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Virtual Knights is a teen fantasy novel written by American author J.S. Thomas. It follows the adventures of 14-year-old Jared and his friends as they battle against creatures from the another universe. It was published February 2007 by iUniverse publishing in Lincoln, Nebraska (now in Bloomington, Indiana).
Throughout the book, the third-person narration switches from Jared's point of view and the supporting characters. Corey, another major character in the book, also gains much of the point of view. It is mainly third-person limited omniscient with the point of view still focused around the major characters.
In the quiet city of Fallbrook, Jared is having a rather ordinary, boring day at school. but ordinary is about to become extraordinary in the space of a few minutes...
After Jared arrives home from school, he's astonished to discover his cell phone morphing into a strange object with three red buttons, an oval-shaped black screen, and a short, red antenna. the object propels him to another dimension where he watches a warrior battling a volcanic creature.
These strange happenings start to make sense when Fallbrook is suddenly invaded by inter-dimensional beings. Jared and his five friends are granted powers based on the elements of nature and charged with the duty to protect the world from harm. When an unsuspected twist leads them to another world, they will realize the true terrors and dangers of evil and come face to face with the ultimate tempter of living beings-Satan himself.
Jared is having a regular day in school when he suddenly dozes off in math class, propelling him into a dream. The most unusual detail he notices in the dream is that he is suited in red armor and running through a forest where he comes upon a golden sword. When he reaches for the sword he snaps awake, and finds that he has detention for falling sleep.
Later that day, after running home from a brewing storm, he discovers his cellphone has transformed into a mystical object with an oval screen, a red antenna, and three red buttons. He wonders what this mysterious object was and why it had a spinning compass on the digital screen. He quickly glances outside, surprised by a flash of lightning, and notices the eerie tower in the distance.
That night he has a dream about a mysterious boy who was fighting against a creature made of fire and magma. Jared does not know what to think; he hides and watches as this boy fights against this monster. The child eventually destroys the fiery creature with a blaze of blinding light, waking Jared from his vision as he lays breathless in his bed.
The next morning as he tries to explain to his two best friends, Hannah and Amanda, he realizes the compass is pointing in a direction. He follows it, and leads him to the golden saber he had seen earlier in his dream.
Soon he discovers that he is not alone in possessing a golden saber; a girl named Natosha quickly discovers that he knows the secret about the strange digital monsters. She confronts him, telling him how his inexperience would leave him vulnerable, and he storms off to the park, where he finds the mysterious boy waiting for him, ready to steal his saber...
The Virtual Knights
- Jared - The protagonist; a 14-year-old boy, giddy, and is the leader of the Virtual Knights. At the beginning of the book, he is fearful, timid, and new to the entire idea of inter-dimensional beings invading Fallbrook. However, his character develops, and he begins to show courage, a sense of pride, and understands what it means to be a hero. He is the Virtual Knight of Fire, and possessor of the Burning Flame essence; his forms of evolution throughout the novel are: Velocitron, Raptortron, SkullVelocitron, SkullVelocitron (Future Mode), and Infernodratron.
- Corey - The second protagonist, second in command, and is the computer genius of the group. His sole mission is to take Jared's Virtual Saber and collect its rare data. Cold, distant, rude, and sarcastic, he eventually develops into a more passionate, curious person, but, at times, disapproves of the others' actions. He is the Virtual Knight of Light (Swordsman of Light), and possessor of the Howling Light essence; his forms of evolutions are: Foxaritron, Wolveritron, and Howlertron.
- Natosha - A sensitive, kind, loving girl who does not like to see anyone harmed. She sees fighting more as a last resort. She is very cultured and studies world customs as a hobby. She is the Virtual Knight of Thunder and lightning, and possessor of the Stormy Peak essence; her forms of evolution are: Tigeratron, Sphinxtron, and Jagerdratron.
- Amanda - A sarcastic, dramatic girl who loves to speak what is on her mind. She is often partnered with Hannah, and always tries to find a way to criticize Jared. She is the Virtual Knight of Air and wind, and possessor of the Eternal Zephyr essence; her forms of evolution are: Griffintron, Harpytron, and Phoenixtron.
- Hannah - A funny, comical girl with red, frizzled hair and horn-rimmed glasses. She often pairs with Amanda, and was also the first to be tempted by the Dicozans. She is the Virtual Knight of Wood and vegetation, and possessor of the Ancient Wood essence; her forms of evolution are: Petaltron, Blossomtron, and Floratron.
- Bobby - A timid, shy child, and is the last knight to receive his Virtual Saber and Virtualizer. He is seen as an antagonist toward the end of the novel because of how his shadow, BlackSharkatron, fights to prevent the Virtual Knights from destroying the Zone Deleters and Satatron. He is the Virtual Knight of Water,and possessor of the Rolling Ocean essence; his forms of evolution are: Sharkatron, Turtletron, and Mantaraytron.
- Kiara - Not much is known about this pink-haired girl, except that when the knights "evolve", the symbol on her forehead glows radiantly. She is captured by the Dicozans and taken to the Virtual World because they believe her to be the "Angel of Miracles", which causes the Virtual Knights to leave Earth and follow her.
- Kaotron - An impish, mischievous biotron who loves to cause havoc in the city. Though he seems tactless and reckless, he hides a secret that shows his true compassion for humanity. He was threatened by a Dicozan and almost lost his life, but was saved by Foxaritron. He was then given the Essence of Darkness, the Dark Star in order to terminate the Virtual Knights. He eventually joins the knights in their mission to stop Satatron from conquering the Virtual World and Earth.
- Horatio Pennington - Director of the Dimergents Department; He is cold and distant, and his only job is to terminate the biotrons in the city without the help of the Virtual Knights. He creates the Judgment Day Program, but it turns into a failure. He eventually quits his job and joins the knights, realizing his destiny lies with them when it comes to saving the world.
- Lafayette DeMonte III - Creator of the Virtual World; a frenchman who lives in a mansion in the Arctic of the Virtual World designs the Virtualizers for the Virtual Knights. He explains to Natosha and Jared about the Great Internet Breakdown of 1990, where a virus infected and destroyed his first Virtual World program. He is gives a Data Orb to the heroes in order for them to transform on Earth.
- Abby - Little is known about this shy eighteen-year-old, except she used to work for Horatio until he quit his job. Lafayette recruited her to help the Virtual Knights, knowing she would be able to spy on them and reveal herself when needed. She gave the Data Orb to the Virtual Knights, but explains that once they use its power the essence would be of no use to them anymore.
- Thomas, J.S. (2007). Virtual Knights. iUniverse Publishing. Paperback: ISBN 0595409083
1. News story on Virtual Knights
2. News story on Virtual Knights: Lexington Clipper Herald, Lexington, Nebraska
External linksSource: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Knights
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