Gamers’ Quest Trilogy by George Ivanoff reviewed by Jill Smith
George clearly knows computer games and his target YA’s market. On his website he has some truly tempting book trailers for each book. Gamers’ Quest won a 2010 Chronos Award for speculative fiction, both Gamers’ Challenge and Gamers’ Rebellion are on the Victorian Premier’s and NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge booklists.
Gamers’ Quest: Readers of this book immediately wonder where they are when we first meet Zyra and Tark, two teenage thieves, surviving the constant threat of the gangs and other gamers in a ruined city. But where are they? Who are they? Why do they desperately rob from the big houses to collect a stash so that they can try to pay their way into Designers Paradise? Why aren’t they able to kiss, a rule imposed by the Designers, when they clearly love each other deeply? When they do get into ‘Suburbia’ are they really free of the game? It’s not hard to be hooked on following their battles and sharing their fears. Will they ever be the normal people they are while they are in ‘Suburbia’?
Gamers’ Challenge: Zyra and Tark broke the rules and now are being chased wherever they go by zapping spheres of energy, the antivirus to eliminate corrupted files. Now they find their world in even more inhospitable, people in the game can’t talk to them. Zyra finds her Mohawk hair style now flops across her head. She gets tired and has to practice all her evasive athletic maneuvers to keep in shape. They have changed too. The Outers are other game players who broke the rules. They live on the outskirts of the town almost at the edge of the program. They need to find The Ultimate Gamer to get a key to escape the game and go into The Real World. Will they survive the ever growing numbers and strength of the antivirus?
Gamers’ Rebellion: They had escaped the game. Tark found himself waking up in a new body, a real cloned body. Abruptly he was taken by a bunch of young teenagers to a hiding place. He was with the Rebels. Zyra had also woken up in a new body. Looking at her reflection of the girl she had been in ‘Suburbia’ her cloned body was beautiful, with long blonde hair. She was being introduced to Designers Paradise by Robert the robot. But where was Tark? Designer Alpha didn’t want these two to ruin all her plans. Zyra and Tark have to go back into the game to free the children linked to the game in the real world. Going back into the game hurts but the future of all the game worlds and the real world depends on them.