Monday, December 9, 2013

Game by Anders de la Motte

It begins easily enough, a phone on a train and a question: Wanna play a game? Course HP wasn't thinking about games when he found the sleek new cell phone apparently forgotten on the seat next to him. When the text appears again, this time calling him out by name, he finds it hard to resist. He's certain it has to be a joke - someone watching nearby, waiting for him to fall for it. The game starts with a stolen umbrella. After successfully completing this task, HP is let in and the points begin to rack up. The tasks escalate but HP doesn't think much of it until his own sister is injured as part of the game. Still he wants to continue in spite of being kicked out. But HP will soon learn that the game isn't a game at all and the consequences are far more dangerous than he could ever anticipate.

This first in a new trilogy by Anders de la Motte initially struck me as being very similar to Ursula Poznanski's teen thriller Erebos. True, both books do concern a suspicious game that has real life consequences, but ultimately that's where the comparison ends.

Game divides its time between HP, Henrik Pettersson, and Rebecca Normén, a member of Sweden's Security Police. Much of the beginning of the book is propelled by the story of the game itself and HP's participation. Rebecca's portions in this early part are her work and her development as a character, which makes for a nice set up once her story begins to intersect with that of HP.

Game is an intriguing premise and I've no doubt that it's one that could really happen. The author has some interesting things to say about his inspiration here - things I agree with on a lot of levels - but I'll let you hear it straight from him in this video from the publisher:

Tech meets conspiracy theory all wrapped up in a tense and action packed plot - with more than one twist as well. Game is hard to resist! Since this is the first in a trilogy, it's to be expected that there are still some questions yet to be resolved. The second release, Buzz, is due out Jan 7, and the final title, Bubble, is due out Feb 4.

I should also point out that while this is a translated work, beyond the fact that it's set it Sweden I don't think I would have had a clue that a translator was involved. The narrative flows incredibly easily. Frankly I was kind of amazed.

Rating: 4.5/5


Greg said...

This sounds like something I'd like, and the video by the author makes me want to read it even more. I like the cover too, looks like the phone has been through the ringer!

This concept kinda reminds me of that 90's movie The Game, in some ways. I always liked that movie. :)

Thanks, good review.

Becky LeJeune said...

It reminded me briefly of the movie THE GAME as well, Greg!

Tabitha (Pabkins) said...

April really enjoyed this one also! I think she is eating thru the third book currently if I'm remembering right.