Virtual Sabotage

Julie Hyzy. Calexia, $16 trade paper (334p) ISBN 978-0-9835067-3-7
The inhabitants of this well-crafted futuristic thriller from Hyzy (the Manor House mysteries) live out their fantasies every day. They get up, go to work, then stroll down the Champs Élysées, climb Mt. Everest, or visit Cleopatra in Egypt. Everything is customized, safe, and on demand. And if they run into trouble, Virtu-Tech “envoys” will help. All it takes is a small implant behind the ear. Virtu-Tech has brought VR to the masses, and millions tune in to tune out, until something goes terribly awry. Despite the heroic efforts of envoy Kenna Ward, a VR trip for a player named Charlie ends with him suffering mortal wounds, even with layers of sophisticated safety protocols. When the tragedy is declared an accident, Kenna isn’t satisfied and begins investigating. What she finds is a virtual world where nothing is what it seems: weapons draw real blood, and foes want to kill, all to protect a new realm. Hyzy combines a supercharged plot with characters who leap off the page in this eerily plausible tale. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/13/2018
Release date: 10/01/2018
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