Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Book Review: 'Zero Sum Game (Sid Rubin Silicon Alley Adventures, #2)' by Stefani Deoul

Zero Sum Game by Stefani Deoul
‘Who needs sleep? I mean, really, way overrated.’

Bicoastal television producer and writer Stefani Deoul goes where her talent is needed – the East Coast where she lives near New York, the West Coast and Canada writing and producing for television. Her first novel was THE CAROUSEL, then ON A LARP, the first Sid Rubin Silicon Alley Adventure, and now she offers us the second installment in that very popular series -ZERO SUM GAME - while also continuing writing short stories for numerous publications. She has produced The Dead Zone, Brave New Girl along with being the executive in charge of production for the series Dresden Files and Missing. Stefani is currently in Nova Scotia producing the new series Haven for the SyFy network.

After reading ON A LARP and being introduced to Stefani lesbian teen coder Sid Rubin and noting that that was the opener for a series, we hear more about this fascinating heroine. The book embraces gender inequality, the world of high tech, and on line gaming. 

The decades long major gender diversity gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (hopefully everyone has seen HIDDEN FIGURES on film!) shows that by 2020 there will be 1.4 million computer related jobs in the US and women are on track to fill only 3 % of them (this from the well written PR for the book). It is the aim of Sid Rubin a mouthy brilliant high school kid with a strong conscience and a knack for solving problems to alter that prediction. Or as the synopsis poses, the story deals with our high-flying lesbionic brainiac Sid Rubin and her unlikely posse of friends, grounded, with wings clipped from their live-action-role playing misadventures. To break out of parental jail, Sid, Jimmy, Imani, Ari and Vikram enter a school robotics competition. But just as things get interesting, Vik learns that his super-star status and hard-won trophies from the frantic online game Contagion have been stolen. "Tu n'as pas envie avec mes amis. You do not mess with my friends." Watching Vik fall apart, Sid is determined to track down the trophy thief, no matter how much late-night gaming and sleuthing it takes. Sid and the gang join newcomer Ze to chase ghosts and trawl dungeons in a frantic race against time to save not just Vik's bevy of stolen gaming goods, but also the life of a hostage teenage gamer.’

Mix that level of erudite writing with the mystery at hand and Stefani Deoul proves she has started something very important! A fine, bright, entertaining author has arrived and is here to stay.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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