A gamer levels up her space-witch powers to save the world, but along the way she finds the strength to save her friendship too.
As the chosen one, gamer Izzy feels a responsibility to fight alongside her robot friend Rae, who uses the pronouns they and them, to protect the digital world of ”Dungeon City” against the threat of a great evil hidden deep within the code. Before Izzy received her copy of the game in the mail, she promised her friend Eric that she would wait for their video game sleepover so they could start playing together. However, when temptation gets the better of her and she boots it up, the game pulls her inside it. Izzy worries Eric won’t believe her, so she lies and tries to carry the secret of her destiny on her own. The bright, rich color palette matches the upbeat and zany personality of the characters, game world, and conflict. The paneled page layouts are equally animated. Graley plays with tropes to create a comical, over-the-top villain. Izzy’s real growth comes from admitting her wrongs to her friend and learning the power of teamwork rather than from defeating a bad guy. Izzy has pale skin, but that her parents seem to be a mixed-race couple suggests she is biracial; Eric has brown skin and uses the pronouns she and her.
While the friendship conflict and virtual-world-come-to-life are both familiar plot elements, the immersive art and silly humor level up the appeal of this video game adventure. (Graphic novel. 8-12)