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Omnitopia Dawn (Omnitopia #1)

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  691 Ratings  ·  128 Reviews
A near-future techno-thriller from New York Times bestselling author Diane Duane.

In an increasingly wired and computer-friendly world, massive multiplayer online games have become the ultimate form of entertainment. And the most popular gaming universe of all is Omnitopia, created by genius programmer Dev Logan. For millions of people around the world, Omnitopia is an o
Published August 3rd 2010 by Tantor Audio (first published July 22nd 2010)
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Dec 04, 2011 Marlene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the middle of the first chapter of Omnitopia Dawn by Diane Duane, I kept thinking "I've played this book". Not "I've read this book", but "I've played this book", as in there's a game just like this. And there is. The beginning of the book is from the perspective of a player in an extremely immersive massively multiplayer online world that is so detailed that at first the reader doesn't realize that the perspective is inside a game. Then, he steps back into "real" life, and you realize he was ...more
John Carter McKnight
While not without at least one serious flaw, Omnitopia Dawn is wonderful, classic sci-fi, and deserves a bigger readership than it's seeming to get.

This is an easy book for "if you're a fan of... you'll like..." - the game company Omnitopia (located right next to the ASU campus, and I'd give limbs to work there!) is so reminiscent of early Kim Stanley Robinson's utopianism that I dreamed about him last night. The black hat/white hat thriller plot driven by strong (if stereotyped) characters is
Aug 03, 2010 rivka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who know what an MMPORG is
Recommended to rivka by: Jacqueline
While not an MMPORG player myself, I know a fair bit about them from my geeky RPing friends. (I'm geeky but not RPing, if you see the difference.) That may make me the perfect audience for this book. I suspect actual gamers might object to some of the details.

Published in 2010, this book is near-future, set in 2015. Some of the "future tech" is already obsolete (who has a PDA anymore? just use your smartphone for that), but overall the near/alternate-future is fairly believable.

From fairly early
Jun 03, 2014 Cass marked it as hibernating  ·  review of another edition
This book is badly written, but it is like a train-wreck, I can't look away.

My response to chapter 1:
I was a gamer when I was in my mid-20s. My husband and I would spend every spare moment gaming. One day in the middle of an 8-hour raid one of the other players apologised for being distracted, his children had just came in and bothered him.

I was horrified. He had children and had spent 8 hours game playing with people that he did not know.

For me game-playing is something done by people with plen
May 10, 2011 Dan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: signal

This book describes a conflict between a Good CEO and a Bad CEO; each of them own large companies which run MMORPGs. Corporate America being what it is, the Good CEO and the Bad CEO don't directly interact; in fact all we see of the Bad CEO is a couple of scenes in which he introspects about how guilty he feels because he knows he's a bad person.

(In fairness, a decent chunk of the Good CEO's screen time is taken up with the author narrating how awesome it is that he's such a nice pe
Oct 24, 2010 kvon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had some problems with this book, resulting in a slog through the first three hundred pages. The bad guys are all way too evil, of the twirling-mustache type; the good guys pretty unalloyed good. Lots of business talk which is important but does nothing for me. Very few of the characters change or grow in any way--off the top of my head, I can think of Arnulf and Angela, and Cora, and that's about it. (Not counting Delia, who may change after the action but was mostly being reacted against.) I ...more
AE Michels
Jan 04, 2014 AE Michels rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had no idea this book was coming. In fact, I found it completely by accident--a serendipity that completely turned my day around. Disclaimer: anything Ms. Duane writes, I read. That said, I like to consider myself a pretty good judge of literature after almost forty years' practice!

The product description gives a decent synopsis of the plot's frame, but it leaves out how rich the characters are, how complex the game is, and the many threads that go to make up the story. If you like what Ms. Du
It's fun, it's light, it's got glowing trees and swords made out of code.

I was skeptical when I learned the book was about a MMORPG, since that story has basically been done to death, but I held out hope that Duane would surprise me with something new. Unfortunately, there's no new story here. She spends most of her time establishing her cliched characters, the good-guy-corporate-man and the bad-guy-corporate-man. I do like the Omnitopia universe, standard-issue as it is, though its world-build
Oct 18, 2010 Wayne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wayne by: Gloria
Shelves: fiction
I'm a big fan of Diane Duane's Young Wizard's series. This is the first "adult" book of hers that I've read. I can see a lot of similarities in her themes between this book and the Young Wizard's series.
This book takes place in 2015. An online game called Omnitopia (think World of Warcraft meets Second Life times 100) is about to update to its latest release. The main characters are the owner of the company and an experienced player who has just been given the opportunity to create his own littl
Shanshad Whelan
I liked this story just fine, and I'll probably read the next installment with some enjoyment. But I think it's important that reader's coming into this story know what it is not. It is not an uber-geek exploration of VR worlds and tech. In fact it spend relatively little time on tech and on how the worlds work inside the game--most of it is spent on character and on how cool the games are. There's some neat stuff here, but if you're into gaming on the techie side, this probably will seem a bit ...more
Sep 18, 2011 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another story partially set in an MMO. Basically a story of industrial espionage culminating in a hacker attack against the game world. I like Duane's writing and have read a lot of her books, but I'm finding her characters are becoming more and more two dimensional. The good guys are all very similar - personable, competent, inclined to breezy flippancy while they heroically do this or that, never showing the smallest character flaw. Maybe this is a byproduct of all the young adult books she's ...more
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Oct 26, 2012 Schnaucl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure why, but I expected more of the novel to take place in-game. I was expecting it to be more like Ready Player One. The game sounds like it would be fun.

The main focus of the story is actually on getting a new expansion released and the stock price of the company releasing the game. It's actually more interesting than it sounds because a lot of it does play out in-game.

It's not as good as Ready Player One but it was entertaining.
Jan 04, 2014 Luann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This started out a little slow, and took forever to introduce all of the major characters. But most of the characters felt real to me once I got to know them, and I think I'm going to miss them now that I've finished the book! I enjoyed this world, even though I've never really done any gaming like this. The aspect that really fascinated me was the happy work environment with all the loyal employees who loved their job and felt like an important part of a team creating something really great tog ...more
Apr 04, 2016 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is likely a gamers dream book. It has everything, VR, WOW like community and gaming, game characters from every genre. At its heart, this is a revenge novel with conflict between competing software developers. While not exactly well written, I was riveted to the story and raced through it. I listened while at work yesterday and kept missing my breaks because I didn't want to pause the narrative. Great book.
Aug 24, 2013 Chip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this at the recommendation of someone that said this book was a better written "Ready Player One". Unfortunately I can not agree with that assessment. The writing was OK but the story isn't too similar to Cline's novel. It seems the virtual reality world is almost a background element to this book. It is more about corporate espionage in the digital age. It is missing the identifiable hero. And the ending (last two chapters) is disappointing and takes a big 180.
I had to roll my eyes so often and so hard while listening to this audiobook, folks around me probably think I have some kind of nervous tic.
The good guys in this story are so perfect, so righteous and so very honest it gets kind of ridiculous.
There are no grey areas or moral ambiguities, leading to dull and boring characters.

It's a shame, really. In more capable hands this could have been quite epic.
Aug 30, 2010 Janet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction, 2010
I so want to play online in the Omnitopedia worlds. Sounds like a combination of WoW and Second Life and something bigger. What variety and what fun! I flew through this book, it sucked me right in and I was even okay with the ending. Can't wait for #2.
Apr 30, 2016 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable. I would love to work for that company!
Oct 06, 2012 Tagra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
That was certainly a story! I'm not really sure what to say about it.

The book is about a MMORPG that is on a level past what we see today. People actually log into it as a virtual reality, and within the world there are little sub worlds of different themes and game types. In many ways it's like the internet itself with various web pages, except the pages are worlds where people take on roles. Most of the ones described are your typical fantasy tropes with orcs and elves and swords, but it passe
Jan 24, 2017 Marissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
If you've read Diane Duane's Young Wizards series, you should know that this book is going to give you severe déjà vu. Instead of the real world, our protagonists maintain and defend a virtual world, Omnitopia, but much else is the same. Even the opening act, wherein a regular old MMORPG player is "knighted" in-game, is pretty much identical in tone to Nita's being chosen to be a wizard.

But hey, you read DD for her plots, right? She doesn't do exquisitely minute character studies; in point of fa
I have given this book a single star, for being based on cool ideas. I have taken away four stars because it was written in the voice of a suburban aunt.

If you are looking to Omnitopia Dawn to serve up blockbuster virtual reality fun (like Ready Player One or Snow Crash), you will be sorely disappointed. Yes, it has the MMORPG fully immersive virtual world. It has online battles, and real-world corporate intrigue. The similarities end there.

Omnitopia Dawn features a saccharine main character, vi
Patty Sandekian
I listened to the book while commuting between work and home. The story line was confusing at first and I almost stopped listening as it was divided between 5 different people. It grabbed my attention about half way through the book as it finally linked the different people.
I seem to be coming across a lot of books recently where the author is clearly a very good writer, but the book is only ok. This is another. I don't play, nor do I have any interest in, MMORPGs (don't have a problem with them, it's just not my thing), so the glut of fiction books about them the last few years doesn't speak to me. I picked this up because it was available through the library ebook system and I liked the cover art.

This book is slower than molasses. I get that it's the first book
Alex Telander
Dec 02, 2010 Alex Telander rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the style of Michael Crichton at his absolute best, blending gripping science fiction with a harsh, believable reality; bestselling author Diane Duane brings the incredible Omnitopia Dawn to life, combining the world of a massive multiplayer online game like never seen before, with an the exciting world of corporate gaming and intrigue. If you’re any sort of tech geek, or just like playing video games, Omnitopia Dawn will suck you in and never let you go, making you forget worrying about that ...more
Dec 29, 2016 Ozma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I spent the whole time expecting AI and didn’t get there until maybe the last ten pages, so that was disappointing. I was pleased by how engaging the characters were despite being cliché cardboard nerds and possibly well-known real-world computer developers in (poor) disguise. I was very pleased by the visual effects of the virtual world and its code.
I mean, if you want this book, read Epic by Conor Kostick. Then you’ll actually like the characters, understand the game, have a plot to follow, an
The Unfanboy
Cyberspace ain’t what it used to be. In the era when William Gibson coined the term (it’s another one of those useful SF neologisms, like tanj) readers imagined that navigating the Internet would someday become a transcendent experience, its own reality. But thus far logging on has proven to be somewhat more mundane. That’s not because we don’t have awesome virtual reality goggles, but because it turns out that most people want to use the Internet to augment reality, not replace it. We use Fours ...more
Diane Duane’s Omnitopia Dawn is the first book in the Omnitopia series. It starts out slowly. I tend to take notes while I read, and my notes this time read, “don’t read while sleepy”; I found that out the hard way.

I think of Omnitopia Dawn as cyberpunk without the punk. There are virtual offices and meeting spaces, technology that allows you to feel and smell as well as see the virtual spaces around you, and so forth. When the characters fight against hackers, much of that fight takes place in
Jul 18, 2013 Willow rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This is my first Diane Duane book, and I definitely enjoyed the experience. She does a fantastic job immersing you in her world, and I think this work will speak to gamers everywhere.

My initial perception wasn't stellar, since it started out a little slow and each of the first three scenes showcased a different point of view. I didn't really develop an attachment to any of the characters up front because we spent so little time on each.

About halfway through, however, I was completely caught up.
MB (What she read)
Aug 05, 2010 MB (What she read) rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gamers? Techies?
Basically it seemed to be about industrial espionage, an attempted corporate takeover, in and about cyberspace with a 'surprise' at the end to set up for the next book. I know that's not a good synopsis. Sorry! I found this book fairly confusing.

Since I have little knowledge of gaming and my tech knowledge is minimal, I had a hard time with this book. But the plot is interesting, the characters (although very thin) are full of potential, and the story ended intriguingly so I'll probably try the
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Diane Duane has been a writer of science fiction, fantasy, TV and film for more than thirty years.
Besides the 1980's creation of the Young Wizards fantasy series for which she's best known, the "Middle Kingdoms" epic fantasy series, and numerous stand-alone fantasy or science fiction novels, her career has included extensive work in the Star Trek TM universe, and many scripts for live-action and a
More about Diane Duane...

Other Books in the Series

Omnitopia (2 books)
  • Omnitopia: East Wind (Omnitopia)

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