The God Game by Danny Tobey
Published by: Gollancz
Released: 9th January 2020
I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you to Gollancz and Stevie Finegan for allowing me to be part of this amazing blog tour.
You are invited!
COme inside and play with G.O.D.
Bring your friends!
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.
I don’t usually read much Sci-Fi but when I heard about The God Game I was automatically intrigued and pulled in by the incredible sounding synopsis. I was rather eager to start this book when I received my copy.
The God Game follows high school seniors, Charlie, Vanhi, Alex, Kenny and Peter as they start playing ‘The God Game’ run by anoymous hackers and controlled by a mysterious AI who believes it’s God. The game, which seemed harmless and fun at first soon takes a sinister turn. The group starts to receive threatening messages, tasks soon take a deadly turn, shadowy figures start following them and mysterious packages appear at their doors. As the group tries to figure out how to leave the game, they realise that it’s harder than they thought and that God is always watching.
First thing I want to say is WOW! This book had me hooked from the get go and I’ll be honest, I found it hard to put down. It took me on such a thrilling ride that I didn’t want to end. I never thought I would enjoy a book like The God Game as much as I did, so was really surprised. The intensity within the story was so gripping and really did get my heart racing throughout, so much so that I was desperate to find out what was going to happen next after putting it down.
The plot was so original and unlike anything I’d read previously. The use of virtual reality and gaming mixed in with religion was just mind-blowing. It really did make me think of religion in a totally different way after reading, as I normally steer clear of that subject matter. Pacing within the book was perfect and you felt like you were going on this ride with the characters, not just looking into their lives. The twists kept me hooked and I was physically gasping with shock by the time I got to the end. When a book does that to me, you know it’s a good one.
What I liked about the characters within The God Game were that none of them were perfect and they all had faults and secrets they needed to work on. It was also interesting to see how the group changed as the story progressed and they delved deeper into the game. Also, being able to see the story through each of their own points of view made the story seem more real, and if it’d been written from a single point of view it wouldn’t have had the same impact.
The God Game was a thrilling, intense read that had me on the edge of my seat. Reading it has definitely made me want to read more within that genre and I am eager to see what the author writes next.