From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* Grossman, author of the delightful Soon I Will Be Invincible (2007), here draws on his own experience as a video-game designer to take us behind the scenes at Black Arts Games, a (fictional) video-game company poised to release a new version of one of its biggest hits. Russell, a new hire at the company (but an old friend of the company's founders), is thrown in at the deep end when a software bug is discovered that threatens to sink the new game. To find the source of the bug, Russell explores the history of the company, its founders, and his complicated relationships with them. Although it's structured as a mystery Russell tries to track down the source of the bug the way a detective might pursue an unknown perp the book is really a celebration of video games and their creators. It's full of terminology and dialogue that might seem like another language to the uninitiated reader (we do pick it up as we go along), but, mostly, due to his boundless enthusiasm for his story, Grossman never makes readers feel uninformed or left out in the cold. He invites us into the world of video games, introduces us to the people whose lives revolve around them, and makes us feel right at home. This is only Grossman's second novel, but, given the strength of this and his first book, we can only await his next offering with keen anticipation.--Pitt, David Copyright 2010 Booklist
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If you had the chance to design the ultimate video game with no restrictions, what would you do? Russell and his friends have pondered this question for years, delighting in imagining the endless possibilities. Finally, it seems that Russell has a chance to do just that when he joins Black Arts Games. He has come to the gaming industry after abandoning law school (and the conventional path to a "safe" career) in favor of following his dream. Maybe even more important, he has a burning desire to find out what happened to his friend Simon, who also worked for Black Arts and who died mysteriously soon after a hugely successful game was launched. Verdict Grossman (Soon I Will be Invincible) has written a highly genre-specific novel about the making of video games (the author is a game designer), and everything that could be said about video games from their inception until now (and into the future). Fans of Grossman's best-selling debut and die-hard gaming fans will want this.-Cynthia Price, Francis Marion Univ., Lib., Florence, SC (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.