Once a seasoned gamer, Max has cheated fate, swapping his dying body for an immortal avatar in the world of sword and sorcery MMORPGs. He joins the ranks of a new race of people: perma players, forever stuck in the virtual castles and cities of AlterWorld. Now they have to obey the ever-changing rules of their new home while learning to live together in peace, love, and justice.
But freedom and immortality are a poisoned chalice. Some of Max's new friends crave power; others become traitors and spies. Soon the first screams of pain fill the virtual world as its freshly minted slavedrivers and torturers indulge in the absence of law and order. Their crimes provide a constant flow of gold back to their real-world controllers: the power-happy governments plotting to take over AlterWorld's magic technologies and limitless resources. What would you do? Would you step aside and watch the magical world turn into the Earth's dark twin? Or are you strong enough to step in the virtual sharks' way?
©2014 D. Rus (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
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This is really an unsung series on Audible. Totally impressed. I just devoured the second book in virtually one sitting (started it last night). Granted, I listen at 3x speed, but all that does is cut the listening time in half. Totally impressed.
Rus has captured the fantasy and dreams of gamers, manifesting it in brilliant technicolor across our brains. We get to live vicariously through our protagonists, experiencing both the highs and lows of total immersion. Looming on the horizon are factors beyond the control of the permas, though perhaps not entirely.
For those who are shying away, thinking this is only for gamers, I can understand why you might feel that way. Granted, your enjoyment of this series will be heightened if you have significant gaming experience. However, it is also a book (series) full off allegory and hidden satire. Rus takes the human experience and projects it onto his mutated Warcraft/DnD/Guild Wars/etc world. This, in itself, is a commentary on the very nature of MMORPGs. Brilliant.
Gripping action, drama, and humor abound. Highest marks and well worth the credit. Can't wait to start book 3. My only concern is I am blowing through these books and Audible, as of yet, doesn't have the last three available for purchase yet. Very troubling.
"Great book, but then the half-assed romance."
If i made a checklist for this book on how it delivers on execution, you'd see a page almost entirely made up of check marks. The only two checks that really get overlooked here are conflict and romance, but these two elements are critical and their lack is a devastating blow to what could have been a fantastic book. Because i understand that some people COULD slug past these soul-draining moments and go on to call this book acceptable, I've rated it a 2/5, however I personally find this book on my short list of worst books i've ever completed.
So, similar to book #1, there is utterly no conflict. Sure swords clash, but the main character is never truly in peril. There is no sustained threat or real consequences he may face. Other people are in peril, but the moment the MC shows up, they're fine so you don't even get the indirectly vicarious suspense of worry that MC might have to struggle to save everyone.
And here's the real condemner - the romance is a half-baked self insertion story (haha) that serves only to stroke the MC's ego by putting his GF in positions where she jealously bickers with other hot girls over who gets to jump MC's bone. Ultimately, the heroine (tally?) wins and gets to have sex constantly. Yay! This isnt graphically depicted sex, nor is it plot relevant, and it also serves absolutely no purpose in building the characters or relationships, instead its more like a wink wink nudge nudge. High five me bro, I just sexed the females! Whats the point? By the end, Tally still doesnt have a personality or purpose other than as a conduit for sexual greatness so why would you detract from all the cool world-building and deific wonder to fall back on cheap allusions to MC's irrelevant sex life.
So, this really seems like something minor, that could easily be overlooked. That's why I made it to book 2, and I'm here to warn you: dont trivialize this.
To validate my point, I'd like to call the book itself to testimony -
MC is pretty much the saint of a semi-evil god thats been relegated to the sidelines.
The god asks his two companions if they want to follow him.
Companion 1 (male) is all like, hell ya! You saved me when good gods didnt, so I'm with you!
MC's girlfriend says, I hear serving you will make me better at sex. If so i'm in.
^True story. 'nuff said. Even if 90% of a book is good, if the other 10% is wretched, pointless, and toxic enough the book will suck.
"Really enjoyed the story I had to stop"
I really enjoy the story idea. I think it is a fresh and it brings me back to when I played MMORPGs. I would recommended the books. The narrator does a good job. Not great, but good.
This is going to sound ridiculous, but I had to stop because I couldn't stand the main character saying "my inner greedy pig". Every time I heard it I would get a little more frustrated with the book. I think I was only two hours in on this book and had counted him saying it over 10 times. The last straw was when he said it 4 times in the span of 10 minutes.
Decent story idea, good narrator and okay writing.
"Just as Good as Book 1!"
This story just keeps getting better and better! As with the first book, I finished this one in one sitting and immediately purchased book three. It's rare to find a series that holds my attention and delivers such a compelling story. Highly Recommended!
"Continues and improves the first book"
I absolutely loved the first book in this story, in part because it let me relive some of my MMORPG gaming days. This book continued the story and moved it forward well. it continued to tackle some tough issues while at the same time developing the main characters.
The only problem that I have is that this book move away from some of the things that I loves so much about the first book: the detailed description of the perks and the normal experience of players in games like the one described. The reason it does this is because the main character continues to get more and more important in the world and gets swept up in some big plot points and moves away form the smaller points somewhat.
This is actually probably a good things since it moves the action along, but I missed it a little bit. Still 5 stars though. It was awesome.
"Great story ruined by "Having said that...""
The author wrote "Having said that" so many times, it was seriously like listening to a broken record. I started to cringe and get anxious knowing it was going to happen again any second. I'm kind of curious to know what happens in book three, but can't handle another audiobook full of "Having said that..."
"Not really a series, just one huge book broken up."
this is the second book without it's own distinct plot. there are plot points for the "series" but no individual plot or each book. a promising series, ruined by marketing. if the five decent - sized "parts" in the series had been combined into two or three complete, and long, books THEN it would have been my new favorite series. as it is, I'm bailing at two "books".
"Intriguing premise, good narration, but lacking"
I'm disappointed because I was very intrigued by the premise. There are just too many plot holes and inconsistencies. After the first book I figured I would give the second book a chance but the issues did not get better. Both books together do not quite make a complete story. The cliffhangers at the end of each book feel a little like extortion. Rather than feeling like volumes of a large saga, each book feels more like a chapter that was fleshed out into a short book much the way a student will take one page and stretch it into three for a term paper. Then finally something important happens and the book is over without resolution. I am simply not willing to continue buying more books hoping the story will get better.
"Too much happening"
I don't want to give the book a bad review, I just think this book spends too much time adding too many challenges to the main character which takes away from the story. This is why I don't watch shows like intervention. I definitely like the idea behind the story and these last two books have motivated me to play WOW more. lol. Finally made my first level 100 shaman. :) ... It has pointed out several interesting things to look out for if going 'Perma' is ever an option. However, I think this is the last book in this series for me.
"this series is 100xs better thab RP1"
After reading a book called ready player one i was sad because i was sure i had just finished the best if not only book of this unique mmorpg genre. BOY WAS I WRONG. Not only does this Series Beat out Ready Player One in Giving me the Mmorpg feelings i havent ever experience outside of a computer screen. i believe the story itself is better as well. you add to the fact that this is a series that keeps getting better book by book. a story that doesnt ever take the cheap way out and keeps true to its roots! i can not recommend this series enough! Worth the Money Worth the Time! and if you are like me looking for something to fill the RP1 hole. You found it 10/10
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