- Title: The Lazarus Game
- Author: Stephen J. Valentine
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Cedar Fort Publishing & Media (February 10, 2015)
- Genre: YA Sci-Fi and Fantasy
- ISBN-10: 1462115543
- FTC, FYI: I received a review e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
An amazing new video game has the power to resurrect the brightest minds of the past and see what they’d create in the modern world. There’s just one catch—it requires another person’s soul. Carter Chance, who is a teenage genius, must find a way to stop his generation from exchanging their souls for a computer-generated fantasy. This action-packed thriller delves into the enticement and dangers of virtual reality.
The Lazarus Game is a book of adventure, a tiny bit of teen romance, history, sci-fi and fantasy all rolled into one exciting YA book. The main character, Carter Chance, is a typical 15 -year- old teen boy...except he is a genius. It's because of his great brain that he gets sucked into the world of The Lazarus Game and it's crazy inventor.
The best part of the book, is that you really don't know who the good and the bad guys are through 3/4 of the book. You know that you want to root for Carter and his friends, but from that point on, you get pulled in a lot of directions.
Without giving anything away...which I refuse to do when it comes to surprising twists in a novel...this book has quite a few twists. You get so caught up in the high tech game and the wonderful opportunities coming Carter's way, that many things will happen that will catch you and make you pause in awe.
This book written for teens, will make them think about life without that preachy feel that some books have. It will sneak up on them and that is a good thing. There is some violence and mild gore that would make me hesitate having anyone under 13 read this book, but anyone over will love it. Teens today will be able to relate to the hopes and dreams that Carter, his brother and friends all have. They'll also like all of the wild happenings too.
This book is a stand alone and has some great book club questions at the end. If you read this with your teens, make sure you have a nice discussion at the end with your kids like I did. One question, "What would you sacrifice in order to achieve your greatest desires?" Another asked, "Why do so many people today sacrifice reality for fantasy?" Many of these questions paved the way for lively discussions with my teens.
I enjoyed reading The Lazarus Game for many reasons, but it really comes down to a nicely written book that will keep you glued to the pages. I'll be happy to pick up the next book that Stephen Valentine writes.
Meet Author Stephen J. Valentine
Stephen J. Valentine received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Utah State University. He is Senior Program Manager for FamilySearch International, responsible for the online publication of billions of historical records. Stephen loves history, hiking, cooking, reading, and traveling, especially to Disneyland. Stephen resides in Utah with his beautiful wife, talented children, brilliant Schnauzer, and massive J.R.R. Tolkien collection.
1. The movie theater/game store in “The Lazarus Game” is based on the Capitol Theatre in Brigham City, Utah, where I grew up. It is still in operation today, one of the few old elegant movie theaters still in business.
2. My favorite book is “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The recent announcement of an additional book by Harper Lee was about as astonishing to me as if they’d found human life on another planet!
3. I’m also a huge J.R.R. Tolkien nerd (way before the movies!) and have collected dozens of editions of his famous trilogy, including editions in Russian, Spanish, German, French, and Canadian (Frodo has an annoying habit of adding “eh” to the end of all his statements).
4. I started writing at the age of four. You can still find lots of four-year old humor in my books.
5. I have traveled to 48 of 50 states in the U.S; 49 of 51 if you count Canada as a state. (I love Canada, by the way—but I have many Canadian friends and love to tease them.)
6. My favorite places to write are in public places—airports, libraries, etc. The surrounding noise is like white noise to me.
7. The worst thing when writing is to be interrupted—potty breaks, eating, and loved ones are all huge distractions while “in the flow” of the story. All you authors out there know what I’m talking about.
8. My favorite place on earth is Disneyland with my family. We have more fun standing in line than most people have on the rides!
9. I’m tired of dystopian novels. Does the future have to be dark and nasty?
10. If “The Lazarus Game” were made into a movie 20 years ago, the perfect actor for Carter Chance would be Matthew Broderick. Think of a blend Matthew’s roles in “War Games” and “Ferris Bueller.” Perfect, right?