Rick was the star quarterback. He used to run with his girlfriend, Molly, who was on the volleyball team. He would hang out with his friends, go to parties, and do what he wanted to. That is until the accident which left him crippled. Now he sits around in his room playing video games all day. He barely talks to his mom and younger brother. He also ignores calls, texts, and e-mails from all of his friends, especially Molly. When he decides to go for a walk he fails to notice the green van watching him and Rick is abducted. He wakes up and Rick is told about the MindWar realm which is being used to launch a cyber-attack on the United States. Rick has been tasked with entering into the Realm, and it is up to him if he wants to accept or not. The catch is if he dies in the Realm he dies in real life. If he stays in too long his mind will disintegrate and be left in a vegetative state in the real world. After thinking it over Rick agrees to go in. For the first trip in Rick has an hour to explore and get out. His mission is to find where Kurodar's outpost is and come back. He encounters Favian and Mariel along with a spider-snake monster. Rick defeats the monster and finds where the outpost is. After Rick comes back he heads home to rest up before his next trip into the Realm. As he's sleeping someone puts a gun to his neck and demands to know where his father is. Raider, his brother, comes in and is threatened by the intruder. Juliet Seven and Miss Ferris come in and take care of the intruder. Rick is furious at Miss Ferris for allowing someone to come in and threaten his family. Despite being angry Rick re-enters the Realm. He is supposed to get as close to the fortress as he can and find out as much as he can. He's given 75 minutes this time around. Rick and Favian explore near the fortress and see creatures of the air protecting it. They also see an exit portal up in the sky. Just as they are trying to figure out how to get to the portal the dragons attack. Rick is able to bring one down and get on it to fly to the portal. He gets to the portal, but it's after the 75 minutes so his mind begins to disintegrate. He is pulled out, but confused for a little bit afterward. He's taken home to rest and begins to feel like the next time in will be his last. Rick begins to say good-bye to the people that mean the most to him. Does Rick have enough strength to defeat Kurodar, or will Kurodar prevail and launch an attack that will cripple the United States?
I enjoyed this book as I have enjoyed all of Andrew Klavan's other YA books. This book had a bit of real feel to it. I don't think its to far-fetched for someone to make a cyber-world and launch an attack on the real world. Just look at the cyber-attacks that have happened over the years. This is the first of a trilogy, and the second book is coming out in the spring of 2015. I will be eagerly awaiting its release.