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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Debut, Excited For Sequel!
The story is very fast paced, the action barely slowing down even for a single chapter. Jeff clearly had a lot of ideas and a lot of plot to fit into this book to set a base for the series and to propel the action of this book forward. For the most part this worked, but there were times when it became a little hard to follow, some of it becoming a little convoluted...
Published on 4 Aug. 2012 by George Lester

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Metawars: Fight for the Future
Jeff Norton is a writer-director turned author who aimed to write a book for the current generation of teenagers obsessed with video games and living in a technology fuelled society. 'Metawars' is Norton's debut YA novel and is a roller coaster ride through a virtual world where people go to escape the humdrum existence of their real lives.

Elements of the...
Published on 22 Aug. 2012 by SJH @ A Dream of Books


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Debut, Excited For Sequel!, 4 Aug. 2012
The story is very fast paced, the action barely slowing down even for a single chapter. Jeff clearly had a lot of ideas and a lot of plot to fit into this book to set a base for the series and to propel the action of this book forward. For the most part this worked, but there were times when it became a little hard to follow, some of it becoming a little convoluted.

On the whole, the pace and story was fantastic, there were just times when maybe it could've done with a bit of tidying up.

Throughout, the characters are so clear and specific that they become very real. Jonah has such a strong and relatable voice, an honesty and confusion that comes from youth that Norton hits right on the head. Jonah is a character I feel so many kids will be able to relate to. Axel and Sam are fantastic constructions along with Bradbury and the ever so sinister Mr Granger. Even characters you only see briefly, like Mr Chang and Delphine, are so crystal in the detail with which they are presented.

However, the best part of this book comes within the last 150 pages or so, when the whole story is coming together for its climax. The action scenes are very well described and turns the book into a real page turner. I was excited to say the very least and, by the end of it, I wasn't clear whose side I was on anymore. You spend a high percentage of the book rooting for 'The Guardians' who Jonah is helping throughout, but towards the end, the lines of good and evil are blurred, it isn't quite so black and white, and Jonah will have a choice to make.

Very excited for the sequel.

Xx
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, fast paced thrill ride, 10 Aug. 2012
By 
Adam Silver (Toronto ON) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
My daughter read this fantastic book in non-stop, marathon reading session that was over within 24 hours. I could not get her to put it down!! After all that, I had to read it myself. It was a real treat. In a similar vein to "Neuromancer" or more recently, "Ready Player One", but geared for younger readers and with some really interesting twists of its own, it describes a post-energy crisis world that has moved online for most people's existence. The characters are interesting and evolving, showing growth as they learn more about what is really going on in the world. The world itself, as is true in the best fiction, is fascinating and I really hope the author spends more time in the Metaverse in coming novels.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original, 1 Aug. 2012
I picked this book up as I was astounded that one of my teenage daughters had actually managed to read a book cover to cover so of course I was curious to know what it was that had held her attention for the last couple of days.
Based in the future it has an original content that sets it apart from other futuristic stories with the depressing real world where people fight for survival and the virtual Metasphere where you can upload as any range of avatar and enjoy what this vibrant world has to offer. All is not well in the virtual world however and there is plenty of action with two warring parties trying to gain control of the Metasphere with enough twists & turns to keep you on the edge of your seat and wanting more. A good holiday read for any internet savvy teenager.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book - both my boys loved it, 10 Aug. 2012
Despite wanting my children to read, and doing so with them every night, it is hard to keep their attention for long. They are much more into computer games.

But, reading this book was different. I started reading it out loud to my youngest (9) and because he got so enthusiastic about it, my older son (12) wanted to read it himself once we were finished. They both loved it and I can see why. It is a really fast, punchy book. It has all the elements their games do but with a really good story to it. It pulls you along.

I'll definitely be buying the next in the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Thought provoking Series, 17 July 2013
We went to Luton Hoo Book festival earlier this year and Jeff was there so unusually we (7yr old son and I) got to meet the author and hear about the series. To say Jeff lit a spark in little one was an understatement. He loved it.
The books are a take on where todays society could lead, online life at the expense of off-line life. The characters continue in book three to develop and the journey to balance the worlds continues.

Have to say can't wait for book 4 which Jeff tweets is nearing final edits (July 2013) c'mon already stop editing... ;P

It's a great series. Tough read for our 7yr old (probably a couple of years too young) but he loves the hero and the online world. I also enjoy reading it, and some of the directional themes are starting to form in society today so I found it topical. The Meta Themes and the background to the series make for some great dinner debates.

I recommend on two levels. Great adventure story for little folk and fiction thought provoker for older folk, where are we heading...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A virtual success!, 18 April 2013
By 
Moonless (London Town) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The world's oil has all but run out; carbon rationing means most people can no longer fly for commercial reasons; governments are going bankrupt; millions of people prefer to live in the virtual world of the Metasphere rather than the real one. Against this backdrop, the Millenials and the Guardians fight to take control of the Metasphere. In the midst of the chaos, Jonah Delacroix finds himself caught up in the battle to control the virtual world - and in turn, the real one.

`Metawars' is a fast-paced, action-packed thriller of a chase. A world that's scarily possible in the not-too-distant future. Starting in London, the story moves across the globe with twists and turns in every chapter. With it, Jonah discovers secrets that shake the very core of his existence and beliefs. Hard to put down, `Metawars' will keep you hooked and raring to reach for the sequel!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was amazed throughout..., 5 Feb. 2013
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I must start this review by saying that I am a 42 year old mother of two. Not your typical demographic for this type of book. In fact, before Metwars, I shied away from futuristic, sci-fi type writing and that is why my reaction to Metawars (Fight for the Future and The Dead are Rising) took me by surprize. Both books are thoroughly enjoyable and I became entranced in the adventures of Jonah, a lovable, underdog hero of these novels. Jeff's writing is relaxing and easy to follow, the story line is imaginative and well strung together. I am eagerly awaiting the Battle of the Immortal as I am sure there will be twists I cannot anticipate and complications that only Jonah can solve!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for 10 year old boys, 23 Nov. 2012
By 
SlayerKat "Geek Mum" (East Sussex, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I got this book for my 10 year old son who loves reading. He has really been into the Alex Rider Stormbreaker series and also Brotherband. I thought he might like this new series and I wasn't wrong. He read MetaWars really quickly and thoroughly enjoyed it. Talking about post apocalyptic type scenarios in London. My son was immersed in the book and it inspired him to write other short stories (something he really enjoys and is a major benefit to kids who read!). And the biggest recommendation of all is that my son finished the book and immediately asked for the second one. The Dead are Rising (MetaWars) is out now
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4.0 out of 5 stars Metawars book 1, 22 Mar. 2014
By 
Sarah (Feeling Fictional) (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Fight for the Future is a fast paced and action packed adventure story set in a future where the real world is so bleak that people have chosen to take refuge in the virtual one. When people live in squalor it is no wonder that they spend the majority of their time plugged into the Metasphere, a vibrant virtual world where anything is possible. The Metasphere has become such an important part of people's daily lives that it shouldn't be surprising that different factions are fighting for control over it. There are two major players in this war, the Millennials and the Guardians, one on the side of the creator of the Metasphere and the other a group of terrorists, but are either of them really what they seem? When Jonah is unexpectedly caught in the battle he must decide who to trust and it isn't as easy as he thought it would be.

Jonah is a fabulous and very realistic character who I think people of all ages will be able to relate to on some level. He reminded me a lot of my brother at that age and I really enjoyed getting to see the world Jeff Norton has created through his eyes. Jonah finds himself in an impossible position when he is forced to rely on the people who he always thought murdered his father in a terrorist attack. He is reluctant to believe their story but he needs their protection so he has to go along with their plans, at least temporarily. I love the fact that Jonah doesn't just take things at face value, he is constantly questioning what is happening and reconsidering his goals and alliances. He quickly comes to realise that nothing he grew up believing was the complete truth but he doesn't let that blind him to his current reality and he trusts his instincts as well as the information he is given.

The author has done a fantastic job of creating a world that is scarily believable, a shortage of natural resources combined with wars and the collapse of various international governments have created a worldwide crisis of epic proportions. People are struggling just to survive, overcrowding and food shortages have made real life pretty unbearable so it is easy to see why people are so seduced into a perfect virtual world where they can do anything they want. Although I find the idea of actually plugging myself in to the Metasphere incredibly creepy it isn't so hard to believe that something like this will be possible in the future and I was fascinated by the virtual world where people can be anything they dream of. Your avatar is something that is created by your subconscious the first time you log in and I loved the idea of seeing unicorns and dragons walking alongside elephants or even normal people. Who wouldn't be seduced by the idea of a world where anything is possible?

I don't want to say too much about the plot other than it captured my attention from the first page and had me completely gripped to the end. I was actually annoyed that I had to put the book down to get some sleep but I just couldn't keep my eyes open long enough to finish it in one sitting. There are plenty of twists and turns and nothing is quite what it seems so as a reader you're constantly being surprised by the actions of the characters. Along with Jonah we're introduced to an interesting selection of side characters all of whom I'm looking forward to getting to know better as the series continues. I'm excited that I've picked up this series at a point where all four books are already available so I'll leave this review here so I can go and get started on The Dead are Rising!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for 11+ gamers, 4 Jan. 2013
You would have to be some kind of hermit living in a shack on a remote Pacific island not to have noticed the glut of YA dystopian novels that have flooded the market of the past couple of years. If I'm brutally honest, I'm getting more than a little bored of them, but there is still one sub-genre of this that still excites me - tech. Over the past year or so I have had the pleasure of reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (written for the adult market but potentially just as exciting for older teen boys); Bzrk by Michael Grant; Insignia by S.J. Kincaid; and now Metawars: Fight for the Future by Jeff Norton. Every one of these books has the potential to turn a certain type of reluctant reader boy (or girl) on to reading, as they all have huge appeal for gamers.

Metawars starts off with protagonist Jonah Delacroix racing through the night time streets of London on his trusty rollerblades, desperate to win the sizeable meta-dollar prize that will keep him and his mother in food foe the next few months. Unfortunately for Jonah, as he is in spitting distance of the finish line he is thrown off his feet by an huge explosion - the terrorist Guardians that he hates so much have struck again. Meanwhile, across the other side of the Atlantic the US government has fallen, and Matthew Granger, creator of the Metasphere and long incarcerated leader of the Millennials is released from his prison by his armed supporters. Jonah does not yet know it, but both of these events are about to change his life immeasurably.

The world in which Jonah lives is not hugely different to ours in many ways. Millions live in poverty and can't help but see their future as being particularly bleak. To escape the day-to-day depression of their lives they spend increasingly more hours plugged into the Metasphere, a virtual world where people have jobs, socialise with each other, and in Jonah's case, attend school. Every person who enters the Metasphere has their very own avatar, constructed for them by the software, based upon the owner's own sub-consciousness. There are unicorns, dragons, robots, animals, and some even more bizarre avatars, but Jonah is stuck with a humatar, i.e. his avatar looks just like his real world self.

In discussions at school Jonah is always the first to defend the Millennials (his father used to be Granger's personal pilot) and just as quick to damn the Guardians, who he believes murdered his father in a terrorist attack some years ago. However, very soon Jonah's world is going to be rocked as everything he believes is challenged, and the lines between good and evil become increasingly blurred. As events begin to unfold he finds himself on the run with the people he previously hated, not really knowing who to trust as he crosses both the virtual and real worlds, fleeing for his life.

Metawars is a super fast-paced and well plotted story that sucks readers in from the very first chapter, and I would have finished it in a single sitting if I hadn't already made plans to go out with friends. As it was, we were late arriving as I kept on telling my wife I wanted to read one more chapter. And then another. And another.

Jeff Norton has filled his story with a great number of cracking concepts and ideas that will fire up the imaginations of young people, and I think it would make a really good class reader for English lessons as there are so many elements that make great points for discussion. Both the Millennials and the Guardians feel that they are morally right, and every action they make is justified, whatever the collateral damage, and readers will find themselves challenged just as much as Jonah does. Although it is science fiction, many of the concepts are only a few jumps on from web and gaming technology that so many people, young and old, enjoy today and this makes the story all that more credible as a possible future world that may be experienced by today's teens.

If you have boys or girls that prefer sitting in front of a screen with a game controller in their hand to reading then this might be the book that gets them turning their console off, even if just for thirty minutes at a time. It is the first in a series, and although Jeff Norton brings this instalment to a satisfying end, it leaves enough questions to make kids hungry for more.
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