Omnitopia Dawn by Diane Duane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It's the first quarter of the twenty-first century, and "massively multiplayer" on-line games have been around for a couple of decades. In an increasingly wired and computer-friendly world they've become a form of entertainment so popular they're giving television and films a run for the money. And the most popular gaming universe of all is Omnitopia, created by genius programmer Dev Logan.
For millions of people around the world, Omnitopia is an obsession, a passionate pastime, almost a way of life. Omnitopia is a virtual place where dreams come true-players can create their own universes within the game's structure, and participate in the profits if their piece of the universe is a hit. Ten million players routinely play in Omnitopia, and at any given time, nearly a million of them are on-line, living in a world more real to them then their own.
Now Dev and his people are preparing to rollout a major new expansion to the Omnitopia system. And even as players, staff, the media, and the heavy hitters on the world financial scene wait eagerly for this fast-approaching and momentous event, there are others preparing to play a very different game-one that is meant to strike at the heart of Omnitopia and bring the entire system crashing down..
Diane Duane is one of my favourite authors since reading her novel, The Book of Night with Moon. Seeing Omnitopia Dawn on the shelf in Chapters (and I rarely see any of her books in the store - ever) I was fairly certain it would be a book that I would enjoy.
And I was right about that.
And the book was enjoyable, the game-world is vast and amazing, and, if Omnitopia existed, I am sure it would be one that I would invest both time and money into. Much of the novel was spent explaining and describing this world, as well as the lives of the game company's CEO and his rival - the CEO of a competing game company. While all of this was interesting, it did keep things moving at a slower pace than I was expecting.
The action didn't really kick-in until the end, when a battle occurred both in-game and online. This part, however, was the most confusing portion of the book. Compared to everything else it almost seemed rushed - I found myself re-reading some pages more than once as I tried to grasp what was being described to me.
Still, Omnitopia Dawn is a worthwhile read. I will purchase the next in the series, especially since I know more of what to expect, and hope it will be a less-confusing read now that the foundations have been laid out. That's really the only issue I had with the book, overall.
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