Stefani Deoul has an amazing knack for creating an absolutely brilliant, light-hearted, witty and fun adventures based on the geekiness of a bunch of high school seniors. That may not be a shocking concept but what is shocking is how totally enthralling the stories are when those seniors are literally light years away from our own personal experience. I knew nothing about LARP’s – until I read “LARP”, and very little about MMPRPG’s until I read “Zero Sum Game”, but despite that watching a bunch of geeky teens solve crimes using techno-savvy and comradery turns out to be simply beguiling.
“Zero Sum Game” finds our racially, culturally and sexually diverse team close to grounded after the escapades in “On a LARP”. While an inter-school robotic project is the officially sanctioned character building exercise that releases them from parental disapprobation it is the theft of one of the posse’s online game inventory which creates a new cyber adventure and ultimately puts them back on hero status.
Half of what I’m saying sounds like gobbledegook even though I now know what it means… and hence the awe given that we, the readers are unlikely to have any knowledge of this teen cyber world unless we have teens of our own, yet Deoul teaches us, leads us and manages to entertain us in this brave new world.
The characters are charming, the plot convincing and the crime all too easy to believe. The inter-relationships between the gang, school colleagues and family members adds depth and grounds the personalities into reality. And most of all we can feel the love shine through from author to page and from Sid and her friends, bathing us all in the light.
Brilliant series; charming, intelligent, authentic and genuine. If you haven’t read “On a LARP” go get reading. “Zero Sum Game” is an excellent follow-up and I can’t wait to see Sid take on ASL and find her green-eyed beauty.
Did you know? If you purchase any of the books reviewed on the LRR from our Amazon shop or Amazon page links we receive a couple of cents per book which will help us support the Lesbian Reading Room GCLS Scholarship Fund.
(publisher review copy received)
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