Saturday, October 3, 2009

Nick Sagan: IDLEWILD

Nick Sagan
276 pages
ISBN: 978-0-451-46198-8

I bought this book based on the recommendation of a friend from university with whom I was book shopping about two months ago. Usually, this is definitely not in my comfort zone, but I absolutely loved Idlewild.

A few teenagers attend at a prestigious virtual reality boarding school, Idlewild Immersive Virtual Reality Academy. Their parents sent them there in order to be prepared for medical school at an ivy league school. One of the students is Halloween, who interacts with his fellow students, while his body sleeps. All this happens under the supervision of Maestro, an enigmatic artificial intelligence. When an inexplicable energy surge leaves Halloween with a memory loss. Hal, as Halloween is sometimes called, believes this energy surge to have been deliberately triggered to kill him. But in a world ruled by virtual reality, what is in fact real and what isn't? This is part of what Hal has to find out.

I really bought this book on a whim, completely relying on Julia's recommendation, and it paid off. Nick Sagan drew me right into the story with Hal's memory loss and his desperate search for what is true and what isn't. I'm not very savvy when it comes to technology and computers etc, which my brother would happily attest to, but that didn't matter much. Sagan described the details short, but easy to understand, simply by having the basics explained to the students in flashbacks to when Hal first arrived at the Idlewild IVR Academy.

With lots of twists and turns, Idlewild kept me on the edge throughout the entire book. Maybe it is because I'm no pro when it comes to reading sci-fi, but I would never have expected the outcome of many of those twists, but I sure was surprised - flashbacks or not!

There are two more books revolving around Hal, Edenborn and Everfree, and I will definitely get them - for my days off in December at the latest!

Rating: 5/5

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