January 2012 Indie Next List
“Like a literary love child of Neal Stephenson and Tad Williams, The Demi-Monde: Winter, the first in a proposed quartet, is a dark, dangerous adventure tale set in a vaguely steampunk virtual world populated by the avatars of some of history's most villainous characters. Eighteen-year-old Ella is thrust into a world unlike any she has ever known when she is hired to retrieve the president's daughter from a virtual environment that was originally created to train combat soldiers in guerrilla warfare. A page-turner and a highly entertaining opening to a very promising series.”
— Billie Bloebaum, Powell's Books At PDX, Portland, OR
The U.S. military created the Demi-Monde to train its soldiers in urban warfare. A virtual world of 30 million inhabitants ruled by cyber-duplicates of some of history's most dangerous psychopathsfrom Grand Inquisitor Torquemada to fanatical Nazi butcher Rudolph Heydrichit is a twisted nightmare and anything but a game. Because if you die inside the Demi-Monde, you die in the Real World.
Now, in the year 2018, something has gone horribly wrong. . . .
The U.S. President's daughter has been lured into this terrifying shadow world and her only hope of rescue is Ella Thomas, an eighteen-year-old student and jazz singer who's never received a day of military training. Somehow she must infiltrate the Demi-Monde and bring the First Daughter out. But Ella is about to discover something the U.S. government does not yet knowthe walls containing the evils of this simulated world are rapidly dissolving . . . and the Real World is in far more danger than anyone could ever imagine.
About the Author
Rod Rees has built pharmaceutical factories in Dhaka, set up a satellite communication network in Moscow, and conceived and designed a jazz-themed hotel in the U.K. Now a full-time writer, he lives in Daventry, England, with his wife, Nelli, and their two children.
“Explosively creative barely defines Rod Rees’s The Demi-Monde Winter. It blew me away as the novel skated on the razor’s edge between where we are today and where we’re headed tomorrow. As much a cautionary tale as a gripping thriller cut from a digital cloth.”
-James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author of The Devil Colony
“Strong characters, along with the clever interweaving of seemingly disparate plot threads, make this a standout selection for fans of high-tech sf and cyberfiction.”
-Library Journal.com (starred review)
“Novel and fresh….An adventure tale wrapped in a computer simulation.”
“A brilliant, high concept series that blends science fiction and thriller, steampunk and dystopian vision. If Neil Gaiman, Neal Stephenson, James Rollins, and Clive Cussler participated in Suzanne Collins’s THE HUNGER GAMES, the result might be something akin to the dark and ingenious madness of Rees’s THE DEMI MONDE: WINTER.”
-BookReporter (starred review)
“Elegantly constructed, skillfully written, and absolutely impossible to stop reading.”
-Booklist (starred review)
“Superb….Such an inventive world is engrossing on its own, but the wildly unpredictable plot and characters make for plenty of surprises and twists.”