People of all ages enjoy gaming, resorting to it when trying to relax, to have fun, and to spend some time with friends. In Anne-Rae Vasquez’s novel, “Doubt,” the first book in the “Among Us” trilogy, online games play a major role: they act as binding element between the characters, bringing them together and uniting them around a common goal.
One of the main characters of the novel is Harry Doubt. The author drew inspiration for Harry from two important figures in the online community: Aaron Swartz – activist and co-founder of the Creative Commons and Reddit –, and Harry Fear – journalist, documentary filmmaker, and activist. Harry is an internet and programming genius, creator of the online game “Truth Seekers.” He and his friend, Claire, have always been labeled as ‘geeky’ and ‘weird’, but they are far more special than one may think at a first glance.
After Harry’s mother disappears mysteriously while doing volunteer work on a peacekeeping mission in Palestine, the protagonist decides to find her no matter how difficult his mission may prove. All his gaming friends join him, wishing to discover what happened to their own missing loved ones. Things complicate further as the mission progresses, and the “Truth Seekers” start to wonder whether their lives are real or not. When they get closer to the end of their quest, paranormal forces interfere, determining the characters to set into motion a chain of events that will “end the world” as they know it.
In writing “Doubt,” Anne-Rae Vasquez skillfully combined several genres: paranormal, dystopian, mystery, thriller. The novel gives the readers the occasion to explore the world of the supernatural and to learn more about how it influences the day-to-day lives of apparently ordinary young people. Although “Doubt” has to do with the online gaming industry, the readers don’t have to know a lot about it in order to understand and to enjoy the novel.