July 15, 2014

Mindwar Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway


Welcome to my stop on the Mindwar blog tour! Today I'm sharing my review of the book with you and don't forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post! To follow the rest of the tour, click on the banner above.

Mindwar (Mindwar #1)
Author: Andrew Klavan
Release Date: July 15, 2014
Publisher: Thomas Nelson


Rick Dial has the potential to be a hero. He just doesn't know it yet.

Rick's high school football team couldn't be stopped when he was leading them as their quarterback. He was going to Syracuse on a scholarship. But then his dad abandoned them and a terrible accident left him crippled.

Certain his old life is completely lost, Rick spends months hiding away in his room playing video games. He achieves the highest scores on so many games that he's approached by a government agency who claims to be trying to thwart a cyber attack on America that would destroy the technological infrastructure of the entire country. The agents say that the quick-thinking of a quarterback coupled with Nick's gaming experience make him perfect for this assignment. The problem is that there are no extra lives and this isn't just a game . . . but Rick doesn't have many other options at the moment.

Entering "The Realm" gives Rick the one thing he thought he'd never have again: a body that's as fast and as strong as he ever was before the accident. But the more time he spends in The Realm, the more questions he has. What secrets are these agents keeping from him? What really happened to his father? How many others have gone into The Realm already . . . and failed? And perhaps most important, is he the hero they think he is?

Mindwar is the first book in an exciting new young adult series that follows our main character, Rick Dial, as he tries to piece his life back together from the disasters that happened months before. His father up and left his family to be with a younger woman, and then Rick was in a terrible wreck, which crippled both his legs - which meant that his football days and the full scholarship to Syracuse - were a thing of the past. Rick hasn't been dealing with the changes in his life very well. He hides in his room and plays video games most of the day, every day. However, Rick's life is about to change drastically. A secret government agency has been watching him and they approach him with a huge opportunity - to save America and the world as he knows it. Terrorist groups have new technology that will enable them to launch a cyber attack on America like they've never seen - and they believe that Rick is the best person to stop this attack. Will Rick put aside his own personal issues to think of others? Will he cast his doubts and insecurities aside and attempt to save the world? As things become more and more twisted, Rick starts to question everything the government has told him, which brings even more questions to mind. 

I thought this was a solid start to a new series that science fiction fans will enjoy. The book is set in our time, so there wasn't any really weird setting to adjust to. The new cyber technology that the story is centered around is fascinating and certainly made me stop and think about the possibilities of this type of science would allow. Rick was a good main character - he's had a lot of bad things happen in his life in the past few months - and his hope is all but gone. He's pretty sulky and whiny, in my opinion, and he just seems to wallow in his self pity and anger. He does have good qualities to round out the flaws - he's smart and loves his family - but he still seems to waver a bit for my taste. The plot was unique and I found the technology and all of its aspects really intriguing. It sort of went over my head at first and I had to sit and think about it for awhile before I understood it. It's a typical hero story - the hero is presented with a quest or challenge, which he must accept, and then embarks on a journey to complete the task - all while encountering unforeseen dangers along the way. The hero finishes the quest and returns home. The book pretty much follows this design to the mark. I enjoyed reading about the characters and the "quest" that Rick is thrown into, but I wasn't able to fully immerse myself in the story. Along with the obvious plot and story line, there are several meaningful topics that are dealt with - like family issues, self-confidence, love, trust, and doing the right thing, to name a few. I liked that the author included these deeper aspects to the story - it gives it a whole new depth and an overall positive message. Overall, this was a good start to an interesting series that will appeal to fans of science fiction, as well as those who enjoy a story that also sends a good message.

Andrew Klavan is a best-selling, award-winning thriller novelist whose books have been made into major motion pictures. He broke into the YA scene with the bestselling Homelanders series, starting with The Last Thing I Remember. He is also a screenwriter and scripted the innovative movie-in-an-app Haunting Melissa

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