In a first novel from Australia, four seventh graders are absorbed--literally--by a computer game. Andrew, charming but bossy, is given an advanced computer game--""Space Demons""--that his father obtained from a researcher in Japan. When he finds that the game has the ability to translate people directly into the program, he enlists first his best friend Ben, then new-girl-in-town Elaine, and finally apprentice-punk Mario into joining him there. The more they rage at each other, the closer they come to becoming permanently absorbed--until Andrew discovers that love and reason can defeat the program. There are elements of allegory, science fiction, fantasy, and coming-of-age in this engrossing but perplexing book. Everyone has real-world tensions to fuel their rage--Andrew's parents separate, Elaine wants roots, Mario needs love, Ben is tired of being a follower--and, somehow, defeating the game helps. But is the program teacher, evil, or mirror? And why Japan? Loose ends aside, many young readers will be absorbed--figuratively.