Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The planet is dying. Centuries of abuse have damaged the earth beyond repair, and now all the authorities can do is polish the surface, make the landscape look pretty to hide the disease within. Two prominent yet mysterious businessmen couldn’t fix it, either, but they did something even better. Together, they invented Chimera, the most complex and immersive virtual reality video game the world has ever known. The Cubes in which Chimera is played quickly became a fixture of this landscape: part distraction, part hospital, and almost wholly responsible for holding up the failing world economy.
Miguel Anderson is also dying. He isn’t the only one who plays the game–everybody does–but Miguel has more reason than most: When players leave their Cubes for the day, the upgrades and enhancements they’ve earned for their virtual characters leave with them. New lungs to breathe poisoned air, skin that won’t burn under the sun are great and everything… but Miguel, born as broken as the earth, needs a new heart–and soon–if he wants any hope of surviving just a little longer.
Then the two Gamerunners announce a competition, with greater rewards and faster progression than ever before, and Miguel thinks his prayers have been answered. All he needs to do is get picked to lead a team, play the game he’s spent years getting good at, and ask for his prize when he wins. Simple, really.
At first, things seem to go according to plan. Mostly, anyway. Inside his Cube, with his new team–including his best friend–at his back, Miguel begins his quest. He plays recklessly, even dangerously, for someone whose most vital organ could give up at any moment, but his desperation makes him play better than ever. The eyes of the world are on him, watching through status updates and live feeds, betting on his chances. With greater rewards, though, come greater risks, and the Gamerunners seem to delight at surprising the competitors at every turn. As he ventures deeper into a world that blends the virtual and the real to an unsettling degree, Miguel begins to wonder just why the game was invented at all, and whether its stakes could be even higher than life and death.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
“Win, and he gets anything he wants. The Gamerunners’ promise.
Win, and he gets to live. What could any of them need that compares?”
This was a sci-fi story about a game in which you could earn biomechanical body parts.
Mig was an okay character, and it was sad that his heart was failing on him at such a young age. I did think that he should have been a bit more honest with his friends though, especially about his heart condition.
The storyline in this was about a game called Chimera, in which biomechanical body parts could be earned. There was a new challenge announced in which you could win even more prizes, and Mig felt like that was his only hope of getting a new heart, even though his doctors didn’t want him to play. I did find the storyline a bit jumpy though, and I felt like I kept missing things, although this may well have just been me not following things correctly.
The ending to this was okay, although I found the explanation as to what the ideas behind Chimera were to be a bit weird.
6 out of 10