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.
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.
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.
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.