Michael is a gamer. And like most gamers, he almost spends more time on the VirtNet than in the actual world. The VirtNet offers total mind and body immersion, and it’s addictive. Thanks to technology, anyone with enough money can experience fantasy worlds, risk their life without the chance of death, or just hang around with Virt-friends. And the more hacking skills you have, the more fun. Why bother following the rules when most of them are dumb, anyway?
But some rules were made for a reason. Some technology is too dangerous to fool with. And recent reports claim that one gamer is going beyond what any gamer has done before: he’s holding players hostage inside the VirtNet. The effects are horrific—the hostages have all been declared brain-dead. Yet the gamer’s motives are a mystery.
The government knows that to catch a hacker, you need a hacker.
And they’ve been watching Michael. They want him on their team.
But the risk is enormous. If he accepts their challenge, Michael will need to go off the VirtNet grid. There are back alleys and corners in the system human eyes have never seen and predators he can’t even fathom—and there’s the possibility that the line between game and reality will be blurred forever.
2.5 Star Rating
My Recommendation: Interesting, but not an exciting read. This is not a book I'd be rushing to tell my friends to pick up.
Recommended Age: 13+ Predictable, slow and not as complex as the last series. Most of the concepts feel like I've read or seen them before. While I was reading, scenes from Caprica and The Matrix kept popping up in my head. But this book wasn't as intriguing as they were. Stupidity abounds! I know the main characters are teenagers, but I think even at a young age there should be common sense and an instinct to survive. I wanted to like this book so much, because I loved, ABSOLUTELY LOVED the Maze Runner series, but I just couldn't get into the story.
Plot/Pace: Seen it, read that... It's not exactly like TV shows and movies I've seen, but close enough that I'm not surprised at the outcome or how the plot flows. Things started off ok, but they never picked up. The end had a nice twist, but I could see it coming. The climax took waaayyyy to long and I found myself flipping through pages and didn't miss anything important.
Imagery: Not too bad. The virtual world was described really well, along with the character perceptions. Great depictions on the feelings of hunger and virtual death.
Romance: None to speak of. This wasn't a YA romance. Although there was some hand holding.
Action: Seriously lacking. There were a few cases of "uh, oh, how will they get out of this one?" but based on the plot of the book I was expecting a lot more excitement. I enjoyed the first test once they were on The Path and the human hallway chapter, but nothing else in the book caused me to have any reaction.
Characters: What was the real point of the nemesis? There's not enough involvement of that character for the reader to feel a real motivation to root for Michael and his friends. I also think that better use of the secondary characters would have made the book more interesting. Cutter and Ronika were interesting personalities! Not enough depth put in to the lives of Michael's sidekicks. They are just there to help him get the bad guy.
What Irked the Shiznit Out of Me: "Oooohh...this guy is bad! I can feel it! I can sense it! This is a trap!!! But damn I'm hungry, let's follow him anyway." Really! o_o
What Blew Me Away: Nothing..at..all
If you liked this book, these would be A MUCH BETTER way to spend your time!