By: James Dashner
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: October 8, 2013
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: October 12, 2013
It’s not an overstatement to say that when The Maze Runner series arrived in our world, author James Dashner became a icon. That series showed an entirely new way of combining humanity with the digital realm, and proved that Dashner was one of the best writers this world has ever seen.
Now, thankfully, Dashner has continued. This new book provides an exciting, enticing plotline that will have every reader jumping right back on the Dashner mind-train and wishing that it was already 2014 so they could see what happens next.
In this book, we are standing by the side of Michael. Michael, like most teenagers, is far more into his computer than real life. His parents have been gone on an extended vacation and his nanny, Helga, takes care of him well. All Michael wants to do, however, is forget school, forget real life, head to his Coffin (the place where he lies down and gets ‘hooked’ up to the VirtNet), and play a game. In his Coffin he’s able to leave the boring Wake behind and head into the Sleep - a place that is completely realistic even though its all a virtual game.
What Michael wants more than anything is to get enough credits to be able to enter Lifeblood Deep (which is THE game that everyone wants to take a peek at). However, an incident hurts his credits badly. A girl heads up to the Golden Gate Bridge, rips out her Core (which is in your brain and allows you to be protected in the Wake when you die in the Sleep), and jumps off. She dies in her real life too, of course, because the Core is gone. And she commits suicide because she can no longer deal with Kaine and how he is manipulating and killing people.
Michael wakes up and soon finds himself a target of VNS, agents who tell him he and his two friends in the VirtNet must find Kaine - a cyber-terrorist - and find his hideout within the Sleep so the Agents can destroy him. Oh yeah...this will be an easy job.
Michael has to accept the mission because of the consequences that will occur in his reality, and joins his two friends to stop Kaine from taking more innocent gamers’ lives. To get to him and learn more about something called The Mortality Doctrine, the friends must discover Kaine’s secret hiding place called The Hallowed Ravine. To do so these three friends go up against zombies, wolves with yellow eyes, snake ropes, tangents, Greenland savages - you name it.
Let’s face it, Dashner has the right words and a truly incredible imagination. The story is rich in detail with humor, suspense, science-fiction, fantasy, romance - again...you name it! It’s no surprise that Dashner has created what will be another bestselling series that no one will ever forget.
Quill says: Bring on the Dashner movies, Hollywood! Or, readers may just have to take you into the Sleep and teach you a lesson. Enjoy everybody! This is FANtastic!