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The Dead Game: Book One of The Dead Game Series Kindle Edition
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Rhonda Cratty, Parenting & Education Examiner
I was absolutely surprised by this book! I knew it had some enigmatic mystery and some dark action, but the author set up the story so well I was happily amazed. It starts with a very engaging character, a young woman who is very well portrayed in a community, Oasis, Florida. The town's mysteries are maze-like and become deeper and more sinister as the book progresses. This is a very original approach to the concept of vampires and their existence.
Ray Miller "Relevant Reviewer"
The Dead Game by Susanne Leist is a top-notch haunted house horror thriller. The author excels at spooky descriptions, terrifying scenarios like opening a door and stepping into a black abyss or forever trapped in a dark maze with endless rooms stretching into infinity. Her characters are perfect and the reader can easily connect with them.
Simon Okill, Simon's Phantom Blog
A beachfront town, a haunted mansion, people disappearing or turning up dead--these are the elements of gothic horror, but this unique novel has a more than a few twists. The writing is first-rate, and the pace is fast. The characters are well-defined, and the plot is imaginative and unpredictable...
Howard Lipman, pen name PanOrpheus, author
Susanne's take on vampires is fresh and new but you'll have to read to know. She takes the age-old vampire legend and turns it into something I've never read before...
Elle Klass, Author of As Snow Falls
From the Author
as the dear book of mine.
It might not be sold in a big bookstore,
but you will not find one to offer more.
It was created with much love and hope,
even though it wasn't blessed by a Pope.
It has my blood, sweat, and tears.
Might raise many of your fears.
It has action, murder, and romance.
It can even do a little dance.
Please try it, and you'll see
it has the best of me.
- ASIN : B00F3IWF70
- Publisher : Susanne Leist; 3rd edition (August 27, 2013)
- Publication date : August 27, 2013
- Language : English
- File size : 1077 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 208 pages
- Lending : Enabled
Best Sellers Rank:
#860,809 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- #1,277 in Teen & Young Adult Vampire Fiction
- #2,121 in Vampire Suspense
- #4,954 in Teen & Young Adult Paranormal & Urban Fantasy eBooks
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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End House in Oasis, Florida, has a long and storied past tainted by evil. Linda has moved to town and opened a bookstore, and she’s in a friend group with Shana (who reads tarot cards), sarcastic Mike, sweet David, “Barbie doll” Louise, mysterious Todd, and a few others. They all get invitations to a party at End House. Only Mike actually wants to go, but no one else will let him go alone. When they arrive at the house, it immediately plunges them into hell-house territory: giant circular saws, tigers, body parts, and so on. Most of the group makes it out, only to gradually realize that there’s something wrong with the entire town. Linda and Shana do the rounds of the townspeople trying to get information, only to be told point-blank that they’re dealing with two warring groups of vampires.
Yeah, I know, vampires and “hell house” don’t really go together in general. They also don’t go together in this book. There’s a lot of stuff that just gets jumbled in together. Toward the end the author keeps introducing new supernaturals or new complications one right after another in the space of a few pages each. It’s like the supernatural elements of the story are all piled on top of one another with no real structure.
The pacing in this book is terrible. Some things are drawn way out. Other things are piled one on top of another. The opening could be creepy, but it’s done in such a quick monotone that it feels more like a summary. In fact, a lot of the beginning of this book feels like it’s summarizing some other novel, even though this is book one in a series.
Most of the characters are stereotypes of one kind or another, and fairly flimsy ones at that. Only Linda gets any real background, and it’s uninteresting and utterly irrelevant to the story, making it a waste of space. The background of people in Oasis going missing is tossed into this same section and similarly summed up as though this were book two or three in a series. No one except Mike thinks it’s a good idea to go to the party, and the locals, like Todd, discourage them, so frankly it’s very difficult to believe that they all decided to go anyway. Shana even drew tarot cards–“I drew the Angel of Death, which means death”–and then totally argues that it isn’t dangerous to go, even after noting that her cards are “never wrong.” This is the kind of inconsistent back-and-forth that colors the entire book.
Next, Linda and Shana decide to go door-to-door asking people about End House. This reads like a video game, where the character goes to each door in turn, clicks on a person, gets one or two mysterious lines of dialogue concerning the plot, then moves on to the next door.
Events feel sudden, random, disjointed, meaningless, arbitrary. Todd notes at one point that it’s Friday the 13th, but this is never mentioned again and seems utterly irrelevant to everything. When the group of friends goes to End House for the party, they don’t even bother waiting for their mysterious host before splitting up to search the place. And of course, the promised death traps jump out with no lead-in and no connection to anything.
When “demons” are mentioned, people accept it all too casually. The main characters meet a character called Wolf who acts cartoonishly evil, and then they just kind of brush it all off and forget about him for a while. Once the vampires come into things, there are The Watchers (yes, “The” is capitalized), The Elders, The Dead, and a whole taxonomy of groups, which is totally at odds with the expected feel of an advertised haunted house story.
Then, oh yes, we have the cliché of the old, evil vampire who falls in insta-love with the heroine, and who hypnotizes her, and of course her quasi-boyfriend blames her for falling under the vampire’s spell.
Linda and Shana are, unfortunately, not the brightest bulbs in the shed. They do things like go check out empty mansions alone even though they have friends who could go with them. They deliberately put themselves in harm’s way to force Todd and the sheriff to come to their rescue. When one of their friends starts acting weird after a major trauma, they just laugh about it and act like it’s no big deal. It’s facepalm-worthy.
Enough tropes and clichés get roped into this story that it sometimes feels like: “This is the part where trope X happens, and now cliché Y happens… what do you mean they’re contradictory?”
There’s a handy deus ex machina that takes care of every unwinnable task, which is such a cop-out. Everybody also stops to handily explain themselves. A vampire slayer shows up and everyone takes their existence super-calmly. The story has more false endings than a maze and just gets ridiculously over-complicated at the end.
I really can’t recommend this one. It’s a total jumble of contradictions, deus ex machinae, and clichés.
Susanne Leist's strengths as an author are her vivid, eloquent descriptions and world-building of the vampires. The first chapter begins: "Leaves in rustic shades of orange, red, and yellow floated through the air, landing at Linda Bennette's feet ... She'd found her oasis, and her dreams of happiness were within reach." However, as the story unfolds, the point of view frequently switches between various characters. It's not easy to engage with the wide cast of characters that are often indistinguishable from one another, and the reasons for their reckless decisions are often unclear. A few times, a scene jolted me because it didn't make sense as there was no foreshadowing or hint that this might happen, particularly with Linda's love triangle.
A young adult who loves vampires' world-building might find "The Dead Game," an enjoyable read with its myriad of human and vampire characters.
Todd, a hybrid, born of a human and vampire love match, has a particular set of rules to follow. Linda, a girl from New York, has a traditional innocent who is ill prepare for the obstacles before her. Is the happy ending she craves outside of her reality? Early on in the meeting between the two, Linda and Todd, each fanned the embers of possibilities.
Taking a deep breath, she dashed to the boardwalk and banged headfirst into a hard chest.
“Are you okay?” Todd steadied her, his hands grasping her shoulders.
“I saw a shadow.” Linda gulped. “It was nothing.”
“Let me walk you home.”
As Linda strolled beside him to the boardwalk steps leading to the apartments, she glanced at his brooding face. “It’s quieter than usual this evening.”
He took her hand as they descended the staircase. “Next time you work late, call me, and I’ll walk you home.” Her hand tingling from his touch, she nodded.
Author Leist develops this diverse cast of characters and their relationships masterfully. The story is engaging in every way if you are a fantasy fan. After reading The Dead Game, you may find yourself believing that vampires, hybrids, and humans coexist in your own town. Each page builds the story to the non-stop suspense ending that you won’t see coming. Recommended for young adults who adore fascinating stories. I added Book 2 to my reading list.
Top reviews from other countries
A compelling spine chilling paranormal thriller in which Linda arrives in a Town called ‘Oasis’, a seemingly sleepy town where nothing is as it appears to be and may be the home of Vampires. Liest’s Vampires aren’t your conventional Vampire, for there are more then one type living in scenic Town. Some have no regard for human life and are dangerous monstrous psychopaths of the worst kind; While another of a more Noble nature can co- exist with humans, as well as human Vampire hybrid offspring.
Oasis is charming, inviting, and Liest paints such a wonderful picture that you can almost catch the scent of the ocean and feel you are actually at ‘End House’. ‘End House’ itself is the beautiful unnerving decaying house that seems like a place that Dickens’s Miss Havisham would have lived. The picture Liest paints of her world is beautifully written and the experience is almost tactile. From her description of opulent homes to the quaint stores, she lulls you into a state of calm, and then pulls you deeper into darkness which lurks beneath.
“Don’t you think that it’s strange that the older residents
Don’t come out at all during the day?” asked Shana.
This is among many questions the reader will ask and wonder, as they are drawn deeper within a Town with its own share of secrets. We discover that creatures of the night with beautiful faces, a sea of death lying upon the beautiful golden sands and are lead into a fantastic paranormal mystery. Mystery is just one of the genres the Author uses to blend into her gripping paranormal tale. She also uses horror, noir and many other elements and it works extremely well.
‘’Todd stepped back and looked into her eyes, “Why are you
wandering around alone? There are evil things lurking in the
dark…ready to pounce on unsuspecting mortals.”
His eyes were open very wide, revealing a wild—maybe
even deranged—look. For a fleeting second she felt afraid of
him, until she realized that it was concern she was seeing reflected in his dark eyes.’’
We then are lead to question ‘who can she trust’. Are her friends, loved ones all that they appear? Is it a case of paranoia or are her instincts trying to tell us something. The air of intensity and wonder keeps the reader on edge.
The characters; Let us star off with our protagonist Linda - She is independent, sweet and very easy to like. She’s someone who you’d like to have as a friend. She is a real girl who has her own hang ups and flaws - This makes her endearing. The End House you could almost call a character in itself, much like the chilling unnerving Hotel in the Shining. It seems alive, dark, evil and full of bad intentions. It is a jarring sight in comparison to its Town Oasis, a tranquil idyllic sleepy place that one would at first think live up to its name. Think of the End House as Oasis’ very own picture of Dorian Grey in the attic. You see the hidden darkness manifest corporeally as evil decaying twisted ruin.
Todd our delicious arrogant eye candy, has an air of self importance about him. I imagine it may annoy some, but he his intellect and charm make up for it. He reads the Wall Street Journal and is described as Greek God like in appearance, is articulate, powerful and affluent. Confidence is attractive and he has a lot of it. Of course I’d gladly smack him in the jaw if I were Linda. It works for his character and is interesting for the story.
The Dead Game is a page turner, elegantly written, full of suspense and is a enjoyable novel and well worth a read.
Set in a beautiful coastal town, Oasis has a medley of residents, young and old, strangely set apart in various different neighbourhoods. A varied cast, the story seems to be centred around the youngest group and the main characters, Linda and Shana, who run their own stores. One particular residence that draws interest is End House, especially when the group are invited to a party there. Intrigued but at the same time, scared, the suspense builds right up to the night of the party then explodes into a night of terror as one by one, a series of horrors descends on the unsuspecting youngsters, a night where two are unaccounted for and one presumed dead. This is the beginning of a chilling mystery where shadows stalk the town and nothing is how it seems… I enjoyed the different characters and the way they reacted to the unfolding chaos. One I found particularly enigmatic and especially enjoyed his mental snapshots of the Wizard of Oz, the cowardly lion and the scarecrow. You never quite knew whose side he was on.
A very thrilling story, which never quite reached a conclusion suggesting there is more to come but for anyone who enjoyed the Twilight saga and likes paranormal romance and vampires, this is for you!
Gruesome creatures, vampires, a horror spin, a touch of romance and murder all add to the many surprises in “The Dead Game”.
A stunning horror story!
The story gathers pace with many twists and turns and an ending which leaves you wanting more. This book is a creepy, easy and entertaining read.
This is a story about a small town with far too many secrets, and these secrets are the kind that can jump out and bite you. The descriptions of End House are good and the atmosphere is well developed. What did need more developing were the characters. I had a good image of Linda and Shana in my head, and Todd and Sam and also Charles Wolf. But the others tended to fade in the background for me, they were just names.
I really enjoyed the terrors that End House held, and figuring out what exactly was going on and how it might end. The romantic side of things between Linda and Todd and Shana and Sam were handled nicely, and gave balance to the nightmare unfolding.
If you want a faced-paced vampire story, then The Dead Game is worth reading.