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Brothers Jeremy (age 10) and Reggie (age 14) are expert Echo’s Revenge gamers. After initiating Operation Thunderbolt, they begin their journey down the West Coast only to discover that Echo-7, a new and indestructible game predator, has developed the ability to reverse the rules of its own video game and hunt them down- in the real world. Sean Austin's investigation and search for Echo-7 continues, at echohunt.com.
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|5 out of 5 Stars: Dangerous, thrilling, and suspenseful, are just a few words that I would use to describe, Echo's Revenge, the first installment of the Ultimate Game series written by Sean Austin.
This action packed thriller is jam-packed with adventure and will keep you at the edge of your seat. I was able to finish this book fairly quickly, since I couldn't put it down. One of the reasons is because it is about one of my favorite things, gaming. The main character in this story is Reggie; he is part of a group of gamers that is being hunted by Echo-7 (a robot that escaped the virtual world.) Imagine this, the nation's best gamers all joining forces to defeat the 4th dimension……….fear. They all come to a focus group because the AAA Company wants to make their gaming experience more realistic. For once, besides beating each other online with virtual characters in a make believe realm, these gamers actually interacted with each other. Little do they know how much they will really have to work together in the near future.
Meet Reggie King aka "Waiting for you" (Online ID/gamer tag), the Nation's best gamer. Reggie and his brother Jeremy have a stepfather-Asa- that physically and emotionally abuses them. They have adapted to Asa's nonsense and turn to gaming as a way to escape it. However, it isn't just running away from home Jeremy and Reggie have to worry about. Now, in addition to escaping their abusive step-father they are running from an evil robot who is trying to capture and enslave them. Shortly after attending the focus group, Reggie realizes that he is being hunted down; the predator is Echo-7, a robot from the game has gone berserk, the prey are the gamers. His hunting pattern has started in the Northeast of the U.S.A. and will end up all the way in California, near Sacramento. What this means is that Reggie and his brother Jeremy will be the last victims since they are currently traveling to Pasadena, California; which happens to be relatively close to Sacramento. Therefore, Reggie and Jeremy have to make haste and get to somewhere safe, to Aaron King, Reggie's real father. On this runaway plan or as Reggie and Jeremy called it, "Operation Thunderbolt", they encountered many helping hands, such as drivers that would bring them closer and closer to Aaron King's house. Fortunately, they narrowly avoid Echo many times, just by the "skin of their teeth." Despite the constant setbacks and hindrances they face, they beat the odds add are one house away from their destination when both Reggie and Jeremy suddenly lose consciousness and wake up in a dark and unfamiliar place. Where are they? Who has captured them? And, are they enslaved forever? Often times I've wondered what it would be like if the video game that I was playing, was reality. Well, after reading this book I'm glad that video games are purely fantastical, or are they? You'll just have to read Echo's Revenge, by Sean Austin, and find out for yourself.
Review written by Kaleb (6th grade student).
- Kaleb- Book Trends - Book Trends
|4 out of 5 Stars: Imaginative, unique and extraordinarily creepy, Echo's Revenge is a book that will captivate a wide audience range of readers from the young to the young at heart.
With gaming and reality television such a wide-spread and all-encompassing issue in society today, Echo's Revenge is a tale that does not seem overly far-fetched. Perhaps, even, a possibility within the near future. This is the story of two brothers who have grown up within a very unstable family, complete with an abusive, alcoholic caretaker - otherwise known as their mother's live-in boyfriend. Their mother is never around and is basically clueless as to what goes on with both boys and their father lives a long distance away and is not an active part of their lives. The only things that they have to rely on is one another - and the online video game Echo. Echo is a social game where everyone is known by a code name and they all come together to battle Echo through different stages and scenarios. Those who survive are Masters and held in pretty high regard. Reggie, the oldest of the brothers is a Master and invited to attend a focus group for the game. What Reggie doesn't know when he forges a parent signature on the permission form to join the group, is that his life was about to get a whole lot worse.
After a particularly explosive confrontation with their mother's boyfriend, Reggie and Jeremy decide to hit the road and go to their father's house to live. Both boys soon find out the other gamers are being kidnapped and that Echo-7 is a very real threat that will stop at nothing to capture all those that have played his game - only this is no game, but real life. Who will survive and who will become the real life victim of Echo-7? Can anyone be trusted?
To be completely honest, I have not read many books along this genre - reality games/sci-fi - I was very curious, however, when I heard about it and read the description. I can say that I was not disappointed. I loved "Sean Austin's" style of writing, the ability to draw the readers into the world of Reggie and Jeremy, as well as how he managed to add "life lessons" throughout, which actually aided the boys in their adventure. Another aspect that I really enjoyed is that there were hints of a governmental conspiracy that was very intriguing and also lent to the idea that such a thing isn't all that unrealistic.
Echo's Revenge is a book to appeal to young male readers who love gaming, as well as to young females and those of all ages. Take note - there is also one lone girl within the story and she is a butt kicker, without a doubt. I loved her character and how she was a very brave person and played as a bit of a buffer at times - and an inspiration at times, particularly to Reggie. This is also a book to get the imagination revving and the "what-ifs" flowing.
To add to the book's experience, there is also a website: Echo Hunt which adds to the overall appeal of this series. On the website, readers will find out more about the investigation, collections of evidence, book excerpts and just a unique continuation of this "ongoing investigation". Very clever and highly appealing.
Echo's Revenge is the first book in the series and I anxiously look forward to the following books (I am not sure exactly how many there will be in the series). I highly encourage and recommend this book to readers of all ages and those with or without an interest in reality gaming. Echo's Revenge is very intriguing and an incredibly enjoyable read!
Favorite Quote: Maybe life was a game sometimes, and you just had to play the cards you were dealt the best you could. Instead of complaining about how things are, maybe you need to stop, take a hard look, and think about what you can do to make it work for you. If you did that, maybe you could always improve your life and you'd never be a loser.
- A. Pohren- Amazon - Amazon
|4 out of 5 Stars: Sean Austin…has created a terrifying tale that will appeal to young male gamers.
Fourteen-year-old Reggie and his eleven-year-old brother Jeremy lived in constant fear of their mother's abusive live-in boyfriend Asa and frequently sought escape within the safe confines of the on-line video-game Echo's Revenge. Shortly after achieving Master's
status in the game, Reggie is invited to a meeting at the game's corporate headquarters to add his input into an upcoming version of the Echo. Reggie defies Asa's orders to the contrary and attends the meeting. When Asa discovers the deception, his attack
on the boys is so vicious they run away from home in Meadowbrook, Washington, determined to live with their biological father in Pasadena, California. At first, luck seemed with them as they hitchhiked their way south down the freeway but soon the boys discovered
several Echo's Revenge gamers had been kidnapped and they are likely to be next.
Making steady use of his laptop, Reggie kept up with the news and realized they needed to get away from the freeway if they were to avoid becoming the next victims. For all the careful planning, nothing could have prepared them for the grim discovery that their
hunter was none other then Echo, the top predator from the video game made real. With all his superhuman abilities and strength, Echo had no trouble keeping over seventy kidnapped gamers working deep underground on a massive scheme. The rules of the game have
changed and the brothers will have to rely upon each other like never before if they are to come out of the mountain alive.
Written under the pseudonym of gaming investigator Sean Austin, Hart Getzen has created a terrifying tale that will appeal to young male gamers. Reggie and Jeremy are wonderful characters as they support and come to rely on each other throughout the story.
The shockers are a scary touch that assist Echo's diabolical plans. All manner of technologies and secret research projects add a cutting edge feel to this graphic illustration of how instant connectivity may not always be a good thing.
- Sandy Amazeen- Monsters And Critics - monstersandcritics
|National Geographic Kids: Reggie and Jeremy only want to have a normal life, one where you can lay video games, live freely, and not be in constant fear.
Reggie and Jeremy only want to have a normal life, one where you can lay video games, live freely, and not be in constant fear. Their mother's explosive boyfriend is constantly beating them, and he goes over the line one day; which initiates operation Thunderbolt.
Reggie and Jeremy plan to run away to their divorces Dad's house, but things seem too easy. They make it to the house with a surprising amount of ease. But that's when everything begins to go wrong. What could possibly go wrong since they made it to their
destination? Find out this and an incredible amount more in Echo's Revenge: The Ultimate Game.
I thought that this was one really amazing book. It has every trick in the book – suspense, character development, action, and even some extra. I will warn the reader, however, that it is a little spooky and dark, and has references to slavery. In my opinion,
though, this is what makes the book so exciting. I can put myself in the main characters shoes and really picture myself there. This book also makes me rethink all the games I have ever played, imagining what could happen if they turned out to be real. I would
definitely recommend this book to someone in middle school or older. I also found the author's website worthy of checking out (even though the book said to avoid it).
- Kyle- National Geographic Kids - National Geographic Kids
|5 out of 5 Stars: Sean Austin's ECHO'S REVENGE Scores Big For Action Lovers, Avid Readers
Whether you are a young person who enjoys a fast paced action story or an avid reader of any age looking for the next book to lose yourself in, I think everyone will be pleased with Sean Austin's ECHO'S REVENGE.
I'm not a gamer myself, but I know what it's like to be able to find yourself almost at the mercy of something you love. That is exactly what the characters in Echo's Revenge discover and it is something we get to tag along with as the story develops. For everyone who has wanted their entertainment to be as real as it can get, be careful! Sometimes it can be a little too real, and when that happens you might find yourself in a race against time to survive not just another round or level but another day!
For those of us who can't help but think too much, there are also elements of ECHO'S REVENGE in there for us. How much information is too much information when it comes to what we share online. And the fun question is: What happens when who we are is used against us?
Keeping the pages turning from beginning to end, Sean Austin's ECHO'S REVENGE scores big for action lovers and avid readers.
- C. A. Webb "Conversations Book Club" - Amazon
|5 out of 5 Stars: RTS IRL (Real Time Strategy In Real Life)
Echo's Revenge is a great read, it keeps you guessing. You never are a hundred percent sure of what's going on.
The game descriptions in the book had me picturing online Echo's Revenge the game as a mix of Team Fortress Two and Half-Life. Being an MMO player myself, I like that they show the interactions between the people playing and actually have personalities come through. It just gets better when they meet in real life.
It's every gamers nightmare/dream to see things like this happen. I spent most of the book questioning if it was all a game and even at the end I'm not sure. The setting feels realistic and really none of it is completely unfeasible. Let's just say, crazy hackers and an android slowly behaving like it wants to take over the world = a bad situation.
Everything will keep you guessing. It's well worth the time spent reading and is an easy fun read. My favorite character is a draw between Scratch/Caw and Snake. Scratch because you have to love the girl gamer among the guys who can hold her own and Snake because his personality is just easy to connect to. I want the next book NOW!!!
Check out echohunt.com for more information and cool features.
5 out of 5 tiara wearing bats
- Tiny Reverse Vampire - Bibliognome
4 out of 5 Stars: War Games + HALO + The Maze Runner = Exciting!
Take pieces of The Maze Runner, add them to the fantastic movie from the 1980’s - War Games - and mix in a little HALO for the fun of it, and you have this extremely interesting novel.
Jeremy and Reggie are brothers. They live a slightly hard existence, to say the least, because of their mother’s new boyfriend - Asa - who likes to shout and hit first, then talk later. The guy is beyond a jerk, and the boys want nothing more than for their mother to either ‘wake up,’ or to run to California and live with their father.
The one thing they do a lot of is play an internet game called, Echo. Echo involves many players around the globe who go up against ghouls, mechs (robots that take you out), and do their best to try and wipe out the ‘big man’ - Echo-7. He just happens to be a thirty-five-foot extreme predator who wears body armor and hides behind a cloaking device.
Reggie has become one of the top three players of the game. He took out Echo-7 online, and soon receives a letter from AAA Games asking him to be a part of their focus group for the new version of Echo that they are putting together to bring out to the populace.
As readers move forward with Reggie they begin to see some very odd things, such as warnings that flash on Reggie’s computer very briefly saying: I’m Watching You! As well as rooms that he walks into that almost seem to sparkle, like he’s inside the game and no longer in reality. Soon, the adventure begins.
Jeremy and Reggie run away from the trouble at home and take to the road in order to get to their father. What they don’t understand is why all the rest of the focus group kids are being kidnapped. It’s all over the news and their faces are all over milk cartons, as Reggie and Jeremy learn that a game has become reality.
This is a story that certainly keeps teens reading and believing in the power of the internet games out there. Goodness knows, they prove every day that they are becoming more and more real with every push of the button. The writer has given the YA scene a seriously adventurous and intriguing plot that, apparently, is going to continue on until the world can identify Echo-7 in each and every bookstore across the land! The points of this story are very real, such as the fact that life is perhaps just a game where we must play the cards we’re dealt and hope for the best…a very believable plot set in an unbelievable world!
Quill Says: Computer games have become the wonder of the world and it ill be no surprise to see Echo-7 become a household name.
- Feathered Quill - Book Reviews
|5 Out of 5 Stars: Action, Adventure, Family Friendly, Clean
Echo's Revenge: The Ultimate Game, by Sean Austin, is the story of a vieo game gone wrong.
Brothers Reggie and Jeremy are serious gamers. Their game of choice is ECHO's revenge – a first person shooter game that is played together with other players over the internet. In the world of ECHO gamers, Reggie is one of the best.
Reggie is invited to visit the game developers' headquarters. After being told by his step-father that he could not go, Reggie decides to sneak out of the house and attend the meeting anyway. On his return that evening, some family problems develop that prompt Reggie and his brother to run away from home to their father's house.
Shortly after running away from home, the brothers find out that several of their "gaming friends" are disappearing. Things begin to happen that cause them to wonder if the game has turned into reality.
Echo's Revenge: The Ultimate Game is an extremely well written and exciting book about the world of video games and gamers. The book is aimed at the young adult (YA) crowd and as such is very family friendly – no bad language or adult situations. Even though it is a YA book, I believe some older readers would also enjoy it.
A great book that is fun to read.
- Allen Cook - The Book Review
|5 Out of 5 Stars
This book earns five out of five stars. Austin crafted great, creative, independent characters. Jeremy and Reggie leave home to escape their mother's cruel boyfriend. While hitchhiking to find their biological father in California, they learn that their fellow gamers were kidnapped by a video game predator that has come to life called ECHO. This villain is hoping to hunt down the boys and kidnap them in the real world. The boys are strong and look out for each other. Reading about brothers with such a strong bond was really nice. They are protective of each other, their relationship is admirable. The reader may come to really care about the characters.
Echo's Revenge is ideal for gamers, thrill lovers, and adventure fans. Boys would love this book and have fun on the website that accompanies the novel (echohunt.com). The author had a unique style that was really enjoyable. The next books in the series promise to be as exciting and fun as this first book.
- Krystal Larson - Live to Read
|4 Out of 5 Stars: "Any book that helps a child form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him." - Maya Angelou
Echo's Revenge is a compelling story of sci-fi, techy, young adult adventure. Combining the realistic story of two boys with an abusive stepfather and seemingly clueless mother with a fantastical gaming storyline is sure to make this series a hit with young adults. The subtle lessons in the background, such as Claire's (supporting character) speak to you without being obvious, as when she describes, "Sometimes life has to be a game so you can survive. Then you can think clearly, break a problem down, and manage it."
When Reggie and Jeremy decide to leave home to join their biological father, the suspense heats up. Having been one of a focus group of gamers, Reggie has no idea that the game he has mastered has come to life, and is seeking them out, along with all the other members of the group. ECHO has chosen the masters of the game to become his "mech-moles" and mine materials to repair his scales. Suddenly, stepdad doesn't seem like such a big deal, anymore.
While I am not a gamer, this was a fun book, filled with excitement. There is even a website where you can go to, (www.echohunt.com) to further the investigation. This was a well thought out book, with vivid details and a fun premise. I plan on gifting it to a few of my young adult gamers. I can only imagine what will happen in Mr. Austin's next book.
- Mandy - Charlene Reviews
|5 out of 5 Stars: A scary book for gamers.
I thought "Echo's Revenge: The Ultimate Game" was an amazing book. It is genuine in every way.
A must read for gamers and for anyone who liked "Harry Potter" or "The Hunger Games." This would also be a good read if you are a gamer. It is about an online game that turns real and the game predator, ECHO, starts rampaging. At first I thought that the book would not be so scary or interesting, but ECHO is a half demonic, half human creature that kidnaps all the best gamers in the game. The story of the 2 brothers, Reggie and Jeremy, was really heartwarming.
A must read for gamers.
- DGtheoriginalMC - Amazon
|Top 3, Top 10: …it is a great book and I would recommend it to anyone.
I was contacted by the publisher and asked to do a review of this book, especially because of its appeal for boys and the recent educational interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) curriculum. I was intrigued; however, was not able to find time to fit it into my review schedule. But, it sounded exactly like the type of book some of my students would love, so I read the summary to two of my boys who have read books like INSIGNIA, BRAIN JACK, THE MAZE RUNNER, EPIC, etc. and loved them. They insisted that I had to accept the request and get this book for them to read. I agreed to do so under the stipulation that they had to write their thoughts afterwards, and the publisher was happy to send an advance copy for student-written reviews. After hearing what they had to say, I'm planning on adding this one to my to-read stack for the summer.
What follows is my students words and thoughts about ECHO'S REVENGE after they read it (and they loved it and are adamant that I need to get the next book if/when it comes out). ***Possible spoilers as written by students***
Student 1: There are only three books that I admire. The books are THE HUNGER GAMES, PERCY JACKSON, and ECHO'S REVENGE. ECHO'S REVENGE has a lot of action, adventure, and mystery. The action and adventure keep you at the edge of your seat wanting to read more. How would you like to be in a car going really fast or see a farting dog? Or what about a crow 33 feet in the air gliding towards you? What about two brothers fighting a 35 foot tall deadly creature and pushing it into a bottomless pit? This is why I can't wait till the next book!!
Student 2: ECHO'S REVENGE was a great book and definitely makes my top 10. I liked how the book kept you guessing. Most of the time I didn't know what was going to happen next. My favorite part is when all of the Echo gamers rebel against Echo in the Cauldron. I thought there were some slow parts such as when Jeremy and Reggie were planning to escape. But overall it is a great book and I would recommend it to anyone. The way it ends makes me want to read the next one. I never saw the whole virus thing coming.
- Mrs. Heise - Heise Reads & Recommends
|4 out of 5 Stars: I read this book, and loved it.
It was good to read a book about video games by someone who knows about video games. The book centres on two brothers, Reggie and Jeremy, who are hardcore gamers, and have divorced parents.
The characters are well rounded, Reggie seems quite analytical and this comes through in the story. He's also very protective of his brother. They use the survival skills they have learnt in daily life (and games) to get through the challenges they face.
The final confrontation was very exciting, I was reading it on the train (and didn't finish it), then got home and realised my heart was pounding and that I _really_ wanted to finish the book.
I'm looking forward to the next novel, the Echo world is quite compelling. I'll be recommending this to a friend, his boy is eight and I'm sure would like this book since both of them are gamers. It’s a good book to get boys into reading. I'm sure I'll be reading it to my boy when he gets old enough, though he's only one and a half at the moment, so I might have a while to wait!
Full disclosure: I was asked to read this book to do a review on Goodreads. I only read books I like, and after reading a 20 page sampler I'd found online, I was happy to read the rest and review this book.
- Ryan McArthur - Goodreads
|5 out of 5 Stars: This book is a highly intelligent, well-written adventure and a valuable experience for boys and girls ages 10 to 16. It is a reflection of the times regarding family life, science fiction, computer gaming, good and evil.
This tale of the journey of two brothers who run away from a miserable home life with their indifferent, if loving, mother and her boorish boyfriend is imaginative, dramatic, exciting, witty, full of horror and surprises. The boys run away to escape the cruel boyfriend's vicious beatings. En route, they discover that all the gamers they know have been kidnapped and that they must not allow themselves to be next. Many lessons are learned as they hitchhike from Seattle to southern California, while dodging the insanely evil
ECHO, a game predator fiend. The close calls while attempting to outsmart ECHO keep the boys terrified, stunned and exhausted. However, each time they are desperate for a ride, eerily strange but sympathetic characters magically appear. While riding along the highways, these creatures quietly manage to impart a few meaningful words of advice which the boys subconsciously absorb into their minds. At critical times, as they near their goal of rejoining their father in Pasadena, these kind words rise from memory and prove to be instructive and valuable. These interludes of gaining rest and the words of encouragement from their drivers help the boys as they develop loyalty, and appreciation for each other.
This is a great gift for young readers!
- ESGLITREVIEW - Amazon
|5 out of 5 Stars: Exciting, tense thriller with nonstop action!
Two brothers who are expert gamers must survive on their own with a predator chasing them all the way from Washington state down to California. When they're caught by the predator, they're put to work underground along with other gamers, and must find a way to escape, while saving the others as well.
Great story about brothers who help each other, using their skills and strengths to learn how to be self-sufficient and strong when it counts.
Recommended for ages 12+ -- especially boys.
- Rebecca Grose - Goodreads
|5 out of 5 Stars: What a great story!
It's so rare to find good young adult fiction. After reading ECHO's Revenge, I gave the book to the two kids in my house, and the older boy just finished it (loved it) and the younger one, who is more of a TV and video game kind of kid, is avidly working her way through it. Not only is the story compelling and fun, the message of the book is inspiring, but presented in a format that kids can really relate to.
ECHO's Revenge is a page turner from cover to cover. Suspense, intrigue, riveting action sequences, and just the right amount of comedy, along with colorful characters who you can't help but root for make this a fun, entertaining read for any age. ECHO's Revenge will have you sitting on the edge of your seat right up to the very end. Sean Austin paints his picture with vivid, cinematic detail without losing his younger readers. As with any good book, you will feel like you are right there, watching the action the whole time!
- Miiiiiiike -Amazon
|5 out of 5 Stars: This book I can highly recommend, and be sure to know that this is a dramatic adventure that mixes "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" with "The Twilight Zone."
It does make a good combination, with its description it lets you picture it very clearly when you put your mind to it. I may also say there is not a lot of comedy, but there is a lot of epic and cinematic scenes that make that lack of comedy okay. The characters are well written and remind me of the beginning of “The 39 Clues,” but the story is totally different, preventing it from being a rip-off. Even though the story can get sad, I must say the story is very original for the YA literature field.
As for me, I really liked it with a plot that could have been written by a lot of sci-fi writers. As I end this review it is of my opinion that I loved it and can see this written at times like the "Star Wars" series and can’t wait to read the sequel.
- Sky Rowe, Los Angeles
|5 out of 5 Stars: I read this book after my video gaming 10 year-old read it in a few days and recommended it.
What I found was a quickly paced, rich narrative centering on two video game-addicted brothers (sons of divorced parents) who run away from home, only to be hunted by a real world version of the game monster they endlessly beat in the online game. They soon realize that they and all the other "game masters" they know are being kidnapped as they race down the west coast to their father's house. The two brothers encounter all kinds of colorful characters during their journey as they are confronted by not only the terrifying creature pursuing them, but various ethical dilemmas associated with their strategy of evasion. I appreciated the interwoven ethical issues (trust, loyalty, social responsibility, military codes of conduct, etc.) which are so often forgotten in the real world of technology innovation.
I won't reveal the second and third acts, but it is ultimately a harrowing, but heartwarming story of survival, persistence and loyalty.
I didn't realize it when I read the novel, but "Echo's Revenge" is a multi-media experience offering endless possibilities for entertainment and exploration of robotics, science and technology. As well as being a scary, thrilling novel and a quick read, the novel's website, (www.echohunt.com) , links to external resources which provide real information about how the technologies in the novel are currently being developed in the real world.
There's a lot more at the website, but I'll end this here and just mention the endless links to emerging technology companies related to robotics, game theory, programming and summer programs for future technologists.
- Rick Ellert -Goodreads