Monday, September 19, 2016

Review: Gamescape: Overworld (Book #1) by Emma Trevayne

Gamescape: Overworld (The Nova Project #1)
by Emma Trevayne
Publisher: Greenwillow
Release Date: September 13th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopia
Rate: ★★★
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The planet is dying. Centuries of abuse have damaged the earth beyond repair, and now all the authorities can do is polish the surface, make the landscape look pretty to hide the disease within. Two prominent yet mysterious businessmen couldn’t fix it, either, but they did something even better. Together, they invented Chimera, the most complex and immersive virtual reality video game the world has ever known. The Cubes in which Chimera is played quickly became a fixture of this landscape: part distraction, part hospital, and almost wholly responsible for holding up the failing world economy.

Miguel Anderson is also dying. He isn’t the only one who plays the game–everybody does–but Miguel has more reason than most: When players leave their Cubes for the day, the upgrades and enhancements they’ve earned for their virtual characters leave with them. New lungs to breathe poisoned air, skin that won’t burn under the sun are great and everything… but Miguel, born as broken as the earth, needs a new heart–and soon–if he wants any hope of surviving just a little longer.

Then the two Gamerunners announce a competition, with greater rewards and faster progression than ever before, and Miguel thinks his prayers have been answered. All he needs to do is get picked to lead a team, play the game he’s spent years getting good at, and ask for his prize when he wins. Simple, really.

At first, things seem to go according to plan. Mostly, anyway. Inside his Cube, with his new team–including his best friend–at his back, Miguel begins his quest. He plays recklessly, even dangerously, for someone whose most vital organ could give up at any moment, but his desperation makes him play better than ever. The eyes of the world are on him, watching through status updates and live feeds, betting on his chances. With greater rewards, though, come greater risks, and the Gamerunners seem to delight at surprising the competitors at every turn. As he ventures deeper into a world that blends the virtual and the real to an unsettling degree, Miguel begins to wonder just why the game was invented at all, and whether its stakes could be even higher than life and death.

I thought it was going to be a little more dystopia like and not all about the game play. I was pleasantly surprised. I liked that it had more of the game elements in the book it seems like each book I read dealing with a virtual world turns into a dystopia, and yea this is a little bit but it is more end of the world type of stuff.

Miguel Anderson has it pretty tough he knew he had an expiration date, that is why he is playing the game to get a new heart in the end. I understand why he plays but he also wants to live his life full till the very end, so he is caught in the middle of two worlds it seems. He was a strong character and didn't let life get him down. He didn't seem to have many emotions till about halfway through the book not sure if it was just because he was focused on getting a new heart or maybe he just didn't let himself feel because he knew he didn't have much time. 

The Gamerunners I feel I have to touch on them since they orchestrated the whole game and this new element to it. Though I don't want to go into to much detail because you find out a lot while reading through. They are very mysterious and still even at the end I want to know more, they aren't the top dogs they think they are. These two though they say they don't get along, can actually work together, they came together to make this game didn't they. If only they weren't so conniving maybe Miguel could help them, because even though one of them says they are good he is still just as conniving as the other.

The game play itself was described wonderfully. Though I would have liked to hear a little bit more about the actual world the live in and what is exactly wrong with it and why is it so far gone. I understand some of it was acid rain and the sun being toxic, I know those can't really be fixed but there should be some way to maybe work towards making the earth healthy again. This book just makes it seem everyone has given up on living and gone into a virtual world. Which in my opinion if people want to keep living they would try to figure something out, instead of trying to download their brain into a game while their bodies die out in the real world.

I know they are working on technology like this for gaming wise and to be honest it both is a little exciting and terrifying to me. Terrifying because it could lead to something like this or make people not notice each other even more than our current technology does. Exciting as well because I think it would be really fun, it would have to be one of those things where it would have to be played in small incriminates, so as to not get out of hand.

Overall it was a good read and leaves off with the reader wanting to know more, especially about them Gamerunners. I know I have questions racing around in my head about what is to come after this.  

Favorite Quotes:
"Dude, I've been ready since yesterday morning, it was those damn doctors." Yeah. Another thing Miguel knows about. "They said I could go once I'd eaten something, though." "You're never going to put a shirt on again, are you?" Leah asks. "Nope."
"Please tell me you're not making adjustments without me." says Lucius. He can be incredibly light-footed when he wishes.  "Would I do that?" "Yes." "You're probably right," Blake concedes.
You are in an old building. It has many rooms. Each room is filled with strange, ancient artifacts."It's called a museum, Storyteller," says Leah. Part of him wants to laugh, it's nice to know he isn't the only one who talks back. 
These were some of my favorite quotes the first one to show that even though the game was played and Miguel was very serious about winning, it wasn't everything they still goofed off at times and had fun still. The second one shows Black and Lucius who are the game runners, whenever I came to a chapter about them I devoured it wanting another and to know more about them. The last one is my favorite because every time I heard the Story teller talk I just wanted to roll my eyes or say something sarcastic like Leah did. Most of the time the story teller didn't help at all just stated the obvious about what was in front of them.
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YA sci-fi/cyberpunk writer. Fan of words and music and chocolate. Represented by Brooks Sherman of FinePrint Literary Management. My first novel, CODA, will be out Spring 2013 from Running Press Kids, and its sequel, CHORUS, will be released the following year.

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