The Deadliest Game (Tom Clancy's Net Force; Young Adult) by Tom Clancy, Steve R. Pieczenik
Reading level: Young Adult
Computer savvy teens, a war game gone awry, and good old-fashioned intrigue are the elements of The Deadliest Game, a high-octane episode in Tom Clancy's wildly popular teen series Net Force. Clancy and co-author Steve Pieczenik envision a futuristic society where people enliven their dull lives with intense virtual experiences.
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One of the most favored of these virtual realities is a medieval war game called Sarxos. Players leave their physical bodies at home while an implant in their head carries them through their computer to the virtual Dominion of Sarxos, a land where they may be anyone-- from a reigning warlord to a practicing hedge-wizard. But when players who are winning too many battles in Sarxos start getting stalked and attacked in the real world, it becomes clear that one player has begun taking the game far too seriously.
Enter teen cyber-sleuths Meg and Leif, experienced Sarxos players. As members of the Net Force Explorers, a teen auxiliary of the cyber-crime-stopping Net Force, Meg and Leif start questioning characters in the alternate reality. Even when their boss instructs them to stop, they stay hot on the trail of the online Sarxian player who is "bouncing" any threatening opponent out of the game. But time is running out in the search for the online criminal, and Meg and Leif may find themselves the next bouncees!
In Net Force, Tom Clancy has created a cyber-thrilling series that will transition into the next millennium with ease. The breathless action and abrupt plot transitions between the real world and virtual reality will fascinate teen computer fiends and young video gamers alike. (Ages 13 and older)