What's Not To Like? 4/5
The future is harsh, the world is ruined, life is cheap, the only escape is virtual reality, a more detailed version than ever seen before. When you can do anything, why not do anything? That is what the author imagines. Virtual worlds, virtual spaceships, teleporters, schools. When you can create a world so much better than the real one, why not stay in it? Of course one of the subjects the author touches upon is that no matter how good the virtual world is, it is not a substitute for human contact, rather a way of not dealing with real-life problems or even attempting to sort out a rather messed up world.
For me, the 80s references were great, having grown up through that time I probably only got a quarter of them, but still, it made the novel feel mine in a way most don't. My only dislike of the novel, is the whole one guy can infiltrate a super fascist company and basically beat it from the inside. That bit of the novel felt forced, just a little bit too much of the author deciding the main character can win despite the odds and not putting too much in his way. Other than that, fantastic, and can't wait until the next book by Mr Cline.