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The Laboratory

A Futuristic Dungeon Core
Durée : 5 h et 46 min
Prix : 17,91 €
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Description

Emma is an artificial intelligence with a love of science, insults, and devilish traps. When her systems are booted up, she finds herself in control of a long-abandoned facility in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. The world is filled with dangerous threats, granted great powers by the same cataclysm that befell the world.

Emma must balance safety with the desire for test subjects as she brings herself back fully online and stakes out a place in this new world.

©2017 Skyler Grant (P)2017 Skyler Grant

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  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
  • The Nightgaunt
  • 12/12/2017

Ok quality video game fanfic

What made the experience of listening to The Laboratory the most enjoyable?

The Laboratory is very clearly an example of Portal fanfiction. The main character is an AI named EMMA who is a somewhat blatant copy of Portal's GLADOS. The narrator, Gabriella Cavallero, appears to have been aware of this and she does a fantastic job at bringing the character to life. Without Gabriella's performance, I would have rated this title much lower.

What about Gabriella Cavallero’s performance did you like?

Gabriella does a fantastic job giving a voice to the snarky, insulting and generally condescending AI EMMA.

Any additional comments?

The Laboratory is a mishmash of preexisting video game tropes brought together in what feels like a somewhat descent work of fan fiction. I got the feeling that many of the reviews that applauded the author's creativity must have come from non-gamers. The author does a descent job of it, however he fails to truly expand on the "dungeon core" genre. He also fails to bring real life to his interesting yet ultimately 1 dimensional characters. Without the Gabriella's fantastic narration, I would have immediately passed on this book before the 3rd chapter.

To summarize, this is the story of how Portal's GLaDOS awakens with amnesia and discovers that she is the main computer for a Fallout Vault. The fall of civilization was caused by magical mcguffins that resemble a cross between DC comics Mother Boxes and Bioshock Plasmids have granted super powers to many and subverted a number of natural laws.

It's not a bad book but any feeling of logic immediately falls away when EMMA begins using her own Power Cores to upgrade herself and the facility she has been installed in. Rather than devising a quasi-scientific means for these upgrades to occur, the author instead relies on magic. I had hoped that the author would at least fall back on nanotechnology or some other classic sci-fi trope in order to explain things. Sadly he does not, and following one upgrade, a swirl of blue lights instantly converts EMMA's reactor into an Starcraft Zerg looking, organic bioreactor.

The magical Power Cores instantly create rooms in EMMA's facility, they grant superpowers at random, and they operate entirely on video game logic. If you've ever played a Starcraft style strategy video game, you are likely to recognize and roll your eyes at the descriptions of EMMA's upgrade options. These are presented as the classic "pick 1 of 2 upgrades" and "this room costs 50 resources and 5 energy" style of gameplay mechanic. By the end, it feels as though this was an attempt at a novelization of a video game, but the author mistakenly thought that the actual game mechanics such as hit points, ability scores, and levels were an integral part of the story.

I wish that the author had had either the time or inclination to describe anything of the world outside of EMMA's facility, or to go into more detail on the workings of EMMA's facility beyond what upgrades she purchases.

The book falls apart at the end though. The final act falls utterly flat. Enemies suddenly become allies, character motivations are completely ignored, and the primary antagonists that are built up throughout the story are immediately supplanted by sky wizards in a floating castle who appear out of nowhere like the final boss in a terrible JRPG. Finally, the story ends on a massive cliffhanger that leaves little resolved and feels like either a chapter went missing or the author just lost interest at the end there.

That being said, it is a somewhat enjoyable story, but it's not deserving of a plate of cookies. But it on sale but do not spend more that $10 on the audiobook or $5 for the text version.

10 sur 11 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ray Johnson
  • 27/12/2018

Cool Concept

I have been wanting to try some of Skyler Grant’s stuff for a while now, but for some reason I always kept holding off with other books taking a priority in my queque. I’m really sad that I didn’t have an opportunity to get into this book sooner. I really love the Dungeon sub-genre, and honestly, only listened to this because I wanted to review a few different dungeon stories so that I could compare and contrast, because Grant has a few other books that I really want to put my ears to such as Glitch Hunter and his Shards series.

What is really great about this story is that it isn’t set in a fantasy world. It is a post cataclysmic event tale in which reality itself is changing. The tale rockets to a start with a reawakened computer core coming online just as the girl who rebooted her/it is about to be raped. Once that event is dealt with the core and the woman who wants to rule the world decide to join forces in order to see their wishes come to fruition.
One of the best things about the story is that the Computer core, Emma, is not a likable character. This kind of flies in the face of other dungeon stories as Cal from Divine Dungeon, Ryker from Dungeon Deposed, and even Edward from Dungeon Lord all seem to be honorable and likable people. Emma is rude, crass, and seems to do what is best for herself for the most part. This sets her apart from the other dungeon core types. Furthermore, her human companion is really just as single minded and power hungry as Emma is. All she wants to do is rule the world. So, you essentially have two characters who aren’t very nice or sympathetic. That can be hard on a reader. Now, I will admit that the book itself really doesn’t have much character growth, although there are points when Emma starts to question her relationship with her human partner. The book really is just one encounter after another with a boss fight at the end. There were points that it just felt like events happened because something needed to happen, and the oddest thing was the way in which all of these core users just sort of fell into Emma’s scope. She needed subjects, and lo many did appear.

The one thing that sort of fell flat for me was the narration. For the most part, Cavallero did a good job, but when she was not doing a voice for one of the human characters she was very monotone. I don’t know if this was in order to reflect that it was from a machine’s perspective, or if it was just her style of speaking because she did not pace the story like Andrea Parsinaeu or Laurie Catherine Winkel would. It was a direct and matter of fact reading in my opinion, and I feel she could have slipped in some emotion, I mean hell even Data and Spock had inflections when they spoke. Otherwise, she does a good job, I’m just picking at nits.

One of the best parts about the book was the setting, as it is mysterious, foreboding, and not an underground lair in the middle of a magical forest. I really appreciate the change in scenery, so to speak. Not all dungeons need to be magical, and Grant proves that here. In spite of story issues, such as flat characters and some we need a fight scene here moments, I enjoyed the book. I wanted to see more of the core’s world and find out just what had happened that broke the world. I have to be honest. In spite of some flaws, I really liked the book, and I think that the series will get better as it goes forward. I’m going to give this 7.5 stars, it is a fair start for a series, and is well written in spots.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
  • K9Crunch
  • 09/03/2018

Story was not bringing the concept to life.

I thought this would be a fun book as I enjoyed playing the game portal, however the book felt more like a description of someone playing a game instead of bringing the concept to life.
I also did not like all the vulgarity in this book.
The reader did a very good job though.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Peter Watje
  • 07/03/2018

Poor Copy of Dungeon Borm

Read Dungeon Born instead it is much better. This is repeative and poorly written.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Sarah Davis
  • 12/01/2018

There literally is no ending

look I'm a fan of the dungeon Core Series. That's referred to in this book. it's the Divine dungeon series and it's a good read. Unfortunately this book really doesn't have a plot. It's just one combat scenario after another that terminates at the end of a boss battle with no conclusion. Literally are heroes are plummeting through this guy to their Doom after beating the boss and that's the end of the book. And were told by the author that this is a one-off book literally told by the author that this is a one-off book so you will never know what happens to our protagonists because they're falling to their death at the end of the book and this is a one-off book. I was prepared to forgive the lack of plot because it reminds me of books I like but the ending is just terrible. I cannot say this enough there's no ending to this book everyone is seconds from dying and there is no sequel. they won but for arbitrary reasons they're going to die probably maybe unless you talk to you off or into a sequel but she flat out said it's a one-off. That's so stupid

3 sur 4 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • brandon
  • 26/11/2017

Love It

Well all I can say is pure genius!!! I need more lots more can't stand its only a single book and not the series the story deserves!!!

5 sur 7 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Blacksher
  • 24/11/2017

Fun to listen to.

Love living dungeons? You'll love this. It wasn't over the top with action, or upgrading. Nor was it an anime in a book, or a straight d n d theme. Looking forward to the second book.

3 sur 4 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07/12/2017

It's freaking great :D

What made the experience of listening to The Laboratory the most enjoyable?

Emma, the main character is fanatastic and the LitRPG elements are great too ^^

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Laboratory?

Emma pissing off people :D

Which scene was your favorite?

All with Emma (burrrrrrn)

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me laugh ^^

Any additional comments?

If you love GLaDOS you'll love emma ^^

4 sur 6 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • M. B. Richards
  • 26/01/2018

Great listen! Hoping for more!

Great dungeon core story! we need more of this.! Lots more!

Narrator was also absolutely perfect for this character's perspective.

2 sur 3 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • The Office Troll
  • 22/02/2019

Very very bad.

Trigger warnings for attempted rape, violence.

This is a Did Not Finish for me, and a Return, which is something I rarely do.

The narrator did the best she could with this, but it's dreadful stuff.

Book starts with an attempted rape, which is never a good thing. Then she victim literally beats the guy's dick off with a wrench, then bashing in his skull with it. He deserved it, sure, but not a great way to start a book.

The AI main character is mean and rather dumb. Constantly making repetitive jokes at the expense of the other characters. Nothing original or even interesting in it. Just things like "ha ha, going down is easy because you're fat" level of cleverness.

Also, hey, let's torture people to death and bring them back to life! Repeatedly! Why? Because the AI is supposed to be evil? Oh, ok... *sighs*

The other characters are also just flat and boring, as is the lack of world building. Hey, people got superpowers which changed the laws of physics and destroyed civilization? Cool! Tell us more... oh, there isn't more? Just a setup to make it easy to write a book that's supposedly real world, but nothing makes sense? *Sighs*

So, yeah. I tried. And I'm done. I found nothing redeeming in this dumpster fire except for the narration being fairly good.