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Publisher's Summary

Award-winning performers Wil Wheaton (Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Big Bang Theory, and Ready Player One audiobook) and Katherine McNamara (Shadowhunters, The Stand, CW’s Arrow) bring this mind-bending, deeply imagined sci-fi tale to life.

The real world is only where you breathe....

In High Earth, digital entertainment is everything. Shows. Virtual worlds. Simulations - there’s something for everybody in a city where working for a living has been rendered obsolete by technological advancements. Even a short walk outside to visit with others is no longer necessary. Just load into the network and you can be with anyone, anywhere.

For Asher Reinhart, nothing compares to Ignis; a live reality show that pushes human beings to their very extremes. As a volunteer director, Asher closely monitors the lives of those living on an interstellar ark, believing they're the last of humanity.

But when it's determined that the life of the show’s brightest star, Mission, must be put in danger to boost declining ratings, Asher is forced to choose: the show he loves or the woman whose existence has been the focus of his attention since the day he was born.

From number-one Audible best-selling author and Nebula Award nominee Rhett C. Bruno comes a story about the power of human connection. The Truman Show meets Ready Player One in a novel perfect for fans of Hugh Howey, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Michael Crichton.

©2021 Rhett C. Bruno (P)2021 Podium Audio

What listeners say about Vicarious

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Fastest read ever!

I can’t begin to express my love for this book. I listened through in one sitting, mesmerized by Wil and Katherine’s performance. As always, Bruno weaves a dark but hopeful world filled with unique people and ideas.
Different from his others (Children of Titan, Buried Goddess Saga) Vicarious stands alone as a work of art. No need for sequels, no massive arcing story, just the glorious, beautiful prose and dialogue he is known for bringing to fiction.
Asher and Mission are adorable and lovable and tragic.
Vicarious both made me long to live in High Earth and fear the possibility it might some day exist.

Bravo! Ten stars.

10 people found this helpful

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Excellent

This isn't the first glowing review of a Rhett C. Bruno book that I've written, he has a way of captivating me in every story he tells. Vicarious was no different. From the first few minutes of it I was intrigued. I needed to know more and know who these characters where and what made them tick.

The description calls it The Truman Show meets Ready Player One, and I definitely see that, but I would throw in a bit of The Island as well. A lot of the pretense around their lives reminded me a lot of what the characters in The Island were going through. Especially because the characters in Vicarious were meant to be almost perfect human specimens because of the specific breeding and procreation they were doing.

One of the hardest things to do about a book that has twists and turns like this one does is write a review and talk about it. I can't really mention anything about the book because it will likely give away a twist or a turn that someone didn't see coming. I think The Truman show is definitely the "best" comparison, but in the future and in a really unique setting.

Normally, I can take or leave a Wil Wheaton narration. I've never hated them, but I haven't loved them either. I loved him in this. I thought he was perfect for Asher even to the point where I could sort of see Wil playing him in a movie/tv version of this. And the same goes for Katherine McNamara, I thought she absolutely nailed becoming Mission. There were a few times where I had to remind myself that this was a book and not a retelling of their life story. The narration was that good.

Overall, I really really enjoyed Vicarious. I think that Bruno knocked this one out of the park and this might be his most ambitious book along with being the best one I've read so far.

8 people found this helpful

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5 stars across the board

I'm new to author Rhett C. Bruno but after finishing this masterpiece that will certainly change.

This book has some twist and turns so I can't speak to much about it. With that being said, it's April 2021 and this my 16th listen of the year. Without a doubt, it sits alone at the top.

Well written characters, a hint of mystery, a future world that could one day exist, love, consequences, and moral decisions all tightly packaged to the point where I literally could not stop.

I had to work at 5am and instead of stopping every hour like I told myself I would, I ended up listening until I literally had to get ready for work. Later on the same day after work, instead of going to bed early, I opted to finish it. I was a junkie and this was my fix.

I've seen it called The Truman Show meets Ready Player One and I agree; however, I think it has a little splash of Lost mixed into it as well. The part where you love the chapter / episode so much that you tell yourself just one more but at the end, you repeat the same phrase because it was so good. Before you know it, it's light outside,

If you are at all on the fence, let me be the first to tell you that this purchase was one of the best credits I have ever spent. I recommend you do the same. You won't regret it in the slightest.

2 people found this helpful

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Incredible Voice Work and Amazing Book!

A surprising new sci-fi book and a somewhat disturbing look at a future that could be all too real. Listened to it first on Audible, the voice work was incredible, after it was over I had to have the hardcover for my book shelf!

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Amazing

Yet another amazing book by Rhett C Bruno. You will not want to stop until you are done. Wil Wheaton is great as usual. Katherine McNamara does an outstanding job for her first narration.
You will not be disappointed.

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Great performance

Without a sequel, I will need to get my brain wiped to remember I listened to this.

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Ensign Crusher Narrates Books now? Yup!

So, I picked up this audiobook because well, Will Wheaton was one of the narrators. As a lifelong Trek fan, that was too interesting to pass up.

I'm really glad I did. This isn't a cut and dry, shoot 'em up sci-fi novel. Its got multiple layers of nuance, deep themes, and it makes you think.

Did I mention it makes you think? I'm still pondering stuff from this book. That's impressive.

Hats off to both narrators, and Rhett C. Bruno. I'll be listening to his other novels now, because this is one fine author.

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Awesome Character-Driven Sci-Fi Adventure!

Rhett C. Bruno’s Vicarious is a deep dive into a virtual sci-fi world of haves and have-nots. With the elites living a luxurious life of illusion aboard the Interstellar Ark, the less lucky of the species live below—if you can call their existence “living.” Bruno’s novel grapples with topics like privilege versus poverty, with the Ark acting like a futuristic Titanic where the rich thrive on the backs of the suffering poor “below decks.” Asher Reinhart is, at first, a Kool-Aid drinking member of the upper crust, but his affection for Mission—whose only sin is growing up—opens his eyes what life aboard the Ark really means in human terms. Think how the rich got the lifeboats off the Titanic while the steerage passengers drowned, and you’ll get the gist of the novel’s atmosphere. Wil Wheaton's and Katherine McNamara's excellent performances bring the novel to vivid life in the audiobook version. Awesome!

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Very Enjoyable

Great storyline, very indepth and detailed, plus an awesome job narrating, can't wait for the sequel!

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Excellent reading and listening experience!

A truly unique sci-fi experience. I wasn't exactly sure what I was getting into, but I'm so glad I did. Mission's story is both heartbreaking and triumphant, and the growth Asher shows from start to finish blew me away!

1 person found this helpful

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  • S. Reid
  • 04-16-21

An Audio that just comes to life

A mix between the 100 and The Trueman show is pretty close to what this is as a large ark on a journey trying to survive is nothing but a popular reality tv show for a VR obsessed populace. Only a young girl birthed illegally will put everything into jepoardy as we follow her birth and her revelation so closely with the debut narration by McNamara doing extremely well bringing the listener into our hearts. Wheaton doing the VR director of the programme also showcases his usual skills as we see his eyes being opened to the manipulation being done to rhe unknowing populace. The two seperate but connected viewpoints coming into collision bring great interest for the listener and we feel the emotions that Bruno writes into events which are all too believable for an apocalyptic future eden for the mighty chosen elite. Great story telling and narration is 5 stars all across the board.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-14-21

a slow burn masterpiece

a great story and narration, slow paced story but it has to be to slowly build the world for us so we can fully appreciate it and its importantance