The Independent

These characters are neither post-modern nor post-anything much else; they are not bored, disengaged, ignorant, amoral. They are young people caught up in a global struggle for justice in a manner impossible even two decades ago, thanks to the new transnational space they inhabit.

It’s an arena whose unintended effect is to offer its players a crash course in the game-like nature of the political and economic battles waged around them – as well as providing a context within which friendships can grow irrespective of race, nationality, wealth, age, gender or creed. Doctorow’s American teenager teaches himself Mandarin in his spare time, the better to play alongside his guild buddies, even while his parents bemoan the uselessness of his gaming habit.

Tom Chatfield, The Independent