The bane of all youth, having no say in your life; the feeling of not belonging, not smart enough, being too vulnerable, bullied at school; top that off with the ultimate horror of a bullying babysitter, especially when you are 12 years old, and you have much of the life of Tyler Thompson. Add to that the loss of his father a few years earlier and a new "incoming" step-dad in the mix and you have most of the picture.
Life to a twelve-year-old is one immense hurdle, so many changes and conflicts. Many escape to their game systems or computers to play in a fantasy world, but what happens when your life becomes a living video game? Laurence St. John deals with this bewildering age deftly by doing just that, and the result is insightful yet adventurous. Suspending Tyler in the world as we know it and twisting it into a sci-fi adventure complete with mad scientists, an evil "I-want-to-rule-the-world" genius, and surprising superpowers, I found this book to be so real in its characters in the beginning and so surreal later in the book. Yet life lessons are learned, understanding comes to this family, and Tyler's self-confidence glows.
I, a grandmother, thoroughly enjoyed this romp, and I am sure this book will be welcomed and enjoyed by any school-age reader. For myself, it brought back my school years and my dreams of escape; my escape was comic books, and had this been written before game-systems, I'm sure Metatron would have been a comic book hero. Metatron has promised readers more adventures to come and lessons to learn. I think youngsters of all ages will be looking forward to the next adventure. Excellent debut.