Is Sweetland a new world ready to accept suffering humanity, or is it another kind of escape entirely?
Joe Larivee is an Everyman, a single father, a tireless social worker trying to help the growing legions of the poor while keeping his own head above the water, and in 2031 the water is rising fast, fed by global warming and collapse of the ice caps. America is on the verge of war and economic disaster. For the starving many, rumors of a new answer have arrived. It’s Sweetland, a newly-discovered earth-like world. And there’s a novel way to get there — through the virtual reality called New Life.
Fourteen-year-old Jessie Larivee wants to go to Sweetland. There is no future on Earth for children like her. She has been taking virtual training classes at an online university, and she is determined to emigrate, no matter the cost. But she hasn’t figured out how to tell her dad, who is a bit of a luddite. She desperately wants him to go with her, but how can she convince him?
Virtual private eye, Claire Deluna, has been hired to spy on a mysterious corporate upstart by it’s parent company, New Life, Inc. Now she has the big players on her tail, but is it the mob, the government, the Bolivarians, or someone else? More worrying, why are bodies of mostly poor, young people turning up everywhere? And what does it have to do with the Temple of New Life and something called Sweetland?
For those left behind, the act of crossing over to Sweetland is, literally, no different than death, but Joe Larivee believes he has seen the other side, and now he must decide: is Sweetland real, and, if so, does he follow his daughter and lover and escape from the hell Earth has become, or does he stay and fight for the unfortunate ones he has spent his life serving, and, in the process, just maybe redeem himself for the betrayal which eats at his conscience?