Friday Face Off : double vision or all a blur

FFO

Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .  This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book (this doesn’t have to be a book that you’ve read), compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future week’s themes are listed below – if you have a cover in mind that you’re really wanting to share then feel free to leave a comment about a future suggested theme.  I’ve also listed events that take place during the year, that I’m aware of, so you can link up your covers – if you’re aware of any events that you think I should include then give me a shout.  This week’s theme:

Out of focus – double vision or all a blur

A lot of the new themes are open to interpretation which might make choosing the covers and seeing other’s choices very interesting.  I can’t stress enough that this is all about your own interpretation and hopefully this new open feel to the meme will bring a larger selection of books and covers.  It’s not supposed to be hard work, there are no rules, just enjoy yourself.

This week I didn’t have anything in particular in mind but I did recall a recent read that I really enjoyed with a blurry/fuzzy cover – tbh I didn’t think there would be alternative covers so I was super happy when I found that there was.  I really enjoyed : The God Game by Danny Tobey.  Take a look at the covers:

All similar -apart from that second cover.  My favourite:

GG1

I mean, strictly speaking, on first glance, they’re probably not the most striking covers but in actual fact they work well for the book.  My review is here if you want to check it out.

Do you have a favourite?

I’ll be updating the list in order to include forthcoming events that I’m aware of so that you can perhaps link your themes up where possible (if you know of an event you’d like to share then let me know in the comments).  As always, if you wish to submit an idea then leave me a comment – or if you’d like to host a week then simply let me know 😀

Next week – ‘“Pretty armour doesn’t make a warrior.”

Future themes: (if you’re struggling with any of these themes then use a ‘freebie’ or one of your favourite covers) (I’ve added some new themes – some of these are slightly different, in order to avoid too much repetition I’m trying to make the themes more of a suggestion that everyone can interpret how they like.  

2019

24th April – Armour – ‘“Pretty armour doesn’t make a warrior.”

1st May – Canine – “And then there were cats, thought Dog.:

8th May – graphic novel cover – “Love belongs to Desire, and Desire is always cruel”

15th May – pink – as pink as cotton candy – any cover that is pink

22nd May – Sorrow – a cover that makes you feel sad

29th May – Silhouette – an island, a person, anything you like

5th June – Flight – any type of flight – to flee, to fly

12th June – The bodice ripper – exactly as it seems

19th June – Time – time waits for no one

26th June – Windows – windows to the soul?

The God Game by Danny Tobey

Posted On 9 January 2020

Filed under Book Reviews
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TheGodGameThe short version of this review is that I really enjoyed The God Game. It was fast paced, a little bit crazy in parts, quite scary in others, totally addictive, in fact virtually unputdownable and it took me completely by surprise because whilst I liked the blurb for the book the combination of high school, geeky nerd squad and insidious AI just really wowed me.

So.  The game revolves primarily around five characters who call themselves the Vindicators.  They’re all slightly (okay very) geeky and their little club like to pull silly stunts, nothing too over the top and certainly nothing dangerous or that will threaten their future prospects in terms of college prospects and the like.  The main character is Charlie and the rest of the club are Peter, Vanhi, Alex and Kenny.  In fact, thinking about it now the characters are really what makes this read for me.  They’re good friends but at the same time they all have secrets that are starting to see that friendship splinter slightly.  There are small jealousies and insecurities and it’s these elements that are very much played on to propel the story forward.  But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Basically, the five become involved in a game known as G.O.D.  This is a game that promises great rewards.  All their dreams could come true.  Of course – the COULD element of that promise is really the focus in my opinion.  At the end of the day there’s no such thing as a ‘free lunch’ and the group are about to find out how easily they can be sucked into danger and how quickly their friendships will start to fray as they’re pitched against each other.

Like I said, the characters really made this for me.  There are so many secrets and hidden agendas that the five of them are a foregone conclusion for easy manipulation. The game starts off with such promise.  Played through their smartphones the five become hooked almost immediately to what they think of as a harmless game that shows things in a slightly different light, creeping vines and strange creatures inhabit this space and the virtual world that surrounds them is exciting and fun, at first.  Well, having said that, the game is pretty sneaky and this can be seen almost from the get go, it works pretty quickly at splitting the group and giving them individual tasks and before they all know it, they’re deep in its clutches.  This is when things go seriously pear shaped.

In terms of setting, this is a modern setting and easy to visualise, the majority of the story takes place in the high school setting with all the usual shenanigans that this brings.  There are the usual cliques, the beautiful ones, the ones good at sport, the nerds, etc, and the story includes social commentary on various aspects of high school such as bullying, stress, exclusion, relationships involving abuse.  Things are not always what they seem and the author successfully brings other characters into the story with ease.

The characters that make up the Vindicators are a mixed bag.  Charlie seems to be the linchpin of the group.  His mother died a year ago and his school work took a dive as he struggled to cope, particularly with his father suffering to hold things together.  He shared a pact with Vanhi to try for Harvard but that dream seems to have long since broken.  Peter is the mystery element of the club.  Good looking and enigmatic he’s the most recent addition and has already caused a slight change in the hierarchy that hasn’t gone completely unnoticed.  Alex is one member of the group who seems to be really struggling.  He suffers from low self esteem and is constantly second guessing how everyone feels about him which is made worse by his home situation which is far from ideal.  The only character that I got less of an attachment to was Kenny – not because he was unlikable at all but I just didn’t really come away with much strength of feeling for him as a character – but, there are plenty of characters to choose from here so Kenny could certainly be a favourite for other readers even though he didn’t really jump off the page for me.

The only real negative for me was a slight feeling of the game becoming too chaotic in the later stages.  I almost become over soaked if you will.  Things escalated quite quickly and as a reader it felt there was just too much going on – it gave me a feeling of ‘how come the adults are so unaware of what is really going on’ – but then at the same time there is a credibility to this – do parents always know where their children are or what they’re doing?  And, do children always confide in their parents or go to them for help?

Overall however, and slight niggling issue aside, this was a gripping read that kept me hooked.  The pace was great, the characters were flailing around like headless chickens as the game sucked them into it’s machinations and there was a great feeling of rising hysteria.  I thoroughly enjoyed this and have no hesitation in recommending it, there is a definite need to suspend your disbelief a little but then I didn’t find this an issue at all, I read about dragons and dwarves so cunning AI is an easy stretch.  And on top of that the ending is deliciously twisted – but obviously I can’t share that with you.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

I would rate this 4.5 of 5 stars for GRs.