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Virtual Heaven

Redux
Narrated by: Sam Masciarotte
Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
4 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Why live, when dying brings you straight to heaven? 

The mysterious tech firm Broumgard pioneers a new form of virtual reality that mirrors, even exceeds, real life. Before long, people are dying to escape their humdrum lives for the virtual ecstasy of the Lobby. Literally. 

When the world discovers that dying while connected to the Lobby might mean an eternity in virtual heaven, people are willing to do anything to get inside. 

Alex Cutler is the only one who can stop the madness he helped create, unless the world is too far astray.

©2019 @Josh Goulooze (p)Profix LLC (P)2019 @Josh Goulooze (p)Profix LLC

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

A scifi interpretation of a future not so far off

i am really into the VR narrative and have read several scifi's on the topic. Taylor Cole is an excellent storyteller and if you read the title and said to yourself, "hmm this sounds interesting", it is what it says it is and i whole heartedly believe you will enjoy it :)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

A lot to like In this debut book.

Reading the book’s description, I needed to read this book.

The first part of the book was exactly what I had hoped for and more. I was hooked. The Tech described was wonderful and intriguing.

Then all of a sudden religion comes into play where it hasn’t been before and the religious characters were one dimensional zealots with more power than I could honestly believe them having. A group of religious zealot baddies is introduced and then mostly forgotten about. They just didn’t need to be there.

There were a few other things that bothered me like the fact that I had a hard time believing the relationship between the hero and his wife. Also, agencies had more power than they would in real life and it took me out of it.

The promise of the tech kept me going but I just hated the religious aspects of this book. And the fact that there was nothing in the summary about religion made it feel like a bait and switch. Maybe you won’t be bothered by it.

The ending felt rushed and I would have loved one more chapter to deal with some of the aftermath.

My final criticism is just that the book could do with a little editing. There are phrases that people from California would just never say. References to football gear as accoutrements instead of gear. And the mispronunciation of A certain authors name. But these are nit picky.

All in all I give it a solid 3 stars and am very interested in seeing with the author puts out next.

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
  • Tyler
  • CLEARWATER, FL, United States
  • 08-24-19

Part Ready Player One, part Matrix, part thriller

I absolutely loved this book! Being my first experience with this author I wasn't sure what to expect but all of my expectations were exceeded and I will surely look for additional books in the future. The story was very solid and moved at an excellent pace and after about two hours in I was hooked. There was enough detail to get a complete understanding of the world without becoming burdened with unnecessary details or technical info. I found the main character, Alex, to be extremely likable and related to his views. Without giving anything away, the book delves into some very deep issues that I'm sure I'll be thinking about for some time. Finally, I really enjoyed the ending and did not see it coming. Overall I'd give this book a very entertaining 5/5.

As far as the narration goes, it was good (4/5). The narrator's attempts female voices certainly weren't great but I found it to be a fairly minor issue.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Great start, the end not so much

Full disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Virtual Heaven Redux started off spectacularly. Alex is starting a new job at a large tech firm that has the ability to send users to an actual virtual world. In this world, user's have healthy, strong bodies; bodies stronger than in real life so they can accomplish feats they can never do in the real world. This is explained in an interesting fashion.
We are also introduced to Rosa, a beautiful woman. It turns out she is religious and Alex and Rosa eventually get together.
Alex starts off by fixing a big flaw in the software and reduces pain for users. They also create more virtual worlds for users to visit. The virtual world allows you to experience with all of your senses, but none of the dangers. So you can speed recklessly in a race car and crash, your body will just be reset and allowed to re-enter the world and continue racing. Vacations can be taken with no risk to life or limb. This can obviously make it very addictive to visit these virtual worlds. Rosa is very religious and helps bring out the religious implications of getting more and more addicted to technology and raised some poignant questions about getting lost in the technology....
Then, in the last third of the book, it takes a turn for the worse. People that die in the virtual world some how live there and can't die. All of the dead people have their full memories. This was really questionable to me. Like someone accidentally wrote code to support this, but no one knows about it. Being a person that interacts with code, a feature that erroneous is a bit far fetched. Religion is more hammered and the poignant points are dropped. Now the virtual reality is stealing people's souls. Now its more of a religious crusade, with antagonists convinced they are going to be the savior of the human race by saving all the souls trapped in the virtual world. Antagonists are presented as one dimensional.
Rosa puts up with a lot from Alex and I feel like she could have used more depth. Aside from her being really religious and liking to excise, you don't find out much about her.
The ending was also a bit of a let down for me. Didn't feel like anything was resolved that was introduced at the end of the book.

The narrator did a good job and voices were easy to distinguish with the exception that the female voices did need a little more work.

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

An interesting read that loses its way

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I quite enjoyed the premise of this book and the beginning of the book was pretty well written. The lead character felt believable and there were some interesting ideas about faith and technology. The world within the book felt plausible and well-realized. However, it felt like some things could've used more research. Early on, the author falsely equates professions, saying that people would rather be referred to with a certain job title. This could be argued with the titles "Programmers" and "Software Engineer" often having intersecting roles but there is no way that an "Animator" would prefer to be called a "Graphic Designer" nor would "Network Specialists" be considered "DevOps Engineers". These are completely different jobs with completely different skill sets. Likewise, it felt like the author just picked the setting without actually learning about how people act or talk there.

My biggest issue with the book is that latter half of it. It has a very interesting twist followed by a slurry of ideas that mostly feel half baked. One-dimensional antagonists are introduced and do little to affect the plot despite a large portion of the book dedicated to them. The conversation about religion and technology in society goes from being pretty engaging to extremely heavy handed and fairly annoying. I was rolling my eyes quite a bit toward the end. Overall, the ending comes across as rushed and feels at odds with the first half of the book.

The narration is fine for the most part. Voices are good enough for most characters. The production could use a bit of work though. Some chapters have a noticeable hiss in the background, there are some stumbles including a popular author's last name being mispronounced.