I had the pleasure of reading Cryptogram Chaos for this blog tour and will share my review below!
BeachBoundBooks is pleased to be coordinating a Blog Tour for the middle grade virtual reality adventure Cryptogram Chaos written by Linda Covella. The tour will run from May 23 – June 13, 2016
About the Book
Title: Cryptogram Chaos | Author: Linda Covella | Publisher: IngramSpark Publication Date: March 9, 2016 | Genre: Middle Grade Adventure | Number of Pages: 197
What if you were 8, or 11, or 14, and you could race cars at 150 mph, bungee jump, fly, eat all the ice cream and candy you wanted, or become powerful avatars such as Robobug, Kulshedra the dragon, and Altai, the gryphon avatar?
All this and more is possible in the ultimate virtual reality game The Cryptogram Connection created by 14-year-old computer whiz Cody Reynolds and his two classmates, Nicole Nash and Kerry McCorkle. To advance to different levels in the game, players must solve cryptograms, or secret codes. (Readers also get to solve the cryptograms.)
They create their game to be used with the latest VR technology developed by local game manufacturer NuVision Games–a headset with biosensors that transmit signals to the brain, fooling it into tasting, hearing, feeling, seeing, and smelling what was programmed into the game. The games are as close to reality as reality itself.
The game becomes every kids’ virtual dream, and Cody, Nicole, and Kerry, besides becoming national celebrities, make more money than they ever imagined. But The Cryptogram Connection turns into “cryptogram chaos” when an evil presence inhabits Zazar, the laser avatar and the most powerful, and takes control of the game. It’s up to the three partners to enter the game and fight Zazar to save the gamers from virtual—and real—disaster.
I thought this book had a lot of cool details!
We meet Cody, an amazing programmer who’s just in 9th grade, as he goes along with his older brother to NuVision, a computer game manufacturer. He helps the company tweek their products and tests them, mostly for the enjoyment of it. I enjoyed the brothers’ relationship through out the story.
We also met “yaya” their part time housekeeper and cook who is really like a sweet grandmother to them, which is why she’s called yaya. And the delicious Greek food described in the book, yum, really brought back memories for me. We have close family friends who are Greek and I love Greek food. Yaya is the emotional support that the boys need, which they lack from their busy sophisticated parents in most of the story.
Cody is approached by two girls from the popular group at school—to create an awesome computer game for virtual reality headsets. He reluctantly agrees and has a crush on one of the girls, who shows how smart she really is and blows away any stereotyped ideas Cody has about her. I loved that. Nicole is a really smart girl who knows what she’s talking about.
When they finally finish creating the game, we get to experience it ourselves, in our own minds. I really enjoyed the descriptions and ideas used in the games, and the challenging cryptograms to figure out. I was impressed by the ideas. First you have adrenaline rush activities and the all you can eat ice cream. But then there is a level with mythical creatures. Also, there’s a level with avatars you can become and do things you never dreamed of. I’m afraid of heights so I would probably freak out at a lot of these. But knowing you can’t really get hurt? Possibly would do it! I think I’d be like Kerry. You’ll have to read the book yourself to see what I mean! There’s humor in the book too.
Their rise to fame comes with a downside, which turns into chaos. Temptations in form of money causes a bad decision that has huge ramifications. No spoilers!
I think this is a good book for older kids, tweens and younger teens. It’s like Big Hero 6 meets Spy Kids 3, and while it’s good for boys and girls, it could be a great book to get a boy interested in reading. My techie husband said he’s interested in reading it. And when my older son (8) is into longer books I think he’d really like it.
Take a look inside the book…
About the Author: Linda Covella
Linda Covella’s varied background and education (an AA degree in art, an AS degree in mechanical drafting & design, and a BS degree in Manufacturing Management) have led her down many paths and enriched her life experiences. But one thing she never strayed from is her love of writing.
Her first official publication was a restaurant review column for a local newspaper. But when she published articles for various children’s magazines, she realized she’d found her niche: writing for children. She hopes to bring to children the feelings books gave her when she was a child: the worlds they opened, the things they taught, the feelings they expressed.
She has published one young adult historical romance Yakimali’s Gift, and, besides Cryptogram Chaos, two other middle grade novels in The Ghost Whisperer Series: The Castle Blues Quake and The Ghosts of Pebble Brook Lodge.
She is a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She lives in Santa Cruz with her husband, Charlie, and dog, Ginger.
No matter what new paths Linda may travel down, she sees her writing as a lifelong joy and commitment.
Learn more about Linda and her writing at http://lindacovella.com/.
Blog Tour Giveaway
Prize: One winner will receive a 25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice
Giveaway ends: June 13, 11:59 pm, 2016
Open to: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Linda Covella and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to stacie@BeachBoundBooks.com.