School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 5-7-Believing himself trapped inside a computer game, Matt "lands" in a 26th-century undersea colony inhabited by amphibious Karns, who are being held captive by a megalomaniac landlubber plotting to conquer his coastal homeland by devastating it with an induced earthquake. Closely resembling a low-end computer game in book form, this sequel to Keeper of the Kingdom (Top, 2001) features stock characters and situations, trite dialogue, shaky internal logic, and a sketchy setting. The author pitches Matt's strenuous efforts to get his laptop out of the tyrant's clutches so that he can exit the game against his associates' conviction that he's delusional-a potentially clever conceit that doesn't come off because, though commands typed into the laptop do seem to affect events, the narrative point of view keeps switching, which wouldn't be possible if Matt were the only "real" person. Predictably, the tyrant is overthrown, and in the end the laptop sends Matt and friends on to the next episode. Unlike Vivian Vande Velde's similarly premised Heir Apparent (Harcourt, 2002) or William Sleator's rousing Parasite Pig (Dutton, 2002), this story is unlikely to lure young gamers away from their PlayStations.-John Peters, New York Public Library Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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