Genre: Fantasy (science-fantasy) Age Range: Middle Grade Star Rating: 4 stars Series: yes - second book
SPOILER ALERT: contains SPOILERS for WONDERSCAPE*
The game restarts. Brave the legend.
Arthur, Ren and Cecily are transported hundreds of years into the future once again, where a brand new in-reality adventure game, featuring famous legends from around the world, is the new gaming obsession. But the friends soon uncover a sinister plot by a mysterious raider called Deadlock, who wants to re-create dangerous time-way technology.
With the fate of the universe in their hands, the friends must enter a dangerous iSports tournament, that will take them from the lost city of Atlantis to Viking battlefields and subterranean Incan tunnels. Can the friends stop the evil Deadlock and play their way home before time runs out?
Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
When I initially read WONDERSCAPE, a sequel (as far as I was aware) hadn’t been announced, but it looks like it had sold well enough to merit one – for which I am so glad. These books are just oodles of fun, where kids get sucked through time into the future where video games have become real life events spread across the galaxy.
This time around, the three friends are sucked even further forward in time, where they are now (mysterious) legends and have to enter a tournament in order to regain the key to get home. The tournament really helped this book feel different, given the fact of how they ended up in the future and the goal of getting home are virtually the same across the two books. Rather than trying to stay out of the spotlight and uncover corporate secrets, they have to compete to keep getting through rounds while trying to uncover who is subverting it all, using it as a cover for their black market enterprises.
There’s still the fun gaming feel to it all, with the mini-quest for each “level” of the tournament, but not all are as you might expect. The world itself is inspired by legends, rather than historical figures. We have outlaws, pirates, vikings, hidden temples, and more! The premise is so much fun and it does feel like falling into games, that feeling of worlds spreading far beyond this quest. If the kids weren’t on time challenges, it felt like they could have wandered for months on little side quests.
We have another ticking clock for the kids to get home or die, which lends itself to another snappy read, packing a lot of punch and adventure into an even shorter book this time. I gobbled this down in an evening, a bundle of escapist fun.
I have no idea if there’ll be another book. The ending feels like it’s closing out some elements of the world, and I’m not entirely sure if the series could take another entry, given they’d have to go into the future again again. It would be fun, but I think the reason behind going would have to be pretty solid to not feel repetitive.
Read my reviews of other books by Jennifer Bell:
Wonderscape (this series):
- WONDERSCAPE (#1)