This futuristic novel has an overwhelming amount of technological devices and virtual reality. It took me a while to understand what was going on and I would have appreciated a better introduction or set up to the era. Virtual gaming is the entertainment of the day and Sofi is a master at coding. She and her team direct and aid her brother, Shilo, as he battles virtual and real situations.
The novel reminded me of the Hunger Games. There is the same kind of intense competition as competitors face potentially harmful situations. Some of the competition involves real items. Sometimes blood is spilled. Other parts of the competition are virtual and the competitor's team works madly to write code to change an aspect of the player's protection or ability.
There is lots of adventure and suspense in this novel. Shilo goes missing when the competition is sabotaged. Sofi is sure he is still alive and is determined to find him. That leads her into all kinds of dangerous situations, including encountering aliens.
I was looking for a moral aspect in this novel and failed to find it. I did find several references to casual sex by some of the characters, including Sofi at age 17. I did not find any redeeming point to the story in the end. There was no mention of spirituality that I recall, even though the book is published by a “Christian” publisher. There will certainly be a sequel as we are left with a glaring undetermined outcome to Sofi's experiences. Perhaps there will be a well presented virtue in the next book.
I recommend this novel to older teens who love gaming, coding, and reading about virtual reality. Those who like science fiction in general might also like it as there are aliens who help earthlings in this era after a great war. The writing about gaming and coding was a bit confusing to this senior citizen but younger readers may understand it easily.
My rating: 3/5 stars.
Mary Weber is the author of the award winning young adult novel Storm Siren, and the Storm Siren Trilogy. She is a popular conference and school speaker. She and her husband live in California. You can find out more at http://www.maryweber.com/. (Photo credit: Mary Kathleen Photography)
Thomas Nelson, 352 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.