I think I’ve said before that when you ‘purchase’ free books from Amazon for your Kindle, it’s often a hit or miss. Normally I find free books are pretty average, some are appalling and a few select few are actually good and enjoyable. The Game, by Terry Schott, was one that was actually really enjoyable, and I basically read it in a day (save for a few chapters the night before).
We first meet Zack when he wakes up in a white room, with white walls, ceiling, and lights. He vaguely remembers the feeling of being an old man, but when he speaks and looks at himself, he is much much younger. Zack has been just been in the Game, a virtual reality that kids up to the age of 18 can participate in, as they unknowingly play an avatar, or virtual person inside a complex computer system. When you are put into the game, you are born into a family, and live your entire life, birth to death, and are watched by all the people at home on the planet Tygon. The virtual reality world is called Earth, and the better you do in the Game, the more credits you can earn, the more times you can buy in to play another Game when you come out. Zack is ranked 2nd in Tygon, and for his last play, he plans to get to number one.
With chapters that follow Zack’s life inside the Game, his Patron and his team on the outside following Zack’s every move and ensuring he is on track with his life, millions of adoring fans in Tygon watching his life on screen, an old flame, guardian figures inside the game, and someone out to get him, The Game is a great read for a free book. I really liked some characters, and disliked others, as it should be, I enjoyed that the book was spread over the course of Zack’s avatar life, and that the perspective was split between characters.
Having said that, I think that there were too many character-chapter splits, and it got a little confusing at times. It would have nicer to see just one or two perspectives inside the Game, and one on the outside of the Game. But as it was, there were a lot more than that. It, at times, made it a bit confusing. At the beginning of most of the chapters there was an excerpt from a Game related book that explained some aspects of how the Game worked, and also had some interview sections from previous players etc, so it was really handy to have the information without having a character just spit it all out. A big thing that annoyed me though, was the editing. There wasn't much of it. There were speech marks that were the wrong way round, commas in random places, and the indentations of paragraphs were too small, and it was little hard to read at points. But those things are nothing a good edit can’t fix.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. It was a nice short dystopian-like read, at only 283 pages, and the story clipped along at a good rate. There are a few more books in this series, and though you have to purchase them, they aren’t expensive, so I think I might read the next one.
This review was written by regular reviewer Anjali, get to know her here.
Image from Goodreads