By: Sean Austin
Publisher: AAA Reality Games (Kindle Edition)
Publishing Date: November 2011
Reviewed By: Amy Lignor
Review Date: March 2012
Take pieces of The Maze Runner, add them to the fantastic movie from the 1980’s - War Games - and mix in a little HALO for the fun of it, and you have this extremely interesting novel.
Jeremy and Reggie are brothers. They live a slightly hard existence, to say the least, because of their mother’s new boyfriend - Asa - who likes to shout and hit first, then talk later. The guy is beyond a jerk, and the boys want nothing more than for their mother to either ‘wake up,’ or to run to California and live with their father.
The one thing they do a lot of is play an internet game called Echo. Echo involves many players around the globe who go up against ghouls and mechs (robots that take you out), while doing their best to try and wipe out the ‘big man’ - Echo-7. He just happens to be a thirty-five-foot extreme predator who wears body armor and hides behind a cloaking device.
Reggie has become one of the top three players of the game. He took out Echo-7 online, and soon receives a letter from AAA Games asking him to be a part of their focus group for the new version of Echo that they are putting together to bring out to the populace.
As readers move forward with Reggie they begin to see some very odd things, such as warnings that flash on Reggie’s computer very briefly saying: "I’m Watching You!" as well as rooms that he walks into that almost seem to sparkle, like he’s inside the game and no longer in reality. Soon, the adventure begins.
Jeremy and Reggie run away from the trouble at home and take to the road in order to get to their father. What they don’t understand is why all the rest of the focus group kids are being kidnapped. It’s all over the news and their faces are all over milk cartons, as Reggie and Jeremy learn that a game has become reality.
This is a story that certainly keeps teens reading and believing in the power of the internet games out there. Goodness knows, they prove every day that they are becoming more and more real with every push of the button. The writer has given the YA scene a seriously adventurous and intriguing plot that, apparently, is going to continue on until the world can identify Echo-7 in each and every bookstore across the land. The points of this story are very real, such as the fact that life is perhaps just a game where we must play the cards we’re dealt and hope for the best…a very believable plot set in an unbelievable world!
Quill Says: Computer games have become the wonder of the world and it will be no surprise to see Echo-7 become a household name.