Friday, March 22, 2013
Gamers - by Thomas K. Carpenter - YA dystopian thriller
Some time ago, I was contacted by the author of Gamers, Thomas K. Carpenter, and was asked to read his book and provide a fair and honest review. I tend to worry when that happens. A few times it's lead to bad experiences and I'm not fond of giving any book a poor review. The good news is, I liked the story and will likely, at some point, get around to reading the other books in the trilogy, Frags and Coders.
It did take me a while to find the time to read this, things just kept getting in the way, but I'm very happy I finally squeezed it in.
In the not to distant future, LifeGame has become an all inclusive competition where scores separate those who will earn their Life Class and get into University and those who would get lesser, meaningless jobs. Jobs that don't have as much responsibility, a title, or many benefits within LifeGame.
Some explanation about LifeGame from the text of the story...
"Why was LifeGame introduced? Because the Greater States of America was losing it's competitive edge. The first rule is what can be gamed can be improved. The second rule is that everything can be a game and the last rule is to never look backwards because the past is a game that's already been decided."
Gabby and Zaela are best friends and are getting ready for the upcoming Final Raid which will go a long way in determining who gets to go on to University. There are a lot of very imaginative peaks into the future in Gamers. For example, you don't drive, but there are "FunCar lots with hundreds of bubble shaped cars with four puffy tires." The cars would drive themselves while the occupants played games.
Of course we soon learn, from a subversive group called the Frags, that there may be more sinister intentions behind the LifeGame and our heroine Gabby winds up right in the middle of the action.
Gamers is what it is, a YA dystopian thriller that may not be as good as say, the Harry Potter series or The Hunger Games books, but it's certainly a completely entertaining entry into this particlar market and I would highly recommend the book for the younger audience or for any adult who enjoys this type of story.
All three books in the trilogy are currently available in paperback and e-book from a number of online retailers. Gamers is actually available for FREE from Amazon.com, so you can check this one out before deciding to spend money on the other two books.