Author: Michael Thomas Ford
Publisher: Harper Teen
Page #: 276
Source: From my public library
"The First Rule of Torching:
Cleanse with fire.
Josh is by far the best zombie Torcher around - at least, he is in his virtual-reality zombie-hunting game. Josh has quickly risen through the player ranks, relying on the skill, cunning, and agility of a real Torcher.
The Second Rule of Torching:
Save all humans.
But luckily for Josh, zombies exist only in the virtual world. The real zombie war is now more than fifteen years in the past, and the battle to defeat the deadly epidemic that devastated his family - and millions of others - is the stuff of history lessons.
The Third Rule of Torching:
You can't bring them back.
Charlie is the top-ranked player in the game. Since all the players are shrouded in anonymity, Josh never expects Charlie to be a girl - and he never expects the offer she makes him: to join the underground gaming league that takes the virtual-reality game off the screen and into the streets. Josh is thrilled. But the more involved he gets, the more he realizes that not everything is what it seems. Real blood is spilling, members of the team are disappearing, and the zombies in the game are acting strange. And then there's the matter of a mysterious drug called Z..."
"The zombie was somewhere ahead of him. Its stench - a combination of blood, dirt, and rotting meat - filled the air. It was close. Josh flipped the safety on his flamethrower and held it out in front of him, his finger on the trigger."
There are a few reasons why I picked up this book. One is that I'm always up for a good zombie story. Second was the whole gaming aspect. I'm about to marry a gamer, so I get how people get sucked into them. It's a whole other world from what I'm used to. But I thought this book might be something he could relate to (not that he'd read it).
This book is set pretty far into the future - after the zombie wars have happened. There's a very interesting explanation of zombie-ism in the first few chapters. Very scientific - which I thought was a cool idea. That all of it could be explained by a crazy strand of the flu virus. The story is about years later when there are no more zombies and teens across the world are obsessed with a new zombie fighting game that is holographic.
The main character finds out that there is a real player game just like it going on where he lives. There's a whole world of people who play this real life version and the people who watch their progress and gamble on the players. It's an amazing idea - that someone would have the tech and the ability to create a whole world of maps for fighting zombies.
I didn't expect to love this book as much as I did. I was very sucked in from the beginning. I think it had something to do with how well the characters interacted and the crazy stuff that happened. But also the writing is done really well. You're taken on a journey from boring high school student to zombie slayer. It's pretty fun.
This is a perfect book for boys looking for that bit of thriller and mystery and action and gaming. :) It combines all of those seamlessly and I will absolutely be recommending it. Girls will be able to get into this one too - especially gaming girls. But there's a hint of romance thrown in, but it really doesn't distract from the story. The main story is about our main character finding out what this real player game is all about - and how it is much more than he ever expected.
I'm wondering if there will be a second book to this one - it could easily have more story left to tell. It doesn't really leave you on a cliffhanger, but it also doesn't give you a final conclusion. It's pretty masterful, actually. I was really surprised in the last few chapters. I wasn't expecting quite what happened. Definitely recommended and I look forward to reading more reviews about this one.
Go check out the author's website. He's written other books as well that I might need to track down.
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