Into the Book

This book is proof that putting weird symbols inside your books titles can sometimes net you an extra reader. That, and excellent first lines. Virtu@lly .Eliminated, by Jefferson Scott, has both of these. The strange title grabs your interest, and how can you put a book down with the following opening line: “Once he decided to kill himself, the rest was easy.” These strengths alone made me pick up this book…and I didn’t regret it.

The story is realistic sci-fi, so to speak. It’s set in the “future” (Year: 2005), and follows the story of Ethan Harrison. A mysterious hacker is killing people through virtual reality, and Ethan is the only one who knows it. This book shows what happens when a middle-aged programmer goes to the FBI with a hunch and finds himself trying to bring down the most elite virtual reality murderer alive: the elusive Patriot.

The premise is cool, but the story just…works. We get to see Ethan’s problems with his family, and his wife, due to his computer addiction. But this works…because it’s not an isolated scene where his wife leaves him because of his addictions; rather, his family integrated and woven into the plot; Kaye, his wife, and Jordan, his son, are almost as much a part of the story as Ethan himself is. Though the book can come off as preachy in this arc in a few isolated cases, for the most part it’s pretty mild. In fact, it weaves a moving and disturbing picture of just how attached modern society has become to technology.

Writing-wise, the multiple omniscient viewpoints are confusing to wrap your head around, but once you immerse yourself in this book the story just gets better and better. And the writing is excellent too, particularly the characterization. Maybe it’s because I tend to be a characters-first writer myself, but characters are the real heart and soul of a novel. A good plot with crummy characters isn’t really a good plot, no matter how interesting it is. Jefferson Scott pulls this off in an excellent way.

Overall, if you’re looking for a quick (I finished the book in an afternoon), semi-futuristic read, Virtu@lly .Eliminated is definitely a good choice to look for.

~ Andrew

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Published on 23 February, 2012. Last updated on


  1. Bush Maid

    Thanks for the review, Andrew. 🙂 This sounds very interesting. I have read something that might be similar, a book called “Brainjack” by Brian Falkner which was very good as well. I might look this one up.

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