Game Slaves by Gard Skinner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
We start out with almost a Pratchett-esque Only You Can Save Mankind vibe, only this time from the POV of the "characters" in the game. Who are they? Where do they come from? These existential questions aren't the types of questions characters ask, but suddenly there's Dakota, the newest member of Phoenix' team, and she is asking these questions. Dakota also seems to have memories of something more, something else - and then she leads the team to another place, a place beyond the game, where Charlotte "lives". This part of the book is wonderful and I wished it had been all of the book!
Where the book lost me was when we then move to a dystopian America, with clear haves and have-nots. No surprise, there's also class warfare (or revolution). Sigh. With a first half so imaginative, the btdt second was a letdown.
ARC provided by publisher.