Happy New Year everyone! I’m kicking off 2020 with a review of a brand new book, as I’ve been incredibly lucky to have been chosen for the blog tour! The GOD Game was a dark and twisty book, and had me gasping with shock at some points. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it was certainly a wild book to start the year with.
Please note that The GOD Game contains some chapters and scenes that may be disturbing and/or triggering to some readers, including scenes of attempted suicide and abuse.
After receiving an invitation they can’t refuse, Charlie and his friends enter the G.O.D. Game. Tasks are delivered through their phones and high-tech glasses; when they accomplish a mission, the game rewards them. Charlie’s money problems could be over. Vanhi can erase the one bad grade on her college application. It’s all harmless fun at first.
Then the threatening messages start. Worship me. Obey me.
Mysterious packages show up at their homes. Shadowy figures start following them. Who else is playing, and how far will they go to win? As Charlie looks for a way out, he finds that ‘God’ is always watching. Only He will say when the game is done. And if you die in the game, you die for real.
This book is a masterful blend of all of the enticing virtual reality joys of Ready Player One mixed with the unnerving horrors of Black Mirror. The GOD Game is one of those books that has you on the edge of your seat no matter what, and will have you trying to think ahead of what the characters are doing too. A character would make a decision in the Game and I would be shaking my head at the page, knowing that the outcome of that decision could only mean bad news for the others.
The GOD Game focuses on five main characters: Charlie, Peter, Vanhi, Kenny and Alex. All have their flaws, and all have their own reasons for wanting to win the Game to give them everything they want. What starts as a tight-knit group that have flocked together from a mutual love of pranks and coding quickly splinters as the Game pits them against each other, pulling constantly at their self doubts and flaws. It was sad to watch the group disintegrate because you know while reading that it’s all the game destroying everything around them.
The further you get into the book, the further the characters spiral into the near brainwashing of the Game itself. Backstabbing occurs, friendships begin to fray, tensions are incredibly high. The author definitely has some real talent with making scenes tense at the perfect moment, but also brilliantly conveyed how much the Game was getting to them. Although the Game started out as all fun and games, it quickly made its presence as something dark, disturbing and destructive, and then was only a downward spiral from there. My heart was in my throat at times wondering how far it would go, how dark would it get, what more could it possibly inflict on these players?
Although slow to start, and with some of the characters a little grating at times (Vanhi’s description alone reads like the author is trying very hard to make us see she’s Not Like Other Girls), The GOD Game was a trippy yet gripping read, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading something so different from what I usually opt for. Also THAT ENDING?! It was like the dust had truly settled, only for a massive storm to come and whip it up into a frenzy again.
Verdict: A dark descent into gripping chaos, The GOD Game in fitting nature will act like a virus and will stick with you long after you close the book. 4/5.