When the Ford Street anthology Trust Me! was published a few years ago, one of the short stories was "Game Plan" by George Ivanoff. It was based on a simple idea: where do the characters from video games go for their holidays? The real world, of course! There, teen thieves Tark and Zyra become ordinary teenagers John and Tina, who do homework and go to school. It was an entertaining and amusing idea.
Who would have thought this little story would be expanded into not one but three novels?
Tark and Zyra, after many adventures, managed to leave the Game, but we discovered that they had gone for their holidays to another game environment called Suburbia, not the real world.
In this book, they finally arrive in the world outside the Game and it's not remotely like Suburbia. And the lovely Tina and John, on whom their own appearances are based, are respectively Designer Alpha and Beta and both are thoroughly nasty pieces of work who haven't been teenagers doing homework and going to school for years. Tina had managed to get John to spend all his time in the virtual world while she ran things from the huge complex which houses the Game. Their former partner, Robert, is Designer Prime and works from his quarters, opposing them with the help of his clone assistant, who...
You know what? It's a complicated story with a lot of running around, some tributes to Dr Who, teen rebels and much more than I can describe. Best just to read it - after the first two novels, Gamers' Quest and Gamers' Challenge. It won't make sense without them.
Reading this is like playing a video game without having the family complain because you won't get off the computer. Do yourself a favour. Do your family a favour. Read this instead of playing on the computer. The kids will thank you, at least until they pinch your copy of the Gamers' trilogy.