Accused by her teenage daughter of being all work and no play, financial analyst Amy Stewart is goaded into playing the beta version of millionaire game programmer P.C. Monroe's new virtual reality pirate game Buckling Swashes. As "Earless Erika," Amy finds herself dueling with the dreaded pirate "Black Corbin"--except Corbin is really P.C. and they are now trapped in this virtual game by a virus unleashed by a ruthless rival.

So, when she isn't teaching basic hygiene and finances to colorful virtual locals, Amy is collaborating with "Black Corbin" as they try to figure out which member of the Island's virtual population is really the renegade programmer in disguise. With blockades and sea battles raging, these two seafaring mates had better figure things out quickly. Yo ho ho, Amy never counted on pirates being so sexy!

Only MacAlister could devise these outlandishly sexy and hilarious high seas high jinks that have virtual reality running amok. Today's world can always use more humor and, lucky for us, MacAlister is there to deliver. (Nov., 368 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith