- Publication date:1 March 2020
- Format:B format paperback
- Genres: fantasy, science fiction
- Age guide: Middle Readers, 11+
For Game Over!
By George Ivanoff
Book 3 in Gamers' Trilogy
Tark and Zyra finally make it out into the real world … but things are not quite what they expected. When Zyra is captured by the Designers, Tark finds himself among a group of teenage rebels. It seems like everyone has an agenda, and Tark and Zyra are to be the pawns in other people’s power games. They soon discover the sinister uses to which the game is being put and the shocking way it is all operated — with dozens of kidnapped children wired directly into the mainframe, their brains keeping the whole thing going.
Will Tark and Zyra be able to free these children? Will they be able to save the characters within the game from the people who created them? Will they even be able to remain in the real world? Or will the Designers’ plans for world domination win out?
Robyn Donoghue –
Gamers’ Rebellion by George Ivanoff is the final and much anticipated book in the Gamers’ Trilogy. A trilogy that began as a short story called Game Plan, which appeared in the first Ford Street Anthology Trust Me.
Gamers’ Rebellion concludes the story of Tark and Zyra; two computer game characters who have exited The Game using a key given to them by The Ultimate Gamer, in the second book Gamers’ Challenge. They have been downloaded into cloned bodies resembling idealised versions of John Hayes and Tina Burrows. These are the two avatar characters Tark and Zyra adopted when visiting Designers Paradise in the first book Gamers’ Quest, so instantly they are suspicious of the Real World, and wonder whether they have been sent to yet another Game environment.
Once it is established that they are in fact in the Real World Tark and Zyra discover that the real world is just as complex and dangerous as the game itself. Tark is kidnapped by a group of rebel teenagers who are fighting to end the game, while Zyra is shown around the Design Institute by a very cool robot who is a clone of Designer Prime. Here Zyra learns of Designer Prime’s failing health, and the devastating consequences of turning a blind eye to the unsavoury practices of Designer Alpha and Designer Beta.
Both Zyra and Tark learn that children are being kidnapped and hard wired into the game, so their brains can keep the gaming environment alive. Tark is sent back into the game by the rebels in order to save the children. Zyra is sent back by Designer Prime to foil Designer Alpha’s attempt to rule over The Game and the World. Once again they are forced to play games within games, break through secret areas and defeat lunatics and villains, both in the Game and in the Real World.
This is a tense, action packed book; its subplot has a brilliance that sneaks up on you. While Tark and Zyra deal with space/time shifts; games within games; hidden doors; endless passageways; secret areas; battles and challenges, they are learning the meaning of true existence. The Real World is still governed by rules and ethics and just as limiting as the Game. Even when they take charge of their own destiny, life happens.
This is a book of great depth, while containing plenty of action to entertain primary school readers, it also deals with enough bigger issues to keep even the adults satisfied. Another excellent book to emerge from Ford Street Publishing. I can’t wait to read what Geoge Ivanoff writes next.
Jenny Mounfield –
Here, at last, is the final installment in the Gamers trilogy—quite a feat considering Tark and Zyra’s tale began life as a short story in Ford Street’s first anthology, Trust Me!. In the first award-winning book, Gamers’ Quest, and then Gamers’ Challenge readers grew to love game constructs, Tark and Zyra, who over the course of these two books shrugged off their programming and became sentient beings worthy of life in the real world. And that is exactly what they’ve achieved in Gamers’ Rebellion.
“The Game was over. Or so they thought
With hands tightly clasped, Tark and Zyra watched as all they had ever
known melted away.”
Having successfully exited the Game, Tark and Zyra find their consciousness has been downloaded into clone bodies. At last they are in the realm of their gods, the mythical Designers. But paradise is not at all what either of them expected. Designer Prime—Robert—a broken down man who is more machine than human, has left the Game to Designers Alpha who and Beta who are kidnapping children in order to use their brainpower to keep the Game running. Having liberated Tark from the Designers, a group of rebels sends him back into the Game to find out where the enslaved children are being kept. So, too, Zyra is sent back in by Robert and the race is on to put a stop to Alpha’s dastardly deeds before more lives are lost.
“Zyra raised an eyebrow. Robert stared at her for a moment, then lowered his eyes. ‘Sometimes I have this notion that we are just one world within many. That this reality is merely a game within someone else’s reality. That we are here to entertain and amuse.’ He paused and looked up to meet Zyra’s eyes again. ‘Worlds within worlds within worlds within…’ ”
The Gamers trilogy will appeal particularly to fans of, Tron, Doctor Who and Pullman’s The Golden Compass (Northern Lights). It really does have everything: mind-bendingly awesome gadgets, characters you can’t help but care about and even a side-order of romance. But more than that this story, while deceptively simple on the surface, challenges readers to consider the big questions regarding our existence. What exactly is reality? Are our gods merely game designers? Did the universe give rise to consciousness, or did consciousness create the universe? Allowed to have my way, I would put these books at the top of every school’s reading list. In a classroom environment these existential discussions could not fail to engage the most unwilling of students. Kids—and indeed adults for that matter—need stories that don’t just entertain, but encourage us to think, to enquire—to participate and not merely accept what we are able to experience through five senses. Science has already revealed sub-atomic worlds hidden from these senses. How can we possibly not want to know more?
Award-winning author, George Ivanoff has published over thirty books for young people. Find out more about George, his writing at: http://www.georgeivanoff.com.au