by Anders de la Motte
The premise of Game is interesting. A new model of a smartphone is the means by which the Game Players interact with the Game Master. A text shows up on the phone giving the player a task. The player is asked if he is willing to attempt to complete the assignment. If he agrees, then he attaches the phone to his clothing, so that the phone’s camera is able to record the video of the results of his attempt. He is rewarded points, which translate into cash. His ranking is determined by the difficulty of the task and his style and ability to complete his assignment.
The real problem with Game is that the three main characters, HP (Hennrik Pettersson, the Game Player), Rebecca (HP’s sister, a bodyguard with the Swedish Security Police), and Mange (HP’s only real friend) are too flat. They have no real depth to them. You feel like the author has tried to fill them out, but it doesn’t really work. Therefore, you really don’t connect with them. Some of the plot’s story lines are too thin and unbelievable. There is a worldwide conspiracy behind the game that just doesn’t ring true. The combination of characters that you really don’t care about and an unbelievable story behind the Game, nearly kills the book, but something about the story is just interesting enough to keep you reading.
I give this book 2.5 Stars out of 5, which means that it is just below average, but if the premise sounds interesting to you, maybe you will enjoy it. I will go ahead and read the second volume in this trilogy, Buzz. Maybe Mr. de la Motte pulls everything together. If he does, I will let you know in early January.
I received this Digital Review Copy for free from NetGalley.com.
Release date: December 3, 2013 | Series: Game Trilogy
Follow the rules and everybody gets hurt . . .
One Sunday morning after a long night of partying, Henrik “HP” Pettersson, a slacker with a lot of ego and very little impulse control, finds a cell phone of an unfamiliar make on a commuter train. Through insisting and slightly uncanny messages that refer to him by name, the phone invites him to play a game. HP accepts without hesitation.
The rules are that HP must complete tasks that range from childish pranks to criminal acts, as allocated by the mysterious Game Master. HP is the perfect contender—alienated from society, devoid of morals, and desperate for fame. His completion of the assignments are filmed and uploaded onto a protected server where viewers rate the Players’ performances.
The Game starts out innocently enough and then becomes increasingly risky, threatening the safety of someone close to HP. He is determined to become a superstar, but when the dark and tragic secrets of his family’s past are at stake, HP must make a choice. Will he suffer the humiliation of defeat, or will the need to win push him to the limit—no matter the cost?
First in a fast-paced and riveting trilogy, Game will leave you guessing. Follow the rules, and everybody gets hurt . . .
Series: Game Trilogy
Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books; Reprint edition (December 3, 2013)
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 0.7
Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
About the Author
Anders de la Motte (b. 1971) made his debut in 2010 with [geim], which won the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers’ ‘First Book Award’. He is a former Police Officer and was until recently Director of Security at one of the world’s largest IT companies. He is currently an International Security Consultant. With his blend of fast-paced suspense, humor, and informed commentary on IT and social media, Anders de la Motte represents a distinct new voice in Scandinavian crime fiction: wild, playful and full of references to popular culture, including his literary cousin Philip K. Dick. (from GoodReads)
The book description is from Amazon. Game: A Thriller (Game Trilogy)