He is a cyber dweller. A gamer who's grown up in the web of virtual illusion woven from hundreds of phantom worlds. His biggest dream is to dump the real world for good.
His desperate hunger for new experiences forces him to take a risk and become one of the first proud owners of a neuronet implant. The new gadget becomes part of him, but soon it's not enough. If only he could finally burn all his bridges and make a step beyond the real world....
He soon gets this opportunity. A new universe, overflowing with mystery and unimaginable, mind-blowing authenticity, opens up before him.
This is Phantom Server. The game of the future where your pursuit of an adrenaline rush soon turns into a battle for survival. But the most terrifying mystery lies ahead, when you gradually start to realize that this is a road of no return. Your every decision may become your last. Your every step leads you further along the abyss between life and death.
©2015 Andrei Livadny. English translation copyright 2015 by Irene Woodhead and Neil P. Mayhew (P)2016 Tantor
I am an avid reader of science fiction, adventure and technology. My hobbies consist of PC gaming, movies, 3D printing, and software dev.
The setup and theme of gaming integration perspective had been interesting and has potential for many stories.
The main plot is the most distracting part of the book and broke the immersive theme completely. The plot made no sense and developed the story in a bubble not thinking of the implications of the technology and what would accompany the tech, resulting in a plot that had not been thoroughly thought out, going in a direction my mind would not follow.
The narrator handled male voices relatively well with good range but female voices were flat and indistinguishable.
This is bad. Real bad.
I like video game books (and scifi/fantasy in general) but this has no reason to live in that genre. The premise is very weak to begin with, and then it teeters over the edge of not even needing to be a gaming book. It could very easily have just been science fiction and not have really missed anything important.
First, this book took itself really seriously from the start (which could be some of the narrator), way more than someone playing a video game would think/act.
Then there is the perspective... it was a trainwreck. At times it is very first person, then it would switch to the third person omniscient, and then for absolutely no reason the narrator breaks the fourth wall, for questions that basically amount to "Am I right?"
I've listened to several of the Russian Video game books (Alter World and Way of the Shaman) and while none are stellar, this one is a hard pass. HARD.
The story was written like a gamer decided to write a game novel and move through the story as though they were actually playing a game. There was an overuse of gamer jargon such as "char" to denote a character and NPC to denote non-playing character that distracted from the getting more interested in the actual story behind the game aspects.
Even McLaren's normally excellent narration couldn't bring me to have much interest in the novel.
for a MMORPG future book could not stop listening to this. it was well written action-packed. I just hope I don't have to wait too long for multiple books to come out.
Very well written and great story .. enjoyed it very much. character was real and faced lots of challenges. . was cool to watch him grow
Very weak Plot development. Like one of those action movies that's just fights and explosions for 90 minutes. It can work for a 90 minute movie, but it gets pretty old in a 9 hour book.
Also totally lacked an ending.
I found the plot line good, but the transitions and the character development lacking. I wanted to listen to the next two books in the series because of the positive reviews, but after this book I don't think I will.
This book does nearly everything right, avoids the traps that many of these Russian "VR MMORPG" dramas fall into, is beautifully written, excellently voiced, and excellently translated. There was precisely ONE moment in the whole book where the translation made my eyes cross (frequently, I find myself wishing the translator would find a thesaurus in other books. Not so, here).
Ordered the sequel by the time I was three quarters through.
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