The Free Lunch

The Free Lunch - Spider Robinson Very interesting book, I have to admit. With the focus on the main male lead, this actually could've been a sci-fi, YA book, but has several scenes which clearly make it oriented more toward adults. Spider Robinson creates a fantastical world of escapism in "Dreamworld" - a place where people go to forget the problems of everyday life. Granted, admission into the place is uber expensive, but worth the cost.For a young boy named Mike, he decides he wants to beat the system and live in Dreamworld. This comes at no easy task for the protagonist as he makes his plans and executes them, but he doesn't realize that he isn't the only one who lives "under". He meets the elder, tiny Annie, who is intrigued by him and takes him under her wing. However, both are drawn into a sinister set of events when a competitor of Dreamworld wants to tear it apart from the inside. They'll have to rely on each other, as well as a mysterious set of strangers that happen to appear in Dreamworld's interior, to stop the mastermind from bringing both Dreamworld and the fate of the Earth down with it.I'll admit that I expected more from the story given the premise, but I was surprised to note how drawn to the story I was. Mike and Annie were very enjoyable to follow in the scheme of events (though I initially - and mistakenly - thought Annie was closer to Mike's age than she was - she's actually old enough to be his mother!) I also liked the world-building of Dreamworld, though I thought the futuristic setting could've had more flesh to it. Still, when taking the elements all into consideration, when I really sat down to read this in its entirety, it was worth the progressive read. I enjoyed it for what it offered.Overall score: 3/5