Review: Gamers' Rebellion by George Ivanoff

GRcover_webAt the beginning of June, I was very honoured and delighted to launch Gamers’ Rebellion for George Ivanoff at Melbourne’s Continuum 9 convention.

Gamers’ Rebellion is the third in George Ivanoff’s Gamers trilogy. It began with Gamers’ Quest (which I reviewed on my previous LiveJournal blog) and continued in Gamers’ Challenge. Here, the story of Tark and Zyra’s quest to escape the game in which they are characters and be in the real world reaches its finale.

The Gamers story began, obviously enough, within a computer game. Tark and Zyra quickly grew beyond their avatar confines to become more individual and more real with every chapter. They are dynamic characters, with great strengths as well as weaknesses, who work really well as a team. Their friendship and  love are both sweet and gently persistent reminders that they might be made of data, but they are fully human all the same.

After breaking their programming in Gamers Quest, then breaking free of the game’s rules in Gamers’ Challenge, Tark and Zyra begin Gamers’ Rebellion by breaking into the real world. They are downloaded into clone bodies outside the digital matrix in which their consciousness previously developed independence.

In this story, they learn that reality is just as challenging as their digital life, and they have as many battles to be true to who they have become as the ones they fought within the game. Now they have bodies, and are separated, the struggle to deny the powers that try to make them conform to some other (blander and more easily controlled) ideal is more dangerous than ever.

As with the other two books, Gamers Rebellion is full of adventure and excitement (and the occasional, delightful Dr Who reference) and whips along at a cracking speed. But it also has a lot to say beyond its perfectly enjoyable function as an action adventure yarn.

These books are about a quest to find a place where you can be real, and be yourself. They are about the realisation that every place has its limitations and darkness, and that every place has people and systems that want to curtail your independence and individuality. Gamers Rebellion explores the notion that being a whole human being has less to do with the environment you’re in than with how you choose to behave there. Gamers Rebellion also moves explores the philosophy of the power that exists in the balance between the community and the individual.

So – the Gamers books are fast-paced, character-driven adventures full of humour, excitement and unexpected resolutions to thorny problems. But they are also about breaking out of conformity and becoming yourself: engaging and important concepts for readers of any age, not simply the young readership at whom the books are aimed.

All that, and it’s still a rollicking good adventure!

Get the previous books in the series.

Narrelle M Harris is a Melbourne-based writer. Find out more about her books, iPhone apps, public speaking and other activities at www.narrellemharris.com.