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The Crystal Sphere

Neuro Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Graham Halstead
Series: Neuro Series, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 37 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (275 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Alex is one of us. An office rat during daytime, he spends sleepless nights playing his favorite MMO game: a familiar, predictable world which is about to collapse. A new virtual universe arrives to replace it, aggressively devouring all others: the Crystal Sphere. Alex gets involved in testing new technologies which promise to revolutionize gaming. Fitted out with a neuroimplant which provides a 100 percent authentic experience, he has to survive in the Crystal Sphere against all odds. What is he turning into? Will he become yet another expendable test subject - or the first player to transcend reality?

©2017 Andrei Livadny; English translation copyright 2017 by Irene Woodhead and Neil P. Mayhew (P)2017 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Very Good... But incomplete.

I loved the story, but it doesn't end well. It's too big of a cliffhanger. I would rather the book had ended before the last part started rather than end who knows where exactly before it is finished.

I will continue the series but am now skeptical as I can only hope the next one won't make the same mistake.

I can only guess that the whole first book was cut into 2 parts at the last minute without finding a good way to end it to spread it out. What's wrong with a 12 to 14 hour complete story?

Overall it is very good and worth a read as long as you are aware it is not complete as most first books are for a series start.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • E
  • 07-21-17

nothing special

This book had potential but fell short. The mc is given far too many completely broken abilities and super special items. He is effectively able to learn every ability in the game reguardless of class or race. There are also too many coincidences. A few coincidences are expected in a story but they happen almost constantly in this one. My other concern with the story is that the charcters tend to be completely one dimensional. They either instantly become loyal allies or develope an insane all encompassing hatred of the mc.
The narrator was ok for the most part but kept throwing me off the story with jarring mispronounced words. The most noticeable being how he would slow down mid sentence and say "Don John" instead of dungeon.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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

Miss pronounced words are a huge pet peeve!

The story is entertaining. The narrator has a good voice and tells the story well. But I always notice when words are mispronounced. It doesn't bother me to much when it's said only once. But in this story the word chitin is said a lot. It is pronounced (KY-tin). Are these not edited?

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Dry and lacks story and character development

The story isn't original. There are some serious gaps in the story structure that I’m guessing the author put in place intentionally to get the reader/listener engaged in solving a mystery, but it doesn’t work. The main character is dry focusing on stat developments instead of adapting to his new world. He’s way too disconnected from his environment and there’s no indication of why leveling should be important to him outside of a normal gamer mentality. There’s no motivation given to him or the story’s perceived villain.

Needs more description and relatable points to pull you into the story. The book is written in first person. The whole point of using that perspective is to allow the reader/listener to get inside the character’s mind; the vicarious thrill of experience. There’s too much of a disconnect and, for a litRPG, not enough emphasis placed on game mechanics. Sure, the author listed the math behind the stat progression, but there’s no consideration given to how that would alter the perspective of a real human essentially becoming a digital entity.

The battles scenes are weak at best and lack any tension or gravitas. A normal person suddenly finding themselves in a world where combat is a way of life just wouldn’t be capable of throwing that all aside at the drop of a hat. There are so many places where action packed scenes should have been lingered over with steadily built tension, but instead the whole fight is just over!

The performance is okay but almost every character other than the main has a vaguely British accent, so it's not very realistic when you consider that this is an MMORPG setting.

This story is a rough draft, not a book that should have made it past the editing process.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great if you're a fan of mmorpg stories.

once I got used to the story type, I didn't want to stop listening. enjoy it!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

great RPG book

plenty of fun, avoid some overused tropes. little light on description but overall really engaging!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not Bad

I am enjoying the world that Andrew Livadny created for us. You can tell there was a lot of thought and planning that went into creating this world. While I didn’t understand were some of the “random” plot lines were going at the beginning, they tie back into the overall arc.

Overall I found this to be an enjoyable read.

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Donjon?

I don't know about everyone else but I'm curious as to what is a Donjon? lol

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

it passes the time

towards the back half of the book all the sudden seems like they start mispronouncing words also kept using mechanically for some reason kind of also felt like the game mechanics were not consistent.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-08-17

That's my jam boy

Dam son you got me wet with this book I hope it keeps up the amazing storylines I come to expect from all your work