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Publisher's Summary

The perma players' new reality gains depth and color. The virtual world has seen its first birth - and its first death. The invisible umbilical cord connecting AlterWorld to Earth grows thinner, and even the Fallen One cannot prevent the looming catastrophe. Could Max have ignored the Russian girl who'd just escaped slavery in a virtual China? Could he have turned a deaf ear to her pleas as the desperate fugitive clutched at straws on hearing her native tongue? All this triggers a full-blown confrontation, sending armies of thousands into battle in the heart of the Frontier, burning kilotons of mana, melting desert sands and hacking through impervious mithril armor. The two nations' furious war cries obscure the sky as the gods shudder at humans' desperate cruelty.

©2014 D. Rus (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

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Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Oh what a beating...

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It was mostly a time killer - it's the 3rd book in a series that has been OK but going downhill.

What did you like best about this story?

When the storyline focused on the gameplay and character relations - that I could see.

What didn’t you like about Michael Goldstrom’s performance?

It was bland. The voices were too similar between characters. The cadence was quite quirky and inflections on the wrong words would make the story stutter rather than flow or create an emotion.

Do you think The Duty needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

It has one - The Inferno, which I haven't decided if I'm going to purchase yet. The three so far have gone downhill and the last book could be, well, less.

There was a decent cliff-hanger however, so that's the only thing that still has me on the hook.

Any additional comments?

This is a wonderful story concept - I'm a huge fan of gaming storylines. This is the first series I've experienced about mmorpg gaming. It's a fairly new and modern book and set in the future and translated from Russian. I think my issues with this book lie there.

I noticed that the first story had a few odd things in the cadence and vocabulary at times. The Clan continued the strangeness and leveled it up a bit. However, The Duty reached a new level of weird- there is a lot of jumping around and disjointed topics. There is also a large amount of Nationalism and saber-rattling about historic conflicts that distracted from this being a story about gaming. Yes, a bit of it is necessary to set up how various governments are going to handle the laws and crime and punishment of the virtual world, but I didn't handle it well, with an eye-roll occasionally when he started on a new tangent about the Chinese or Germans in an old Russian conflict.

The other part of the translation is that the vocal cadence didn't seem smooth or continuous. A sentence would end as a question and there would be a pause like a written paragraph break and then another sentence that should be part of the same conversation would seem totally unrelated.

The vocalizations for the most part were quite similar and I would loose track of who was speaking at times.

There were some fun and 'visually stimulating ' pieces to the story. However there were just to many disjointed parts that were simply narration that didn't stimulate the imagination enough to keep me very interested.

I'm invested in the series- three books now but this may have put me off finishing up by buying the next installment.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • LL
  • 09-15-16

Loved the book but the constant random...

Loved the book but the constant random reversion to ancient wars, comparative to the story's time, seemed like a repeating non sequitur which interrupted the story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

good story overcome by sexism and bad dialog

Any additional comments?

Since book one I have thought, that's not how gamers talk. Neither I nor any of my friends calls every girl on the mike babe, yet in this book series that is how every woman is referred too. I just saw it as a petty annoyance at first but ignored it because this writer is so good at describing in game character building in a way that you feel like you are the one building the character. As the books went on the sexism got worse and worse. While I will admit that the author does it to his male characters too (where the crap is bug!! Two and a third books since he was introduced and no Bug!!!) the lack of use of Tali in the this and the last books and only using her as a plot device in this book stripping her of what little character she had is unforgivable. I am going to have trouble continuing to read this book series. I don't know if I can last four more books of hearing about this guys inner greedy pig constantly without hearing about the characters in the story that I really want to care about. There are also parts in the book that make me worry about how the author might treat women in real life as he portrays them as being creatures that when not tamed and made to obey men only cause men pain only giving a woman the purpose of affecting a man and no character and purpose of their own. The only reason I did not rate this book lower is because I still love alter world and the concepts of the game.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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

Glad I didn't listen to some reviews on this one

I very much enjoyed this instalment if the series! I kept looking for more time to keep listening! This book really showed Max growing as a leader, tied up some loose ends from the first and second books, explore more of Alter World, and liberate more slaves. Another aspect of the story I really like is that each chapter starts with some IRL events and reports; in this book there are player characters that are followed IRL. My only real problem is with how the book ended felt rushed at some point. A good portion of the book was about going thru Asian territory to get to another temple; when they get there it's a matter of about 10 minutes and Max ends the raid ASAP. It felt like this time in the temple was rushed to get to the conclusion.

I really want to mention, though, that I have read some other reviews are this book concerning racism. Some reviewers say that D. Rus used some stereotyping of Asian people and go further saying that he makes a generalization that all Asian's are the same. this is absolutely not true. D Rus created Asian slaver bad guys but no where does it mention that all Asian's are like the bad guys. If anything, Mr. Rus gives Russia's more crap than anyone else. that's just something that bothered me.

some favorite moments were Loth's lair, Max picking up his 'cat' Bageara, assault on the gangster/slaver fort, Basilisk eggs, and almost every IRL moment.

Also, Michael Goldstrom has done another AMAZING job yet again. he is one of my new favorite narrators

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

That's it, I'm done. Bulls**t level too high.

What did you like best about The Duty? What did you like least?

Gaming premise is still fun, and the idea that AlterWorld has developed its own reality enough that it's not only playing by its own rules but starting to affect the real world is pretty neat. The game mechanics stuff is still nostalgic and wonderful, and I wish we could give terminally ill kids the chance to live forever in a fantasy world. I'm all for that idea. But the writing has not improved even a little, and the misogyny has reached new levels of ick, joined by heightened levels of racism. Our protagonist beats an adolescent girl with a stick out of ire. Apparently the Chinese are evil. Clearly the best way to run thing is as a fascist dictator. And SPOILER ALERT:

After finally getting her revenge, Tali gets stuffed firmly in the refrigerator. Apparently for dramatic effect. Except that it has little to no impact on the protagonist beyond the moment. It just serves as another way to lend him the gravitas the author seems to think he needs. After all, what is a hero without at least one lost love, right? Except that the protagonist feels little to nothing after the moment. Basically I think the author kept realizing the initial girlfriend had been set up to be "jealous" so he couldn't comfortably give the protagonist a harem until she was out of the way. Or maybe the author didn't like his protagonist being too domestically tied down. I can't tell you the end result because I've only heard the preview of book 4. I can't support this author anymore than I already have.

What was most disappointing about D. Rus’s story?

I don't even know where to begin. Racism is a major driving force. Women who aren't under male control are malevolent. it just keeps getting worse and I can't fight through the thickening layers of social sludge to find the gaming goodness anymore.

Was The Duty worth the listening time?

No. The first one was, if you didn't have too much else to do or needed some mental candy. The second one made me feel like I'd about broken even. This book isn't really worth listening to unless you're one of those people who HAS to keep going with a series.

Any additional comments?

Many of the attitudes expressed in here are toxic. The addition of Lloth, however much I might like her as a D&D villain and goddess, felt SUPER lazy and juvenile. The women-as-plot-devices thing has gotten VERY old. The protagonist is steadily moving towards being the thing he's been complaining about, except of course since it's HIM everything is right and proper. He's condescending, bigoted, selfish, and generally a jerk, but because he occasionally does nice things everyone assumes that this is right and proper. The author's inclusion of himself as an AI writer would be a cute little Easter Egg if his arrogance were not so cloying. Oh yeah, and all glory to military everything.

I have had enough. I am done. The writing is not improving, the story arch is ridiculous wish fulfillment, and the character growth is nonexistent except where it's absurd. The only reason I didn't give this a lower rating is that I still like the world premise and the narrator isn't terrible.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

If you like GameLit or LitRPG then get this series

book 3 of 8 and this series is worth owning. D Rus is a Russian author that brought gamelit or RPGlitor LitRPG, or however you want to refer to it, to us in the states. Thanks dude you rock for that.

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

Epic quest interrupted with occasional politics

Overall this was another good entry in the series. I however felt the non relevant to the story, real world moments to take me out of the fantasy. Still worth a listen though!

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

Good

Not as good as the first 2. The books seem to be declining in quality.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Couldn't Stop Listening

The story continues to amaze! I could not stop listening. I'd definitely say this book is as good as book 1 in the series.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jeffery
  • Bel Air, MD, United States
  • 06-20-16

Invested in the series

Darn it, I'm completely invested in this series now. I can't stop listening at night which is giving me some tired mornings to deal with. Off to get book # 4 right now. The story continues to be engaging, the characters are sucking me in, and the narrator is awesome with a good clean reading of the story. I can't wait to find out what happens next!