Skywake invasion by Jamie Russell
Skywake invasion by BBC film critic, screenwriter and gamer Jamie Russell is the first book of a trilogy, kicking off what is sure to be an action packed scifi series for readers aged 9+. This is not the usual story of a portal out of the real world to somewhere else; this is a frightening conflation of real life world and the arrival of an alien world which, it was thought, had previously only existed in the artificial world of gaming.
Casey is the leader of a high ranking gaming team, the Ghost Reapers. She and her team meet for the first time in real life (IRL) at a live SkyWake tournament at a large shopping mall. Simultaneously around the world in other major cities, other top level gamers are meeting to compete at this international level. However Casey sees a sinister shimmer above the mall and there are sinister 'cosplayers' who seem to be overplaying their roles with what looks to be real weaponry. By chapter three the stage is set. Casey, her family and her gaming team have been introduced. Developing the plot rapidly, Russell builds an atmosphere of foreboding with flashes and shimmers of possible illusions that are inexplicable. Interwoven is the team's relationship which has to be built on trust IRL before they can possibly effectively work together to prevail against the massive power of the evil alien forces which is suddenly unleashed upon not only the gamers but on all the human beings at the shopping malls around the world.
The action is savage and lethal. Abductions of the smartest of the gamers are happening and the police forces with all their strongest equipment are rendered powerless against the aliens. Casey and her team have to use their gaming skills and trust each other to stop the aliens. But in book one, after riveting, page- turning, heart in the mouth action and adventure, they haven't succeeded. In fact . . . where is the next book? We need it NOW!
Themes: Sci fi, Gaming, Adventure, Teams, Loyalty.