Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Feedback Loop by Harmon Cooper - Book Review

 

Synopsis
Stuck in a virtual dreamworld called The Loop, a man named Quantum Hughes struggles to free himself from a glitch that forces him to live the same day on repeat. His life changes when a mysterious letter arrives one morning from a woman named Frances Euphoria, the first human player he has made contact with in a very long time. Once Frances appears, members of a murder guild known as the Reapers begin surfacing in The Loop, hoping to capture Quantum or worse -- kill him. To further complicate matters, The Loop itself is doing everything it can to stop Quantum from finding the hidden logout point by turning everything in the virtual dreamworld against him.

With time running out, will Quantum break free from his digital coma before he's captured or killed by the Reapers? Who is Frances Euphoria, and what does she actually know about how long Quantum has been trapped?

The Feedback Loop Series takes place thirty years before the Life is a Beautiful Thing Series. It shares the same world, but is a standalone series that focus on dream-based virtual reality worlds and the people who are trapped in them. The next book in the series will be called Steampunk is Dead, and will be released in the fall.


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My Review
The Feedback Loop is one of those stories that's a bit hard to describe. It's also not a book I would ever find myself reading or enjoying as much as I did. It definitely surprised me, and I love when books do that.

Imagine yourself stuck inside a Grand Theft Auto-esque video game, but rather than playing it and logging out when you're done, you're stuck inside it, unable to change things. Like Bill Murray in Groundhog's Day. Or Fox Mulder in the X-Files episode titled Monday(which is one of my favorite episodes, by the way). It becomes your life. Rather than doing the missions and changing things up, you're doing the same, mind-numbingly violent things day in and day out. Like stealing a car, running over some people, getting the cops hot on your tail, and then either dying by your own hand or having them kill you. That's how I pictured the setting of The Feedback Loop.

Quantum Hughes is the main character in the story. He's been living the same events of the virtual reality world he's trapped in over and over again for almost two years. Needless to say, he's becoming increasingly bored and frustrated. He also has a some serious issues with violence. He feels like he's destined to spend the rest of his life dealing with the same NPCs (non-playable characters) and doing the same old things without change.

Enter Frances Euphoria. That's all I'm gonna say. When she arrives, Quantum's life inside the game will never be the same.

So, as I stated above, this normally isn't the type of book I would usually read. However, The Feedback Loop is well-written and engaging, and I found myself sucked into the storyline, eager to find out how the book was going to end. Other than a few errors here and there that could easily be fixed with some editing, I rather enjoyed the book and would definitely recommend it to anyone and everyone. Even if you're a bit hesitant like I was, I can guarantee you'll be pleasantly surprised by how good it is.

There's action, suspense, drama, and a hint of romance, too. You'll find yourself flipping through the pages, anxious to see what might happen next. Definitely a unique read. I rate it four stars!





About the Author 
Harmon Cooper has published stories in several literary magazines and has sold books in several countries around the world under a different name. He hails from the land of six flags, and currently resides somewhere in Central Asia. Desiring a return to self, he developed the Life is a Beautiful Thing series, several short story collections, and a few stand-alone novels to be published by Boycott Books.These works are designed to cross the line, raise questions, entertain, inspire, confuse, frighten and above all, they are meant to represent the work of an author who is tired of pigeon-holing himself.
With this in mind, stay tuned for exciting, genre-bending releases as time stumbles forward. Keep reading happy people.
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