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Vicarious: A Science Fiction Novel
Vicarious: A Science Fiction Novel

Vicarious: A Science Fiction Novel


4.40 (176 ratings)
The real world is only where you breathe…
In High Earth, entertainment is everything. Virtual worlds, hyper-realistic simulations, endless streamable content—there’s something for everybody. You don't ever have to leave your home.

For Asher Reinhart, nothing compares to Ignis: Live, a reality show that pushes human beings to their very extremes. As a volunteer director, he closely monitors the lives of those living on an Interstellar Ark who falsely believe they're the last of humanity out searching for a new Earth.

Mission is the show's brightest young star. Born in hiding, her intelligence and near-perfect genetics have allowed her to rise up the ranks faster than any before her. But now that it's her turn to provide for the Ark, everything changes...

With Mission's life placed in danger in order to boost ratings, Asher must choose between protecting the show he's dedicated his life to, or the woman who has been the focus of his attention since the day he was born.

Vicarious (adjective): Experienced in the imagination through the feelings or actions of another person.

Ready Player One meets The Truman Show with a dash of The 100 in this science fiction story about the power of human connection, from USA Today Bestselling and Nebula Award-Nominated author Rhett C. Bruno. It’s perfect for fans of Hugh Howey, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Kass Morgan.

Vicarious is also available on Audible, narrated by Wil Wheaton (Star Trek: TNG, The Big Bang Theory) and actress Katherine McNamara (The Stand, Shadowhunters, Arrow).


"Bravo" doesn't begin to cover it.

I don’t say this lightly, not the least of which because I don’t want Rhett’s head to explode by inflating his ego. Vicarious is as close to a perfect sci-fi story as I have ever encountered. It was as achingly a tale as The Forever War, as enthralling as Hyperion and as masterfully crafted as Ender’s Game. I can give it no higher honor than to say it truly deserves to be read by anyone who enjoys not only science fiction, but stories that show what it is to be human: to have dreams, to do wrong, to seek redemption and, most of all, to love.

Twisted VR World

I read Vicarious for pleasure, wanting a change of pace back to my genre interest in SciFi.

This is not an easy book to digest. From a complicated setting in an artificial world, to the character’s involvement in Virtual Reality and Reality Show entertainment, to banishment outside, the line between real and imagined is difficult to draw. People’s very lives and quality of living depend on the odds of surviving contrived events. Even casual spectators can die in a VR catastrophe sparked in error.

I’ll give the author full credit for taking on this complicated story line, as well written as possible. I actually

Luke T. Barnett
Lots of info dumping on a potentially good story.

This was a very interesting plot idea. However, there was a lot of info dumping. Every chapter was filled with it. The story moved along and progressed, but one has to slog through a lot of world building. Otherwise it's a fine story with believable characters. Narration is very good.

A beautiful strange love story the

The story was well developed and had believable characters. I couldn't stop reading till the end. I know this story has more to say. Hopefully it will.

Virtual IS Reality

Thank you to NetGalley, Podium Audio, Rhett C. Bruno, Wil Wheaton (narrator), and Katherine McNamara (narrator) for the opportunity to listen to Vicarious in exchange for an honest review.

I used the NetGalley Shelf app to listen to this audiobook. Part of my interest in requesting id the big-name narrators who have done a number of other audiobooks that I adore. They are brilliant voice actors and really bring the characters to life. I feel that, because of the narrations, Vicarious is better as an audiobook.

This is a fantastic science fiction novel with a complex world. It was a bit hard to get into at first, as there is quite a bit going on and not a lot of description or explanation. The reader kind of figures it out along the way and has a general idea from the book blurb. This story takes place on High Earth, not quite the world as we know it. This world is full of technology drowning out what life once was. People divulge in all forms of digital entertainment, such as virtual reality, simulations, and of course television shows. Asher is the volunteer director of a show called Ignis. In this show, people believe themselves to be the last of humanity and have a very interestingly organized world structure on an interstellar ark. The catch? It's a reality TV show featuring really people; they have no clue they are being watched for the entertainment of a mass populace of human beings.

Mission is destined to be a mother on Ignis. This isn't quite what he wants, and she can't even be with the person she is in love with. That's just not how this society operates. When an explosion occurs on the interstellar ark, Mission finds herself in quite a bind.

Asher has an obscure attachment to Mission, and when she is in real trouble, he will do whatever it takes to save her, even if it goes against the regulations of being the show director.

This book is fantastic for dies-hard sci-fi fans, but if you aren't too into the genre, this book would be very hard to approach. As I mentioned, there is quite a lot going on and it can be a bit hard to follow at times, but the premise is quite interesting and made for an intriguing read once my brain was able to organize the information accordingly.

Kindle Customer
Well written SciFi

I don't often read sci-fi because I sometimes just can't wrap my head around it. This book is the exception. It pulls you in right from the beginning. The characters are well thought out and developed. The story basically is about the haves and the have-nots and virtual reality.

Very entertaining

Took me a few chapters so figure out where this was going but it turned out to be a great story. Really loved the 2 main characters although it wasn't easy at first. Excellent narration as well especially the Katherine McNamara. Wil Wheaton was just okay...same as always for him. Recommend this story though. I enjoyed it.

Scott Pepin
An excellent opera

3 seemingly different worlds, all connected more closely than they realized.
Excitement, from start to finish, with an unexpected twist.