Author: Eve Silver
Release: June 11th 2013
Genre: Science Fiction, Aliens, YA
#1 in The Game trilogy
So what’s the game now? This, or the life I used to know?
When Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game—her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos. In the game, she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures. There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says the game isn’t really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival, and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn’t. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.
This book is like putting too much sugar into the cake. In the end, it doesn't make a huge difference, but you can taste it.
The beginning was very, very uncomfortable. It was like I was unceremoniously dumped into the story with nothing to hold onto and just told to stay there and wait for things to be explained. It was quite the rocky start and I was not pleased. In addition to that, this book is only tell tell tell. You have heard the prase "show, not tell?" Well, Silver only told. She never, not once, showed. Miki is constantly asking questions and seeking answers and that's all we're getting. It was a bit annoying and unspectacular.
The characters... Miki's told, before they go in, not to look into the Drau's eyes. And what does she do while facing one of them? She looks into their eyes. Not once. Not twice. Three times. I mean, yeah, everyone makes mistakes, but you should learn from them. Jesus. However, Miki adjusts and when she's not being one of the slowest girls I have ever come across, she's pretty decent. She is one of the two only characters that actually get things like character arcs and characterization and thus, she has a backbone! Congratulations. The other is Jackson, who has drunk too much out of the Edward cup. He's always warning Miki to stay away from him because he is a "bad guy". Baddest bitch in the world and he's done awful, awful things. Alas, while he's telling Miki to run screaming, he's constantly seeking her out and looking for excuses to be with her, and what does he say when she calls him out on his ditching his own advice? Well, ladies, start dropping your panties because his response is "that's just a sign of how bad I am." Oh, how swoon-worthy! Am I right? Despite his obvious behavioral issues and his ridiculous attitude, he was also decent. He had his moments when he got to me, and he had his moments where he annoyed the living shit out of me — exactly like Miki. Which is also probably why I thought these two were absolutely perfect for each other and actually started shipping them. Although their relationship drama at the end didn't really get to me, sadly.
Uh, other characters didn't stand out. They were just names on a page. Sarah, Dee, Kelley, Kendra, Emily? Who are they again? What do they do? Huh? Well, I guess what I did like about these no-names was that they showed that Miki actually had friends. And not just her best friend Carly, but she had friends besides Carly! A lot of YA heroines are so super special because they don't have a lot of friends and it was nice seeing something difficult for once. There was one no name I really loved, though, and that was Richelle. <spoiler>She was so kickass and then she died of course, my favorite character so far and SHE DIES.</spoiler>
Writing wasn't really good. A hundred repetitions, I don't know who hired this editor but Silver really needs to fire her or him. There were times were there was the same word, used at least four times within three pages. Maybe one time as a noun and the next as an adjective, but it's still the same word. And I can tell you of at least three instances where I have read the sentence "Jackson," I whisper. Rolleyes. There's definitely much room for improvement here.
Structure was good, though. While I personally didn't appreciate the plot twists much and found them not very surprising, I can see how they might throw some people off. And the book did have a certain addictive quality nonetheless.
But. Silver gets an A+ on world-building. While I was very frustrated at Miki in the beginning because she claimed to "play a few games with Carly's brothers from time to time", she didn't know shit about video games and was absolutely clueless. It was clear though that Silver knows how it's done. Of course, it could be she just googled all the stuff, but I like to entertain the notion of her being pretty competent at video game knowledge, so she's at least a bit more likeable to me. Anyways, I loved the world she created, it's something nice and creative, although I'm ready to burn shit when I read the headline of the book being "So what’s the game now? This, or the life I used to know?" Well gurl, I think the game is the one with the health bar, the scores and the aliens you have to shoot. Jeez.
All in all, a pleasant enough read. If the storyline piques your interest, be sure to go ahead and give it a try. If you aren't interested in the world, I'm not sure characters or romance will grip you, because especially characters aren't that deeply developed and delved into much.