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Opening Moves

The Gam3, Book 1
Written by: Cosimo Yap
Narrated by: Nick Podehl
Length: 12 hrs and 26 mins
5 out of 5 stars (36 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Earth is changing. The alien invasion brought social upheaval, advanced technology, and an armada of peacekeeping robots. But Alan, a college student pursuing a now-useless degree, cares little about all of this. He has only one thing on his mind: the Game.

A fully immersive virtual reality, the Game appears to be a major part of the invading civilization. Alan can't wait to play, recklessly diving into the digital universe. Soon though, Alan realizes the Game is anything but simple, and the stakes are higher than he ever imagined.

©2016 Cosimo Yap (P)2016 Podium Publishing

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

wow!

I overlooked this book way too many times! very very well written charracter! he isnt the sharpest tool in the shed but the mc is likeable in his own way.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great story and wonderful narration

I had to struggle to not listen to this book constantly. I can't wait to listen to the other two in the series.

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    5 out of 5 stars

if you like sci-fi and RPGs

if you're into liteRPGs you need to check this series one out. I've listened to alot of liteRPG books and this series is one of the best.

plus the fact that it's sci-fi is refreshing instead of traditional fantasy genres.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • White Rabbit
  • 2019-01-29

LitRPG with a real story

Summary:
This is one of the best world building and story boarding books I've ever read. I find it very hard to believe this is Yap's first book, unless Brandon Sanderson edited it. I'll be very interested to see if he can keep up this level of quality. You see a lot of LitRPG books get 4/5-5 star ratings because fans love the genre. But this one is getting a 5 star rating from me for the clean story arc, the excellent character development, and the world-class world building.

What kind of LitPRG is it?
Bagwell <__*_______> Kong
On the LitRPG spectrum, on one side there is Travis Bagwell with Awaken Online. It is character-driven and focuses on story and people. Statistics are there, but what really matters is the people and what they are going through. On the other end of the spectrum is Aleron Kong and The Land. It's much more of a wish-fulfillment (author wrote a story that he'd like to live, and likely based on his own personality) RPG with hours of stats and skill collection. So let's call this the Bagwell-Kong scale. Where Bagwell is 1 and Kong is 10, I think Yap and The Gam3 is around 3 on the scale. He doesn't draw out the emotions of each character as artfully as Bagwell does. But he's much more of a traditional narrative storyteller than Kong is.

Strengths:
1.) World Building - a visualizing reader can see the world in great detail. This is 5/5
2.) Storytelling - It took me 1 chapter to get into the book. But after that, I was well and truly hooked.
3.) Characters - I remember the names and roles of the characters in the book. This is because they are written in a way that they matter and are interesting.
4.) Story Arc - sorry for the pun, but the story arc was textbook. And it is so big and complex that the series could go on forever. Certain story lines will obviously get wrapped up. But it's a huge concept and a practically infinite universe.

Conclusion: This isn't just LitRPG for LitRPG fans. This is galaxy-spanning sci-fi written in the LitRPG format. And it is well worth your time.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Doug
  • 2017-01-05

Refreshing LITRPG

I love the LITRPG genre, having read Ready Player One, Alterworld, Awaken Online, and all are very good. But The Gam3 is a bit different. First and most obvious is the setting, more sci-fi in nature than fantasy based. There are still some fantasy based aspects but the sci-fi inclusion opens up some very interesting story lines and abilities for the characters. It works. Secondly is the massiveness of the RPG world, it's big.....really big. I'll let you find that out on your own.

The back story of the alien rpg world, the politics and interactions of the different alien races is unique and fascinating. It really adds a nice touch to the genre. This is a very good start to what I expect will be an epic tale.

The characters are well written and interesting while Nick Podehl does an excellent job bringing them to life. I finished this book in 2 days, easily wanting more when finished.

Nice job Mr. Yap, I look forward to more.

Hope you enjoy as much as I did.

23 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ray Johnson
  • 2019-02-05

A classic opening move by a master


While I liked Opening moves there were some things that bothered me a little. First, though, the set up. One promising feature is that this is strictly as sci-fi story and we really don’t get enough of those in Litrpg today. I’m not complaining about the fantasy stuff, but a huge portion of Litrpg has heavy fantasy elements to it. Sci-fi is almost the purview of our Russian comrades, of course it is odd to say that a genre that features game entry via computers, A.I. elements, and game mechanics is more fantasy based, but you understand my point.

Anyway, (you’ll get that reference once you listen to the book) the game is how aliens conduct their warfare. Humans have been inducted to play the “game” and are granted some leniency from outright attacks until they kind of get their game legs. The MC sort of buys his way into the game by having some money fronted to him. Alan, the MC becomes a machine lord, and has AI that he basically uses as a cheat throughout the book.
That was my biggest problem. Alan isn’t a very deep character, I would almost say that he belongs in flat land because he is a tad one dimensional. There is no character development or growth, he ends the way he starts, so yay for consistency. Also, he comes in with an AI that pretty much helps him route every thing he encounters. The book, however, is action heavy and very fun, and I can easily forgo character development in favor of some good ole butt kickin.
The story does draw you in, and I was pretty much kept on the edge of my seat as the story progressed. I can’t say that the story slowed down or didn’t keep me engaged, because I rode this story like a broken mechanical bull. I couldn’t ride a working one, I’d break my neck. The point is that this was a fun ride.
Surprise, Nick Pohdel narrates this book and does a wonderful job, I have pretty much accepted that he is a master class narrator, but that he still has issues doing women’s voices. That has been, and will be my biggest complaint when it comes to his work. Otherwise, he manages to make the story fun and really picks up the pace when it comes to the battle scenes.
The story has a ton of things going on, like an attempted capture/assassination attempt and some ancient beings offering to assist in the Gam3 if he can prove himself. Again, awesome book, not much in the way of characterization. Also, I will say that Allen’s growth as a player may have felt a little stunted when compared to other similar books. That’s ok, not every player should be OP, and he does have his AI to make up for his limitations.

Overall score is an 8. I thought it was fast paced, full of action, and had a good premise, but the lack of character growth really took it down a peg or two.

As seen on the Litrpg Audiobook Podcast.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Viesturs
  • 2016-12-02

Quite good LitRPG

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would, as long as the friend is into fantasy or gaming.

What other book might you compare Opening Moves to and why?

Awaken Online is the most recent I listened to that was similar in nature.

What about Nick Podehl’s performance did you like?

Easy to listen to.
I got anoyed that his female voice acting at the begining reminded me of "kings dark tidings" books bimbos voices, but that was present only at the one chapter.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This is no tearjerker, this is entertainment for nerds.

Any additional comments?

Nice mistery filled story with decently OP MC

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Andromeda
  • 2017-01-28

Just a prequel

What did you like best about Opening Moves? What did you like least?

There were parts of this book I really enjoyed and parts that drove me nuts. Here is this guy that was selected for a super AI, that has an investment made on his behalf, that can accomplish anything, yet he is so obtuse that he can't make basic decisions. He has no friends. He has no relationship with his family. He agrees to everything people ask him to do. This book is more about an AI and it's human servant than a human with an intelligent virtual assistant. It did improve by the end (thank the Bunny Overlords for that!)

My biggest gripe about this book is that it's just a prequel. I invested money and time in a book that sets up a world and a game but never gets past the beginning. It's like buying a video game and realizing all you got was a tutorial.

Any additional comments?


20 of 25 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-03-25

Yep I was skeptical but it’s well worth

I put off buying this series due to some trash raters. Well when I did cave and buy it I ended up buying all on audible and even preordering the next audible. :)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2018-11-16

why didn't I find this sooner

only downside is I want more... great book and I cant wait to read more

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Brittney
  • 2018-10-08

Great

i am very excited to hear book 2! Hope it’s as good as the first.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Marc A. Mathews
  • 2017-09-12

It's a good book, but not great.

It handles the cyber punk theme better than most. But runs into the same issues of most RPG/books. And that is it's meant to be read, the leveling up, is talked through and often. I found myself zoning out as lots of useless info was rattled off to me.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris
  • 2016-12-07

Wow.

I was starting to lose my interest in litrpgs but this one made me realize how poorly the others are done.

will listen again over and over.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful