For Michael, the VirtNet isn't just a game. It's more than a dream, too--for him and countless others, the VirtNet is reality. Who could resist its endless dream worlds and epic fantastical situations; who would ever trade it for real life scenarios? Certainly not Michael and his friends. Not to mention, the VirtNet experience is made all the better when you can break the rules and hack your way to victory. But recent reports have surfaced, one about a mysterious terrorist that uses his hacking skills for a deadly plot against the entire VirtNet. And so, what other way better to catch a hacker than to use a hacker? Michael and his friends are called to stop this new schemer before it's too late. They will need all their hacking skills, strength, and more. The game has become more than life--if they make the wrong moves, it will mean death.
James Dashner's books are usually filled with action, humor, and a relatable leading male character, and this one is no different. While Michael is a world-class hacker, Dashner manages to make this character feel completely normal--an everyday human teenager. His background does seem to be a bit thin, but all that is explained at the end of the novel. Michael's friends are both unique as well. The trio constantly jabbers among themselves, providing some refreshing humor in what is an action-packed story. From the very first page, the action and drama starts up and never lets up. This book is filled with hacker battles, war games, riddles, and surprising encounters. The suspense rises up to an extraordinary level as Michael and his friends decide who to trust, and the answers aren't always so clear--one of the things Dashner's readers have come to expect from him. At the end, the full reveal of the antagonist makes this a wholly worthwhile journey.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read techy and action-filled adventures. The only downside is that the dialogue spoken among the characters is cliche at times, but Dashner's fans will not be disappointed by this latest novel.