While there’s no shortage of videogames on the market today, there are very few original novels written specifically for the gamer audience. Aimed at this elusive audience of young male tween and teen readers – and anyone who is familiar with the dynamic and often combative world of online gaming – Echo’s Revenge features a technological creature who has somehow managed to escape its digital origins and manifest itself in the real world.
The brainchild of writer Hart Getzen, the Echo’s Revenge series and website (echohunt.com) are presented under the name Sean Austin, a videogame programmer who is documenting the path of destruction wrought by this virtual shape-shifting monster. The Ultimate Game is the first novel in a series, told from the point of view of young Reggie (14) and Jeremy (11), two brothers who are master gamers in the world of ECHO, a heartless, indestructible, renegade virtual creation. Unfortunately, ECHO’s not the only monster in their life – they also face the unpredictable behavior of their mother’s explosive boyfriend. When life at home gets too rough, the boys decide to run away. Little do they know that the latest iteration of ECHO has escaped the game, and is targeting gamers as part of a nefarious real-life scheme. Parts II and III of the series will be published in 2013 and 2014, with plans to turn ECHO into an actual online combat-style role-playing game.
Getzen, who grew up on the streets of Kabul, is an entertainment professional with a background in both action films and simulation gaming. Behind his action-packed young adult novel is a serious attempt to educate the reader into the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) frameworks that are likely to shape the world of tomorrow. “The goal was also to get these young gamers into thinking about what goes into building and playing a game – what happens when a group of people get together to create or experience something, and imbue it with their own spirit. What are the political and interpersonal dynamics of that team enterprise?” Forced to rely not only on their gaming skills, but their loyalty, intelligence, and ability to work together, Reggie and Jeremy find that they are more prepared to take on the dangers of the adult world than they realize.
View Link [echohunt.com]