Sunday 6 October 2019

Book Review: The God Game by Danny Tobey (Sci-Fi)

Title: The God Game
Author: Danny Tobey
St Martin's Press

Publication Date: 7 January 2020
eBook - PDF
ARC via NetGalley


You are invited!
Come inside and play with G.O.D.
Bring your friends!
It’s fun!
But remember the rules.
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 was an intriguing and captivating work. The world and characters were well developed, and the story unfolded at a good pace, upping the tension throughout. The book had an interesting premise, particularly in light of every-growing IT abilities and the fact that the idea of something like this happening could be a possibility in the future. I was on the edge of my seat from start to finish, waiting to see how things would play out, and I found the ending satisfying. This is a solid 4.5-star read for me, which I will round up to 5 stars for the rating.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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