Reamde by Neal Stephenson
That being said, I kept coming across reviews of Reamde and every one of them said that the book was great, so I decided to take the plunge. The title of the book is derived from the common subject line "Read Me" that usually accompanies an email that's going to infect your computer with a virus. Reamde, as the virus becomes known as in the book, is a computer virus that infects T'Rain, a multiplayer online role-playing game. It has millions of players all over the world and Reamde encrypts its users' computer files and holds them hostage until the user pays a ransom to unencrypt them. With as many players as there are in T'Rain, very quickly after the virus is released it impacts the files of some dangerous people.
The Russian mob, along with the world's most dangerous terrorist become involved in an action-packed chase that jumps from the Pacific Northwest to China, the Philippeans, British Colombia, and other places along the 49th parallel. The characters are well developed (as they should be, given the size of the book) and the plot is captivating. The book moves at a very fast pace which gives it the feel of a book half its size and not once did I feel like any of it was going over my head. Either my preconceived impression I had of Stephenson was incorrect, or I'm brighter than I gave myself credit for being. Either way, I really enjoyed it a lot and am sure it won't be the last book by Stephenson I read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆