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The Discovery of Socket Greeny: Tony Bertauski

Saturday, May 21, 2011
Good Reads Summary:   Work comes first for 16-year old Socket Greeny's mother ever since his father died. That was 11 years ago. Now, in this tech-driven futuristic society, he's zoned on energy drinks and living in virtual worlds because Mom rarely comes home. He doesn't know what she does for a living. The bills get paid and the refrigerator is full, so why bother with details? His only real world thrill is fighting. He doesn't always win, but that's not the point. Breaking skin is a reality rush.

But a world can change in a single moment.

It's a school day like any other, until Socket starts hearing other people's thoughts. He's hallucinating, maybe brain rot from too much virtualmode. Even when time seems to stop, he ignores it. The mind playing tricks. But when his mom arrives at school, he knows it's for real. She's there to take him to work.

The Paladin Agency.

He discovers an evolved race of humans that have existed for centuries, where thoughts can be heard. And felt. They are people that can manipulate time through the body's metabolism. They protect the rest of humankind and strive to bring them understanding of their full potential. But some Paladins see humankind as inferior. Imperfect. Cancer.

Socket soon finds himself in the center of controversy when he's anointed a Paladin prodigy. He didn't ask for the "blessing" of psychic powers and the ability to timeslice, he just wants to go home and be normal again. But, sometimes, life doesn't give us that privilege, his mom tells him. And when humankind is threatened and the Paladins are forced into the public eye, Socket discovers what his mother means. If he doesn't embrace his true nature, the world will change forever.

This novel presents a very possible reality, where technology is at the forefront and everyone and everything revolves around technology.  Socket, the main character, will appear likable to the reader.  His two best friends, Chute and Streeter, make for good supporting characters.  Chute is the more likable of the two while Streeter, a brilliant hacker, lusts after Socket's girlfriend.  Socket and his friends endure an attack, his "sim" is badly damaged.  It is on this prophetic day that he discovers he can feel and and touch in virtual mode-a feat which should be impossible.  After this day, Socket learns about his past and his parents in great, excruciating detail; he faces danger around every turn of the page. 
The world the author creates could easily appear great to the reader.  Who wouldn't want to transform themselves into any sort of person they wanted to be?  The plot is excellent, a great idea for this technology-driven society.  The characters will affect the reader separately.  Some appear to support Socket throughout his many disappearances and problems while others, especially his mother, will leave the reader with a cold feeling.  The reader will always remember that there lurks a traitor somewhere within the pages of this intriguing book.  This novel is terrific for young adult and adults who enjoy mystery, action, drama, and a novel that touches on a possible future outcome for our own society.