Soda Pop Soldier

Soda Pop Soldier, Book 1
By: Nick Cole
Narrated by: Guy Williams
Series: Soda Pop Soldier, Book 1
Length: 12 hrs and 27 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (200 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Call of Duty meets Diablo in this fast-paced, action-packed LitRPG novel from the co-creator of Galaxy's Edge universe.

Gamer PerfectQuestion fights for ColaCorp in WarWorld, an online combat sport arena where megacorporations field entire armies in the battle for real world global advertising-space dominance. Within the immense virtual battlefield, players and bots are high-tech grunts, using drop-ships and state-of-the-art weaponry to wipe each other out.

But times are tough, and the rent is due, and when players need extra dough, there's always the Black, an illegal open source tournament where the sick and twisted desires of the future are given free rein in the Wastehavens, a Gothic dungeon fantasy world.

And all too soon, the real and virtual worlds collide when PerfectQuestion refuses to become the tool of a madman intent on hacking the global economy for himself.

©2018 Castalia House (P)2018 Podium Publishing

What listeners say about Soda Pop Soldier

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Soda Pop Soldier Rules!

Ready Player One? LAME! Soda Pop Soldier is where this premise succeeds big time. Video games? That's for kiddies. How about corporate wars fought by virtual super-soldiers! I am very much swayed by the down-on-his-luck hero who keeps fighting because...what other choice is there? The Cola Wars create an opportunity for this warrior by any other name, and the mix of real and virtual creates a universe where anything can happen. Great Sci-Fi military action and corporate intrigue with a redeeming ending that left me feeling satisfied, but with the suspicion that the tale isn't done yet.

4 people found this helpful

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Thoroughly enjoyable read!

Good narration, great writing and a great story! i particularly like the poetic language used to describe the world, it makes for a beautiful and detailed mental picture.

3 people found this helpful

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Pop a tab and enjoy a sip of this tale

So I found this book while reading a review that was talking about ready player one. I saw the movie, haven’t listened to the book even though I do have it in my digital library. Anyway. The writer of the review was talking about MMOpunk. I’d never heard the term before and from what I can tell it is basically was an alternative name for Litrpg for people living back in 2015. It is like a mash-up of Cyberpunk stories and MMORPG’s, i.e. litrpg/gamelit stuff. The novel mentioned two books by Nick Cole, and so I thought I’d check out the Soda Pop Soldier. I’m glad I did. The book has some interesting concepts about corporate sponsorship and making a living via virtual games. Now, if you know me at all then you know that I hate when in-game currency is usable in the real world. I don’t care what the exchange rate would be I just don’t see it working, but this felt more like the kind of situation where people make money streaming or with a channel on You-tube. Here, the main goal of the players is to play well enough to earn advertising space for the company they play for. Failure means you are out, and the MC isn’t doing so well in that dept as of late. In fact, he takes to playing an illegal game just to get by, and this is where the real fun starts. The MC, known to us as Perfectquestion, doesn’t seem to fit in the real world. In fact, he seems like he is more at home on line in a virtual reality in spite of the fact that he literally lives in a world where it seems that humans regularly leave the planet. I don’t believe we are ever given his real name, and so for the listener this plays out with us having an almost virtual protagonist. The illegal game, the Dark, is just that although his other game Warworld is pretty visceral and violent (how could it not be with a name like that?) and keeps you in the action enough that you keep focused. The book bounces between each game and the real world, but does so in a way that keeps you interested. I often get bored with “out of game” sequences in books. I Don’t care what the devs are up to or how the AI is slowly taking over the world or whatever happens IRL. I like to stay in the game. This book does a great job balancing everything and keeps you on the hook. You genuinely care about PQ, and it doesn’t matter if he is playing a soldier, a samurai, or a struggling to by average guy. For me the real plus was the authentic feel the book had in regards to how the players of cola corp interacted over chat and interacted. It really felt like I was listening to some players from COD trying to get their crap together. That is what pushed this up a few notches for me. The Dark was a neat place to visit and learn about, and was different from other game worlds in that you pay to play per match. So there were some really neat concepts too. My one issue I have with this book is the narration. While I found Guy Williams to have a grizzled soldier voice that worked for the Warworld character I don’t think his voice had a lot of range, and his cadence and rhythm barely ever changed. I wasn’t overly wowed by Williams. I don’t want to say he droned, because he does vary his voice and add emotion but he kept on a steady pace that never amped up when it should have. My score would be much higher if it were not for the narration flaws. I liked this book, but have to say 7.3 stars because Williams didn’t do much to elevate the story. If this had been SBT, Pohdel, Daniels, Parsenau, Rennie, Taylor, or Adams I could see this book crushing in Lit, but I honestly think it is holding it back. Great concept, good writing, mediocre to fair narration.

1 person found this helpful

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RP1 fans rejoice

An outstanding novel and excellent performance. If you liked Ready Player One, check this out!

3 people found this helpful

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Virtual Reality in the future

Great story about a dystopian future with virtual reality and numerous power hungry corporations looking to advance their respective agendas.

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This Book Was Fun!

When the story started, it had me thinking in terms of Ender's Game. Boy was I wrong! The story went in fun and unexpected ways. I'm so glad I picked it out. I will be looking for more books from this author!

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Very good story indeed

This one was a pleasant surprise. At first I wasn't sure, but as the story went on, it grew on me. it's an interesting twist on the future. As for the comments stating that the story was hard to follow... I must respectfully disagree. A good story, good narration, good ending. Now I'm ready for the next in the series.

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Keep going!

I almost gave up on the book when PerfectQuestion went into the oubliette and it started to seem like it was going to slip into an alternate lifestyle type of book, it’s just not my thing. But then, the character’s strength of will prevailed. He was able to move beyond the temptations down there and became a likeable protagonist who grew immensely over the course of the book. Strong performance by the narrator helped to bring the story along. Pick it up, get past the rough parts, and you’ll be glad that you did.

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twisted plot

This book is a bit all over the place. Lots of separate plot points with only the mc in common. But if you can handle a topsy turvy tale or two, then you'll enjoy this book. No cliff hanger, even though there's a second book, so I'm pretty happy with it.

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Entertaining story with frustrating narration

This book was very difficult for me to get into, and I almost quit about 45 minutes in. The narrator... Likes to pause.... In the middle of..... Sentences.... Repeatedly. I found it incredibly distracting and constantly breaking my sense of immersion. The book itself was pretty good, following a professional online gamer trying to make enough money to pay rent. There's a lot of action, and I was still able to enjoy the story even though the narration was terrible. Overall it's worth a read, but probably not a listen. I may not be the only person that had this complaint because book 2 has a different narrator that seems to be pretty good so far.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-09-20

Kiwi the Aussie?

and "shielas" probably shows research based on Crocodile Dundee! Apart from that really good listen.

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  • Boat
  • 01-13-20

Rags to Rags with overflowing pockets

Astoundingly good! Exceptionally well written, hats off and waving to the king of story telling, another Nick Cole classic, every journey. Suggested to me as a holding pattern whilst waiting for the new Galaxy’s Edge releases, it’s ended up being a favourite all on its own. I am not a gamer and you don’t have to be to quickly empathise with the characters. Masterpiece , that is all 🙏