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Summary

Loss was nothing new to an orphan like Riley. But when the online persona he'd spent years building was ripped away by a monster with unbelievable power, everything changed.

As a gamer who made a living from Sigil Online, losing his character meant losing his job and any means he had of paying his bills.

Now, he had to start from the beginning, just like any other player joining Sigil Online for the first time. All the fame and fortune of a high-level character was gone.

Experience the harrowing quest that will leave Riley changed forever, as he's molded by the pursuit of the monster that took everything from him.

©2016 Jeff Sproul (P)2017 Jeff Sproul

What members say

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

Good listen, but needed a bit more...

I'm still pretty new to LitRPG and this is mostly brought on by facebook and the fact I'm a huge Jeff fan, so taking that into account, I'll post my review.

Jeff did a really great performance with this, some really good female characters as usual, Brenda and Laura for sure. Even with Chace and Aaron, and then Riley as well. I don't know how they put it all together, but with a Voice actor like Jeff there's something worth listening to in all the stories he's done.

So, a little bit of feedback on story. I enjoyed the story don't get me wrong, but there were some things that just left me feeling a little cold, and miffed. I get that the MC - Riley as Radiance was an ass and being knocked down a peg or two really was tough. But as a character, he didn't really seem to grow so much and there were many times throughout the story that I wondered why he never thought about certain things, why other characters never got a mention until it seemed it was past late. Some small parts of seeding in his thoughts here and there would have really benefited the story, no matter how much of an ass he was, no one just doesn't think about certain life events for so long or more so people, things like that play on your mind no matter who you are, or what you're doing.

Having said all that, and no spoilers for anyone else. There were some things I personally guessed really early on, maybe that's just my film background, I'm not sure, so I did think that was a little bit of a let down, not too sure what the writer might have done to aid that. Building their characters up some more, inside the game and out of it might have helped. I understand that maybe LitRPG's just want to be inside the game but for a real story to take place, there are things we do, on a day in day out basis that are interesting. That needs to be said and done.

Not a bad length, but I think it could have been longer, with better set up and story building. There's so much potential I'm still interested to see where this one goes, and what they do with the next 'game upgrade' so I'm not lost on it, like I have been with others. I'll be looking out for more, and will poke about to see any ebooks :) thanks for the entertainment.





1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

"Green acid sprays, red bullets, yellow discs..."

Any additional comments?

I am not a gamer, nor will ever be, but I do enjoy occasional visits into the electronic fantasy worlds so many seem to frequently inhabit.
Sigil Online is set in a time not far distant when the game has become a huge part of life for everyone, rating news updates and even video clips of recent action played to the general population by the media. Successful gamers are able to make a living by playing, the best can earn a lot of money. Reilly was one such player. At only 16, orphaned and alone in the world, he has built a comfortable life for himself as Radiance, an advanced player, 2nd tier: a Paragon. He has followers but, apart from one, no friends. But he is content.
Then his in-game character, Radiance, is killed and he loses everything. With almost no money left and fearful of not being able to pay his rent, he goes back to work: in Sigil. But he has to start the game again from the beginning with a new persona and no powers. And this time he is surprised by the kindness of others - occasionally - and as he progresses in the game, also grows as a real life person.

No real surprises in this basic coming of age story but the journey through the levels, the characters and, especially, the brilliantly conceived powers and described fight scenes make this a very memorable book, far better than some others I have read. The writing is very visual, the characters well drawn, although a little additional 'real' life background could have added deeper interest.

Juggling miriad character voices, a complex text of colour and action, narrator Jeff Hays is outstanding. Pacing his reading to match the speed and intensity of the storyline, this is a superb dramatisation, sounding as if there were a whole array of actors, male and female, taking part and not just a single voice artist. He binds the whole book together with his distinctive performance.

Simple story, complex and visual fight scenes, superb narration, this was a book which I could enjoy without deeper knowledge of gaming. My thanks to the rights holder for gifting me my copy of Sigil online:Paragons, via Audiobook Boom. Hopefully, there will be another following soon. If so, I will most certainly be looking out for it.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ray Johnson
  • 05-02-18

Super heroes finally get Lit!

Paragons is a good intro to a superhero genre MMO. There are some issues with it, ones that always seem to appear in this genre. It has rules that would make it impossible to believe hat this would be the most popular game in the world. First of all, if your character dies, you have to start from scratch. No one would play a game like that, no matter how good it was.

Can you imagine building a character for a year, only to lose them forever in a fight? Secondly, you don't pick your powers or your super name, they just appear randomly. Third, you might pay for a month or longer before you actually GET powers. Plus, you only get to play one character at a time. So, randomized powers, no choice in what your super name is, no multiple characters permitted, and it takes forever to get abilities. Nope, I'd never even get that game off the shelf. Which makes it hard to believe that there is an entire network channel dedicated to events in the game itself. I always think of Warcraft, and no matter how popular it is/was no nongamers cared enough to even get a 2 mnute segment on the nightly news about what certain players did. Just to unbelievable.

That is the bad stuff, and just my nitpicking. Yeah it drives me nuts, but I guess it is needed to drive the plot forward.

The story is pretty good. It is well paced, and has some good action scenes. The charactersall have some nifty powers, and the MC is a likable guy in spite of what everyone seems to think at the beginning of the book.

As always, Jeff Hays knocks it out of the park with his vocal ministrations. It is getting to a point where I am getting books just because he narrates them.

So in all, a few issues with game mechanics, but over all a good story, with interesting characters. Read it, you won't be disappointed.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-01-17

Great

Great story and great performance!

the story itself is mostly carried out inside a VR/AR world called Sigil online. the main plot of the story imo is the redemption and Frank maturing of the the main character who starts out has an arrogant just for me player and after an incident kills him, he makes a new one and grows from there to the conclusion.
side note; it's tough to give a good review without spoilers.

The narrator did an excellent job with the performance using a variety of different voices to give more depth to the story which helped with the immersion.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Reg
  • 03-03-17

Coming of Age:::In Virtual Reality

Riley is a bigshot VR star who supports himself through an online game called Sigil. He spends his days inside the game hooking up with various groups, killing monsters, and picking up loot. Until the day his bigshot character is killed and he has to start over.

Riley makes the mistake of reading press about his now dead character. It’s not good. People didn’t like him. They thought he was a jerk. So, he starts over and tries to fix the flaws in his game that made him so unlikeable. He meets other gamers. They allow him to tag along on their expeditions to build his levels. Something happens. Riley begins to care about the other gamers. He thinks of them as friends. Soon, he must make a decision. Will he go back to his former ways and bounce from group to group to use whoever he can to get more loot and move up in the game? Or will he stick with his new friends and watch their back and maybe move more slowly but have the comradery he is missing in his real life as an orphan?

I liked this story. I cared about Riley and wanted to see him get his levels back. But I wanted him to include his real life friend more in his life. And I wanted him to have friends and people he cared about because he was so alone in real life. I was rooting for him. I saw where the story was heading and who the white worm was long before it was revealed but enjoyed they story and stuck with it to the end.

The narration for Jeff Hays was somewhat subdued in this listen. There were no sound effects and his voices were less varied than I’m used to. So, it was just OK for me. I usually jump at Hays’ narrations because they are phenomenal. This one wasn’t a standout for me but it was still very good.

I received this audiobook for free through Audiobook Boom! in exchange for an honest review.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Vigg
  • 14-03-17

Interesting world, but lacking in plot development

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment. It had a strong start, but just floundered in the middle due to a lack of plot development. Things wrap up hurriedly at the end, but there's no pacing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • AudioBook Reviewer
  • 17-03-18

a small-time gamer could connect

My original Paragons audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

Orphaned at a young age and solely independent, Riley has one option available to him – be a gamer on Sigil Online – a computer game in which one enters a virtual reality world. Once there, one can earn enough cash to live in the real world. That is if they can survive encounters with deadly creatures and players who kill other players! Believing himself to be invincible, Riley learns what it's like to lose in Sigil. As he reboots, he learns the value of friendship, teamwork and to pay his debts when he encounters a mysterious bug-like monster who makes playing Sigil Online a whole new experience.

I wasn’t sure I would like this book given I am not a real gamer at all. I play video games occasionally, I am familiar with the language and role-playing but I wasn’t sure. I am delighted I had the opportunity to hear this audiobook. The storyline flowed smoothly and was well developed as were the characters. Even someone like me, a small-time gamer could connect with the story and the characters without a struggle. Jeff Sproul brought to light just how a gamer evolves – how easy the path is to become a selfish, egotistical and single-minded a gamer evolves. Sproul’s dialogue was accurate as well and contributed to the steady movement of the plot, action, and suspense.

Jeff Hays, the narrator, performed the audiobook effectively by providing each character with their own personality. I enjoyed his performance as he did not have to compete with other sounds – I dislike “dramatic” performances as other things get it in the way – and this is one book that could have gone either way. I enjoyed Hays’ smooth, calm voice with just the appropriate level of emotion when needed.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys science fiction, action, and gaming.

There were no issues with the quality or production of this audiobook.

Audiobook was purchased for review by ABR.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • John E Hickey
  • 18-10-17

Good not great

Everything about the BBEG (Big bad evil guy) is very poorly thought out in game terms and is far too obvious in story terms. Most everything else was enjoyable and interesting to listen to, narrator was great, powers and their variety were nice. Stats, level scaling and such are all... lacking. Overall a nice read on superheroes in a litrpg, but very weak on the game part sadly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • kendall Shrum
  • 30-08-17

Hays makes it worth a listen.

Narrator is amazing. Story is bearable and kind of drags out fight scenes with more tedious explanation than is necessary. I understand the value of good description but when I am 75% through the book I don't need the vivid detail of an action that the main character has already done multiple times. I get it, he shoots his spear and absorbs a glowing essence and the buffs someone else, but then we get in great detail about how he does it 5 more times through out a fight almost back to back. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book and Jeff Hays did an outstanding job, I just found myself screaming "GET ON WITH IT!" after a while.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Logan79
  • 06-05-18

So happy to finally get to this book!

I had a bit of a stack in front of me and was excited to finally check out this book. The sequel seems like it'll be even better than this one was.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-05-18

too little and too much

I like big fights but when the fight has no strategy and and no tactics and everything Rambles on and on without a clear purpose it just comes off as inapt. then the characters scene like little children who are brilliant in one moment and then all awestruck by the simplest of things.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Pearatic
  • 17-02-18

A struggle to get through.

This book had an interesting concept but failed to execute because it seemed like it didn't know what it wanted to be about. The characters are tremendously boring and pretty one dimensional. The pacing was awful in the sense that every arc fast forwarded to had little pay off and could be predicted easily. Trudged through most of it hoping it would get better. Hays did the best he could with what he had but there wasn't very life breathed into his characters this time around.

Pass this one up unless it goes on sale (if you are a fan of the genre it has some interesting concepts)