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The Sensory Deception

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  368 ratings  ·  38 reviews
"I can't believe I ate a seal. And really enjoyed it."
Moments after venture capitalist Gloria Baradaran experiences what it's like to be a polar bear--really be a polar bear--she knows she's found something revolutionary. Farley Rutherford and his team--migraine-tortured neurologist Chopper Vittori and uber-geek engineer Ringo Hayes--have created sensory saturation, a vir
Paperback, 428 pages
Published August 6th 2013 by 47North
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Average rating 3.58  · 
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Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
There is an oft-used TV trope of starting an episode with a teaser from the last scene where one of the series regular characters is about to murder another. The viewer is glued to the screen for the next 40 minutes: what could have led to this situation? How will they get out of it? Or will they?

This novel opens with such a teaser where a woman named Gloria, with camera equipment strapped to her, is being threatened at gunpoint by a man called Chopper while the world around them is on fire. Alt
The novel starts off in media res, already alerting the reader that something shocking is occurring, with anxiety being generated on two different fronts. In a way, this is a shame, because I feel this novel would have been better off simply proceeding from the beginning of the story and gradually building the tension from there. As it is, the author lets us know right from the start that there are people in peril, one of the characters is a smoldering sociopath and the other is imprisoned with ...more
T.W. Fendley
Jan 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Juraissic Park for virtual reality--This has a blend of action and science that reminds me of Juraissic Park. Well intentioned scientists run amok when they take their virtual reality product "real-world."

It's a fast-paced read. I was glad to have it on Whispersync and enjoyed not having to wait for the next chapter while I was commuting.
Jun 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Plot is pretty much amazing and really makes you think. What if you were in their shoes? It really makes you question who you are, your morals etc. Overall, great book and would highly recommend to anyone actually.

*Won from Goodreads Giveaway*
Nov 23, 2013 rated it did not like it
I found I could not relate to the story line or the characters, so I didn't want to continue reading it. Other books were calling me! ...more
The Sensory Deception starts off in media res following a woman named Gloria running from an armed attacker in the middle of a burning jungle. Now knowing approximately how the novel is going to end, the reader can settle into 'how do we get there?'

The main part of this story follows a venture investor working with a virtual reality startup. While there are some scifi elements, the vast majority of the tension of this story revolves around arguing over what - if anything - the venture should co
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can honestly say that this is one of the best books I've read in my entire life. It forced me to feel so many different emotions, and as soon as I finished reading it I started crying. It's been several hours, and I still can't stop thinking about it.

So many sci fi and fantasy books force the reader to suspend disbelief in order to enjoy the story; not so with The Sensory Deception. The entire time I was reading it, I kept thinking about how much research the author must have done before writi
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book which got more intense as the reader progresses through the plot. This takes us into cutthroat world of Silicon Valley in the competition of the virtual reality world. The focus is on sensory experiences from the perspective of endangered species--another cutthroat world of environmentalists and poachers. This is as good as a Michael Crichton or Lee Child action filled thriller and the last chapter will have you on the edge of your seat!
Alejandro Meza
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book!

It was a good read. Read it if you’re into keeping you at the edge of your seat at times.
Gary Nelson
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great twists. A good thinking novel.
Aug 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-books
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Sensory Deception is comprised of a unique combination of novel technology, capitalism, environmentalism, political intrigue, and adventure. Ransom Stephens mashed all those ingredients together, whipped them up, cooked them slowly, and ended up making a delicious entree for readers to gleefully consume.

That being said, the novel is far from perfect, but let me start with the good points.

Virtual reality is right around the corner, with the O
Don Maker
Nov 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
The true purpose of literature, regardless of genre, is to express the human condition and give an opinion on our behavior. “The Sensory Deception” is not what I would call “hard-core” sci-fi, which is to say a lot of cutting-edge or futuristic science that drives a story. However, I would certainly say that it meets my criteria for literature.
The main sci-fi in this story is “virtual reality”, which is fairly old. In fact, I wrote a novel 15 years ago describing pretty much the same thing, only
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a fun, escapist page-turner. The nice thing about this book is that the storyline and characters are just far enough outside of the current reality to be good science fiction, and close enough to current reality to make it feel possible, perhaps even probable...eventually.

So what's it all about? Let's just say that if you mix a beautiful venture capitalist scout, a former direction action environmental activist, an emotionless but totally twisted steel and sex appeal laden neuroscientist
David Ketelsen
Aug 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of the ARC edition of this book in exchange for a review.

The Sensory Deception is an amazing ride. Ransom Stephens takes you from the moneyed halls of venture capitalists in Silicon Valley to the dirt poor coast of Somalia's pirates and then onto the deep jungle of the Amazon Basin. The sense of wonder he conveys using the idealism and technical know-how of the entrepreneurial protagonists is matched by the thrilling settings and the situations in which they find themselve
Vivek Gupta
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
An insightful and invigorating read

The style of writing was really good, the story line ,fresh, just the drawing power of the book fluctuated sometimes and that's why 4 stars. Otherwise if you have patience this is really a book about nature and technology.
Jan 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: b-good
Pretty solid suspense-sci-fi. Not a thriller in the traditional sense, but with both action and a heavy environmentalist message (which was fine). It took an interesting approach to telling the story (largely from a venture capitalist's point of view). While the plot was interesting, I often had a hard time suspending my disbelief -- the main characters go about addressing each obstacle in a very straightforward way, as if conceiving an idea and then just putting in the right number of hours wil ...more
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love the way Mr Stephens lets you get to know all of the characters in his books, not just the main characters. I also enjoy the fact that he can managed to incorporate so much science into his stories and my brain doesn't automatically explode after I have read it. He does a great job of including the information so that most anyone can read it and, if not understand completely, at least grasp the theory. I think Ransom Stephens is a great author and I love reading his books. ...more
Anna Sondalini
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
A book which spins a, verging on unbelivable, tale while highlighting some of the attrocities happening to animals at the hands of humans. What Stephens writing lacks in reality and plausibility, it makes up for in dazzeling detail, page turning story, and indepth and challenging issues of our time.

I strongly recommend this book to anyone who is wanting to go on an exciting thrill ride to educate the masses and save loved ones.
May 27, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
YUCK! Not my thing at all, the writing is hard going, very short sentences reminiscent of Dan Brown. I'm not interested in the subject of the story so far and none of the characters have grabbed my attention at all. I got 10% of the way through and wondered why I was wasting my time so I gave up. (I never give up on books, although I did give up on The Da Vinci code too) I'm sure someone else would enjoy this but really not me. ...more
Rachel van Huyssteen
Nov 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
I finally finished it!!! This book was outstanding, It had strong characters and storyline that kept my interest throughout. I also was amazed and intrigued by the technology that we could possibly have in the future-it blew my mind. Ransom Stephens has one heck of an imagination. I really enjoyed this read-If you like animals and technology, you got to read this book. Jeff Tucker
Jul 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I received a pre-released copy of this book so I could write an article about it. I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was! The first half of the book was a little slow, but gradually picked up speed. By the end, I was riveted as a flurry of nonstop action took place, keeping my nose buried in the book until I reached the last page. I highly recommend this book.
Jan 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
The first half of the book is slow, with a lot of time spent on the workings of venture capital and startups in Silicon Valley. The second half provided much more action and excitement. However, most of the characters felt shallow, and a lot of the situations stretched belivability to, if not a little beyond the breaking point.

This a fun read once you get past the tedium at the beginning.
Russ Dick
Mar 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very cool tale

Many stories are variations of a common theme maybe set in a different time or place or age or sex but very similar. This story is a well told, unique one. The characters are interesting and different and the pace of the book is quick. Highly recommend this book to readers looking for something different and creatively and compellingly told.
Aug 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Great concept, nice storytelling, but it dragged quite a bit in the middle and I almost didn't pick it up again(too much detail/trying to cram in too much?). Fortunately I did, as the last 1/5 of the book finally picked up the pace and tied back to the initial chapter! ...more
Jeff Raymond
Oct 04, 2013 marked it as unfinished-reads
This book has a really interesting, cool idea, but ultimately lacks that interesting punch that would keep me engaged. Less a sci-fi book and more a procedural in a way, it's not a condemnation of the book as much as something that wasn't keeping my interest. ...more
David Pomerico
Nov 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of my books at 47North. Biased, but love it. Science thriller that felt a little bit like Stephenson's Zodiac meets Crichton's Disclosure. For me, as much as I loved the science, I really got caught up in the world of venture capitalism. ...more
Sean Randall
Nov 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
I found the immersion here overwhelming in its intensity. while I couldn't get into Chopper's head, I was still able to appreciate the layered writing and complexity of the task facing the characters. A very well-put-together work and I'm buying his next. Now. ...more
Randy Ramsey
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read for geeks

Great read for geeks

Entrepreneurs, virtual reality, mind manipulation, venture capitalists, and silicon valley. What more could geeks want out of a story? loved it with a slight disappointment at a weak last few chapters.
Doreen Dalesandro
Apr 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Genre: fiction
Rating: 3.25
I listened to this book.

I thought this book was sci-fi. I would not classify it as that at all. Too much about venture capitalists and starting a business for my liking.

Jeff Cummings does a great job narrating.
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At what point do you give up on a book? 1 1 Jun 07, 2015 11:12AM  

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Author, speaker, and physicist, Ransom Stephens writes fantasy, science fiction, and popular science. His high concept fiction puts characters that make you laugh and cry at the center of conflict.

His latest, The Book of Bastards, is a rollicking, bawdy fantasy of chivalry and revenge. It comes out on January 14, 2020 and the e-book is being sold for $0.99 only as pre-order, on the launch date it

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