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THE GOD GAME
St. Martin’s Press
Charlie and his friends receive random text invitations to the mysterious GOD Game, an online game where they will allegedly be rewarded (and punished) in real life based on how well they play. They are intrigued by the premise, knowing full well the game couldn’t possibly affect their real lives (right?). Before they know it, they are participating in seemingly harmless escapades, gleefully impressed by the game’s ability to incorporate their real life surroundings and relationships into its AI platform.
But it isn’t long before the tasks they are being asked to perform—both together as a group and, increasingly, individually in secret—get them tangled in lies and misdeeds that will gravely impact their futures if anyone discovers the truth. Suddenly it feels like the game is playing them, instead of the other way around. In over their heads, Charlie and his friends want out—but if the rumors are true, there’s only one way to get out…and that’s through death.
I loved The God Game so SO much. I never read novels like this—science fiction, I guess, with a little bit of thriller mixed in. But, wow, I loved this story. Of course the premise is immediately intriguing, but it’s the character development that I really loved. Pretty much any book with smart, witty, slightly tormented teenagers playing video games is my jam. (Think Ready Player One and The Impossible Fortress.) These kids are nerdy, loyal, overachieving, intelligent, funny, innocent, non-conforming bad asses, and I loved every second I got to spend with them. Even while I watched their lives fall apart, I was entertained by their quick-witted banter and “we got this!” attitude. The book is dark, but somehow it still manages to be a joy to read. And I loved the ending.
The God Game is out this Tuesday, January 7. I know it’s only the first week of the year, but, for real, this is going to be one of my top reads of 2020.
Huge thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the beautiful ARC!