The demi-monde: winter - Rees, Rod
Summary: The Demi-Monde, a computer-simulated military training world, begins bleeding into the real world when the U.S. president's daughter becomes trapped inside and enlists the assistance of a reluctant teenager to escape.
*Starred Review* Already published to acclaim in the UK, this highly imaginative novel, the first in a projected series, blurs the line between reality and computer-generated fantasy until the line simply ceases to exist. Ella Thomas, an 18-year-old jazz singer, is recruited for a dangerous and mind-boggling job, to go inside the Demi-Monde, an elaborate computer program designed to train combat soldiers, and bring out the daughter of the president of the U.S., who has become stranded inside it. Like Philip Jose Farmer's classic Riverworld series, the novel features an assortment of historical characters from various eras (its primary villains are the Nazi Reinhard Heydrich and black magician Aleister Crowley), and the Demi-Monde, a computer-construct with its own geographical, political, religious, and social structure, may remind some readers of the film The Matrix. Despite similarities to genre classics, the book stands on its own two feet. It's elegantly constructed, skillfully written, and absolutely impossible to stop reading. It ends on a beauty of a cliffhanger, too, pretty much guaranteeing that readers will be biting their nails until the sequel appears. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.