- File Size: 2996 KB
- Print Length: 596 pages
- Publication Date: March 26, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01N5NPTUS
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,322 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$14.99|
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Awaken Online: Precipice Kindle Edition
|Length: 596 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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No seriously, a fantastic second addition to the AO series. Bagwell demonstrates, yet again, the ability to dive into complex topics, emotions, and provide for stimulating debates on the concepts of good vs evil, ends justifying the means, and sacrifice for the greater need, to name just a few, all in a very non-traditional manner.
AO: Precipice is a great read, and would highly recommend it. I would argue it is for a more mature audience simply because of the level of gore and the darker nature of the book, but I would highlight that my opinion does not hold the context of many reads along the same darker vein as this series. Again, highlighting Travis Bagwell's talent to appeal to a broader audience than one might traditional consider for such a read.
Bagwell and his work are great examples of not only adding fairly unique works to the genre that provide for stimulating debate, but also works that appeal to a greater readership and broader audience. To provide a landmark work to the genre is worth celebrating, but to do so while at the same time growing the readership base and providing a great depth to his work, is quite a remarkable feat.
Writing Style: A+
Character Development: A+
Editing: A- (noticed one or two things here, but still a notch above)
If you read the first book, which, I highly recommend, not solely because it's a great book, but because I'm a bit of a purist and I utterly hate starting a series in the 'middle' as it were, you saw the foreshadow that is the culmination of the end to this book. That said, I have to admit. I loved the fact that Claire got off her high horse and pulled that stick out of her behind long enough to place a bet even if it was a bet that Jason was going to go down.
As with any books, there are parts we love, and parts we hate. In this case? The biggest hate I have, is for the ending. If you utterly detest cliff hangers, be prepared to want to string Bagwell up by his laurels for this one.
Complaints that I have, have nothing to do with the book or the story itself. But person pet peeves that bear on what is all too common the truth, and is shown in the the book. I take issues with the girl getting ticked at Jason and comparing him to Alex, after she goes all self righteous on him for doing what he needs to do from a game perspective. When SHE was the one that opened the door to mistrust by blatantly lying about the incident that got him put in the situation at school that he had been put into in the first book.
Second complaint.. Has to do with the Alex's father. The man basically raised his son to be a sociopath, to put himself above all others. To believe he was better than everything and not to show any emotion. And then, places all his hopes and dreams on an AI to 'help' his now broken child become human again? While doing the exact same things that led to his son becoming closed off and distant in the first place? IE: Alex shows up at his father's work to talk with him. And does the father do anything about it? Does he make an effort to call his son and find out why when his assistant tells him about it? Does he have his assistant inform him that his son is there period? No. He basically thinks. "Oh. That's new. I hope he is changing." And carries on completely ignoring the kid. I'm not saying Alex is a victim here. The kid is a monster in every respect, after curb stomping the other kids at the party, but the Daddy playing victim just irks the ever loving heck out of me.
And last but not least..... There needs to be a freaking way for Jason to be able to rez Rex, cause.. Damn man.. Just.. Damn.
Well developed characters with motivations that are slowly revealed as the protagonist slowly begins to care. Interactions with NPCs that are generally amusing and realistic. Plotlines that arise organically from events in the first story. Everything you could want in a book.
Themes abound in this book. Power corrupts, and we can see it in the main character, NPCs, and even in the villain. Who, after being defeated in the previous book, is now slowly turning into a sympathetic character, doing good works. Or is he? That's not a spoiler, its genuinely ambiguous in the book. Real people, real motivations. What would you do with the ability of a RPG character and limited accountability? This question is asked in many ways, most evidently with the Game Masters added to protect various players from each other. In order to avoid Alterworld style torture, they are supposed to save everyone, yet they easily become corrupt as well, each in their own way. And then what should you do?
The only weakness for the book that I can pinpoint is the cliffhanger at the end. Appropriate, well handled, and inevitable, yet still it sets up a brutal wait for the next book in the series.
The secondary plot is the dangers and possibilities of AI in the world. The AI in game is given the task of maximizing playtime. It tries to accomplish this by giving the players...not what they think they want, or even what they say they want, but it keeps trying to learn and fulfill its goal. You can see the foreshadowing of what may come to be the prime plot of later works--dealing with the AI. It is at least somewhat realistic-ish and with enough uncertainty to make sure you never take it for granted.