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The Player Blackout: A Superhero LitRPG Adventure

Capes Online, Book 1
Narrated by: Joe Hempel
Series: Capes Online Series, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins
4 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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Summary

In 2043, Capes Online is the biggest, most popular VRMMORPG in the world. With over one billion active players and counting, gamers can become brave Heroes or cunning Villains, their every choice determining their alignment. Everyone wants to play this game and almost everyone does.

Except for 25-year-old police officer Nyle Maxwell, who can't log out. Killed in a car accident on his first day on the job, Nyle gets his mind uploaded to Capes Online to save his life. But the one way mind-to-game upload process means Nyle can never return to his physical body in the real world. Nor is he allowed to contact his friends and family outside the game or else he risks deletion by the secretive government organization that put him in the game in the first place.

Things get even worse when a villain known as Dark Kosmos takes over Capes Online not long after Nyle's arrival. Trapping all of the players in the game and cutting off all contact with the real world, Dark Kosmos targets Nyle for death.

Now Nyle must become a true superhero and save his fellow players from Dark Kosmos while adjusting to his new digital life. All of which would be much easier if he didn't have a hyperactive sidekick overly fond of puns or if he even wanted to be here in the first place.

©2019 Lucas Flint (P)2019 Lucas Flint

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

Interesting mix of ideas

It is fairly common for players to end up trapped in the game world in the litrpg genre, but in this case the author adds some novel flourishes to this idea, firstly the main character is dead and thus he is stuck in the game with it being effectively a form of digital afterlife and secondly the main baddie is an npc that is holding the regular living players hostage by preventing them from logging out either.

The setting for this book is a superhero-based game where your actions in a starter quest assign you to either the heroic or villainous faction, while also designating your base class too. While the former worked well, the latter didn't work quite so well as the way that the main character basically levelled his character in an entirely unconnected manner just made you ask why the starter quest hadn't been improved over the many years that the game had been running.

I have listened to author books being done by this narrator in the past and have found his performances to be good ones, serving to enhance the book in question and this one is no exception with another well done narration.

Overall, an entertaining story, interesting ideas and a good narration combine to produce an enjoyable audiobook to start this series.

[Note - I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.]

  • Overall
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Book 1


The characters were all well written and developed. I like Nyle's side kick and thought he was the best character. He was a chatter box and had me laughing a lot.

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Decent

My first litrpg audiobook. The story was entertaining and the narrator did a decent job of bringing the story to life.

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Great storyline

Enjoyed everything from storyline to narrater felt I was next to him great job 10/10 can’t wait for next book

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good concept bad ending

the writer begins with an interesting story rookie police officer loses his life and his mind transferred to vr game , good concept. after that it all goes to ... there is a villain but is not a human villain but wait the 2nd in command villain is human. abuses trapped mind concept no ties to the beginning story... 1/4 good the rest a filling job.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Jzang
  • Jzang
  • 09-05-19

Yeah more superhero games

Fantastic book, I was very surprised as so few authors write superhero litrpg books. If your a fan or real heroes vs villains I suggest give it a listen. The book gives good details and starts off at the perfect spot introducing the world.

This review was left in trade for a free copy of the book. If you question about bias please my others as I’ve given out 1, and 2 stars when they deserve it.

4 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Joe Mahoney
  • Joe Mahoney
  • 27-05-19

Awesome New LitRPG Series

The Player Blackout: A Superhero LitRPG Adventure Capes Online, Book 1 is written by Lucas Flint. The story is set in 2043, Nyle Maxwell is a police officer killed in the line of duty on his first day. His consciousness is digitally uploaded to the worlds largest and popular VRMMORPG in the world, Capes Online. Nyle is part of a government program called Second Life he is unable to contact anyone from his past life without repercussions.

The story holds the listener’s attention as Nyle is learning to become a hero in the game and exploring the world of Capes Online. Dark Kosmos takes over Capes Online just after Nyle's arrival in the digital world. The villain traps all of the players in the game and cutting off all contact with the real world. People in the VR gear will die in a few days if the can not log off. Dark Kosmos targets Nyle for death offering all trapped players a choice of 2 world missions, the first is kill/capture Nyle and bring him to Dark Kosmos. The second is to defeat Dark Kosmos. The stakes in the game become real for everyone.

The narration is provided by Joe Hempel. Mr. Hempel brought his strong skilled vocal quality to this audio production. He created some truly enjoyable moments with his skilled performance in this large cast of characters. The production quality of this audiobook is also the highest quality. I heard no problems during the entire performance. There were not any detectable flaws that I was able to hear during the entire performance such as loops, breaks, or buzzing. The production was crisp and clear. Secret Identity Books delivered an excellent audiobook production. I highly recommend this audiobook. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Did you find this review helpful? If so, would you please take a moment and select the 'helpful' button below? Thanks so much!

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Cory Hatfield
  • Cory Hatfield
  • 13-05-19

enjoyable

Narrator was a little slow and the dialogue was a little repetitive but overall awesome book. Story was good and I'm definitely going to do book two.

3 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Natalie @ ABookLoversLife
  • Natalie @ ABookLoversLife
  • 09-05-19

Fun and entertaining read.

The extent of my gaming experience is playing the Lego games with my son, but I've enjoyed other LitRPG books before, and because one of my favourite narrators was performing it, I had to give it a go. And I'm so glad I did because I thoroughly enjoyed it!!

The plot was unique (to me) and easy to follow. Nyle Maxwell is a new cop fresh out of academy and is involved in a car chase on his first day, when both him and the suspect he is following are killed in a crash. Nyle gets his mind upload to the biggest game and is basically living in the game. I actually loved this aspect of the plot because Nyle reacted how I expect people to react when he finds out. The game is a heroes and villains game and every choice you make can lead you to become either one of them. Nyle becomes a hero and the book centers around that.

Not being a gamer, I enjoyed this so much because the author made it easy to follow. I felt like I was learning everything along with Nyle. Even the stats and the whole idea of the game was easy to understand and I never felt lost. I became lost in the world with the characters and thoroughly enjoyed it.

The characters were all well written and developed. I really liked Nyle and his hero alter ego. I loved his side kick and thought he was the best character. He was a chatter box and had me laughing a lot. I'm intrigued about the other characters and am looking forward to finding out more about them. In a hero and villains book, it's nice that the villains are all actually evil but I also really loved the fact that a villain can become good through his actions.

In all, this was a fun, easy and entertaining read and I'm really looking forward to more.

Joe Hempel is one of my favourite narrators and no matter the genre, he always gives a great performance. He has plenty of voices and tones for all the characters and brought this book to life with his inflections and cadences.

I was given this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-05-19

maybe its my age but the MC...sheesh

Okay..maybe as a 54 year old and actually kno0wing a few cops (younglings and vets) I just couldn't get past the MC's atitude/moaning "this sux" basically. Great story concept but for me at least the MC should have been portrayed a bit differently. I made it thru about 2 hours and caught myself screaming "your an idiot" more than once.

4 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for jstep
  • jstep
  • 30-09-19

Well written, fast paced and fun LitRPG!

The Player Blackout: A Superhero LitRPG Adventure, Book One, by Lucas Flint is a really entertaining, fast paced and fun LitRPG. I've read my fair share of LitRPG novels and I have to say that Player Blackout really kept my attention throughout. This book felt a little more on the young adult side, with the story being fairly basic in terms of depth and complexity, though it was still a really enjoyable listen. Nyle is killed on the job as a police officer and his mind is uploaded as a character in Capes Online, a MMORPG. As he learns the ins and outs of his new state of being, things go astray in-game. Nyle and his trusty sidekick, along with a few other heroes that join his team, set out to defeat Dark Kosmos and find out what or who is behind holding the world of Capes Online hostage. If you like LitRPGs and think that the summary sounds like something you'd like, I'd definitely recommend this story. It was just a fun, easy listen and I can't wait to read the second book in the series!

Joe Hempel was a great choice to narrate this novel. His voice really gave life to the story and characters. The only complaint that I have, which has nothing to do with the actual narration, is that Nyle's stats updates that are in the book quite often throughout, don't translate well to audiobook. It was annoying, well, pretty much all of the time they were presented in the book. Still, it was annoying but not a deal breaker at all. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

Did you find this review helpful? If so, would you please take a moment and select the 'helpful' button below? Thanks so much!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Cyphers Fallen
  • Cyphers Fallen
  • 17-07-19

Super Hero Fun!

I rally enjoyed the sidekick, he was simple and funny. He was very likable and my favorite character in the book. This a good Lit-rpg and worth a listen.

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

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for B
  • B
  • 15-07-19

Hitting way above where is possible

The story was alright, repeated stats way to often. The biggest issues I had with the book was the narrator and the story level aspect. The narrator was a little boring, but he did not hinder as much as the story did for me. I would say i listen to a lot of litrpgs and this one missed the basis. YOU CAN NOT TAKE ON A HIGH LEVEL BOSS AS A NEWBIE! When you open the book and say there are people who have been playing for years and are high levels, a beginner can not take on a boss that would trash a high level player and win. That is how this book is framed. The concept of the book is fine, even like the superhero aspect, but the fact that a newbie is beating a boss, a world game event boss, is total BS and took me out of the book. You can not do that in a game, so why would it be different especially if you give them no extra powers or anything, they are just the same level of player as a newbie.
Sad that a good concept is destroyed by a broken aspect of believably.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Tyler Mitchell
  • Tyler Mitchell
  • 25-06-19

A mix of AI, and VRMMOs

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

TLDR; LitRPG, but in a world of Superheros. Think more Marvel/DC less Tolkien.

A change of pace from other VRMMOs. (Slight Spoilers) The Main Character dies and is offered the chance to live again in a VR world. He's basically a test subject for a new type of tech. This offers some new perspective, he's not just stuck in that world, he doesn't exist outside that world anymore. There are some fun existential aspects of that, I would have liked to see more of that, and maybe we will in a later book.

Overall we get a decent LitRPG, with a change of venue, and a fun cast.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Raymond Neil
  • Raymond Neil
  • 23-06-19

Too much repetition of character stats

I like the narrator and I like the story a lot. But I gave it three overall because the fact that the main character kept reiterating his players Stetz was really very annoying. In fact there is no need for the constant let’s check my stats. If the author had maybe done it twice and then referenced him checking the status without list them all then that would’ve made it much better. I ended up fast forwarding or skipping over those sections. I do hope there will follow book. And I hope the author doesn’t continue repeating the stats.

1 person found this helpful