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Publisher's Summary

Just outside Los Angeles, a prisoner hidden away for 70 years sits up, gets off the bed and disappears through a solid wall.

In Australia, a magician impresses audiences by producing real elephants. Nobody realizes it's not an illusion.

Across the world, individuals and ancient organizations with supernatural power suddenly detect the presence of something even they can't understand.

At the center of it all, Seb Varden, a 32-year old musician with a secret in his past, slits his wrists, is shot dead and run over on the freeway. He's had better days.

Seb is about to discover the universe is a far more complicated place than he'd ever imagined.

©2016 Ian Sainsbury (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    799
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    138
  • 2 Stars
    52
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Performance

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    25
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Story

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

Good Stuff

Very good read w/ some sneaky creativity... First you think SF, then you think fantasy, then you thin SF again... It literally is SF&F perfectly blended, w/ a strong influence of the Clark assertion that anything not sufficiently understood is indistinguishable from magic... Genre bending and fusing... Kinda urban/contemporary fantasy, but only slightly as the SF elements become more recognizable... Some really good characters, complete w/ a decidedly dastardly bad guy... The narration is adequate, but adds little to the experience... Which is fine, bc this story is where it's at and the narrator has it easy w/ such a smooth flowing yarn... Feels like there's a dash of Larry Niven's Magic universe influencing w/ better results imo...

41 of 43 people found this review helpful

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

Recommended reading in the study of the Marty Stu

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

More important than "enjoy" are the teachable moments for starting writers. This is an important example of the "Marty Stu" character, not so much due to the Perfect Protagonist Syndrome but as a clear representation of author self-insertion.

What was most disappointing about Ian W. Sainsbury’s story?

Multiple POV's crowding into the same scene/timeline. I recognize the talent of mentally visualizing action sequences as a resource for story development. These scenes need a careful conversion from imagination into storytelling. The first casualty of an unsuccessful conversion is losing the readers' willingness to suspend disbelief.

What about Todd Boyce’s performance did you like?

Mr. Boyce is clearly a professional who knows his craft.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The World Walker?

I wouldn't try to put the book on an operating table. Instead I would recommend working with an editor who knows how to translate personal fantasies into an immersive experience for the reader. Then start fresh.

Any additional comments?

These are my issues as well, across 50 years of writing for myself. Identification is such a powerful source of energy, and so alluring as well. I am daunted by the task of getting readers to climb inside and stay within the skin of my protagonists. So, I make no pretense at having mastered this myself.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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

Decent read

Different plot direction that I initially assumed was happening. I liked the direction, was just blind sided by it. This doesn't happen often so I'm happy with the result. Can't wait for book 2.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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

Great series starter

This book was published spring of 2016 and two sequels have already hit the stands coming out about every six months. This first book features Sebastian "Seb" Varden, a 32-year-old musician who has been diagnosed with a brain tumor and is intent on suicide. Instead he's touched by an alien who heals him and gives him what appear to be magical powers. He becomes a World Walker. My movie pitch version: "Think Green Lantern meets Aleister Crowley."

In the book we learn of a world of people with seemingly magical powers but we learn that these powers have a scientific source and that they can be recharged at special spots ("thin areas") of the earth. Over the centuries these powers have been interpreted as being religious, mystical, or satanic depending on the cultures where they appear. We also learn that there's a growing battle among the various recipients of these powers and there is even a secret government agency seeking to destroy many of the people who have received the powers. Some of these have a sense of their powers, others simply grow up thinking they're exceptionally lucky.

As the story progresses Seb gets more control of the powers he's been given. As he does he becomes a target of different factions with the powers. But Seb is unique in that his powers seem to be above and beyond anything seen before.

Sainsbury creates a very likeable character in Seb. He's intelligent, committed to fighting evil use of these powers by whoever misuses them, and shows a lot of humor despite the intensity of some of the action in the book. I haven't looked at the two follow-up volumes but I'm hoping there's more of the same. He also has help from wonderful friends who take on very important roles in what happens. The book makes use of some well-loved sci-fi tropes while managing to mix in some fantasy ones as well. It's a unique mix and well-written in the style of a thriller.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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

Good Start and Original

This is the 2nd time I have listened to this audiobook and it is very good Audiobook. Narration is wobbly at first but improves later. The story is different and very entertaining.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

Brain Candy for Nerds

This book instantly gets your blood pumping and kept me guessing which direction it would go in. The explanation of Seb's power is such brain candy and I thoroughly enjoyed it. looking forward to the next book.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Good performance, good writing, tepid story

The audio performer is great. The author's technical skills are also fine (his word choice is interesting, descriptions are great, and so on).

But the actual story is something I'd have been embarrassed to read on the back of a cereal box as a sci-obsessed kid.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

very good, a little bit explainy

it was interesting and I wish it had been hinting more about a sequal.

overall I loved the scifi, it fit with the characters knowledge, and because of this I didn't feel like I needed too much technobabble.

the only thing I didn't like was that it seemed like the author believes the readers of sci-fi is just as clueless as a musician/hippie/dude, and not well versed in the typical tropes and ideas; so at times I found myself almost a little annoyed as I was being explained to like a 5 year old.

other than that I only had one logical fallacy stick with me, and overall enjoyed the ride :)

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Trish R.
  • JACKSONVILLE, FL, United States
  • 05-27-18

More like 2 1/2 for book and narration..


More like 2 1/2

Good grief! This started off pretty good but I could never read this author again. All this author knows is the word "said:" Seb said, Walt said, Seb said, Walt said, Seb said, Walt said, Bob said, Mee said. It started driving me nuts. No remarked, no replied, no yelled, no nothing! Just “SAID.” I read one other male author who couldn’t use any word but that and I never read him again. Just like I won’t read this one again. Ian W. Sainsbury used the word “said” over 1000 times in this one book and replied 0 times and remarked 0 times and murmur 2 times and muttered 5 times. Clearly not enough words to replace “said.” Totally ridiculous!!

This could have been a decent story, except for “said.” But I liked the characters: Seb (I hate that name. His name is Sebastian!) Walt, Bob and I almost liked Mee ,her name was Meena, (she was a little bit too much of a pot-head for me though. Lighting one joint off the one she just finished.)

And it was pretty cool that Seb decided to sit in the forest to commit suicide, only to be visited by an alien who filled him with nanotechnology and made him into a superhuman. And the book went from the present back to the past, and from Seb and Walt to Bob and Mee, or to the man, Westlake, who was chasing Seb. However, it seemed to plod along going nowhere. By 75% I was wondering when the story was going to start. When we were going to find out what superpowers Seb had and what they were for. At 95% I was still wondering.

Anyway, I finished and that’s enough of this author.

One reviewer on Amazon said she hated the ending and I was a little concerned but I have no idea what she was talking about. Seb and Mee got their HFN and it wasn’t a cliffhanger so what more could you ask for? Oh, but while Mee and Bob were looking for Seb he was busy in a hot tub with Walt and 7 naked ladies. But, he DID love her… LOL

Sex was only implied, that God, and the F-bomb was used 5 times.

As to the narration: Todd Boyce was just alright for me. His voices were fine but there wasn’t much emotion in his reading. His best voice was Mason and his whispering tone. His worse was Seb, because Seb was 32 and sounded like a teenager. Like he didn’t have a lick of sense.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Just a boring book designed to sell the next.

I could never get into this book...it was just plain boring.
It's also pretty obvious that the author was supposed to edit multiple books.....because this book is nothing but identifying the characters. Where's the plot!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Fiona
  • 06-15-17

Nope - I lost it

I'm not sure what happened here, but I've had to abandon the book mid-way through.
I'm 12 chapters in and still really don't have any idea what's going on - I like the idea of setting up lots of little threads of this and that, to keep us guessing and weave them together artfully later on. But - 12 chapters in and I have just a handful of threads I don't understand.

One more titchy niggle, not really worth mentioning but while I'm on the subject... ~ the reader's english accent really bugged me - it's not bad exactly, but it sounds like David Essex which I find massively confusing.

The blurb seemed to promise a great story, and if anyone's minded to write the book I hoped for here I'm all ears. Until then sadly this book and I are not friends and will, with regret on my side at least, go our separate ways.

22 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • JR Hartley
  • 07-12-17

Not for English audiences

Quite how you get a job reading an audiobook with a key character from England, when you cannot do an English accent, is beyond me. It has made this book unbearable to listen to, however the story turns out. I'll buy a hard copy and hope the US accents in my head are better than this English one was in my ears.

42 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-24-17

Great first book

Thought I would give this book a go and It didn't disappoint.
Had no problems with the reader which is very important to me.
Great twists and terns just hope the next book holds up to this great standard that's been set.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lee Cobb
  • 02-08-17

A Punt

Looking for something for my walk to work. I find authors I never heard of a gamble. But I really enjoyed it. Read well by Todd Boyce. I heartily recommend this really good story. Nicely finished too.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • peardrop
  • 06-06-17

Unusual concept

Intriguing idea woven into an interesting story. It certainly leaves you wanting to know what happens next.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-02-18

Those who have ever heard a woman speak, beware...

Any additional comments?

As a Londoner myself, I'm used to hearing Americans butchering London accents. So at first I thought it was because the character Mira was British that the reader was stretching out every last word of the sentences she spoke. But then in Chapter 15 (which is as far as I have gotten into this story) another female character is introduced whom has been given the same treatment. I can only describe it as 'cooing' and it is extremely irritating. I've never met anyone that speaks like this, British or otherwise.

As well as this, the story is not particularly compelling. The only thing that seems to be in any really peril is the life of the main character who is apparently invincible anyway, (it's written in the publishers summary that he has slit his wrists , been shot dead and been run over on the freeway), and regardless, I find myself not much caring about him either way.

2 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
  • Flo1234
  • 04-22-18

Brilliant book - can't believe it's a first novel!

If you could sum up The World Walker in three words, what would they be?

Humorous, imaginative, compelling

What other book might you compare The World Walker to, and why?

It has echoes of Philip Pullman's other worldliness

What does Todd Boyce bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I was plugged into this throughout the day whilst I got on with jobs around the house and garden. I couldn't stop listening.

Any additional comments?

I would love to see this book made into a film.
Can't wait to read book 2!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr S Oliver
  • 04-21-18

Highly recommended

Really enjoyed this book. An intriguing plausible story with a touch of magic and extra terrestrials

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Asbjørn
  • 03-11-18

Very entertaining

Excellent science fiction. I throughly enjoy the author's imagination. Fun concepts and captivating twists. Certain elements make it difficult to maintain an exciting narrative in a series. I'm looking forward to see how he does it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • JDCH
  • 03-07-18

Loved it. Fantastic journey into the unknown! No matter what your preferred genre, you will love this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful