Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Review: Mindwar by Andrew Klavan


By Andrew Klavan

Blurb: Rick Dial has the potential to be a hero. He just doesn't know it yet.

Rick's high school football team couldn't be stopped when he was leading them as their quarterback. He was going to Syracuse on a scholarship. But then his dad abandoned them and a terrible accident left him crippled.

Certain his old life is completely lost, Rick spends months hiding away in his room playing video games. He achieves the highest scores on so many games that he's approached by a government agency who claims to be trying to thwart a cyber attack on America that would destroy the technological infrastructure of the entire country. The agents say that the quick-thinking of a quarterback coupled with Nick's gaming experience make him perfect for this assignment. The problem is that there are no extra lives and this isn't just a game . . . but Rick doesn't have many other options at the moment.

Entering "The Realm" gives Rick the one thing he thought he'd never have again: a body that's as fast and as strong as he ever was before the accident. But the more time he spends in The Realm, the more questions he has. What secrets are these agents keeping from him? What really happened to his father? How many others have gone into The Realm already . . . and failed? And perhaps most important, is he the hero they think he is?

Genres: Young Adult, Christian, Action, Science-Fiction 

Publication Date: July 8, 2014

Series: Mindwar (book 1)

Pages: 336

My Rating: 1.5 stars

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Mindwar doesn't make much sense. If you really think about what's going on in the story, the logic behind why it's happening...just is nonexistent. That isn't the book's only problem, but it is its main one.

The first thing that I noticed about this book and didn't like was the main character, Rick. He's very mopey and depressing at the beginning of the book, and I just couldn't feel sorry for him. When he starts going into the Realm, he pays no attention to the life-saving advice he was given by the people who sent him there and almost dies. Great. A lot of his decisions weren't well thought out, and honestly, I'm kind of surprised he wasn't dead by the end of this book.

And I'm sorry, but I don't see how getting depressed and deciding to play video games 24/7 makes you the best video game player in the world, or whatever. I mean, there are people who actually play video games professionally. How did Rick get so much better than them in such a relatively short amount of time? Even if he does have great reflexes or whatever because he's an athlete, it seems a bit implausible.

When it got to explaining the Realm, I became skeptical. I didn't get a lot of the design choices behind it. Like, why are the guards all alligator people. Why. Who thought that was a good idea. If you are trying to take over the world with this thing, make less laughable decisions when you design it.

The narrative was also really hard to get into. Rick was such a boring main character that there wasn't a lot of emotion in it. It was very dry and I just couldn't get into the story because of it.

The secondary characters were not fleshed out. The agents, Rick's family, the people he meets in the Realm...they were all very one dimensional. We didn't to learn much about them and what we did seemed very cliche.

I definitely am stopping here with this series, because this book was actually a bit painful to get through. There is no one who I'd recommend this to. I've read some of Andrew Klavan's other books and I enjoyed them, but Mindwar was not good.


  1. Aw, that's too bad you didn't like this one Gabs. I really thought that the synopsis looked unique with the whole gaming theme, it's not something I usually come across in the YA genre. Great review though!

    Olivia @ FIctionally Obsessed

    1. It is a unique premise, which is a bit why I was so disappointed it wasn't executed well. Definitely not something usually written about in YA! :)


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