*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Hector Savage is on death row, for a bombing he's framed for. He's received his last request and ready to game on the laptop for his last twelve hours of life. As he readies to log in, time stops and a demon visits who claims to have business to conduct with Hector. Play as a character in the world of Thera. This is a live action game that keeps many universes from warring. Hector has a choice - die via lethal injection in less than twelve hours or play the ultimate, coolest game there is...and maybe live.
Jeff shines again with a multitude of characters and voices to match. It's great to see Mr. Null in 3 forms when we meet him, and the voice in each form matches, making it feel real and fitting. Jeff never lets me down in his performances. He entertains me while I'm drawn into the story, listening to what feels like a live show. Thank you for another amazing voice action performance!
I found I was drawn into the creation of the realm of Thera. The way Hector is drawn to it, it's like a game but oh so real. You live or die here, but it's the adventure and action that everyone who's played video games could ever want.
I love the early on irony that appears in Hector's life here. The Hector's reason for being in prison and what the last choice to save those in a village in Thera is. The one thing he didn't do in life, he'll have to do in Thera. Then when we get the secrets behind all that's happened with Hector. Wow. I loved how things panned out.
There was a few moments the direction of the character felt to get a little distorted for me. When we start we know exactly what he wants, and still wants, and where things are going with the trial. We then know he does not want to be a fighter for the clan he's in (demons, that's not good), so he figures out how to adjust for that. After that... I'm a little fuzzy on what his new drive and direction is. There was a lot of details given at one time here with the Game Master so it could be tucked in there and I missed it. I'm thinking his new direction is to stay alive on Thera, and prevent the Abyssal Lords from coming after him. But there felt like there should be more. He has a huge secret that NO ONE can know of, and that's something that's got to stay that way. When things calmed in the story, after I thought this, we got Hector listing things out and this is clarified.
I got the feel of a theme that asked and had me wondering, what really is evil. There are things people do in their lives that's not good, but it's to survive. There are those who just do mean things. But which is worse than the other? This got my mind spinning on the idea and thinking.
I do enjoy the world of Thera. It's a fantasy world with rifts. Rather cool. Sort of like many fantasy worlds we've seen or read about in the way of creatures and living. And rifts that connect to other worlds. Hector has to live here in Thera, but he has an overlay that he can tap into to see his health and skills along with a virtual carrying system. It's real life with a game overlay for him and any other players here.
I like the need of balance along with the creation of Game Master (GM). GM is neither good or bad, but the one that works to keep things on an even keel in the world. This feels to go hand in hand with the theme of what's evil. I found there is much you can play with on this type of board and feel to a character.
In the end, I found I really liked the world created and how the game is also life for the characters. I will gladly listen to future installments of books in this world.