I loved the concept of the story, and while I am not an online gamer, I am tech-savvy enough to spot the realism in the story of T'Rain and the REAMDE antagonist.
What brought the low rating was what appears to be poor plotting on the part of the author. A third of the way into the book, he introduces a new major character and spends much time explaining her background. Would have been much more effective weaving her story in from the beginning and merging her into the main plot at the appropriate time.
After that, the story just seemed to meander, looking for a direction and eventual denouement; the latter of which was obvious several listening hours in advance of it actually happening. Throw in some heroic deeds by the most unlikely of characters, and I was ready for it to end long before hearing, "... we hope you've enjoyed this program."
I did REALLY enjoy Hillgartner's narration, however, and would be happy to listen to his narration again soon.
Strong characters in all genres. and narrators who don't ham it up.
This is a trilogy's worth of adventure in one book, well managed by a master story teller. There are thrills and chills and multinational adventure throughout. At about 12 hours the story occasionally got a little slow and i could put it aside, I was afraid it would turn into a Perils of Pauline, but no, this is a great story with all the subplots coming together. With 12 hours left (as long as a longish Audible book) the conclusion is coming into focus, the excitement is building and I wonder "what more can possible happen before the end?" Well, a lot can and did happen. There is certainly death and destruction, but main characters are reasonably well treated, and the gore / violence was not overdone or overly upsetting. The narration/reading is great, with different characters and accents well done to help keep characters separate and be non-obtrusive to the story line. Well done. At one credit this is a bargain, a unique and plausible adventure of amazing scope. Listen to it!
Took a while to get into this but once I did it was quite interesting in its information about the world of gamers and the construction and maintenance of computer RPGs. The mystery and terrorism bits were reasonably passable too but I found the last 6 hours or so quite tedious, the final battle just seemed to go on and on and on. A fair read in general but not much more for me.
The story starts strong and the descriptions of locations are great. However, it quickly deteriorates into a Hollywood like set of unrealistic characters and one deus ex machina upon another.
I had to do a lot of driving for a while and 38 hours of this easy to listen book were good money spent.
Live near Yosemite National Park. Listen to Audible books while hiking.
Stephenson is a very good author but this work is not at the level of The Diamond Age or Cryptonomicon. A good way to bore readers is to let too long a time go by without intense action. In this story, we learn more about how to operate a pirated ship or how to control its drift in the North China Sea than anyone save a naval academy midshipman would want to know. Same with what it's like to be out hiking and shooting in the North American mountains. The story would have been better if it were half as lengthy. Stephenson needs a good strong willed editor with lots of red pencils! The end is undramatic. Spoiler alert: All the bad guys get shot in various unexciting ways and the family reunion continues. Yawn.
I am a 27 year old nurse pursuing a nurse practitioner degree. My favorite book genres are: fantasy, science fiction, medicine and sociology
I loved the plot of this story. It took me through several countries, and introduced me to complex, interesting characters from all sorts of backgrounds and walks of life. There is a religious extremist/terrorist. There is an Eastern European hacker. There is a Chinese MMO gold farmer. A fascinating web of plot threads weaves together into a rich tapestry as the story unfolds. I found the climax of the novel so riveting I was almost late for work, as I sat in my car listening with rapt attention to the action packed shoot-out (trying to minimize spoilers, I apologize if this is already too much information for some). While it is a very long listen, I think it took me less than a week to listen to the entire thing, which says a lot about how interesting it is.
This novel reminded me of what I enjoyed about Ernest Cline's "Ready Player One", which was the inclusion of the MMORPG fad and it similarly predicted the widespread popularity and commonplace nature of nearly everyone playing an MMORPG in the future. I see this as a feasible outcome in the future, and I like seeing novels set in the future that incorporate it.
Would recommend to someone that was driving cross country and could only buy one book. While the technology sections are good and have speculative fiction, Mr. Stephenson's style of "action" writing would be better suited to describing snail racing. By the end when hours are spent describing a two hour event, I was waiting for it to be over so I could move on to another title.
Unlike Mr. Stephenson's other books, he seems to have most of both feet firmly placed in reality - a refreshing change. Beyond that, hard to compare to other books except that he does have a good grip on technology.
Chock full of tedious exposition of everyday events -- for example, a whole paragraph describing two guys walking to a car and getting in. Explanations of technology for people just in from an alien homeworld. Grating, sexist tone. Hackneyed, stereotypical characters.
Accents were awful, voice was soporific.
Whole thing could have been a short story about 20 pages long.
I'm a big Stephenson fan, but he wasn't even phoning it in here. I seriously suspect a bot wrote it.
To listen to a great book while I knit is heaven on earth.
The premise of this book is interesting. I do not know much about video games and to have a thriller based with that as a platform caught my imagination. However, the author then conjures up a series of events involving other scenarios . I don't want to spoil anyone's listening experience. The story offers a little of everything , it should , it is long enough,maybe even a little too much. That is my only criticism. The reader however keeps it moving right along wonderfully. My husband and I listened together and enjoyed it.
The characters were intensely interesting
Daemon by Daniel Suarez. MMOG references, intelligent use of technology. It takes only a mild suspension of disbelief to accept this as a possible reality.
I was captivated and could listen to Malcolm read the phone book