by Steven O'Connor
This is Level 1 of the young adult near-future thriller 'EleMental: A First-person Shooter'. Originally print-published in Australia in 2010, this new 2012 ebook version is available exclusively through Amazon.
Initially, all four ebook levels will be offered for free over the coming weeks. Readers can collect the set for free!
One moment, you're sitting at your desk, the next, you're battling something that's half-dinosaur, half-tank.
Set in 2050, three teenagers encounter a deadly new virtual reality game called EleMental. Deliberately designed to be highly addictive, to control rebellious asteroid miners, EleMental has a by-product no one was ready for: gameblur - the confusion of reality and virtuality.
Originally from Luton, England, Steven O'Connor now lives in Melbourne, Australia with his wife, two teenage children and Sparks, his ever-attentive, ever-hungry Cavalier King Charles spaniel (aka a toy dog).
His initial manuscript for 'EleMental: A First-person Shooter' (or E-FPS) won him a coveted Young Adult Fiction Writers' Mentorship at the national Varuna Writers' Centre in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia.
When Steven O'Connor is not writing, he's a health education social worker and he's passionate about health promotion for young people.
Fifteen-year-old Zeb can’t wait to try out the new virtual reality console, The Plush, and in particular, the game EleMental. With its ability to tap into the player’s own mind and incorporate reality into the action, this is no ordinary game. Soon Zeb can think of little else but winning the game and unlocking its secrets. However, his addiction turns deadly when he becomes trapped in the virtual world.
To save Zeb, his friends Willis and Arizona must join him in EleMental and battle its creator, Grimble Downer. But how do you defeat someone in a world of their own design?
This rare entry into the teenage market is a fantastic and exciting debut novel by Steven O’Connor. With its simple writing style and entertaining mix of futuristic sci-fi, horror, action and angst, this is a great book for reluctant readers and, in particular, teenage boys.
There’s nothing babyish that might put off older readers—rather, this reads like Philip K Dick for teenagers. With the narrative sneakily shifting between the real and virtual worlds, O’Connor explores some fairly complex and sophisticated issues in a thrilling and accessible way.
--Bookseller + Publisher, June 2010
The author does an excellent job of creating Virtualitee, and by the end readers might feel as if they have had a lucky escape from its clutches, too.
--Booklist, May 2012