Zero Sum Game by Stefani Deoul


Teenage brainiac, Sid Rubin and her meddling posse pals join forces with newcomer Ze to chase ghosts and trawl dungeons in a frantic race against time to crack the code of an online gaming heist and save the life of a teenage gamer.


Zero Sum Game finds our high-flying lesbionic brainiac Sid Rubin and her unlikely posse of friends, grounded, with wings clipped from their live-action-role playing misadventures in On a LARP.

To break out of parental jail, Sid, Jimmy, Imani, Ari and Vikram enter a school robotics competition. But just as things get interesting, Vik learns that his super-star status and hard-won trophies from the frantic online game Contagion have been stolen.

Faut pas toucher mes amis. You do not mess with my friends.”

Watching Vik fall apart, Sid is determined to track down the trophy thief, no matter how much late-night gaming and sleuthing it takes. Sid and the gang join newcomer Ze to chase ghosts and trawl dungeons in a frenzied race against time to save not just Vik’s bevy of stolen gaming goods, but also the life of a teenage gamer held hostage.

“Sidonie Rubin returns in Stefani Deoul’s second YA novel. Readers who fell in love with Sid in her first outing (On a LARP), will cement that relationship in Zero Sum Game. Sid is back with her unique cadre of friends for yet another technological thrill ride. Deoul never talks down to her audience, especially when in the techo-realm of things—but it is the heart and soul of her characters that will truly capture readers. Populated with much diversity, this series is perfect for our newest generation of “woke” teens.” —KRISTOPHER ZGORSKI,

“The characters are charming, the plot convincing and the crime all too easy to believe. The inter-relationships between the gang, school colleagues and family members adds depth and grounds the personalities into reality. And most of all we can feel the love shine through from author to page and from Sid and her friends, bathing us all in the light.” —VELVET LOUNGER, The Lesbian Reading Room

“I feel for Sid, I weep for Sid, I adore Sid and her wit, her forays in love and her ability to try and turn everything around for everyone. It’s an amazing story and one I recommend to so many people. Young or old, Deoul’s writing is spot on and for everyone to enjoy! Highly recommended!” —JOEY PAUL, JoeyPaulOnline

“This is a high speed, clever book that is a whole lot of fun to read, so if you enjoy a healthy dose of sarcasm mixed with a touching side of feels, then this book is for you.” —MICHELLE BLAKEY, The Lesbian Review

Praise for the Sid Rubin Silicon Alley Adventures

“A fast-paced whirlwind ride that dives into the fascinating world of Live Action Role Playing. Sid Rubin is one of those brilliant and smart heroines you would happily follow even to the darkest parts of the Web . . . Deoul has brought an incredibly fun and fresh voice to the YA genre.”—Ileen Maisell, Executive Producer, The Golden Compass

“Hooray for Sid Rubin! Brave, witty and brainy, our teenage adventurer takes us on a techno-caper in the darker corners of cutthroat online gaming, challenging her smarts and her heart.” —Ann Aptaker, author of the award-winning Cantor Gold crime series

“It’s a really good read—a story where the smart kids win, diversity is a fact and we can applaud for the hero Sid, who is a lesbian, and wonderfully it’s a complete non-issue. I’m recommending it for all our libraries.”—Linda Gregory, President, PFLAG Rehoboth Beach, DE

“(It’s) an exhilarating combination of mystery and nerd-world—a touch of steampunk and gamer-grrl—led by a smart, self-aware, awkward but lovable teen protagonist—more interesting and savvier than either the eternally tortured Katniss or Bella.”—Rachel Talalay, Director, Tank Girl, Dr. Who, Sherlock

“Stefani Deoul’s refreshing new YA book passes the proverbial Bechdel test with her protagonist, Sid, who’s not only smart and cool, she’s gay! This self-described geek lesbionic brainiac has nothing to hide, including her crushes on Wonder Woman and her friend’s mom. We bask in Sid’s growing confidence as she takes us along on her further high tech adventures.”—Davina Kotulski, Ph.D., psychologist, activist, author.

“Twists and turns abound in Stefani Deoul’s fast paced fun new book.  With a clever and sharp heroine, find a comfy chair . . .”—— Lee Rose, WGA Nominee, The Truth About Jane; Humanitas Prize Finalist, A Mother’s Prayer

“It’s all very high concept, this stream-of-consciousness monologue that takes place in a split second as our young protagonist falls to her certain death. And yet, it not only works, it works magnificently—mostly because Deoul has taken complete control of her young heroine’s voice. Sid is the smartest seventeen-year old you’ve never met, at once funny and brilliant, forthright and insecure, too-good-to-be-true and utterly real. Once you have met her, you won’t forget her soon.”—Eric Peterson, columnist, NBC OUT

“I felt as if I’d been grabbed by the scruff of the neck and lifted from the ordinary world into a parallel reality fueled by fast action, cracked neurons, and foul play. Accomplished author Stefani Deoul introduces Sid Rubin, a smartass—and actually super smart—high school kid with a strong conscience and a knack for solving problems. Of course, problems aren’t hard to come by in Sid’s life, especially dangerous ones. Sharp readers will appreciate this steampunk’d, high-tech’d tale.”—Elizabeth Sims, author of the Lambda and Goldie Award-winning Lillian Byrd Crime Novels

“Absolutely loved this, it stays in the mind, resonates in the heart and makes you smile at the memory. If this doesn’t win awards I will eat my top hat.”—Velvet Lounger, The Lesbian Reading Room

“If you want a fast, smart, fun read, definitely pick up On a LARP.”—Tara Scott, The Lesbian Review

“An exciting mystery adventure for reluctant readers and a great selection for teens who enjoy contemporary fiction.”—Rebecca Greer, Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative

“Writer Stefani Deoul gives us a novel filled with adventure, passion, self-doubt and young love, and it is a terrific read.”—Amos Lassen, Amos Lassen Reviews

STEFANI DEOUL has produced TV series such as The Dead Zone, Brave New Girl, and Haven, and was also the executive in charge of production for the series Dresden Files and Missing. Her debut novel, The Carousel was a finalist for the Foreword Reviews Independent Publishing Award in Gay and Lesbian Fiction. It won the National Federation of Press Women Book of the Year in GLBT fiction, the 2011 Book of the Year from the Delaware Press Association, and a Regional Award in Fiction from the Independent Publishers Association.

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