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Publisher's Summary

What would you do if you found your perfect life?

When lonely physicist Chloe Carsen discovers a parallel world, she becomes addicted to her life there with a perfect family and a perfect career. She doesn't even care that her physical body in the real world is wasting away. But, then, in the alternative world, her ideal life begins to fall apart. Her anti-gravity experiment unleashes a government manhunt for her and her family; they'll do anything to get their hands on her tech. The lives of Chloe's alternative-world husband and sons are endangered.

Chloe is torn away from them as her real-world brother finds her on the verge of death and destroys her equipment. Heartbroken and torn between two worlds, Chloe pushes her scientific expertise to the limit to find a way to reconcile her two lives. Can the husband and sons be saved? Can she build a life for herself in the real world?

©2016 Lesley L. Smith (P)2016 Lesley L. Smith

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Review Reality Alternatives

I continue to enjoy the writings of Lesley Smith , performed by Susan Iannucci. Fun, imaginative, quirky in a fun way, overall very entertaining, and a fun getaway from everyday busyness.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Interesting premises but not what I expected

Chloe Carsen is a physicist working on an experiment involving Virtual Reality to access parallel worlds. She tries her own experiment just to discover a reality that is much more attractive than the present one. Things start to get weird when other people also try this experiment and access that same reality. Chloe will become addicted to this parallel world, almost risking her life.

I have to say that this book got me hooked from the start. A VR experiment to access parallel world where you could become yourself in that reality sounds exciting. When Chloe discovers that her alternative world is more appealing than her things start to get interesting, but when other people trying the experiment, access the exact same reality, I was up for something amazing.

The story was interesting enough, but sadly it did not live up to my expectations. The other two characters did not use the experiment more than once. I expected them to access the parallel reality more times and see how that affected the present reality for all of them.

After this point the story mainly focused on the parallel reality and Chloe’s life there. There is a brief return to the present reality but it is quite brief. The story on the other world was okay but not super exciting. There Chloe discovers that she has a family and super powers, explained by dark matter theory. The problem here is that Chloe and her sons start making mistake after mistake (mainly bad decisions), and her whole family, Chloe included, started to be less and less likable. I just could not connect to them seeing all the things they did.

I also had troubles with dialogs. Somehow they did not feel natural but forced. The writing style was also simple and to the point.

Susan J. Iannucci’s narration was okay. I had to get used to the special smoothness of her voice, which seemed to clash with some of the violent scenes of the book. She delivered good character’s interpretations but I found her voice range a bit limited. Emily sounded exactly like Chloe’s sons, and Chloe herself sounded like that too sometimes. I noticed some breath intakes throughout the book, probably due to being to close to the microphone.

All in all it was an enjoyable listen. I just expected a bit more from the initial premises.
I received a copy of this book in audio format from the author in exchange for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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alternate dimension scif-i

Any additional comments?

Reality Alternatives is an interesting premise - I do love stories with alternate dimensions and seeing what kind of life our parallel self is leading and comparing with our own life path.  It is almost like seeing into our futures or pasts, where a different decision would have taken our life is a different direction.  Our parallel self would still have our personality and basic interests but could have a completely different life experience. That fascinates me. I was a fan of Fringe. <br/>Starting with what I did like, the attempt at explaining the reason behind the alternate dimensions - the experiment lead by our main character and professor of physics. The theory behind why the alternate reality professor and her family have certain abilities is interesting as well. I liked that sci-fi explanation and aspect of the story. I liked how the virtual reality equipment was a crucial part of the experiment, making it more believable that the viewer gets pulled into an alternate reality and feels like they are really living it.<br/><br/>I also really liked the other version of our main character and her family best, as I think we are meant to. The "our reality" Chloe is lonely and shuts people out, while the "other reality" Chloe has a loving family and is very social in the community. I can understand why our Chloe was so addicted to watching the other version of herself living her happy life.<br/><br/>What I wasn't so much a fan of was the style of storytelling. The beginning and end address the reader as opening a book, which is super awkward to me. The rest is told from "our reality" Chloe's POV. The writing style is quite simplistic, even in the sentence style. It is very much "I did this, I did that" type of narrative, which is a strange contrast to the physics-based sci-fi being used in the book.<br/><br/>Also, the audiobook narrator was not working for me. The voice was too sweet, too almost child-like, and the situations that seemed quite scary and dangerous (you know, being shot at by secret service) just didn't come across that way. As someone who devours audiobooks, the bar is set quite high for a good narration.<br/><br/>I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Reality Alternative Great Concept but Bogs Down.

Reality Alternatives looked to be a really promising concept. A VR headset sending the user into a virtual world but ends up sending them to a parallel world. Chloe Carsen is a lonely physicist and discovers the parallel world. She quickly gets addicted to her life in the other reality. There she has a perfect family and a perfect career. Or so it seems. The listener gets to hear what her life would look like if she had made different choices. The story got hard for me to take while Chloe was in the parallel world and the choices and decisions she made. Really it was just a problem for me with the character and plot development. Overall it was a decent story that does eventually pay off in the end. As a guy who loves SciFi, Dystopian Fiction, and so forth this was a mixed bag for me. I gave it a try as It was something really interesting and I really liked the narrator. I recommend it but be ready to be annoyed by the main Characters choices.

This is the first time I have ever heard a performance from Susan J Iannucci. Ms. Iannucci delivers a great performance. There are a wide variety of character and she was able to give each a unique voice and manner. Ms Iannucci did a great job and I would like to hear more of her work based on this performance.

This review copy audiobook was provided by the author/narrator/publisher free of charge via Audiobook Boom.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Myztikal
  • On the Edge of Glory
  • 09-16-17

Dr Jekyl and Ms Hyde?

This is like the third or fourth book I picked up from this author. I love the book descriptions but the stories just don't flow. The characters aren't appealing, once you get to know them.
In this book, she liked another life she visits, but she's still her stuck up, mean, cold self when she's in her real world. Although she makes comparisons between the two, she doesn't strive to be better. For this, she doesn't grow and the tale is ... stale.
I hope Ms Smith continues to write and focuses more on developing characters to propel the story line.

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A different kind of story

What did you love best about Reality Alternatives?

I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.<br/>The story line was cleverly engineered by the author and the twists of these parallel lives kept you wanting to find out what the outcome would be on both parallel universes. However I found the narrator to lack emphasis and didn't enjoy her performance as much. It was almost a monotone and in my opinion didn't match the feelings and reactions the author was trying to convey.

What other book might you compare Reality Alternatives to and why?

I never experienced a similar story line so I'm unable to make a comparison

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

No. Unfortunately, for me that was the low point of the book

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I felt the loneliness of the protagonist in her present reality very deeply

Any additional comments?

The book would truly improve with the right narration.

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Complex

What did you like best about this story?

The plot was very original and complex.

Any additional comments?

Really enjoyed listening to this story and the narrator did an excellent job. I received a free review copy of this audiobook at my request and I have voluntarily left this review.

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Virtual reality? No, reality in a parallel world!

I thought this book was very well conceived, but the execution was a bit sluggish in the middle. The story starts off very well and established the science, methods and main characters. The relationships are dynamic and the main character, Chloe, is setup as a perfectionist who succumbs to a more interesting life following her first successful experiment. She acts just like a substance addict (alcohol, drugs, etc.).

After her second or third jump into her other reality, the book seems to get quite a bit slower and the events become routine. Chloe becomes somewhat of a difficult character to like and relate with, but the book picks back up and gives a solid conclusion.

Overall I liked the book and I really liked the ideas, central theme, and potential.

The narration was good. There were quite a few breaks and pauses in momentum. Susan is soft-spoken and smooth for most of the book.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.