January 10, 2020

The God Game Blog Tour: Review

The God Game
Author: Danny Tobey
Genre: Science Fiction/Thriller
Release Date: January 7, 2020
Publisher: St. Martin's Press


You are invited!
Come inside and play with G.O.D.
Bring your friends!
It’s fun!
But remember the rules. Win and ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE.™ Lose, you die!

With those words, Charlie and his friends enter the G.O.D. Game, a video game run by underground hackers and controlled by a mysterious AI that believes it’s God. Through their phone-screens and high-tech glasses, the teens’ realities blur with a virtual world of creeping vines, smoldering torches, runes, glyphs, gods, and mythical creatures. When they accomplish a mission, the game rewards them with expensive tech, revenge on high-school tormentors, and cash flowing from ATMs. Slaying a hydra and drawing a bloody pentagram as payment to a Greek god seem harmless at first. Fun even.

But then the threatening messages start. Worship me. Obey me. Complete a mission, however cruel, or the game reveals their secrets and crushes their dreams. Tasks that seemed harmless at first take on deadly consequences. Mysterious packages show up at their homes. Shadowy figures start following them, appearing around corners, attacking them in parking garages. Who else is playing this game, and how far will they go to win?

And what of the game’s first promise: win, win big, lose, you die? Dying in a virtual world doesn’t really mean death in real life—does it?

As Charlie and his friends try to find a way out of the game, they realize they’ve been manipulated into a bigger web they can’t escape: an AI that learned its cruelty from watching us.

God is always watching, and He says when the game is done.

The God Game is an exhilarating science fiction thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. I was immediately intrigued by the description and premise of the novel and I have to say that it lived up to any hopes I might have had. What really drew me to this book was that the science fiction aspect isn't that futuristic. I feel like this could actually happen in our society today - which is both exciting and scary. I loved reading about all of the tech stuff throughout the book and it made me wish that I knew more about the topics the characters talk about and do.

The plot was intriguing and well written with great attention to detail and vivid imagery that brought this world to life in front of my eyes. The author plays devil's advocate throughout the story in the characters' own smaller story lines and I loved watching them weigh the advantages and disadvantages to each action. As the story progresses and the tasks become more intense and serious, the stakes get higher and you can feel the fear and tension throughout the pages. I really enjoyed how the author was able to put all of these aspects together to create a really fascinating look at how our culture is obsessed with technology and the philosophical questions that come with it.

There were a ton of major characters throughout the story so we don't get to know many of them on a deep level. Many of them are pretty stereotypical and flat but it didn't bother me because they weren't really important to the story line. The main characters - namely Charlie and the rest of the Vindicators - are well rounded and complex. We get to know them pretty well throughout the story and we see them each face difficult tasks and decisions, which changes them whether they know it or not. All of the main characters felt realistic to me, mainly because they have distinct personalities and voices, and their flaws are out there for the reader to see. It allowed me to connect with each of them on a personal level and made me more invested in the story and the outcome. The only issue I personally had with the book was the writing style - mainly the author's choice to use the third person point of view to tell the story. I completely understand why they chose to write it this way - with all of the characters it would've been chaotic and confusing to attempt writing the story in the first person. But I almost always prefer the first person point of view because it allows me to really create a deep connection with the main character and I can easily get lost inside their world. Again, this is just a personal opinion of mine and other readers aren't going to feel the same. Like I said, I understand why the author chose the third person point of view and it makes sense for the story. I did like seeing the story unfold from multiple perspectives and watch how each of the characters go off on their own little quests. It gives the reader a fuller and more detailed story to follow because of the different perspectives and seeing how they develop on their own and intertwined into the major plot.

Overall, this was a fun and exciting book that I really enjoyed. I definitely recommend it to fans of science fiction, thrillers, mysteries, contemporary fiction, and even young adult fiction.


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