Reviewed by Jo Knox
I used to love reading books as a way to relax but haven’t read one for probably a few years. I chose this book having already been captured by The Maze Runner story by James Dashner so thought this would be a winner. I wasn’t wrong! I was hooked from the first chapter. The intricate details about the person and life of the lead character Michael gave me an instant picture of him and his home in my head.
The story is set in the future and is about a virtual world in which ‘gamers’ can hook up to the game by loading themselves in ‘The Sleep’ which is a coffin like computer hook up to an alternative reality. Once inside the game the players can manipulate the surroundings by changing the ‘code’ and looking for opportunities to improve their scores to move to higher levels. The higher the difficulty and complex the killings, the higher they go up the rankings. Michael met a couple of friends in the VirtNet and together they were a force to be reckoned with in the game because of their exceptional coding manipulation skills. This is why the game owners called on them to undertake a secret mission, one which they had no option to refuse.
They were tasked with going deep inside the game to find the person responsible for killing people whilst in the game which resulted in them dying in real life also. The mission was filled with danger the three hadn’t come across before. They were thrust into life or death choices inside and outside the game. Once inside there were puzzles, riddles with twists and turns in the story. Michael and his friends have to use all their gaming knowledge to survive the game. There are dramatic battles with people and ‘other’ life forms which are intensely described and you get lost in the story, rooting for Michael and his friends.
Did they succeed and find the ‘killer’? Well that is where the story takes you into an extraordinary twist… one which I cannot tell you about, you have to read it for yourself. It made me think back to the clues along the way and have one of those ‘I should have seen it coming’ moments. I never saw it coming though which is the sign that the book captures your imagination well and truly. The ending, whilst you are left feeling like you want to know what happens next to Michael and his friends, doesn’t leave you dissatisfied. I am now excited for the next instalment ‘The Rule of Thoughts’.
The details in the book are very graphical for the imagination and I would say this was a teen upwards read. I read this in only 8 days which not having been engrossed in a book for some time is saying something indeed! I thoroughly enjoyed this and can’t wait for the next book.
RRP: £7.99 (paperback), £9.99 (hardback)
Available to buy from Random House here.