Thursday, July 29, 2010

Guest Review-Dead Game

***My favorite guest reviewer, Jenn, is back!  Enjoy and be sure to leave a comment about how much you love her :)***

Jennifer Chase

In this Video Game, "Game Over" Means You're Dead

In her independent efforts to catch child killers, Emily Stone discovers the evidence that the cops can't--or won't--uncover.  Now, this covert investigator is back on the hunt for the world's most sick and twisted murderers.  But even with help from ex-police detective Rick Lopez, this time she's facing her most dangerous opponent yet.
The headlines in the San Jose Mercury News blare updates on a serial killer who seems to be able to slaughter with impunity.  Men, women--it doesn't matter; the victims serve only to satisfy a perverted need to kill.  The killer watches the moment of death on multiple computer screens, over and over again.  The only connection is that they're all devotees of the latest video game craze--a sophisticated brain-puzzler called EagleEye.

When the killer goes after Lopez's law-enforcement mentor, Lopez and Stone decide to give the cops a little extra, unsolicited help.  What follows takes them deep inside a shocking high-tech world, a kind of social networking community for serial killers.  But when they start getting too close to the truth, all hell's going to break loose.

Now, Stone and Lopez become the killer's next target as Stone must make a difficult decision to leave the ones she loves in an all-or-nothing effort for survival.  Can they stay alive long enough to blow the whistle on this unlikely perpetrator?

Jenn's Take:

I just don't know where to start with this one...what I will say is that I was instantly pulled into the story, found the characters relatable and well formed, and truly, honestly feel that the story itself was superb.  I must concede though, that regardless of my affinity for the story, it's various plot twists, and the eloquent settings for each moment of importance, I had a hard time with the book.  The further I delved into the story, the more disconnected I became.  The issue is not easily expressed, and the best example I can give is this:  I feel if a movie production company were to buy rights, and loosely base a story off of Dead Game, the movie would be an instant blockbuster hit.  Now, the dialogue would need to be changed slightly, there must be much less narration, and the actors cast must be incredibly strong.  The movie would be fabulous, but would also require significant changes in the actual plot twists themselves.  It is difficult to give an example without giving out spoilers, but in one particular incident, the plot twist occurred when a person was discovered to be something he wasn't.  But the way he got there did not seem like a natural character progression at all.  It was an awkward plot twits that felt like the author took the easy way out.  

There were many instances of such sell-outs, and I also had difficulty with the actual story-telling.  For example, the main character;s soul mate is captured by a serial killer.  They know where he is being held and are rushing to his aid.  While our character hurriedly changes out of her wet clothes, she captures her reflection in the mirror and the narration is as follows: "She had dropped more than five pounds during the last couple of days,  It seemed to scream out to her that she cold literally waste away."  The narration continues to stumble on, mentioning a cut on her face that would become a slight scar, etc.  Really?!  No.  There were many times I just wanted to throw the book down because, I'm sorry, but that is not the thought process that would run through one's mind in this situation.  Likewise, once in the car and on the way to her loved one's aid, she takes the time to compliment the newly declared FBI agent on his research in this case, noting the agency can certainly use someone like him.  Again, no!  You would simply tell him to drive faster!  There were also some awkward narrative statements such as using the word "literally" followed by something that was not literally happening, and excessive redundancy, were annoying at times.  And yet, the story...the story had so much potential and was thoroughly enjoyable!  I will give this book a rating of 3, Buy at a Used Book Store.  The rating is so high because I feel avid readers have overactive imaginations as  it is, and if you allow your mind to narrate this book, and fill it in how you feel appropriate, it's truly an intriguing and well done story.  Just try not to get too bogged down in the writing, which I realize is probably stylistic, but a style I do not personally care for.

Do you agree with the review?  Do you think it is totally off base?  Either way I'd love to hear from you, be sure to leave a comment and tell me how you feel!

If Dead Game were a movie, it would likely be rated R for some language, adult content, sexual reference, adult situations, strong, bloody violence, and partial nudity.

A few words with the author, Jennifer Chase:

The Book Buff: What inspired you to write your first book?

Jennifer Chase: It was a past experience of living next door to a psychopathic neighbor that threatened me on daily/weekly basis.  It inspired me to write a thriller novel about serial killers.

TBB: Is there a message in your novel that you want your readers to grasp?

JC: I hope in some small way that readers gain more insight into serial crime and take the time to look out for one another.

TBB: When did you begin writing?

JC: I’ve always enjoyed writing ever since I was a young child.  I would write silly scripts for my stuffed animals and short stories.

TBB: If you had to choose something besides writing, what career would you choose?

JC: It would be some type of a criminal investigator or FBI agent because of my intense interest in criminology and forensics.

TBB: What is your favorite interview question?

JC: Why write about serial killers?  My answer is always, why not?  The storyline possibilities are endless when dealing with the criminal mind.

TBB: Do you have something you are working on at the moment that you’d like to share with us?

JC: I’m currently finishing up a cop thriller “Silent Partner” that will be out in the fall.  The story revolves around a K9 police officer that becomes involved with an agoraphobic woman accused of murdering her sister.  He finds himself caught in a web of lies and deception. Can he protect her from her fears, both real and imagined before it’s too late?

TBB: Is there a website or page you would like to be included on your review post?

JC: My blog:

My website: 
***FTC Disclosure:  This book was provided in exchange for an honest review, no other compensation was given, all opinions are my own***

If you are interested in purchasing Dead Game, please consider supporting The Book Buff by purchasing from the following Amazon link, thank you!



Cassiopeia said...

Hi Kate!

I love the way you rate your books so readers will know the content.

Here's a blogger's award for you

Steph said...

Thoughts of a Book Junky here, just wanted to let you know that you have an award over at my blog. You have a great blog and I wanted to recognize you for it. Keep up the good work and doing what you love to do.

CBM said...

This blog is definately worthy of awards. The content is wonderful.

Anonymous said...

I don't read as often as I should probably because I cannot find books that i can get interested in. I should probably read more book reviews.

This review was excellent. I think I'll be picking this book up sometime soon. I'll be sure to get it used though. I'll also keep in mind your review while reading, this way, I too, can keep reading and not want to put the book down.


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