Written by: James Dashner
# of pages: 323
Average Rating: 3.81/5
Ke-sha's Rating: 4/5
Read in August 2013
Summary according to goodreads
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.
Micheal: I liked him a lot, He was laid back and like to do what a lot of us do, Hang out and eat with friends. Except he like to do it the VirtNet. Yes, you can eat food there. He's a little addicted to VirtNet and spends a considerably amount of time there. The only one he knows who spends more time there is his friend Bryson.
In the beginning of this book I questioned some of the choices made but I was able to look past them and enjoy the story. Michael is dedicated but starts asking the smart question a little to late. How much is he willing to sacrifice? And how will he react to the truth once revealed?
Now Michael has two friends joining him for this journey. Bryson who doesn’t seem to have a filter from brain to mouth is someone who spends almost all there time in VirtNet. He's a little cocky throughout the book but I think he learns he's not exactly top dog throughout the story. Then there's Sara: who is the one who keeps the two boys in line a little. Sort of like a mother figure and when they’re being oblivious, point out the obvious to them.
The friendship between the three is nice usually easy going and when horrible stuff happened they bonded together. Just because this doesn't take place in the real world doesn't mean there isn't any real danger. One of the most dangerous thing about the Cyber-Terrorist Kaine is that when he kills people in the VirtNet he's killing them in real life to. Which isn't something someone should be able to do. Plus there's the psychological damage they probably wont be getting over anytime soon.
I felt at times that we didn't get to know enough about Sarah and Bryson. I feel like Michael's character overshadowed the two of them a lot of times. I know he's the main character but it would have been nice to learn more about the other two. Maybe it will be different in the next book. Also they've never meet in real life so I wonder if the dynamic of the relationships will change once that happens. Who knows.
Despite all that I have high hopes for the second book. Reading about these three hacker friends hired to do something that the VirtNet security couldn't do was a real page-turner and Kaine, Well you'll have to read to find out all about his sinister deeds. The sequels are definitely on my Pre-Order list. I gave this book 4/5 stars, and I look forward to seeing how everything plays out in the upcoming books.
Go check out Ke-sha! She's great!