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This is a somewhat scary vision of the future of how a virtual world could become of a reality to us than our actual lives The first person narrative and engaging voice drew me in right away Ramsey Isler gets to the point from the start, a big tick from me Told in retrospect so we know that our hero doesn t come to a sticky end The story revolves around of a new computer game, Arcadia, which hackers are tapping into to gain access to player s lives and livelihoods Enter the investigating journalist, Miguel Naciamento, to get the story and unearth corruption behind the makers of the game But Miguel Naciamento has other motivations, he wants another Pulitzer, however, he gets than he bargained for Nobody was revealing the story of how the world s most advanced video game system had been infiltrated, and how the lives of its users had been affected Most of all, no one was reporting on a key component of this story thousands of people were still playing in ARCADIA despite the risks A vast underground network of gamers defied the warnings and kept playing They were determined to experience all that ARCADIA had to offer hackers be damned The story continues when he goes to get information from one of the creators of the game, Ivy Yeun The Genius She was the innovator behind most of the ARCADIA system Ivy is the character that I sympathized with the most She invented the Frankenstein monster and has no control over the thing she created And is now paying the price Also, her introduction promises some kind of love interest Ivy gave me that skeptical glare of hers again So you re saying a bunch of CEOs got together and decided to hack my shit When Miguel is sent a headset anonymously, the virtual action really starts to kick in He becomes hooked on playing the game and so did I Thanks to the detailed descriptions Miguel discovers things in this unreal environment from other players hackers and meets a user in the real world, who vows to help Miguel and Ivy to get to the truth Which, I found to be a rather good way of discovering the facts When we learn that Miguel could be in mortal danger from playing the game the tension was heightened and the narrative pace took off.I thought this book was well written There was good action and pace after the initial backstory The author has created a very believable scenario with a hint of prophecy about it that I liked It really could happen and not in the far too distant future It seems that the author is suggesting that our addiction to such escapism can be a dangerous thing, not only for the individual, but society as a whole Perhaps Ramsey Isler is warning us to relax our dependence on computer technology for work and play.But the story itself was a bit slow to get started Ramsey deals with the main characters life history for too long in my opinion Since it starts with a good plot that I was keen to follow, I was a bit miffed when the narrative concentrated on his past I felt such background information could have been introduced gradually as part of the ongoing storyline The dialogue in general was okay However, I thought that the conversations between Miguel and DR Carter were there just to get in the technical stuff The long sections of dialogue to explain all the technology behind the games, came across as rather too contrived and not all that that naturalistic But, I didn t mind it too much because it was necessary for non tech computer fanatics like me to have this information in order to understand the storyline My guess is that the hackers could somehow be using the proxy system to pretend that they re actually the real players, and using that as a method to get access to sensitive accounts via impersonation I see So it s just a really complicated virtual reality identity theft Something like that, Dr Carter said There are some great descriptions of the how the game works, with good sensory details that made the game come alive on the page I was hooked by the premise of the book and liked the chatty style that made me warm to the Miguel character Because Miguel doesn t know how the game works, he like the reader, discovers intrigue and plots as the action happens, which made the narrative feel fresh and compelling However, I thought that some of the characters were not very well thought out Often characters seemed to be there as vehicles to get the story told, rather than being part of the action around which the story unfolds Which meant that for me, there was a little too much exposition and not enough action to develop and move the narrative along Having said that, I think this is a cracking story and although it did read a bit like a journalists research notes rather than a fleshed out narrative, it is a great and exciting read It kept me hooked and I really wanted to know what happened next The ending was satisfying and intriguing All in all a really good, intelligent read With a plausible plotline. Review by Harmony KentOn behalf of The Review BoardGHOSTS OF ARCADIABY RAMSEY ISLERScience FictionArcadia is the most technologically advanced gaming system ever developed It reads neural signals from user s brains and replicates them, and the user s every response, within the game arena The players don headsets, which are linked to every other headset in existence A player can even make a proxy, an exact replica of themselves, to play for them when they are unable to be online These proxies learn from the actual player, and develop their persona from the information gathered Then things go wrong, badly wrong Millions of dollars go missing in smaller amounts syphoned off from user s bank accounts Dead player s proxies still exist, and interact, within the Arcadia platform Investigative journalist, Miguel Naciamento, picks up the story and manages to track down the game s creator, Ivy Yeun Together they attempt to identify the hackers, and work out just what went wrong.Okay, so, a certain amount of fanfare needed for this one Ghosts of Arcadia is the first book, ever, in the history of me reviewing for The Review Board, to be awarded 10 out of 10 stars by my good self Or my bad self, for that matter Believe me, I m a tough reviewer, so full marks from me is quite an achievement winks.The plot, pacing, character development, world building, and prose are all excellently done The narrative is tightly written and has been edited and proofed to a very high standard There are some very minor editing quibbles, but seriously not anywhere near enough to matter The Verdict This is a fairly short book, and I read it in a couple of hours I m not a science fiction aficionado, nor a computer geek, but I understood everything presented to me kudos to the author for that I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and would highly recommend it to everyone who likes a good sci fi, or who is into computers and or gaming I award a strong 10 out of 10 stars or 5 out of 5 , and will be looking out for from Ramsey Isler. An interesting book, and an interesting look into virtual reality The book isn t a mystery, which is good Otherwise I d start off by saying something like my major problem with the book is that I knew what was going on, what the big reveal would be, seconds into starting to read it That thought only got mildly shaken once, but only mildly When a sort of red herring that wasn t a red herring got tossed up that makes a certain amount of sense, but only if I go into spoiler territory.So It s the future, an unspecified future The best I can say is that you the reader of the book, though addressed as if reading at the same time the book took place , would need to contact your great grandfathers to get an idea of what libraries are where and what they meant Because now they are just vaults With books made up of non digital things They don t get resupplied, because paper books are banned now I m not actually sure what generation was mentioned Father, grandfather, great grandfather searching, searching, okay, the word father was not used Parents was If you re under the age of 50, you ve probably never been to a library, they went out of style when your parents were just kids Okay, so one generation back As kids So whatever that means in terms of how far into the future it is now That s really the only clue to the date Nothing really seems that advanced, technologically.Okay, I got side tracked Some near far future time zone Virtual reality game that involves wearing a head set and being in it makes it feel as if you are there In person Feel the sand beneath your feet Feel the water caressing you Etc etc Not exactly a new concept But this new gaming system died almost before it could spread to take over the world Because this seemingly unhackable system was hacked And 20 million has been stolen 20 million is almost nothing now I can t imagine how little it would be in this near future.The main character is a fella whose skin is darker than a summer tan some tan so lightly they look darker than normal but barely out of caucasian, others just turn lobster red, still others brown so deeply that, in eras when black people got shot on sight, they would get shot so I m not exactly sure what that colorful phrase really means darker than a summer tan Got distracted again Main character, likely a black fella like the author which is important in certain ways I won t go into, is a reporter with Unwired His biggest obsession is Pulitzers He figures his next one will be gotten by writing an article about ARCADIA from an angle no one else is covering So he investigates.Oh, I mentioned a problem, if this was a mystery, which this isn t, well I ll mention another which is still a problem there s a little too much information being provided Especially from the point of view of a tech reporter Also, the number of times this is than gaming got tossed around annoyed me As if that s some new thing, a virtual world that is than just a gaming platform That s kind of been there since the beginning Heck, I remember a virtual reality I wandered around inside of back in the early 1990s Based on my university No game Just that Then, of course, there s Second Life There s games inside it, but it itself isn t a game But, bah. Ramsey Isler s Ghosts of Arcadia is a pretty quick 124 page read.I IMMEDIATELY became engrossed into the story within the first 3 paragraphs Video Gaming WHO KNEW Citing how I am a VIGILANT Gamer, I KNEW that Ghosts of ARCADIA had to be No NEEDED to be Special.Miguel Naciamento is certainly in my honest opinion a brilliantly made character within the pages of Mr Isler s story His child like wonder is triggered when he tries out the ARCADIA Gaming System for the very first time via the headset that belonged to his old college professor Dr Julius Carter, in order to better understand the situation at hand He becomes enad with the Gaming System and understands why it is so addictive after a few minutes of play.While doing his homework on the ARCADIA Gaming System and doing his assignment geared to the matters surrounding the console, he meets a few interesting characters along the way who have their own stories that assist Miguel in a MAJOR WAY As the story continues to move forward, several astonishing revelations are discovered that may very well give Miguel a different Point of View as to the reality of the situation.This review is going to be Sonic The Hedgehog Quick.I NEVER expected a concept of this level as far as a premise, and I was PLEASANTLY SURPRISED The narration, description of how the game was presented textures, interaction, colors, non repetitive nature, etc as well as played was VERY good There was even some humor as banter was flying about between the characters.As far as I could tell for the story flowed beautifully like GOOD Whiskey in a glass , I saw and noticed no flaws If there were ANY flaws, it was lost in Mr Isler s rich storytelling and fast pace When a story moves THIS WELL and catches my attention immediately, I am a VERY HAPPY reader.EXCELLENT JOB However I was hoping for a few pages because the story is That Good In that aspect, I was a bit heartbroken yet satisfied with the end result at the same time.Video Game Aficionados REJOICE Ghosts of ARCADIA is an outside of the box story that may VERY WELL become a reality in the Right as well as the Most Capable of hands As a reader and a reviewer, I certainly plan on reading this story again and again, JUST SO I can see the imagery as vividly as it was described between the covers Take a Bow, Mr Ramsay Isler Inspiration for a New Wave of Futuristic Gaming IS At Hand, and You may have VERY WELL Sparked something within a Genius who is reading your story I like this authorbecause of how well he writes, the interesting semi subtext, his life like characters, and the story which is good, even if a little predictable I hope to see of his work Keep up the good work, sir. I am a huge fan of video games Ghosts of ARCADIA called out to me With great anticipation I dived in.If there were any flaws in syntax, there were super slight Tense stayed the course throughout Very pleasing to the eyes All of the characters from the professor to the proxies commanded my attention There was not a single one that didn t have a purpose, whether small or huge I loved Miguel s investigative tenacity It felt extremely realistic, and I was able to connect with him right away Ivy was definitely a female to respect shrewd and smart, although components of her search for the truth made her a bit reckless at times Sandy s candor and know how reminded me of some of the gamers that I know in real life.Mind blowing is the closest I could come to describing the amount of detail involved in this work The gaming terminology was spot on yet you didn t have to be a gamer to know what was going on with the story One of my favorite parts was the trips Miguel took in the virtual world It was reminiscent of Stephen King s The Lawnmower Man in tackling the subject of virtual reality Yet there was something so personable about that world I was just like Miguel, learning the lay of each environment There were moments where I would pause, just to soak in the adventure before continuing to read.I almost didn t want this to end yet when it did all I could do was nod For me, the lingering effect was of an advantage than deterrent I say this because it was unexpected and it left room for the narrative to say What if or To be continued I was also extremely thrilled it wasn t one of those instances where it was hugely predictable or cookie cutteresque.This is one of those works I would be proud to have a paperback copy of if it were available in that form I ll just have to be content with having it in my Kindle. Review to come &FREE PDF ✓ Ghosts of ARCADIA ↟ The Greatest Video Game System The World Has Ever Seen Has Been Hacked ARCADIA Was The First Platform To Offer A Complete Simulated Reality Experience Using Direct Brain Scans To Trick The Gamer S Senses And, Importantly, To Read Their Minds To Know What They Wanted To Do Next It Was Hailed As A Breakthrough The Most Innovative Invention Since The Television It Sold Out In Record Time Then The Hackers Started Stealing It Started Simply Enough Just A Few Users Of The ARCADIA Game System Had Their Bank Accounts Infiltrated, And A Little Bit Of Cash Went Missing But The Problem Grew, And Hundreds Of Thousands Of People Lost Money The FBI Got Involved, And ARCADIA Headsets Were Taken Off Store Shelves Miguel Naciamento, Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist And Hedonist, Has Taken On The Story Of ARCADIA Determined To Find The Hackers, Miguel Becomes Entrenched In A Mystery That Involves An Androgynous Hacker, A Veteran Government Specialist On Cyber Warfare, And Even The Creator Of ARCADIA As Miguel S Investigation Leads Him To The True Source Of The Hacks That Brought ARCADIA To The Brink Of Destruction, He Makes A Discovery That Proves That ARCADIA Has Become Advanced Than Anyone Could Have Imagined, But He Ll Have To Fight Hard And Face His Own Fears To Ensure That ARCADIA Survives To Fulfill Its True Potential