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Opening Moves

The Gam3, Book 1
Narrated by: Nick Podehl
Length: 12 hrs and 26 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (695 ratings)
Regular price: £29.59
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Summary

The Earth is changing. The alien invasion brought social upheaval, advanced technology, and an armada of peacekeeping robots. But Alan, a college student pursuing a now-useless degree, cares little about all of this. He has only one thing on his mind: the Game.

A fully immersive virtual reality, the Game appears to be a major part of the invading civilization. Alan can't wait to play, recklessly diving into the digital universe. Soon though, Alan realizes the Game is anything but simple, and the stakes are higher than he ever imagined.

©2016 Cosimo Yap (P)2016 Podium Publishing

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Very Good

Bit like the classic Ready Player One but more complex. Dunno how the author is going to get through this story in less than 20 books but looking forward to more

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Experience Online Role Playing - Without Playing

As an ex-MMORPGer (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) this book caught my attention by its somewhat novel concept; aliens invade Earth and give us peace and a virtual realty game the whole galaxy is playing. Not the usual outcome of such a scenario that you've probably come to expect. I gave up MMORPGs as I no longer have the time, but miss the fun, challenges and character building. So bear that in mind as it will colour my views.

The author has obviously has played MMORPGs. A lot. The book delights in the player's experience of building a character and is heavy on game mechanics. Heavy yes, but not to the point of being distracting. With an engaging and novel story concept, the reader experiences all the major aspects of what a player has to contend with when playing a MMORPG: character creation; chosing skills; chosing a moral standpoint; decision making - the list goes on.

But before all this sounds somewhat dull, it is presented against the backdrop of a very interesting story concept. Aliens "invade" Earth and stop humanity from tearing itself apart with war, famine, bigotry and the rest. They give us technology. They give us The Game, a virtual reality simulation where players from cross the galaxy interact, trade, do business, fall in love, and go to war. For the game is the only place where war is now fought. Our protagonist, Alan, is a newbie only equiped with an seemingly overpowered AI assistant Eve. He enters this virtual world only to find that there is a lot more to it than he ever inagined and that the actions in the game will have far reaching and devastating consequences back in the real world.

For the first published book by unknown Cosimo Yap, this really was a pleasant and engaging surprise. So much so that I went looking for the print version only to disappointingly discover there is none. It was also disappointing to discover that volume two is not yet available on Audible, simply as it is still being written.

My Audible reading list is already set for the next few months, but when book two arrives - and I really hope it does - it will be bumped to the head of the queue.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Straight onto the next thank you!

Extremely accessible (not really a gamer), well paced, expanding the richly fabricated world minute by minute. I've seen comparisons to Ready Player One, I enjoyed this a lot more and it is quite different. I'm in for the series, thank you.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Very interesting book. Looking forward to the rest

This is one of the better books I have listened to with regards to the performance of the narrator.
The book itself is interesting, having listened to ready player one and we are legion, we are bob recently I would say it's right up my ally. My problem is that it seems just like it is the beginning of a much larger story. There is little to no middle or end. That being said it was still a good listen and I will definately get the next

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Probably better as a book

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

The idea of entering a virtual world and levelling up yourself to become more powerful whilst gaining new weapons and armour etc.. was an addictive storyline for any RPG gamer. Entering the Gam3 and meeting multiple races battling over various things brought great depth to the story.

Nick Podehl is fast becoming my favourite narrator, but even he couldn't make the, seemingly endless at times, list of the main character's abilities when he 'levelled up', which was fairly regularly. There ws one chapter towards the end where I think the list took more than 10 minutes to get through. For example: Health +10 points, Armour +5 points, Dexterity + 3points, Agility +20 points. You think this is too much, you wait for when it gets to the sub categories of the specific class of the character like the "ability to communicate with an unidentified artificial intelligence +30". It was so ridiculous it made me laugh,

I enjoyed this book, and will listen to the next if it is released, but if you're also a reader I think this book is best read so that you can skim read the long list of attributes following a level up.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic!

I'm an avid RPGer, but life seems to get in the way these days meaning I don't get to play anywhere near as much as I'd like.
I stumbled across this book by accident as I'd not heard anything about it and it really was brilliant.
The story was exciting and interesting and the narration was by far the best is heard on any audio book so far.
Really looking forward to the next part!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Newbie to LitRPG

Picked this up because love the VR constructed world in Ready Player One and synopsis sounded interesting. Wow, if all LitRPG is like this, I'm a new genre fan. Beautifully paced, feels epic with likeable characters. Narrated well with each character feeling well defined. Can't wait to see how this unfolds..

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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great scifi

great story hope the author gets the support to continue the story. good scifi writing which is a different take than most litres which tend toward being in a fantasy world.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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great

great book and narration already purvhased the next book in the series a a a

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Can't wait for more. Loved it, great performance

Gripped me from the start, can't wait for the next episode next month. Loved it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Viesturs
  • 02-12-16

Quite good LitRPG

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would, as long as the friend is into fantasy or gaming.

What other book might you compare Opening Moves to and why?

Awaken Online is the most recent I listened to that was similar in nature.

What about Nick Podehl’s performance did you like?

Easy to listen to.
I got anoyed that his female voice acting at the begining reminded me of "kings dark tidings" books bimbos voices, but that was present only at the one chapter.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This is no tearjerker, this is entertainment for nerds.

Any additional comments?

Nice mistery filled story with decently OP MC

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Doug
  • 05-01-17

Refreshing LITRPG

I love the LITRPG genre, having read Ready Player One, Alterworld, Awaken Online, and all are very good. But The Gam3 is a bit different. First and most obvious is the setting, more sci-fi in nature than fantasy based. There are still some fantasy based aspects but the sci-fi inclusion opens up some very interesting story lines and abilities for the characters. It works. Secondly is the massiveness of the RPG world, it's big.....really big. I'll let you find that out on your own.

The back story of the alien rpg world, the politics and interactions of the different alien races is unique and fascinating. It really adds a nice touch to the genre. This is a very good start to what I expect will be an epic tale.

The characters are well written and interesting while Nick Podehl does an excellent job bringing them to life. I finished this book in 2 days, easily wanting more when finished.

Nice job Mr. Yap, I look forward to more.

Hope you enjoy as much as I did.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Andromeda
  • 28-01-17

Just a prequel

What did you like best about Opening Moves? What did you like least?

There were parts of this book I really enjoyed and parts that drove me nuts. Here is this guy that was selected for a super AI, that has an investment made on his behalf, that can accomplish anything, yet he is so obtuse that he can't make basic decisions. He has no friends. He has no relationship with his family. He agrees to everything people ask him to do. This book is more about an AI and it's human servant than a human with an intelligent virtual assistant. It did improve by the end (thank the Bunny Overlords for that!)

My biggest gripe about this book is that it's just a prequel. I invested money and time in a book that sets up a world and a game but never gets past the beginning. It's like buying a video game and realizing all you got was a tutorial.

Any additional comments?


17 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Ray Johnson
  • 05-02-19

A classic opening move by a master


While I liked Opening moves there were some things that bothered me a little. First, though, the set up. One promising feature is that this is strictly as sci-fi story and we really don’t get enough of those in Litrpg today. I’m not complaining about the fantasy stuff, but a huge portion of Litrpg has heavy fantasy elements to it. Sci-fi is almost the purview of our Russian comrades, of course it is odd to say that a genre that features game entry via computers, A.I. elements, and game mechanics is more fantasy based, but you understand my point.

Anyway, (you’ll get that reference once you listen to the book) the game is how aliens conduct their warfare. Humans have been inducted to play the “game” and are granted some leniency from outright attacks until they kind of get their game legs. The MC sort of buys his way into the game by having some money fronted to him. Alan, the MC becomes a machine lord, and has AI that he basically uses as a cheat throughout the book.
That was my biggest problem. Alan isn’t a very deep character, I would almost say that he belongs in flat land because he is a tad one dimensional. There is no character development or growth, he ends the way he starts, so yay for consistency. Also, he comes in with an AI that pretty much helps him route every thing he encounters. The book, however, is action heavy and very fun, and I can easily forgo character development in favor of some good ole butt kickin.
The story does draw you in, and I was pretty much kept on the edge of my seat as the story progressed. I can’t say that the story slowed down or didn’t keep me engaged, because I rode this story like a broken mechanical bull. I couldn’t ride a working one, I’d break my neck. The point is that this was a fun ride.
Surprise, Nick Pohdel narrates this book and does a wonderful job, I have pretty much accepted that he is a master class narrator, but that he still has issues doing women’s voices. That has been, and will be my biggest complaint when it comes to his work. Otherwise, he manages to make the story fun and really picks up the pace when it comes to the battle scenes.
The story has a ton of things going on, like an attempted capture/assassination attempt and some ancient beings offering to assist in the Gam3 if he can prove himself. Again, awesome book, not much in the way of characterization. Also, I will say that Allen’s growth as a player may have felt a little stunted when compared to other similar books. That’s ok, not every player should be OP, and he does have his AI to make up for his limitations.

Overall score is an 8. I thought it was fast paced, full of action, and had a good premise, but the lack of character growth really took it down a peg or two.

As seen on the Litrpg Audiobook Podcast.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • AudioBook Reviewer
  • 22-03-18

this novel had a lot of potential

Opening Moves by Cosimo Yap is the first book in a series called The Gam3. Alan enters the game knowing just a little about what he is getting himself into. Icewolf, his benefactor, buys him the equipment needed to play the game on loan and tells him that the game is just a game. But in reality, Alan discovers the game is much more than just a simple virtual reality game. It is actually a proxy for intergalactic politics and war. Earth only having just entered the game, it is soon to be available for the picking unless it can defend itself. As Alan soon discovers there are many political factions and rules that he needs to learn about if he is to be successful not only as a gamer as well as a human being to save Earth. Beyond that, it is actually a video game and so he needs to play well to increase his stats and abilities and thus increase his power in the game. Alan enters the game with a powerful ally, an artificial intelligence, Eve, that he developed to help him. Alan and Eve must work together to navigate the confusing world that is the game and help Earth if it’s possible.

Overall, this novel has a lot of potential. As is clear from the description, this story is pretty complex and the idea of the idea of the game being a proxy for the real world is well described while leaving enough holes to be explained as the main character learns more about what is going on. However, Alan’s character is difficult to like. Despite having the skills to develop an AI and somehow convince someone to front the cost of the equipment needed to play the game, Alan is a generally useless video gamer that relies so heavily on his AI for his success that it’s as if Eve is playing the game and Alan is a handicap. Not only is he generally incapable of independent game play, it seems that he has a difficult time navigating relationships in the game as well. It was just hard to get behind him. There are a lot of characters so it can become a little difficult to keep track of them and they are generally superficially drawn, with the story focusing on the various threads of the plot.

The narration by Nick Podehl was well done and the production quality was good as well. I would recommend this novel to someone who likes mixing video games and political maneuvering.

Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • J.Stevens
  • 01-07-17

Mixed thoughts

(2.5 stars)
I found it a challenge to make it through this meandering book only for it to NOT really have an ending. There were many let-downs like this, but there were also some positives. The writing was clear and intelligent with some excellent descriptions that brought the world to life. Beyond that I was mostly annoyed by this mediocre story with its one-dimensional protagonist who was basically an extremely lucky bone-head with an AI who makes nearly every important decision he faces.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • NerdReviewer910
  • 23-03-17

um.... ok.

Great world, ok narrator, painfully passive main character. I tried counting how many times he started a sentence with "um..." or agreed to a major task with a shrug and "I guess". It started out annoying and got worse as he showed no signs of gaining confidence throughout the narrative. I really hope he grows a spine at some point, but I may not be around to see it.

I love the world, very Ready Player One with aliens, and the side characters had potential, but the protagonist was painfully passive and bland.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Brandon Shaw
  • 03-12-18

Nice, very nice Very nice indeed. Fast, Dynamic,

Able to visualize the authors reality as simply as thinking, or even breathing, but exciting as it can be

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 16-11-18

why didn't I find this sooner

only downside is I want more... great book and I cant wait to read more

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Brittney
  • 08-10-18

Great

i am very excited to hear book 2! Hope it’s as good as the first.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful