An Elite Cybersecurity Analyst. A Desperate Rebellion’s Best Hope.
Brandon thought the assignment was just another standard security assessment. Wrong. As he peels back the layers of a deepening conspiracy, he discovers everything he thought he knew about his reality is a lie.
And he’s the only one who can save it.
Exiles from another reality see Brandon’s new knowledge as the key to victory over their tyrannical king and his immortal army. Pursued by both loyalists and rebels as he crosses the borders between realities, Brandon must protect his family, while figuring out who to trust.
Choosing well means rescuing his family, and saving both worlds, but choosing poorly will empower a malevolent evil to wipe out humanity.
This book is set on a world that at first, seems very similar to our own. The main character, Brandon, is a cybersecurity analyst for a major tech firm, and he’s often so engrossed in his work that other aspects of his life fall to the wayside. He’s good at his job—maybe too good, since he stumbles onto a major conspiracy that some people are willing to do anything to protect.
But what I didn’t expect was the turn this book made at about the 30% mark. Brandon’s thrown from the life he’s always known into something and somewhere vastly different. They synopsis mentions another reality, but in classic me fashion, I kind of skipped that part before I started reading the book, so this twist came as a big surprise. (Note to self: Reading the synopsis again before starting the book is helpful… Although surprises can be fun.)
Around the 40% mark, when the other reality started to come into play, things got really interesting. There were elements of a zombie horde mixed with the Matrix, along with what felt more like traditional fantasy battles than science fiction. There are avian aliens and talk of genetic manipulation, yet the technology wasn’t much different than what we currently have in the real world. It was an unusual mix of concepts that worked surprisingly well together.
Brandon navigates a reality filled with lies and half-truths, where everyone expects him to help their side win—both on his home world and in the other reality. Some of his choices didn’t make sense to me, and I wish the author would have spent a little more time relating what Brandon was thinking in those moments. He was a difficult character to predict.
My one grievance with this book is one big question was never explained. I’d really like to know why the simulation was started and why its continued existence was necessary. I don’t want to go into more details about this, as it could spoil parts of the story, but I wish that had been answered.
This was definitely one of the more unique books I’ve read this year, and an entertaining adventure.