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Awaken Online: Ember

Tarot, Book 1
Written by: Travis Bagwell
Narrated by: David Stifel
Series: Awaken Online: Tarot, Book 1
Length: 16 hrs and 48 mins
5 out of 5 stars (20 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Finn Harris should have been the one to die.

But he wasn't - his wife took his place. What was worse, he only had himself and his company to blame. They let their passion outpace their prudence, determined to revolutionize the world. While all innovation comes with a price, he never imagined it would cost him Rachael.

Nearly a decade later, Finn is content to hole himself up and wait out the rest of his life - what little he has left. That is, until his daughter intervenes, forcing him out of his grief and into a new virtual reality game developed by his old employer. They're calling it Awaken Online, and she believes there's something unusual going on inside the game. And since Finn knows the company, knows their tactics - she might be right.

Finn wasn't sure what he expected to find when he logged in. But it certainly wasn't a manipulative fire god or a school for mages - where the students are pitted against each other in deadly duels and the faculty isn't shy about maiming or injuring novice mages to prove a point.

Now Finn must learn to fight, for his own life and a chance at redemption. He'll need to prove that his fire hasn't been snuffed out.

That there's still an ember burning...

©2019 Travis Bagwell (P)2019 Tantor

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I will likely prefer this series over the original

if your a bit of an older need and had a bit of a hard time with Jason just acting his age all the time. you too will probably prefer Finn who is a bit wiser and bit less extreme and not prone to teenage outbursts. it was a really good listen

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Evan Rose
  • 2019-12-04

Solid Side Story

Narrative- I have read the other available Awaken Online books released to this point and found them enjoyable. Though of the side/non-Jason stories, I would have to say that this is the strongest. Apathy, Unity, and Retribution are good self contained stories but lean upon the reader knowing emotional changes and character development that happens in the main plot. Thus, making them feel too narrow when compared to how the main series can cover more characters and more development. Ember and what I assume the Tarot series does better is that it completely divorces itself from Jason. Thus the characters and the story can go on its own path without the thoughts of how it ties back into the "main problem(s)". Finn is a great character I thought and offered his own perception and opinions on full immersion VR. His perspective is unique to the other POV characters the series has offered and it was enjoyable. I would however only recommend this to those already following the series as their are references that make the reading more enjoyable with the fore-knowledge.

Audio Performance- David Stifel delivered once again and performed on par with his other entries in the series. Strong sense of voice of the characters and he can really deliver emotional or dramatic beats in the story.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-11-28

Better and Better

Normally I am not all about Side Quests and Side Characters in a World but Travis Bagwell has done it again. I absolutely loved this book and we really got some good information on the creation story of our AI and the Magic System in AO online. I also enjoyed that the Main Character was an Adult, gives you a different perspective on the whole world, it also shows the abilities from Travis Bagwell. So we follow the story of the Fire Mage on his way to his Conquest in AO online. Like other Main Characters he has to overcome personal inhibitions and is Fixed by the AI. Excellent addition to the World.

Random Side note " Fire Mage " come on who doesnt want to burn everything?

8 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel McAdam
  • 2019-12-19

Best Awaken Online book yet!

Travis Bagwell is great at providing a strong emotional driving force in his characters, and he's really hit it out of the park with this one. This new side story in the universe features the most mature and gripping character yet. This also adds a ton of context to the universe of Awaken online and makes me even more hungry to see how the character of the AI controller develops. Is it a force for good, something that helps the users grow as people, or something insidious and tempting? If you've been keeping up with the Awaken Online series, definitely don't skip this one. if you haven't started it, I'd still recommend beginning on Book 1: Catharsis

As always, David Stifel's narration is excellent and perfect for the story.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Kirk
  • 2019-12-04

Well, that might just have been the best litrpg I have ever listened to.

In fact, it was just a great book. The storyline in AO was just as deep as the story outside which made the story riveting. Great job Travis Bagwell.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Aaron Barnes
  • 2019-12-03

An Amazing book to 'burn' through!

Travis Bagwell has made another amazing book in the world of Awaken Online. You will find yourself on a journey of adventure that doesn't let up till the very end and leaves you wanting more.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel Parker
  • 2019-12-12

So good and can stand on its own

Cranky old programmer that gets trolled by his programmer daughter turns into a epic that I won’t soon forget. Travis Bagwell’s writing evolution and skill are in full force here and it doesn’t feel like a shitty side narrative to the other awaken online stories.

I like how this is compartmentalized and has all sorts of nuggets for the readers is the earlier books without hard core re-iteration of world building points.

You can read this book standalone and have an excellent adventure.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Paul
  • 2019-12-05

My favorite Awaken Online story arch yet!

Come explore Finn’s journey as he rediscovers himself, inspiring awe in others around him, & ultimately re-ignites his passion for living. Simply sublime.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sailfish
  • 2019-12-26

Too Similar to Book 1 of Awaken Online: Catharsis

Yes, the characters were completely different along with the realm they inhabited but the story unfolded somewhat similarly. The protagonist was a withdrawn individual due to their real world experiences and the game AI glommed onto his brokenness to use as a catalyst to achieve a game pursuit while also helping the MC to move beyond their self-imposed limitations. The MC oddly accepted some literature seemingly written by an ancient mage as truly being an ancient account even though he was very much aware that the historical events dating back hundreds of year was simply made up stuff, most likely from the AI itself.

Travis Bagwell is a gifted writer and David Stifel was an excellent narrator but the story's framework was too similar to the previous Awaken Online series that it didn't captivate me as much as the first series book 1.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anderson
  • 2019-12-22

I'm always a little hesitant when an author...

I'm always a little hesitant when an author starts another series in the same world, but this was well done. I'd even say that it's as good as the first AO book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • TD
  • 2019-12-22

Intriguingly good

New character more mysteries.
This was refreshing, love learning more about the world of AO and the character living in it and the ones influence by it.
Love the new character and his journey. Another excellent job from the narrator. Can't wait for the next book. I'm so emotional invested in all the characters. This book series is just a gift that keeps on giving.

1 person found this helpful