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Level Zero (The NextWorld #1)

3.61  ·  Rating Details  ·  270 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
When the never-ending wars, pollution, and overpopulation of the near future have caused the outdoors to become uninhabitable, the government is forced to create a new world, a virtual existence that allows civilization to continue. Shopping malls, schools, concert venues, and religious gathering places all exist in the infinite confines of this new reality, yet the most p ...more
Kindle Edition, 298 pages
Published November 6th 2011
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(showing 1-29 of 626)
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Nov 09, 2011 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
I have read all of Knuth's published books now, and I have to say, I believe he has outdone himself with this one. No, I am not a young adult, nor do I participate in gaming; however, I found myself reading voraciously and well into the night (OK, two nights).

I have always enjoyed dystopian books. This is one of the best of the hundreds I've read throughout my lifetime, and I'm well into my fifth decade. Knuth's ability to develop his characters goes beyond amazing. His plot ideas are amazing.
Eric Mesa
Dec 19, 2015 Eric Mesa rated it liked it
I understand what Mr Knuth was trying to accomplish with this narrative. While the plot twist was neither original nor unpredictable, it really wasn't the point of this story. In fact, while reading I was thinking this book would warrant a 1 or 2 star rating. It took a long time to get anywhere and seemed to be too meandering. I figured that's because it was book one of a series and we weren't going to get a conclusion. But no, this book stands alone just fine.

In the end, the book earned 3 stars
Victoria Zagar
May 26, 2013 Victoria Zagar rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, young-adult, gen
I picked this up when it was a free download on Amazon.

This was a very enjoyable book. Rich world building and a great cast of characters made me forget that this story about being trapped in an online video game probably isn't the most original idea. However, Knuth makes this story his own by the end with some clever twists and turns that I completely didn't expect. The action is fast paced and never leaves the reader bored.

If I had any complaints it would be that the editing really slipped by
Parham Doustdar
Jul 17, 2014 Parham Doustdar rated it it was amazing
This book delivered. In fact, it delivered more than I had expected.

I knew there was a twist, and I suspected the most hurtful one. However, I didn't expect the author to follow up with it. He did, though.

The ending was a bit weird, but I'll just pass that off as the author's attempt to teach a lesson to the reader; a very valued lesson indeed.
Mar 25, 2016 Lynn rated it liked it
Shelves: video-games
I really want to give this book 4 stars, but I can't. There were multiple mistakes in spelling and grammar (on the order of a few dozen, at least), so this sort of felt like a late-stage manuscript that was due for a round or two more of copy editing before it went to the press. There were also a few inconsistencies (one that bothered me was the fact that only one player had a certain status effect, when probably it would've been all of them equally). The plot also had some really weird pacing t ...more
Level Zero was an interesting take on teen dystopian. In this particular world, overpopulation became such an issue that people were basically herded into incredibly tall apartment towers. The towers seem to be pretty tiny, but that's okay. Nobody lives in the real world, anyway. They all live online, in a virtual reality world, logging off only to use the bathroom and eat a gooey "vitapaste" that has all their nutritional needs in it. Our hero, Arkade, would stay logged on for the rest of his l ...more
Jan 04, 2015 Robert rated it it was amazing
"Brilliant" is perhaps the most overused word when reviewing a book. Yet, this time I am unable to say anything else: this book is simply brilliant.
I really like the character development, especially when it comes to Arkade.
The plot is absolutely believable and enjoyable, even for those who are not familiar with MMORPGs. Well done!
May 07, 2013 Derek rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It reminded me of Ready Player One in some regards, which is one of my all time favorite books.

I loved the world created within this virtual reality, and as a gamer, I loved the plot.

I may have felt that the story took some easy ways out here or there, but that does not change the fact that it was a very interesting story, and it kept me engaged the whole time.

If you're into gaming, virtual reality, or like similar books, you will like Level Zero.

I look forward to
Tammy K.
I'm struggling to find the words to describe this story. I am not an author just a reader so here's my review short and to the point.
Get this one! It's a dystopian like no other.
The characters find themselves locked inside a combat action, virtual reality game and must learn to work together in order to escape.
as I read this story I found myself lost in their world with them, climbing the mountains, slaying the Dragon, cheering for their victories and feeling their losses as they lost team mate
Peter Ravlich
Aug 01, 2014 Peter Ravlich rated it really liked it
Level Zero was an enjoyable YA pageturner, making good use of gaming tropes and a solid storyline. I found protagonist's voice a little offputting at times, and slightly less room for character development was probably necessary, but the vivid environments and backstory outweighed this personal concern.

Many typos and grammatical errors were present in the version I read, although the electronic version lends itself to revision, and these would be easily addressed. Aside from a couple of "broken
Sean Randall
Jul 12, 2014 Sean Randall rated it it was amazing
This was brilliant. Frustratingly, my ereader trashed my highlights so I can't point out the most epic bits in as much detail as I'd like, but that just means I have to ramble on a little more aimlessly than usual.

The dragon, of course, that was such a rush, and the way that battle ends was both poignant and very meaningful. I did feel that the ending of the book came a little suddenly, but the revelation before the last bit of the mission was very neatly done. I suspected, but I suspected ever
Mar 28, 2015 David rated it really liked it
As a gamer, it feels a little strange to read a book about games. I've never played an MMO before, and I never plan to, but this book is all about the MMO (that's Massively Multiplayer Online for those not in the know).

It takes place in a future society were humans have overpopulated the planet. With so many people and so little space, the digital world is the only place where people can socialize, work, live, and do just about everything. Through the use of a technological marvel called the e-
May 17, 2013 Pam rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-free
Free on kindle...A very fast read, 1 night. I liked it, maybe because i like games. I think i would have really liked a longer adult version. The first half of the story (the build up, learning of their world) was the best part for me. A fun story for YA and all. Thank you for the book.
Kaotickitten Box
Aug 21, 2013 Kaotickitten Box rated it really liked it
Good book. Was a fast read. If you like dystopian fiction and need something quick but can put down to do something arround the house. This is a good one.
Stacie Herbert
Jul 17, 2013 Stacie Herbert rated it it was amazing
As a Girl gamer I feel in love with this concept. It was an easy light read fun and fast paced.
Michael Brookes
Oct 17, 2013 Michael Brookes rated it really liked it
This book managed to deceive me (in a good way!), at the beginning I thought 'nice idea', but it had a bit of a trashy feel to it, as if pitching at the lowest common demoninator. However as I progressed I realised there was an interesting and quite philosophical thinking going on beneath the text. I appreciated it even more by the way it kept it as subtext hidden beneath a gamey and fast paced action story. Unfortunately it slightly spoils it by explaining everything near the end, but it still ...more
Oct 15, 2015 Karsyn rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
I usually don't rate books that are a DNF but I felt like I could with this one. It was a DNF at 47%.

The setting and storyline was great, which makes me even more pissed off that I couldn't finish this book. I enjoyed what was going on and the actual plot a ton.


And that's a big but..

the characters were HORRID. I couldn't take them anymore. I'm still pissed off at these horrible characters that ruined what could have been an enjoyable story.

There's a selfish whiny MC, his crazy religious nut
May 11, 2014 Charlotte rated it liked it
I know on kindle it was free and was going to give the story 4 stars, but when you are dangling off the edge of a mountain and people keep swapping falling with anoher person onthe top I think it needs some editing.

Fantom basic language "Yeah, like whatever cowboy, yo." not realy much point to it for the whole time but i get that she is contrasted to Xen. Few spelling and gramma mistakes too but ready player one is better. Fantom gets written off with no story at the end, annoyed me a bit but ca
Feb 19, 2015 Danyel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: story-bundle, 2015, gamer
The weakest of the gamer genre books I've been reading recently. Regardless, I picked up the sequel. It has potential; let's see where it goes.
Jun 23, 2016 Wolfgarr rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can see why the author stopped writing and dropped this series.
Was a good decision.
Mar 19, 2015 Anchor rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This wasn't terrible, although it really had a "Young Adult" kind of feel to it. I picked this up because I was told it was similar to Ready Player One, which I thought was a really fun read. This was kind of similar but it left a lot unexplained and the characters were overly simplistic at best and annoying at worse.

It was a quick read and was mostly well written, but I don't see myself continuing in this series.
Dec 26, 2013 Tim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
For all fans of computer gaming and MMO's, this is an excellent read. It's just like being inside a expansive MMORPG with an amazing cast of characters, technology and real human emotion. And the chapters are in binary; a total geek-out for computer nerds. Being a fan of videogames and computers I loved this book from the very beginning and couldn't put it down. Game geeks and computer nerds alike will certainly enjoy this book.
Feb 19, 2012 Al rated it it was amazing
Very good book. I loved the world he created. Very action packed.
Apr 22, 2016 Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: litrpg
pamela hamilton
pamela hamilton marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2016
Paige Canetto
Paige Canetto rated it it was amazing
Jul 26, 2016
Steve Martinson
Steve Martinson marked it as to-read
Jul 26, 2016
Stephanie Halm
Stephanie Halm rated it really liked it
Jul 26, 2016
Heather Turiello
Heather Turiello marked it as to-read
Jul 23, 2016
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Jaron Lee Knuth was born in western Wisconsin in 1978. Suffering from multiple illnesses as a young child, he was forced to find an escape from his bedridden existence through the storytelling of any media he could find. Science fiction and fantasy novels, television programs, films, video games, and comic books all provided him with infinite worlds for his imagination to explore. Now he spends hi ...more
More about Jaron Lee Knuth...

Other Books in the Series

The NextWorld (2 books)
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