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Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite
In Rhett C. Bruno's Vicarious, Mission’s start in life had been anything but easy. Squirreled away, hidden from the rest of the ship, she was forced to live in isolation but for the babies and the woman who risked her very life to keep the sins of Mission’s parents a secret. Resources were precious, every breath accounted for. The balance was delicate; a set number of lives able to be sustained. Mission should not have been, but there she was, hidden. Until that fateful day when there came a choice between discovery and death. High Earth watched with bated breath, but none more so than Asher, the man who would come to direct the show that she, and many others didn’t even know they were a part of. The world of digital entertainment was everything, but how far would he be willing to go to ensure his star keeps bringing in the ratings when all he really wants to do is save her?
Okay, how the heck am I only finding this author now? Rhett C. Bruno’s Vicarious is right up my alley. It has everything I could possibly want in a book and so much more. There is such depth to the world-building and characters you can’t help but be drawn into the intertwined existences of Asher and Mission. As a love child of The Truman Show, The Island, and Ready Player One, it combines the aspect of VR and reality TV in an entertaining and pulse-raising way, forcing the reader to invest in the characters and not just view them as characters on a page, but as three-dimensional, unique personalities complete with flaws, motivations, and drive. Action, chaos, twists, turns and hairpin bends, you’re not going to want to put this down. So plug into your audiobook, and prepare yourself for an epic adventure like no other.
I’m only just starting my journey into audio books. Until recently I was flooded with childhood memories of poor narration and monotone reading, but not here; wow, this was some amazing stuff. I loved the narration, the voices suited the characters and the atmosphere perfectly. The narrators, Wil Wheaton and Katherine McNamara, really step into the roles to make this an unforgettable experience, bringing the book and characters to life so vividly that it’s impossible not to visualize them right there beside you. The quality of the narration is nothing shy of perfect, drawing you in and capturing you from the onset. A brilliant portrayal of an excellent book which, I must confess, I have purchased to read so I can have the whole experience from the perspective of a reader as well.