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sarahf1984

Sarah's Library

I read pretty much anything, from fantasy (City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett) to romance (Bared to You by Sylvia Day) to classics (Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad).  The only genres I don't read are self-help and comic books/graphic novels.

Currently reading

The Last Honeytrap
Louise Lee
Progress: 100/346 pages
Complete Works of William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare

Game (The Game Trilogy, #1) by Anders de la Motte

Game  - Neil Smith, Anders de la Motte

11/2 - Swedish/Danish stories are over-running our screens and pages. You can hardly look at a tv trailer or check out the new releases without coming across something from Denmark or Sweden. Not that I'm complaining, without them I would have missed out on great tv like The Bridge and The Killing or fantastic books like Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Game. That's right, 62 pages in and I'm already calling it fantastic. It's half gamer/techno thriller, half crime drama (at least so far).

I like Rebecca a lot more than HP at the moment because every time I read an HP scene I get the feeling that his next assignment will involve committing violence (or even murder) against another person and his punishment for failing to complete the assignment (which is what I assume would happen, at least the first time) is sure to be dreadful pain and suffering of himself or someone he loves (his sister Rebecca, for example). The scene where Rebecca is doing some personal defence training with her alpha group teammates and is caught in a suffocating headlock, but manages to harness her panic into an explosive attack, resulting in her 'attacking' teammate down on the floor with a broken nose gushing blood was very satisfying for one of those girls whose only weapon is her nails. I was especially triumphant when the instructor praised her and basically told her teammate to suck it up. It reminded me of a scene in the Buffy episode, Phases, the one where Oz first finds out he's a werewolf and Larry admits to Xander that he's gay. There's a scene in that episode where everyone is in gym class and they are paired up in order for the girls to practice self-defence - Cordelia and Xander, Willow and Oz, and unfortunately for Buffy she's paired with Larry. Willow has been warning Buffy that she has to act more like a 'girly girl' who can't kick vampires over the fence, and, to begin with Buffy attempts to remember this. Larry doesn't make this easy, as he makes lewd comments and sexual innuendos out of the feeble grunts Buffy emits as she 'attempts' to flip him over her shoulder, as the teacher is instructing the girls to do. In the end Buffy's had enough and oops, there he goes flying through the air to land flat on his back. Willow gives Buffy an exasperated look, but all the girls (and some guys, too) at home (I'm sure) were going "Take that _______ (any boy who made life difficult during school)!!" Both great scenes of girls being underestimated because of their physical size - I love a strong female lead who blasts the chauvinistic opinions of her male counterparts by saving them/beating them in a physical competition. To be continued...

 

22/3 - I've really been looking forward to getting back to this after my forced intermission due to library due dates and fines. I considered reading back over my own review to re-familiarise myself with where I was up to in the plot, but then I forgot. It didn't matter though, because as soon as I found the page I was up to it and started reading it all came rushing back. I meant to say this earlier in my review, but I forgot - I don't like the cover image on my copy of the book. The woman playing Rebecca is fine, possibly more model-like, less ass-kicking security officer-like than I would've imagined, but HP has a slightly suave, artfully mussed look that is nothing like the way he's described in the book. In my head I've been seeing a cross between Seth Rogen, Michael Cena, and Jesse Eisenberg. A bit bumbling, not fit (but not fat), actually scruffy rather than artfully mussed, just not well put together. The cover model looks like what he is, a model (very handsome, actually, a cross between Ryan Reynolds and Jonny Lee Miller when he's doing the unshaved look), when he should have looked a bit unkempt, a few cheeseburgers away from 'dumpy'.  He should be wearing slightly ratty clothes (grey hoodie, worn black jeans, scuffed white sneakers, t-shirt with some kind of disaffected youth slogan on it), not designer jeans and leather jacket and an over-priced plain black t-shirt, HP is not that smooth. To be continued...

 

23/3 - God HP is dense!!  How many times and in how many ways does Erman have to say it before the truth sinks through HP's thick skull?  The Game is using him!  He didn't choose to play The Game, The Game chose him to play.

 

Also, not a big fan of the way the story cuts from HP to Rebecca and back again for no apparent reason.  It's not like each interjection into HP's story takes us to breaking news in Rebecca's life or that there's some immediately obvious connection between those exact moments in Rebecca and his lives.  The interjections seem to happen at random moments and take us to mostly irrelevant (at least to what's happening to HP) events.  Maybe the connections will become clear later, but at the moment they're just confusing and disturbing to the flow of the main plot - HP's.  To be continued...

 

Later that night - On page 215 HP says that he can believe that he was tricked into taking part in The Game, and that bored rich guys were betting on him for their entertainment; but he can't believe that it's being played all around the world, that jobs can be contracted out through The Game and that there are players in every walk of life, that anyone might be an 'ant' sent to watch him.  HIs refusal (in the face of good evidence) to believe what's right in front of his face just screams of stupidity, to me.  His apartment's been set on fire, Manga/Farook's work place was set on fire and the whole thing would have been filmed if the police hadn't coincidentally been just around the corner to respond to the emergency call and scare off the arsonists, he's come to the conclusion (on his own) that he was set up at the bridge due to his personal belongings being planted at the scene of the crime, he was hunted down by some kind of light aircraft and nearly killed (out in the middle of nowhere, when the only 'thing' that knew where he was going was Google).  Looking at that damning pile of evidence how can HP continue to shut his eyes and stick his head in the sand?  The Game is a giant, multi-country, multi-million (maybe even multi-billion) dollar business with its fingers in a lot of different pies.  It has people available to hire for all kinds of jobs - no job is too big or too small - bank robbery, intimidation, arson, grand theft auto, impersonation, even assassination.  Whatever you need they'll handle it, as long as you can pay.  I believe it and no one's tried to mow me down with light aircraft today.  To be continued...

 

Even later that night (actually, really early the next morning) - All through the last few chapters I've been making snarky comments at HP's idiotic response to the events going on around him.  If I was an updater and had the laptop handy (currently sitting up in bed, reading, which is where I do my best reading) I would be sniping at that idiot with every other sentence.  He just saw the

report about Erman's likely incineration on the

(show spoiler)

news and I was like "Are you scared now?  Do you now understand that The Game is dangerous?  Yes, you fool,

you're the one who got Erman killed.  If he hadn't agreed to see you and help you he would most likely still be alive.

(show spoiler)

Do you still think he's crazy, or is what he said starting to make a bit more sense?"  I also said "Duh!" a lot and rolled my eyes frequently.  I just want to say a blanket "DUH!!!" to all the conclusions HP is finally coming to (the same ones I came to about 200 pages ago).  Everything he thinks is stupid and it seems to be making me stupid because the only word I can come up with as I read is "Duh".  So, I hope if I throw out a giant blanket of "Duh" it'll be out of my system and I'll go back to my normal level of intelligence when writing reviews (above average, if I can say that without sounding boastful).

 

Only a few pages later - After that "Duh" dump intelligence immediately came flooding back, prompting me to wonder if

Erman's cabin fire really was the work of The Game.  Maybe Erman lit it himself in order to once again become invisible.  As long as he had plenty of cash, a vehicle and somewhere to go he could easily drop right back off the map, never to be seen again (no way he's gonna trust anyone again after his attempt to help a friend of a friend put his life in danger).  They haven't found a body yet, and even if they did it could be a plant to throw investigators off the scent.  I wouldn't put it past a man as paranoid as Erman  to have a body/skeleton double hanging around just in case the shit hit the fan and he had to get away clean (only works if they think you're dead).

(show spoiler)

 

Page 221 - "...perfectly ordinary office building..." well what the hell did you think it was going to be?  A casino with "Play The Game here!" in neon lights?  They're trying to be inconspicuous, so it's not likely they would want records of anything to do with the real business that goes on inside showing up on a Google search.  If I was going to hide The Game's head offices I would go with a medical supply warehouse that really does hold and ship out medical supplies, at least that's what you'd see if you went in the front door; but if you went round the back you would find banks of computers with people tracking bets, jobs for players, player payments, etc.  If you're going to have a front for an illegal operation you need to have something real, not something that just looks good on paper.  When the inspectors show up (and they will, they always do) you can show them that you are exactly what your tax return says you are - a medical supply warehouse.  To be continued...

 

24/3 - Only 65 pages to go, I'm definitely gonna to finish this tonight! Yay! I can't wait to see how it all ends, except it's not really ending because Game is only the first book in a trilogy. So really, I should be saying, I can't wait to see what questions are left unanswered, if there's a heart-pounding cliff-hanger where we're not sure if someone will live or die. One thing I am very curious about is the identity of the person/s leaving notes in Rebecca's locker at work and now calling her home phone, letting the answering machine pick up, but not leaving a message. Leaving Rebecca to come home to numerous messages that all turn out to be hang-ups. Almost as creepy as hang-ups or mouth-breathers in the middle of night. I hope we get further clues about that mystery before the end of the book. I'm getting a little tired of HP's voice with all his excuses for why he still wants to continue playing The Game, despite the damage it's done to his friend's and family's lives (selfish fool), so Rebecca's become much more interesting and sympathetic to listen to. To be continued...

Later that night - Great ending, very edge-of-your-seat reading (although there was no real cliff-hanger of is he/she going to live or die). The mystery behind the notes and the work day hang-ups was solved and you'll never guess how it comes out (I'm the queen of wild theories and this one didn't even cross my mind). The final twist in the tale (I love it when that happens, a shocker is revealed in the last sentences of the book, like in Scream 4, the one with Emma Roberts, I had no idea who the real killer was until they were revealed and I actually said "Oh! They're the one?!" out loud in the cinema, to the embarrassed horror of my friends). Can't WAIT for the next book to be available at the library.