Friday, May 16, 2008

REVIEW: Netherwood by Michele Lang

SETTING: Futuristic Romance
PAGES: 303


It's taken me a long time to write this review because Netherwood is one of the most unusual and unique books I have read in quite awhile. This book takes place in the future where the lines between the real world and virtual reality are blurred. Talia Fortune is the heir apparent and major shareholder of FortuneCorp, a mega-conglomerate that acts more like a government than a business. She has just been appointed sheriff of Fresh Havens, a planet colonized by FortuneCorp employees, and dispatched to Fresh Havens to catch the rebels who have sabotaged computers on the "grid", a kind of intergalactic internet, which is used to communicate and distribute information to all humans across the galaxy.

Talia has a secret passion to participate in virtual reality role playing games in the cyber-world called Netherwood. In this world her avatar is Amazonia and she battles with Avenger, her cyber-lover. Kinda cool! But she suspects that Avenger is Kovner in the Real world and is responsible for the sabotage on Fresh Havens. I'm a little unclear as to how she knew this but that's a minor quibble. Another peculiar thing about this world is that a person can download their consciousness onto a chip to become a part of the computer hive mind and thus attain "immortality". Talia's grandmother, Violet, did this before she died and Talia carries around her consciousness on her handheld PC.

Lieutenant Robert Kovner is a rebel and freedom fighter on Fresh Havens. He knows that the FortuneCorp computers are trying to take over the galaxy and get rid of humans (Singularity) and it is imperative that he gain Talia's trust and convince her that the Singularity has started.

I'll stop right there in my description of the plot and let you all find out what happens. The blend of science fiction and non-stop action made this book a real page-turner. The world building was very well done and I wouldn't mind visiting it again if Lang ever writes a sequel. Kovner and Talia are good strong characters and it takes awhile for him to convince her that the FortuneCorp is completely evil. Their romance blended with the action very well. The secondary characters were also well developed. This was a fast read and the first person POV never slowed me down. If you like SF/Futuristic, this book is a great one to try.



Kristie (J) said...

I've been reading a number of unusual type romance lately and have really been impressed! I think after reading your review I'm going to have to add this one to the mix too!! Thanks for the review.

ReneeW said...

Kristie: It's good to branch out into other areas. I think you'll like this one too.

Christine said...

Thanks for the review, Renee. I have this book on my TBR and haven't seen many reviews around. I was afraid the premise sounded a bit confusing, but I really do enjoy sci fi... and if its blended with some romance, all the better! :)

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