In Shomron's sci-fi debut set in a virtual world known as the NET, a 15-year-old boy must combat users' connections being sabotaged as well as a possible alien invasion.
Troy Bentley, a well-known puzzle champ, is one of many surfers of the NET. Unfortunately, so is his supercomputer, Flint, who develops an anti-virus program that's more effective than Babel, the unit designed to protect the NET. Flint's program is an anomaly, since it doesn't seem to derive its energy from the NET, prompting Babel to open an investigation... Meanwhile, Flint and Troy check out a time fold--a gap that's not part of the NET--that Flint's discovered; there, they find what might be an abandoned civilization. But when they try to close the opening they've created, they figure out that something, perhaps aliens, might have passed through. Shomron has constructed a world that's deliciously complex but described in such a compact, coherent manner that readers might not realize how much info he's packed in. He clearly distinguishes the NET by referring to the real world as "Earth" and noting the time discrepancy--every Earth hour is a full NET day. The endlessly fascinating virtual world was allowed to develop on its own for millions of NET years; now, it's much like an alien planet, with its only city, Netville, surrounded by regions of dense jungles and strange creatures, such as a tree that attacks prey with its branches. The exhilarating, elaborate plot includes... and a rogue group, Pira-net, working against NET authorities...
A winsome cyberpunk adventure.