High Fantasy: The Feedback Loop, Volume 3 (Unabridged)
by Harmon Cooper
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The action-packed third book in the Feedback Loop Series! Quantum Hughes and the Dream Team dive to Tritania, a JRPG fantasy Proxima World filled with dragons, orcs, floating continents, and magic. With the clock ticking, and his problems in the real world growing, including his legal troubles and his blossoming relationship with Frances Euphoria, Quantum is forced to make a decision that could change his life forever. The stakes are higher than they've ever been. Steam, The Loop, Tritania, and the real world - four worlds collide in the third installment of The Feedback Loop Series.
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“High Fantasy” is book three in the Feedback Loop series written by Harmon Cooper and narrated by Jeff Hays. Today, there exists seven books available in the series, at the time of this review, three are obtainable in audiobook format. A little birdie told me more will be coming. Like the first and second books, this one take you on a Literary RPG (LitRPG) journey to yet another world full of fantasy and other interesting items. This place, as the title suggests, is a world consisting of high fantasy creatures, weapons, and action. Cooper once again blends humor, romance, action, friendships, and intrigue into in interesting continuation of the main character’s life story; Quantum. If you are a lover of the genre, or are looking for a light-hearted adventure with a band of unique players and quests, I recommend you jump into the series and enjoy. This is a serial adventure, so you will want to pick up the previous two books prior to jumping into book three. The mayhem continues and is even bigger and better in the third book.
If you have ever wanted to witness someone getting pummeled by a selfie-stick, our you sought to have a weapons dealer called Dirty Dave supply all your armament goodness, this book is for you. Quantum (or Q), is the same character from the other books in the series. This guy has major anger issues and always gets himself and other in trouble by trying to solve nearly any crisis by murdering everything around. Here again, Quantum needs to depend on his deep friendships to often get him out of the many sticky situations and help calm him down. He begins to lean that violence is not always the best answer, but it has worked for him in the earlier books. He is still torn and at times confused because of his earlier experiences in the virtual worlds and how the physical world continued to blend the lines between real and virtual. High Fantasy drops you right into the action and adventure one has grown to expect from this author. However, book three is even more intense than the previous ones. Although it was briefly referenced in this book, I would fear Quantum enter the virtual Barbie world; no, please no…
Because you have already listened to the previous two books, you will come to know the many quips and humorous references the author employs. You will be presented with quotes and references from multiple movies, TV commercials, and overall gaming geeky goodness. On top of all the humor, we get to meet a frog king, vegetarian dragon, orcs, princess, etc. You will also get various character types, different classes, and clans, you begin to see how fun and involved this book becomes. Not often do you get to hear the word spelunking (caving) used in a high fantasy story, in this book you will. The book pokes fun at the many MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) around level upgrades, the need for experience points (XP), and the many variations on both white and black magic. For example, multiple times one hears the ethereal trumpets blown upon a character’s next level up.
Experience all of the above but add a few troubles our characters are required to deal with in the physical world along with a few from previous virtual worlds. We have mobsters, a visit back to Steam, and even a return to the Feedback Loop’s original world. All of this is complicated even more by an overzealous FDA agent attempting to limit Quantum’s calorie intake to enforce the regulations implemented limiting world obesity. However, when I’m done with each of the books in this series, I often find I’m craving many of the comfort foods enjoyed by our main character. A nice hardy breakfast, Indian food, and burritos are all in my wants when these books are completed.
As with the previous two books, Jeff Hays does an exceptional job narrating High Fantasy. My major complaint is that at the time of this review, I now have to wait for him to find the time to work on narrating the remaining books in the series; no pressure, but I’m looking forward to the next in the series already. Jeff takes his audiobook narration seriously, and that is reflected in all of his works available on Audible. His ability to narrate the many different characters and keep them ordered continues to amaze me. His strong ability to also voice female characters is a definite plus in this series, and Mr. Hays does it flawlessly. It is rare that I find any fault with his narration, and this book is nearly perfect apart from a slight echo sound in the first chapter. This could have been caused by the conversion process, but it seems more like a subtle configuration that was discovered and corrected early in the book. His narration is still way above what other have come to accept as the norm so do not let this small ding drive you away from listening to such a good series.
A word of note to parents and younger readers, this book is intended towards mature audiences. It contains some frequent use of vulgar language, crude humor, sexual innuendoes, and more than more detailed romantic scene. This is not saying the book is rated adults only, but be aware that there is adult subject matter included and if this is something that easily offends, I recommend you pick up a different series to listen too.
If you have been a fan of the previous two books of the series thus far, you will want to grab this book to continue the adventure. The writing is very similar to the previous ones; however, this book is more on steroids with additional humor, characters, and antics necessary to save the day. For someone looking for a series in the LitRPG genre, you cannot go wrong picking up and starting this series.
Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.
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*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Jeff returns to continue with the series as narrator. Cool! I've grown to know the voices he's assigned the characters and enjoy the vast cast he can voice in a book with this many characters that speak. Totally mind blowing! It's great to hear. He also has Quantum's personality locked down, along with all the characters we've grown to enjoy. Another amazing job in vocals and audio.
Quantum likes a challenge, like trying to attack and kill with unconventional weapons in the loop. lol. Him and Aiden have a great friendship. I have enjoyed Aiden, aka Morning Assassin from the first book. I'm glad we get to carry on with many of the secondary characters that are created for in games. You wouldn't think they would have personalities, but goodness do they have them. And Quantum's interaction with them brings them to life.
Frances isn't as highly present in this story as previous one. But she still knows how to play Quantum in what needs to be done. In listening to the audio book, we can hear and get the feel of the excitement of Frances on the pain medicines in the hospital. And see her interact with Quantum in the real world. But with her accident and not diving into the loop it opens the opportunity for us to meet and interact with other members of The Dream Team. We do get to spend time with Zedic Woods. Zedic seems rather cool when we meet him. And he's in a band, which we get to "see". I like him thus far.
Oh, the FDA guidelines for foods and drinks. lol. This is terrible. The government regulates types of food and amounts one should eat. Quantum doesn't follow these guidelines and hears about it constantly. It's a continuous battle for him to get what he wants. It would get on my nerves too. I feel Quantum's irritation when he reads these emails as I'm irritated for him.
Other than fighting with the FDA, Quantum seems to be settling into real life. He's not as sassy. He seems to have found the balance in fighting in the Proxima worlds and living. We get to see Quantum interact with more people, and he does well.
I feel we get a closure to one piece of the story with Quantum. With his Proxima world he's lived in for eight years and finding Strata Godsick. This book also leaves open the next mission started here, finding Strata's son. We are left looking forward to the next book with plans of what they are to do.