Expected Publication: August 1st 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire
At Cate’s isolated boarding school, Killer Game is a tradition. Only a select few are invited to play. They must avoid being killed by a series of thrilling pranks, and identify the murderer. But this time, it’s different: the game stops feeling fake and starts getting dangerous and Cate’s the next target. Can they find the culprit … before it’s too late?
Note: I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher. This in no way influences my opinion.
When I saw the premise of this book, I knew I had to have a copy. It looked like the perfect mystery designed to make me question my life choices after reading all night and having to get up at 5 to sort out my son. However, it wasn’t like this. At times, I found this easy to put down – while I wanted to know what happened, I wasn’t totally compelled to lose sleep over it. I think this book is just being re released under Sourcebooks Fire with a newer (I think a much nicer) cover.
The book centres around The Game. There is basically a killer and a bunch of targets and you have to try not to be killed by said killer. Seems kind of simple really. Things go awry, however, when someone decides to take the game too far and begins to actually hurt people. I loved the concept of this book. The execution, for me personally, took far too long. At 30% through the book, I expected someone to have already been dead. However, all I had were fake, game deaths, which – I have to confess – were actually highly amusing and pretty unique. Things only started at around 60%, whichI feel is a bit too short of a time to actually amount to much of a mystery.
I think one of the bigger problems was that I felt disconnected from Cate. I wasn’t really bothered by her role in the game, whether she would live or die etc. In short, I wasn’t invested. Which is a shame, because I liked Vaughan’s dry sense of humour and wit. He was also pretty smart – which I admired! I also wasn’t very invested in their relationship. It felt completely wrong – especially because I don’t feel like there was a build up toward it! One minute they are long lost friends who happen to meet at the same school and the next they are locking lips and being gassed in Vaughan’s room. By the way, what kind of a name is Vaughan? I mean seriously…
I fully expected Flynn to have something to do with it. He was odd for a teacher and I feel like his relationship with Cate was way too personal and off for a teacher – student relationship… hence I had my doubts. However, the ending earned a star all on its own because I was not expecting it to be who it was! I sort of took a double take when reading purely because I was expecting something completely different.
In short, I liked the mystery of trying to figure out who the normal “killer” was as part of the game, but I feel like there wasn’t enough time to build up too much of a mystery concerning our rogue killer. I feel like the ending wrapped up way too quickly whereas it could have been fleshed out some more. I loved the concept, but the execution was a little too slow, leading me to put the book down and go and do the stuff I was actually supposed to be doing. I gave this book 3/5 stars.