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Summary

Is your life real or is the world you live in a simulation? Are the people you call friends and neighbors living beings with inalienable rights, or are they NPCs - Non-Player Characters - whose soulless path through life is predetermined?

Samael Crane, a brilliant scientist, believes NPCs are all around us. And he can prove it.

When a body is discovered in the bay off Essex, Massachusetts, small town pastor and former Marine plagued by doubts, Ezekiel Ford finds himself called in to identify the deceased. His history is unknown. His full name is a mystery. No one knows where he came from. In fact, Ezekiel seems to be the only person in town who ever really noticed him, living on the fringe of reality, and sometimes in the homeless shelter supported by his church. 

Ezekiel’s involvement in the case doesn’t go unnoticed by Samael, who has set out to prove - through deadly means - that NPCs exist, that reality is simulated, and that ‘God’ is a coder with a grudge. The two men’s missions become inextricably entwined, leading them down a path through the gray area between good and evil, science and religion, and reality and simulation, barreling toward a truth that will change the world and humankind’s place in it forever. 

New York Times and number one Audible.com best-selling author Jeremy Robinson takes listeners on a journey that is not only action-packed, but full of scientific and philosophical intrigue. In his most mind-bending story since Infinite and Alter, Robinson blends genres, belief systems, and bold prose into an unputdownable tale exploring the nature of reality. 

In the audiobook edition he is joined by number one Audible.com best-selling narrators, R.C. Bray and Jeffrey Kafer, creating a truly one-of-a-kind listening experience. 

©2020 Jeremy Robinson (P)2020 Jeremy Robinson

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I wish I could have enjoyed it..

The plot sounded good, but it was just too religion orientated and it felt preachy. And it felt like it was the author's opinion rather than just a character's pov.
That's partly my fault, I guess. It does mention religion in the summary. I try to avoid preachy religious novels. I was looking for something more sci-fi. The narration was excellent. No complaints with that. And the book's well written if you can get past the preachiness.

8 people found this helpful

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Insightful - but that's not aleayd a good thing

Okay. So I read some of the reviews before reading the book, and the negatives were mostly similar in that they felt it was too religious and heavily flavoured by the authors opinions.

This is true. The book is heavily religious and coloured with the authors opinions/musings on religion. That can be a good thing, or a bad thing, it really depends on you as a reader and what you take from it.

For me, it was a coherent insight into how a brilliant author rationalise the workings of a complex theory e.g. Simulation theory, and weaves a riviting ride through the main characters own rationalisations on dealing with a series of subjective and objective truths.

The performances are second to none. Bray is his typical flawless self, and Kafer melodramatic performance fits the anti-protagonists character to a tee.

A wonderful book overall, but if religion is a major red button for you... Best avoid.

2 people found this helpful

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[..Downloading Review..] 98%/100%

[..Loading Review..]
/running script: NPC_Experiance
// A combination of two amazing narrators and a story that could have only come from the mind the 'Creator' NPC will have you gripped with the question 'Is this real?'.
//Jeffer Keffer and R C Bray are a great duo in this keeping the story going strong without overshadowing eachother.
// The story is great and enjoyable throughout but also felt short, which had me feeling that I was an NPC along for the ride with these characters.
/End script: NPC_Experiance
[..ADDING NPC TO FAVORITES..]

2 people found this helpful

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Thought Provoking listen

Suspend belief and you will enjoy this listen, very clever proposition skilfully constructed, you might even question “is anything real?”
I loved it, highly recommended 😊

1 person found this helpful

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"No distance you can run, no depth you can swim. "

In the author's note following the story, Robinson explains how his ongoing internal debate about the nature of reality spilled out and changed the content of this book, how it even altered the nature of the main protagonists. And that is fascinating. But for this reader, whilst the beginning of NPC instantly grabbed attention, and the basic, ongoing concepts were also intriguing, the constant battling of the pastor and the killer with external (or were they?) forces became too laboured and, yes, even tedius. Action is good, but there can be a limit ...

Jeremy Robinson writes a very good book, however, and in NPC , which is told in the first person from the altering points of view of the two main protagonists, he has also engaged two of the best narrators, A.C.Bray and Jeffrey Kafer, to each perform one of them so that the contrast of their voices instantly tells the listener who it is that is talking. No need to add that both performances were outstanding - well paced and intoned, read with understanding of the text, and so on - they always are. And for this reader, they carried the story through those less than fascinating moments, previously mentioned.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It is hard not to with the power of Robinson's writing and the expression of his words through Bray and Kafer's delivery. And for readers with a curiosity about the nature and reality of Reality, this is another stepping stone in the pathway of consideration, or, possibly, discovery. And for them, NPC is recommended

1 person found this helpful

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The Matrix revelations!

loved it. didn't know which direction it was going and twisted an turned. loved it.

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A mind trip

brilliant book, it'll keep you wondering what is real and what isn't. RC brilliant as usual

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A superb take on simulation...

J.R. bashes books out at an unbelievable rate...This one lands on the superb side of the line....
The character blend is a really good idea, although R.C.B. takes the trophy...he deserves his mansion, yought and ferrari...
The mix of sci-fi and religious quotes is quite compelling...had me guessing all the way to the end...well worth a credit...
I highly reccomend CAST UNDER AN ALIEN SUN...

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Very dark original novel

Yep it's something I would expect from Jeremy Robinson. Take a concept from gaming - Non Player Character and turn it on it's head with a very original but pretty dark view if someone viewed the world itself as a "game".

Don't really want to give the game away (no pun intended) so won't go into details. But the book is excellent and worth a read.

As usual the narration is nailed, spot on. Fantastic dual narration with R.C.Bray and Jeffrey Kafer. What more do you want to know? Just get it!

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Great storyteller... not so great story

I think the author has some great talent in telling a compelling story. Something I cannot explain made it very entertaining to listen to and impossible to give up on. But it sure wasn't the story... sorry but ideawise this is neither original nor impressively fleshed out. I've experienced (read, seen, heard, thought-of...) so much better versions of this plot, but this version was somehow amazingly entertaining. I never realized how important (and how rare!) this "storytelling talent" was until now.

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  • Animated Puppets
  • 06-07-20

The Good, The Bad, and Overall...

The Good: Interesting premise and entertaining story. A tale of a coin from both sides perspective. Inspires a little thought. There are 3 stories taking place; Sam, Zeke’s, and a hidden message in the metadata. I listened twice.

The Bad: The story needed another 3 hours to properly flesh out the story and to provide better context. The beginning has a nice slow story development, but the 2nd half comes across rushed and the ending seems inconsistent with the original story flow. This is basically The Matrix, but with God this time around instead of the 'machines'. I'm assuming the fanboy 5 stars Millennial reviews are unfamiliar with surreal story lines. Everything with the detective was hard to swallow. Her last name should have been McGuffin. Though it was entertaining it is far from a earth shattering experience as other reviewers are claiming. To quote from The Life of Brian "He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy!"

Overall: My opinion doesn't matter. Your opinion doesn't matter. At the end of the day Amazon/Audible has stripped us of voicing our opinions by removing the 'not helpful' button; which was our only tool to fight against the plethora of fake reviews to falsely boost book ratings. Seriously... try to down vote this review (you can't). There is no value to our reviews. Our review ranking is meaningless. So why even bother writing a review anymore?

NOTE: This review has been removed 11 times (and counting) for being the top honest review. Fanboys keep flagging this review as 'offensive'.

604 people found this helpful

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  • Mark
  • 16-07-20

He said it was acid, but it was construction paper

The author seems very full of himself. After I heard his introduction about what a mind blower this book would be (not to mention several reviewers) I figured ok, let's see. Not to get hung up on minor issues but when the preacher puts on scuba gear and gets involved in a murder investigation in a small town, I got distracted and started wondering about the basis of this supposed philosophical exercise. Turns out he (the pastor) is an ex-Marine. Apparently that gets you in on police work and investigations. Or maybe because he's a pastor? I'm not sure, but the implications are terrifying by themselves.
As for the discussion of simulation theory, it took a lot more suspension of disbelief for this reader. I enjoy entertaining the idea, but couldn't wait for this book to end. In a world where preachers and a genius neurosurgeon search for reality, I'm going to search for another book. This one didn't even raise questions let alone shake the groundwork of my working idea of reality. Scuba diving preachers proved too challenging for my mental acuity. Mind officially blown.

111 people found this helpful

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  • Brutis
  • 04-07-20

Great Potential but Then Terrible

The two best narrators in the business did this book so that part was perfect. The first half of this book was extremely good and the writer is a great storyteller. There were hints in the first half of the book about the direction the book may be going but I was hoping not. By two-thirds of the way through it was there. Not a new idea but still absurdity and it went downhill from there. If the writer would keep the first half of the book and turn it into a serial killer book it would be excellent, but as it is it's a disappointment.

64 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-07-20

Consider me annoyed

Semi-Christian tripe born out of the author’s belief system that Christianity and its god are the only source that the reader must first hold as evidence of our reality.

57 people found this helpful

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  • Ian
  • 01-07-20

DEAR GOD! BUY THIS BOOK!

I am speechless. For a fictional sci fi novel to make the reader experience such a deep dive into their own beliefs is astounding. I love the dark stuff. Character development is amazing as always. Bray and Jeff together was such a good idea for this one. Biggest 3 in the audiobook game. Keep it coming. Robinson you are a God! Thank you for pouring out your soul so that others may feel theirs again.. Back to the infinite!

52 people found this helpful

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  • Matt Brooks
  • 02-07-20

Um...Wow, what, huh?

I don't normally write reviews, but this book was a trip. The two narrators threw me off for about one chapter til I understood. After that, I thought it worked out really well.

The story? I don't even know where to start. Twist on top of twist on top of twist. Like some of Jeremy's other books, at the end I'm left feeling both satisfied and yearning for the story to continue. I'm a software engineer, and some of the technical bits caught me completely off guard. Some of them even had me chuckling.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I had a hard time shutting it off to get some sleep last night and do some work today. There's some "edge of your seat" action, but it's more of a mind f*** than anything. If you liked Infinite, I think you'll like this. I can't wait to see what kind of story he comes up with next.

I also think that this will be another repeat listen for me. Several of his other books I've already listened to multiple times. Speaking of which, I may have to queue up The Others for the 3rd or 4th time. Then maybe Infinite, yet again.

43 people found this helpful

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  • Luedtke Family
  • 26-07-20

Not for non-theists

I have read a few of Jeremy Robinson’s books before this and they are generally great. As an Atheist I don’t mind stories that have biblical undertones, this book however has a lot of intelligent design and creationism arguments that are hard for me to listen too like that DNA is analogous to a code /programming language

34 people found this helpful

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  • Alex
  • 30-06-20

Mind. Blown.

Another amazing ride with the master of the mind melt. A genius Serial Killer is obsessed with proving we’re living a lie and he’s experimenting on people to make his point. This work touches on simulation theory, religion, god and our place in the universe by asking some tough questions and making everyone question their own beliefs. Having the Dream Team of RC Bray and Jeffrey Kafer is amazing #Brayfer

24 people found this helpful

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  • keller
  • 03-07-20

RAD! Excellent story. Excellent performances!

Wow. That was top notch. Finished listening in two days. A page burner for sure! Do yourself a favor and get this one!

16 people found this helpful

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  • jaime
  • 10-07-20

Absolutely thought provoking!

I was provided this review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

This book is absolutely thought provoking! It makes you wonder if your life is really what you thought it is!

Keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time. Just when you think you might have things figured out, it takes another turn. Such a thrilling, well written book.

Narration is excellent! Wonderful flow and emotion throughout. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys action, sci fi, mystery. Another awesome book from Jeremy Robinson!

10 people found this helpful