Tag: Science FIction

The God Game

The God Game
Author:  Danny Tobey
To Be Published: January 7,  2020
496 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 18-28, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

You are invited!
Come inside and play with G.O.D.
Bring your friends!
It’s fun!
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?

And what of the game’s first promise: win, win big, lose, you die? Dying in a virtual world doesn’t really mean death in real life—does it?

As Charlie and his friends try to find a way out of the game, they realize they’ve been manipulated into a bigger web they can’t escape: an AI that learned its cruelty from watching us.

God is always watching, and He says when the game is done.

Jessica’s Review:

We are beginning to get more novels that reflect the way society is heading and The God Game is one of them. The God Game is an Augmented Reality game that you play on your phone, such as Pokémon Go and its predecessor Ingress. I played Ingress for a while and enjoyed it and the beginning of the novel seemed like ‘what if The God Game was Ingress but thought it was real and thought it was actually God???’  That is what interested me in reading The God Game.

Charlie and his small group of friends, The Vindicators, are tech savvy misfits who all have various negative home issues. A lot of the book dealt with coding, which I know nothing about so that all went over my head.  The characters are YA but this novel is not.  This will be for the older and more mature teens (16+) as the themes and language reflect.  There are a handful of anti-Trump references throughout the novel, which shows the teens maturity level.  But I have to admit, the first couple of references were entertaining in how they got the game’s attention. ( I don’t really like politics showing up in the novels I read).

Once our group realizes how much the game affects real life and the consequences of playing they begin trying to beat the game.  But can you beat the all knowledgeable and all-powerful god?  Or at least an AI that believes it is God?  There are Bible references throughout as the AI quotes verses.

Tobey did a great job with developing this group of misfits and building his story. I found myself more connected with The Vindicators home issues and wanting to see what would happen there.  The last 50-60 pages really moved for me. It definitely picked up and I wanted to see what was going to happen. But the ending and this novel were really just not for me.  If you are a gamer, coder, or have more than basic computer knowledge I can see you enjoying this novel more. 

**Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press for sending me an arc to read and review.**

Pre-order Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK (Out on January 9, 2020)

Blog Tour: The Cinderella Plan

Today I share my review as a part of the blog tour for The Cinderella Plan by Abi Silver.  This Science Fiction/Legal Thriller shows us where our future may go with autonomous vehicles.  This one really left me thinking about this topic afterwards!

**There is also a giveaway going on for those of you lucky enough to be in the UK!**

Book Description:

When James Salisbury, the owner of a British car manufacturer, ploughs his ‘self-drive’ car into a young family, the consequences are deadly. Will the car’s ‘black box’ reveal what really happened or will the industry, poised to launch these products to an eager public, close ranks to cover things up?

James himself faces a personal dilemma. If it is proved that he was driving the car he may go to prison.   But if he is found innocent, and the autonomous car is to blame, the business he has spent most of his life building, and his dream of safer transport for all, may collapse.

Lawyers Judith Burton and Constance Lamb team up once again, this time to defend a man who may not want to go free, in a case that asks difficult questions about the speed at which technology is taking over our lives.

Author: Abi Silver
Published: July 11, 2019
272 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 18-26, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Jessica’s Review:

All science fiction is fiction until it becomes science fact and we are heading in the direction of autonomous/driverless cars. Though is novel is not exactly science fiction, it is more of a legal thriller, but The Cinderella Plan leaves you thinking about that future and the effects surrounding that society.

James Salisbury owns a British car manufacturer of autonomous vehicles and drives one himself. One day tragedy happens: James and the autonomous vehicle are involved in a deadly accident.  Autonomous vehicles cannot have accidents….Or can they?  This is the impasse that James faces as he has no memory of the accident: Was he responsible? If so, then he faces prison.  If he was not responsible and the vehicle was to blame, there goes his business he has tirelessly worked for many years. For James, he loses no matter what the verdict is: guilty or not guilty.

From the start, I was pulled into the story as we experience the accident.  The actual court case was a bit too technical for me, so it dragged at times.  It is obvious that Silver did her research as she wrote this novel.  There are also some unexpected twists that occur. Silver also mentions how autonomous vehicles effect everything, including laws and everyday business. The novel also shows what the positives and negatives of autonomous vehicles are. The Cinderella Plan does really make you think about the future with these vehicles:

Once I finished The Cinderella Plan I was thinking about how soon we might be 100% autonomous vehicles. I honestly do not seeing that happening in the immediate future as I live in a state where you need a vehicle to get where you need to go as public transportation is not readily available everywhere.  In fact, there is a big stigma towards it. These cars would be expensive and the average driver in my state would not be able to afford one.  Autonomous vehicles may be coming soon, but I think it will be a long time before we are using 100% autonomous vehicles.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Lightning Books Website
**Readers can order the book from the Lightning Books website at 50% off (with free UK p&p) if you enter this code at checkout – BLOGTOURCIND

About the Author:

Yorkshire-bred, Abi Silver is a lawyer by profession. She lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and three sons. Her first courtroom thriller featuring the legal duo Judith Burton and Constance Lamb, The Pinocchio Brief, was published by Lightning Books in 2017 and was shortlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award. Her follow-up The Aladdin Trial, featuring the same legal team, was published in 2018.

Read more about Abi and her work at www.abisilver.co.uk .

Contact Abi:
Website
Twitter: @abisilver16

**UK GIVEAWAY**

Win 5 x PB of The Cinderella Plan

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman

Authors:
Neal Shusterman

Jarrod Shusterman
Published: October 2, 2018
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 10-17, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

When the California drought escalates to catastrophic proportions, one teen is forced to make life and death decisions for her family in this harrowing story of survival from New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman.

The drought—or the Tap-Out, as everyone calls it—has been going on for a while now. Everyone’s lives have become an endless list of don’ts: don’t water the lawn, don’t fill up your pool, don’t take long showers.

Until the taps run dry.

Suddenly, Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a warzone of desperation; neighbors and families turned against each other on the hunt for water. And when her parents don’t return and her life—and the life of her brother—is threatened, Alyssa has to make impossible choices if she’s going to survive.

Jessica’s Review:

Between reading Hanna Jameson’s The Last and now Dry and watching ‘Walking Dead’ type shows/movies I now want to stock up on everything and be ready for the end of civilization! Especially water: You cannot live without water after a few days.  Dry has totally freaked me out and I want to be prepared!  Everything about Dry felt real to me. It takes place in southern California (OMG, this happened in the USA!) and the water has run completely out.  The desperation of everyone is captured brilliantly and we see how people become in impossible situations. 

Our protagonists are young adults, so they will come with immaturity, but I was completely drawn into the story! You don’t know what is going to happen and who will die or live.  For a while I thought we were going to have a ‘Mist movie type ending’ and OMG, that would be jaw dropping as it is so realistic and not a happy ending. 

Shusterman does such a wonderful job making you think about things long after you have finished his books.  He continues this with Dry.  Dry has you thinking about what you will do and who will you become when the Tap-Out eventually happens.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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