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Virus Games: 07/24/08
Books have a funny way of grouping together in unexpected ways. For instance, Virus Games by G. L. Sheerin reads like a prequel to Unholy Domain except aimed at children ages nine to twelve.
Virus Games is the first book in the "Peter's Packets" series. Peter Dempsey hates computers until a freak accident gives him the ability to see packets described a bit like animated icons. With their help, Peter ends up being the star of the computer class in his school.
All of this takes place against the backdrop of the "Thanksgiving Virus" created by one of the most interesting and believable antagonists I've come across in my reading this year and certainly among the novels aimed at younger readers. Terry's motivation is not evil even though his actions end up being costly and destructive. He is restless and looking for attention.Tery's part of the story shows how easily pranks can get out of hand.
My only quibble with the book is with its ending. Sheerin works hard to make the packets characters in equal standing with his human characters and after giving some of them noble deaths in their quest to help Peter, one of the lot is saved with a rather hokey ending. I suppose he'll go onto the a co-star with Peter in future books in the series but it would have been more poignant without that last minute Hail Mary.