3.73 (536 ratings by Goodreads)
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When Rick lost the ability to run, he came one step closer to becoming a hero.

New High Score! New Record Time!

Rick nodded with grim satisfaction. He laid the game controller aside on the sofa and reached for his crutches.

Rick Dial was the best quarterback Putnam Hills High School had ever seen. Unflappable. Unstoppable. Number 12. But when a car accident left him crippled, Rick's life as he knew it ended. He disavowed his triumphant past. He ignored his girlfriend. He disappeared into his bedroom--and into the glowing video screen.

But Rick's uncanny gaming skills have attracted attention. Dangerous attention. Government agents have uncovered a potentially devastating cyber-threat: a Russian genius has created a digital reality called the Realm, from which he can enter, control, and disrupt American computer systems . . . from transportation to defense. The agents want Rick, quick-thinking quarterback and gaming master, to enter the Realm and stop the madman--before he sends America into chaos.

Entering the Realm will give Rick what he thought he'd never have again: a body as strong and fast as it was before the accident. But this is no game, there are no extra lives, and what happens to Rick in the Realm happens to Rick's body in reality.

Even after Rick agrees to help, he can't shake the sense that he's being kept in the dark. Why would a government agency act so aggressively? Can anyone inside the Realm be trusted? How many others have entered before him . . . and failed to return?

In the tradition of Ender's Game and The Matrix, MindWar is a complex thriller about a seemingly ordinary teenager who discovers a hidden gift--a gift that could make him a hero . . . or cost him everything.

"Edgar Award-winning Klavan's well-orchestrated fantasy thriller features . . . an imaginative mix of gaming action with real-life stakes. With just the right cliff-hanger ending, this trilogy opener shows promise." --Booklist
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Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 150 x 216 x 30mm | 431g
  • Nashville, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1401688926
  • 9781401688929
  • 1,022,166

Review quote

"Klavan (the Homelanders series) kicks off a trilogy with this fast-paced cyberthriller involving a teenager tapped by a secret agency to fight evil inside a form of virtual reality. Former football star Rick Dial has been living in a funk ever since his father walked out on his family and Rick himself was injured in a car accident. A self-described 'useless cripple, ' Rick has taken to playing video games nonstop. His exemplary skills lead him to be recruited by the MindWar Project, where he's charged with a vital mission: go into the digital 'Realm' to investigate, spy on, and possibly combat the terrorist Kurodar. Inside the Realm, Rick fights code disguised as monsters as he learns how to achieve his full potential. While Rick starts out as depressed and surly, his self-image and confidence are gradually restored. The story, while interesting, suffers from a lack of focus---both an awkward romantic subplot and religious undertones involving the power of spirit feel tacked on, rather than an organic part of the novel."--Publishers Weekly
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Rating details

536 ratings
3.73 out of 5 stars
5 27% (144)
4 37% (196)
3 24% (126)
2 9% (49)
1 4% (21)
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