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Game World by Christopher John Farley
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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I liked the premise of this book, with the main characters going in to a real-life video game. I also was quite intrigued with the Jamaican mythology and fantasy that was woven in to the book. I found myself referring to the glossary of terms in order to better understand the mythological creatures that were included in the real-life video game. Overall, this was an adequate book. I liked that the friendship between the characters what developed and grew throughout the book. By the end of the book, I think they understood each other a little better. Other than that, though, I did not feel much of an emotional connection with any of the characters. Towards the end, when the main character finds out the true history / nature of his mother and father, it didn't feel very real to me. It just seemed to fall flat. There was no real hint anywhere in the book leading up to this, and so it just seemed to come out of nowhere. Maybe that is what the author intended; maybe he wanted it to feel like a shocker to the reader. I did not feel it, though. Overall, this is a fun read, though, and I would recommend it to any middle grade reader! ( )
  sara.sassafras | Jun 4, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Dylan, although bullied at school, finds his strength in being the best video gamer when playing Xamaica. Dylan enters a contest and he is chosen as one of the best players of the game...little does he know that that talent will earn him a trip INTO the game. A mixture of Jamaican folklore, fantasy, and dangerous adventures awaits Dylan and friend Eli as they embark into the reality of the game and face dangers they never dreamed of. The aloof teenage daughter of the game's maker, Ines, accompanies them into this strange world with her own hidden agenda.

GameWorld is a action-filled adventure which pits teenagers against almost-mythical like creatures into order to 'win' the game and achieve their desires. Who will be the hero? Who will succeed at the game? What will be the outcome? Lots of questions await Dylan, Eli, and Ines as they explore a another world far from home.

Thank you to LibraryThing Early Reviewers, Akashic Books, Black Sheep Publishing, Susannah Lawrence, and C.J. Farley for this ARC copy. ( )
  jackiewark | May 10, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I read a lot of young adult fiction, so I am accustomed to its somewhat less sophisticated nature. However, although I am rarely this blunt, I have to say that this book is just bad. Either it is being written 'down' a bit too much, or the author is a terrible writer. Sentence by sentence, it is *written* like a high schooler wrote not, not written as though a good author wrote it *for* a high schooler. The jokes are dumb, the metaphors and analogies that are used (constantly) are awkward and inaccurate. The plot line is rushed, the characters are hyper-stereotypical and pretty much uninteresting. The premise for the plot is overused, and although the actual setting of a Jamaica-like world is a cute idea, it doesn't save it. That's too bad, there are some neat ideas and it would be neat if kids could be exposed to some of the global/Caribbean mythology that comprises the characters and setting. Sadly, it falls flat. Terrible. I quit at about 100 pages. ( )
  tkraft | Mar 1, 2014 |
Dylan, a poor kid with a passion for gaming, manages to enter a tournament for his favorite video game and wins, leading him to become a part of the game. With the help of the game creator's daughter, his best friend, and his sister, they struggle to save the parallel world and find lost family members.

I really enjoyed this book. A lot doesn't make sense if you're not familiar with Jamaican folklore, but after a bit of research it was easy to see how much work went into it. It definitely seems like a thrilling read for kids starting to enjoy fantasy. ( )
  suigenic | Feb 20, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
In this virtual-reality based tale, three children are swept into a game based on Jamaican folklore and wind up battling real monsters that have stepped out of myth. On a quest to rescue main character Dylan's sister, Emma, they must determine who amongst these mythical creatures is friend and who is working against them. Readers should sympathize and identify with Dylan, and his best friend, Eli; their concerns regarding bullies, self-confidence, and quarreling family members seemed realistic. However, the third of the trio, Ines, will likely leave them cold in comparison. She, and her story, seemed flat and predictable and the resolution to her issues at the end was fairly spurious. Middle grade readers will likely enjoy the virtual-reality-turned-reality aspect of the book, and the fast pace of the adventure. The folklore aspect is a bit of a double edged sword for this novel. Although the characters drawn from Jamaican folklore add interest, richness and depth to the world, the reader is also thrown into it without adequate explanation. Dylan "explains" a little bit about the various types of creatures and their characteristics to the reader at the beginning of the story during the game tournament, but the explanation is not enough to give someone unfamiliar with Jamaican folklore any kind of grounding. Nevertheless, readers who stick through the confusion will find an interesting story with plenty of action and twists and turns to keep their minds engaged. ( )
  Brookvillej | Feb 19, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 161775210X, Hardcover)

“A mixture of fantasy, reality, Jamaican folklore, and history. A great read for all, we love it! My kids and I can relate to the themes and characters in this wonderful adventure. Finally! Thank you, C.J. Farley!”
--Ziggy Marley

"Fast-paced, fun, and exciting, Game World kept me--and more importantly my twelve-year-old son--turning the pages. It's a unique, refreshing breath of Caribbean-accented fantastical storytelling."
--David Anthony Durham, author of the Acacia Trilogy

"If William Gibson wrote The Hunger Games, it might feel something like this. Cyberpunk for a new generation of readers!"
--Kazu Kibuishi, author of the best-selling Amulet series and Harry Potter cover artist

"There are real children here, who blunder, quarrel, pop blisters, get pissed, suffer bullying, and fart--things almost guaranteed to freak out parents, teachers, librarians, and children's book reviewers. There are mysteries and challenges galore. In sum, there's some adult-level mind stretching here." --Piers Anthony, author of the Xanth series

"Want a thrill? Ride a longboard down a water slide or plunge into Game World. The rush will be the same."
--Colin Channer, author of The Girl with the Golden Shoes

Dylan Rudee's life is an epic fail. He's bullied at school and the aunt who has raised him since he was orphaned as a child just lost her job and their apartment. Dylan's one chance to help his family is the only thing he's good at: video games. The multibillion-dollar company Mee Corp. has announced a televised tournament to find the Game-Changers: the forty-four kids who are the best in the world at playing Xamaica, a role-playing fantasy game that's sweeping the planet. If Dylan can win the top prize, he just might be able to change his life.

It turns out that Dylan is the greatest gamer anyone has ever seen, and his skills unlock a real-life fantasy world inside the game. Now actual monsters are trying to kill him, and he is swept up into an adventure along with his too-tall genius sister Emma, his hacker best friend Eli, and Ines Mee, the privileged daughter of Mee Corp.'s mysterious CEO and chief inventor. Along the way they encounter Nestuh, a giant spider who can spin a story but not a web; Baron Zonip, a hummingbird king who rules a wildly wealthy treetop kingdom; and an enchantress named Nanni who, with her shadow army, may be bent on conquering Xamaica and stealing its magic.

In order to save his sister and his friends, Dylan must solve a dangerous mystery in three days and uncover secrets about Xamaica, his family, and himself. But will he discover his hidden powers before two worlds—Xamaica and Earth—are completely destroyed?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:05 -0400)

Dylan Rudee is an expert at Xamaica, a role-playing fantasy game. When his skills unlock a real-life fantasy world inside the game, actual monsters try to kill him, and he is swept up into an adventure along with several other people, and characters from the game. In order to save his sister, his friends, and Earth, Dylan must solve a dangerous mystery in three days, and uncover secrets about Xamaica, his family, and himself.… (more)

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