by Mari Mancusi
All fourteen-year-old gamer girl Sophie Sawyer wants to do is defeat Morgan Le Fay in her favorite Arthurian videogame. She has no idea the secret code sent via text message is actually a magical spell that will send her back in time to meet up with a real life King Arthur instead.The Camelot Code is available in e-book and paperback through Amazon or B&N. I received a digital copy from the lovely Mari herself and what follows is my honest to goodness review.
Of course Arthur's not king yet--he hasn't pulled the sword from the stone--and he has no idea of his illustrious destiny. And when a twist of fate sends him forward in time--to modern day high school--history is suddenly in jeopardy. Even more so when Arthur Googles himself and realizes what lies in store for him if he returns to his own time--and decides he'd rather try out for the football team instead.
Now Sophie and her best friend Stuart find themselves in a race against time--forced to use their 21st century wits to keep history on track, battle a real-life version of their favorite videogame villain, and get the once and future king back where he belongs. Or the world, as they know it, may no longer exist.
As an avid gamer, like the protagonist Sophie Sawyer, I enjoy hacking away at my enemies or casting spells to save the day. It's a wonderful escape from reality. However, if I suddenly found myself sucked back in time to the land of Skyrim, where dragons molested towns and the dead walked as skeletons in crypts, I might actually pass out from the sheer terror of it.
Sophie's handling of the situation is somewhat more along the lines of what I would wish to accomplish. She takes the event in stride and does her best to make things right, no matter how crazy they seem to get as the story goes along. As the Goodreads summary adequately explains, this historical, magical time swap is a romp in the park of fun.
I honestly had a blast reading this book. It's not what I typically read these days; I'm more of a darker YA reader/fantasy fan, but the lighthearted humor mixed with friendship and camaraderie as these friends embark on an adventure to save the world is exactly what kids these days need to read. There is just enough romance for the budding teen to giggle over, but not so much as to make it cross that boundary between middle grade and definitive YA territory.
As a 23-year-old graduate student majoring in creative writing, I found The Camelot Code to not only be enjoyable, but also well-written for its target audience, which somehow includes me as well. When I finally finished it I felt giddy like I did when I was twelve. I put down my iPad and simply relished the joy of the story.
Sometimes in this bustling world of books, that feeling is hard to come by. I applaud Mari Mancusi and wish her all the best with her other books (including the Scorched series, which I also now plan to read).
Until next time...