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The Complete Atopia Chronicles by Matthew…
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The Complete Atopia Chronicles (edition 2012)

by Matthew Mather

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804150,606 (3.05)2
Member:PhaedraB
Title:The Complete Atopia Chronicles
Authors:Matthew Mather (Author)
Info:PhutureNews Publishing (2012), trade paperback, 552 pages
Collections:Your library, to be deaccessioned, Fiction
Rating:***
Tags:science fiction/fantasy

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Complete Atopia Chronicles (Volume 1) by Matthew Mather

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The Atopia Chronicles is the first in a two book series. It's a Science Fiction novel and it is set in a floating land, that man-made for the rich. It's a land where electronics are advanced and people have their own PSSI systems installed. It's like a holographic image that can do just about everything. You can send images of yourself to different places, basically enabling you to be where you need to be, leaving you and your physical self, to do what you want to do.

You see news that you can set to only the types you want to hear about, you play games where it installs a copy of yourself into the game making it seem like you are actually there and playing in real time. You can have PSSI holographic babies, making it possible to see what it would be like having a child, without the responsibility that comes with having a human child so that you can see if you are ready for it and so much more. It's quite complicated and something you really need to read in the book as you go along.

My feelings on this book changed as I went through it, leaving me in the end not knowing how to truly rate this story properly and give it justice when I was writing my review. There were so many thoughts and one book that I was glad that I had wrote numerous notes on as I went along.

The novel is wrote in short chapters, which jump between people. You can have one character in one chapter and then you can jump to another character in the next and that's the way it is all the way though the book. It gives you a glimpse of each character and what's happening in their lives at that time. The more you read, the more you find each person's stories integrating with each other, this is where the first problem lies for me, which I will discuss a in a short while. There is complicated descriptions of the PSSI system, which I can see is needed to some extent to give the reader proper understanding of the PSSI system, but for me that's where another problem lies.

The problems with the books are the overly complicated descriptions that seem to repeat themselves as you read, which left me speed reading through them to get to something interesting. I found myself zoning out when reading the descriptions and it was hard for me to focus on reading and not get distracted by something else. The short glimpses of each character, swapping and changing all the time left me not getting to know the main characters enough to care about them at all or even get to know them. I seemed to get to know and care about the characters that only featured briefly in the story more than I did the others. I felt like there wasn't enough work done on making fully diverse and interesting characters and developing them properly so I wasn't invested in them at all. I didn't care what happened to them and for me, that's a let down. With so much going on and so much emphasis on the PSSI system and getting to know that, being invested in character's would have made the story so much more interesting for me to read. The final problem I found was the repetitiveness. You read about the PSSI and some plot related stuff in one person's viewpoint and later on you seem to read about the same stuff again in someone else's viewpoint in as much detail as this first time you read it. It left me skimming through those parts too and wondering why I was reading something that I had already read before. I can't see the reason for the amount of repetitiveness there was throughout the of the book, even if they were in someone else's viewpoint. When I already know what happens in that scene. It could have been removed or written differently so that it didn't seem so repetitive. It's the main reason I wanted to put the book down and not finish reading it so many times. I persevered anyway and it left me wondering why I even bothered when I got to the end. The book is basically just a long-winded way to set the scene and get to know Atopia and the PSSI system. I was also unsure if I wanted to continue to read The Dystopia Chronicles (Atopia #2) too or in fact, any other things from this author at all.

I liked and commend the authors work in writing this book. If you can look past the repetition, it wasn't a badly written book, just badly set out. I can appreciate the amount of time, effort and work that was involved in writing a book like this. The plot itself is really interesting and that's what made me read more. The technology that they used was interesting to read for a while and get to know what possibilities it has, even though it obviously has its flaws too.

If you are a fan of Science Fiction novels and revel in the complicated descriptions of the advanced future technology then this book is one for you.

I am rating this book 2 1/2 stars out of 5. I was so unsure on the best way to rate this book and I don't usually rate a book with a half of a star, but I felt it fitted perfectly with this book. The problems with the book for me, were too great when all looked at together to give this book a full 3 stars, but the two stars seemed too harsh considering I finished the book and the amount of work the author has done to make this book what it is.

Free with Kindle Unlimited ( )
  Sarah-LFBookReviews | Jan 31, 2015 |
ABR's full The Atopia Chronicles audiobook review can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

Here we are in a bleak future where we are using all of our resources (big surprise) so some brilliant people come up with the idea of Atopia. A place where you can go and live how you want getting all of your pleasures fulfilled. And I do mean … all of them! But you have to be careful what you wish for!! With differing points of view for each story it is very easy to see and understand how the character of that story feels. I was immediately caught up in the storyline from book one and enjoyed most how Matthew Mather ends these. A bit evil (right up my alley).

Book one and two really caught me and I think there was a real moral lesson to be learned in them, as in this entire story, but those two stuck with me all the way through. It helps that every story starts at the same time and I got to see some of the characters that I’ve come to know. Each story gives a little more depth, and then a bit more so by the end I was able to see how they intertwined.

The audio for this was fabulous. I loved that this has different narrators. There are so many characters that NOT having multiple narrators may have bogged the voices down, but as it is I was able to interpret the voices very easily. It also helps that at the beginning of some of the chapters in later books we are told who is giving their point of view. Also, sometimes I feel like an audio would be better read in book form, in this case with the differing characters and the great production, hands down suggest audio all the way.

Audiobook purchased for review by ABR. ( )
  audiobibliophile | Aug 29, 2014 |
This book is not nearly as good as the reviews lead you to believe. It is a collection of short stories that are, apparently, connected. Story one is about a woman who wishes her reality away... probably a better concept if we cared about the character, or could accept her being stupid enough to do what she does in the story. She is supposed to be a professional, and yet... her choices are ones an 8 year old would know better than to make.

Story 2... was just dumb. Sexist and flat characters who don't do anything other than discuss how unhappy one of them is. I think this is supposed to contain a moral, but I don't know what it is. Unless it is that having children won't save a relationship.

Book 3 was okay in that it was kind of interesting at the start, but, by the end of it (and remember it is short so I shouldn't have had enough time to be annoyed), you have heard about 20 different possibilities which are just more variations on a theme. The story is too short to add extra scenes just to show how "smart" the author is in thinking up another possible time line.

Story 4 is by far the worst. Very lecturey on the nature of virtual reality and the main character is just a stereotypical 20-something entitled boy. Who is described using drugs in a manner that someone who has never used drugs might describe.

All in all. Waste of time and money. The concept could have been interesting, but the presentation by this selection of 4 stories certainly didn't express the concept very well. ( )
  crazybatcow | Apr 8, 2014 |
Può la somma delle parti (quelle lette perlomeno) essere minore delle parti stesse? In questo caso sì perché le storie singolarmente si salvano con un colpo di scena finale ma il volume completo è un mattonazzo che mi è risultato fortemente indigesto.
E' composto da 6 storie collegate tra loro, ne ho lette 4 bene e le ultime 2 con l'avanti veloce giusto per capire dove si andava a parare.
Ci sono buone idee e molte potenzialità, purtroppo i personaggi mi sono risultati insopportabili e nel complesso non avevo alcun desiderio di proseguire la lettura, quindi onestamente lo abbandono.

Blue Skies ★★★
A Olympia viene prescritto l'uso del pssi system per superare lo stress e evitare ulteriori attacchi di panico.
La donna però evidentemente odia interfacciarsi con la tecnologia e pagherà molto caro il disinteresse, l'incompetenza e l'ignoranza in materia.
Ho trovato Olympia estremamente insopportabile e il finale della storia altamente prevedibile; comunque abbastanza è avvincente.

Chilplay ★★★.5
Il sistema pssi è ben radicato in Atopia e il comandante Rick Strong incita la moglie, poco integrata in una nuova colonia, a usarlo anche per testare la vita con un bambino "virtuale" prima di provare ad averne uno reale.

Timedrops ★★★.5
Il protagonista della storia è ossessionato dall'idea di sfuggire alla morte e sfrutta i sistemi pssi per simulare le varie linee temporali fino a trovare quella utile; per questo motivo molte delle sue azioni sono prive di significato se non quello di appartenere alla corretta linea. Si viene anche a scoprire che questa storia scorre parallela alle precedenti.

Brothers Blind ★★★.5
In questo episodio sono protagonisti due fratelli, Bobby e Martin, il primo dedica la sua vita a giochi multiplayer su sistemi pssi, mentre il secondo non ha gli stessi interessi.

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May the sum of the stars (the read ones at least) be less than the single part stars themselves? In this specifica case is possible since the single stories gets better in the ending thanks to a coup de théâtre, however reading one after the other may result quite boring.
There are 6 connected stories (not the Cloud Atlas way), I've read 4 of them and the last 2 in a forward approach to discover the ending.
There are good ideas and lot of potential, unfortunately the characters are mostly umbearable; overall I had not the slightes desire to go on reading, so I honestly left it partially un-read.

Blue Skies ★★★
Olympia needs to use the pssi system to overcome stress and to avoid panic attacks.
The woman clearly hates to manage technology and she will pay her unconcern, incompetence and ignorance.
I found Olympia utterly annoying and the story's end highly foreseeable; however quite engaging.

Chilplay ★★★.5
The pssi system is now used in Atopia and Commander Rick Strong suggest his wife to use it, also to test life with a virtual kid before having a real one.

Timedrops ★★★.5
The main character wants to avoid his death, so he uses the pssi systems to simulate various possible futures until finding the correct one for living. For this his actions can be meaningless despite the fact that they belong to the correct time-line.
The reader discovers also that this story happens simultaneously to the first and the second ones.

Brothers Blind ★★★.5
The protagonists of this story are two brothers, Bobby and Martin, the former one dedicates his life to multiplayer games on the pssi system, while the latter one has quite opposite interests. ( )
  Saretta.L | Mar 31, 2013 |
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