Netgalley Review – Genius: The Game

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I received an e-arc of this book from netgalley and this is my honest review.

Release Date:

May 3rd, 2016

Read Date:

June 2016

Chronology:

First in a series (I think)

Star Rating:

4 Stars

(Mostly because a lot of the science went over my head despite it being fasinating and because I thought it was a standalone but it isn’t and THE SEQUEL ISN’T CONFIRMED AND NOW I WANT TO KILL THINGS) <- My short review

Official 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– This 14-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 Review:

Genius is a book I don’t really know how to explain. It was really well written, with nice, clean descriptions and dialogue. The characters, both major and minor, are interesting and complex, and there is a wide range of racial diversity without falling on stereotypes, in some places doing the opposite, which was a nice change from the usual in YA books.

It is an intelligent book even if the plot isn’t very complex. There is a bit of a twist at the end, but it was the sort of twist that makes me go “oh, now that makes sense” rather than “oh my god what the hell” which I prefer. The plot and characters were easy to follow and understand, but it isn’t very good for your self esteem since a lot of the (fictional) science is explained in quite a bit of detail that goes over my head in some places (to be fair, I am more biologically inclined than mechanically inclined). Charlie the beetle was hands down my favorite thing ever.

It is the first in a series which I didn’t realize at first, and a lack of information about the next book is stressing me out. It ends on a very stressful place. Despite the relative predictability of the plot, the characters and the science fiction is interesting enough to hold my attention. The illustrations are really cool too.

This is a modern day science fictional book. Most of the inventions of the book haven’t been achieved, but are the sort of thing that could conceivably exist within a decade. It almost doesn’t feel like science fiction, more like a fictional science book.

I will say that despite a few problems I had with it, it was a solidly enjoyable book, but it isn’t for everyone. For one thing, it is a heavily stressful book, the action starts early and doesn’t ease up to let you breathe, and each of our three POV characters not only have their shared drama, but their individual stresses. It is also a book that makes you think. The science is fully elaborated to seem real, paragraphs of code are inserted and not entirely explained. Unless you like science, you aren’t going to like this book. But if you like or want to pursue computer science, coding, or engineering, then I think you would really love this novel.

Quotes:

Not going to do this this time because it is just a book you need to read for anything to make sense.

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