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Net Force Summary

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

The premise of Net Force is that the World Wide Web will increase in importance in the near future, to the point that it is vital to maintaining modern life, and that it will increase in complexity while becoming easier to use. When people turn on their computers, they will instantly enter a virtual reality construct of their choosing—a place in which computer programs and files are represented by symbolic images.

The opportunities for better lives that the virtual world of the web provides is matched by the opportunities for abuse it provides. Thus, the FBI has set up a division called "Net Force," which has a mandate for tracking down crimes committed with computers. Net Force opens with an explosive scene in which the director of Net Force is murdered, and soon thereafter computer- caused disasters strike, seemingly at random, around the world. New Net Force director Alexander Michaels and his colleagues, with the timely aid of some young adult "webwalkers," must sort through dozens of false leads, dodge death at nearly every turn, and bring a megalomaniac with dreams of world domination to justice.