The Demi-Monde

Winter

By Rod Rees
(William Morrow, Hardcover, 9780062070340, 528pp.)

Publication Date: December 1, 2011

List Price: $26.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the 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


Description

The Demi-Monde:

1. A subclass of society whose members embrace a decadent lifestyle and evince loose morals.

2. A shadow world where the norms of civilized behavior have been abandoned.

3. A massive multiple-player simulation technology that re-creates in a wholly realistic cyber-milieu the threat-ambiance and no-warning aspects of a hi-intensity, deep-density, urban Asymmetric Warfare Environment.

4. Hell.

Welcome to the Demi-Monde, the ultimate in virtual reality—a military training ground and vivid, simulated world of cruelty and chaos run by psychopaths, madmen and fanatics.

If you die here, you die in the Real World . . .

In the year 2018, the Demi-Monde is the most sophisticated, complex and unpredictable computer simulation ever created, devised specifically to train soldiers for the nightmarish reality of urban warfare. A virtual world of eternal civil conflict, its thirty million inhabitants—“Dupes”—are ruled by cyber-duplicates of some of history’s cruelest tyrants: the fanatical Nazi butcher Reinhard Heydrich; Stalin’s arch executioner Lavrentii Beria; the torture-loving Grand Inquisitor TomÁs de Torquemada; the Reign of Terror’s bloodthirsty mastermind Maximilien Robespierre.

But something has gone horribly wrong inside the Demi-Monde, and the U.S. president’s daughter, Norma, has been lured into this terrifying shadow world, only to be trapped there. Her last hope of rescue is Ella Thomas, an eighteen-year-old jazz singer and very reluctant heroine. But when Ella infiltrates the Demi-Monde and begins her hunt for Norma, she soon discovers the walls containing the evils of this simulated environment are dissolving—and the Real World is in far more danger than anyone knows. With the help of resistors determined to understand their world, Ella must race to save Norma and stop an apocalypse . . . but the clock is ticking.

Blending fact and fantasy, history and religion, military and existential themes, epic adventure and dark wit, dystopia and steampunk in a wholly original and driving narrative stream, The Demi-Monde: Winter is inventive fiction at its finest.




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.

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