Reviewed by Andrée Walch
The two main protagonists are Henke and Rebecca, his sister. Henke is simply hanging to life. Drugs, alcohol, petty thefts and so on are his main occupations. Rebecca is a police officer/body guard. They do not have much contact with each other, which does not mean that they do not love the other one and help out, if it is possible.
One day Henke sits in the train and finds a mobile. While he is thinking if it is worth taking to sell on later, the phone comes alive and invites him to a game. Intrigued and with nothing better to do with his life, Henke accepts and from that moment on his life gets much more interesting. Thrilling and … dangerous, even life-threatening. Because the game consists of doing stuff like spraying gas in the face of someone, rolling a stun grenade under the coach of the King of Sweden while he passes with his cortège, well, you can see in which direction it goes.
The story alternates between Henke and Rebecca. You start to wonder when both paths will cross. The first time they do it nearly costs Rebecca her life, without her knowing that her brother provoked the incident.
To make it short the whole story leads you into the world of hackers, bloggers (you ever wonder how some hotels have always such good feedback on certain sites?), internet, IT services, betrayal, violence and so on. The GAME, the Game Master, Henke’s friend Manga (who wants to be called Farouk because he has converted to Islam, and who is an IT genius); the intrigue flows through all three books. The story is well-written, but …
After the first two books I had to take a break of several weeks before being ready to continue on with book three. I could not take it anymore, it was simply too much, I had become fed up. The constant changing between Henke’s and Rebecca’s point of view started to get to me. Also, some situations fitting so perfectly into each other… For example, Henke jumps from a building to save his life and lands – on the roof of his sister’s car, which is parked right underneath, although first Rebecca wanted to go some place different and had a very sudden change of mind.
I cannot complain that the story is not plausible. No, it is, it is well-written, well thought through and believable. But only up to a certain point. Perhaps with having or taking a break after each book the story would not seem so oppressing?
Also, in every stage of Henke’s life something happens to him. There is not one moment where he can simply hang around and just be. The story leads him to different parts of the world before bringing him back to Stockholm, where the whole game finally comes to an end, with a final betrayal and revealing who the Game Master is. Well, this one I saw coming slowly but surely throughout book number 3, Bubble.
I do not know how the publisher wants to sell this trilogy, one book after the other or all three together in a package, but, and this is purely my personal opinion, I would recommend taking a break between reading the different books. Let it sit for a while and then go on with the next book. I was so “full” with the first two books that I was afraid that I might hate the third one if I went right on reading it without taking a break.
All in all Anders de la Motte’s Game Trilogy is not bad at all, it is an interesting milieu and the storyline is a bit different from the many other books you can find in the Mysteries/Thrillers corner.
Blogmistress’s note: The publisher decided just the opposite, and released all three books in December. The original books, in Swedish, were released one year apart each time.
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