The Immortality Game by Ted Cross

Moscow, 2138. With the world only beginning to recover from the complete societal collapse of the late 21st Century, Zoya scrapes by prepping corpses for funerals and dreams of saving enough money to have a child. When her brother forces her to bring him a mysterious package, she witnesses his murder and finds herself on the run from ruthless mobsters. Frantically trying to stay alive and save her loved ones, Zoya opens the package and discovers two unusual data cards, one that allows her to fight back against the mafia and another which may hold the key to everlasting life.

A little about Ted first:

Ted Cross is from Arizona and has spent the past two decades traveling the world as a diplomat, all the time dreaming about writing fantasy and science fiction. He has visited nearly forty countries and lived in eight, including the U.S., Russia, China, Croatia, Iceland, Hungary, Azerbaijan, and the Bahamas.
He has witnessed coup attempts, mafia, and terrorist attacks, played chess with several world champions and had bit parts in a couple of movies. He is married with two sons and currently lives in Nassau, Bahamas.

Elkin Hardcoves’ Review: 4.8-Stars

At first glance, the immortality game has all the classic elements one would expect with cyberpunk: virtual reality; a dystopian future; direct human-machine interface; and all the issues that come with these consequences.

Cross does an excellent job of demonstrating how past actions lead to present consequences, and how those consequences lead to the mess that the protagonists find themselves in. The focus is however on Russia, not on a country in the western hemisphere. The other major difference is the characters.

Take Zoya, a Russian girl who is a mortician, a loving daughter, whose world is turned upside down by her brother’s actions; but who despite all the terrible things that happen to her, even though it puts her life in danger more than once, remains concerned for her friends and family.
Then there is Marcus, a recent Ph.D. receiver in nanotechnology, who’s a survivor of an addictive virtual reality program who turns out to be far more than he thinks he is. The pair of them navigate a world that has become far more than they thought it was: all thanks to the consequences of greed and technological development.

If you are a fan of Cyberpunk or of the style of science-fiction that contains many of the genre’s elements, then you will certainly enjoy this work.
I give the work 4.8 out of 5.

RA Winter’s Review: 4.8-Stars

Billed as a sci-fi techno-thriller, this one doesn’t disappoint.

Moscow, 2138. While at work, Zoya’s brother stops by with a simple request. Deliver a small package. This takes Zoya into a hell of her brother’s making. Murder and death follow her, beginning with her own brother.

This is full of technology that honestly, could be the future. People communicate wirelessly. Chips are inserted into their necks and all the knowledge available is at their fingertips.

Of course, there are those who decide to live in a dream world and get addicted to virtual reality.

Marcus lives in the US, with his mother who is addicted to virtual reality. She shut down after her husband’s death and prefers to live in a dream world, where her friends are near.
Marcus fulfills his father’s dream of earning his doctorate. Only his father has uploaded himself onto the web. Somewhere in Russia, the key to bringing his father back to life has been activated. Marcus travels to Russia under false pretenses to search for the technology.
War plagues the world. The military is after the chip that Zoya has, and they will stop at nothing, including murder to get it back. Marcus has to get the technology before them or his father will never live again.

I read part of this on my phone I also listened to it on audio. I think if you’re into listening to your books, start out with this one by reading it, just so you understand how the ‘links’ to wireless chat is used, then you’ll be fine.

I found no formatting issues with this on my phone, nor heard any type of errors on the audio. It was a very engaging and deeply involved story. Well worth the page count, there wasn’t any run-on plot or info dumps. Very well handled intro into a new world.
I love the cover too.

An engaging thriller, well written and enjoyable for anyone.

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