Fabulous Fiction Firsts #313

Rod Rees' highly imaginative The Demi-Monde : Winter * * kicks off a "brilliant, high concept series that blends science fiction and thriller, steampunk and dystopian vision. "

Demi-Monde, a computer-simulated military training virtual world is dominated by history’s most ruthless and bloodthirsty psychopaths—from Holocaust architect Reinhard Heydrich to Tomas de Torquemada, the Spanish Inquisition’s pitiless torturer, to Stalin’s bloodthirsty right-hand man/monster, the infamous Lavrentiy Beria.

When the U.S. President's daughter, Norma Williams, becomes trapped in the Demi-Monde, a young jazz singer named Ella Thomas accepts the assignment to enter the computer-generated world to rescue her. But when Ella stumbles upon a plot to merge the real world with the Demi-Monde, her mission suddenly expands from a simple retrieval to the survival of the real world.

Fans of The Matrix; Philip Jose Farmer's classic Riverworld series; and Tad William's Otherland series will find this "elegantly constructed, skillfully written" page-turner irresistible. As we move into the second week in February, could Spring be far behind?

* * = Starred reviews