Saturday, April 30, 2016

Review: Genius: The Game

Title: Genius: The Game
Author: Leopoldo Gout
Series: Untitled
Volume: 1
Publication Date: May 3, 2016

eARC recieved through NetGalley

A Quick Introduction: India's youngest CEO, Kiran Biwas, is collecting the most brilliant young minds from around the world for The Game, a competition designed to test the genius of the contestants. Among those contestants are Rex; a brilliant programmer desperate to find his older brother, Tunde; a self-taught engineer from Nigeria whose home is threatened by a powerful warlord, and Painted Wolf; one of China's most respected activist bloggers. They've known each other for a while, but this is their first time meeting in person. They're going to need each other, because The Game is just the beginning, and Kiran Biwas has a more far-reaching and sinister purpose.

Out of Ten: 7/10

Review at a Glance: A fast, fun read about brilliant teenagers facing challenges both inside and outside of a game designed to challenge their intellects.

Review: I can definitely see the James Patterson-influence in this one. It has a lot of the stuff that I actually enjoyed about James Patterson's work, in the humour, the pacing, and, in a lot of ways, some of the threats the characters face.

I do really enjoy reading about geniuses (genii? I was never sure of the proper plural). I just really like reading about smart people, I'm not sure why- probably just that I really admire intelligence. So this was up my alley in that respect. This book offered peeks into the brilliant protagonist's minds in the form of some of the code, upcycled invention designs, and information gathering heists, and instant messaging conversations, in addition to the alternating first-person narration. I overall really liked that. While the technical component may be somewhat out of my depth, this novel does a pretty good job of making the overall concepts accessible enough for the general audience.

Is the plot far out there? Yes. The issues the characters face individually are very real, but the thing that brings them in real life is a lot more out there. The villain, if you will, is another place that was kind of James Patterson-esque in that it is a business man with a doomsday plan (oh dear, that rhymed didn't it? Oh well, too late, no take-backs), in a way that was a little over-the-top. However, it kind of worked for the story, especially with the characters facing other challenges.

Overall, I found this once a fast-paced, fun read, and I'm really looking forward to seeing where the story goes next!

Aside from being reminded of  James Patterson's work, this book also reminded me of Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. The tech-savvy protagonists are struggling with some very real issues, especially the freedom of information. Both are fast-paced. If you found the coding, hacking, and tech. in Genius: The Game  was up your alley, I'd definitely recommend picking this one up.


  1. Hmm, while the concept behind this one sounds really interesting I'm not sure I can get behind a plot that's too far out there. The characters do sound great though! Nice review :)

    1. It is a little out there- in a lot of ways it feels... comic-y almost? It's the kind of plot that wouldn't be out of place in a comic, if that makes sense. Which is both a pro and a con.

      (Darn, now I want to see this book as a graphic novel... it would make a good one.)