“The Reality Bug (Pendragon #4)” by D. J. MacHale
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction, Fantasy
Summary from Goodreads:
VIRTUAL REALITY? The territory of Veelox has achieved perfect harmony. Fifteen-year-old Bobby Pendragon arrives on this territory in pursuit of the evil Saint Dane, but all is peaceful on Veelox — because it’s deserted. The inhabitants have discovered a way to enter their own personal dream worlds, where they can be whoever they want, wherever they want. Their bodies lie in stasis while their minds escape to this dream realm.
Fresh from his battle with Saint Dane in 1937 Earth, Bobby is confident that they can defeat whatever Saint Dane has planned for this world. But once Bobby enters the virtual world will he be able to resist the lure of the ultimate in escapism?
I love when series continue to improve with each book. So far my experience with this series is each book is better than the previous books. It’s not that the previous books were bad or inadequate, it’s more like the next book is bringing more to the table in its level of awesomeness.
Veelox is a radically different territory (but then again that can be said about any of the territories). The physical world is fairly similar to our own. It’s the virtual world that sets it apart. They have the technology to allow people to essentially to live out their dream life in a virtual world. Imagine your perfect life. All of your relations go smoothly, you have your ideal job, nothing ever goes wrong. That sounds great right? That’s the problem. People are so much more interested in living in this fantasy they spend all their time in there and now the real world is falling apart around them.
I liked that the Travelers fail in this book. Okay I don’t like the fact that they failed, that’s bad. I like that the author is making it a hard road. He’s not taking the easy way out. It brings it to the next level and steps it up from being just a kid’s book.
Mark and Courtney’s story is progressing nicely as well. They’ve taken the next step and want to help Bobby (and the other Travelers) as much as possible. It adds another dimension to the story. We aren’t seeing Bobby’s story first hand. We’re hearing him tell the story after the fact. Mark and Courtney’s story is more in the here and now. It feels like we’re reading it as it happens. So having them be more involved with the Traveler stuff makes it a bit more real since it’s not as removed.
The bottom line? Awesome installment! I guess I need to continue with the series after all!