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The Demi-Monde: Winter: A Novel (The Demi-Monde Saga) by [Rees, Rod]
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The Demi-Monde: Winter: A Novel (The Demi-Monde Saga) Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Already published to acclaim in the UK, this highly imaginative novel, the first in a projected series, blurs the line between reality and computer-generated fantasy until the line simply ceases to exist. Ella Thomas, an 18-year-old jazz singer, is recruited for a dangerous and mind-boggling job, to go inside the Demi-Monde, an elaborate computer program designed to train combat soldiers, and bring out the daughter of the president of the U.S., who has become stranded inside it. Like Philip Jose Farmer’s classic Riverworld series, the novel features an assortment of historical characters from various eras (its primary villains are the Nazi Reinhard Heydrich and black magician Aleister Crowley), and the Demi-Monde, a computer-construct with its own geographical, political, religious, and social structure, may remind some readers of the film The Matrix. Despite similarities to genre classics, the book stands on its own two feet. It’s elegantly constructed, skillfully written, and absolutely impossible to stop reading. It ends on a beauty of a cliffhanger, too, pretty much guaranteeing that readers will be biting their nails until the sequel appears. --David Pitt


'Part Matrix, part Escape from New York, with a dash of Film Noir and a whole host of imagination. Beautifully written' Falcata Times. Falcata Times 'State of the art... Discworld's savage noir cousin' Stephen Baxter. Stephen Baxter 'Delectably dark ... A feisty and nightmarishly enjoyable debut' Sunday Times. Sunday Times 'An amazingly quick and enjoyable read . and a beautifully designed cover' British Fantasy Society. British Fantasy Society 'The world he's created is a psychopathic nightmare, while Ella, by contrast, is a touchingly vulnerable heroine whose quest is fraught with both physical and psychological dangers' Guardian. Guardian 'Explosively creative barely defines Ross Rees's The Demi-Monde: Winter. It blew me away' James Rollins, New York Times bestseller of The Devil Colony. New York Times

Product Details

  • File Size: 9162 KB
  • Print Length: 533 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; Reprint edition (December 27, 2011)
  • Publication Date: December 27, 2011
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004XVN1B2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #501,724 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kat Hooper VINE VOICE on December 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"One more acronym and murder will be done."

To train soldiers for different high-stress combat scenarios, the U.S. military has developed a virtual reality game called The Demi-Monde. The game world is divided into different sections with boundaries like spokes on a wheel. These adjacent sections are overpopulated and made up of different mixtures of races and cultures that should clash and create wars. In addition, scientists have used the DNA of real historical people to create "Dupes" (duplicates) of actual historical tyrants and other bad guys to populate the Demi-Monde with the kinds of people who are likely to initiate conflicts. These dupes think they are real people and that the people who come in from the real world are "Daemons." To make it as realistic as possible, when U.S. soldiers are in training in the Demi-Monde, their brains are completely immersed -- they are not aware that they're only playing a game. However, this leaves their consciousness separated from their bodies so that if they are killed in the game, they slip into a vegetative state in real life.

When Norma Williams, the U.S. President's daughter, is kidnapped and held hostage in the Demi-Monde, the government must figure out how to rescue her. They hire Ella Thomas, a black jazz singer, to go into the game and bring Norma out.

The Demi-Monde: Winter has an entertaining premise and I've been looking forward to reading it since I heard about it more than a year ago. Unfortunately, I could not finish it. I worked on it for 6 weeks and I had to keep starting over. It was the only print book I was reading at the time and I dreaded picking it up -- I just couldn't get into it.
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Format: Hardcover
Demi-Monde - literally translates to "Half-World". This is a pinpoint description of the novel, The Demi-Monde: Winter. The novel centers on a young woman who must enter the Demi-Monde to save the president's daughter. The Demi-Monde itself, like the Matrix, is a simulation. It has been set up to train troops on all kinds of warfare. Once it was created, though, it was allowed to run on its own. Therefore, nothing is as it seems inside the Demi-Monde. Populated with simulations of the baddest baddies from history as well as the extremes of society, it now has a mind of its' own. One important point to remember once you enter - if you die in the Demi-Monde, you die in real life.

The Demi-Monde: Winter, which is the first of four books set there, is an interesting read. Luckily, there is a glossary available, but the language takes a bit getting used to. The author worked hard to make the book as `punny' as possible with repetitive plays on names and words. Of course, there is a large amount of world and character building in the first chapters leading up to the action. It can be difficult to give as much information as possible without bogging down your readers. I wish it had been a bit tighter on that aspect. We do need to suspend belief to gloss over a few of the plot holes, but overall it is a good read and a short escape from real life for the reader.
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Format: Hardcover
Imagine a world where the most evil and diabolical of leaders through history exist contemporaneously. Place them in a manufactured world, where overpopulated districts are crowded side by side, with invasion never more than a day's march away. Add a healthy dose of misery and class warfare to the mix and you have the basic ingredients for the Demi-Monde.

The basic premise is one that has been seen before- the military has created a virtual reality training program that has gone rogue. Fortunately, beyond that overdone premise, there is nothing basic about this story. Rees has created an intricate world populated with engaging characters who move the story along at breakneck speed.

At times you feel like you know where the story is headed- after all, it is based on real people and events in history, but a turn of the page reminds you that this story belongs to Rees, not history. You can predict, prognosticate and just plain old guess- but you will not know where this is going until you reach the final page.

My verdict: Read it! The Demi-Monde Winter has the potential to be the next big thing in publishing, so get in on the front end and be tragically hip at your next book club meeting.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Author Rod Rees takes a supremely cool premise in "The Demi-Monde: Winter" and runs with it, creating one of my favorite action/adventure epics in quite some time. While not a perfect novel by any means--some of the characterizations are rather thinly drawn and I don't dare to dig too deeply into the scientific and technological aspects of the story--I can say that, for me, what I got was more than enough to compensate for any perceived shortcomings. Simply put, I loved this book. It has a relentless pace, an ingenious setting, and an intriguing historical element--all of which appealed to me immensely. But more than anything, it was just fun. Yes, dark, disturbing, and violent--but fun! Perhaps that's a strange (and inappropriate) way to categorize a novel populated with some of history's most brutal and reprehensible villains, but I found myself tearing through the pages of this book to see what would happen next. I'm certainly not a particularly effusive person, but something really connected with me here.

The concept at the heart of "The Demi-Monde: Winter" is easily its most salient selling point. The Demi-Monde is an artificially constructed, fully immersive simulation model used to train soldiers for impending combat missions. The virtual environment has been stacked to make it extremely volatile and unpredictable with a global climate of racial, cultural, and sexist inequality and hatred. To further complicate matters, the world is filled with accurate replications of some very evil, unscrupulous, and/or notorious historical figures.
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