My rating: 3 of 5 stars
In a future not too far removed from now, the technology of virtual worlds has been perfected to the point that people, minds, can be digitized and given a choice of their own particular paradise. There are those that rebel against this idea as unholy and abominable because of religious belief that it either destroys or imprisons the soul in a computerized purgatory whose only escape can be a damning virtual suicide. The majority of humanity sees it as the answer to all problems of want, and thus is instituted the Mandatory Conversion Act whereby all people must convert (digitally) or die.
While I was initially put off by the main premise of this book, the excellent writing style and plot pacing kept me reading. I’m glad it did, too, because the ending was not what I expected. The characters are compelling, and flawed, but seem real. The various viewpoints on the main concept of Conversion are fairly well discussed. There might be a hint of bias against the religious side of things, but if so, it was mild enough for me not to get my hackles up. The after-affects of the Forced Conversion act on the world are very interesting thought experiments, and made this book a Very Good Read.
Normally this would be a three start book for me, but I’m giving it the fourth one because the ending was excellent and successfully caught me by surprise. That’s hard to do!