The Reality Bug (Pendragon Book 4) by D.J. MacHale

The Reality Bug (Pendragon)Summary: As an adult these are just good enough that I keep reading/listening if I can find them free.

This is another power of free illustration.  I found the audiobook free for the first book on Audible.com.  Liked the series and bought the second book.  The second book was not as good so I decided not to buy the third book.  Then found it free from the Overdrive library system.  The third book was even less entertaining than the second, so I decided to just stop.  But then I found book four free on Overdrive as well and I didn’t see anything else that was really interesting.  So I listened to book four.

I am actually more positive about the series than you might suspect from that recitation.  I think it is a very good young adult series, but oriented to young adults, not adult readers of young adult.  Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Twilight, and other young adult books have had a resurgence of interest in young adult books for adults.  I am a part of that group.  I think young adult books often boil down stories in a way that makes them better.  Less sex, less language and more focus on the story.

But many young adult books are actually written for young adults.  They concern themes and styles of writing that just are less interesting to adults (or at least to me.)  This is one of those series.  I think it is well written, it is action oriented and a lot of 12-16 year old boys will probably enjoy it.  But again I am declaring that I am probably done reading the series.  There are just too many good books on my to read pile to read books that I am only sort of interested in.

That being said, this book was far better than books 2 and 3.  It moved back into the fantasy/science fiction realm and away from the modern day/near past that were in books 2 and 3.

The story line of book 4 is that Pendragon, the hero, has to go to a futuristic world where everyone has stopped living their own lives and are spending their whole lives hooked up to an advanced virtual reality system where everything just works out better than in real life.  Because so few people actually live outside of the virtual reality, society is crumbling around them.

It occasionally verges on the heavy handed in its message that real life is more important than games.  But it is still heavily focused on the action story line.

Purchase linksHardcoverPaperbackKindle EditionAudiobook CD (less than $3 for CD right now)

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