Set in the not-too-distant future, Game Slaves shows a world where video games are the only refuge from the toils of everyday life. Infused with the adrenaline rush of a first-person shooter and the character manipulation of a role player, it's a mind-bending, reality-shifting science fiction thrill ride.
- ISBN-13: 9780547972596
- ISBN-10: 0547972598
- Publisher: Harcourt Brace and Company
- Publish Date: January 2014
- Page Count: 323
- Reading Level: Ages 12-UP
- Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.95 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-12-16
- Reviewer: Staff
In his smart debut, Skinner embraces SF genre conventions but keeps things entertaining with well-crafted dialogue and action sequences. In the near future, individual artificial intelligences are used to play the enemies in online video games. Phoenix is the head of the top AI squad, leading a group of veterans who handle the hardest missions in the hardest games. No one on the squad can remember anything before starting to game until a new member named Dakota joins the team. She starts asking questions, and after the group meets a young gamer named Charlotte, they begin to seek answers, too. Charlotte's older brother, a hacker named Jimmy, sheds additional light. Skinner wisely lets the problems inherent in the setup—why would AIs feel emotion and have autonomy?—become apparent to the characters at just the right moment, letting the storyline evolve fluidly. Phoenix, as narrator, brings the right balance of toughness and uncertainty, and the interactions between the virtual and real worlds effectively integrate the book's themes of free will, individuality, and exploitation. Ages 12–up. Agent: Andrew Stuart, the Stuart Agency. (Jan.)