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Reality Benders Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Rudy Sanda
Series: Reality Benders, Book 1
Length: 12 hrs and 29 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (603 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

At long last, an extraterrestrial civilization reached out and made the First Contact. However, no one on Earth took their communique for the genuine article.

In a similar vein, very few people appreciated just how little time our new suzerains had promised to keep our planet safe. Regardless, the end of their message showed humankind how to access a mysterious game. The objective of this game is unclear. No one can say where its servers are located, and its inner workings are beyond comprehension.

But the game slowly gained momentum, pulling in more and more players. Soon enough, it became impossible to ignore the fact that things that happened in the game had a direct impact on our reality. And not only ours....

But as people figure out this mysterious game, the countdown timer ticks away. And no one can say exactly what will happen when Earth's safety is no longer guaranteed.

©2018 Michael Atamanov; English translation copyright 2018 by Andrew Schmitt (P)2018 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I enjoyed the story but the Narrator...

I enjoyed the story overall. I am intrigued by the characters and where the series is going. The narrator does a good job of changing voices for characters but the cadence of his dialogue just sounds like he is reading. This breaks up the story because the character dialogue sound computerized and not in keeping with a performance. I wish this was different. I will probably listen to book 2 because I enjoyed the story but the narrator's performance is lacking.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Cool Premise, but sputters in places

When this book first hit the Eshelves on Amazon I got really stoked. It sounded like it was right up my alley, and was a punchy LITRPG book. So, I grabbed this as soon as I had the chance, and dove right in. There ar some great things in this book, and some hiccups. The bumps thankfully don't leave bruises, but they are noticable. The writing is decent, but if I hadn't been told this was translated I'dve known in less than ten minutes. There are times when obviously wrong words are used in place of proper ones, such as the council anonymously decided rather than unanimously decided. This made it sound like Archie Bunker or Andy Sipowicz was narrating the story. Millennials, go look them up, I'm not explaining those references. On the whole it makes it look like the translator was of a mid-level skill. He got the job done, but took the wrong way while getting there. Also, I would have known this was a Russian written tale, even if the main characters didn't say they were Russian. The whole story has a similar vibe/feel to D. Rus' Alterworld. Seriously, they could be siblings. One thing that did bother me about the writing was the incessant references to the game itself. Everytime the game is mentioned the people call it by its full name, The Game That Changes Reality (close enough), rather than shortening it to just the Game, or something else as normal people would do. No one talks like that.

Rudy Sanda does a fair job at the narration, I wasn't blown away by his work, and was disappointed that he was either too lazy to give the Russians Russian accents, or he could not DO a Russian accent and glossed over that part of the story. It was kind of like listening to a story about a man from India, but is read to speak bland American. It just took me out of the story every time someone spoke.

The story itself is actually pretty good, although it does wander off in a few places. Basically, It revolves on Nat, an uber awesome player that never listens to anyone or does what he is told, and always seem to manage to come out ahead, because everyone loves winners. The story is pretty simple. Aliens now own the Earth, and humans must play the Game that changes Reality or be destroyed. If they don't play it right or tick off their benevolent overlords tey'll be destroyed. If they lose to other gamers, they be destroyed. So there is obviously a lot riding on their success. Nat always seems to be in the right place at the right time, and always manages to do the right thing somehow when he needs to.

Some issues I took with the game. Your classes were pretty much limited by what you were familiar with, and so you could not pick anything you wanted. You had to play as a human, of course, and you pretty much had to start out building your tech from scratch. The funniest thing that I noticed was that the game itself posed no threat to Nat. The only time he was ever killed came from his team mates ganking him.

Still, in spite of the flaws the book was fun, and I will happily get the next book in the series. If you liked Alterworld then you will like this book. Don't miss out on awesome fun, and just do like I did and overlook the little flaws. Even though I did receive a promo code for this review it in no way influenced my considerations of the material, and in fact, inspired me to be more honest. In fact, getting a code generally makes me harsher as a reviewer as I am more often concerned what someone like Me will decide based on my review.

If this review helped, please press the YES below. Thank you immensely!!!

29 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good story, weak narrator

Plz, whatever you do avoid this narrator. Great story though. Narrator just fails anytime he's not doing the main character.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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excruciating

Struggled to finish. Very slow and weird story that didn't seem to have an ending. Narration voices were bizarre for type of plot.

5 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Shockingly Rapey

At some point I lost track of the number of times the book threatened rape or sexual assault of the female lead. Perhaps most disturbing at one point the protagonist has hog-tied the female lead and stripped her naked and begins shining his flashlight at her genitals but she later goes on to praise him for not raping her. The world of the book treats this as though this was the good and noble thing to do. Completely killed my interest in this series.

12 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Wouldn't Recommend

I read the first three as I am a glutton for punishment, so this applies to all. (I wanted so bad for it to be good). I did read and enjoy his dark herbalist series, but this...

I'm kind of a sucker for litrpg. It scratches an itch for both fantasy adventure and nerdom that nothing else really can, and I don't have high expectations from the genre. For this reason I am rather gentle with my reviews...

However, the performance is atrocious. The female voices are a joke, particularly the dark faction princess. This is my first experience with this narrator, but if I see the name on a future book, I'll probably just skip it out of hand.

The story itself I found intriguing, if poorly executed, but it could have been way more interesting if the shallow characters hadn't ruined the experience. An OP MC that has all the answers is a mainstay of the genre and is forgivable, but how weak and pathetic many of the rest are firmly pulled me from the story and had me rolling my eyes. Specifically the female characters. Maybe the author was shooting for a harem theme, but he really just made it boring and stripped the female characters of any potency or autonomy.

I found myself spending more time considering ways to make the series more entertaining and filling in the characters for my own edification than actually enjoying the story.

Sorry, but I just can't recommend spending the credit

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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The best of pulp LITRPG with a Russian twist

You don't get too much SciFi translated from Russian to English. This is an excellent story, and also pulls in a fair bit of the Russian spirit (without much of the depressing stuff one finds too much in Russian literature). As others have pointed out, this is somewhat conceptually similar to the Gam3 LitRPG series, but I'd say this is probably a bit more entertaining. If you haven't gotten into LitRPG, this might be a good first series to try. I confess, I avoided the genre for some time in favor of the classic SciFi and Fantasy I grew up on, but good LitRPG grows on you, and like pulp fiction is devilishly difficult to put down once started.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Don't waste your time

Simply put, this book is really bad. Bad story line. Awful narrator. Don't waste your time.

2 people found this helpful

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Loved it!

I loved the book. I liked how kept me interested in what would happen next. There was never a dull moment for me and I’m definitely going to read the rest of them if they are as entertaining as this one. I’m sure they will need.

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Wow!

I loved everything about this book. i could not stop listening and craved more every moment.

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Profile Image for Mr. M. C. Hackett
  • Mr. M. C. Hackett
  • 02-16-19

very good story

overall id say 4.5 stars as id expect from this author. minor issues with pronounciation particularly of carbine. mc levelling possibly a bit fast but doesnt take away from a great work

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Bald guy who knows stuff.
  • Bald guy who knows stuff.
  • 02-13-19

"What was more"..

The things that dropped my rating is kind of petty but the amount of time the phrase "what was more" was used and the way it was delivered by the narrator grinded my gears everytime I heard it.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lollingsgrad
  • Lollingsgrad
  • 11-19-18

UGGG

11 UGGGs out of UGGG would UGGG again.

(Kind of curious to get the text so I can work out what was making the narrator make that noise)