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Suppose youre Bobby Pendragon. Suppose youre a fifteen-year-old, suburban basketball star whose life has been turned upside down. Your family has disappeared, your home has vanished, all trace of your existence has been erased, and you have been launched into a dangerous, deadly-serious adventure through time and space, in which the fate of ten worlds depends on stopping the evil plans of the shape-changing, demonically clever Saint Dane. Suppose you have watched some close friends die, and you have been forced to make terrible life-and-death decisions, and the only thing that keeps you going is that you are more scared of failing than of the danger you face.
And now suppose that you have followed Saint Dane to a territory called Veelox, where the streets are deserted because everybody spends all their time plugged into a virtual-reality fantasy world called Lifelight, where the only thing to eat is a machine-made substance appropriately called Gloid, and where the local Traveler a snotty techno-dorkette named Aja Killian tells you more or less that shes got everything controlled, and as far as he is concerned you can get lost. What would you do?
I can think of a lot of things I would do, none of which would make it possible for me to get a job on Veelox ever, ever again. But if there is one thing heroic about Bobby Pendragon, it is the fact that he somehow manages to get Aja to tell him that shes glad he came to Veelox. For living in a fantasy world turns out not to be the best way to cope with the real world. Who knew?
The future of Veelox is so uncertain that Saint Dane declares his victory right from the start. To be sure, its hard to see how the good guys can win when they are being chased by the dogs of hell, menaced by a computer virus that turns dreamland into a deadly nightmare, and forced to seek the help of a reclusive genius whose high-tech rabbit hole proves almost as dangerous as the enemy that threatens it.
Meanwhile, back on Second Earth, Pendragons friends Mark and Courtney are making up their minds to take a more active role in the adventure. Instead of just sitting back and reading Bobbys journals, they want to be of some real help. Maybe theyll get more adventure than they reckoned on…
Here is another twisted, far-out fantasy featuring one of the coolest teenage narrators of today. It sizzles with action, imagery, and the explosive presence of Loor (see The Merchant of Death). Old adventures come into sharper focus, a scent of adventures yet to come is on the air, and an ending so shocking that you had better take it sitting down combine to make this the toughest Pendragon adventure yet.