Every once in a while, I wake up and have to puzzle out whether the events that just transpired in my head were memory or dream On occasion, a dream is so vivid, so real, that it seems wholly probable that it actually happened For me, these dreams tend to be of a mundane nature a meeting at work, spending time with a friend, masticating a kumquat So trivial are these types of dreams that I don t even need to spend time dwelling on whether they actually happened or not it s not that important, really Of course, I ve never dreamed that I went on a genocidal killing spree.Unfortunately for Volera, our heroine in Endgame, she not only has to confront that dream, but the frightening possibility that it s far than just the vivid imaginings of a sleeping brain Set in a dystopian environment where professional game players help non pros navigate a series of harsh virtual scenarios, Endgame is a quick read that manages to pack action and revelation into the final 20 pages than happens in the rest of the book And, aye, there s the rub, as our old friend the Danish prince once said Campbell is clearly a talented storyteller with a head full of intriguing ideas that are clamoring to get out of her mind palace and frolic across the page There are intriguing nuggets of story all over the place the way the virtual gaming world works, the mysterious backstory, the increasingly terrifying truths that are hinted at all of which propel the reader forward.Unfortunately, there s a disconcerting disconnect between the parts where I wanted detail about the world and the characteristics of its people, about where these games fit into the social hierarchy, about the supporting characters or even the major characters and the parts where detail comes in such a confusing rush that it s hard to figure out what s going on, even though it seems like it s intriguing stuff case in point the aforementioned 20 pages I also didn t feel overly invested in Vol or her tormentor man candy savior Catan, and I tend to struggle a bit when I m reading something where I don t really connect with the characters That might be of a personal thing, though just because I didn t fall in love with these characters doesn t mean others will feel the same I mean, I like Egon than I like Venkman, so what does that say about me I don t think I ll continue with this series, but I d certainly be open to reading of Campbell s work Whether you connect with the characters or find the pacing of the story to your liking, dear readers well, that s for you to decide As for me, I have kumquats that need masticating Or did I just dream that Thanks to the fabulous Jessasaurus Rexerrific for the buddy read This was inspired by Karlington s Authors Who Rock idea and by Jess s indie August. That s life Life is the ultimate game, and its rules were made to be brokenWow The plot was very different and unique for me I ve never read a book in which a character plays games and gets paid for it.And as cool as that sounds,the games were pretty dangerous Vol lived in a dystopian world where the games were much interesting and the players could feel everything when they are playing the game As if these dangerous games weren t enough,Vol also didn t remember her past and had nightmares in which she used to get flashbacks of her life which she had forgotten.The story started off in a very interesting way.I liked Vol s character from the beginning she was strong and had an amazing personality.The games kept getting violent and dangerous,with that Vol was getting curious about her past which she couldn t remember.There was also a love interest,and even though it wasn t the main part of the story,I really enjoyed it I was intrigued by Catan s character since the first time he appeared.Not only he was a stalker and had that creepy look all the time,he also knew something about Vol s past It s my second book by Nenia Campbell,and I love her books for having strong characters and mysterious plot.I truly enjoyed this book.And apart from the games,it also had a lot of information about the world and how it worked.It was a short read and I loved it It wasn t until the end that I realized it is a series The last few chapters were the best part of the book,and now I can t wait to read the next book after that Cliffhanger Karly s Authors Who Rock Challenge Full disclosure Yes, I am friends with Nenia Campbell here on Goodreads and no, that isn t going to affect my review of this story in any way If you think it would or should back away back away VERY quickly.3.5 StarsEndgame read quite a bit like a dystopian Rapunzel re telling to me now I think this may just be a me thing, I do not think Campbell had that comparison in mind whilst writing it I could not help but notice similarities between that classic tale and this here story, though Our MC is a girl named Volera with the, much to my amusement, nickname Vol who lives in the Tower and she basically has what I would call past life amnesia And a prince rides in to save her from a wicked witch, okay no there is no wicked witch unless you are feeling particularly unkind to Kira and the very confusing male lead exudes stalker and bestial traits than princely onesI m saying that I m only as evil as you make me, darling He s really a very sexy bastard, this guy, for which he has reasons And Vol has her own reasons believing her saviour is out to get her, and may even be her curse than anything Game mods that make no sense, his presence whenever mishaps occur within game, etcThat isn t being cruel His hand shoots out and grabs her before she can pull away This is And with a sharp tug, she s on the bed beside him,and he pushes her back against the mattress and brushes his lips against hers so lightly that it s hardly a kiss at all before hissing into her ear, You come here, in the middle of the night, expecting me to be awake And you ask me no, demand to give you things that belong to me as much as they belong to you Vol remembers nothing of her life prior to being a Player in the virtual reality games she now makes her meager coin at Now I know what you re thinking playing games for a living How the hell is that a dystopia and you would be right, at the outset I had a hard time thinking this would be anything but awesome However, Vol s situation is a bit slave driver than funtimes and as we travel through her games and her dreams we learn that there is A LOT going on in her head that shouldn t be This is a really absorbing and fun story, I will definitely be checking out the next in this series A marked improvement over my lackluster feelings when reading Campbell s Bound to Accept last year However there are SEVERAL notable editing and grammatical errors within this story and the ending, while good and illuminating, at times veered into massive info dump territory Category A Book Written by an Author Under 30 I have been sitting on this for a few days, trying to sort out my feelings and I m still a big ball of I don t know what the hell just happened This story focuses on Volera, a young woman who is living in a dystopian world and is paid to play this world s version of video games These games are fully immersive and interactive and you are connected to electrodes and all sorts of weird other things while you play Sounds like a dream, right Well why does Vol keep blacking out Who is the mysterious new Moderator of play and why does he seem so interested in her What is going on Does anyone remember the movie Existenz That is the vibe I got from this book from the very beginning First things first, I have had this book on my to read list for ages, and although I was doing my Indie August Challenge, this book completely slipped my mind and I jumped into Fearscape as my pick of Nenia s for this challenge But when Seanilicious added this and I realized I could fit another book into my challenge, I did exactly that But I am sad to say that unlike my love of Fearscape and Gavin, especially Gavin this was not a hit for me Let s make a shit sandwich shall we The bottom slice of bread Catan Oh Catan Yep I ll have one of him please Nenia, you write such wonderfully mysterious, dick ish and yet loveable male leads Since you are so intent on not engaging me in our world, I m going to pursue you in yours Vol and Catan s interactions were often hilarious and had me laughing out loud Vol s wit is fantastic and she uses it to her advantage You wouldn t say that if you knew who I am Trust me, I ve seen an asshole before The filling of the sandwich This had many spelling, grammar and editing errors that slipped through the cracks I can let some slide, but these were numerous enough to annoy me.I found that the beginnings of the game play sequences were a little long winded Sure, when playing a game you will be taking a look around and checking out your surroundings, but most of the time I thought the descriptions were a little excessive There was also a bit of what I will call Maze Runner itis There were several words that were used to describe characters without us having anything to reference them against It s all well and good to say things about a Selmerian character, but what does a Selmerian look like, and what traits does a Meridian have that a Bastani does not I had trouble actually picturing the characters in my head because of this The top slice of bread Nenia is an excellent writer of tension The foreboding feeling of this really gave me a sense of urgency to get to the end to figure out what was happening It kept me turning the pages and engaged.BUT That ending Nope Nope Nope Information overload Too much, too late Nope Did not enjoy It didn t feel finished.Overall, this was interesting and engaging but it had its flaws I won t be continuing this series, I ll stick to the Horrorscape series instead, because that is much my style 3 break my heart Catan Stars I m giving you until I finish my drink to change your mind And then We see if your heart can stand to be broken a little Thanks for the buddy read Seanilicious A.K.A The Wizard Of Schnoz I m friends with Nenia on Goodreads, this has in no way affected my rating. ( Download ) ♷ Endgame (Voluntary Eradicators, #1) ⚆ Volera Magray Is A Player She Engages With The Tourists Who Come To Play The VR Games For Which Her District Is So Famous She Makes Her Living Being Pitted Against Other Players In Terrifyingly Real Virtual Reality Games, Fought For The Gratification Of A Hedonistic AudienceFighting Is All She KnowsBy Day, She Is A Normal Denizen Of The Oppressive Regency, But By Night, She Is Wracked By Terrible Nightmares That Hint At A Past She Can No Longer Remember She Suspects She Might Have Killed Someone And She S Afraid That She Might Do It AgainAt The Same Time, The Games She S Playing Are Growing Steadily Violent Someone Is Hacking Into The System And Creating Bootlegged Games Dangerous Games Deadly Games Games That Tell A Story Of Profound Corruption And Massive Scale Government Conspiracies, Warping The Lines Between Fact And FictionThe Only Clue She Has Comes In The Form Of An Exceedingly Frustrating And Potentially Dangerous Man Named Catan Vareth But, Like Everything Else In Her World, His Help Will Cost HerCover Design By Louisa
Still as great as the first time around I remembered absolutely nothing so I felt like I was reading it for the first time again, which was great I got to be blown away by the last few chapters again This series is so promising Umm, I think I may be suffering from cliffhanger shock.Because there is no way that is the end of this book.I mean hyperventilating who would end a book like that Who would TORTURE their readers in such a way Nenia Of course DTaking readers on a mental and emotional adventure, with enough kick ass ery to make a COD Call of Duty fan happy, Nenia Campbell has created a world unlike any other With twists than Inception i.e ALOT Vol s story will make you laugh, wince, tear up and fan yourself repeatedly Catan is one serious rogue, ladies It will resonate with you It will have you wanting It will have you trapped in a deviant game of your own making as you struggle to tell the difference between sanity and insanity, bravery and stupidity, right and wrong and real and not real.This book made me wish that people like Nenia were in charge of running the world.Can you imagine getting to physically be inside a game Mario Kart would be wicked I would be blue bombing the shit out of everyone and breaking the speed limit three times over But I m becoming silly And hyped up So moving onAnother perk of this book Nenia is not stingy with her vocab Because, everyone, the English language is a beautiful, beautiful thing Use it Stop using like , whatever and YOLO Use words like moniker.Do you know what that word means It means a name That s right I know I m speechless too.Nenia is a vocab goddess.She makes me want to pursue a career in professional gaming.So use moniker in a sentence today BOOKNUT CHALLENGE Just not at the table During meals In case someone chokes And dies Conclusion to my errant rambling Please read mentioned book a.k.a Endgame by Nenia Campbell because it is awesome, you will like it and if you don t like it for the plot, heroine or vocab, just read it for Catan D You could have been a goddess, and instead you chose to be a slave. Vol lives in a dystopian world She works as a Player in a Game Tower a place where tourists called Marks by the Players come to play virtual reality games, gamble in casinos, and watch holodramas some of which are recordings of previously played games.Vol s job isn t exactly glamourous, but it pays Not well, but in a world like this, you do what you have to.Vol s life turns a little topsy turvy when a man she runs into in an elevator treats her in an overly familiar manner and all around freaks her out She starts having black outs and dreams that are memories she can t quite grasp.And whatever is going on follows her into the games.Vol is struggling to figure out what the hell is going on with her, suspecting this strange man Catan of stalking her and messing with her, because with the information she has, that s what makes sense Except Catan thinks that she is messing with him and Vol thinks she s going mad.It might have been better if she was view spoiler The Regent wanted Coliseum games a la Rome, but with a twist He learned about an ancient civilization that pitted soldiers against soldiers, other animals, and death traps meant to inflict agonizing pain upon failure All for the entertainment of an audience of thousands We already had the Gaming Coliseum Someone came up with the brilliant idea of designing a new race one with the intellect and rights of animals for military men to fight and slaughter in the arenas.But it wasn t that easy It never is when you play with people s lives, is it The Regents plan backfired It worked, but too well Once set into action, the race was difficult to stop They almost never lost.And the Regent destroyed the country he had commissioned to build this new race Easier to silence a man with a bomb than a bribe.But they didn t all die.Volera has been haunting herself the entire book Building games of her memories without knowing it, her personality fractured because of what she is A Voluntary Eradicator A killing machine Nobody took into account that the ultimate killing machines would have little use for a conscience But they did, because they had been cloned and their genetic template had been taken from humans. The killing fractured the new race s personalities, forcing them to create a self that could handle the destruction, the pain, the cold blooded murder.Volera s mind has been manipulated Her memories toyed with And now that she knows, can she pick up the pieces I don t know yet, I have to wait for the second book NENIA hide spoiler I m literally breathless now It s all your fault, Nens See what I did here I have never been so proud and humbled of a graphic cover I made in my life yes, I am responsible for the eerie futuristic eye It in no way rises to the level of awesome of the actual book I have also never wanted to never play any kind of virtual reality game this much EVER I am the furthest thing from a gamer my immediate family is made up of solely females, besides my dad, and video games are something I just watch my best guy friends battle each other at Let s just say I didn t need gaming experience to picture anything Insert freaked shudder Endgame is both almost clinical and chilling in its telling of Volera s so called double life as a Player of VR games and a girl who loses whole blocks of time to fugue states The world building is a little sparse at points, but lush Nens integrates both the VR and real life settings extremely well The simulated forest game reminded me a little of The Hunger Games, actually, as did the omnipotent Regent.Nothing is ever in your face You just kind of read along and suddenly, bam You wonder how Vol isn t catatonic in a ball in a corner I will admit to having sped through the past 60 pages or so in a breathless haze, alternately cringing and weeping a little inside The pacing fit the overall plot very action y, yet allowing us to understand Volera s fears and thoughts One particular line made me think she would ve been a hilarious heroine if it wasn t for her issues Several of the women are eying him with undisguised interest, and a few are even adjusting their clothing so that their features are displayed to their best advantage.Breast advantage, Vol thinks, and giggles.Nens, why you gotta be so dirtayyy 3Oh, and Catan CATAN Yo, Nens, if you turn him into another GM I will kick you in the butt I WILL I guess I ve extolled enough virtues I will stop before I forget to take a shower and become a smelly cat lady But in case you re wondering if my friendship with the author somehow biased me it didn t It might not be a book for everyone, but it surely is a book worthy of non self publication I m expecting the ARC of the sequel tomorrow D Volera is a Player she helps provide entertainment for the virtual reality games that are hugely popular But she can t remember her past, and strange occurrences, nightmares, and blackouts make her think that a particular guy has an unhealthy interest in her.Trying to define my feelings towards this book is tough The first half is so dense, so confusing, so slow It really is pure world building I ll admit, than once I grew frustrated at this book I want to like you I would yell at it Why are you being so confusing to me Why can t you just give some answers But this book reminds me of Dune in that regard you re reading it and wondering, WTF is going on When suddenly, the clouds part and it JUST MAKES SENSE It takes a long time, but when you get to that point, the light bulb turns on and the book pages fly by.And that is my experience with this book I got past that 50% mark and suddenly, I got it I got the characters I got the story Even the cultures and society which had been a stumbling block were making sense That is what picked this up from a 3 star to a 4 star.This book won t be for everyone, but if you like cyber punk and don t want drippy heroines, this is your book.