This was one strange book! That doesn’t necessarily mean it was bad, but the concept of this universe was hard to understand. You see, humans have somehow evolved to the point they don’t want to be in the “real” world. VR and the ability to completely immerse yourself into the virtual world you create, has taken over all humanity so that there are very few “real” people left. The Bacchus Corporation began offering people a way to get out of their boring lives and into something that would be perfect and would always stay perfect. They found a way to digitize a human conscience and load it into a data server. There, this new digital person, could create whatever environment they wanted to live in. More and more people found that real life was getting too hard and they opted to “upload” and leave their physical bodies to the Bacchus Corporation. It wasn’t know if they could actually come back to their bodies, but the Bacchus Corp. had agreed to store all these bodies until a way could be found to reverse the original upload.
So, apparently, the various galactic systems have huge data servers located somewhere in that system. The Guardsmen is an organization that was formed to protect those servers at all cost. Guardsmen were real humans who for whatever reason didn’t feel the need to “upload” and were perfectly fine in the real world. They were trained like the military and once trained earned the title of “Troubleshooter”. They had the authority to use whatever force necessary to protect the subverse data servers and terminals within their area of responsibility.
There still did exist communities of humans who were living in the real world and the Guardsmen kind of took care of them also. Our main character, Commander Joe Pikeman grew up on the planet Calabar and in Brinktown (a common name for all human settlements). So, Commandeer Pikeman is on a current assignment that takes him to Earth to check on the Sol Subverse server. Something seems to have opened the door to the server room and that’s not ever supposed to happen unless it’s done by a Guardsman. He lands on Earth and enters the Brinktown that contains the terminal for this subverse only to find out that all the inhabitants have been slaughtered. Apparently, Pirates are very common in the universe and they have struck this Earth Brinktown for some unknown reason.
And that makes the rest of the story plot. Commander Joe Pikeman has to track down these Pirates and find out what they are up to. They appear to be attacking Brinktowns on every planet, killing the adults and kidnapping all the children. As thought this wasn’t enough of a problem for a single Guardsman, he’s also contending with a teenaged daughter who think she knows everything and resents the fact that her Father, Joe Pikeman, has gone off and become a Guardsman while leaving her in the care of an Aunt. He comes to visit every so often, but that’s not good enough for Harmony, his daughter. Oh, Harmony’s Mother, she uploaded a long while ago, but Harmony doesn’t seem to blame her Mother for leaving as much as she blames her father for not being around.
Anyway, Harmony gets it in her head that she can do what she wants and she wants to go after the Pirates just like her Father, except she has no training and apparently not much of a brain either. That kind of trouble Commander Pikeman doesn’t need, but he gets plenty. Not only does he have to find his daughter, but he’s also still got to go after the Pirates and find out what they are up to. Makes for a pretty good story, but there are a lot of unusual concepts in this book.
While this one seems to come to an end fairly completely, I guess there are other books in this series. I will probably read them since I have already been exposed to this weird environment and kind of understand what’s going on, I think!