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Soda Pop Soldier

(Soda Pop Soldier #1)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  544 ratings  ·  103 reviews
Call of Duty meets Diablo in this fast-paced, action-packed novel from the author of The Wasteland Saga.

Gamer PerfectQuestion fights for ColaCorp in WarWorld, an online combat sport arena where mega-corporations field entire armies in the battle for real world global advertising-space dominance. Within the immense virtual battlefield, players and bots are high-tech grunts,
Paperback, 360 pages
Published August 12th 2014 by Harper Voyager
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Showing 1-30
4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  544 ratings  ·  103 reviews

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Chris Berko
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
More like 3.5 rounded up.
Let me preface this by saying I am in no way shape or form a video game player. I think the last game I played was the original NES Mario Golf in the early 1990s where I had to blow into the cartridge in order to get it to work. That being said this was still fun and had a lot going on but it did become somewhat repetitive in parts and some of the references probably went over my head without me ever knowing they were there. I did love the ones I did get though, and hav
May 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First - I was given an advanced copy by Harper Voyager US for review.

Well Nick Cole does it again with another fantastic book. Basic summary: In a future world where video games have become not only the top way to be entertained, they are a way to make a serious living. Big money is made by corporations such as ColaCorp and WonderSoft. Gamer PerfectQuestion, our hero, fights in the WarWorld game. Times are tough for our hero with rent due, his girlfriend may or may not be in the picture but to m
Jun 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Occasionally getting free books in return for an honest review feels like taking candy from a baby. For example: I received an eARC of this book from Harper Voyager as a member of their Super Reader program so that I could give said honest review. (yeah, it's pretty sweet.)

I'm obviously the target market for this book, as I connected with it on multiple levels. I'm a big fan of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series (not so much the Black Ops) and am currently ranking my way up the Hardcore lad
Oct 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
An enjoyable quick read, although not terribly original (Snowcrash, Ready Player One and others have covered similar ground before). Surprisingly different from (and much lighter than) Cole's previous The Old Man and the Wasteland (which I also enjoyed). Interestingly, that too was a somewhat derivative work (apocalyptic Old Man and the Sea crossed with A Canticle for Leibowitz). I liked them both, but am curious to see if Cole's next work might be something that doesn't immediately make me desc ...more
WTF Are You Reading?

Nick Cole's Soda Pop Soldier, is so much more then its rough and tumble "gamer saga" synopsis leads one to believe.
Yes, it is about professional gamer Perfect Question's bid to survive in a world ruled by the all mighty advertizing dollar.
Yes, he has just lost his girlfriend, and is about to lose his apartment, if he can't find some way to come up with his rent

Yes, his scotch and sodas have consisted of much more scotch, and much less soda as of late, but what does that mean...real
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
First off, I love me some Nick Cole. When I heard he wrote a novel similar to RPO, I was on it like white on rice, peanut butter on jelly...Like duck fat on french fries. You get the point. Cole can write, this is just a known fact. He creates worlds that you will fall in love with, characters you will laugh and cry with and plots with just enough twists and turns that will keep you coming back for more.

SPS is a Call of Duty/MMORPG/Puzzle game (I believe the new coined term is MMOPUNK) that has
Sean Randall
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This was incredibly exciting, and it almost felt like reading 2 stories in one as our hero moves from war to Black and back again. He's no saint, is our PerfectQuestion, but it's evident from the off that Cole's not painted his trigger-happy hero as a dumb jock. The literary, historical and philosophical references alone are enough to raise this novel from the depths of small-time publishing into the big league, but the frenetic pacing, sheer picture-perfect combat and deliciously appropria ...more
Soda Pop Soldier essentially takes the e-sports concept (DOTA 2, Starcraft, etc.) that offers the promise of making buckets of money by playing video games to talented gamers, and mixes it up with a heavy dose of corporatization (well, a heavier dose than it already has) and a heaping serving of teenage boy wish fulfillment.

Read the entire review on my site Far Beyond Reality!
Michael Rutherford
Sep 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Great book, but I am not sure about the Diablo reference in the reviews. I'd say more World of Warcraft.

I liked this story I would love to know more of the back story.

(view spoiler)

I enjoyed this story and I hope that Nick will write more in this universe.
Timothy Ward
Very entertaining adventure through the life of a future gamer who faces extreme odds of survival in game and out. Our gamer, PerfectQuestion, is the leader of a ColaCorp professional first person shooter team who is losing game after game to a big time team in WonderSoft. The cost per loss are major advertising slots for WonderSoft and if his team keeps losing he'll be out of a job. The story starts out with some pretty cool Call of Duty type action, mixed in with Question's rocky relationship ...more
Sep 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, war
This book is so not my type. It's about gaming, and I am not a gamer. It's about military warfare, and I don't like reading about military. I read this book for only one reason - Nick Cole wrote it. I have thoroughly enjoyed everything else of his I read so I held on to the hope that his writing would overcome my dislikes. My bet paid off although I will admit I didn't enjoy it as much as the Wastelands Trilogy, his Apocalypse Weird stories or the more recent The End of the World as We Knew It.

Apr 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
This novel consists of two interwoven stories, both partly taking place inside computer games, and both centering on one character, a professional gamer whose personal life is on the edge of falling apart.
In this world, corporations stage televised combats, inside games, for advertising rights and perhaps other intangibles. The gamer whose tag is PerfectQuestion is one of the leading video warriors for ColaCorp, a company that is badly losing a war to another company. Why and how are they losing
Gary Close
Oct 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Soda Pop Soldier, like a well shaken soda, explodes with action as soon as you open the first chapter. The title does grab you and within a few pages the writing and the storyline grab you -- and then there is nothing for it but to keep reading, and reading, and reading into the wee hours of the night. The mark of a good story is that it has its own internal logic that you, the reader, accept as reality. And that certainly happens in this book. But, besides the action and the uniqueness of the p ...more
Steve Beaulieu
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Ladies and gentlemen, this might be one of my favorite books I've read to date. It may not fall into the depths with Tolkien or Lewis but it soars high above the masses. It is entertaining, exciting, creative and ambitious. Having not read every book written, I can't give credit to originality, but it was original to me.

If Freddie Wong (rocketjump, Video Game Highschool) had the perfect material to create his next groundbreaking work this would be it.

I didn't know what to expect from the start
Christopher Boore
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Soda Pop Soldier has to be one of the best books I’ve read in the 2014/2015 span so far. First person shooter, MMORPG, noir-style, thriller, the list goes on-and-on. Ready Player One was my first stepping stone into Gamer-fiction and while it was very well done, SPS blows it out of the water. At times RPO felt very heavy with overdone nostalgic references, Soda Pop is nothing like that. There are only a few references to existing products everything else is created solely for SPS’s world. Nick C ...more
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
What an excellent book! If you loved Ready Player One by Ernest Cline then you will absolutely love this book. It is made of similar stuff and it follows a bit of the same theme. In the future advertising rights are decided in virtual war. Professional gamers are paid by corporations to wage virtual war with the winning side getting control of real life advertising locations, in other words if you want your ads on the jumbotron in Times Square then you better have your virtual army keep control ...more
Brian Palmer
Nov 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
As I was thinking of a book to compare this with, the one that came to mind is Cline's Ready Player One; both are set in somewhat, not dystopian, but rather disappointing futures, as if the edges of cyberpunk have been worn down into a sad existence while techno marvels are everywhere. But, unlike Ready Player One, this is focused on an adult who actually has a pretty strong sense of self and is already making video games his living.

The plot drives the story, as the at-risk-of-losing-his-job lea
Oct 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Soda Pop Soldier was an immersive experience from the opening screen. Nick Cole draws metaphors from a lifetime of PC gaming, military service, and literary history. I was drawn into his multiple worlds immediately - personally having entered gaming with pong, Zelda, Myst, and Doom. With a nod to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and Stephen King's Dark Tower series, Cole's unique struggle between light and darkness twists through seemingly divergent games and the character's own futuristic post-dysto ...more
Frank Steele
Sep 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm not a gamer but I am such a fan of The Wasteland Saga, that I had to give Nick Cole's latest book a go, and thank heavens I did. A flat out fun read, sure, but the book doesn't end there because we have this protagonist who does what is right, and good, regardless of what society, or the situation might have allowed. No situational ethics here, In three different worlds PerfectQuestion has every excuse and opportunity to opt for an easier path. No one would get hurt, heck in many instances h ...more
Auston Habershaw
Dec 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is, simply put, a ton of fun and designed to put a smile on your face at the most unexpected times. Full of "ain't that cool" moments, this is a story about futuristic competitive video gaming that will appeal to anybody who has soldiered in the far-flung vistas of the Internet. For the video gamer in your life, it's a can't miss.
Wilson Geiger
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great book, by a great author. I have always enjoyed reading Nick's books, and I consider him an auto-read after finding him through Apocalypse Weird.

I loved the futuristic setting, and as a gamer myself, I appreciated the nod to that world, as well as the play on advertising and marketing. This was easy to read, and Nick put me right in PerfectQuestion's head. Highly recommend this one.
Aug 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
A professional gamer in the future in a Call of Duty type of game is trying to make a bit of extra cash on the side, however he soon realizes that he's way in over his head in a game that is not really a game...a thoroughly fun book, an absolute must for gamers and for fans of Ready Player One.
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great read - an entertaining, fast paced and fun story set in an intriguing and well realised world.
Saint Lart
Aug 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fun fun fun! A 3 layer story, all kind of interconnected.
Ian Miller
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
The bleakness of the world and the cyberpunk aspects reminded me a lot of Neuromancer.
Craig Strachan
Oct 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
An interesting take on how online gaming could look in the future. Great pace and incredibly detailed battle scenes. If you love Snowcrash by Neil Stevenson you will love this book.
3.5/5 Rating: Originally posted at https://mylifemybooksmyescape.wordpre...

Gamers! Put down that controller and pick up this book!

This book was not at all what I expected to be. Going in, I was expecting some kind of mixture between Video Game High School, where e-sports basically replace the popularity of present day sports, and Sword Art Online, where video games feel more like life than a game. Well, yes, I did indeed get that, but what I did not expect - and was pleasantly surprised about -
Caprice Hokstad
If you liked Ready Player One, you might like this. I didn't find it quite as good, but that's because this one seemed to be focused on more violent games than RPO. If you play a lot of violent video games, where the object is killing enemy soldiers or aliens or demons or whatever, then you will probably love this book. Lots of virtual combat in this, which isn't my cup of tea, but overall, still a decent story with a good ending.

It's not long. I was in the middle of 13 semester hours and could
Kieran Pollard
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cole is very entertaining

Nick Cole has become my favourite author. He does action really well but is also a solid writer. Some of his other books like The Savage Boy and TEOTWAWKI moved me. This book doesn't reach those heights but it was one of the most entertaining books I've read in a while. Exciting non-stop action. Over the top, yes. PerfectQuestion lands on his feet too many times, yes. 2D characters, yes. None of that matters. This book is just great fun. My only regret is that I didnt h
Paul Harmon
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
I like to read...
Sometimes to educate, sometimes to kill time, sometimes out of curiosity, but mostly I read for fun. I want Action, adventure, mystery and humor. Too many times books that rise to the top of the sci-fi community consciousness seem to be thinly veiled sermons about societies injustices, or 1000 page tomes dealing with astro-navigation and sometimes some average books that uses some ridiculous gimmick like pronoun replacement to make the masses ooh and ahh at the "original Genius"
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Nick Cole is a working actor living in Southern California. When he is not auditioning for commercials, going out for sitcoms or being shot, kicked, stabbed or beaten by the students of various film schools for their projects, he can often be found as a guard for King Phillip the Second of Spain in the Opera Don Carlo at Los Angeles Opera or some similar role. Nick Cole has been writing for most o ...more

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Soda Pop Soldier (2 books)
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“Maybe she really likes guys who like hamburgers.” 2 likes
“I know it's just a game. But so is life. And how we play the game has something to do with how we live our life.” 2 likes
More quotes…