Brainboy and the DeathMaster [NOOK Book]


A fast-paced, high-tech, mystery-adventure from the author of the National Book Award finalist Mean Margaret.

When Darryl, a twelve-year-old orphan, is adopted by a technology genius, he finds himself the star of his very own life-threatening video game.

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Brainboy and the DeathMaster

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A fast-paced, high-tech, mystery-adventure from the author of the National Book Award finalist Mean Margaret.

When Darryl, a twelve-year-old orphan, is adopted by a technology genius, he finds himself the star of his very own life-threatening video game.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Seidler's (Mean Margaret) diverting book, 12-year-old orphan Darryl Kirby, a video game prodigy, discovers a sprawling new online game at the shelter where he is dumped. In a matter of days, the game's inventor, Keith Masterly (an eccentric billionaire, himself once a boy genius, with a career almost parallel to that of Bill Gates), shows up to adopt Darryl, then whisks him away to Masterly's high-tech lab/fortress, Paradise. There, Darryl and several other hand-picked young geniuses are put to work on Masterly's secret project: eternal life through DNA manipulation. The children are each given a daily "vitamin," which stifles their memories of who they are and where they came from-until Darryl skips the pills and discovers Masterly's entire plan, which ultimately involves disposing of the young researchers. The set-up is excellent, but a few structural flaws mar the compelling story: the ending feels rushed; Darryl's discovery of the secret of immortality after just a few days in the lab seems unlikely given this fantasy's narrative logic; and readers receive no explanation for Masterly's shift from child genius to evil madman. Still, the language, invariably crisp and bright, makes for a quick read. As with Seidler's first book, The Dulcimer Boy, the core message-children do stand a chance against the cruelties of the world-always bears repeating. Ages 8-12. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Thirteen-year-old Darryl Kirby feels responsible for the deaths of everyone in his extended family after he survives the fire that took their lives. He ends up in an orphanage bankrolled by videogame billionaire Keith Masterly, where his only solace is in the very games Masterly creates. After acing a particular game on a computer monitored by the videogame company, Masterly himself shows up to adopt Darryl. That "adoption" lands him in Masterly's secret laboratory, a think tank full of child geniuses. Masterly wants to develop a compound to reverse the aging process. The think tankers are well cared for, but they are given "vitamins" that keep them docile. Darryl and his new friend, Nina, hatch a plan to escape, but their ultimate deliverance comes in a rousing climax they never could have foreseen. Although the pseudo-science is, at times, wrong in light of current scientific knowledge, Seidler's suspenseful story and fast pacing will keep the pages turning in this surprisingly quick read. The characters are well drawn, and there is quite a bit of humor. The title might turn off some of the potential audience, but reassure science-adventure fans that they have an excellent read before them. Unfortunate title aside, fans of Sleator and Vande Velde will be right at home. PLB
— Timothy Capehart
Children's Literature
Twelve-year-old Daryl Kirby is still in shock from the loss of his entire family when his disreputable orphanage roommate Boris cons him into trying the computer that sits in their bedroom. It only does games, but Daryl is very good at games. His wins result in a whirlwind adoption by Seattle's resident computer-genius billionaire. Shades of Bill Gates? You bet. But this billionaire has futuristic science on his mind, and wafts Daryl off to a mountain eyrie in the Cascades where he joins a select group of other young orphaned geniuses. Daryl immerses himself in brilliant science experiments, but there seems to be a problem developing with his memory . . . . Seidler has always been superb with animals (A Rat's Tale, et al) and his first foray into science fiction is an equally rousing story. For this one, he owes a few debts to Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game, not to mention Aldous Huxley—and after his dispatchment of the villain Keith Masterly, he may never be welcome in Microsoft country. But hey, Seidler lives safely in New York City. And this is a really terrific read. 2003, Laura Geringer/HarperCollins, Ages 10 to 14.
— Kathleen Karr
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7-A fast-paced, science-fiction adventure. Darryl recently lost his entire family in a horrible fire, and now resides at an orphanage funded by Keith Masterly, founder of the world's largest computer empire. After Darryl plays exceptionally well on the version of "Stargate" found on the laptop in his room, he's unexpectedly adopted and whisked away by Masterly himself. At first, the boy is thrilled to be a part of Paradise Lab, where there are lots of other smart kids like him, all helping Masterly conduct science experiments aimed at "conquering time." But Darryl and his friend Nina come to realize that Masterly's ultimate goals are deadly, and it's up to them to rescue everyone from a madman's evil grip. Though the plot, and especially the ending, is far-fetched, Seidler has created empathetic characters and writes at a level that is accessible even to readers not usually drawn to this genre. Despite the high-tech backdrop, it is Darryl's emotional journey that resonates and makes this novel a worthwhile purchase.-Ronni Krasnow, New York Public Library Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Keith Masterly, billionaire software guru, uses his wealth to set up children's shelters equipped with laptops loaded with his own interactive computer games. These allow him to identify brilliant kids whom Masterly then "adopts" and whisks away to his Paradise Lab where they work to discover the secret of stopping time. The lab is both spa and prison to the brilliant young scientists. Darryl and Nina are increasingly doubtful about Paradise Lab, a place with no windows, no communication to the outside world, and required daily doses of pills that have disturbing side effects. Two other kids are determined to find their way into the lab and rescue Darryl and Nina. Lacking the stylistic charm of much of Seidler's other writing, this relies heavily on standard conventions of a child's misplaced guilt over his parents' death and a megalomaniac's quest for eternal youth. Long on action and short on characterization and improbable, even for science fiction, this will nevertheless entertain readers who demand a fast pace and a cinematic, hair-raising but happy ending. (Fiction. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062028297
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/14/2010
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Born in Littleton, New Hampshire, Tor Seidler grew up in Vermont and later, Seattle, Washington, in both of which places his parents were involved in the theater. Encouraged by his family's love of the arts, Mr. Seidler studied English literature at Stanford University, and at the age of twenty-seven his first book, The Dulcimer Boy, was published, launching his celebrated career as a writer.

Over the past twenty years, Mr. Seidler has become one of the most important voices in children's fiction with such classics as, A Rat's Tale, The Wainscott Weasel, an ALA Notable Book, Terpin, and Mean Margaret, which was selected as a finalist for the National Book Award in 1997. He currently lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 24, 2009

    Great read

    The opening will take you in and keep your attention as you prepare for a story about the adventures of a boy in an orphanigde but when a messeage comes up in his favorite computer game, Darryl Kirbys story begins. AFter beating the game on several difficulties he is adopted by the creator of the game, software desginer Keith Masterly. Masterly wishes to create something that will allow him to be the deathmaster, he can never die, so he enploys brainy kids to assist him on Paradise island. it's a great read and will keep you guessing until the end

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2008


    This is a truly thrilling adventure,and I reccomend this book beyond what words can describe.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2013


    This book is awsome.It says alot.Must read it

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  • Posted September 27, 2011

    Very good. Its a must read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

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