Gamer's Quest by George Ivanoff

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Tark and Zyra are teenage thieves living in a fantastical world filled with danger, in which magic and technology co-exist. They strive to gain entrance to a place called Designers Paradise. In order to gain entrance, they must steal keys and money to pay for the time they spend there. They face many dangers and challenges along the way, but they finally succeed.

Those who gain entry to Designers Paradise are able to immerse themselves in virtual reality games. Tark and Zyra, whose lives are filled with danger and death, choose to play a game called ‘Suburbia’ — a game in which they live peaceful, uneventful lives, simply going to school and hanging out at the mall with friends. But they
are pursued into ‘Suburbia’ by the Fat Man, who is intent on controlling Designers Paradise. In order to stop him, Tark and Zyra must seek out the Designers. But when they reach the control centre of Designers Paradise they are faced with a revelation that makes them question the nature of Designers Paradise and their own world.

Gamer's Quest is a really cool sci-fi/fantasy novel that I think will appeal especially to teenagers who enjoy reading fantasy, playing videogames and are intrigued by concepts of reality & identity. This novel certainly contains a lot of action and adventure, and challenges ideas about reality & virtual worlds in videogaming. I think it'll appeal to girls as well as boys (Zyra is a pretty awesome character), and anyone 10 & up can read it.

I really liked the realities that were created in Gamer's Quest - it's a bit difficult to explain anything without giving it away - but the place where Tark and Zyra live is certainly very intriguing; people have both traditional magic and futuristic technology, there are dragons and wizards, The Designers are their equivalent of gods (this made me think of the Architect in the second Matrix movie...) and a lot of other videogame-esque elements coexist in their reality that couldn't in the real world. Though there's a very interesting twist about midway through, where this reality changes...

If you'd like to find out more, have a look at the book's website, (be warned, it speaks to you! It scared the bejesus out of me. Also, has some very cool short stories related to the novel - but you might want to read Gamer's Quest before you read them) and have a look at the computer-generated trailer below:

(The edge of the screen there is cut-off, but you can see the entire thing on Youtube.)
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