Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Review: The Game by Shane Scollins

Title: The Game
Author: Shane Scollins
Series: N/A
Release Date: March 13, 2013
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Format: eBook, 297 pages
Genre: NA, thriller, paranormal, mystery
Source: blog tour
No matter where you are, they’ll find you, and put you in “The GAME”.

Candice Laguna’s life is being systematically dismantled, by an unknown force, for a reason she can’t imagine. But she is about to become the unwilling star of a reality game competition the likes of which has never been broadcast to the world.

Just when things get darkest, a mysterious man snatches her from the grips of doom. He is a man who is not what he appears, and not who he says. He has no name and his motivation to help Candice is not what it seems to be.

THE GAME is a mystery/thriller with an unpredictable paranormal twist. It has action and adventure and plays up the everyday exploitation of reality television obsession gone wrong.
Note: Though The Game's categorized as YA, I believe that it belongs in NA, or at least for older YA readers, due to the more mature wording, topics and characters that may be slightly disturbing to some readers.

Candice's life is falling apart, and she doesn't know why. She gets strange phone calls, phone calls that seem to have a connection to her past, every day, but she can't figure out who the phone call's from, or what their objective is. Candice, after losing her boyfriend, her job, access to her bank account, and her car, sinks deeper into the pit of despair. Someone is playing with her, literally making a game out of her life . . .

The Game is a novel with a dark and gritty atmosphere worthy of any thriller/mystery novel. Shane Scollins was able to create an impressive aura of alone-ness for our protagonist, Candice. Even at times when she had her friend around, you can't help but feel helpless by merely how there was nothing she could do to counter the strange things happening around her, and feel wholly terrified of what would happen to her. The composition of all the scary FEEEEEELLLSSS sucked me right in, and held a tight grip around my nerve endings. It seemed as if with every turn, Candice's life just gets worse and worse.

The Game is told through a third-person PoV, often rotating to narrate other characters' actions and thoughts, which only builds more intrigue in how the characters will play out in Candice's life. It's like Scollins ties you to a tree with a leash, with a bowl of ice cream just out of reach, loosens the leash to let you have a taste of the delectable dessert, then reels you back in, making you scramble and pull for another bite.

Scollins has created a work of literary art with The Game. Though it's not a very character-driven story, it has some seriously fantastic writing that fans of Barry Lyga or Megan Miranda would enjoy. While I love that I don't have to spend the next year pining for the sequel to The Game, I already miss Candice's world and want to dive back into the story!
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