Well, recently I finished this book. I get deals from BookBub sent to my e-mail and whenever I see a book that is free for downloading, I read the description and when I read this one, I was hooked. Thing is, I have another book that I want to finish, but well, this one took precedent.
The genre of the book is, in my humble opinion, very hard to pinpoint. I'd say that it is the opposite of dystopia but not utopia. Which in itself is a bit of a mindfuck.
Most of the book takes place in a virtual reality called EARTH. And yes, it is an acronym. Only, the full name was only mentioned about twice in the entire book so I don't remember it.
The premise is that kids in the real world are educated through the virtual reality where they live full lives. The first five plays are free and then they have to buy any additional ones with credits earned through playing. They can also use the credits to purchase different upgrades like long life, charisma and many others.
Zach is the main character and during this book, he plays his final game as he is nearing his eighteenth birthday after which he will "graduate" from playing and enter the real world as a productive member of the society. He did a lot of careful planning with his team and sponsors. But when he enters the game, a wrench is thrown into all the planes. A wrench in the form of Zach's (ex)-girlfriend Alexandra.
Alexandra lost everything in her last play but has been awarded a free playthrough for the thirty-year anniversary of the game. Her goal? To treat the game itself as a game. Which may seem difficult to achieve considering that when a player enters the game, they forget everything about the real world. But Alexandra manages this even without her memory of the real world.
When she and Zach meet inside the game, they strike a friendship and later start dating. They both believe that their lives inside the game are indeed a virtual reality and later they amass a following of people which leads to Zach being assassinated in-game with a special weapon that is supposed to kill you even in the real life.
And if that is not enough, well, let's just say that the game itself is sentient. And names Sylvia. Well, the game... More along the lines of the AI that more or less runs the game.
The whole book ends with the Game's creator being told to not unplug Zach from the game as he is not yet dead and done for.
To express my feelings about the book in a single word: Awesome! It is written in an easy and flowing style and I was hooked after the first page. Which makes it my kind of a book. If I can't get behind a book after the first three pages or so, I don't consider it a good book. So this would be considered a great book. Only thing is, I got this one for free, but when I went to hunt down the following books, well... Headdesk.
Six and a half dollars! Are they fucking crazy? Guess I'll be doing a bit more thorough search of the internet to see if there is a possibility of a free download. I'm sure I'll find one.
But other than this little problem, I definitely recommend the book to all the ones who liked the Divergent series, the Giver movie or even the freaking Hunger Games. Heck, Star Trek fans might like it! And those who loved the Sword Art Online anime will lap it up and beg for more!