Audiobook review – Dante’s Immortality

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Review 1 –

Who wants to live forever? Dante’s Immortality

Dante’s Immortality is a misleading name. Nowhere in the book is the reason behind this title revealed, so there may be more to this than we know. It could simply mean he will become famous, and it might simply mean that he, at some point, literally becomes immortal. Either way, the title is intriguing, and does nothing to tell you about the awesomeness contained within these pages.
One complaint that I do have, and it is a niggling beast, is that I do not really see the need for this to be a LITRPG book. It works like one, yes, but if you took out all the gaming elements you are still left with an awesome magic system, a mind-blowing new fantasy world, and a malicious political system that grinds the peons into powder. In fact, I would argue that this would be BETTER as a straight up fantasy novel. I haven’t seen an original magic system and world like this since the Ethshar series was first released.
This isn’t to say that the LITRPG elements don’t work, and aren’t fun. They just seem more like a way to enter the LITRPG genre, and if that’s what Antonio Terzini wanted to do it’s fine by me. I enjoyed every moment of this book and its connection to a specific genre had no bearing on that factor whatsoever.

The motto for the people in this land should be trust no one. Everyone seems to be playing some sort of angle, and their goal is to use you or get what they can from you before they dispose of you. Even friendly acts in times of darkness are revealed to be not as altruistic as they first appear. Dante, naïve as he is, is caught in the meat grinder, and is holding on by his fingernails trying not to slide in. I will say that Terzini doesn’t play Dante as a Goodie-goodie everyman hero, because when he has an opportunity for payback with a lifelong tormentor he never hesitates in his actions. It was a wild “YES” moment that I wanted to see so many other times in other books. Terzini can and will also pull at your heartstrings, and then play them like a banjo. So watch out, in this world bad things do happen to “good” people and it will get you if you are not weary.
Hays’s narration is quite possibly his best work to date. He stuffs Dante’s voice with such depth of emotion that you feel the heat of his anger, and the pain in his heart. I firmly believe that his voice work here brings much of this vitriol in the people’s hearts into reality. You can hear their smarmy malice oozing from every word, and their words will cut you. Thanks, Mr. Hays, for being able to bring to life an entire world and their people, with the added bonus of making it feel like they are all out to get us (and Dante). There were no issues with the audio at all, and it was a blast listening.

The story is fast paced, I went back over this book, and only found the beginning a little slow (prior to Dante getting his powers), but even that set up period was interesting and necessary to the rest of the plot. There is a lot of set up there, and it is handled deftly. My only question is, in a world like the one Terzini has created, who would want to live forever? The world and its people may be a little dark, but this book shone like a torch in the darkest cavern. It is exciting, full of action, intrigue, mystery, backstabbing, betrayal, and most of all FUN! I loved this book, and know you will too, get it now!

Review 2 –

Dante’s immortality, I listened to this on audible, it is a Jeff Hayes narrated book and was very well done. Jeff made me feel the emotions that Dante did throughout the book, his range of voices was easy to follow and well done. Based on the descriptions of the characters his voices felt like they suited them well. Jeff really made me feel the characters were real, from the malice and hate which drips from the antagonist to the cold calculation of one of the political pieces, finishing with the naivety and ignorance of the MC. You can feel/understand when the MC goes through multiple emotions throughout the book.
The main character is an outcast from society no one knows his origins or why he’s different. You follow this MC throughout the book as he goes from a nobody to someone who could become one of the most over powered people in the world. The litrpg elements are not due to a game but due to the way the world works, it is not a portal fantasy as the characters are actually originally from the world. The main character is a naïve undereducated in the ways of the world young man. I do feel Dante is a little to naïve and doesn’t ask enough questions about the people around him, he gets played a little to hard in the world of politics, where a few simple questions could have led him in a slightly different direction. Some of this could be chalked up to his naivety and lack of knowledge outside of just trying to survive. He has never had friends and when people finally showed interest he didn’t know how to react. His main antagonist from his childhood is a character that you grow to hate. The author does good on getting the readers views on who is good and who is bad. Not only this but the MC is not your typical hero, when given the opportunity to exact revenge on his nemesis he doesn’t hesitate. But when put in the position to save others at the expense to himself he doesn’t hesitate to do that either, but situations make sense and do not cause conflicting views on the personality of the MC.
The world is magnificently developed down to the political intrigue of multiple houses all vying for control. You are led down a plot in that regards that I hope to have more clarification and depth built up in the next book. There are a number of plots tied into the political intrigue and power struggle that if developed correctly will make this one of my favorite books in the genre. In regards to this being a gamelit book I would say it doesn’t have to be, the stats and “world essence” absorption could be left out, they are really the only gamelit pieces in the story and the story would not lack without them. Antonio has built one of the magic systems using essence manipulation and runes that make me want to know more. There is enough information for the reader to be happy and feel it was well thought out, I’m a reader who wants more details on how things work.

To me, this book deserves an 8.5/10 the world building and full emotional spectrum abound. The author and narrator both did a great job with this installment, I can’t wait for book 2.

You can find the ebook and audiobook at —

https://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Dantes-Immortality-Beginnings-Audiobook/B07CJWMYXV

AudioBook Review – Gunmeister Online

Gun Meister Online! This book is not Shooting Blanks!

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Review 1

Gun meister online, Noah Barnett brings readers back to a story using the same real life world as his Nigmus online. He comes back with an edited book that is an easier read than Nigmus was. He shored up on the issue of not having Nigmus edited and it shows. Gun Meister is different than most other books in the game lit genre, as it uses the engine of a first person team based shooter. The characters don’t level but they rank up as they play better, ranks don’t make them stronger, but gaining credits and being able to upgrade his gun contracts helps more than could be expected. As he levels up he is able to have more contracts. Each contract is a gun and a member of his harem, the guns are sentient NPC’s who are lovers when not in a match. They are treated as npc’s and their contract must be renewed with one form of bodily fluid or another each month. The sex scenes are hot and heavy, I do wonder slightly if this is Noah’s first time writing graphic scenes as there are a few things here and there that just make me go huh, but overall they are well done, graphic, and make you want to keep reading them. There is a small trigger scenario when he acquires his second gun, but the MC handles it well and uses everything he has to make the gun feel at home.
The MC is believable and relatable, he starts out as a noob and takes time to learn the way of the game. You get good enlightenment to the way the MC sees the world and why. In the real world the MC is required to pull his own weight at work and some of the things he learns in the real world he is able to transfer to the game world. My only complaint here is that the real world seems to end a little early but it lets you focus on the climax of the game world. I came to fall in love with a few of the secondary characters from the MC’s first contract to the civil war era teammate and his contracted weapon. The “loli” not your typical loli doesn’t make me feel like most loli’s do, Noah does a good job reminding you she is who you think she is, she is playful and crass, always up for blowing something up. There is a small love interest that does seem to peters out 2/3 of the way through the book but ultimately changes focus from the MC to be between two side characters, this could continue and develop into any sequel made. The MC is believable in his interactions with his teammates and his contracts, the contracts are very different styles and mentalities that the graphic scenes don’t feel repetitive or overburdened.
Noah delivers on the world building in and out of game, the end of the book develops into the ground work for building the next game world the MC has a chance to join. The ending felt a little rushed and slightly anti-climactic but transitions into what is to come next well. I feel if 5k+ more words were added to the last 3 chapters the book would have had a much better closure. This was a breath of fresh air for me into the gamelit genre with the graphic sex and more battle royal/3rd person shooter style game.
I recommend Gun Meister if you are interested in firearms and shooters. The MC delivers as he grows to be a better player and helps to develop his team mates.

My rating for Gun Meister Online is a 7.5 the world building and fresh style leads to a higher review, the plot was good until the end felt slightly rushed. The MC was relatable and you can see his mentality and game play advance throughout the book.

 

 

Review 2 –

Nobody was more excited than me when the announcement for GMO coming to audible hit the internet. I had been waiting to get my trigger fingers on this book for quite some time, and I have to say that I was not disappointed. My preference is to generally get all the negative stuff out of the way first, so here goes.
GMO is a great book with fantastic characters and amazing narration, but it does have a handful of issues that I need to discuss. The first thing is that the book shifts in and out of the real world and the game. As such, the lead character has work problems. Problems that mean he has to justify his presence there on what seems to be a weekly basis. He constantly struggles with sales, and it is a big part of the story right up to the seventy percent mark, then it vanishes completely. Additionally, There is also a subplot regarding a hot co-worker that looks to be a budding romantic interest, but then that goes south, too. I really don’t know if Barnett felt that the protagonist, Charlie, had enough on his plate with all the gun lovin’ he was getting but it just was a dramatic shift that felt a little forced. My biggest issue came with the end of the novel. Charlie spends the whole book trying to improve his status, and get more guns, and once he is just really getting his footing, something changes and makes him give up everything he’d worked so hard for. In fact, the new direction it looks to be heading completely eliminates everything WE as readers invested into GMO. I’m not saying the next book doesn’t look promising, but essentially, Charlie strips away everything for this new opportunity. It took me about three days before I realized that I felt a little cheated. Still, I trust Barnett to make it work.

Now, for the good stuff, first of all, you have to respect a book that doesn’t play it safe. The book is filled with bloody head wounds, steamy sex, and a weird character that likes to combine those things. Once Charlie gets his groove, and starts getting his ladies, the book then really hits its stride. I appreciate how the game uses clones as opposed to VR simulated PC’s. Also, the hook of having to “holster” your weapon once a month to keep it loyal was sneaky and fun. There are some amazing characters that party with Charlie including a horny smurf who like to blow things up, a powder loading civil war aficionado, a sword wielding holy man, and a petulant co-worker. Plus the guns! Elva and the girls are so fun!! You will want to finger Elva’s trigger yourself by the end of the book, the Russian, and the twins make the rest of it all worthwhile.
Barnett wisely opted to use Soundbooth Theater for the audio duties, and his decision was a smashing success. After all, he got three narrators in the deal. Jeff Hays, Justin Thomas James, and Annie Ellicott all nail the narration. James has the southern accent down to a sweet tea, and Annie takes this book and makes it her own. She literally steals the show from the boys, and that is no mean feat as Jeff is a voice ninja. Annie “Oakley” Ellicott, pistol packing momma that she is hits the bullseye from a mile away. She makes her first outing as a lead narrator and goes beyond impressive; she shows that she belongs in the big leagues! Hays plays Charlie like he knows the guy, and has spent several months shadowing him at the car lot to get his attitude and aggression right. The sound quality couldn’t be better. SBT nails another one.

Barnett proves he is creative, and has fun with the story in so far as he puts a gun to the head of the old trope of leveling up. In GMO, the players don’t really level, all they do is advance in ranking which allows them to get more guns. It is the weapons that get built up and made stronger as the game progresses. Nice way to turn things around. The story itself is fast and fun, and references his other book, Nigmus Online, as well as a potential of RPGLIT series he could do based of the in-game VR game Blood and Pride. I want to note that this isn’t just some guy having shootouts with other players, there is a bigger arching story that reveals itself slowly as the story progresses. You won’t need a reticle to keep your eye on this book. I also like that Charlie progresses and grows throughout the storyline. When you are done listening to this book you will find yourself doing the “duck and cover” move every time you hear a weird noise, and you will be glancing around every corner you come to making sure some shmuck doesn’t land a lucky headshot. So, get ready for some gun grease, bullets, and babes and enjoy GMO!!!

Rating – 9

You can find ebook and audio at –

https://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Gun-Meister-Online-Adult-and-Uncensored-Audiobook/B07D94Y8Y8

AudioBook Review – Cherry Blossom Girls

Our audiobook reviewer wants to post so here we are – I’ll slide these in when they’re done, and hopefully some of the others will join him 🙂

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My review for Cherry Blossom girls:

Just read Harmon Cooper’s Cherry Blossom Girls. I wrote a song about it, wanna hear it, here it goes . . .

Am I gonna take you home tonight
Naked in the rain beneath that old streetlight
Are you gonna let it all hang out
Cherry Blossom girls
You turned my whole world upside down
Hey! I was just a writing lad
Never did much good or bad
But I got a life when Grace entered my periphery
She was so cute and quite uncanny
Always flashing me her fanny
Super Sexy woman you made a bad boy out of me
Hey hey!
I’ve been running with my babes
Veronique sharpened up her blades
We fought govt. agents all along the way
With their beauty and fighting style
I might survive a little while
They just might save me in the nick of time
Am I gonna take you home to fight?
As I struggle to get your programming right
Are you gonna sit around and pout?
Cherry Blossom girls you make heads spin around
Cherry Blossom girls…

Ok, I admit, that was “Inspired” by Queen, but the book definitely made me feel like singing! I will say that Master Cooper certainly knows how to jazz up the old, “It was a dark and stormy night. . .” book beginning. (Hint: He throws in a naked girl) Her name is Grace, and she had better go with him if she wants to live. Seems people are after her; really bad people, and it is up to the intrepid writer, Gideon (might be based on someone we know in real life whose name rhymes with Carmen Snooper), to save her. The fact that he is not equipped to deal with her baggage or skilled enough to handle the situation has no bearing on his choice (refer to the previous naked girl mentioned earlier). Turns out, Grace, and a few others like her are government experiments that are about to be deleted as they are deemed obsolete.
As the story progresses we also meet Veronique, a deadly femme fatale, who is after her “sister” and Gideon. Cooper smartly plays this book out in a first person autobiographical form, giving it an air of realism that wouldn’t sneak through if told in third. The writing is witty, sexy, and features some down and dirty . . . fighting. The pacing of the book is natural, and there are some Easter eggs hidden around if you listen carefully. The book is a mash up of the Doom Patrol, Stranger Things, and Die Hard. Gideon’s last name ought to be McClain. There are no static moments in the book, it is like a hungry shark, always moving forward, never slowing, and striking unexpectedly.
Soundbooth Theater does a great job, although I appreciated the cameo by the ever awesome Jeff Hays there are just a few too many people involved. I like one or two narrators, and the cameo was appreciated but I think one or the other ladies, Annie Ellicott or Laurie Catherine Winkel could have done the female voices on their own. It made this have more of a Production feeling than it did a narration. I did miss not having more Hays, but this was Justin’s book to carry, and he did a great job.

Over all, I would give this book two thumbs up, and if I was Yakuza maybe even a few more! Easily a 9 out of 10 since the book has everything from jokes to sexy mommas using X-men skills and is presented in a completely entertaining way. The whole “this is really happening to me” theme makes me wonder just what is happening in Cooper’s life right now. Could art be imitating life? For his sake, I sincerely hope so, as this is a fun and uptown kind of book that will make you want to sing out loud. It did me!

You can find the e-book and audio on –

https://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Cherry-Blossom-Girls-Audiobook/B07BXXPX1M

Review 4 – Somnia Online – Initializing

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Blurb –

Discover the class you were born to play.

Wren, a seasoned healer, is dismayed when Somnia Online automatically assigns her character, Murmur, to the Enchanter class. Determined to overcome the unexpected setback, she assembles her guild, intent on the coveted #1 spot. Twelve keys stand between her and victory, but finding them is only part of the puzzle.

Armed with telepathic abilities, Murmur rises to the challenge. However, old rivals have followed her to Somnia Online desperate for revenge. Intricate quest lines become more dangerous as NPCs absorb powerful artifacts, and Murmur begins to wonder just what sort of AI controls the world.

Murmur questions her sanity as the real and virtual worlds mesh together. Everyone is keeping secrets from her, even the AI, and Murmur’s determined to uncover them.

Link –

A couple of the regulars were away at this time, will update if the others pick the book up.

Review 1

Somnia online was a breath of fresh air to the magic wielding OP MC’s. It also has some of the better character development and intertwining plots than many other books in the genre. KT Hanna shows her specialty in character development, from the main rival, to the secondary support characters they are well developed and make you want to know more.
Some of my favorite points in the story were the flash backs to the creation of the technology and software that slowly shows you why the story is unfolding the way it. Followed closely by the development given to the MC and the game itself. Wren/Murmur feels like she could be a real life friend someone you feel for and would like to hang out with. She is not made to be a Mary Sue, but due to the class she was given and how she decides to utilize it she is very strong when supported by her group but would fall short if she was solo. In regards to a group the book reminds me of the times I have raided in some of the older MMORPG games. The way the party interacts seems slightly off at first as they cater to murmur, by the end of the book you realize why they are doing so.
KT does well dropping subtle hints throughout the book for the multiple plot lines that are prevalent in all 3 of the worlds she is working on building. She has her work cut out for her to continue and grow on some of the plots she left open in book 1.
The plot for this is your basic Immersion VRMMO the goal is to collect all the keys, the MC and her group of friends have been the best at every game they have played recently, so obviously they plan to be the best in the newest game released. The twists that are added are going to make that even harder to accomplish, but they are getting help in the form of vague hints, and mysterious quests in which they stumble upon to help them evolve. There is a rival as well as an antagonist to keep the MC and her friends on their toes.
The book kept me wanting to read more and trying to figure out what was going to happen next, there were a few areas that drug out a little based on the grind of leveling but KT does a good enough job to time warp/make them not seem like a slog. There was just enough stats and spell descriptions to make me feel like I was able to keep the details needed with the characters as the story progressed, this is a great first book for anyone in the genre, and with a strong Female MC, and a badass female sidekick, I would have no problems recommending this book to anyone who’s looking to see what the genre is about.

I rate this book an 8/10

Review 2

For myself the opening of the book was a bit slow than what I tend to favor. Entering into action tends to be a great way to capture my attention. Then again I’m only a single person and everyone has their own hooks. I’m excited that I kept on reading and got to the good stuff! The book made me reminisce to my old hardcore raiding days of WoW’s Burning Crusade expansion.

If you are one that has played any MMORPGs, especially older ones, this book is for you. Gamelit books I have read so far trend to being small scale in terms of introducing Player Characters (PC) but with Initializing the book strongly draws on the MMO aspect with a large guild backing the MC. The guild/raid class composition is nearly unique, only one class has multiple PCs, and they support the MC throughout the book. There are times when the supporting characters may seem a bit overboard in their actions but it’s all warranted in the end. The foreshadowing is very subtle here and there but when it comes together all I can say is wow…. All-in-all the supporting characters behind Wren/Murmur are fantastic. It would have been great to get more background on each of them but having 11 other guild members would be a lot of information to delve into.

While reading I honestly felt like I was playing Everquest, (Classic) WoW, or D&D. The worldbuilding, crafting, and game system are just as balanced as the aforementioned guild composition. We have a guild hall, pc/npc crafters (I do hope she finally gets her tunic instead of robes!), and COOKING even plays a role. At the moment these play small roles in the world of Somnia but I’m excited and hoping that book two will expand upon each facet.

Another great topic that others may point out is that the MC is not a typical class/race combination in other gamelit books. Murmur is still humanoid but is a Locus, which is an elegant, alien race. The cover gives a great hint of what they look like and our imagination along with Hanna’s writing paints the rest. As for class, Murmur plays the Enchanter class which revolves around psionics. Psionics doesn’t get enough press and the way Hanna describes the advantages and even the drawbacks is quite refreshing from standard RPG classes. The combination of all these elements gives the book a much refreshing and unique tale to get lost in.

For anyone that played older MMOs from the 2000s, this book will tug at your heartstrings. You know the grind. Yeah, THE grind. However, the book itself is not a grind to read. It’s going to be hard to wait for book two!

About K.T Hanna

KT Hanna has such a love for words, a single one can spark entire worlds. Born in Australia, she met her husband in a computer game, moved to the U.S.A. and went into culture shock. Bonus? Not as many creatures specifically designed to kill you. KT creates science-fiction, fantasy, and LitRPG like it’s going out of style, with a dash of horror for fun! She freelance edits for Chimera Editing, plays computer games, and chases her daughter, husband, corgis, cats, and snake. No, she doesn’t sleep. She is entirely powered by the number 2, caffeine, Chipotle, and sarcasm.

You can find more of K.T’s books over at –

http://www.books2read.com/ap/Rw75LR/KT-Hanna

Review 3 – Pangea Online – Book 2 – Magic and Mayhem

An interesting one from the guys.

Book link to US –

Review 1

 

To be honest I enjoyed this book, it wasn’t a stand out something completely different but it was a good solid read. It ticked all my boxes but didn’t add a ton extra on top. The book starts in a first person shooter simulation packed with action, it gives you a lead into the main character and ties back into the end of book 1. You see from the very beginning the hardships the MC has gone through as well as his thought process on where he currently is. He wants a better life for all his friends and those that are impoverished, he wants everyone to be able to enjoy the freedoms he has recently discovered. Throughout the book you see him dig deeper and even get upset over the things that a large portion of the population is being forced to endure.

The MC feels human and you feel compelled to want him and his friends to succeed. The secondary characters play into his strengths and weaknesses well, the book really revolves around a group of friends in the RL world and 1 of the 2 game worlds, and then a plethora of NPCS.

The unique thing about this book that I haven’t seen in others is that there is really 3 worlds in play, a Real World, a VR world, and a prototype Full immersion world. The full immersion world is the one with the most world building as he is the first player to ever join, the goal you are approached with is let’s see if the game is viable and how much of the game will change when a player is introduced, the AI is set to morph the game to the decisions of the players. This is well done but during this time he doesn’t forget where he came from, what his goals in the real world are or his time and friends in the VR world. He does a good job balancing the three. My biggest gripe is there was no real protagonist, he does “side quests” in the VR world only one really plays a factor in the overarching story plot. He sticks to his guns and his ideals in the real world. But in the full immersion game world is really where you see this character come to light.

At the end of the book you do find out the ultimate importance of the game world and I think it is a neat twist, I wish that there would have been more of a lead up to the revelation of why it was created. I feel like that is what would have made the game great, give the book it’s true protagonist from the beginning, lead the reader to root for the characters even if only 1 of the secondary characters really knows what is going on. The magic system and how they differ between the two games is well detailed, the games themselves are detailed enough you never forget which he is in.

The flow and story line were well done, the characters were believable, the plot was linear and easy to follow. A well written and well done gamelit, light on the stats but heavy on game world and world building. I look forward to more from this author and will continue to read this series as the next is released. I do feel with about 20-30k more words and depth added to the overall plot and reasons behind what they were doing this book would have jumped up to a 7.5-8 for me from a 7. It felt a little rushed at the end and the reasons for the safety risk they were taking was not properly described.

This book comes in at a 7.0/10

Review 2

Started off well, but couldn’t face it after a couple of chapters. DNF

Review 3

It’s nice when simplicity builds into authenticity and this book does exactly that. With a slow building MC and an insight in build progression that relies on more than just “I have the money so I can build it”.

It’s a very middle ground book that doesn’t confuse the reader with overly in-depth stats that can cause some people to shy away, instead, it’s very much open, aware and fully explained in items as well as in stats. The pacing follows a great model that only adds to this books charm and the story evolves over a very enjoyable period.

As with any book, there are errors, however, the main one being the spelling of one of the MC’s main group. From Kindra to Kendra this spelling mistake is repeated a lot and continues from the 1st third of the book right the way through to the end which is disappointing and for sticklers of grammar it can at times distract from the main story and as such I ended up skipping her name entirely and just deciding to call her Kendra.

Apart from that is quite riveting and you can see the author has taken a heavy influence from Lions Quest which actually is not a bad thing as that series has stalled somewhat and it fills a nice void.

Overall as it’s singular series I give it 8/10 for its realism, cast of characters and a sense of true leveling.

Review 4

I don’t have a lot to say. It felt a little like nothing really happened. There was little conflict and it honestly felt like there was no real motivation behind our protagonists actions.

In book 1, Esil lays it all on the line in a desperate attempt to save his friends mom. He pushes beyond his limits, reaching beyond his abilities because he knows that he is her last hope. In this book, Esil kinda meanders around. He’s alpha testing new VR full immersion tech and he still plays his old VR game but it feels very casual. While this may not bother everyone, I found myself slowly losing interest. The final “twist” at the end of the book explains some things that have gone on earlier on but for the most part, it felt like it was too late. The end of the book felt a bit rushed.

The world building was great. Rowland had 3 worlds to maintain and develop and he did a phenomenal job. When the second game was introduced I worried about feeling overlap between two games but each game felt unique.

I enjoyed the GameLit aspect of the book. I was not drowned in stat tables or skill descriptions for which I am eternally grateful. However, the direction the story took just did not hold my interest at all.

No Rating is given by the reviewer.

Reviewer 5 – Taking a break for personal reasons.

If anyone else would like to join us, send me a message, thanks.