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Summary

"In my first battle, I made 14,000 dollars in five minutes." 

On a remote planet, an autonomous scout makes first contact with extraterrestrial life. Without warning, the alien attacks, ripping the drone to shreds. Humanity is at war. 

Back on Earth, Sam is just another jobless graduate, drifting aimlessly while she lives off of the government's monthly stipend. When war breaks out with the aliens, she sees a way out of her life of boredom: she signs up to be a "deathstreamer", a new breed of mercenary chasing fame and fortune by streaming combat footage from the front lines. If she can go viral, wealth and celebrity are within Sam's grasp. But she'll need to survive long enough to enjoy it.

©2018 Piers Platt (P)2018 Piers Platt

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

War is a helluva drug.

Mid 2230s and most occupations are now done by robots, better and far more reliable. So jobs are few and bored psychology student, Sam, spends much of her time playing computer games and drinking with, or without, her friends, not that she has enough money from government handouts to become an alcoholic. She wants to do something with her !ife and doesn't know what; there doesn't seem to be anything left.
Then a young man tells her that machines will never be able to do his job: there is one thing that they can never do - die. And Sam is recruited to join the Death Streamers, men and women sent on the war ship, Final Hope, to fight the alien race discovered as Earth expanded to become a multiplanetary species. Each soldier wears a camera which streams back to the vast earth audience everything that the wearer can see and experience. Build up a good fan base, and the future holds wealth and fame - if the player can last long enough. Viral follows Sam as she tries to ma!e a difference in her life and in the war to save humanity.

Although it might sound like it, and there are several intensive human-alien battles charted, this is not quite the usual military space campaign story. Instead it also looks at perceptions and societal interaction, fears, hopes and jealousies as well as links between individuals, including a very gentle romance. All is sympathetically narrated by Natalie Duke who takes on the persona of Sam who, in the book, is recording her story in the first person, with chapter introductions by assorted quotations. Ms.Duke is an excellent choice, her voice p!peasant and able to give separate character interpretations as well as feeling her way into Sam's personality and project this for the reader. Clear, articulate and we'll modulated, hers is a good performance.

Viral is a book that I recommend to anyone who enjoys military S.F. or is interested in possible futures generally and the effect of media on society. It was a very compelling and enjoyable listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • chieftwidgit
  • 21-09-18

Interesting

This is a well crafted book about a streaming correspondent who goes to war. It is a different approach on how to report on war and was an interesting listen.

The narrator was good and fully understandable.

This book was provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

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  • (((d(-_-)b)))
  • 11-09-18

Great find!

Good book and great story line. The narrator takes a couple chapters yo get used to but afterwards is OK until she trys to perform Latin accents of a few of the characters. Total fail but she tried. Will I listen again? Maybe.

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  • David-Alan Hight
  • 22-08-18

worthy read

Not my usual type of book but it did a good job of keeping my interest.
Kind of a starship troopers meets hunger games story.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Binder38us
  • 13-08-18

It is a good thing war is horrible...

"It is good thing war is horrible, or we may grow to like it."

Robert E. Lee

As binged listened this book, this was the quote that my mind kept going to. I have not read a book that touched on the emotions and craziness of war and the soldiers who fought it since The Forever War. The characters were deep, the story had some great quips on our social media society of today and made me think of what really defines a person's life.

The book was a free offer from the author. It exceeded all my expectations. I thank Mr. Platt for this gift. I also want to give kudos to Natalie Duke the narrator. I adore a great reader whose voice gives every character a life of their own, even tiny supporting characters. Your talent is right up their with Christian Traster who reads the Harmony Black books. Thank you for giving Mr. Platt's story the voice it deserved.

If you have an Audible credit, get this book.