Reviewed by Caleb Shadis

Metawars: Fight for the Future is a pretty interesting YA novel. It takes place in the next 50-80 years. Someone has invented a new way to surf the net. It plugs directly into your nervous system, kind of like the Matrix. You lose all awareness of your surroundings as a virtual reality is forced into your senses. In some ways it’s modeled like a second life you can completely immerse yourself in.

Many people have their whole livelihoods based on the virtual reality called the Metasphere where they go to work, school and socialize. Many people need this virtual reality to offset the fact that the real world is in shambles. Global warming has messed up the ecology, many oil fields are dry and global economies are collapsing with the governments right behind them.

Who controls the Metasphere? It was invented by Matthew Granger. Granger was arrested and the Metasphere was taken over by various countries. Although, Granger has recently escaped from prison. There is also a group of freedom fighters called the Guardians who want the Metasphere to not be controlled by anyone, not to mention other differing groups who have their own ideas about controlling it.

Overall, this was a pretty good book with plenty of action and a decent story. We primarily see everything through Jonah and how he views his world. Since I know a lot about technology and programs there were parts that made me roll my eyes. However, most won’t notice them and these ‘restrictions’ were pillars the story was built on and so accepting them allows the story to exist.

One of the cooler things I found – that often is lacking in YA novels – is a sense of ambiguity in who the ‘good guys’ are. The story tries to make the reader see that not all issues are black and white and that you should find out what you can and make up your own mind. This IMO was the greatest part of the book. It is the first book in a series and I think it will be worth following.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Caleb is a software engineer and amature woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Hachette Children’s Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.