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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
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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!!!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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liked it very much

but thought their could be more story background but it was a good one for me to add to my book List

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

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.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A great beginning to a LitRPG series...

I really enjoyed this series. The Overall story and narration were both engaging and entertaining. Just a few cons and a lot of pros.

First the good: Loved the story, pacing, and character development. A LitRPG with a twist; the game is reality bending. Meaning, the game imposes on reality. Not in a world-ending way, but more in a "effects on the game body flow back to the real body... somewhat". The pacing is great, I'm not a fan of "Level 10 out of 100 by end of the book, wow now that's progress!". That for sure is not progress. The fast pace allows for great character development and he was able to squeeze in world mechanics at the same time.

The cons: The Main Character fits solidly in the sea of Main Characters... full of snark and a disdain for any rules. Like following a blueprint for Main Characters, Not that there aren't people like that in the world today... just not Every person needs to fit that mold. Plus, not sure if this is a cultural thing since the author is not from the US, there are some male chauvinistic over-tones laced through the MC. But there are plenty of supporting characters that are well fleshed out and balanced so the population seems diverse and helps add range to the fictional culture presented.

Overall, I liked this new series. I will definitely use a credit on the next one.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

OK Narrator but great story.

I love this story and will be following the series if it continues to get recorded. The game is fun and interesting, characters are interesting, humor is funny, and this is the first LITRPG with star ships, lazar beams rifles, and aliens that I liked. Been looking for something that wasn't the typical sword and sorcery LITRPG setup. The narrator tries and he does a good job. But he gets rated for doing a good job not a fantastic one. Multiple characters have the same or almost same voice (chain smoking for 30 years voice), and the female voices were not that great. This is a great read though and you should definently spend a credit on it if you like the LITRPG genre.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved the book but the narrator.

The story is the best I have heard in a long time. But too many characters sounded like Grimace from Sesame Street.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

two thumbs up

what a great story. can't wait for the next one to come out. so I got to go back to other stories of his until then.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Glorifynig sexual assault is always fun....

The story is actually pretty good, but then the MC casually sexually assaults the girl that is bound to be his love interest further in the series and laughs about it. He's supposed to be this moral compass doing whatever he can to help people but after that move it's hard to take him seriously.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful