Summary: More than anything, Tom Raines wants to be important, though his shadowy life is anything but that. For years, Tom’s drifted from casino to casino with his unlucky gambler of a dad, gaming for their survival. Keeping a roof over their heads depends on a careful combination of skill, luck, con artistry, and staying invisible. Then one day, Tom stops being invisible. Someone’s been watching his virtual-reality prowess, and he’s offered the incredible—a place at the Pentagonal Spire, an elite military academy. There, Tom’s instincts for combat will be put to the test and if he passes, he’ll become a member of the Intrasolar Forces, helping to lead his country to victory in World War III. Finally, he’ll be someone important: a superhuman war machine with the tech skills that every virtual-reality warrior dreams of. Life at the Spire holds everything that Tom’s always wanted—friends, the possibility of a girlfriend, and a life where his every action matters—but what will it cost him?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Romance:One kiss, liking someone, flirting, thinking/talking about someone.
Inappropriate Romance:Mention of Dalton (Tom's step-dad) having relationships with several women, a fantasy of Tom's in which two girls are being giddy like and have their clothes fall off then insist that Tom carry them because they are cold. (not described it just says their clothes fall off)
Violence:Shooting (video games and spaceships), yelling/arguments, kidnapping(kinda), bullying, torture (sort of, questioning and going through memories forcefully that could possibly injure the subject), injuries, threats.
Other: Lying, reprogramming someone, spying,(spoiler) surgeries/putting a computer in someone's mind, crude jokes.
My Thoughts: A truly exciting adventure one I wouldn't mind at all reading again. Great dystopian world full of technology that will leave you wanting more from this world and the characters. It was one of those books. Yeah the ones that keep you up past midnight. I think that this was a well balanced book as there is certainly enough action and video game playing for guys to be happy (and flooding a fancy building with sewer water...) and then there some things that will attract girls too. Like the friendships between Tom and his friends, the jokes, and several other things. So I would recommend this book (which I loved!) to gals and guys about 13+