Publisher's Summary

What if life as we know it was just a game?
What if instead of traditional schools, children learned by participating in a virtual reality simulation, one that allowed them to experience "life" from birth to death - multiple times?
What if one player, on his final play, could change the world forever?
©2015 Terry Schott (P)2016 Podium Publishing
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Khada on 03-01-2017

A good concept mired by lazy writing.

Any additional comments?


The concept of The Game is a somewhat classic and attractive concept to sci-fi fans; that of a completely immersive VR world akin to that found in The Matrix. It plays with interesting ideas like 'what if life is just a computer simulation', and 'how might society change in response to the development of highly advanced VR'.

In general, the writing style and character development are fairly solid, and the performance is great. But the world-building itself, the most interesting prospect of the book, is executed terribly, and between the lines can be found an anti-atheistic message.

I get the distinct impression that this book was written for teens. Not in that the content itself is targeted towards teens, but rather, that there is an assumption of undeveloped intelligence and a lack of worldly knowledge that the author has used to justify lazy world building.

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To give a few examples (very mild spoilers):

1) We are told that viewing players in the game has replaced all other forms of entertainment (TV, movies, books, video games, etc). The only explanation given is that watching important, extraordinary, or popular people live out their day-to-day lives is obviously better entertainment, which it obviously is not.

2) We are told that time passes at a rate of 1 virtual year per 1 real day. We are also told that it is impossible to record the game. No explanation is given as to why recording is impossible (or how viewings are done), and no explanation as to how viewing is possible, especially given the differing rates of time, and no ability to record (and thus no playing back recorded video at a slower speed).

3) Lastly, we are told, in several pieces, that society has changed to completely revolve around the game. This includes the economy, education, entertainment, and the extreme classism that has since developed. Nearly no details are offered to explain how this came to be, or how society currently functions. There is, in essence, nearly zero actual word-building.

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The book also seems to promote an approach to life that abandons healthy scepticism and rational inquiry. While the protagonists seek out and absorb all that alternative medicine and religious studies have to offer, there's a telling absence of interest in science and evidence-based medicine. There also seems to be the clear message that faith and prayer are positive and effective forces, and that the absence of religion would ruin society.

I've read and enjoyed many fictional books with religion, magic, spirituality, or angels and demons as a central theme, the problem here is the execution; its inclusion seems to be for the purpose of delivering a message, rather than serving the story. I might not have bothered with this point if I weren't convinced that the book is targeted at a younger audience.

In closing, this book was a huge disappointment for me, and I certainly won't be purchasing its sequels. Decerning readers of fantasy and sci-fi should consider looking elsewhere.

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30 of 40 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By michael on 12-03-2017

Great book, if you like exposition.

This book lacked story, excitement, and real character development. I felt that 2/3 of the book was exposition. so much of the book was spent explaining the concepts of the world rather than moving along the story. Sure, the exposition was done in a variety of ways that kept it fresh, but there was simply too much of it.
The audio performance was great.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Adam Wilson on 24-02-2017

Didn't grip me until the end

Promise for a very good story but I dont think I'll go any further.
I can see why people like the book so much the writer is clearly very talented and the performance is fantastic,did keep me entertained.
As said in the headline the end of the book was fantastic, I was expecting something with the few explanations before hand and character re-appearance but it did surprise me!
That said, it was a little drawn out. Over explanations on things, some characters I'm still a bit confused about but no doubt that gets ironed out later on. I just have a feeling the talking and explanations will draw out even more in the next few books so will keep it on the shelf.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Michael on 14-02-2017

Was Expecting Morer

What other book might you compare The Game to, and why?

Ready Player One (but not as good).

Which character – as performed by Luke Daniels – was your favourite?

I though Luke Daniels did a marvellous job with all the characters but none of them really resonated with me which surprised me as I've been toying with the idea that this world is a simulation from well before The Matrix movies; I would have expected to connect in some way with a character thinking the same way.

Any additional comments?

This is an entertaining book with a good twist on the "gamer" type story. I do think the author could have done so much more with the idea by really tying it into the reader's life. I believe that a really great author could have struck a chord with his audience and left readers wondering if our reality might actually be a simulation as well but unfortunately this book never achieved that. It is worth a listen though and I will probably get the other books in the series to find out what happens to the characters.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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