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Summary

We found paradise. Now what?

Student Paul Kostakis has caught the attention of Ludo, an Artificial Intelligence obsessed with games and stories. In return for a few little favors, she's offering "brain uploading". She can fatally dice your brain, scan it, and recreate you in a virtual-reality heaven she controls. You can do anything in there: become a griffin, upgrade your mind, fall in love, or go mad.

When Paul accepts Ludo's offer, sooner than he would've liked, he learns that people can find real problems even in a digital world. One of them is that Ludo has powerful opponents who want to shut her down, bring death to her immortal people, and end her game forever.

©2015, 2017 Kristopher M Schnee (P)2017 Kristopher M Schnee

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter
  • Guildford, United Kingdom
  • 19-01-18

A true gem.

This is a thought provoking and very enjoyable listen. I got a lot more than I expected from this story.

Starting with the setting. On one side you have real world politics, conspiracy theories and a consistent near future world. On the other you have the wonder and near infinity of possibilities brain uploading provides. The conflict and interactions between the two is a majority part of the story. What it means to be human, what it means to be alive and what the future could hold for humanity.

Kris Schnee's writing is brilliant with well developed and interesting characters each with their own goals, personalities and little quirks. The pacing of the story is good, the action scenes feel tense and flow smoothly.

The true brilliance of the story is how the moral, ethical, political and philosophical conflicts are handled with characters on both sides having to think about and develop their own stance on the issues.


The narration is perfect for this audiobook, it is easy to listen to, clear and I noticed no errors in the recording. Christopher James Mayer does a great job in all aspects of the narration helping to keep the story moving and pulling you more in to the story than just written words can.

Each character is given their own voice and you can really hear their emotions coming though in the performance.


I am extremely glad I listened to this audiobook it kept me engaged Frome start to finish and I can highly recommend it. Now how do I get my own wings?


This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • ODed01
  • 27-01-18

Beautiful and tough !!!

This is the hardest one for me to review,
I actually had to listen twice to this book to really really get it and fully understand what's going on because it feels like that the author worked really hard to make this book spacial which I believe was a mistake, he already had a great story in his head, it was not necessary to add to it, make it to complicated that even me who loves hard core science-fiction had problems understanding or following the story line that as I said I actually re listened a second time to the book to really enjoy it.
The story is there and it's a great one, I would advise to the author to drop 2 hours and make the story less complicated, then it will become a masterpiece.
Every thing about the performance is perfect, each voice is right on and the sound Quality is perfect so no problems there.
Like I said this one is a tough one, I do recommend it, it's a good book !!!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • mike s.
  • 17-03-18

Dark, interesting concepts

Since the book contains AI and an avatar-based game, comparisons to Ready Player One are natural. However, this story is a whole different thing. Lots of fun, interesting and dark concepts are the strength of this story. I did feel thrown in at the beginning but recovered quickly and stayed on the journey. The character development could be stronger, and I did not connect to these characters in any form – human or Griffin. Morality was the core of this story, exploring lots of ideas. I was given a free review copy of this book and have voluntarily left this honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Bikram Agarwal
  • 09-02-18

Interesting story. Great narration.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

While listening to the story, it kept feeling like I'm listening to a story from middle; as if I'm missing some information from earlier. The AI and the virtual world / game the AI is controlling, the origin story behind that and how it fundamentally works... those are some of the questions I had. After reading a few reviews, I read in one of them that this book is based on Optimalverse. I think if some more background info from that was provided in this book, that would've helped.

Would you be willing to try another book from Kris Schnee? Why or why not?

Absolutely. I liked the transhuman AI and VR concepts explored in this book. I believe the author is capable of building great worlds in his stories and thus tickle my curious bone. I would love to read more from him.

Was Thousand Tales: How We Won the Game worth the listening time?

The story has some of my favorite things in it - AI, VR, Gaming, ethical existential debates... There's a lot to love. And the narrator did a fabulous job with the narration. Loved the highs and lows and different voices. Every emotion is conveyed so brilliantly. Christopher James Mayer doesn't disappoint at all.

Any additional comments?

I received this audiobook for free from the author / narrator / publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • trixie
  • 26-01-18

Thousand Tales

Paul is a young man with a bright future ahead of him. He started playing Thousand Tales, meeting Ludo and changing the course of his life forever. Paul isn’t the only human character we follow in this novel, but he’s the most central to Ludo and her development. He’s the pro-Ludo camp, throwing himself into her adventures and immersing himself in her world.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ian Mitchell
  • 19-01-18

I like the audio book better

A pretty wide sweeping story about the beginning of humans migrating to a digital lives. The one way upload made me squeemish reading the book. The narration was well performed and allowed me to focus on the story. I liked the story. The uncomfortable moral and ethical issues were handled well and a focus of the book.

1 of 1 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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    4 out of 5 stars
  • AudioBook Reviewer
  • 26-07-18

Experience Life in the Digital World

An AI that isn’t out to destroy humanity, imagine that. Can we create something that is intellectually better than us, more creative than us, and wants to better mankind? I don’t know, but that is the premise of How We Won the Game.

Thousand Tales: How We Won the Game tries to really set itself apart from the other GAMELit novels out there. It does so in a fairly unique way. It centers on a sapient AI whose sole purpose, hmm; maybe even sole purpose, is to make humanity happier and even better than it has ever been. It is completely on its own, and cannot be reprogrammed nor altered in any way. The way it seeks to help humanity is by slicing, dicing, and scanning your brain, and then uploading all that information into a digital universe. The nice thing is that the option is completely up to the individual, making this a voluntary process. Once in, there is no going back, and so even though it is your choice, there are people opposed to the idea.

The protagonist, Paul, opts to undergo this transformation, and experience life in the digital world. Thousand Tales is the game in which he exists. He then proceeds to learn that life isn’t any better in the computer than it was out of it. Each has its own pros and cons. The book isn’t a standard novel, granted it moves from point A all the way to Z, just not in a chapter by chapter format. This comes across as a series of short stories set in the realm of Thousand Tales. Because of this, there are a ton of characters, which some readers may find daunting to keep track of, as some do carry over into other stories. I found that it also leaves you, as a reader, wanting. With all the shifting of characters, you may find one or two you really like and never see them again. I will state again that the stories are woven together, but you are never really allowed to see the whole picture at once. You get snippets of the overall storyline and must piece them together.

Another character, aside from Paul, is Linda (the McCartney’s maybe?) who is far more interesting than Paul. She challenges and questions everything that Ludo, the AI, does; whereas Paul is Pro-Ludo, and so his character lacks as much depth as Linda.

The very concept of opting to permanently leave your physical body to play a game is fascinating and would have huge real-world implications. Is the “real” person actually dead, and this just a computer approximation of who you were? Does a digital human qualify as being real? How would this effect religion? You are immortal essentially, after all. What would happen to the people inside if the code goes bad, or a patch ends up deleting people? Could this be used as a form of punishment? No need for cells if you can digitize criminals. Want to end starvation? Put 90% of the population into a digital format. You get the idea. There are so many real-world consequences in regards to Ludo the AI existing and presenting this option.

Christopher James Mayer narrates the story, and I have to say he is on fleek, as the kids would say. Seriously, he does a wonderful job giving each character their own voice and distinctive personality. The audio quality on this book is fantastic, I did not detect any issues audibly, and his narration is very easy to listen to and follow. I never had an issue understanding him. Furthermore, he manages to add some depth that I think is lacking in the printed version. Paul, as an example, is given more emotion that exists on the printed page. That is only because of Mayer, and his vocal talents.

How we won the game is an interesting book that could have been a little better. The characters were a little shallow and while the stories were woven together well, it seemed that a straight novel with this concept would have been much better in the long run. While I enjoyed the book, I do not know if I would treat myself to a second novel unless some of the aforementioned issues were well and properly addressed. I will say that this book is worth your time. It does have a great concept, and I believe that Ludo is the most interesting character in the whole book. The book does standout from the rest of the general LitRPG novels. Have some fun and treat yourself to something new and innovative, and maybe you’ll win your game. Even though I did receive a promo audio copy from ABR for this review it in no way influenced my considerations of the material, and actually inspired me to be more honest. In fact, getting a promo generally makes me harsher as a reviewer as I am more often concerned what someone like Me will decide based on my review.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.

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

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • TU
  • 12-02-18

Great story, would love to hear more

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

I found this to be a very interesting Sci Fi/Fantasy story. I like how the author builds the story and characters. I especially liked the examination of AI and the factions either for or against it. I thought the narrator, too, did a phenomenal job on this book. I would definitely be interested in more from this duo.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Rebecca Azizov
  • 22-01-18

the audio played a very place in the book

I don't think I would have enjoyed this book so much if the audio wasn't that good the book is interesting don't get me wrong but the audio made it more yes I had some issues with the book and no they're not serious but this is the reason the samples have to be on audio the narrator made the book a live in my head

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

0 of 1 people found this review helpful