The Dead are Rising (MetaWars) by Jeff Norton

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The Dead are Rising (MetaWars) by Jeff Norton

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Second book in a series set in a dystopian world but with action taking place mostly in a virtual environment. Pacy and exciting with interesting characters and plenty of moral ambiguities.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 368 Date: November 2012
Publisher: Orchard
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 1408314606

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Jonah's father died in the battle for control of the Metasphere. He was a Guardian - a terrorist or freedom fighter, depending how you see things - and he had infiltrated himself into a position of trust with the Millenials, the group supporting the billionaire inventor who created and controlled an online world in which people living in a post peak-oil and devasted Earth spend most of their time. But before he died, Jason Delacroix's memories had been uploaded to the Metasphere as an avatar.

After destroying one of the Metasphere's four precious server farms and creating a bridge to the rival Changsphere, Jonah and the Guardians had also managed to save Jason and the other Uploaded. But in the Changsphere, the avatars of the dead begin to develop and grow. Longing for a new life, they begin to prey on the avatars of the living and usurp their bodies in the real world.

So now, Jonah and his Guardian allies must fight on two fronts - against Granger and his Millenials, and against the ravenous, murderous Uploaded. But can they win without destroying Jason for good?

This second Metawars volume continues smoothly on from the first and it's equally successful. The virtual worlds are completely convincing and rich while the real world remains sharply divided into the haves and have nots, the billionaires sitting pretty in the luxury of Manhattan and the other survivors of peak oil locked in a desperate struggle for survival. The plot itself is quite traditional - a young and reluctant hero must gather courage, choose a side, and fight for what's right, despite a personal cost to himself. But Metawars is filled with interesting characters and there are plenty of people with a foot in each camp who need to make decisions where right and wrong aren't at clear cut, not least Jonah himself.

It's pacy and easy to read, with plenty of thrilling action sequences but there are also moments of reflection, which will give readers pause for thought. Recommended.

You can join your chosen side and participate in the battle for cyberfreedom over at the official Metawars website. Enjoy!

I think you'd also like Gamerunner by B R Collins, in which games and the online world have also taken centre stage in an environmentally-ravaged Earth. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld also has a wonderful blend of action and high tech. Slightly-younger readers interested in Manhattan might enjoy Marooned in Manhattan by Sheila Agnew.

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Buy The Dead are Rising (MetaWars) by Jeff Norton at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Dead are Rising (MetaWars) by Jeff Norton at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The Dead are Rising (MetaWars) by Jeff Norton at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Dead are Rising (MetaWars) by Jeff Norton at


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