Page Count 496
Publication date January 2020/ Publisher St Martins Press
You are invited!
Come inside and play with G.O.D.
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 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?
I’m a big fan of scifi fantasy when it comes to stories such as Ready Player One, Warcross and Otherworld. The God Game is a similar concept, only this game is a secret.
Written in third person the book follows The Vindicators; a group of teens who stumble across an augmented reality game played via phone, computer or tech glasses named ‘Aziteks’. Players can earn goldz for good deeds in exchange for various real life benefits but they earn blaxx for bad deeds resulting in perilous events.
Sounds simple, except only God can decide what constitutes good and bad. And God must be obeyed…
The characters amount to the usual stereotypes I’ve come to expect in groups of students. I don’t often fault this as they are true of my own life experience, however they are a little predictable. Each have their own woes and obstacles to overcome, some more important than others.
I found The God Game to be more plot driven as the time period covered didn’t demand much character development.
The story was a fun ride. Reading it was much like playing the game myself and with so many questions, (What is in the packages? Who created the game?) I had to keep turning the pages! The stakes ramp up faster and faster as we reach the final showdown against ‘God’.