In the not too distant future, after the huge successes of role-playing games, virtual worlds and reality shows, it was only a matter of time before somebody went too far. Welcome to Gameworld, a remote island with a population unaware that they exist only to entertain players. People's lives are dictated by their 'owners' and broadcast around the clock and around the globe. It's the world's biggest game and the stakes keep increasing. Dean 3012 is a good guy living on the Island with his girlfriend, Lily. With a baby on the way, life is perfect. But when things take a sinister turn, the couple are plunged into a world of darkness. In the real world, Lily's owner Amelia is more than a watcher of the game. Obsessed with Lily's happiness beyond reason, Amelia will threaten anyone - real or virtual - in a misguided effort to protect her. Dean must somehow find a way to gain self-determination and fight for all their lives, even if it means discovering that his life isn't real.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
This is a very interesting story. I really enjoyed it.
Dean and Lily are interesting characters. They are characters who live in a virtual reality game, though they do not know this. In their world, they are living their own lives and are unaware of the outside world who watch them with close scrutiny. When Dean's owner sends a new instruction, it creates a ripple affect and lives are changed forever.
I have been wanting to read this book for some time. However, due to my rather large reading list, I have only recently been able to do so.
I started to read this book and was quickly hooked. In a way, this story reminded me of the computer game The Sims. It also reminded me of two movies: The Truman Show and Westworld. The author has taken a look at the "what if" scenario of what consists of virtual reality. If we lived in a game, would we know? And, if we did, what we do to survive? However, she has also explored the darker side of obsession, in this case Lily's 'owner', Amelia. Amelia is possessive and protective of Lily and when Dean's owner throws a spanner in the works by making him do something that threatens Dean's and Lily's relationship, Amelia becomes bent on revenge. What follows is a chilling tale that made me rather uncomfortable. So much so that I had to put the book down on more than one occasion. It has a very dark undertone that unsettled me. However, I had to keep reading in order to find out what was happening next.
This story is told through various points of view, which, although this gave the reader a broader understanding on what was going on, also caused confusion as I struggled to remember which characters were in the game and who was in the real world.
James Madison is the creator of Gameworld and the characters within it. Although he is only in a few scenes, I did like him even though I don't think he sees the characters he creates as real. He doesn't have an emotional connection to them and is a businessman through and through. However, the public love his Gameworld and have created an emotional bond with their characters. It is the modern equivalent of watching a television soap opera or Big Brother and the viewers developing feelings for the characters, though also having control of the characters' themselves. Scary!
My only complaint is that I struggled to form an emotional attachment to the majority of characters. The only one I felt anything for was Dean. This made it extremely difficult for me when I reached the end of the book, as I was left slightly disappointed in the way it concluded. However, other readers may have a different experience to myself.
C.L. Davies has written an interesting science fiction novel that takes a chilling look at virtual reality games and what can happen when it becomes all too real for those who live in them and for them. I enjoyed her fast paced writing style, though felt that the flow was somewhat compromised by having too many characters. Nevertheless, I would consider reading more of her books in the future.
Due to scenes of violence, I do not recommend this book for younger readers. However, I recommend this book if you love science fiction or horror genres. - Lynn Worton