Like many sixteen-year-old boys, Socket Greeny plays video games with his friends. It’s no game, though, when his best friend, Streeter, hacks into another realm of a virtual-reality game and takes Socket and their other best friend, Chute, along with him. Socket is shocked to find that he can feel, smell and taste in this world, but no one else can. Then things get really weird. He meets a shadow that sounds like his long-dead father. Socket starts reading minds. And stopping time. After the virtual world crashes, Socket is taken by his mother to her company, a shadowy organization that has determined that Socket needs to be tested; but for what, Socket has no idea. All he knows is what the shadow told him: “The time has come to know who you are.”
During months of testing, Socket learns more about his abilities and the company, Paladin Nation, Inc., than he ever wanted to know. He just wants to return to Charleston, South Carolina and sit on the couch, eat pizza and play video games – or does he? The more he discovers about the Paladin and their reason for existing, his father’s plans for him, the Duplicates, Pivot and his abilities, and the abrasive and needling Broak, the more he is drawn into the race to save humanity.
Hovering somewhere between science fiction and fantasy, Socket Greeny is an intriguing tale. The writing, with the exception of a few misspellings and a clunky sentence or two, was well-executed with a nice flow, interesting characters and vivid descriptions. Since I am not a huge fan of SciFi, I appreciated the fact that the story kept one foot in “reality.” My only negative is this: I felt the characters were a little under-developed. I think the book would have had more meaning for me if there had been more depth to the primary characters and if the secondary characters had been less two-dimensional.
3 of 5 Stars
Ages: 14 and up. Occasional use of profanity.
The Discovery of Socket Greeny by Tony Bertauski was published on July 13, 2010 by Bertauski. A free copy of this book was received by Ink and Page in return for an honest review.