Loss was nothing new to an orphan like Riley. But when the online persona he'd spent years building was ripped away by a monster with unbelievable power, everything changed.
As a gamer who made a living from Sigil Online, losing his character meant losing his job and any means he had of paying his bills.
Now, he had to start from the beginning, just like any other player joining Sigil Online for the first time. All the fame and fortune of a high-level character was gone.
Experience the harrowing quest that will leave Riley changed forever, as he's molded by the pursuit of the monster that took everything from him.
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"Green acid sprays, red bullets, yellow discs..."
I am not a gamer, nor will ever be, but I do enjoy occasional visits into the electronic fantasy worlds so many seem to frequently inhabit.
Sigil Online is set in a time not far distant when the game has become a huge part of life for everyone, rating news updates and even video clips of recent action played to the general population by the media. Successful gamers are able to make a living by playing, the best can earn a lot of money. Reilly was one such player. At only 16, orphaned and alone in the world, he has built a comfortable life for himself as Radiance, an advanced player, 2nd tier: a Paragon. He has followers but, apart from one, no friends. But he is content.
Then his in-game character, Radiance, is killed and he loses everything. With almost no money left and fearful of not being able to pay his rent, he goes back to work: in Sigil. But he has to start the game again from the beginning with a new persona and no powers. And this time he is surprised by the kindness of others - occasionally - and as he progresses in the game, also grows as a real life person.
No real surprises in this basic coming of age story but the journey through the levels, the characters and, especially, the brilliantly conceived powers and described fight scenes make this a very memorable book, far better than some others I have read. The writing is very visual, the characters well drawn, although a little additional 'real' life background could have added deeper interest.
Juggling miriad character voices, a complex text of colour and action, narrator Jeff Hays is outstanding. Pacing his reading to match the speed and intensity of the storyline, this is a superb dramatisation, sounding as if there were a whole array of actors, male and female, taking part and not just a single voice artist. He binds the whole book together with his distinctive performance.
Simple story, complex and visual fight scenes, superb narration, this was a book which I could enjoy without deeper knowledge of gaming. My thanks to the rights holder for gifting me my copy of Sigil online:Paragons, via Audiobook Boom. Hopefully, there will be another following soon. If so, I will most certainly be looking out for it.
- Norma Miles
Good listen, but needed a bit more...