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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

What members say

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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

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.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good gamer, BAD writer

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

If you're really into gaming, you might be able to overlook the bad writing. The author seems to get stuck on one word or phrase and will re-use it over and over, even in the same sentence. I wanted to like this book, and the story was reasonable, so I kept trying to ignore this, but it never stops. That, along with the endless reading out of lists and tables every time the protagonist levels up, became too much for me to put up with. If you don't care about literacy, and you love gaming, this might be acceptable to you. The narration was good, the story would probably have ended up ok, but the writing style is bad, and it's particularly badly-suited to an audio book, where you can't just skim over the frequent lists of who has which ability at which level and how far said ability has improved or decreased since the last time it was read out.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

especially mmo gamers will enjoy this

really enjoyed this... it weaves gaming into tall life nicely. I would like to know when the next books are due out?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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..

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Wife of 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.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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

  • 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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • George
  • 14-01-17

Rating based upon promise of future installments

Any additional comments?

Opening Moves is a LitRPG. If you don't already know what that is, you should probably move along as this book will probably leave you scratching your head. It is a story that combines literature with MMORPG video games (character levels, quests, loot).

The book is decent, but short. It reads like the first few chapters in a much longer book or the tutorial in a video game where we are still building up to something important happening. Opening Moves by itself leaves a lot to be desired as it just kind of ends without the protagonist going through any kind of character arc, so it's not very satisfying. My recommendation would be to wait for additional books to be written before diving in.

Nick Podehl nearly catfished with the voice he did for Daisy, one of the minor female characters, so, uh, that's cool. I questioned as to whether there was a second narrator for a while.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr & Mrs Miller
  • 05-12-16

Too good. =(

Would you listen to Opening Moves again? Why?

This has ruined other lit rpg of the same style for me =/ I no longer enjoy them and just wish I could have more of this. so very sad. But yes I would listen to it again. I am not quite forcing my wife to listen to it.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • 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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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ben
  • 15-11-17

Great Sci-fi read

I absolutely loved this book! It has a very rich and deep character progression that really draws you in. I am really excited to see where the story progresses!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Craig
  • 14-11-17

Fun and great narration

This is an excellent first book in the series. Interesting storyline and well-developed Characters lead you through fantasy world to save mankind.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Peter
  • 12-11-17

Awesome start to this series

Great opening book to the series , definitely hooked and looking forward to the next books

1 of 1 people found this review helpful