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And you thought your life was weird. It all started the night Orson kissed his best friend, Elyse, and she kissed him back. Yes, the kiss was life changing, but in ways Orson never could have imagined.

It seems he contracted a "virus" that is making him taller, faster, and stronger. But his life doesn't go completely off the rails until the night Elyse shows up at his house, strips out of her clothes, and shape-shifts into a giant cat - a panther, to be exact. Ted Finley is your average suburban nerd, but when a group of thugs threaten to kill innocent people, something incredible happens. Gifted superhuman abilities during a seemingly random brunch, Ted quickly transforms from a nobody into a viral video sensation.

The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials - engineered organic beings identical to humans - has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated.

The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out. While she finds this both weird and insulting, Emma has no actual intention of breaking these rules - until her guardians go missing.

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Now all bets are off. Only a single line separates her side of the street from the elites', and she's crossing it. Rockland Barkclay has had a rough year. On top of everything else, his father has just passed, and Rocky has to go it alone on their annual trip. But his plans for drinking alone in Algonquin Park are rudely interrupted by a sea of cosmic energy that governs the universe With the awakening of the very planet they reside on, humans are in a desperate fight to survive in an evolving world. There are things in this world that men and women aren't meant to understand.

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We aren't supposed to know these things exist, much less how to fight them. The things that go bump in the night, the monsters in the closet, the shadow out of the corner of your eye - that's where I live. Darren's had it easy his whole life. Finishing Harvard at 18 and landing a lucrative job on Wall Street at 21 - all things are possible when you can cheat by stepping outside of time. Thanks to his ability, he's a know-it-all, but what he doesn't know is how he's able to do what he does.

That's until he meets Mira and discovers her dangerous, hidden world. The entire Socket Greeny trilogy Discovery , Training , and Legend follows a white-haired teenager that discovers he's part of an evolved human race, how he trains to understand his true self, and the legendary conclusion of his true nature. Work has always come first for Socket Greeny's mother, ever since his father died. But when she shows him the inner workings of the Paladin Nation, he discovers why.

Paladins traverse the planet through wormholes to keep the world safe, but from what, they won't say.

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Although his parents were not actually one of them, Socket is different. He soon finds himself in the center of controversy and betrayal when he's anointed the Paladin Nation's prodigy. He didn't ask for the "blessing" of psychic powers and the ability to timeslice, and he doesn't want to be responsible for the world. He just wants to go home and back to school and be normal again. And when the world is soon threatened and the Paladins are forced into the public eye, Socket discovers what his mother means.

If he doesn't embrace his true nature, life as we know it will change forever. A year has passed since the Paladin Nation was exposed to the public. Their mission is still to protect humanity from whatever may threaten them. Previously, it was the human duplications, but now that they've been extinguished their biggest challenge is dealing with the complications of public image. Socket Greeny, now 17 years old, has been a Paladin cadet for the past year and is nearing the final test. But that's the least of his problems.

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He's trying to live two lives: one as a superhero while hanging onto his normal life. While fearlessly dealing with his masochistic trainer, he's trying to salvage his deteriorating relationship with his girlfriend back home. The Socket Greeny trilogy is no slow starter. It hits the ground running from page one and never lets up. Socket Greeny is a disaffected, tech-savvy year-old outsider, who, along with his friends Streeter and Shoot, frequently ventures into an internet virtual mode.

Accessible via a small wearable transmitting device, anyone with the right gear and skill can enter a moldable world of virtual reality, which Socket and his friends often do while in school because their high school has the most powerful gateway in the area. But on one particular day when the trio enters virtual mode, something strange happens, and their lives become forever changed.

I was genuinely impressed by author Tony Bertauski's writing skill spectacular balancing of story elements , his imagination Spindle, the preserve, the grimmits , and foremost his ability to describe with astounding, well-proportioned detail the environments, events, and emotions experienced by the characters.

This trilogy could easily become a movie or TV show, and I fervently hope that soon it will become one! In some cases, I've found that when an author narrates their own material, it can sometimes be at a disservice to the story or performance, but this is certainly NOT the case here. Bertauski masterfully narrates each installment, and he accomplishes the feat with marvelous results.

I caught only a few mispronounced words eg. Going beyond mere entertainment, it was a full-on head rush of mental escapism. It was simply a pleasure to listen to! I'm looking forward to more from this author because he has so much to offer his readers and listeners. I was provided a free copy of this audiobook by the author in exchange for my unbiased review. Many thanks for the opportunity!

There are parts of this book where you just want the pain to end. I stuck with it just because I wanted to find out where it was going. But it was painful. I was literally yelling at the narrator telling him "Oh, just get on with it already! These three books should have been edited down to one, it would have been much better.

A total delight in every way. Characters, humor, love story, plot development and the personal reading by author. I really enjoyed the story. I very much recommend this trilogy It is a really different look at a possible future. An exploration into what humanity is. It was fascinating from start to finish This story is read by the author.

That is not always a good thing but from the start of this book I felt at home with the reading. His voice fit the story and he knew how to tell it. Great job I received a copy of this book in audio format from the author and narrator in exchange for an honest review.

Socket discovers that he is different to the other kids. When in Virtual Mode he sees and can do things that his friends cannot. His mother explains him that he is special, and that his place is in the Paladin Nation, where other people with special abilities train to defend the world from a very dangerous enemy. Last year I had the honor to review the 'Halfskin Boxed set' and I absolutely loved it.

It reminds me of classic dystopian books but completely modernized. What is not to love? Bertauski writes science-fiction, but the good kind that makes you think and keeps you awake at night. His characters are fully fleshed and they evolve significantly in the three books, which really helps the reader to connect to them, even though the problems they have are so different from ours that this is a difficult task, but Bertauski does it! The main conflict reminds me of the one present in 'Halfskin' but with a twist.

It was interesting to explore this once again from a different point of view. When listening to the first and second book there was something that failed to make the books complete to me. The issue with the duplicates was an interesting one, but since their origin was kind of obscure, it was difficult to relate to the Paladins. At that moment the duplicates were a kind of faceless enemy but without a lot of substance. There was something missing. But Bertauski's books cannot be read as standalone. Each one of them is part of a meticulously written plan, and everything falls in place in the end.

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The questions I had, the things that did not convince me, were answered in the third book. So my advice is this: if you have the chance, get the complete saga and read it from beginning to end.

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Everything will make sense in the end. The total length is more than 22 hours, but I was so immersed in the story that it took me four days to listen to the three books, and when I had finished them it left me with a lonely feeling, already missing Socket and his friends. As I have said, this is one of those books that makes you think and will have you busy mulling over it after some time.

I spent over one hour awake in be around 5 am just unable to take my mind off this story. The books are narrated this time by Tony Bertauski himself. I am not sure about this move though.