Glitch Kingdom

Sheena Boekweg. Feiwel and Friends, $18.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-20979-5
Teens trapped in a virtual reality fantasy RPG must find a way to escape in this adventure reminiscent of Ready Player One. They were supposed to be competing for an internship at a popular gaming company; instead, the players are dying due to a system glitch that has caused lethal pain levels. To fulfill the game’s conditions for victory and escape safely, the last few survivors, among them players Ryo, Dagney, and Grigfen, must reunite the scattered pieces of a legendary suit of armor and place Ryo on the throne. If they don’t, the wicked queen—a fellow player unaware of the harm she’s causing—will murder them all in her own quest for victory. As the rotating first-person narrative shifts between the digital game’s world and the real world, Boekweg affectionately evokes video game tropes, such as smashing objects for loot, leveling up, and pursuing side quests. Her inclusive cast includes Bluebird, a black girl who has muscular dystrophy and hacks her way into the game; Ryo Takagi, who is Asian-American; and Dagney, who is plus size. While the tale’s tight focus limits exploration of its backstory and aftermath, this work focuses on characters’ growth, and their interactions and romances, while rehashing the boundaries between reality and fantasy. Ages 13–up. Agent: Jessica Sinsheimer, Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 12/05/2019
Release date: 02/18/2020
Genre: Children's
Compact Disc - 978-1-0940-6741-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-0940-6742-1
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