character which came across as unlikeable. However as the author began to gain his footing the other characters in the book slowly began to flesh out. And my judgement of the main character changed as his flaws were recognised, within the storyline, admitted to and positively worked on.
The descriptive gore was a bit much at times and though I can see the parallels between the settings with in the 'game' and this point again I think it was perhaps a tad overdone.
About 1/2 into the book I was about to delete it however I am glad I listened to the end as it definitely improved with much better character development and a less predictable plot. I look forwards to ALFREDS further character development
I am very much the target audience for this book. I've been a gamer since, well, the origins of modern computers. This is, in a lot of ways, wish fulfillment of the highest order for nerds and geeks (I say that as one of them). The concept was a fresh take on a budding sub-genre and, imo, the best one thus far.
There were some hamfisted aspects to it, a few areas where things were just... too on the nose. But there were also many aspects that were extremely satisfying and well executed.
Some might find Jason's path through the book/game... less than optimal. However, Bagwell does a good job at showing the transparencies of one side vs the other. Nothing is quite as it seems.
The added science fiction of the computer story line was rather well done and I was caught off guard for some of the revelations. Well done.
All in all, if you are gamer then this listen is a no brainer. If you're not, but still have an affinity for Sci-fi etc, this will probably fit the bill, but it would have anywhere near the impact.
Worth a credit and your time.
"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.
YA Cliché book
Jason is not poor, but he goes to a rich private school on a scholarship. The kids and staff at school hate him because he is not rich and they nickname him Welfare. Jason's parents hardly know he exists. The main bad guy is the school jock. Jason is a skinny smart kid. In the game he is sneaky back stabber. I made it almost four hours, but found nothing redeeming or entertaining about this book. In the game every move Jason makes is followed by the announcement that he has earned an x amount of points for an ability. I understand why this is done, but after awhile I feel like I am watching my older brother play a game and he will not let me play.
I have had my eye on this for awhile due to the really high rating. I am at a loss at what these people are listening to.
"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
"Hurrah for refunds!"
Woeful. In terms of story and narration, it's a cure for insomnia and that's about it.
I read the book before listening to it. I don't think the performer understood the main character. there was a range of emotions that I think he mischaracterized as anger and aggression.
"Anakin Skywalker meets World of Warcraft"
Great book great narration, story kinda reminds me of Anakin Skywalkers rise to power with Jason the main character being Anakin and the old man being the Emperor.I'm not really a gamer but you really don't need to be one to find interest in this story.this is actually my first litrpg and it peeked my interest in this genre thanks AO!
"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.
"Dislike the narrator, but it's good!"
This book has a LOT of parallels to Play to Live. Unique direction though.
I like how the players never get trapped in the game, like most other VRMMO stories I've read.
I'm excited to see where book 2 goes, because this book ended on a hopeful note, yet there has to be some upcoming crisis to be interesting, right? It definitely isn't a stand alone novel though, it would be a bit unsatisfying if there wasn't a sequel.
"Unexpected story, odd choice of voice actor."
David Staifels performance seemed pretty inconsistent, but not enough to take away from this awesome plot. If you know anything about Sword Art Online, then this book is what that awful anime should have been. Great work by Mr. Bagwell.
"An odd one this"
This tale has some great ideas but the clunkiness of the storytelling let's it down. I suspect many of the apparent weaknesses stem from the narration which is pretty poor. I'll most likely pick up book two at some point, though sadly it has the same narrator.
I found this soon after listening to Ready Player One. I became addicted to this book within the first chapter. The story is good, the reader did a very good job on the voices and the way the plot unfold and twists between the game and real life was fantastic. I have already bought the second one. I highly recommend the heck out of this audiobook!
"A great listen!"
I was on the look out for a book like this, I really enjoy mmorpgs and also love reading works of fiction around the themes
"great start to a series."
I started listening to this book whilst running a few errands, I ended up listening to the entire story in one go. The LitRPG genre is my current addiction this is one of the better ones. I thoroughly enjoyed the main character and his tactical playstyle. My only complaint would be that the main character seems to be overpowered from almost the beginning of the game.
"Great Geek Read with problematic bits"
I was enthralled by this book and if your looking for a geek read i would highly recommend it with one caveat.
It has angry white boy who feels like he is the good guy issues. The book nods at this but still is firmly in the trap. Without getting spoiled i will say the bad guy is bad, rich people all douches and of course the girl likes him but stuff.
I enjoyed it but i wouldn't recommend it to anyone without the caveat of angry white boy media which is so disappointing because halfway through I was hopeful it would deal with the issues but then all naunce is demolished with a reveal of evil bad guy being just evil.
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