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Publisher's Summary

The line between virtual & reality is about to evaporate.

In a world where skycams follow your every move and the details of your life are uploaded each hour, Sofi knows that her eyes are the only caring ones watching her brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, she works behind the scenes to protect Shilo as he competes in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb destroys the gaming arena, she is helpless to rescue him - and certain that his disappearance was no accident. Despite all the evidence of Shilo's death, Sofi's nightmares tell her he is still alive. Could the dreams be truer than what everyone else claims?

For Miguel - a charming young playboy from Earth - the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets. In the aftermath of the bombing, he fears he has lost Sofi forever, even as he wonders if she is really who she seems. Now he’s a target for blackmail. The game is simple: help the blackmailers or lose more than anyone can fathom - or than Earth can afford.

Step into a universe of diverse characters, alien invasions, and high-stakes video gaming. Because when technology reigns, nothing is as true as it seems - and fantasy can become reality after all.

©2017 Mary Weber (P)2017 Zondervan

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

What if...

Not like the Storm Siren series, but just as good. Again Mary Weber tackles deep themes and relevant issues in the guise of fantasy. The characters struggle with real problems and are vulnerable to the pressures facing the world today. The action and the emotions kept me listening. I highly recommend to readers both young and old.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Golly Darn it, and Blast it all to Heck.

This was an okay story with a good narrator, but some odd narrative inconsistencies that made it hard to take seriously.

The most annoying of these was the author's consistent use of those flipping, gosh darn substitute swear words in ways that were frankly... bizarre. Nobody actually says "Double-u Tee Ef" out loud, nor can heck be used fully interchangeably with hell. I understand that she was trying to keep the story clean, which is not a problem in the slightest: in fact, I think it's admirable. The difficult part was the way that most of the subs felt out of character and unmotivated, which kept pulling me out of the story. There are subtler ways to deal with language than just pretending your cast of rebellious teenage badbutts (hehe) all, for some inexplicable reason, have G-rated mouths.

Similar inconsistencies abound throughout the novel. Miguel was constantly switching into broken high-school spanglish, with the implication that he was a native speaker (this was made especially bad by the narrators cringe-worthy accent, which was single-handedly responsible for losing her a 5 star rating), which was not very well implemented. At one point, two of the largely unblooded cast of badbutts take out three career paramilitaries who had them down to rights, apparently using nothing but attitude and plot armor. Any time a supposedly secure server is accessed, it's always through nothing more explicit than "a backdoor". Little things like that.

Perhaps the most telling oversight was that Sofi, the protagonist, possessed magical and inexplicable hacking powers of the highest order: these let her accomplish the seemingly impossible via narrative handwaving whenever the plot demanded, but had no real use outside of furthering the plot. To misquote (but not by much): "Of course I can hack an offline security system and erase only the parts pertaining to me in real time, while I simultaneously walk under the noses of about a hundred of the most intelligent people in the world who also happened to have seen my rather striking protagonist-like features three hours ago and are actively looking for me, while I'm wearing nothing but a day of the dead mask and a skimpy red dress to an impromptu meeting with a known acquaintance. Why couldn't I?"

"Of course you can," responds said acquaintance, too busy acknowledging the sexual tension the skimpy red dress is generating to realize that this is not really that plausible.

Despite all this, it wasn't a bad listen. If none of this sounds like it will bother you, go ahead ahead and enjoy the solid pacing, decent characterization, electric teenage romance, excellent narration, and clean language: because other than these (and other) nitpicky details that only bother the very bored and the very OCD, it really was a golly darn heck of a read :)