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A very well-known theme in this story makes it very familiar and yet so very different. Quantum wakes every morning, to the same routine, day in, day out, and has he thinks for the last few years. Little does he really know the full extent of what’s actually been happening within the game he nicknames ‘the loop’.
When a message and a mysterious person, Frances, disturbs the loop and his day to day repetition. Everything that Quantum has come to know turns on him and he’s fighting for his life both inside and outside the game.
What I really enjoyed from this audiobook was the great attention to character detail, the depths to which Harmon has gone to make us really think about the situation that Quantum is in. After all, how would we react stuck not only in a game but repeating the same day? The psychological ramifications are evident throughout the story, but they’re realistic and true to Quantum’s character and to that of someone who is playing a game.
What I think could have been improved, there were some great action scenes and sequences, but I think the reasons behind some weren’t as clear as they could have been. The assassins on the outside, part of the ‘reapers’ were underdeveloped. I know money is the bane of all evil, but it didn’t quite add up for me. I wanted more of their need to stop him in the game and out of it, maybe that comes out better as the series develops. I guess I can only hope.
I am an avid follower of Jeff Hays, so I can’t lie that I already know his voices and his traits. As an actor, he’s growing not only in the genres he’s taking on but in the way he produces his work. They’re more and more entertaining, and it’s great to see someone branch out to take on, something as substantial in the writing world, a genre in its own making, litRPG.
I look forward to many more books from both these guys, this one is well worth a listen too. Thanks
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Easily one of, if not the most enjoyable audiobooks I have heard for a long time. Colourful characters, well constructed interesting storyline, ongoing often hilarious action, dialogue humour - sometimes laugh out loud - and a brilliant narration. This book has it all.
The Feedback Loop is a type of Groundhog Day, set in cyberspace. Quantum ("Call me Quantum") Hughes is stuck in a loop, the only real player in a Proxima Galaxy game, his logout having stopped working some 540+ 'days' before.- he knows that because he added a new item to his inventory after each awakening. He can't die but he's often murdered only to return the next morning to the predictable day ahead, starting at 8.05 when the Morning Assassin crashes through his window with some new way to kill him, or be killed. Then the crow flies past his window ...
Quantum is sick of it. He wants out. Then into his cyber life comes something strange, a new player - and she is a real person.
Written in the first person, Quantum is trapped with his emotions on edge, yo-yoing between boredom, depression, hopelessness, self pity, paranoia, callousness, anger, gallow's humour and fear. And Jeff Hays is Quantum, the slick, fast talking fighter, tired of being alone, afraid of what might have become of his body in the real world, hating the loop in which his is stuck. As the book progresses, the humour intensifies. And the narration echos it all. I have been an admirer of Mr.Hays' work for some time but in this performance he excels both in his interpretation of the text and in giving fitting voice to each and everyone of the other characters. (There is even a delicious little throwaway joke in which Quantum remarks to one of the in game personalities about another group, that their "accents are off ...like Dick van Dyke in Mary Poppins." and receives the reply that, looking for cultural diversity, the game makers " had voice actors create characters. Some were more successful than others." ).
There is so much I would like to write about and quote from this book. Snippets keep being recalled to make me smile. I want to recommend it to everyone I know. As soon as I heard the last sentences played, I purchased book two, Steampunk is Dead, in eBook format. But I haven't opened it yet: I am waiting to see if it, too, will be made into an Audiobook with Jeff Hays narrating. If so, it will be top of my shopping list.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Harmon Cooper's "The Feedback Loop" is a game where the protagonist has been stuck in an infinite loop in a video game he can't log out of. Every day is the same for years on end. Worse, the game is an extremely violent noir based video game, so his morning routine is dodge an assassination, avoid being killed by random NPCs, get drunk, visit his video game girlfriend, every day the same. There are no more player characters in the game, there are only NPCs. Dying doesn't do anything other than reset him back in his motel.
One day, something changes. A femme fatale comes into his life and immediately kills him. But she's an actual player. This is one of the weakest scenes in the book because her reason for killing him is incredibly lame.
But from there, the game starts to change. Old routines change and new interactions start occurring. But a group of real assassins are also sneaking into the game, and if they kill him, he's gone for good.
The plot stumbles here as well, as the reasoning for the assassins is weak. The people stuck in these virtual Worlds are given a huge settlement payoff, if they can escape. But the new assassins are there to kill them so they can collect the payment. This is hinky logic, because what government wouldn't understand what's going on, or relatives, etc. A better choice would have been to make it so that they would help him leave the virtual World if he relinquished everything to them, signing off a digital signature. Else they just keep killing him and resetting him every day until he relents.
The main character is an ass, so if you want a warm and charming protagonist, this isn't your book. It's partially because he's been stuck in the same place day in and day out, and also because the environment you find yourself in is tailored to your personality. This is not a book about nice people, it's about a dark and dangerous World.
Harmon Cooper doesn't have the writing chops of Marlow, Hammett, or Chandler. While he clearly loves the noir genre, his "patter", the name for the distinctive way that characters talk in noir, isn't up to the legends of the genre.
Nonetheless, the book is a good thrill ride in the same vein as the action noir chronicles of yesteryear. Jeff Hays does an outstanding narration and carries the book through.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful