Friday, October 19, 2018

Trapped in a video game by Dustin Brady, illustrated by Jesse Brady

There's not a high level of literary quality in this book. In fact, the writing is kind of awful. I intend to buy multiple copies and I expect it to fly off the shelves.

Jesse isn't interested in video games (this is never explained) but he gives in to his friend Eric's mysterious text message to go over to his house... the next thing he knows, he's IN a video game, with Eric! Eric clearly thinks this is the most awesome fun ever - they're fighting aliens, jumping from level to level, and if they get shot they just go back to the beginning of the level. But then something goes wrong and they're trapped. Will they figure out a way to escape? Are they the only people trapped in the game? Oh, yeah, and a booger is a major plot point.

The black and white digital cartoons reminded me of the many, many, many minecraft books I've bought and there's a lot of white space on the pages. Eric appears to have darker skin and hair. The action moves fast, it's violent but only aliens are killed, and video game fans of pretty much any game are sure to grab this off the shelf. There is some slight character development between Eric and Jesse, surrounding their friendship, but it's not an integral part of the story.

Verdict: This is one of those titles that lures reluctant readers and kids who normally prefer a different media, like video games, to books. It's not great literature and the sketchy plot, rapid action, and choppy prose are likely to make English teachers wince, but hand it to your Minecraft, Super Rabbit Boy, and video game fans in general and watch the reading love grow!

ISBN: 9781449494865; Published 2018 by Andrews McMeel; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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