Full disclosure, I was provided with a beta copy by the author as a member of his mailing list.
Do you trust your senses?
The Waking of Grey Grimm is a new book by Sci-Fi Author Tony Bertauski that explores the concepts of “awareness leaping” which can be described as sensory deprivation to the point of hallucination and astral projection.
After the “Foreverland incident”, awareness leaping was banned from society with the use of mechanisms to leap becoming a felony charge. Clandestine organizations remain that will train eager participants to enter the Maze for a price. Once inserted into the maze, the participants are engaged in a myriad of worlds and situations where death is of no consequence and morals very rarely have a place. Win or lose, those who survive the game are richly rewarded, but are forever changed with many finding it difficult to distinguish real from imagined.
Grey Grimm finds himself at the end of a needle inserted into his frontal lobe and transported to the Maze. When his mom Sunny finds him, she seeks out the help of someone who she only knows as Micah. When he appears to be unreachable, she returns home only to find her son missing. The longer Sunny searches for her lost son, the stranger things become. With all avenues exhausted, Sunny must rely on her own senses and resources to locate and rescue her Grey.
This story is one of those huge mind freaks that you will most likely have to read a few times to get all the nuances straight. I loved the way that the story follows Henk, Hunter, Sunny and Grey at various stages of the storyline that takes Grey into the Maze. With each new snippet in time, a new clue is revealed to piece together the ultimate puzzle. Each person’s perspective is told from their point of view and their own unique voice. From Grey and Rachel’s typical teenage banter and Hunter’s Bogartesque noir to Sunny’s mounting desperation as she searches for her son, Grey Grimm is a complex tale that will leave the reader guessing until the end and maybe beyond.
Having not yet read the Foreverland series, also by Bertauski I didn’t feel that this hindered my enjoyment of Grey in the slightest. If anything, it made me curious to read that series as well. It has been in my “to read” pile for some time now but after reading “The Waking of Grey Grimm”, I’m bumping them up on the list. If you are intrigued by the possibilities and possible consequences of virtual realities, The Waking of Grey Grimm will not disappoint.