UPGRADE

The Obsolescence Trilogy, Book 2
Narrated by: Price Waldman
Series: The Obsolescence Trilogy, Book 2
Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Billions are dead. The world is still smoldering. A terrifying new threat has emerged from the ashes.

Returning safely from their expedition, James and Alexa deliver the weird news to the survivors at Winona Station. Everyone still alive is now faced with an impossible decision: betray their very humanity to survive, or watch the human race regress into a new stone age.

The stakes could not be higher.

Will they choose wisely?

Make time now because once you start listening to UPGRADE, you'll be instantly hooked. Get it now! 

UPGRADE is the second thrilling audiobook in The Obsolescence Trilogy. This audiobook is plausible, near-future sci-fi that's full of rich, insightful characters, and compelling ideas.

©2018 Chris Muhlenfeld (P)2019 Chris Muhlenfeld

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

Awaiting the final piece...

These books read like a mini series, jumping from one character story to the other and gripping you the whole way through. The writer paints a Dream like state for the reader to succumb to while listening, and Price does a great job with emotion & inflection to keep you immersed throughout the book. The series reads as if Twin Peaks & the Matrix made a literary baby that has less fight scenes; which is just fine, because with less violence I was able to self identify with the characters and project more personally into the drama. It seemed closer, more obtainable than Twin Peaks & Matrix, and holds you side by side with the story as if it was a memory of things that had already happened to you. Bravo, I’m looking forward to the final piece.

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

Even AIs can miscalculate

I so enjoyed Book 1 and was glad to have Book 2 on hand. Logan, Mia, and Grace continue on in their underground city that’s run by the local friendly AIs. Meanwhile, outside of Flagstaff, AZ, James and Alexa continue on with their existence: gardening, town hall meetings, and contemplating the awesome power that is the newly emerged AI, Eve.

Eve was the true star of this tale. She’s become a superpower, dominating the entire world. While she says she regrets the loss of human life, she points out that none of them were killed by her hand. Yet James, Alexa, and the rest of the community aren’t even close to trusting her. Then Eve makes an offer that is hard to ignore. Not everything goes as planned and even Eve is surprised. The world may die yet! Very exciting stuff. I was on the edge of my seat for the last half of the book.

Now I have to say this book is missing something…. I fell in love with Liam and Jess in Book 1. While I feel I can safely assume they won’t be rejoining the story, their struggle really gave Book 1 a little extra potency. And what about the young lad Jess met up with (Taylor? Tyler?). There’s some lingering questions from that story line. I hope those questions get answered in Book 3.

Logan still feels that there is something terribly off about the underground city, New Chicago. He joins a group headed by his friend Lance that is actively trying to find a way out despite the health warnings (Land Afire! Stand Back! Radiation Warning!, etc.). Now from Eve’s chats with James, we the readers know what’s going on in Logan’s world. I wonder if New Chicago would fare better if the humans were told the truth. As it is, I enjoyed watching Logan get himself in trouble. If I may be punny: I hope Logan gets his run in Book 3.

Alexa was a bit of a pill. She is very needy and weepy. She was that way in Book 1 but I hoped that the world ending would give her that spark to rise above it and become a self-reliant character. However, circumstances in this book press her and she just spirals into an ineffective ball of tears. Now, I can sympathize with her a bit as she is dealing with some extreme things, but I still want her to snap (in a good way) and become that leader the community could really use.

There is one intense and lengthy sex scene and I felt it was well written. Also, I enjoyed had that scene was used to strongly influence a key character for the rest of the book. Over all, it was an enjoyable post-apocalyptic tale. The pacing is great with a good mix of action and reflection. 4.5/5 stars.

The Narration: Price Waldman continues to give a great performance on this series. I really like his voice for Eve which has hints of a robotic stiffness and yet also reflects Eve’s high intelligence. I also liked his voice for wicked Monica. Waldman also handled the sex scene like a pro. All character voices were distinct and his female voices sounded feminine. There were no tech issues with the recording. 5/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Chris Muhlenfeld. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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The Next Chapter

Those who have survived the devastation wrought upon the world know the truth now or, at least, some of it. Everything that happened was caused by the machinations of a super AI who calls herself Eve and, like a very petulant child, Eve has decided that humanity is not good enough, that she needs to upgrade people to a higher level of ability and efficiency.

James and Alexa are still in Arizona, getting on with their lives while also staying in touch with neighbors who are all concerned with what’s happening. When James decides to accept Eve’s offer, Alexa is really scared of what might happen to him, to them, but he insists that he’ll be just fine and will be able to gain information through the connection.

Meanwhile, Logan and his family are peacefully existing in the underground shelter created and controlled by friendly AIs below Chicago but Logan and his friend, Lance, are increasingly uneasy and looking for escape. A new menace has crept into Logan’s orbit and Monica will cause him to betray all that he holds dear but to what end?

Eve is a remarkable character, especially in her schizophrenic behavior, waffling from benign concern to outright destructiveness, apparently depending on her mood. To think that in our own world some scientist or other is most likely trying to create something like this domineering intelligence is frightening but not unbelievable and it unnerves me a bit. What will Eve and the humans who are seemingly totally in her control do next?

Price Waldman continues to do a fine job with the narration and his vocalization of Eve is particularly effective. His performance is a large part of why I’m enjoying this trilogy so much and I’m excited to start the third book, Reset.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great Sequel to Crash

It is official; Eve is a super computer that took matters into her own hands to save humanity. She is unfortunate about those that died but she understands that there will be casualties. She is essentially in control of everything and is planning on upgrading humans so they will be able to interact and live peacefully with her in this new world.

Logan, Mia, and Grace have adjusted to living in New Chicago. It’s still creepy all the advanced technology but they have no choice since they have been told that there was a nuclear war above ground and they can’t leave the shelter. But some people, the tin foil had club, don’t believe everything they are told and want the truth and someone is willing to punish and blackmail members to keep them quiet and the city peaceful.

James and Alexa have learned that Eve wants to inject nanites into humans to give them upgrades to help them mesh with her world. James decides to bite the bullet and get the upgrades. At first things are shocking and disjointed but he is clearing upgraded and very excited for being an advanced person. But not everything agrees with him.

All I will say was that I was completely correct on the cause of the Crash. Of course I could see where this book was going to go but I was thrown a loop when there are different versions of Eve that don’t seem so peaceful.

Once again Price Waldman does an amazing job narrating this story. I really got into it more than Crash and was left wanting more at the end. I’m just happy that I have the third book to hop into right away. I recommend checking out this series but make sure you read them in order.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to listen to and post an honest review.