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The Games Hardcover – March 13, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; First Edition edition (March 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345526619
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345526618
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,282,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for The Games and Ted Kosmatka

"Exacting science and meticulous attention to detail provide the backbone for this thriller, which blends the best of Crichton and Koontz." --Publishers Weekly [Starred review]

"Very like something Michael Crichton might have written...An outstanding debut novel; expect big things from Kosmatka." --Booklist [Starred Review]

"Kosmatka successfully captures the thrill of groundbreaking technology characteristic of Michael Crichton’s technothrillers. . .The pleasure of his polished, action-packed storytelling is deepened by strong character development. This near-future sf thriller will capture the imagination of 'unstoppable monster' lovers and fans of disaster fiction alike and seems destined for the big screen." --Library Journal [Starred Review]

“Kosmatka’s debut novel is a…technological thriller that revs up like a racecar with a dose of bad attitude and steadily creeping horror… [Readers] who enjoy the karmic boomerang of authors like Michael Crichton or Preston and Child should eat this up.–School Library Journal [starred review]
 
"I stayed up very late just to finish this, and The Games certainly lives up to its buzz...The Games is a sci-fi/thriller with unexpected depth and humanity, and a few twists that I didn’t see coming. Very highly recommended!" --My Bookish Ways

“Modern SF started with something like E. E. Smith’s The Skylark of Space and progressed to Jack Williamson’s The Legion of Space, then to Heinlein’s classics, and on through the work of Larry Niven, John Varley, Greg Egan, Charles Stross, Cory Doctorow—and now, writers like Ted Kosmatka.”—Jonathan Strahan

About the Author

Ted Kosmatka was born and raised in northwest Indiana and spent more than a decade working in various laboratories there before moving to the Pacific Northwest. His short fiction has been nominated for both the Nebula Award and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. He now works in the videogame industry where he’s a full-time writer at Valve, home of Half-Life, Portal and Dota 2.


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  • "Writing" 19
  • "Characters" 15
  • "Suspense" 4
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
You have to admire the genius of "the pitch" as well as the marketing executives and publicists that come up with pithy phrases or easily identifiable concepts to help pre-sell books or movies. It's an invaluable sales tool that can work wonders, but can also lead to disappointment. Ted Kosmatka's debut novel "The Games" hooked me with the tantalizing promise of "Jurassic Park meets The Hunger Games." The wonderful visuals and possibilities of just such a pairing are virtually irresistible! Seriously, GREAT PITCH!!! And yet, while Kosmatka has served up a fun and gruesome adventure, it never quite fulfills the expectations that it was sold on. But, you know what, that's okay. Judged on its own merits, this is a page turning chiller that does incorporate Crichton-esque concepts into fast paced escapism. It's a satisfying science fiction vision that sets up a terrific premise, but doesn't always follow through as efficiently as it might. While it may not rank with my favorites, it is certainly a book that I tore right through and is an easy recommendation to fans of the genre.

I think it's fair to say that "The Games" doesn't aspire to be the next literary masterwork, it aims to entertain with its chilling and unusual premise that combines genetic engineering with artificial intelligence. And that it does. The most compelling character in "The Games" is a computer genius perched on the edge of sanity. Having created a revelatory computer, complete with an adaptive system of learning, Evan Chandler has become increasingly removed from reality. Set in the not-so-distant future, the book posits a world where the Olympic ceremonies kick off with an International battle of genetically engineered creatures.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By hook on May 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The concept of this book sounds great, however the book doesn't really follow through. It promises to be about genetic creations battling in gladiator style combat, but instead most of this book is about some fat guy and his computer program. There are genetic creations and gladiator fighting, but they don't really take center stage until the very end. When they are discussed, it isn't done creatively or with much detail. Overall, this book lacks focus on what the center theme is about, instead you are stuck with smaller subplots that you don't care about and which don't really come together in a satisfying way. I was very disappointed in this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Swails on June 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Kosmatka has a knack for bringing complex scientific concepts down to earth and making them even more thought-provoking than they already are, and THE GAMES is no exception. Set in a near-future world where one Olympic competition is focused on genetic engineering, the author explores the potential ramifications of "playing God." This book is by turns hopeful, grim, and horrific and always tense. This is a stay-up-past-your-bedtime, read-with-one-eye-closed kind of book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By I Teach Typing on February 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When countries build killing machines for entertainment you know that bad things are about to happen it is just a matter of when it will hit the fan. The games is a well written, very hard to put down, enjoyable train wreck. Like watching a train wreck, you will see what is going to happen from the beginning, you know it is going to get really ugly but you will not be able to look away. The relatively long lead in to the bad stuff is perhaps a down side to the book but it is never really boring and there are a few very nice twists throughout.

Overall this is an excellent first novel and well worth the read and I suspect you will have bragging rights if you pick this up early before the author really takes off.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Harkius VINE VOICE on February 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Overview:

Poor characters, linear and flat plot, predictable climax and conclusion. That said, the book is entertaining. The plot is fun, even if predictable.

The side plot focuses on Evan, a completely disposable character. There are reminiscences of a longer book here, perhaps where Evan and Pea play meaningful roles, and the oft-mentioned "tracks" in schools have some greater importance. As is, though, a more careful and considerate editor would have made the author rewrite it one more time and eliminate these characters and the plot. It's dispensable. And, really, that's the ultimate faux pas in a book that needs to be as streamlined as this one should be.

A. Plot/Backstory

This is the bread-and-butter of this novel. The characters and settings are window-dressing for the plot.

For all that, it is remarkably simple. (Which isn't to say bad. The absence of many deviating plots is actually fairly welcome.) In essence, science has advanced dramatically, and society has remained fairly consistent. One centerpiece of American culture is still the Games of the Olympiad (a. k. a. the Olympic Games). A new event, a gladiatorial contest, has been added to the games. Humans are not allowed to participate, but any other being is. Nations have elected to begin genetically engineering creatures (and mixtures of creatures) to represent them in the Games.

America's latest entry is the subject of the book. (The main subject. A poorly developed side plot (the only one) focuses on the man who made the computer that designed the genetically modified monster, and why he made the computer and what ELSE he does with it.) The monster's "father" Silas Williams, is the leader of the US efforts, at least from a scientific standpoint.
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