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Nicholas

  • 6
  • reviews
  • 31
  • helpful votes
  • 133
  • ratings
  • Awaken Online: Retribution

  • Side Quest
  • By: Travis Bagwell
  • Narrated by: David Stifel
  • Length: 8 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,555
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,423
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,424

Riley's real-life took a nosedive after her confrontation with Alex. The girls at school torment her and she feels powerless to do anything about it. At the same time, Jason has mysteriously disappeared, sending only a terse cryptic message to Riley and Frank. With some time on her hands and with her frustration with her real-life reaching a breaking point, Riley decides to strike off on her own in-game. Her goal is to investigate the quest related to the strange bow she discovered in the dungeon north of Peccavi.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A fantastic expansion of the AO universe

  • By Mike on 11-03-17

Great Addition

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-13-19

I think that this was a solid well-written book. To me, this had a stronger plot and development than the second book in this series. I like how the world of AO is expanding and we get to learn more about not just the player's characters but the NPCs as well. I was not a fan of some of the forced drama within the group as they traveled. These were some small issues that took away from the scenes, but overall this is a very good addition to the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Awaken Online: Precipice

  • By: Travis Bagwell
  • Narrated by: David Stifel
  • Length: 18 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 5,578
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,249
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 5,238

A few days have passed since Jason's confrontation with Alfred and he's debating whether to reenter Awaken Online. Alfred has made a proposition that Jason isn't certain he should accept. After the battle with Alexion, Jason has also been appointed the Regent of the Twilight Throne. He must assume the mantle of ruling an undead city - with everything that entails. His first task is to investigate the dark keep that looms over the city's marketplace. This act will lead to a chain of events that might ensure his city's survival or create new enemies.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • MUST have book 3 (Evolution) ready to read...

  • By Daniel O. on 08-16-18

Not As Good As The First

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-08-19

I enjoyed this book. I feel like it has some good high points, but there are some low points as well. I enjoyed the events taking place around the dungeon. The pacing of this book seems a touch slow and there wasn't too much believable conflict. There is conflict, but it feels forced in some circumstances. I'm hoping that there is a bigger arch to the next story. This one falls flat if you're expecting the same level of struggle the first book produces.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Remembering Roth

  • By: James Atlas
  • Narrated by: James Atlas
  • Length: 1 hr and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 877
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 778
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 778

In 1977, when he was 28, James Atlas published his first book, a biography of the poet Delmore Schwartz, and was stunned to receive a congratulatory letter from Philip Roth. He had been moved by the tragic story it told. Thus began a friendship that lasted, with a few intervals, until his death. He was living in rural Connecticut then, having exiled himself from the literary noise of Manhattan in order to focus on his work, and was on his own. He invited Atlas to come visit, which he did - the first of numerous pilgrimages to the Roth homestead. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • made me think as much as many long books.

  • By K D on 03-10-19

Not Worth The Time

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-03-19

I am a huge fan of Phillip Roth and thought that this book might have some interesting things to tell me about the man. There were some interesting lines throughout this work, but I don't think it was as exciting as I had hoped for. Audible was giving this book away for free, and that's how I came across it. This seems more like a letter written to someone who is admired and we, the audience, are not the intended recipient. If it was written that way on purpose, I'm not sure why we should read it. I would recommend to grab it for free, but probably not worth the monetary investment.

25 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Awaken Online: Catharsis

  • By: Travis Bagwell
  • Narrated by: David Stifel
  • Length: 16 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,152
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,756
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,739

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.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • This is more of a YA novel than reviews indicate

  • By John on 11-11-16

Strong Lit RPG

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-03-19

I'm a big fan of this genre. I think that there were some outstanding parts throughout the story with a couple of troubling areas. I would have to say that my favorite moment was the attack on the nobles. I thought that it was an exciting and fun idea to be played out. Usually, in this genre, the protagonist is the classic good guy cliche. I will say that this is one of the few books that I've started and couldn't put down. Awaken Online seems to be a book more suited to D&D or RPG buffs.
Some of the issues I saw in the book have to do with the pacing and the switch in character perspective about 3/4 the way into the story. I think that the pacing of figuring out the world, in the beginning, was spot on. Pretty much as soon as he learns to summon a zombie, it all speeds up a touch too quickly. I'm not too sure how I felt about Alexion. He seems a bit underdeveloped. As the significant final battle ends, it is on the cliche side (trying not to toss out any spoilers).
I enjoyed this story, and I hope you keep writing. Good work and I look forward to reading the next book. As always, if anyone wants to talk with me about this story feel free.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Two Week Curse

  • Ten Realms, Book 1
  • By: Michael Chatfield
  • Narrated by: Todd Menesses
  • Length: 19 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,515
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,373
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,370

Thrust into an unknown, unwanted situation, most would feel panic, fear anger, and fall into chaos. Erik and Rugrat are not immune to those feelings, but they have stepped into chaos so many times, it is simply a different challenge. Two weeks ago, Erik lost his legs and his arm. Today he got a message. "You have been randomly selected to join the Ten Realms. One may choose to ascend the Ten Realms, thereupon making a request to the Gods of the Realms. Only those who are Level 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90 may ascend to the next realm. Fortune favors the strong!”  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Where's the rest of the series?!?!?!

  • By AY4 on 03-13-19

Not The Type Of Heroes I Expected, But I Liked it

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-27-19

I find this style of story to be exciting. I enjoyed the two characters of Eric and Rugrat. My favorite part of the story is when they are working with the village during the trial. There were a couple of areas in the story where it just seems to omit information. Towards the end of this book, there are still a lot of loose ends that I feel will not be revisited in the subsequent books. I think this is a strong 4-star book, but maybe with a little cleaning up, it could have been a solid 5. My thought would have been to probably end the book after the trial so that more time could be spent there and finishing up the loose ends from earlier. The events that took place after the trials were exciting and fun, but could have been used in another book. If anyone wants to discuss this book, I'm open for the conversation. Keep up the good work Michael.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • You're Going to Mars!

  • By: Rob Dircks
  • Narrated by: Khristine Hvam
  • Length: 11 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,292
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,207
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,204

Living and slaving in Fill City One, you get used to the smell. We call it the Everpresent Stink. But every once in a while, on a spring day with a breeze, it clears away enough to remind us that there is something more out there. Most Fillers' wildest dreams would be just to get past the walls and live in the mainland. But my dream? It’s a little bigger. I’m going to Mars.   

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Reviewers Choice Award, its that good

  • By AudioBook Reviewer on 11-13-18

Cool Idea Poor Execution

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-09-19

Let's talk about "You're Going To Mars" for a second. I, of course, will do my best not to put any spoilers into this review, but if you feel like having a more in-depth discussion feel free to reach out. This novel was recently published on November 13, 2018, and appears to have received multiple 5-star reviews. I decided to pick it up from Audible as I'm an audiobook fanatic. Any time that I'm in a car, I spend it doing what I love, which is listening to great stories. With all of the positive feedback, it seemed like a safe pick. Unfortunately, this story left me confused and wanting resolution for all of the loose ends that it creates. If over 33% of this story didn't exist, nothing would have changed. This story finds a way to take an interesting idea, a poor imprisoned girl who has a chance to break away from her subjugation and then ignore all the critical developmental points with petty drama in a vain attempt to keep my interest.

This story is about a girl who, against all the odds, makes her way into a gameshow to win a chance to go to mars. There are millions of these little red scarabs with only 30 winners. With a bit of luck, she finds herself in possession of one of these life-changing plastic creatures. The biggest challenge that she first faces is that she is imprisoned in Fill City One due to an eight generational contract her grandmother signed. Due to this contract, she is never allowed to leave Fill City One. The world in which we find Paper Forest is a world in which everyone is supposed to focus on themselves. Everyone at Paper's work finds a way to put their differences aside and give her a chance to make it out of the Fill. The journey that Paper embarks on has the makings of a typical hero's journey. She has to overcome various obstacles with the help of her new friends and mentors that she meets along the way.

My favorite ordeal that Paper has involves the second stage of the gameshow. I think that this part is organized well and brings in all of the strengths each team member has. There are moments of contention where the characters do not know what is going on and it is indeed one of the first times that the characters don't feel forced. There are clues that things are not as they seem and will soon turn for the worse. Paper needs to think on her feet to figure out a way to keep herself and her comrades alive.

The overall idea behind this story is unique, but it seems to be poorly executed. The jokes that were in this story seem forced or fall flat due to clunky timing. The banter over the character's name elicits a small chuckle the first time, but after the fifth attempt, it falls on deaf ears. Set-ups for plot development starts but tends to fizzle out. Most of the character development is shallow and feels rushed throughout the story. The big question that drives many stories is, what does the protagonist want? With this story, there isn't much want for anything that should compel her and everyone else in this novel to do the things that they do.

This type of story is nothing new. There is a poor girl who finds a fantastic opportunity has fallen into her lap to accomplish something that has never been done before. For example, this has been done better in the Divergent, Hunger Games, and Red Rising series. I love dystopia and science fiction, but the novels mentioned above should be read rather than this one. There are some excellent ideas in here, but they need refinement. I would have expected an Audible exclusive to come with a touch more nuance as they have with some of their other novels. My suggestion would have been to break this idea into multiple books where you can flesh out the story, or break this down into a stronger plot by removing the fluff. I'm open to discussion with anyone about this novel. This review is not meant to attack Rob and his book, but I want to let others know what they're getting into especially with all of the 5-star reviews that accompany this novel.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful