Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Review: The Game by Monica Hughes

Genre: Dystopian | Sci-Fi


The Game is just the beginning...

It's the year 2154. Lisse and her friends have been deemed unemployable in the eyes of society. now they must scavenge the disintegrating city for food and shelter, just to make ends meet. 

But their dismal existence starts to look up when Lisse and her friends are invited to participate in The Game, an experience highly regarded in their society. The Game is a virtual reality experience where they are challenged to survive, But as they spend more time in The Game, the line between reality and fantasy starts to blur. What started as a simple exercise becomes a test of endurance, trust, and their will to live. 

The first time I tried to read this book I only got about a quarter of the way through. Every so often I would try to pick it up again, only to lose interest. On my way down to Florida recently, I decided to give it another chance. I started over and read it straight through.

I was delightfully surprised. While it wasn't as good as I had hoped it would be, The Game has a very interesting concept in terms of choosing people to start a new life on another planet. I know that is a huge spoiler, but this is a science fiction novel so be prepared.

The novel starts off with an overload of characters being thrown at the reader, and the plot is slow for several chapters. Call me crazy, but I tend to like books that have a swift moving plot. However, once Lisse (the protagonist) and her friends learn of the game, the plot picks up speed and gets interesting. The novel reminds me of Lowry's The Giver, but with less sophistication.

What I liked about The Game is the realistic way in which everyone acts and handles each other. Though the conversations are rather simple, Hughes emphasizes the difficulty the teens have at adapting to an environment completely different from everything they have known. Hughes did a wonderful job at creating the environments in the game. The problems within the government and society are realistic and we get enough of a glimpse to stay intrigued.

Overall, the third time around I enjoyed The Game. I would suggest it to Science Fiction lovers. At least give it a chance.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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