Life is a game, unless you’re not the one winning.
Gabby DeCorte, top student and reality-hacker extraordinaire, has been doing whatever it takes to keep her best friend, Zaela, from falling behind in LifeGame. Zaela has gifts of artistry that amaze Gabby, but none of those skills translate in LifeGame and with final exams coming up, they can’t afford to waste a single minute. But when a mysterious group called the Frags contacts Gabby claiming to know what really happens to the losers of LifeGame, she must choose between winning and what she believes in.
An interesting premise, I enjoyed the idea of a dystopian society where video games have been integrated into every day life. The main character, Gabby, is a top student who is always trying to keep her best friend from failing. Things are moving along like normal until one day she is told her life files have been hacked by the Frags, a group outside the control of the society. Suddenly Gabby’s life isn’t just about getting enough points each day and she’s pulled head first into the secret conflict over the society.
Carpenter has a great idea here, and it progresses at an easy-to-read pace. Gabby is also a character that’s a bit of an anomaly even though she is a top student. I like that she enjoyed learning more about the history and that she isn’t infallible. But there were several points where I felt certain aspects of the society and the slang wasn’t properly explained. Sure, we don’t need our hands held though out the whole book, but a little more explanation wouldn’t hurt.
Despite the ugly cover, Gamers is a book worth giving a shot. It’s a new take on that overused dystopian society premise. Carpenter has room to grow as a writer, but this book clearly shows the potential he has for his future novels. I highly anticipate seeing what else he might put out.
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