When fourteen-year-old Martin lets Tom, a charismatic bully, persuade him to bring down the spaceport computer network, he never considers someone will place a bomb resulting in the death of his friend’s father. Nothing will bring Captain Frey back, but if Martin can help locate the terrorists’ drug lab, perhaps he’ll be able to forgive himself?
Martin, a fourteen-year-old computer geek who lives with his overbearing father, learns some very hard lessons when he allows the school bully to talk him into bringing down the spaceport computer network. Geek Games is an exciting as well as poignant coming of age story. I liked Martin a lot and he is very well defined. He has a hard life even before the novel begins, but in spite of all the hardships, or maybe because of them, Martin develops a strength that enables him to stand up for what is right. He has to learn to live with the consequences of his actions, but he works very hard to stop terrorists and help the enslaved miners.
The setting of the novel is a space station and its surrounding asteroids and while I obviously have never lived in such an environment, I felt as if I were a part of this world. I was especially taken with the descriptions of the Aleyni, the race which is native to the planet on which the space station is situated. Many of the space station personnel feel that they are superior to the Aleyni and refuse to have anything to do with them. But the Aleyni have a very rich culture and they also can offer many goods and benefits to the space station inhabitants. I thought the author really handled the mixing of the cultures with sensitivity and grace.
The plot is fast moving and exciting, chasing terrorists through the asteroids, searching for a drug lab, and mining ore in deep caverns. There is enough adventure to satisfy any reader and the plot twists and turns, providing many surprises. The ending is satisfactory, but it also could be the beginning to another adventure and I really hope that Martin’s story will be continued in future novels.
Science Fiction lovers are sure to enjoy getting to know Martin and the rich world of the Aleyni.