Video Games - Escape or Reality? Zack has an opinion.

Summary:

Just like his father had, Zack Lightman lives his life playing video games. Games give Zack a reprieve from bullies at school and help him escape the fact that his father is dead. Armada, a game battling aliens in space, is one of his favorites. Zack soon questions his sanity - and his father’s-  when he sees a stray saucer at school. At first, he didn’t realize this was a sign of an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than himself: to be a hero. Zack will encounter many surprises and sacrifices along the way, but as a gamer, he’ll save the world. 


BTSYA / Teen Reader (16):
Armada is packed with humor and action, as Zack gets into a lot of space battles with aliens. Some of them I enjoyed, but they did get old after a while. Cline sets up a conspiracy that I found very interesting but wordy. I am sure many people will enjoy the speculation. Zack is an engaging protagonist with his own flaws. It was enjoyable following his perspective throughout the story. I like the author's message: anyone, even a hopeless gamer, can shape up to something big.

Overall, I had an issue with the non-stop 80s game and movie references, as well as the ending. The references ruined the reading experience for me. I didn’t understand most of them and I felt that their constant use took away from the story’s originality and message. As sweet as it was, the ending wasn’t necessarily the best. Readers should be aware of bad language, violence, and sexual references in certain parts of the book. I suggest Armada for gamer and science fiction fans 14 years or older.


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Fans of the 1980s (or those who like references to the past) will enjoy this science fiction crossover with boy v. the aliens.

Content Awareness Factors:

Characters use profanity and there is sex in the plot.


Type of Book:
This is an adult science fiction novel featuring a teen boy. It will appeal to high school students and fans of the 1980s.
Educational Themes:

This is a story for entertainment. It may be a way to open the door to talking about grief or loss with teens who have lost a parent. 

Reading Level:
7.3
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
13 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
14 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 16
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. This is an interesting story - and the conspiracy gives you something to think about - but it isn't a book you'll read again.

Title Armada
Author Ernest Cline
Publisher Broadway Books © 2018 (Reissue Edition)
ISBN 9781984823151
Material Paperback
Cost $9.99
Genres Adventure, Science Fiction
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