Author's Name: Matt Handle
Stage of Completion: Mostly polished and Looking to Query
Preferred Critique Style: Straight to the Point
Dogs or Cats: Cat Person
Tea or Coffee: Neither coffee or tea. How about a margarita?
11-year-old Max journeys through the virtual reality of a video game in order to rescue his younger sister’s consciousness from an evil software magnate’s ransom attempt. There he faces a series of challenging quests that test both his reflexes and his intellect. Meanwhile his sister proves she’s much more than a helpless victim, working on her own plan of escape. When the pair finally reunites, they race through a gauntlet of enemies as time runs perilously thin to prevent their father from giving in to the magnate’s demands.
Max figured he loved his little sister and brother as much as any sixth-grader loved his siblings, but that didn’t mean he had to like them. Zach was only five and cried any time he didn’t get his way. Charlotte was eight and never left Max alone, even when he had to get his math homework done. Max thought doing math homework was even worse than cleaning his room, but it was so much harder when your kid sister wouldn’t stop banging on your door and demanding to be let inside.
“Let me in, Max!” Charlotte yelled for the fourth time in the last minute. She jiggled the door knob and resumed her banging.
Max let go of his book and put his hands over his ears in an attempt to drown out the noise. At this rate, he’d never get these twenty problems done. Every time he tried to concentrate on changing the denominator, Charlotte interrupted him.
“Go away!” he yelled over his shoulder. “I’m trying to do my homework!”
Max heard Zach say something to his sister outside in the hall about their big brother being a “meanie” followed by blessed silence. Maybe she’d finally given up and they’d go play Legos downstairs for a while and leave him alone. He picked his book back up and stared at the fractions hoping they’d make some sense.