Game Trilogy, #1

This was a really interesting book that drew me in immediately and had my heart pounding in my chest as I was frantically turning the pages. We’re introduced to Henrik “HP” Pettersson, a Swedish guy who loves to party and can’t hold a job to save his life. He’s a slacker in every sense of the word. After one night of partying, while he’s returning home on the train, he sees a phone sitting on a seat nearby, but no one is around him. He decides to pick it up and play with it. To his surprise, it’s a strange model that he’s never seen before this. Before he can find out any information on it, a red light begins to flash on it and it asks him if he’d like to play a game. Without hesitation, he hits the “no” button. Still fidgeting with it, he receives another message, a bit more personalized this time saying, “Wanna play a game, Henrik Pettersson?” Now he’s thinking it’s a prank being played on him by one of his close friends, but to his surprise, it’s not. After thinking about it, he decides to accept the challenge. From this moment on, he’s in for the ride of his life and he never thinks that he’ll have to fight to stay alive, but he does.

What a great debut story to this Game Trilogy Series. Originally this book was released in Sweden and from what I read, it did very well. Now the author has U.S. rights and it’ll be released here at the end of the year. I think it’ll do just as well here as it did in Sweden. Right from the start, I felt I was on a crazy ride seeing and doing everything that the Game Master told HP he had to do to gain points, recognition and money. At first, these pranks were mild, but quickly they intensified and I knew that HP was in over his head. The author created his storyline and characters to be extremely believable to me and I could see everything that HP was doing as if I was standing next to him. There was only a minor gripe I had that the book lagged a bit from time to time, but overall this was a great introduction to this new series.

When Henrik “HP” Pettersson sees a phone on a nearby seat on the train, he can’t help but pick it up so he can play with it. Surprisingly, the phone begins to ask him questions and he thinks his friends are playing a prank on him. When he finally decides to accept the invitation to play “the game,” he never realizes that it may very well be the last thing he does before either being arrested or more seriously, killed. What are some of the tasks the Game Master asks HP to perform? What happens when he starts really getting into the game? Is he able to quit it at any time?

Book Blurb for Game

The first novel in a groundbreaking international thriller trilogy about a deadly game that blurs the line between reality and fiction.

After a long night of partying, Henrik “HP” Pettersson, a slacker with a big ego and no impulse control, heads home on the train. Finding a mobile phone from an unknown company, HP begins receiving messages—addressed to him—inviting him to play a game by a secret and insistent master. HP doesn’t hesitate and agrees to play.

HP is the perfect contender: he is alienated from society, devoid of morals, and wants to be a star. The assignments, ranging from childish pranks to criminal acts, are all filmed and uploaded onto a protected server where viewers rate the players’ performances. Everything is coordinated by a mysterious Game Master, unknown to the players or the viewers. But before long, the game spills out into the real world and threatens innocent people.

HP’s sister, Rebecca, is a bodyguard with the Swedish Security Police. The opposite of her brother, she is haunted by traumatic memories and dark secrets from her past. As the game continues, Rebecca begins to realize that her past may not be so secret after all. HP’s assignments become increasingly risky, and he pushes beyond acceptable limits, determined to become a superstar. In the hunt for bigger risks, HP loses touch with reality and puts his own sister in danger. Will HP’s loyalty to the game win out over his love for his family? Or will he come back to reality and save his sister?

With an intriguing blend of break-neck suspense, humor, and informed commentary on social media, Game takes international crime fiction to the next level.

Night Owl Reviews Dec, 2013 4.00