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? (From Goodreads)
I credit this book for taking me out of a reading rut. It was that good. Not only was I engrossed in the novel, but I didn’t want to leave the plane while on my flight back home. I wanted to finish it right then and there!
The plot of the book was good overall and quick to read. The pace is fast and because you’re into the novel the reading goes by quickly. It may seem like your typical high school book, but it’s got more mature elements so I wouldn’t say it’s YA. (Although it may be for the more mature YA reader if you’re being nitpicky about it) There are quite a few references to gaming and coding which may go over some readers but it’s not so much that would turn you off of the book.
You will have some favorite characters coming out of the book. Some of them you will also detest (I’m looking at you, Tim) but some you will have a soft spot for. Alex is a good example. I felt for him. He went through so much it’s no wonder he went through those types of extremes.
Vanhi and Mary would be my two favorites. I liked their personalities and determination. Could not like Charlie though. He wasn’t likable – although I get why he’s acting out I just could not sympathize with him. I didn’t care too much that he was made to look like an all around good guy when he’s done some pretty ugly things. Don’t get me wrong, he’s seen as a saint compared to Peter, but I just didn’t like his outcome and his attitude towards his dad is horrendous. (Then again, you could say he’s acting out his grief)
All being said, I loved this book and glad I got a chance to read it. It’s quick and fast and the ending is open to maybe a sequel? If so I’m definitely all for it.
I give it a 10 out of 10.
Thank you St Martin’s for the Review copy!