The Shadow Wars: Book Two in the Demi-Monde Saga
by Rod Rees
Review by Steve Sawicki
William Morrow Trade Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780062070371
Date: 19 February 2013 List Price $14.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Norma Williams is now trapped in the Demi-Monde. After being sent into the virtual world to rescue the president's daughter and learning that not everything she had bee told about the environment was correct, she finds herself essentially a free agent working against the forces working to see that the Demi-Monde becomes the real world once and for all.
The Demi-Monde is a virtual world, created to be used by the military to train soldiers in the new form of warfare. (Okay, this part is a bit weak.) In order to make the world more chaotic, all of the characters within are based on real people and the leaders are based on psychotic serial killers. This being the case, the cyber world is a bit on edge most of the time. Given the intelligence of these AI run intelligences it is no wonder that they began to be curious about their environment and curious about how to get out. Now, Norma must find the president's daughter who, herself, has self actualized in the virtual world, and get her out. Unless the god like being Norma is changing into decides that this mission is no longer a priority.
Rod Rees has done a great job in creating a unique world with a unique language and labeling system. It is fun, intelligent, fitting, and almost beyond description. The machinations of the inhabitants as they struggle to understand who they are and how they can get free, fits right into the setting and establishes any number of plot points and directions. The characters that inhabit the world are unusual, fun, and interesting to hang out with. Rees has done a great job in building a fun and unique environment to set his story on.
There is one odd thing here though, although it is not story related. This is the second book in the series. The first book was titled: The Demi-Monde: Winter. One would expect that this book would be called: The Demi-Monde, Spring. Nope, this one is called The Shadow Wars. Not only that but on the back cover is the cover of the first book which has now been renamed plainly, The Demi-Monde. I asked the publisher about this but got no answer. Something I have never seen before. It's an oddity of publishing and has nothing to do with the book itself, which is highly entertaining and well worth reading.
I recommend it if you are looking for a rousing adventure in a world that is unique and full of language that is fun and often hilarious.