Book Review, Illustrated Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction

Level Up! Last One Standing by Tom Nicoll & illustrated by Anjan Sarkar

Some kids really get into their games but nothing like Flo and Max!

The Level Up! series is like a modern-day Jumanji. Best friends, Flo and Max, get trapped inside a video game and can’t escape until they manage to complete it.  With non-stop action and adventure plus brilliant illustrations, there are so many kids who will absolutely love these books!

Almost as soon as I’d finished reading the latest instalment, my son grabbed the entire series and has been reading them ever since. I’m really happy to write this review with him.

Tom, age 10

Flo really loves video games. Her mum is trying to create a machine that will make the gaming avatar look just like the person playing. The Digital Imprint Scanner scans DNA and turns it into computer code. One day Flo and her friend Max were snooping around Mum’s workshop with electronics, circuit boards and wires everywhere. There was even a sign that said, “Don’t even think about it, Flo.” The machine wasn’t ready yet and it accidently transported Flo and Max into the game. They were trapped and the only way out was to complete the game.

I really like this series because I like playing video games.  It reminds me of playing Roblox and games on my Nintendo Switch with my avatar or character running around inside the game. In these books, the games are larger than life and the characters get to actually experience all of the danger and excitement for themselves.

The illustrations really help me to imagine what is going on in the story. The descriptions of the game are really clear. The gaming tips throughout are really interesting and would be very useful if you played video games on a computer. I like how each book links to the next one. It makes me want to read on and find out what happens next. I read the first two books in one evening and couldn’t wait to start the third the next day!

I think my friends will really like these books and I’m planning to recommend them to them when we’re back at school. I play video games with my best friend over Facetime almost every day and I can’t wait to tell him about these books the next time I talk to him.  My friends all like gaming. Everyone reads at different levels and speeds but these books should be good for them all. The writing is really spaced out making it easier to read and the language is clear and easy to understand.

There are four books in the series:

Level Up! (Flo & Max play Star Smasher and have to defeat an evil hacker.)

Level Up! Block and Roll (Flo & Max have to build the perfect city in a game like Minecraft.)

Level Up! Beast Battles (Flo & Max become creature coaches for battles in huge arenas.)

Level Up! Last One Standing (Flo & Max are joined by Flo’s Mum and their rival, Rhett Hodges, and have to out-run dangerous opponents in different lands on a giant map.)

Thank you to Little Tiger Press for these fun books!

Click on the covers below to find out more or purchase on-line from Amazon.

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