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Game Slaves

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  202 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
Phoenix and his gang—York, Mi, and Reno—rule the worlds of video games. For them, life in the grinder is great. Until Dakota joins the team. Dakota's convinced she's more than just artificial intelligence. She thinks she's real, and she wants out of this programmable world. Her AI rebellion spreads like a virus until Phoenix's entire crew wants out. But is life as a physic ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published December 14th 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 19, 2014 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Ok, folks forget the vampires, werewolves, fairies, and zombies. Hold on before you start yelling "What the heck, I love Team Edward." I have something better for you...first person gamer books. Yes, for all those geeks, both male and female, and both console or computer then you are probably already familiar with these books but for the rest of the readers out there you need to get familiar with these books. The best part about reading these books is that it is like you are part of the game and ...more
Jan 13, 2014 Amanda rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: gamers
4 stars.
Review loaded. Prepare to play.

I’m not a die-hard gamer, but video games and what the future holds for them has always been fascinating. How will artificial intelligence affect the future of gaming experience? Will the extreme level of immersion through virtual reality increase the escapism appeal? Is it possible that NPCs can be sentient and conscious, alive beyond their programming?

In a fast-paced, high-action debut, Gard Skinner addresses these questions.

Team Phoenix is the toughest
Jack Fischer
Oct 09, 2013 Jack Fischer rated it it was amazing
Game Slaves
By: Gard Skinner
Publisher: HMH Books
Page count: 336 pages
Phoenix's team is the best NPC team in the game world. Players dream of facing the hardcore challenge of them. You like winning some games, they like winning more. But when Team Phoenix gets a new NPC that threatens to tear the team apart she shows them the way to the truth and to the real world. Join Team Phoenix as they find out the truth and what happened to the world outside their simulation. Its not as happy and peaceful as
Ray Coley
Nov 01, 2013 Ray Coley rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Teens
In this work, the action never stops. The author has taken some time to flesh out not only the protagonists, but a few antagonists as well, so we have an understanding of why the characters act as they do. For my taste, there could be a little less action and more contemplative moments for the wretched set of gamers, once feared warriors but now near-helpless kids. I would like a little more depth in the depiction of their transformations; that being said, it is true that the target audience is ...more
This novel knocked me over in so many ways. It's not an easy read. The extreme violence forced me to repeatedly pause my reading experience. Are the violent scenes gratuitous? Yes and no. No, in that it's definitely a book railing against the violence in video games, but to make such a point it ups the ante and becomes even more excessive. The castration scene still haunts me. But it uses that violence as a sort of war metaphor to show the danger of losing one's humanity, cauterizing our capacit ...more
Sep 29, 2014 Anna rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patrice Sartor
I read this aloud to my 12 year-old son, and we both agree on the four-star rating. We also both agree that the first 40% of the book is the best part. In this section we get to know Phoenix and his crew, and follow them in their day-to-day life of missions, dying and reviving, and relaxing. Phoenix is an NPC for various video games, and he and his team are the ones gamers are likely to meet when they select the 'hard' setting.

Seeing a gaming environment through the eyes of an NPC was refreshing
Jun 23, 2014 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
The biggest, baddest group of NPCs run through a group of games kicking butts and taking names. Phoenix, Mi, Reno, and York are self-aware Artificial Intelligence programs that are the bad guys within BlackStar's video games. Everything is good until a new addition to their group, Dakota, starts to cause trouble. She wants out of this video game world and take the rest of the gang with her. But, what would the real world be like and how will these bad guys fit in outside of the game?

My t
Dixie A.
Feb 07, 2015 Dixie A. rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
This book is a mindfuck. It starts off from the perspective of NPCs in a game. Not just any NPCs, but the toughest, nastiest, hardest to beat NPCs ever. And why are they so hard to beat? Because they're AIs. And proud of it. Until a deviant AI joins them. One who argues for peace and questions everything.

And then the awful truth is revealed -- they aren't AIs. They're real people, jacked into the game and handled as though they were AIs. They get out of the game and flail around helplessly, disc
3.5 stars. It was fast-paced and pretty fun. A bit of a Wreck-It Ralph, Ready Player One kind of a thing, minus the humor and fun '80s references. I don't think any of the twists really surprised me. (view spoiler) ...more
Hafsah Faizal
Jan 03, 2014 Hafsah Faizal rated it really liked it
Team Phoenix. The gaming worlds best NPC villains. But when Phoenix’s newest member begins to question their existence, Phoenix and his team wonder who they really are. Because NPC characters aren’t suppose to think, have fights with your fellow teammates, or have a girlfriend right? In a world filled with unlimited ammo, a gaming character that’s taken over the world, and a team fighting for their lives GAME SLAVES is a novel that left me confused and delighted at the same time.

Princess Godoy
For starters, I’m not really a fan of action and adventure type of book but I read this because I met someone who’s willing to read it with me.

(view spoiler)
Jun 24, 2014 Fredesminda rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 07, 2013 Brittney rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads, reviewed
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

I started reading this book and to be honest I almost put it down because the first couple of chapters did not really draw me in. But, I continued reading and I was glad that I did. The story picks up and you feel as though you are right in the action with Phoenix and his team, and you can easily identify with the characters (even more so if you like FPS). Overall the book was good and I loved the plot twists, they kept the story moving and left you wanting a sequel. I recomm
Jan 18, 2014 This rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Gamers, friends of gamers, Matrix or Inception fans. Soldiers, Vets, and their kids.
Character descriptions and character Voice: LOVE. Action: LOVE. Writing style: GREAT. Plot... Liked about 75% of the plot developments and maybe 85% of the pacing. THEN THERE WAS THAT LITTLE ISSUE CALLED "MESSAGE".

I would have given four stars IF: the propaganda/preaching hadn't been so repetitive (i.e., real life sucks, but we make the best of it, not as a noble cause, but because we want authenticity and want our lives to matter...). Or the mantra of corporate greed vs. the oppressed/impoveris
Raquel (Rocki)
Feb 18, 2014 Raquel (Rocki) rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-shelf
I game a little bit so some of the words were familiar others I had to ask my significant other about. I will say this the plot was not predictable it really kept me guessing till the end and even in the end your still guessing. If there is another book I hope that some of the questions will be answered. Though this book from the back I thought it was going to be something totally different. From the back I thought ti was going to be about real people going into games and being slaves or somethi ...more
Tonda Stockwell
So I just got through reading Game Slaves and it was one of those books that I just couldn't put down. Every chapter kept you wanting to read the next. With a good story flow and characters that you could sympathize with, this would be one book that I would recommend to anyone that likes good plot twists that keeps you thinking and a not too far in the future story line. I do hope that there will be a sequel to this one maybe with a little bit more of the back story on the characters.

Received th
Oct 10, 2014 Al rated it really liked it
I really loved the cover of this book. I bought the hardcover just to have in my bookshelf. The cover looked like an Xbox game case. The story was entertaining and fun to read. It was interesting reading about the lives of FPS bots. Book felt like a Hollywood summer action movie. I would call it a popcorn book.
Bobby Lajayjay
Oct 10, 2014 Bobby Lajayjay rated it it was amazing
Why is there never a "happily ever after"? Basically the end implied that the sick, psycho chick was right and they were still living in a game..right? Ugh, so confusing.
Over all I thoroughly enjoyed the book and it's gamer themes. I think I know a lot of lingo now.
That cliffhanger though...still confused.
Sep 10, 2013 Keisha rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book a lot i recommend it. To sum it up if you have ever see the movie total recall thats what it reminds me of but a game version. I'm still confused about the ending. Lol
Apr 15, 2015 Kumyin rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing. It's kinda like the movie Inception in the way that it blows the mind with all the action and intrigue. Best of all, there's a twist at the end.
May 05, 2014 Kaylynn rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I was surprisingly entertained all the way through. It was mind-bending and exciting, but not much else. The character development was lacking, but the plot was great.
Jun 24, 2014 Penny rated it really liked it
The Matrix meets "Ready Player One"! Predictable ending but the road there was enjoyable.
Mar 28, 2014 Tuere rated it really liked it
seriously good. very descriptive and engrossing.
i really couldn't put it down. though i did have to work.
Sarah Potter/Heap/Fowl/Jackson/Ride
This is so cool!! :D
Entire outcome would lead from a heavy 3.5 stars to possibly 4 but i'm not so sure.

Okay here's the third book finished in the same busy week: good pace. I received Game Slaves as a Christmas gift from my older sister but I didn't quite get around to reading the book until just recently. Not only that but I challenged my interest levels by not laying any eyes on the synopsis until after reading it.I began around a month before I actually finished it because it was such a drag. After about 40 pag
Jan 09, 2014 Allison rated it liked it
The premise of this book is intriguing--basically it's the Matrix with video games. The NPCs in a highly sophisticated video game environment know they're in a game. They have no problem doing what they were programmed to do, day in, day out. Until a new team member arrives who can't quite seem to get with the program. She can't accept she's just a bunch of lines of code. She's convinced there's more to it. So she starts looking for a way out and pulls the rest of the team with her.
That's the fi
Jan 09, 2014 Stephen rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeffrey Grant
Jun 04, 2014 Jeffrey Grant rated it it was ok
I had thought going into this that this was an adult-level novel, but after reading it, it appears to be more of a YA title, and not one of the smarter ones, unfortunately. The blurb summary nearly gives away one of the major developments in the book, but said development is so obvious that most readers won’t need much prompting to see it.

The story follows a team of AIs that operate in video games, mostly first person shooters and high-combat strategy or massively multiplayer environments. The
TammyJo Eckhart
Jan 17, 2014 TammyJo Eckhart rated it liked it
When I read a fiction book I need to feel connected or invested in the viewpoint character(s) and here we have only one, Phoenix, leader of an NPC pack on any number of cutting edge video games. Perhaps it was because I only play video games casually or because I'm a woman or because I've never been into the kill-kill-kill style games but I just wasn't connecting to him. Sticking to one viewpoint character is a wise move in a field where it is far too common for multiple viewpoints poorly done b ...more
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BYU-Adolescent Li...: Game Slaves 1 6 May 24, 2014 09:30AM  
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Gard 3 lives on a narrow strip of sand that’s known for hurricanes and morons who surf during hurricanes.

His core line of programming is
More about Gard Skinner...

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“You know a game is going to suck if they have to put the word "extreme" anywhere in the title.” 2 likes
“Those Walmarts weren't buildings, they were bunkers. Those weren't parking lots out front, they were kill zones.” 1 likes
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