VOYAMatt does not know how it happened, but somehow, Tron-like, he has been sucked inside his new computer game, Keeper of the Kingdom, and it is not fun at all. In Matt's world, it is 2010, but in the game, it is 2540. The Kingdom of Zaul apparently is in a permanent state of war with its neighbors. The Keeper, who rules Zaul, enforces his dictatorship by the use of deadly Cybergon Protectors. His people live in wretched conditions and work up to fourteen hours a day mining Xeleron, a lethal explosive needed for the war effort. Matt, who barely had started reading the game's instructions before finding himself on the inside, knows only that he has to contact the Liberators, an underground organization, if he is to have any chance of bringing about the Keeper's downfall and returning to his own world. The situation is rendered more complicated, however, when the Protectors carry out their own revolt against their human superiors. Derivative of any number of earlier science fiction movies, books, and game scenarios, this novel is the kind in which all of the bad guys yell all of the time and seem incredibly stupid despite their supposed high intelligence. With a surprise ending that astute readers will see coming a mile away, Ralles's tale earns few marks for originality. As in any good video game, however, the PG-rated action is unrelenting, and the good guys never give up. The story could be made easily into an adequate Nickelodeon-style kids' movie. VOYA CODES: 2Q 3P M J (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2001, Top Publications, 186p, $9.95 Trade pb.Ages 11 to 15. Reviewer: Michael Levy
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Keeper of the Kingdom based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Like most thirteen-year-olds, Matt loved computer games. He'd just gotten a new game, KEEPER OF THE KINGDOM, and had only begun to play the game. Suddenly, his computer locked up, and pulled him into the game. He found he was no longer on Earth in the year 2010 A.D., but on a very different Earth in the year 2540 A.D. Matt finds himself in the kingdom of Zaul, where humans are worker slaves, making the chemical Xeleron for the Cybergon Protectors, robot soldiers, to use in their Xeleray weapons. This explosive is made in unventilated laboratories, and is killing the workers who make it. But if they do well, they may become gardeners, and work outside in the fresh air. There they grow and harvest Zaul's food supply. The Protectors are commanded by a few greedy humans, who serve the growing appetites of the Keeper, an old man with a long beard. Matt finds himself running from the Protectors and hiding among the workers, while he figures out a way to free the workers and get back home. Can the workers keep him hidden long enough to find the Liberators and destroy the Keeper? KEEPER OF THE KINGDOM is a fun read for younger readers as well as adults. It embodies one lesson for us all. Never, ever, let your computer do all your thinking!