Winter by Rod Rees
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I've probably had this book on my to-read list since it came out. A longish plane ride and finding this on a library shelf on a lark later and it turns out that I tripped up on a great read similar to Tad Williams's Otherland.
In the near future, the US military has developed a computer program to help train soldiers against a more insurgent style of warfare. To provide leadership, they uploaded the personality profiles of some of history's greatest psychopaths to help round things out and make things a little more realistic. As with any good plan, though, it goes haywire in a hurry and the president's daughter ends up logging into the simulation. Our heroine, Ella, has a very specific personality and identity profile to perhaps be the person who can go in and extract the president's daughter before it's too late.
The book is just really outstanding. From the start, the gravity and lunacy of the situation hits. As the story moves into the Demi-Monde itself, the situation in place and the gravity of everything just gets amped up and doesn't really stop. The politics of the simulation, the way everything is crafted, it's incredibly well thought-out and entertaining as a result. Plus, Ella is really an awesome, interesting protagonist and the way the book interweaves a more diverse cast with the needs of the story is one that should really be a model in how to do it.
Just well done all around, and I'm really looking forward to jumping in on the next one. I have no idea where it would go next, and I can't wait to find out.
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