For those of you that don’t know, my husband is a bit of a computer genius. He can spend hours staring at random dots and slashes (that to any “normal person” (like myself) looks like nothing more than gibber jabber) and definitively determine who/what/when/and where something may or may not be occurring. He speaks a language that I fail to understand (usually including words like: bit, ram, server, cache, appatach…I could keep going.) and can usually fix anything (in 5 minutes or less) that my computer illiterate ass can screw up.
Because of this deep understanding of the digital world, he is Captain Paranoid when it comes to online security. Me? Not so much. Sure…I’ve watched Hackers, and heard horror stories about identity theft, but much like any 85 year old Grandpa who has a hard time using Google, I just assume nothing bad is going to happen to me and I go about my day.
Last month however, I stumbled upon this web series called Cybergeddon and reality finally smacked me square in the jaw. Sure…I knew it was just a show, (and the possibility of me being hunted down by a deranged lunatic with a grudge was about as likely as me eating a cockroach for fun) but something struck a chord with me.
We are all connected!
Over the years we have become slaves to the internet. Privacy? Pffft. Forget it! Every piece of personal information we possess is tucked away somewhere in some digital file just waiting to be exploited. And that is a pretty scary thought.
But not as scary as Shane Scollins “The Game.” After reading this…I’m just gonna go with “F’d up book”… I am making a vow to be a little more careful. Also…I’ve decided that “shoot first, ask questions later” might not be such a bad motto to have in some circumstances. (David would be so proud.)
Well…since I’m feeling extra generous today, I’ve decided to serve up the “happy side” of this book review first. Which, coincidently enough, is about the first half of the book.
Up until the 52% mark in “The Game” I was one sadistically happy camper. People’s lives were being ruined left and right. A group of expertly penned nefarious foes were blissfully residing in Crazy Town. And the amount of goosebumps popping up on my forearms made me look more like a leaper than a enraptured reader. In short: it was a 5 star read backed by a 6 star dose of WTCrapology is wrong with people!! I loved it.
Imagine for a second that the ladies of the “Real Housewives” franchises were kidnapped by Jigsaw (from Saw movie madness.) And then the whole debacle (the puzzles, the gore, the struggle to survive) were broadcasts to the masses as some sort of sick sociological experiment (complete with American Idol type text voting to let a player live another day.) This is the type of chaos that resided in the first half of “The Game.”
Candice was just an innocent girl, minding her own business, when a psycho with an agenda (that apparently involved sticking it to the producers of crap reality TV) decided he liked her unique combination of looks and gumption. (See…sometimes is sucks to be the hot one.) As a result, she spends the first half of the book in a wild goose chase to save not only herself but several others from impending doom.
Makes you shudder right? Trust me when I say…it gets so much more mucked up than that. (Can you say ring of fire and tar?)
But..with the good comes the bad. Which (unfortunately) pretty much encompasses the entire second half of the book. (*insert sad face*)
Not only did “the game” end abruptly (Not that I was pulling for more torture…it just seemed quick.) but at that 52% mark the entire structure of the story changed from Horror to Paranormal. Now..before you give me a hard time by reminding me that it says “paranormal twist” in the synopsis, I know! I also know when something just isn’t working. And the slap shot feeling that assaulted my chest in a matter of one freaking sentence had me rolling over in agony.
Who here has read David Levithan’s novel “Every Day” about a boy who body hops? This is basically the premise (though slightly more complicated and apparently comes with a pink clad Colonel Sanders) of the entire second half of the novel. Goodbye crazy train. Hello WTF! My mind was on overdrive before this point. Picking up and selfishly devouring the awesomeness of gruesomeness and then WHAM! I hit a brick wall and never recovered.
As a matter of fact…there are TWO quotes from the book that sum up my thoughts exactly.
To make a very long rant short…it was like the book had split personality disorder, and apparently I liked Brutus the Butcher much more than Betty the…screw it, I can’t think of anything witty.
My final verdict. If you enjoy horror I encourage you to take a chance. The beginning really is a big ol chunk of YES!!!! As for the rest of you…I say ‘meh. Take it or leave it.
Happy Reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: It’s ok if you talk to yourself. Just don’t start answering.
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Authors That Have Inspired Me
Guest Post by Shane Scollins
I was not a good student. I hated school and took the easy road whenever possible. When I was in high school, I took a creative writing class. I did this because I knew it would be easy. Teachers had been telling me I was a good writer since as far back as I can remember. It was not something I learned but something I already had in me, so I used it whenever possible to breeze through assignments and classes. It worked a lot, except in math.
We got the assignment to write something based on a true story. I felt like having fun with my teacher so I wrote something twisted and spooky, far from reality, hoping to freak her out. The reaction was not what I expect. She liked it. In fact, she loved it. She started going over all the details with me and asking me what inspired it, acting like a fan and not a teacher. Then she said something odd, she said I reminded her of a young Dean Koontz. I said, “Who the heck is Dean Koontz?”
The next day she brought in a book by Dean Koontz. She’d just finished it and I thought I’d like it. Now, I must confess, I was not a big reader. I had pretty much scammed my way through book reports my entire school career, making up the details without ever reading a book. Unbelievably I got by.
I had tried to read many book by very famous writers. But I would usually get bored about a quarter of the way through. I found them too bogged with details or hopelessly predictable. I expected this book by Mr. Koontz to be the same. I could not have been more wrong. Right away Koontz had my attention and enough twists and turns that even I could not predict where it was going.
A couple of years after high school, my mother put another Koontz book in my stocking for Christmas. It made me think back to what that teacher said. If there was something in my writing that reminded a creative writing teacher of someone famous, perhaps I was meant to be a writer. I read that book, and then another two Koontz novels, and that touched off a reading frenzy. I kept reading everything I could like a madman. Every author and genre you could imagine. But I always ended up coming back to Koontz.
So although many authors have inspired me along the way, it was without a doubt Dean Koontz that excited me enough to want to be a writer. I wanted to take readers on unexpected and twisted journeys, and that is what I try to do every time.