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It isn't just a job, it's his dream job. This is everything he's worked for and everything he deserves. One job offer, and Ethan Birch's life changes forever.

Given immense creative control, power, and perks, Ethan falls deeply under the company's spell. His Beverly Hills office is a modern mecca, complete with every imaginable convenience and delight. Employees walk around barefoot on floors of summer grass while flowering cornucopias bloom from the ceiling; a utopian fantasyland the likes of which he's never imagined.

But beneath this paradise, a dark conspiracy breathes. Ethan soon begins to realize that to have everything he's ever wanted, he'll have to sacrifice everything he's ever loved.

310 pages, Paperback

First published July 6, 2021

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About the author

Patrick Morgan

5 books46 followers
Patrick Morgan is a writer, dog dad, and hammock enthusiast who currently resides in Los Angeles, California.

He is the author of It Will End in Disaster, Hope's Last Refuge, Viaticum, Realms, and Apparent Horizon.

When not writing books, Patrick enjoys spending time with friends and family. He is a big fan of the ocean, the beach in general, plants, nature, the New England Patriots, and Nacho Cheese Doritos dipped in cold Tostitos Salsa Con Queso (don't knock it till you've tried it).

You can contact him via his website at: www.patrickmorganonline.com.

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Displaying 1 - 25 of 25 reviews
Profile Image for Marialyce .
1,984 reviews716 followers
August 13, 2021
This was certainly a very interesting and thought provoking read. You know when a story seems to come at you from nowhere? This is the one that hit me in so many right places and had me finishing it in two sittings.

Now that hopefully, I have you interested, the book's title is Viaticum by Patrick Morgan. It is one of those stories that seem to have all the pieces fit together and then they don't. The gist of the story is that Ethan Birch has lost his job, in a company that he and his best college buddy founded with some financial support from his wife's wealthy father. His termination comes as a shock and as Ethan sits in a lonely bar trying to shut out the pain, he meets a mysterious duo where one of the men inquires if he is in need of a job. Manna from heaven right? but Ethan is hesitant as this seems something that could be a ruse. He is handed a business card in black with the word Olympus printed upon it. Ethan tucks it away and comes home to inform his wife of his sad situation. She then tells Ethan she is pregnant. Forced into a corner, Ethan calls the number listed but receives no answer but a full mailbox. Desperate, he seeks out the company and his journey begins.

It's an awesome company where offices that seemed to have descended from a wild earthly dream. The floor is covered with grass and everywhere he looks waterfalls down the walls. What has he stumbled into? He meets the wife of the owner and "interviews" with her and is hired on the spot. It is truly a bizarre setup but Ethan has everything he could possibly desire. What has he fallen into but a dream come true?

However, all dreams are not those we wish to have. Some can turn into nightmares and as Ethan progresses into the oddities of the company, he becomes entrenched in something that seems somewhat otherworldly, somewhat sinister with an aura of mystery and deceit. Ethan is invited, or more exactly commanded, to a dessert retreat along with fellow workers, where things spiral out of control and what is real seems to blend with unreality. Ethan has gotten himself into a quagmire of something he has no control over. Will he stay with Olympus and its very odd, very mystical, very strange owner, or will he quit the "perfect" job?

Hold onto your hats fellow readers as his one will bend your thoughts into hundreds of pieces as you try to solve the allure and mystery of the Odyssey. Truly it was a very otherworldly journey.

My thanks to the author, Patrick Morgan, who was able to fill two days with the wanderings and wondering of this story......and that ending?

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 from me!

****Thanks also to Scarlett for introducing me to this author!****
Profile Image for Amanja.
533 reviews53 followers
April 15, 2022
Review originally published at https://amanjareads.com/2022/04/05/vi...

Thank you to author Patrick Morgan for providing me with a copy of his book in exchange for this honest review.

At this point in my life it has become very clear that the old fashioned idea of work hard to get ahead was actually a scam. Some people, many people, maybe even most people, work very hard their whole lives are are never rewarded for it. And guess what, a job well done is not its own reward.

There are, however, the others. The few lucky individuals who are handed everything. They never have to work hard to get ahead, they're born ahead and keep widening the gap. Every time a door closes for them it's not a window that's opened but a big double garage door big enough for their Escalade.

Viaticum is about one of those lucky bastards. Ethan starts off the novel by getting abruptly fired from his job. He's bewildered and confused by how this could have happened. Yes, he's been slacking in his position, and yes he never really knew much about it to begin with, but the co-owner is his college buddy! Certainly that counts for everything!

At the beginning of this book I thought it was going to be about a privileged young man finally having to earn his way. But life doesn't work that way and neither does Viaticum.

Ethan goes to bar to drink away his stress. There, he is offered a new, better position by a mysterious stranger whom he's never met before. Okay, seriously, I need a new job pretty badly right now, can someone please just hand me one like this!

Of course he is suspicious but he also doesn't have any other leads. When he starts this new position he is blown away by how amazing it all seems. It's almost out of this world how great the office, the work, the goals, the boss, all of it seems to be.

Throughout the entire novel there is an air of mystery. The reader keeps waiting for the other shoe to drop. When is this all going to go south? What is the deep dark secret awaiting Ethan? Nothing can be this easy and this great.

Viaticum will keep you reading just to figure this out. It's not that Ethan is unlikable and we want him to fail, it's just that we want to see anyone more blessed than us come down to our level.

Reading Viaticum is like reading a common story from the other side. This isn't a pull yourself up by your bootstraps inspirational tale, it's more grounded than that. And yet has a nearly supernatural flair to the mystery. You'll just have to read it to find out.
Profile Image for Meekachii.
198 reviews259 followers
July 10, 2021
Possible spoilers?? No details, just overall feelings and thoughts…
This book took me a bit to really get into. I had a hard time coping with some of the main character’s decisions and understanding why he would choose certain things/paths. In the end I also wish there was slightly more closure. However, I flew through the last 25% of this book. It kept me on edge and I really wanted to know what was going to happen. At times I could feel my heart pumping and anxiety ramping up (in a satisfactory way if that makes sense). I definitely understood the characters more and some of their motives by the end. I find that the name of this book was also particularly interesting. While I didn’t end up loving any of the characters in particular, I don’t feel it’s the type of book where you need to. These characters were all so different from my personality which I think led to that. However, as I said, I really ended up enjoying the overall story and am looking forward to more from this author.
Profile Image for Stevie.
182 reviews
July 2, 2021
For Fans Of: Dean Koontz, B.A. Paris, Stephen King

Viaticum is Silicon Valley, but make it creepy.

I finished this book in a single sitting. Patrick Morgan has mastered the art of the cliffhanger — each chapter ended in such a way that I could absolutely not just put in a bookmark and walk away.

(⚠️Minor Spoilers Ahead⚠️)

The way Morgan portrays the cult like indoctrination at Olympus and twists it into something sinister was an extremely intriguing theme. Having worked at a tech startup, it’s kind of terrifying how easy it is to see something like this happen in real life.

And that ending…. 🤯🤯🤯🤯 I still don’t know that I fully understand WHAT that was. I’m still picking my jaw up off the floor.

My only critique is that I wanted more. I wanted more about his marriage & the fights about Ethan’s new job. I wanted more about the Reddit conspiracy theories. I wanted more about the shady goings on at Olympus. I wanted more about Viaticum. I wanted more about what happened after that ending! Maybe I’m greedy, but I really did enjoy the characters and the overall plot so much so that I wanted to know more. That said, it’s kind of interesting how certain things are up for interpretation by the reader, adding to the overall mystery of Olympus.

Viaticum is out July 6th. I definitely recommend picking it up for a quick read that really fucks with your mind in the best way possible.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Gina.
171 reviews6 followers
July 2, 2021
I was incredibly lucky to receive an ARC copy of Viaticum. It is a wild ride that I couldn’t tear myself away from.

After accepting what becomes a dream job, Ethan Birch’s life completely changes. The position comes with numerous perks and his modern office has every convenience imaginable. Ethan falls under the company’s spell and he’s all in. But something is…just not totally right. He realizes that to get everything he’s ever wanted, he might have to give up everything he loves.

I loved this book. I was engaged having Ethan as the narrator as I felt like I was going through everything right along with him. This book made me laugh with Ethan’s sarcastic comments, but moreover this book creeped me out at times and made me feel an intense anxiety I haven’t felt since I read The Shining. The characters have this air of mystery that really threw me at times, keeping my curiosity at a high. I had absolutely no idea where this was going to go and I loved every second of it. What I loved even more was the way my jaw dropped at the end.
Profile Image for Caitlin Moss.
Author 6 books173 followers
February 21, 2022
"If the CIA and the Illuminati had a baby, and if Facebook and the Church of Scientology had a baby, and then if those two babies met each other and they had a baby, that baby would be Olympus.”

And Olympus is where Ethan Birch works.

This book was a trip. I mean that quite literally. Those last 100 pages? Pay attention, folks.

Viaticum is an intense read, filled with questionable characters, unlikely encounters, and some straight up weird personalities. All of which is woven perfectly together by Patrick Morgan. He is truly a phenomenal writer. I can envision each of his books like a movie playing in my mind and this one is no exception.

After starting work at his dream job at Olympus, Ethan quickly realizes this place and its founder are highly unusual but he's determined to make an impression. Despite warnings from his wife, and the hesitation churning in his gut, Ethan jumps head first into this high tech company and the atmosphere it creates. But is it work culture? Or simply a cult?...
35 reviews1 follower
July 25, 2021
Wow, this book had me questioning reality, motives, and truths the entire time!

Ethan Birch is mysteriously offered a job that seems too good to be true: a huge salary, unlimited perks, and an amazing office. But as he learns more about the inner workings and dynamics of his new company, he realizes that there may be more going on there then he originally believed. When the owner of the company suggests a getaway to a remote cabin in Death Valley, events soon spiral out of control, and Ethan realizes he may have to sacrifice his life as he knows it to have the success and prestige he's always dreamed of.

Omg this book is a wild ride! I love how deeply we get to know Ethan, and the concept of Olympus was fascinating! The characters were vivid and enigmatic; there were some that I loved to hate and some that I hated to love. I could truly feel Ethan's emotions and conflictions, and I just had to know how his story ended! I was left with a few questions at the end, but that fit perfectly with the mystery that was Olympus and Viaticum!
Profile Image for Alejandra Andrade.
Author 4 books184 followers
August 21, 2021
A nerve-inducing, thought-provoking, & stimulating psychological thriller that will (possibly) leave you at the border of an anxiety attack.

Viaticum is one of those books that I simply had to sleep it off before I could even think of writing a review. I prefer to allow books with such an open-ended resolution to breathe for a few hours. Being such a curious person by nature, I gravitate toward wanting to collect as much information as I can about the story along the way. Usually, many questions arise, and in this case, more so in the end. But that being said, I enjoyed how Morgan allowed the reader to interpret most of the things that happen in the story. For me, it's a story about fragility, naiveté, and overoptimism. Stubbornness, too, if you will. Ethan, the main character, possesses all of the said characteristics. I found myself wanting to go inside the book and slap Ethan a few times, like: WAKE UP! Something's not right, why can't you see it?! It was interesting to see how the red flags can be right there in front of you, and still, we're unable to recognize them.

To me, the recruiting process was fascinating; a very enticing, modern, and unusual trap for these sorts of agendas—the perfect hideout. I found myself devouring the book because I needed to get to the bottom of things, only to find myself trapped in a maze of confusion in the end, which I don't mind at all for a book of this genre. As I said, Morgan achieves the purpose of leaving the reader thinking about the book for a while without neglecting the story. And as a writer, that's something that's not very easy to achieve. Drawing one's conclusions instead of having them handed out in their entirety is something I can appreciate. But don't get me wrong, I will want to deconstruct the entire story and build it back up to try to understand things until I find myself realizing I don't understand a thing, and that's fun too. Makes sense? If it doesn't make sense, then grab yourself a copy of Viaticum, and you'll see what I mean. And if it does make sense then this book is for you. LOL.

I appreciated the following quotes:

"... with his whole old-Jesus-crossed-with-steampunk-Gandalf persona."

"... if the CIA and the Illuminati had a baby, and if Facebook and the Church of Scientology had a baby, and then if those two babies met each other and they had a baby, that baby would be Olympus.”

"... he looks like the ghost of an Ivy League trust fund kid who drowned on a sailing trip."

"I justify the notion of visiting a bar before noon on a weekday as being sort of cinematic."

P.S. Listen to your wives; they always know better ;)
P.S. 2: I refuse to make eye contact with that house on the cover now.
Profile Image for Al.
1,170 reviews29 followers
August 24, 2021
This is a story that left me in a quandary. Am I glad I read it? Yes, absolutely. I was different. It was well written. It definitely kept me wondering where things were going and what was going to happen next. But in the end, I’m not sure quite what to make of it.

After Ethan Birch unexpectedly finds himself unemployed, the offer of a new job practically falls into his lap. On the surface everything about this job seems like a dream job. The work, the work place, most of the people he’d be working with. However, something about the situation doesn’t seem right and he resists as long as he can, but in the end decides to take the position. In many ways the job is what it seemed, a good job at a place with a largely positive, but kind of strange company culture. Then on a managerial retreat where Ethan and other top management are slated to figure out the solution to an unexpected issue things turn even stranger. At times some of what Ethan experiences feels almost supernatural, but possibly there were other factors at work that caused Ethan’s perceptions to be a bit off the wall. Then things start going downhill and where it ends for Ethan wasn’t at all where I thought it was going. I suspect there is a lesson in Ethan’s experience, but what I think that is might not be what you think it is. You’ll have to give it a read and decide for yourself.

**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **
Profile Image for Jared K.
18 reviews2 followers
December 16, 2021

Author Patrick Morgan (Apparent Horizon, Hopes Last Refuge) has become one of my favorite new writers, having pulled me into his book Viaticum.

Without giving away to many spoilers, the book tells the story in the POV of main character Ethan, a man who is down on his luck but has everything great going for him in his life. One day he is offered the opportunity of a life time: The Job of all jobs. But everything isn’t as it seems… Making a few bad choices his whole life is flipped upside down. Or is it?

Mr. Morgan delves deep into the mind of Ethan and his ability to convey his thoughts, emotions, etc… in prose. Simply entertaining. You can’t help but feel for the main character.

The book gets very trippy and Mr. Morgan doesn’t hold back on letting loose with the language. He doesn’t overuse it but uses it to convey real life scenarios that one can definitely relate to.

I have a signed copy of Viaticum as well as the Kindle edition and I recommend this book to anyone who wants to enjoy a great read, and have a great time.

There is a price with every choice we make and
Indeed, as Mr. Morgan inscribes in my signed copy of Viaticum, “”Be careful what you wish for”

I look forward to reading the rest of Patrick Morgan’s other books.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
March 1, 2023
Viaticum is a quick page turning read that will have you flipping through the pages wondering …what IS going to go wrong? Eerie perfect, what’s the catch here? Main man, Ethan is offered a ‘dream career’ after abruptly being fired from his own company he helped co-found with his friend. However, from beginning-to-end of the story everything felt ‘off’. I give this one 4.8/5⭐️ (I don’t much like Goodreads rating system). I love this author’s writing style and have finished each one within a week! Okay back to the story…

Although skeptical about how “good to be true” everything seemed at his new position at Olympus, he ignored his intuition and questioning at every step of the way and quickly gets sucked into the cult scheme behind the ‘dream company’. It’s freaky how textbook his integration into this type of culture plays out. How will it end up for him? How did he end up in the middle of the desert with a double barreled shotgun pointed at him and his life in shambles the next day? This one will leave you feeling disturbed.

I won’t spoil anything in this review because you should go read this one yourself if you enjoy quick, suspenseful, psychological thrillers.
Profile Image for Rachel  LaBerge.
125 reviews
July 15, 2021
This book in 3 words: Visceral. Mind-bending. Culty. 🖤

(I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review).

Ever find yourself wishing for a thriller that isn't the repackaged tale of all the other stories before it? If so, go ahead and get your hands on Viaticum.👏🏻

Thrillers are tough, given there are a million out there and the coveted plot-twist is almost impossible. Viaticum takes center stage with a swanky, Silicon Valley setting, but makes it relatable for all types of readers. I've never worked at a trendy start-up in the heart of California, but I could feel the grass-floors beneath my bare feet and hear the espresso machines pressurizing in the background. I love a book that takes you to a different place... one so vivid it feels like you could book a ticket and visit.

Our narrator and main character, Ethan, is actually hilarious. As he navigates life after being fired, he's greeted with the spectacular learning experience which is being hired at Olympus. Equal parts bizarre, unbelievable, and jealousy inducing, Olympus is the company you hear about from a friend of a friend... the one with nap pods and the unbelievable perks. The peculiar job and work culture is too inviting to pass up and chaos ensues. 🖤

I'm particular about book pacing and chapter structure; Viaticum doesn't disappoint. I felt like I needed to keep going as each chapter pulled me in. The only thing this book didn't have was MORE. I wanted longer answers to my questions and hunches.

Viaticum is a thriller asking and solving the age-old question, "What if it's too good to be true?"
Profile Image for LatishaLovesLit.
201 reviews3 followers
January 4, 2023

I really enjoyed reading Viaticum and often found it difficult to put down! Patrick Morgan’s writing style is extremely engaging, the description of the settings were painted like a picture, and the storyline is one that forces the reader to think outside of “normal” and imagine the mystical and mysterious world of Olympus.

The Silicon Valley/Tech World element is what makes this story so intriguing, because it’s a realistic and believable story. The overall intense nature of this story really keeps you guessing but the addition of many unreliable characters lures you into the spooky, culty feelings that arise as the layers of Olympus and its employees are peeled back.

I do wish that we got more in-depth character development and background into Ethan and his wife’s life, it would have added an extra layer to the story and attachment to the characters.

Overall this is a fantastic read that is most definitely worth your while!
July 6, 2021
An enigma with a new-age tech twist. Richard, a self righteous entrepreneur, sees a man (Ethan) down on his luck. Richard takes note of his fragility and how easily susceptible he will be to Richard's skillful facade. He offers Ethan an alternative. In his best interest, Ethan accepts. However, unfortunate events begin to snowball at the company's overnight trip. The intriguing ending conversation between these two men is where I often asked myself what is real and what is a deception. During this resolution, Richard meticulously speaks in code throughout. In my opinion, he was the most fascinating character. I genuinely enjoyed the consistent perplexity of this story.
Profile Image for Caroline L..
3 reviews
July 30, 2021
I’ll start right off by saying I l o v e d this book.

Ethan is suddenly out of a job, let go from the successful company he helped build. Shocked, embarrassed, and not ready to go home he seeks comfort and a waste of time in a morning cocktail at a tacky restaurant. He never would’ve guessed that that Monday morning’s slammed-shut door would open one to a strange and too-good-to-be-true life for him and his wife.
So... Is it? Too good to be true?

I ate this book up in about day. It’s mysteriousness and questionable characters kept my curiosity high and those pages “turning” all the way to the end. Winner winner pancake dinner. 👏🏼
Profile Image for Amber Bolsover.
48 reviews
September 23, 2021
Patrick Morgan did an amazing job selling this story cover to cover! The intrigue that surrounds Olympus and the Charon’s is something I wanted to read more and more about.
As the story unfolds and you can see the journey Ethan undertakes, going from someone who was really down on his luck and wondering where life was going to take him, to being swept up by a new life. One that would be luxurious and everything he could ever imagine.
But at what cost? Is the cost too high? Will he break and not be able to fix whatever comes his way?
I highly recommend seeing for yourself and picking up rhis book!
Profile Image for Alison Flett.
66 reviews
July 2, 2021
ARC Review: This is a wild ride that will keep you guessing the while time. The pacing of this book is amazing, it kept me engaged the whole time and each time I thought I knew what was going on there was a new curve ball.

The main character comes across as a pretty normal guy who is around all of these eccentric, and maybe completely crazy, people. The way that Dr. Charon is described had me raptured and also creeped out.

The ending is fantastic and keeps you guessing. My only complaint is that I wanted more at the end, I want to know what happens next!
September 12, 2021
Wow, what a ride that was! 😲

Viaticum is very different from anything I have ever read. It's hard to say much about it without giving too much away, so I will just say that it is a very good psychological thriller that kept me engaged throughout. While it was a bit of a slow burn initially, I couldn't stop reading once the wheels were turning at a faster pace and I just wanted to know what the heck was going on!
July 9, 2021
This is the third book I've read from this author, and with each book, he somehow manages to keep topping his last work! Viaticum has the unexpected twists and turns, incredible characterization, and thought-provoking plot that I've come to expect from Morgan. Such a cool story that takes you into the tech world and the human mind. A fast-paced read you are sure to love!
Profile Image for Paxton Evers.
Author 9 books2 followers
July 14, 2021
Viaticum is a fast-paced story of how Ethan loses his job and quickly finds himself swept into another that seems too good to be true. The character and relationship dynamics truly bring this story to life. Viaticum provides a lot of food for thought on fate, divine intervention, and the power of choice. My only complaint is that it isn't longer!
2 reviews
July 14, 2021
I have read all three of this author’s works and have enjoyed them all. Viaticum is definitely a page turner! It is an engaging story with unexpected twists and turns. As with Morgan’s other stories, I found myself thinking about the plot for days. This, to me, is a sign of a terrific, thought provoking book!
July 2, 2021
I loved how Ethan is an over analyzer but yet optimistic charter. So many twist and unexpected turn of events that I didn’t see coming. I definitely wanted more once the last chapter ended, I have so many questions!
Profile Image for Maja.
11 reviews6 followers
October 15, 2021
Patrick has done it again!! This is my second book, and I’m looking forward to read more of his books. This book is full of surprises keeps you guessing what’s going to happened next! Each chapter pulled me in , fast paced read. Ending what was that 🤯 , I have so many questions!
Profile Image for Carole.
54 reviews13 followers
August 14, 2021
Consider yourself warned, do not waste your time on this mess.
Profile Image for Sarah.
376 reviews12 followers
August 7, 2021

I couldn’t put this book down. I literally sat and read it all day. I enjoyed the narration of the main character, Ethan. I enjoyed the overall plot…it was just mysterious enough to keep me engaged from the first page. I admit, I thought this book would be way out of my comfort zone and I based that entirely on the cover. It looks sinister and scary but it wasn’t either of those things. It does mess with your head a little bit though. Now that it’s over, I did 100% enjoy it, but I have so many questions. So many. That ending…what was that?? 🤯

This is a super fast, super engaging, well written book. I still have questions I still want answers to though. I give this one 3.5 rounded to 4 stars.

I look forward to reading more books by Patrick Morgan.

You can see this review and others on my Instagram www.Instagram.com/read.with.prncss1204
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