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Publisher's Summary

The year is 2040, and Eric Ryan hates technology. In an era where automated systems and AI robots perform most work obligations, scores of humans have lost their societal value. As these displaced people struggle with their new reality, Eric sympathizes with their hardship.

Once a neuropsychologist, his career ended when medical tech pushed him into obsolescence. Now a community therapist, he spends his days working with the displaced, helping them craft meaning in a world that no longer needs them. Then one day, a robot unexpectedly marches into the counseling center for mental health services. 

Eric is forced to work with the embodiment of what he loathes, and while doing so, he uncovers a damning secret. With his life at a low point, he shelves his professional obligations and investigates the revelation. However, he quickly learns that solving the mystery will only be possible with help from an unlikely source.

©2019 Noetic Quest (P)2020 Mark Villasenor

What listeners say about Displaced

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Profile Image for kyle wray
  • kyle wray
  • 15-01-2021

good book!

I recieved a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an unbiased review.

I really enjoyed the different viewpoints of the characters. I liked how the author approached the different characters because I felt as though they could actually exist. The jumping back and forth between virtual and real world threw me at first and took some getting used to but was enjoyable . I would recommend this book if you like the mash of genres and enjoy this style of narration!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Margaret
  • 08-01-2021

Reality of AI and computer majority workforce??

This is the first book I have read/listened to by this author and I really want to listen to another. I really liked this book despite some holes I would have liked filled- like how people can murder in this VR world. I try not to think too much about that though and just accept it as it is and go with the flow of the story. I find this book has a large degree of realism to it. As we continue to allow computers to take over many of our jobs, that lessens the diversity available to people and can only lead to more supply the demand for humans. I definitely see how it would have a negative impact on society’s mental well-being.——-

This is the first book I have listened to by this narrator ( Sean Posvistak ) and I would gladly listen to another. His performance/ narration was interesting. Although I was never pulled into the book enough to forget I was being read to, his character voices, I thought, were well done and distinct. He did wonderfully, especially with moments of tension in the apartment. He actually had me on the edge of my seat with my muscles tense- that’s unusual for me. Another part of me thought it was a little over expressed, but it was quite a physical response I had listening to his narration. Impressive. ——-

There are no explicit sex scenes, there is described violence with blood, but it is not excessively gory, there is swearing. ——-

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily left this unbiased review.
Please feel free to comment on whether you found my review helpful.

Story 5/5
Narration 5/5

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for BT
  • BT
  • 31-12-2020

A definite 3.5 star

I received a free review copy of this audio book, at my request, and am voluntarily leaving this unbiased review.

I want to start by stating that this is a 3.5 star book. I didn't give it 4 because it's missing too much to justify it, but I definitely consider it to be more than a 3.

This book is another in a long line of VR stories, like Ready Player One and Snow Crash. People are being murdered in the VR world and the main character is trying to figure out by who.

The main character is fairly well rounded. He has a limited backstory, but has complex emotions and feels fleshed out enough to become familiar. He is also likeable, so that helps. Unfortunately, is extremely naive and that makes for a frustrating read, at times. Thankfully the other characters call him out on it, so it's not an oversight by the author, rather it's a character flaw.

The secondary characters are not as developed as Dr Ryan, and even the bot that serves as almost a Co-main, isn't fleshed out. The secondary characters are not flat, however, they are complex, with emotions and goals. But they always feel distant and unfamiliar. This isn't bad, but I would have liked the secondary characters rounded out more.

The settings are basically familiar. A near future and a well explored past. Its all presented well, but nothing new or exciting.

Then we come to the plot. The plot is fine, on its own, but the biggest issue for me is that there is a massive loose thread, and once I started pulling on it, the whole premise didn't make sense to me.

There will be minor premise ***spoilers*** from here on, but I will try and not spoil any plot.

The whole idea of the book has to deal with people being murdered in the VR. Stabbed to death, bleeding out and choking on their own blood and screaming in pain. But it is never explained why that's even possible. Almost every online community game, it's not possible to kill other players, or at least it's only possible in certain areas, or only counts if they fight back. Developers do this because they know people will murder each other. But in 2040 no one thinks of it? No one writes a patch to disable this thing that everyone agrees is bad? And why would the physical characteristics of the death be possible anyways? Are avatars drowning in swimming pools? There's cars driving around, is no one getting hit by cars? Dr Ryan hits himself with a bar of metal and it hurts him and causes him to move differently to walk it off. What purpose does that serve? Why have pain in games anyways? It's mentioned that there are war planets. So are people playing in the trenches of WW1, going over the top, getting a bullet to the chest and bleeding out waiting for their buddies to pull them back? Who'd sign up for that?

The issue is none of this is explained. It makes 0 sense to me, to put real pain in a VR. It's a massive disadvantage to playing. And it's never addressed. Like saying it's a byproduct of something else and can't filter it out. It would still be silly, but it would be addressed. Likewise with the death. Saying the crypt keepers were hacking worlds and enabling death. It would have at least tried to patch a plot hole.

The other issue is the victims. The whole book is about keeping the victims safe. But it's never established if it's actually a big deal. The main character and some secondary characters think being vr murdered is a big deal, but no one ever talks to a victim.

I would have liked Dr. Ryan having to talk to some victims about their experience and see. Maybe it's like a bad dream. Wake up and it's gone in a few minutes or something.

The issue is, it's like a root canal. If you only know about it through description, or seeing it on TV or something, it seems awful. But if you talk to someone who's had it done, they'll tell you it's not fun, but it's no big deal. The same could be true of the murders. Try and avoid, but meh, no big deal. And if they are a big deal, why are they not on a war planet, etc.

Too many questions unanswered. Too many ideas not developed.

Similarly, the mystery was too straightforward. There was ample opportunity for the plot to twist and turn, and well...it didn't.

None of that is to say it's not a good book. I fully enjoyed it, and had a good time with the characters. It made me chuckle at times and think at others. But I point this out because the book could have done these things better.

The voice narration, by Sean Posvistak, was fairly well done. He has a likeable voice, does several male voices and his female voices are OK. The female voices are not great, but believable enough as to not draw attention to themselves.

All in all, this is a good book that needs some details filled in. It's missing too much depth to be a 4 star book but is much too enjoyable to be a 3 star. The voice narration is well done and the characters are engaging.

I would enjoy the chance to continue this series.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Jayde
  • Jayde
  • 19-12-2020

A Psychiatrist solving a murder mystery in RPG

Not what I expected but totally worth it. This book is a Psychological look at the progression of technology and the human reaction to it. In other words, a totally mind bending look at a possible future if things continue as they are. And that is not necessarily a bad thing. It really does depend on how you are looking at it. Loved the use of VR worlds for the populous to continue to live the life the desire when there is no longer a need to work hard every day just to get by.
The MC goes through some changes after being "displaced" by technology. This affects all parts of his life as you would expect. His present circumstances help him work through his depression and find his way back to a life worth living.
Lots of points to ponder and just good fun to work through it all. Well worth the listen and I am ready for the next book.
Narrator did a good job reading the story.

I received this free review audiobook and I have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Phillip
  • 19-12-2020

A Robotic Future

I received a free review copy.

I enjoyed the book. The main character is a psychologist, who hates technology and is assigned a robot patient that has thoughts terminating its life. Together they visit an online virtual world and try to stop a virtual murder or at least get evidence to use against the perpetrator.

The book explores AI, what it means to be human, and some possibilities future tecnology could bring. I liked how the book portrayed how people would react to the ever-improving technology. The narration was good.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for April D.
  • April D.
  • 18-12-2020

An enjoyable listen!

I was intrigued by the futuristic and AI aspect of this book at first glance. The publisher's summary gives little away and so going into the novel essentially blind was a different experience as well. Without giving too much away, this book is definitely a blend of iRobot and the Bruce Willis movie "Surrogates." It's not a bad thing, but I found myself comparing it to those movies several times. There are two main characters and it's written in third-person, limited to those two. Eric is rather jaded and depressed; and rightfully so because of his displacement. Whether he is likable probably depends on your personality...I found him charming. The crux of the story and the second main character is introduced rather quickly and we jump right into the action. This is a 10-hour book, but doesn't feel that way because the pace is quick...it takes place over a short period (less than a week I think). Eric undergoes significant growth during this time, but it's believable given the drastic changes that he experiences. He is almost too eager to jump into the action, likely because of his life situation, and he comes off as naïve. I think his character is purposely written that way, and the author does a good job of acknowledging Eric's stupidity. The second main character seems to know more about psychology than Eric and this is a little ironic given the subject matter of the book. The book itself is wrapped up pretty well, but the ending feels rushed. There is also a side-story at the beginning that confuses me because the author never really circles back around to it. I didn't realize before listening that it is book 1 of a series, so maybe there is more of the story to tell, although this could definitely be a standalone novel. The narrator gives a solid performance, although there are some cringe-worthy female voices. He also gets very excited during the high drama portions of the book that seem to be a little out of proportion with the mood.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I can see this being made into a movie, although the ending would need to be dragged out a bit more. It does seem at times that the reasoning behind the plot is pointless, but I can overlook that because the story was a good listen.

(This audiobook was given to me for free at my request in exchange for an unbiased review)

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Maximus
  • Maximus
  • 04-12-2020

Welcome to the future world of AI

While partially a detective sci-fi story, it’s more about our relationship with AI, and more profoundly asking us what makes us human. The virtual world called L.A. Confidential was a nice idea, as is the whole premise of the story. Would have liked the characters and story developed more but still good, and an enjoyable book to listen to

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Romeo
  • 04-12-2020

Great idea - the shape of things to come

I’m fearful of the future portrayed in this book coming true, but see the signs already. The idea of AI and people becoming more absorbed in virtue reality than the real world around us is already upon us. So this story struck a cord with me and I enjoyed the story.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Leah Brock
  • Leah Brock
  • 24-06-2020

Is This Our Future?

The first book of the 'Alternate Reality' series, 'Displaced', is a near-future possibility for humankind. In Mark Anthony's world, robots/AI have replaced most human jobs. Eric, a displaced human, has been relegated to community counselling, a job well below his education level. Since that time, he has actively hated the technology that took his beloved job away. His boss informs him he must counsel a robot, Arvin. Through this interaction, and using a virtual world to chase down a killer, his perspective and opinions begin to change.

When I first saw this audiobook listed for review, I became quickly interested in the sci-fi artificial intelligence aspect. After requesting and listening, I posit that the book is about much more than robots/AI taking over human jobs. Along with the usual question of whether robots/AI can be called human if they exhibit human behavior, other questions are posed. How should humans react to being displaced from working? What should humans occupy themselves with after becoming displaced? What can they do to have a purpose to their lives? Is there a reason for humans to fear robots/AI? Is there a reason for robots/AI to fear humans?

It's not required that the reader be a sci-fi fan to enjoy this book. It is set in a near-future that is familiar enough to be present day. A good portion of the book involves the hunt and exposure of a killer. There's a lot here for anyone who enjoys mystery, suspense, action and thrills. I like how Mark Anthony weaves together the two aspects of the story together.

The world-building for both the 'real space' and the 'virtual space' were terrific. The reader gets a real sense of place from the author's descriptions. The characters are fully realized, likable and believable. From beginning to end the book offers a well-thought-out and well-constructed plot.

This is my first listen to Sean Posvistak. His narration is as great as the words he's interpreting. Each character is given a personality and a distinct voice. I'll watch for his narration in future. I'd enjoy hearing his interpretation of other books.

This review post is my voluntary opinion of Mark Anthony's 'Displaced' as read by Sean Posvistak.

Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Diane Reynolds
  • Diane Reynolds
  • 17-03-2021

Thought provoking

This is a solid listen with interesting characters and good plot. There is action as well as deeper themes about work, VR and robotics. It is quite unique in its use of VR as a truly different world, where anyone can be someone or something else.

It does require paying close attention. The switches from VR to reality are important to understanding but easy to miss. I had to back up a couple of times. Of course I find this true of many books whose chapter headings set a scene or perspective (in audio)

The narration fits the characters and plot. Good pace and enunciation.

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