Skywake: Endgame by Jamie Russell

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Casey Henderson, aka Casey_Flow, came to notoriety through her gaming ability in the game Skywake. Her involvement in a gaming tournament introduced her to a group of teammates and in Skywake: Invasion (Book 1 of this series) they were abducted by aliens and needed to use their gaming skills to fight back. In this final book in the series, they are again back on earth and needed to bolster the local resistance’s efforts in overcoming the alien invaders. In the course of Casey’s adventures in the cosmos she has unlocked telepathic and telekinetic skills that are needed to fight against the alien forces acting against earthly existence. The world is in turmoil, and it seems that the young gamers and their new friends in the resistance movement are the only ones agile enough to have any hope to counter the formidable oppression of the invaders with their advanced technology. Casey and her friends must intervene in the search for an array of additional hidden alien technology which would unfairly bolster the current invaders’ power. Can they get there in time, and will Casey’s brother, Pete, be a hindrance or a help to their efforts? 

This is the kind of sci-fi adventure that will impress gamers and young teen readers. The heroes are from the quick-witted gaming community that are used to jumping, shooting, blasting and problem-solving in a constantly evolving, rapid-fire environment. They come from different backgrounds, but their combined talents make them formidable opponents. When pitted against aliens (and enabled with some alien enhanced abilities too) they become ‘super-human’ in more ways than one. Adults are superfluous in this game-like environment.  I was impressed by the excitement and tension created in this sci-fi adventure and wish I had read all the books in the series. The young characters had quirky, adventurous qualities (as all good gamers do), tempered by occasional teenage reticence in the face of life-threatening  danger, and yet they display courage in the face of fire. I admired their perseverance and quick spins out of danger. This is the kind of book (and series) that the 10-14 year old cohort will love. It has strong male and female characters, action aplenty, intriguing aliens and weaponry, and twists in the plot that are unexpected. A worthy book to recommend to this age group that will keep them away from their own gaming pursuits. (I also loved the homage to some older games - eg space invaders, and game arcade history.)

Themes: Sci-fi, Gaming, Aliens, Conflict, Space, Resistance, Courage.

Carolyn Hull