Genius: The Game 

Genius: The Game 

Genius: The Game sounded exactly like a book I wanted for my high school classroom library. A competition, tech savvy kids and an unbelievable prize: I imagined something like Ready Player One, a book that was a big hit with my guy readers.  And best, James Patterson blurbed it – my kids loved his Maximum Ride books.  Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my expectations.  I was bored for a good majority of the book.  However, the book has its staunch supporters.  I gave it two stars, but it averaged three and a half stars on Goodreads.


Goodreads Summary

Trust no one. Every camera is an eye. Every microphone an ear. Find me and we can stop him together.

The Game: Get ready for Zero Hour as 200 geniuses from around the world go head to head in a competition hand-devised by India’s youngest CEO and visionary.
The Players:
Rex- One of the best programmers/hackers in the world, this 16-year-old Mexican-American is determined to find his missing brother.

Tunde-This14-year-old self-taught engineering genius has drawn the attention of a ruthless military warlord by single-handedly bringing electricity and internet to his small Nigerian village.

Painted Wolf-One of China’s most respected activist bloggers, this mysterious 16-year-old is being pulled into the spotlight by her father’s new deal with a corrupt Chinese official.

The Stakes: Are higher than you can imagine. Like life and death. Welcome to the revolution. And get ready to run

My Thoughts

What sounded like a really compelling adventure turned out to be a bit of a snooze.  The descriptions are straightforward and bland, the dialogue is unremarkable except for the fact that I noticed how dull and unremarkable it was, and the plot is predictable.  I was honestly expecting a really engaging story that would capture my imagination, and I’ll admit that I did enjoy the puzzles presented in the actual competition, but I wasn’t connected to the characters nor was I really invested in the outcome (because who didn’t see that coming from the start?). The heavy foreshadowing killed the suspense.  It is a bit of a conundrum because the characters are suppose to be smart and discerning, so I think the problem is that the villains need to really be smarter if this story is going to work.  I think readers will be annoyed that the book doesn’t really resolve many of the conflicts, but I’m not sure they will be invested enough to look for a follow up book to get those resolutions.  Language and situations are appropriate for grades 7+.

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

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