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.
So, I am a long time fan of the Maze Runner series. I read it way back when I was just a freshman in high school, it is probably one of the first YA books I've ever read. With that being said, I knew James Dashner recently had a new series published and I've been meaning to read it but I just didn't know how interested I'd be in it. The whole technology and computer hacking thing didn't really appeal to me. BUT I had this book on my bookshelf for awhile because I'm a fan of James Dashner (I obviously had to buy it) and so I just decided to read it anyway to see it what it was like!
I just don't even know where to start with this review because when I finished it, I'm thinking "what the hell did I just read?" Not in a bad way though. In a good way. I guess in the beginning because that's always a good place to start…
There is this virtual reality game where your actual self lies in a coffin thing while your off in the VirtNet doing well whatever you want to do. The VirtNet is a whole other world! They have news reports, restaurants, everything. You have to spend actual money though. People play games in the VirtNet and don't have to worry about dying they just wake up in their little coffin. BUT if they pull out their little core which I guess is similar to a computer core… you will actually die or slip into a coma-like state and never wake up. So along comes this terrorist guy Kaine who makes people decode their own cores and kill themselves. And the book summary tells the rest.
Oh yeah I found a picture of the coffin thingy:
The main characters are Michael, Bryson, and Sarah. Can I just say that I ship Michael and Sarah all over the place? She is super smart, tough, and nerdy. Michael is really sarcastic and his mouth is always getting him in trouble. The book mostly follows Michael, by the way. Sarah and Bryson are just his friends in the VirtNet, not the actual world. Bryson was kind of dull and I could take him or leave him.
Everywhere Michael looked, he saw perfection. Perfect hair, perfect clothes, perfect muscles, perfect legs.
Not my cup of tea he thought with a smile. He preferred dorky girls with messy hair and potato chip crumbs on their shirt.
"Michael," Sarah whispered.
She seemed to reconsider what she'd been about to say. "Just…." She raised her voice.
"Just make sure you kill him quick when you do it. Break his neck nice and clean"
The last few chapters were like a plane flying right over my head. Why didn't I see that!?! It's literally insaaaaane. The premise was so cool though. I have to admit I was really hesitant at first. I was never a hardcore gamer and I never tried to hack anything… so I didn't think I was going to even understand this. It just so happened that there was this entire new world that James Dashner created and it would be so freaking cool if it was real. But the ending was crazy as heck I literally need someone to talk to about this.
So, I give this book 4 stars because It is a little similar to the Mazer Runner series. I heard it is also similar to Ready Player One? I've never read. I recommend it if you like plot twists. Like a ball coming out of right field and hitting you in the jaw or something. Also just a random thought, I'd like to see James Dashner try the paranormal genre. I bet it would be great!