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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    4,419
  • 4 Stars
    1,172
  • 3 Stars
    261
  • 2 Stars
    61
  • 1 Stars
    38

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    3,476
  • 4 Stars
    1,339
  • 3 Stars
    577
  • 2 Stars
    156
  • 1 Stars
    72

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    4,238
  • 4 Stars
    1,010
  • 3 Stars
    266
  • 2 Stars
    67
  • 1 Stars
    30
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Gravely entertaining!

Would you consider the audio edition of Awaken Online: Catharsis to be better than the print version?

Hard to say. For me personally, I may have enjoyed this book more in print. Regardless, it is a very good read if you can deal with some minor eyerolling moments.

What other book might you compare Awaken Online: Catharsis to and why?

Probably "Ready Player One" though that is only for the mmo theme. Otherwise, Im not too sure.

What does David Stifel bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Mr. Stifel was perhaps not the best choice. He does do a great job at building a good atmosphere, but falls short on some deliveries and tone of certain characters. He is just a tad too robotic and doesn't really fit with the book, in my opinion. When it comes to the cities, describing events, coming through with a building atmosphere or the clashing of titans, he nails it. When it comes to dialogue though... eh. It can be a tad underwhelming or just plain jarring. His voice just seems out of place and the voices aren't too varied. Still he did do a pretty good job and it wasn't enough of a mismatch to make me overlook the good things he did.

Any additional comments?

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, recommend giving it a read or listen even. It has hiccups without a doubt, some enough to make me roll my eyes or frown a bit.

The story itself is very enjoyable, but there are issues. Realistically, I think the Mr. Bagwell did wonderfully on capturing that general teen guy frustration, but at the same time after going through my own phase like this just made me groan. It did seem to be over the top at times.The hatred for the rich and just people that treated him badly was too edgy for me. Don't get me wrong it wasn't too much of an issue, just a small gripe. This bigger issue was that you hear a lot of repeating phrases and descriptions. Normally not something that bothers me, but here it did. Could just be personal bias after listening / reading a different book that had a larger range, but still.

Okay okay, so I whined about the bad. What was good, right? The author is damn good at describing battles, fights, horrors of beast and demon. These monstrosities that linger and tear out of nightmare. The times and convos when the main isn't being your average angsty teen are well-done and usually funny. He captures being an awkward boy in a place he doesnt feel he belongs like a champ. The parts with magic on average, while the casting is about what you'd expect, the description of how they act is pretty good. There are some magics though that made me sit up a little straighter and give the book/computer a respectful nod. Mr. Bagwell is also pretty good at the whole "Hey this guy is getting torn apart. It's not pretty and not everyone can watch it." Killing while plentiful in the book is never really completely normalized. There are parts where spectators or people have to leave cause they cant watch. There are part in some fights or battles where the battle isn't one side of unwavering freight trains versus the solid rock cliff of never crumbling foes! No. People run. People get scared. People leave and are never seen again. The frustration and fear is sometimes palpable.

Mr. Stifel just wasn't the right fit here, for me. I enjoyed his voice, but it was out of place. Went into enough about my issues with that already.

TL;DR - Pretty simple, the book overall is worth your time. I personally don't agree with the choice in reader, but the performance wasn't bad. In some places it was damn fine. The book has issues, if you hate or can't deal with a taste of highschoolesque angst and drama here and there, I'd recommend not listening. It is few and far in between though, keep that in mind. The fantasy and dark magic side is very good to the point of making this book almost amazing.

40 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • United States
  • 11-11-16

This is more of a YA novel than reviews indicate

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed this book. its clearly part of the emerging genre of "LitRPG" - and reads like playing an MMO video game. And just like such games, the characters are stock and predictable: outsider, loner high school kid; rich jerk; decent girl caught in the middle. But it was still a fun ride.

67 of 76 people found this review helpful

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

loved it

Cool spin on a classic comming of age story, in the modern ... barly futuristic world!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

amazing story

Absolutely enthralled by Jason's rise to power using superb intelligence and tactics to get there

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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

Great book

loved the story, loved the characters. the only reason I give it 4 stars is the narrator could make the voices of the characters seem really annoying and whiney. I mean yeah the majority of them are teenagers but it bugged me a bit. still a great book and amazing story that keeps you interested from the start.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

Not bad but not really good either

I should have reviewed this months ago when I read it, but I got behind and don't remember too much about it, but I guess that's a review point there - nothing here is good enough to remember. I do remember thinking how strange and stupid it seemed that the main character somehow draws all sorts of special attention in his game (from pretty much the moment he starts), even though he never does anything special to deserve it. This might have been better if the author had the character do something to warrant the extra attention.

25 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bart
  • Vernon, CT
  • 04-20-17

Reader is dull unfortunately

I loved the book. I am a huge fan of Ready Player One and this is very reminiscent of that - minus the 80's nostalgia. The reader was just terrible tho. Fortunately he wasn't bad enough to return the book, but had the story even been four stars I would have returned it. Sometimes I caught myself criticizing the reader more than listening to the actual story. Considered getting the book, but I listen to books on my commute and don't have a ton of other time to read, and I loved the story.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

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

Amazing Book

Loved this book. Afterward I devoured all three books and am waiting with bated breath for another.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

great book

A great book series. Cant wait to read the next! Its just as fun as RP1.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Great series and great narration

I've really enjoyed listening this series. The narration, in my opinion, is really great and voices between characters is very consistent which is really important in my opinion. After reading ready player one, it left an itch that I think this series scratches really well. Between this and ready player one, I've found a new favorite genre in litrpg.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ruth Wade
  • 07-27-17

Loved it!

If you are a fan of Ready Player One, Super Powereds or the Off to be the Wizard series then you will love this. Great all round concept and story, the best audiobook I have listened to in a good while.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • 09-06-17

Best played at X 1.05 speed as narrator is slow

Takes a while to get into but eventually all comes good. Best played at X 1.05 speed as narrator's speech is a bit on the slow side.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kyle Groenewald
  • 03-30-17

Instant addiction

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​!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • chris topliss
  • 05-29-18

David Stifel learn how to pronounce trébuchet

The story is slow to start but soon gains momentum…unlike the narrator.
David Stifel is a bit slow, but the most annoying thing was his inability to pronounce trébuchet correctly…the end ‘t’ is silent.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-10-17

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Alyn
  • 08-31-18

give it a go

skimmed passed this book for months, why did i do that this book it excellent, narrator reads slow so you might want to increase the speed x1.05

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-02-17

Great story, okay narrator.

Loved the story. Narrator was okay. Kept saying trebuchet with a hard t, which was jarring.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sanu Sath
  • 03-02-17

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ashley H.
  • 11-13-18

Awesome,

Dope shit, this is the high that you need you in your. 5/7 would snort again.

Would recommend playing at 1.05 speed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 10-08-18

Amazing

A story, with very interesting perspective, that will keep you both entertained and enveloped at all times. Haven’t got time too write a long review.. I must go and listen to book 2 now!

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Leilani Coetzee
  • 12-12-16

great story

the voice actor is a bit off putting. I recommend this for anyone in search for a good storyline.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tarei
  • 04-24-17

Story is ace!

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Greg Gordon
  • 11-12-18

Good fun

Good fun. What it lacks in editing it gains in a rollercoaster of a story

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bradley
  • 10-15-18

It is a good book

It took about thirty minute to get over the guy talking but after that it was really really good

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • 09-03-18

Loved it, but could be better

Loved it, but some really hard to relate to character descisions / motivations at times

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 09-01-18

ZOMBIES WITH A HINT OF CLOAK AND DAGGERS. AMAZING

LET THEM ALL BURN.
loved it so much, you know that a author wrote really well when you hate a character so much. death to that psychopath!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Isaac G.
  • 04-20-18

best litrpg

amazing best litrpg series I've found so far great charachters and story good game mechanics and intense moments

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mattias
  • 09-25-17

Love!

I couldn't stop listening. Do I need to say more? Preferably you'd want to have played an mmorpg to really get into it but. Yes. Loved it all the way!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kerri
  • 05-04-17

Enjoyable!

really immersive book! quite interesting concept with technological advancements in AI regarding game play.
especially enjoyed seeing the other side of "evil" played out by an essentially "good" player.
ready player one, off to be the wizard, armada readers will enjoy this. :)

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Luke
  • 01-04-17

Excellent LitRPG

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 :)