Invasion of the Overworld
Book One in the Gameknight999 Series: An Unoffical Minecrafter’s Adventure
by Mark Cheverton
Sky Pony Press, 208 pages * Paperback
Browsing through some publishers’ blurbs this afternoon, I came across a review posted by SkyHorse Publishers which I thought would really switch on a light bulb for some of our readers in the 8 to 12 bracket.
Confession from your librarian: I have two suitcases on the bed waiting to be packed, gifts to buy, and appointments to go to, so I am going to cheat and submit a perfectly wonderful review written by someone from SyFyGames.com on 5/30/15:
“The more the gaming landscape shifts and churns, the more it stays the same. Everything is different, but everything is exactly the same, too. Specifically, kids still love to gobble up whatever supplemental merchandise and stories are available outside their favorite games . . . The first story in this Minecraft-inspired literary universe, Invasion of the Overworld, is sure to capture the hearts and imaginations of young Minecraft fanatics. It’s every bit as goofy and fun as the game-related books I grew up with, though it does contain serious lessons about online bullying, griefing, and other problems that were nonexistent when gaming was a mostly-solitary activity . . . If it’s not obvious, Invasion of the Overworld is written with a young audience in mind–and there’s an interesting focus on players who get a small thrill out of cheating and bullying whenever they become small gods in Mojang’s digital world. In our reality, Gameknight999 is a frustrated boy with few friends and average grades. In Minecraft, he’s a king, and he knows it . . . More importantly, by the story’s climax, Gameknight learns the importance of being kind and decent to his fellow players. This lesson is actually inspired by Cheverton’s son, the real Gameknight999, whose server was invaded and mucked up by griefers.
The writing in Invasion of the Overworld is simplistic and easy for young readers to follow. Minecraft fans will definitely get a kick out of the characters building and using traps to stymie mobs, and the action flows well. One scene where Gameknight and a friend hide underground from marauding mobs is surprisingly intense. There are still moments of silliness, particularly when Cheverton hand-waves the process of transferring game mechanics onto a plane of reality. Don’t ask how Gameknight’s inventory works. It just does. All told, it’s not hard to see why The Gameknight 999 books are as popular as they are. Invasion of the Overworld‘s action, adventure, and relatability make it an easy recommendation for pre-teen Minecraft fans. And if you’re an older Minecraft fan with a young enthusiast at home, you won’t do much better for a bedtime story.”
This sounds so compelling, and I can’t wait to get a copy for you! Thank you SyFyGames for the review.