Thursday, December 19, 2013

Review: Game: a Thriller by Anders de la Motte

Game: A ThrillerGame: A Thriller by Anders de la Motte
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received a free ebook ARC copy of this book from NetGalley. Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Okay, here's the deal. It took me almost two weeks to read this. I'm not planning a long review, because I'm honestly tired of thinking about this thing and want to wash my hands of it. I feel that I owe NetGalley a review for providing the free copy, so here goes.

There were some good things about this book. The premise: conspiracy theory and a secret Game which can be accessed by specially chosen players on a special cell phone. Cool idea. The book starts out with a bang, jumping right into the action with our protagonist, HP. HP is what he goes by, after his initials. Fine. The game seems exciting at first and soon becomes more dangerous and criminal.

The book had good pacing. The action doesn't let up for long and jumps right back in. Lots of twists and turns. A well built Bourne type mystery/thriller. For that, it's enjoyable.

However, that's just the surface of things. The more deeply we get into the plot, the more we see just how unrealistic it is. I like when "coincidences" get tied together, but here it seems that everything is part of it. And it's just hard to suspend belief and go with it. By the end, it's become rather silly and I kept hoping it would....just...stop.

But the more important negative to this book are the characters. The main characters, that is. Some of the supporting ones are decent enough and used well. But the main two? Damn.

Rebecca is the female lead here. She's a cop with a backstory, lots of stuff making her bitter and angry and out to prove that she's capable. Yeah yeah. Fine. But she's so stupid it's not even funny. She keeps getting great marks in all of her trainings, and they're building her up to be the chosen one, but she's dumber than a stump. Especially where HP is concerned.

HP should stand for Huge Prick. I mean, this is one of the most despicable characters I've ever read about. And we get most of the book through his point of view? God.

I'm wondering if de la Motte meant for HP to be tongue in cheek, or funny or what. But he's not funny. He's an amoral piece of work. Suffering through all the internal dialogue this guy tells himself is pretty bad. Especially after one of his sexual conquests.

I mean, does anyone really think of himself as the "Prince of Penetration" or the "Ayatollah of Fuck n Rolla"? And think of that as a positive quality. Come on. I'd wonder if even an egotistical, sexist douchebag would think of himself this way.

But what is HP's Achilles Heal? His love for his sister. Really? We're supposed to believe that the only moral compass this dude has is a woman? That he respects any female enough to change his behavior, to spend 10 months in prison, for instance? Not when he's the "Omnipotent Pope of Pussy-Crashing", I'd wager.

Anyway, where I felt that the author was trying to make HP funny and pathetic, he failed at making him sympathetic. And he's not funny. I was laughing, but not because the character was amusing. No, I laughed where the writing describing the internal dialogue of this character was laughably bad.

Two stars, and that's only because there were some good twists and turns along the way. HP himself gets shyt for stars.


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