Ms. Yingling's Reviews > The Ultimate Game

The Ultimate Game by Sean Austin
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Mar 11, 12

Read in March, 2012

Brothers Reggie and Jeremy escape from absent mother and her abusive boyfriend by playing online games, and Reggie is so good at "Echo's Revenge" that he gets a letter from the game maker inviting him to a focus group. He runs off, knowing the boyfriend doesn't want him to go, and meets a lot of the people he knows from the game. After the meeting, the company contact, Luca, gives Reggie a secret passwords and tells Reggie to contact him if he needs anything. Sure enough, when he gets home, Reggie is in trouble. He and Jeremy take off and try to head to their long-absent father's house. Not only are they picked up quickly for rides, but when they stop at convenience stores for food, they find that all of the gamers they know are on milk cartons as being missing kids! Something sinister is occurring, and sure enough, just as they reach their father's house, they are drugged, kidnapped, and taken to a secret mine where they end up working for Echo. How will they escape? What evil purpose does AAA Reality Games have? And will anyone ever believe their story?
Strengths: A lot of my students are interested in video games, and very few books include them. This not only has descriptions of the games (which must be interesting to someone-- Surly Teen Boy will watch YouTube videos of people playing video games, which I don't get at all!), but the boys get trapped in a situation that is essentially one big video game. Good action and adventure; STB read this one very quickly.
Weaknesses: A bit confusing for me, since I don't understand video games. Also, have a sneaking suspicion that this is self published; the publisher is supposedly AAA Reality Games, but going to that web site causes one to be redirected to echohunt.com. Not a bad book, but might be hard to find in a library copy.
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