Narrator: Neil Hellegers
Series: Perimeter Defense #1
Published by Tantor Audio on 13 June 2016
Length: 12 hrs and 4 mins
Genres: Hard Science Fiction
Source: Publisher, Submitted
A strange body that refuses to obey you; a weird game you can't quit until your contract expires; a world teeming with powerful and very real enemies. The game in which your reputation and faction relationship are the only things that matter. These are the conditions of the agreement Ruslan signs without reading.
The only thing he remembers is that he's been contracted to command a space fleet in a brand-new game he knows nothing about. Objective: to survive for six months. After having made some inevitable newbie mistakes, Ruslan has to rethink his strategy, dropping traditional gaming conventions. But what will it cost him? What new trials and tribulations await him that even the game designers have failed to anticipate?
©2015 Michael Atamanov (P)2016 Tantor
ABR received this audiobook for free from the Publisher, Submitted in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the audiobook or the content of our review.Buy from Audible Buy from Amazon.comAdd to Goodreads
Sector Eight is the first novel in a LitRPG series called Perimeter Defense by Michael Atamanov. Ruslan is a video game enthusiast. When he gets a private message with a highly lucrative offer to play a virtual reality game designed for elites, he is intrigued. He signs a contract to play a character for someone else to improve the player’s standing over the course of six months. After signing a contract during this meeting, he suddenly feels off, and the next thing he knows he wakes up in the game as Crown Prince George with no hopes of returning home until the end of his six-month contract. Ruslan is thrust into this game without any real understanding of the rules and who he is. After a few rookie mistakes, he slowly begins to figure out all the politics of leading a space fleet, but will he be able to survive the politics while balancing his secret of playing someone else’s character?
While this certainly qualifies as LitRPG, it was not heavily dependent on the gaming aspect of the story. Once Ruslan is in the game, the primary indication that he is playing a game is that there are pop-ups indicating changes to other players’ opinion of Crown Prince George. Whenever the real world does enter into the story, instead of being filled with the particulars of game play, it actually adds a layer to the story. In these cases, Ruslan’s challenges as the game player come ahead of the Crown Prince George’s challenges. Beyond the logistics of the game play, the story of Ruslan playing Crown Prince George is a really excellent story. The whole novel is a nice mix of changing leadership, complex political scenarios, and epic space war. Ruslan’s growth as Crown Prince George and his navigation through political alliances and challenges are intriguing and fun to listen to. I also like that there are a lot of alien races that are present throughout the story in different capacities and how Crown Prince George/Ruslan interacts with them.
Neil Hellegers did a fantastic job with the narration. All the characters are distinct and a lot of the time it comes from the tone and style of speaking, which requires skill. The production quality of the novel was also good. I recommend this novel for anyone who likes novel set in space and are politics heavy. And, of course, anyone who likes LitRPG would enjoy this.
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