A Thought Provoking Technothriller
5 out of 5 stars
This was an intense one. It was definitely one of those books that ratcheted up the suspense throughout the entire book and in the last hour or so it all comes to fruition. I didn’t know exactly where Tobey was going with The God Game, but it ended different than the 20 guesses I had while reading.
The God Game was one of those books that I really wanted to like before even picking it up. Thankfully it jumped off of the page and was exactly what I hoped it would be. Tobey writes a story that you need to finish. I couldn’t put this one down.
The characters aren’t all likable. Some of them are meant to be disliked while others were anti-heroes. It was an interesting story because the entire length of it is basically set out to show that no one is perfect and everyone is flawed. That’s hard to do and write characters that are still likable that you want to see the story through. A few times I was worried that someone was going to go too far or that the story was going to have some sort of irredeemable quality that would make me “hate” a character – but right before it did, it would pull back and leave everything on a knifes edge.
Overall, The God Game was an interesting and thought provoking technothriller that definitely had me thinking late into the night. I’ve never read anything from Danny Tobey before, but I’m intrigued to see what other books he has in the pipeline after this one.
You are invited!
Come inside and play with GOD.
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 God 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.