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Offlining  By  cover art

Offlining

By: GJ Weinstein
Narrated by: Cole Robert Eubanks
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Publisher's summary

Offlining (noun): giving up the online world for reality, where the graphics aren’t great, nobody can fly, and everything hurts.

Jerusalem (Jeru) Pix virtually lives in the virtual worlds he loves until his high school crush asks him to do a teeny, tiny favor: stop her brother from becoming the next cult-inspired suicide bomber to target the wealthiest one percent.

Jeru ventures from his safe life in cyberspace (and his parents’ condo) into the chaos of mid-21st-century Atlanta, where terrorism and religious zealotry are rampant and the ultra-rich have retreated into their own state within a state. Now, Jeru will have to become a hero in real life, with no do-overs, save points, or bathroom breaks.

©2023 GJ Weinstein (P)2023 GJ Weinstein

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interesting premise

this started strong and it is a very unique premise. I could wish it stayed along the original path but it wandered and lost me about 3/4 of the way through

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Listener received this title free

Satirical glimpse into the future

Billed as a “Pre-apocalyptic Sci-Fi Comedy”, Offlining by GJ Weinstein encompasses this with a great dollop of romantic comedy on top, and maybe a side of Porky’s raunch on the side with all the sex-dripped humour.

It’s a rather satirical glimpse into a future society where the haves and have-nots are starkly divided. On one side, the one-percenters live lives filled with decadences such as fully automated houses through to body enhancements promising endless orgasms, enlarged peckers for the fellas and, well… something even weirder for the ladies.

The other side, or Outside the Perimeter (OTP) people spend their time vegetating away in cyber space and not spending any time in the real world.

Most are, anyway. There are terrorist groups running around trying to spoil the fun for everyone, such as the Real Salvation Army (RSA) whose plans are spoiled by our story’s hero, Jerusalem (Jeru for short).

After inadvertently performing an act of extreme heroism, he is nursed back to health by one of the one-percenters. His body upgraded and floundering in a world he has no idea about, Jeru manages to piss off everyone, especially Ellipsis, the sexy young socialite with eyes on Jeru.

Being the target of the RSA doesn’t help matters. But with technology like body-swapping a thing, Jeru might just stay alive long enough to work things out.

The story is absurd and thoroughly entertaining. It gave me genuine laugh-out-loud moments, and generally doesn’t slow down as we bounce from one situation to the next.

The narration suited the characters, and no production issues that I made a note of. One thing which I found odd, was how the narrator switched voices for the omniscient narrator. What I mean is that the story is told in third person, so “someone”, aka the omniscient narrator is telling the story to us.

Typically, the narrator voice will stay the same throughout, and only the character voices will change. In the chapters where we weren’t following Jeru but instead, we follow Reverand Gimbal, the head of the RSA, the narrator voice changed to match the voice of Gimbal.

This is particularly obvious when the character voice for Jeru needs to change, because the narrator voice keeps the original voice. Maybe it was some strange attempt to keep everyone separate, but it just comes off as odd.

That aside, and honestly it wasn’t that hard to get used to, this was a well-written and highly enjoyable futuristic, slightly raunchy romp in a world not too far removed from our own.

I was given this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. I have not let this gift affect nor influence my opinions of this audiobook and have left an honest review.

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