Tuesday, January 21, 2020

#BookReview: The God Game by Danny Tobey

Synopsis: 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.


Rating: ★★★★★
My Review: 

“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!”

The Vindicators a group of 5 high school students, Charlie, Peter, Alex, Kenny, Vanhi.
Just your average computer club until one day everything changes.  The met G.O.D.  Who gave them an invitation they couldn’t refuse.  Play the game and all your dreams come true!  Lose , You die!  They think it’s just a hoax until things start looking up for them, more money and free stuff, however at what cost?  When things start going bad can Charlie help the Vindicators make things right and leave the game...without dying in the process.  I think Tobey did a good job of merging sci-fi with reality.  If you are looking for a good thriller with a mix of lit rpg this book is for you.  I loved the blending of the game with the real world and how they earned “Goldz or Blaxx” depending on if you were in G.O.D.s favor or not.  I also liked that we were able to read from the point of view of all the main characters and even learn about those close to them, even their teachers.  I loved how many twits and turns their were worth this book and was always reading on waiting for the next twist.  The ending of the book left me wanting more and kind of hoping that a certain character would get his own novella in the future.  

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!

“Tension and turmoil add up to high stakes suspense and a plot that will make you wonder if all this stuff is real. Danny Tobey absolutely kicks butt and takes names in this gem of a thriller.” ―Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of the Cotton Malone series
"Smart, propulsive and gripping, THE GOD GAME is an ambitious thriller and a terrifying examination of what could--and probably already is--happening in the world of artificial intelligence."―Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Run Away
"The God Game is a fantastic read. I haven't felt this way about a book since Ready Player One. As addicting as any video game I've ever played, I got sucked in from the first page and couldn't put it down. Can't recommend this one enough." ―Ben Mezrich, New York Times Bestselling author of Bitcoin Billionaires and Bringing Down The House
THE GOD GAME is a dark, edgy thriller, populated by a vastly appealing cast of teenage underdogs. Danny Tobey has written an unusually smart and provocative novel, a book full of ideas and heart that feels both fantastical and all-too-real at the same time.” ―Tom Perrotta, New York Times bestselling author of The Leftovers and Little Children
“What an amazing achievement THE GOD GAME: a gripping page-turner that kept me up late three nights in a row, rooting for the engaging, wisecracking teen heroes; at the same time a terrifying and weirdly persuasive reverse-engineering of the morality of our present cultural moment. Also a moving and thought-provoking commentary on the relationship between parents’ pain and children’s achievement. Every time I read the news now I keep thinking I see signs of THE GOD GAME being played all around us, until I remember that it isn't real (probably). I couldn’t put it down.” ―Elif Batuman, author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Idiot
"A story that keeps the reader in a constant state of suspense, the book is sure to appeal to SF readers, gamers, and anyone else who enjoys a well-plotted, well-told thriller." ―Booklist
"Great characters, a novel concept, and scary set pieces." ―Kirkus
"Fans of AI run amok should relish this one." ―Publishers Weekly

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