@Ashdroid Ha! Agreed. It felt like the whole of the internet was pushing me to read this book, and I just fully did not like the main character. The world was fun, but I kept looking for clues that I wasn't supposed to root for the protagonist, and never found them?
@Ashdroid I realized that the game builders were my age millenials so felt melacholy about that. Also read his other book armada and it was similar popcorn fun, but also sorta juvenile. Still fun. It hit me this is super similar to an old Piers Anthony book "Killobyte" that has a different feel, more trapped in vr, might die in real life sort of plot.