Nenia Campbell: Endgame Virtual Reality Standalones #1



Karly s Authors Who Rock Challenge Full disclosure Yes I am friends with Nenia Campbell here on Goodreads and no that isn t going to affect my review of this story in any way If you think it would or should back away back away VERY uickly35 StarsEndgame read uite a bit like a dystopian Rapunzel re telling to me now I think this may just be a me thing I do not think Campbell had that comparison in mind whilst writing it I could not help but notice similarities between that classic tale and this here story though Our MC is a girl named Volera with the much to my amusement nickname Vol who lives in the Tower and she basically has what I would call past life amnesia And a prince rides in to save her from a wicked witch okay no there is no wicked witch unless you are feeling particularly unkind to Kira and the very confusing male lead exudes stalker and bestial traits than princely ones I m saying that I m only as evil as you make me darling He s really a very sexy bastard this guy for which he has reasons And Vol has her own reasons believing her saviour is out to get her and may even be her curse than anything Game mods that make no sense his presence whenever mishaps occur within game etc That isn t being cruel His hand shoots out and grabs her before she can pull away This is And with a sharp tug she s on the bed beside himand he pushes her back against the mattress and brushes his lips against hers so lightly that it s hardly a iss at all before hissing into her ear You come here in the middle of the night expecting me to be awake And you ask me no demand to give you things that belong to me as much as they belong to you Vol remembers nothing of her life prior to being a Player in the virtual reality games she now makes her meager coin at Now I City Improbable know what you re thinking playing games for a living How the hell is that a dystopia and you would be right at the outset I had a hard time thinking this would be anything but awesome However Vol s situation is a bit slave driver than funtimes and as we travel through her games and her dreams we learn that there is A LOT going on in her head that shouldn t be This is a really absorbing and fun story I will definitely be checking out the next in this series A marked improvement over my lackluster feelings when reading Campbell s Bound to Accept last year However there are SEVERAL notable editing and grammatical errors within this story and the ending while good and illuminating at times veered into massive info dump territory Category A Book Written by an Author Under 30 Still as great as the first time around I remembered absolutely nothing so I felt like I was reading it for the first time again which was great I got to be blown away by the last few chapters again This series is so promising You could have been a goddess and instead you chose to be a slave Vol lives in a dystopian world She works as a Player in a Game Tower a place where tourists called Marks by the Players come to play virtual reality games gamble in casinos and watch holodramas some of which are recordings of previously played gamesVol s job isn t exactly glamourous but it pays Not well but in a world like this you do what you have toVol s life turns a little topsy turvy when a man she runs into in an elevator treats her in an overly familiar manner and all around freaks her out She starts having black outs and dreams that are memories she can t uite graspAnd whatever is going on follows her into the gamesVol is struggling to figure out what the hell is going on with her suspecting this strange man Catan of stalking her and messing with her because with the information she has that s what makes sense Except Catan thinks that she is messing with him and Vol thinks she s going madIt might have been better if she wasview spoilerThe Regent wanted Coliseum games a la Rome but with a twist He learned about an ancient civilization that pitted soldiers against soldiers other animals and death traps meant to inflict agonizing pain upon failure All for the entertainment of an audience of thousands We already had the Gaming Coliseum Someone came up with the brilliant idea of designing a new race one with the intellect and rights of animals for military men to fight and slaughter in the arenasBut it wasn t that easy It never is when you play with people s lives is it The Regents plan backfired It worked but too well Once set into action the race was difficult to stop They almost never lostAnd the Regent destroyed the country he had commissioned to build this new race Easier to silence a man with a bomb than a bribeBut they didn t all dieVolera has been haunting herself the entire book Building games of her memories withoutnowing it her personality fractured because of what she is A Voluntary Eradicator A The Big Bookshelf killing machine Nobody took into account that the ultimateilling machines would have little use for a conscience But they did because they had been cloned and their genetic template had been taken from humans The No Future for You killing fractured the new race s personalities forcing them to create a self that could handle the destruction the pain the cold blooded murderVolera s mind has been manipulated Her memories toyed with And now that shenows can she pick up the pieces I don t SOS Schlank ohne Sport - know yet I have to wait for the second book NENIA hide spoiler Every once in a while I wake up and have to puzzle out whether the events that just transpired in my head wer. Volera Magray is a Player she engages with the tourists who come to play the VR games for which her district is so famous She makes her living being pitted against other Players in terrifyingly real virtual reality games fought for the gratification of a hedonistic audienceFighting is all shenowsBy day she is a normal denizen of the oppressi.

E overall plot very action y yet allowing us to understand Volera s fears and thoughts One particular line made me think she would ve been a hilarious heroine if it wasn t for her issues Several of the women are eying him with undisguised interest and a few are even adjusting their clothing so that their features are displayed to their best advantageBreast advantage Vol thinks and gigglesNens why you gotta be so dirtayyy 3Oh and Catan CATAN Yo Nens if you turn him into another GM I will Charming the Firefighter (In Shady Grove, kick you in the butt I WILLI guess I ve extolled enough virtues I will stop before I forget to take a shower and become a smelly cat lady But in case you re wondering if my friendship with the author somehow biased me it didn t It might not be a book for everyone but it surely is a book worthy of non self publicationI m expecting the ARC of the seuel tomorrow D 35 stars For a good while now I have been following GR author Nenia Campbell around the site and yes in a bit stalk ish way lol because of her honest democratic much insightful reviews and I have always been curious about the books she wrote It turned out I did have a good reason to be curious She is undoubtedly a talented writer This is my first time reading a novel about a protagonist who does gaming for a living She actually gets paid to play games How awesome is that Not as awesome as I thought though because the games though via virtual simulations have the tendencies to become so dangerous they could inflict real pain wounds and worse death upon the gamers Thank you plain ol o I have been sitting on this for a few days trying to sort out my feelings and I m still a big ball of I don tnow what the hell just happened This story focuses on Volera a young woman who is living in a dystopian world and is paid to play this world s version of video games These games are fully immersive and interactive and you are connected to electrodes and all sorts of weird other things while you play Sounds like a dream right Well why does Vol eep blacking out Who is the mysterious new Moderator of play and why does he seem so interested in her What is going on Does anyone remember the movie Existenz That is the vibe I got from this book from the very beginning First things first I have had this book on my to read list for ages and although I was doing my Indie August Challenge this book completely slipped my mind and I jumped into Fearscape as my pick of Nenia s for this challenge But when Seanilicious added this and I realized I cou Umm I think I may be suffering from cliffhanger shockBecause there is no way that is the end of this bookI mean hyperventilating who would end a book like thatWho would TORTURE their readers in such a wayNenia Of course DTaking readers on a mental and emotional adventure with enough ick ass ery to make a COD Call of Duty fan happy Nenia Campbell has created a world unlike any other With twists than Inception ie ALOT Vol s story will make you laugh wince tear up and fan yourself repeatedly Catan is one serious rogue ladies It will resonate with you It will have you wanting It will have you trapped in a deviant game of your own making as you struggle to tell the difference between sanity and insanity bravery and stupidity right and wrong and real and not realThis book made me wish that people like Nenia were in charge of running the worldCan you imagine getting to physically be inside a game Mario Kart would be wicked I would be blue bombing the shit out of everyone and breaking the speed limit three times over But I m becoming silly And hyped up So moving onAnother perk of this book Nenia is not stingy with her vocabBecause everyone the English language is a beautiful beautiful thing Use it Stop using like whatever and YOLO Use words like moniker Do you Everwar (Cal Leandros, know what that word meansIt means a name That s right Inow I m speechless tooNenia is a vocab goddessShe makes me want to pursue a career in professional gamingSo use moniker in a sentence today BOOKNUT CHALLENGEJust not at the table During meals In case someone chokes And diesConclusion to my errant rambling Please read mentioned book aka Endgame by Nenia Campbell because it is awesome you will like it and if you don t like it for the plot heroine or vocab just read it for Catan D Volera is a Player she helps provide entertainment for the virtual reality games that are hugely popular But she can t remember her past and strange occurrences nightmares and blackouts make her think that a particular guy has an unhealthy interest in herTrying to define my feelings towards this book is tough The first half is so dense so confusing so slow It really is pure world building I ll admit than once I grew frustrated at this book I want to like you I would yell at it Why are you being so confusing to me Why can t you just give some answersBut this book reminds me of Dune in that regard you re reading it and wondering WTF is going on When suddenly the clouds part and it JUST MAKES SENSE It takes a long time but when you get to that point the light bulb turns on and the book pages fly byAnd that is my experience with this book I got past that 50% mark and suddenly I got it I got the characters I got the story Even the cultures and society which had been a stumbling block were making sense That is what picked this up from a 3 star to a 4 starThis book won t be for everyone but if you like cyber punk and don t want drippy heroines this is your book. Deadly games Games that tell a story of profound corruption and massive scale government conspiracies warping the lines between fact and fictionThe only clue she has comes in the form of an exceedingly frustrating and potentially dangerous man named Catan Vareth But like everything else in her world his help will cost herCover design by Louis.

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E memory or dream On occasion a dream is so vivid so real that it seems wholly probable that it actually happened For me these dreams tend to be of a mundane nature a meeting at work spending time with a friend masticating a umuat So trivial are these types of dreams that I don t even need to spend time dwelling on whether they actually happened or not it s not that important really Of course I ve never dreamed that I went on a genocidal illing spreeUnfortunately for Volera our heroine in Endgame she not only has to confront that dream but the frightening possibility that it s far than just the vivid imaginings of a sleeping brain Set in a dystopian environment where professional game players help non pros navigate a series of harsh virtual scenarios Endgame is a uick read that manages to pack action and revelation into the final 20 pages than happens in the rest of the book And aye there s the rub as our old friend the Danish prince once said Campbell is clearly a talented storyteller with a head full of intriguing ideas that are clamoring to get out of her mind palace and frolic across the page There are intriguing nuggets of story all over the place the way the virtual gaming world works the mysterious backstory the increasingly terrifying truths that are hinted at all of which propel the reader forwardUnfortunately there s a disconcerting disconnect between the parts where I wanted detail about the world and the characteristics of its people about where these games fit into the social hierarchy about the supporting characters or even the major characters and the parts where detail comes in such a confusing rush that it s hard to figure out what s going on even though it seems like it s intriguing stuff case in point the aforementioned 20 pages I also didn t feel overly invested in Vol or her tormentorman candysavior Catan and I tend to struggle a bit when I m reading something where I don t really connect with the characters That might be of a personal thing though just because I didn t fall in love with these characters doesn t mean others will feel the same I mean I like Egon than I like Venkman so what does that say about me I don t think I ll continue with this series but I d certainly be open to reading of Campbell s work Whether you connect with the characters or find the pacing of the story to your liking dear readerswell that s for you to decide As for me I have No Way Home kumuats that need masticating Or did I just dream thatThanks to the fabulous Jessasaurus Rexerrific for the buddy read This was inspired by Karlington s Authors Who Rock idea and by Jess s indie August That s life Life is the ultimate game and its rules were made to be broken Wow The plot was very different and uniue for me I ve never read a book in which a character plays games and gets paid for itAnd as cool as that soundsthe games were pretty dangerous Vol lived in a dystopian world where the games were much interesting and the players could feel everything when they are playing the game As if these dangerous games weren t enoughVol also didn t remember her past and had nightmares in which she used to get flashbacks of her life which she had forgottenThe story started off in a very interesting wayI liked Vol s character from the beginning she was strong and had an amazing personalityThe gamesept getting violent and dangerouswith that Vol was getting curious about her past which she couldn t rememberThere was also a love interestand even though it wasn t the main part of the storyI really enjoyed it I was intrigued by Catan s character since the first time he appearedNot only he was a stalker and had that creepy look all the timehe also Sequins and Spurs knew something about Vol s past It s my second book by Nenia Campbelland I love her books for having strong characters and mysterious plotI truly enjoyed this bookAnd apart from the gamesit also had a lot of information about the world and how it workedIt was a short read and I loved it It wasn t until the end that I realized it is a series The last few chapters were the best part of the bookand now I can t wait to read the next book after that Cliffhanger I m literally breathless now It s all your fault Nens See what I did hereI have never been so proud and humbled of a graphiccover I made in my life yes I am responsible for the eerie futuristic eye It in no way rises to the level of awesome of the actual book I have also never wanted to never play anyind of virtual reality game this much EVER I am the furthest thing from a gamer my immediate family is made up of solely females besides my dad and video games are something I just watch my best guy friends battle each other at Let s just say I didn t need gaming experience to picture anything Insert freaked shudder Endgame is both almost clinical and chilling in its telling of Volera s so called double life as a Player of VR games and a girl who loses whole blocks of time to fugue states The world building is a little sparse at points but lush Nens integrates both the VR and real life settings extremely well The simulated forest game reminded me a little of The Hunger Games actually as did the omnipotent RegentNothing is ever in your face You just ind of read along and suddenly bam You wonder how Vol isn t catatonic in a ball in a corner I will admit to having sped through the past 60 pages or so in a breathless haze alternately cringing and weeping a little inside The pacing fit th. Ve Regency but by night she is wracked by terrible nightmares that hint at a past she can no longer remember She suspects she might have illed someone and she's afraid that she might do it againAt the same time the games she's playing are growing steadily violent Someone is hacking into the system and creating bootlegged games Dangerous games.

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