This is one of those books that I have pulled off the shelf at the library and book stores I don't know how many times and just didn't quite get around to reading. It was originally published in 1994 so I've been thinking it looked interesting since high school.
Finally got around to it and quite enjoyed it!
The imagining of how what is essentially the internet works is really cool and reminds me a bit of Hackers. Except that I always thought the Hackers world was how those kids imagined what they were doing, while in this book the people really do travel into a virtual world. Or at least their minds do. It's something that I think is really attractive, the idea that there could be a pseudo-physical representation of lines of code. That security features would be actual walls that could be breached instead of just code. It's certainly much more interesting that way!
Character-wise, there's a couple main characters and a lot of it has to do with friendship and loyalty. Reconnecting after a number of years and figuring out how to rebuild that relationship.
There's also a lot of interesting legal and government/law-enforcement stuff that I think remains very relevant. Who exactly has jurisdiction over what happens in a virtual space? What happens when countries can't or won't agree on that issue?