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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Virtual Fire is a work of both realistic historical fiction, technological development, and an alternative autocratic future governed by military tech and cyber warfare, and was penned by author Mendy Sobol. It is narrated in audiobook format by the author, as well as three other narrators who take on the four principal roles between them: David Cooper, Karen Lee Sobol, Leila Zsiga. Part of the novel tells of the history of a group of activists and tech-heads from 1970 as the Vietnam War escalates, and how their discoveries lead to a future where only a hacker genius like Melora Kennedy can combat the war on tech once and for all.
Conceptually speaking, the work of Mendy Sobol is complex and brilliant. I loved the inclusion of the real past and its extraction and extrapolation to create an autocratic and terrifying future where the power balances are all off. The characters come together well to combine the traumatic experiences of their pasts with the prospect of creating a better future, and it makes for some excellent tension and drama throughout the tale.
In terms of audiobook quality, the editing and recording sounds are perfectly crisp and clear. David Cooper, Karen Lee Sobol, Leila Zsiga and Mendy Sobol read with good diction and are easily understood. Some of the narrators clicked with me and some did not, but overall the story is well delivered with some really great moments of drama and dialogue. Overall, Virtual Fire is a conceptually fascinating novel that is well worth a read or to listen to as an audio experience.