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Publisher's Summary

The future is filled with self-driving cars, virtual realities, chore completing machines, and super-fast Internet connections. Yet all these technological innovations cannot prevent tragedy. Three years ago Grant Legate lost that which he loved most. His carefully built life fell apart in the wake of depression.

Now, Grant spends most days working endless hours as a companion to an AI. Their job is simple, to repair broken machines that humanity uses to visit virtual realities. Unintended hard work pays off after his boss forces Grant to take a vacation and try the latest game craze called Continue Online, a fantasy world with the freedom to play any role one might choose.

Inside this new game, he meets a series of AIs that are nothing like what he expected from a video game. Grant starts his journey from a very different perspective, and he is only one part of an AI agenda that will end up impacting all of humanity.

©2015 Stephan Morse (P)2017 Stephan Morse

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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Slow start great otherwise

The first 20 minutes or so was blah then it got better and better. I can't wait for the next part.
The narrator's earthy voice made it come to life.
This audiobook was given to me for free at my request from the publisher, author or narrator and I provided this voluntary review.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Theater of the Mind lives on!


Once in a while a really good story is written by an author that is not that well known. This is certainly one.

I have heard Orson Scott Card talk about the audio book being the best medium for reading his books. My understanding of what he speaks of is that a movie takes all the imagination and places it on the director/producer to tell the story. The written book requires the engagement of the mind to decipher the letters on the page to bring the story to life. The audio book, on the other hand, allows the listener/reader to sit back and take in the story and let it play in the “theater of the mind”.

I listen to a lot of books and really enjoy most of them. But once in a while, one comes along that truly creates Card’s “theater of the mind” experience. This book was one of those for me.

The narration was not up to par. The character voices were not well differentiated although the narrator did not really just drone on. I got used to the narrator by the end of the book but think it would have been an even better experience by someone else.

The story however, was well above par. This is one that draws you in and don’t let go. The character development was well done with good pacing and did not leave you wondering who was who and what was going on. The story is about a video game that is so completely immersed in reality that while in the game it is easy to forget who you were before you entered. This audio book has such an experience in the “theater of the mind” that it is just like the game in the book. It is easy to get lost in the story and forget reality for a time.
Although this book stands alone as a complete story, it is the first book in a series and is a great introduction into the world for the stories to come. Can’t wait for more and if this book is any indication worth every credit I will be spending on the rest of the series.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audio book by the author, narrator, or publisher.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Wow

I wasn't sure about this book at first. The description seemed generic but I decided to give it a shot. I'm amazed. It takes you on a whirlwind of emotions. I can't wait for the next in the series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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loved every minute

i loved every minute of it. both the story and the voice actor were perfect.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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I want to live in this future

I love books about the future, especially a future with cool technology and artificial intelligence. This is once of those book that you should probably listen to a sample to see if you a) like the narrator and b) can follow along with the story for a few minutes to see if it's your cup of tea. I liked it right away.

I liked how two scientists fought passive-aggressively to call an artificial intelligence "it" or "she" and each refused to budge on the personal pronoun. It seemed like Stephan Morse was illustrating that prejudice won't end in the future; it will just change from race, religion and color to whether you're born human or not. It reminds me of some of the themes that Gene Roddenberry toyed with in Star Trek: TNG days in terms of crew not treating Data with equality at times because he was a form of AI.

Going into this book without knowing a lot is the best way to go. You'll either dig it or you won't. I'm a future-lover, so I loved everything about it, including the fact that it didn't get so hung up on gadgets or tech that it lots its main focus of human emotions and the struggles people face, which never seem to change no matter how much time goes by, Highly recommended for a nice escape from reality.

I should mention that I was provided this free review copy audio book by the author, narrator, or publisher in exchange for an honest review.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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I cried and I laughed...

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this book carefully to others. If they have lost someone close to them and have had a hard time dealing with it, then this may not be the best of choices. There are some small parts that deal with great depression and a glancing blow at suicide, which I found tearful, having had to deal with that with friends and family. However the overall story line buoys an underlining emotion of hope and the struggles of the main character, who valiantly pushes onward, makes every triumph yours also. I greatly enjoyed this and wholeheartedly wish that Audible had more than just the first of the five books available.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Unique story

This story, of a man dealing with depression in the wake of tragic loss, was the most unique litRPG I've read so far. While most stories of this genre focus on the power fantasy, this author's focus on internal struggle was refreshing. I look forward to seeing the next in the series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Fletch
  • Planet Houston
  • 10-26-17

Refreshingly Thoughtful

Unlike others in this genre, this book delves into character and ideas, but manages to keep the pace engaging. Bit of a cliffhanger, but welcome bait to listen to the next one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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It reminds me of...

It reminds me of the TNG episode 'The Inner Light.' It's a good book. Sad though.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic!

Honestly, I struggled a bit with this one at first and wasn't sure this was the right fit for me but I kept listening and I'm so glad I did because this was fantastic. This story was so interesting. The narrator did a great job with this story as well!

**I received a copy of this audio book in exchange for an honest review**

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • kanundra
  • 05-09-17

Different Litrpg, great start for a series

I read the e-book back in December and this was my review for a magazine. Following is the audio review.

Concept/world-building – 4
Plot - 4
Character – 5
Dialogue – 4
Prose – 5
Conflict/resolution – 4
Overall rating 4.5

It takes me a good while to get through a book, not an audiobook. So this was read before bed at night.

As far as LitRPG goes, I’m still wetting my appetite, absorbing all the audiobooks I can, and devouring works from Royal Road Legends.

For me, this novel stands out already for its incredible emotional impact as well as the attention to detail, both inside the VR world, and the Mc’s outside life. There were some excellent visuals in here, of the Mc as well. I mean who doesn’t wander around their own home in underwear?

The novel itself takes a little time to get going, and I didn’t mind that because instead of a prologue, which I do tend to skip. The writer gave us some very interesting passages of time. And then we’re launched into the main story.

Grant and his family are just like most people, they have a connection, but don’t always get along. I think that is one of the deciding factors as to why I enjoyed reading this as much as I did. I also thought a lot about the darker tendencies of the story. It’s very deep. It deals with a lot of inner struggles, and I believe that’s why the game helps out our sometimes depressed MC.

I enjoyed the journey that Grant goes on. When his niece shows him inside the game he is hooked, just as much as I was on the book. Old Man Carver, is an interesting character his life is almost peaceful within the game, ie, not quite as exciting as some, but the fact is he’s not really all there to go hunting big monsters, and such. This book has a much deeper level than all the regular litRPG’s, and his journal is very interesting, as is his life as an NPC.

With lots of humorous events throughout the novel, and I admit, I’m hard to make laugh. I also found this to be one of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time. I do hope there were supposed to be funny moments because I couldn’t help myself but laugh, maybe it’s my brit humour ‘go moo at that’ lmao.

I don’t want to spoil anything else for this reading journey, but there are some well-defined sub characters, backstory, world-building and more.

On the whole, this was a refreshing change to some of the litRPG books’ I’ve read and listened to so far, and it was and hopefully will be (as I’m heading to pick up the next one) one of the more memorable this year.

Performance -

Pavi was a very easy listen, I also have another of his LitRPG audiobooks. What made him stand out in this one for me, was I think the emotional tone of the story was very different.

What Pavi brought to the table here, was just pure emotion, and really out great effort into the characters tone and emotions. Compared to the ebook this was a totally different experience. I laughed out loud with Carver, and the others in the 'Game'

The ending was just perfect.

Well done Pavi. I look forward to more audio from you.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • moo-kyung
  • 12-12-17

slow start. interesting story. slightly annoying

overall its an interesting story.
virtual reality with a slight twist from the others.
no over powered main character or a struggle for power. so wouldnt say its completely original but i liked it.

however,
one annoying part was the constant repetitive use of the dead fiance sob story... used every 20 minutes of the story. We get it. the fiance died. dont need to keep shoving it in our face

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-02-17

Moo review

This book was amazing, really pulled the hart strings and put a lot of different things into prospective .... I highly suggest this book