Rick Dial has the potential to be a hero. He just doesn't know it yet.
Rick's high school football team couldn't be stopped when he was leading them as their quarterback. He was going to Syracuse on a scholarship. But then his dad abandoned them and a terrible accident left him crippled.
Certain his old life is completely lost, Rick spends months hiding away in his room playing video games. He achieves the highest scores on so many games that he's approached by a government agency who claims to be trying to thwart a cyber attack on America that would destroy the technological infrastructure of the entire country. The agents say that the quick-thinking of a quarterback coupled with Nick's gaming experience make him perfect for this assignment. The problem is that there are no extra lives and this isn't just a game . . . but Rick doesn't have many other options at the moment.
Entering "The Realm" gives Rick the one thing he thought he'd never have again: a body that's as fast and as strong as he ever was before the accident. But the more time he spends in The Realm, the more questions he has. What secrets are these agents keeping from him? What really happened to his father? How many others have gone into The Realm already . . . and failed? And perhaps most important, is he the hero they think he is?
I've read several of Andrew Klavan's books before and enjoyed them a lot. He's like a less scary and less supernatural Ted Dekker, and one of the few Christian Young Adult, thriller authors. Since his original series, The Homelanders, he's only had a few novels and this is the first book in the second series he's written. So I was pretty interested to see what this series would hold. It has a similar feel to his other books, but the plot and content are different. In this book the hero, Rick, must overcome his physical and emotional hurt to help save the world from a massive threat.
While I liked the basic idea of this story I didn't get into like I have with some of his other books. Yes, it had several fights and exciting escapades, but it wasn't the same as it has been in some of his other books. I did really like Rick's character and his family and thought they interacted really well. I thought he grew well throughout the book too. The characters, along with the idea of how this cyber attack was going to happen and the way Rick was supposed to stop him, all that plot stuff, were my favorite parts. I also got a bit confused about some of the people he encounters inside the realm, however they were cool and it had a King Arthur vibe.
Overall, I liked this book and I thought it was a nice start to the series. But I'm hoping for more in the second book as this one didn't grip me the way some of his other books did. And, I don't know if it was meant to be guessed or not or if it was supposed to but I did guess a plot point and in some ways the plot seemed pretty simple. But it's still a good book with some interesting elements :) So I'm giving Mindwar 3 out 5 flowers.
Sara Bennett, someone more likely to be found in bed, curled up with a good book, than out at a sports game or gig (although she's pretty addicted to music too). Hoping for a better world, believing in her Savior, daydreaming of One Direction, hanging out with friends, or where she may be...there's always a little voice inside wondering if it's almost time to return to the books sitting on her shelf. In short, an average young woman with a book in hand and a dream to write one day.