Author: Jeff Norton
Jonah Delacroix can’t stand the real world – so he lives most of his life inside a global computer-based virtual world called the Metasphere, where everyone is represented by an avatar. When he discovers the avatar of his dead father, and assumes his online identity, a series of events are unleashed that compel Jonah to race across the real world with a secret society to protect the freedom of all mankind…
If you’re into video games you’ll love MetaWars – the Metasphere is for all intents and purposes one gigantic online multiplayer game which takes the Kinect a couple of stages further – it takes the phrase “you are the controller” quite literally.
MetaWars shares a similar idea to that of Ready Player One but for a younger market, set in the future, the real world is not a nice place to work and play – the problems that we are constantly being warned of today are coming true – the earth’s precious resources have run out and the people are looking for a place to escape, and escape comes in the form of the Metasphere – an idyllic, perfect place where you can be educated, earn a living, play – indeed live out your life … and, well afterlife too.
It sounds perfect but nothing perfect can last, the governments want to control and tax it (as governments often do), the Guardians want to free it from government power and make it free and open for everyone. The Millenials on the other hand want to see the original owner and creator, Matthew Granger – back in charge.
MetaWars is the start of the battle.
Like any good game – a person is represented in the Metasphere by an avatar – I felt this was a really interesting idea as like with many online activities the people you meet online may not be quite who they say they are. We literally have no idea who we’re talking to – unless we’ve met them previously in the real world. And there’s no escaping that in the Metasphere – something which Jeff plays on to great effect.
Talking of the Metasphere I loved the idea of the island of the uploaded – a place where the essence of someone can be saved to live well on past their real life death. A place where relatives don’t have to visit a gravestone but actually visit the person – or a version of their loved ones anyway.
But the story is much bigger than the Metasphere and those who want to make it free for all have to do battle in the real world too and this mix between the programmed and the real world was really well imagined. It rooted the story and brought it home that whilst they could live in the Metasphere for so long – they’re body and everything keeping them alive was very real. It added an extra level of excitement that the characters were actually more vulnerable when they were in the Metasphere.
By the end I had mixed feelings about the two main groups involved and whose side I wanted to support. I was fully supporting the Guardians up until this point but then we here Matthew Granger’s side of the story and I felt like I think Jonah felt at that point and started questioning which side to put my faith in
MetaWars: The Fight For The Future is a fast paced, action packed adventure that I’m sure gamers and readers alike will devour.
Thanks to Orchard for sending me a copy