Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Mindwar by Andrew Klavan--Book Review
I've read most of Andrew Klavan's young adult novels. I liked some and thought others were okay, decent. For Mindwar, the idea of the book sounded fascinating. I enjoyed the book though it was a quick, easy read. But I wouldn't call the book great.
The set-up of the book itself was fantastic and had me excited from the start. By this, I refer to the chapter titles and sections the book is divided in. Each chapter title is the name of a video game! I thought that was cool (and yes, I did look up every chapter to make sure). Also, the book is divided into sections or levels as they are called like video games were. I thought this was clever and it intrigued me at the start.
The Realm itself was pretty cool. While it wasn't as detailed as I would have liked, the idea behind it and what Rick could do within the Realm was exciting. There were monsters and magical weapons and all sorts of fantasy-driven ideas (so fans of fantasy might like the story). Dragons, guys! There were even dragons! (Sorry, I apologize for my obsession.)
I felt the characters fit the story line also. The situations the characters were stuck in at the beginning of the novel opened up the story to run smoothly. I mean, a crippled kid playing video games and essentially hating his life is the best set-up for an exciting adventure inside a digital world, where he can walk again and also learn to be a hero and appreciate his life.
As I said, the book was a quick and easy read. It wasn't too dark or deep, though it could be for a different age group, I suppose. The story line was intriguing, though at some points I did feel that things fell into place a little too easily. Rick always found a way out of the danger in an almost magical fashion (but I do suppose, it's a digital realm, a video game based novel, with fantasy and science fiction laced throughout. Magical should happen.)
The enemy, a terrorist, fit but I didn't see a clear reason why he was so bent on destroying America and other countries. I think his back story needs more fleshing out, which might happen in the next two novels (did I mention it's a trilogy?)
Last, the logistics of the Realm didn't always sit well with me. It felt too easy. The connection between a digital world and playing video games with a controller didn't line up. Rick's abilities in the Realm weren't given any explanation or consequences. (if you want to read more about this, see this review I found questioning it further).
Given all of that, I think this book is exciting and that readers will love it. I definitely think anyone from a pre-teen to a teen will enjoy it the most, though I think adults could get into the story also. It has its strong points that keep the story flowing and entertaining. I think I will look into the sequel, Hostage Run, when it releases next year!
Plus: dragons, guys!
I received this book for free through BookLook from Thomas Nelson publishing to give my open and honest opinion of the story, nothing more and nothing less.