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The Game

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To save their life, you have to play. Across the globe, five strangers receive a horrifying message from an unknown number. THE PERSON YOU LOVE MOST IS IN DANGER. To save them, each must play The Game – a sinister unknown entity that has a single rule: there can only be one winner. IF YOU LOSE, YOUR LOVED ONE WILL DIE. But what is The Game – and why have they been chosen? There’ To save their life, you have to play. Across the globe, five strangers receive a horrifying message from an unknown number. THE PERSON YOU LOVE MOST IS IN DANGER. To save them, each must play The Game – a sinister unknown entity that has a single rule: there can only be one winner. IF YOU LOSE, YOUR LOVED ONE WILL DIE. But what is The Game – and why have they been chosen? There’s only one thing each of them knows for sure: they’ll do anything to win… WELCOME TO THE GAME. YOU’VE JUST STARTED PLAYING.


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To save their life, you have to play. Across the globe, five strangers receive a horrifying message from an unknown number. THE PERSON YOU LOVE MOST IS IN DANGER. To save them, each must play The Game – a sinister unknown entity that has a single rule: there can only be one winner. IF YOU LOSE, YOUR LOVED ONE WILL DIE. But what is The Game – and why have they been chosen? There’ To save their life, you have to play. Across the globe, five strangers receive a horrifying message from an unknown number. THE PERSON YOU LOVE MOST IS IN DANGER. To save them, each must play The Game – a sinister unknown entity that has a single rule: there can only be one winner. IF YOU LOSE, YOUR LOVED ONE WILL DIE. But what is The Game – and why have they been chosen? There’s only one thing each of them knows for sure: they’ll do anything to win… WELCOME TO THE GAME. YOU’VE JUST STARTED PLAYING.

30 review for The Game

  1. 4 out of 5

    Melissa (Extremely Behind)

    3.5 stars, rounded up I had a difficult time putting this one down, it has a Saw-like premise and everything centers around five people, seemingly randomly selected, who must participate in "The Game"--their loved one has been taken and the only way to save the person's life is to play The Game. Why these five? And can they complete the task? There are some clunky parts to this book, although it's gripping and intriguing, there are some characters I didn't connect with and others I didn't really f 3.5 stars, rounded up I had a difficult time putting this one down, it has a Saw-like premise and everything centers around five people, seemingly randomly selected, who must participate in "The Game"--their loved one has been taken and the only way to save the person's life is to play The Game. Why these five? And can they complete the task? There are some clunky parts to this book, although it's gripping and intriguing, there are some characters I didn't connect with and others I didn't really feel like I knew their overall motivation. When all is said and done in the end, there are a couple of loose threads not tied up, but I was fairly satisfied with the conclusion. A warning: there are some definite triggers for people who have them. There is a dog death, which doesn't occur on page but the after-results are, and it is referred to a few other times throughout the book. Other triggers include(view spoiler)[ suicide and sexual assault (hide spoiler)] At the end, I thought this book was a little more melancholy than I was expecting, and although it is a captivating mystery to figure out what is going on, I did end up feeling pretty sad. Great premise and decent execution, if you're in the mood for an unusual book this one might hit the spot. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Maiden Misty's Musings

    Five random strangers receive a text message on their phone. Someone they love has been taken, and their life depends on if they can win The Game. The rules are simple: You can't tell no one and must follow the instructions given. There can only be one winner. If you lose your loved one dies. The timer starts NOW. This was a wild ride. Soon as I think I have it all figured out, the book goes off in a different direction. I love books like that. Makes it harder for me, and I can enjoy an amazing r Five random strangers receive a text message on their phone. Someone they love has been taken, and their life depends on if they can win The Game. The rules are simple: You can't tell no one and must follow the instructions given. There can only be one winner. If you lose your loved one dies. The timer starts NOW. This was a wild ride. Soon as I think I have it all figured out, the book goes off in a different direction. I love books like that. Makes it harder for me, and I can enjoy an amazing reveal. Recommend!

  3. 5 out of 5

    NILTON TEIXEIRA

    Well, I wasn’t planning on saying anything. This was clearly a huge disappointment for me. It was very promising, as started very well, but unfortunately it became a disaster. There was nothing wrong with the writing or its structure, but the development of the storyline wasn’t well executed. There are so many details missing. I think that the author tried too hard. There are 60 chapters and mostly are short. Although this is a fast read, it wasn’t gripping, at least not for me. I was bored through Well, I wasn’t planning on saying anything. This was clearly a huge disappointment for me. It was very promising, as started very well, but unfortunately it became a disaster. There was nothing wrong with the writing or its structure, but the development of the storyline wasn’t well executed. There are so many details missing. I think that the author tried too hard. There are 60 chapters and mostly are short. Although this is a fast read, it wasn’t gripping, at least not for me. I was bored throughout the book. Not once I was thrilled or emotionally engaged. The characters are all unlikeable, except for one who I did feel some sympathy, especially because of her awful husband. Anyways… at the end everything became too far-fetched. The conclusion was really bad.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Unfortunately my copy of this book must have been coated with super glue… because I just could not put it down! Gripped from the opening chapter, Kewshaw’s debut novel was a pacey thriller with an explosive ending. Never mind that there are several characters, they are all contrasting enough that it is not difficult to identify the different ‘players’ of this game. I liked how the chapters are labelled according to the player number, even more so that the chapters move methodically through each p Unfortunately my copy of this book must have been coated with super glue… because I just could not put it down! Gripped from the opening chapter, Kewshaw’s debut novel was a pacey thriller with an explosive ending. Never mind that there are several characters, they are all contrasting enough that it is not difficult to identify the different ‘players’ of this game. I liked how the chapters are labelled according to the player number, even more so that the chapters move methodically through each participant, like you are watching them taking turns in a game. However, as the story develops, there are also some ‘pre-game’ episodes and I enjoyed how these added further depth to such an unusual plot. Fear, adrenalin and desperation run throughout this story as the characters are powered by distressed energy to escape the game and protect their loved ones. Frequently, I found my heart was in my mouth because of the cliff-hangers that Kershaw often puts into the narrative, adding to the suspense of this read. Juxtaposing this, the feelings that the three mothers in particular experience, really captured the maternal emotions and I felt connected to them far more than Noah or Brett. I think this is because the writer really plays on the relationship a mother has with her child and the vulnerability that these women display merely intensified the helplessness they feel throughout the story. As much as I tried, I could not fathom how this story would end. It was surprising until the very end and I was almost sad that the book finished. Addictive like a game itself, the atmosphere was tense and there were a few sickening, toe-curling moments in the story as well. I liked how the main characters are all so disparate, even down to where they come from, making it even harder to determine why the game has chosen these players and what connects them. For a debut novel, this was suspenseful and breath-taking. It’s an impressive story from Kershaw and I am really excited to see what this author produces next. Highly recommended, this is a book you won’t want to miss and, quite honestly, would you want to lose your turn at the game? With thanks to HQ Digital and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

    *www.onewomansbbr.wordpress.com *www.facebook.com/onewomansbbr The Game by Scott Kershaw. (2022). **Thank you to HarperCollins Australia for sending me a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review; published 2 March 2022** Across the globe, five strangers receive a horrifying message from an unknown number: 'the person you love most is in danger; if you lose, your loved one will die; welcome to The Game. You've just started playing'. To save their loved ones they each must play The G *www.onewomansbbr.wordpress.com *www.facebook.com/onewomansbbr The Game by Scott Kershaw. (2022). **Thank you to HarperCollins Australia for sending me a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review; published 2 March 2022** Across the globe, five strangers receive a horrifying message from an unknown number: 'the person you love most is in danger; if you lose, your loved one will die; welcome to The Game. You've just started playing'. To save their loved ones they each must play The Game, a sinister unknown entity that apparently has only one winner and nobody knows what The Game is. None of them know why they have been chosen. There's only one thing they know for sure: they'll do anything to win... This is a really entertaining modern thriller, and I think a great debut for the author. The storyline is a suspense-filled ride from beginning to end. Five people - Linda, Noah, Sarah, Maggie and Brett - from across the world all receive a text delivering the message that their loved one is in danger and will only be safe if they win The Game...they have no idea why they have been picked, or what The Game is. I thought the storyline was really clever, with quite a few twists meaning the resolution is not predictable; something I always appreciate in a well-written thriller! Overall: I highly recommend this novel for anyone looking for a fast-paced and full of tension thriller.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Leeanne ☽ ◌ ☾

    I can’t believe this was the author’s debut book, it was that good. When I first read the premise, I thought the story was going to be kind of like the ‘Saw’ franchise.....”would you like to play a game!”, but it wasn’t anything like that. This was well written and a very intelligent read. Scott Kershaw immediately pulls you into the story, and all throughout, its a race against time for the ‘players’ to try to save their loved ones, culminating in an ending which I wasn’t expecting!! This is a I can’t believe this was the author’s debut book, it was that good. When I first read the premise, I thought the story was going to be kind of like the ‘Saw’ franchise.....”would you like to play a game!”, but it wasn’t anything like that. This was well written and a very intelligent read. Scott Kershaw immediately pulls you into the story, and all throughout, its a race against time for the ‘players’ to try to save their loved ones, culminating in an ending which I wasn’t expecting!! This is a very clever thriller, and I’m looking forward to reading more from Scott in the future. Thanks to Netgalley for sending me this ARC.

  7. 4 out of 5

    LIsa Noell "Rocking the Chutzpah!"

    My thanks, to Harper 360, Scott Kershaw and Netgalley. I had a blast reading this book! I liked slowly getting to know these "contestants." Unfortunately, the finale ended up being a fart in a wet bag. It stunk! I just really didn't want to believe it. Not because I was appalled, but because it was "creative writing, 101." Outlandish? No. Just really lame. My thanks, to Harper 360, Scott Kershaw and Netgalley. I had a blast reading this book! I liked slowly getting to know these "contestants." Unfortunately, the finale ended up being a fart in a wet bag. It stunk! I just really didn't want to believe it. Not because I was appalled, but because it was "creative writing, 101." Outlandish? No. Just really lame.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jordan (Jordy’s Book Club)

    QUICK TAKE (**SPOILERS**): not sure why the male author thought this was a story that needed to be told, or that he was the person that should be telling it, but here we are. If you were looking for THE book that will hopefully deter thriller/suspense authors (in particular male authors) from using sexual assault against women as a story driver and catalyst for lazy plot twists, look no further.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings)

    - Dear Player. The person you love most is in danger. To save them, you must play THE GAME. The rules are - there can only be one winner. If you lose, your loved one will die. All players enter alone. Do not share this message. Do not seek help - welcome to THE GAME - Scott Kershaw is the debut author of this incredibly original thriller and if I hadn’t of read for myself this was his first novel, I truly wouldn’t have believed it. Superbly plotted, intriguing storyline, interesting characters an - Dear Player. The person you love most is in danger. To save them, you must play THE GAME. The rules are - there can only be one winner. If you lose, your loved one will die. All players enter alone. Do not share this message. Do not seek help - welcome to THE GAME - Scott Kershaw is the debut author of this incredibly original thriller and if I hadn’t of read for myself this was his first novel, I truly wouldn’t have believed it. Superbly plotted, intriguing storyline, interesting characters and a nail-biting denouement that thoroughly shocked and I didn’t foresee, made this one of the most entertaining thrillers I’ve read in a long time. There are various different threads and themes throughout, some quite sensitive but they are paramount to the development of the story. To state what they are would spoil it but when the pieces of the puzzle start to connect, you fully understand why the author incorporated such emotional scenes. Mind boggling twists make this a masterful, suspense classic and although logistically and theoretically implausible, this story sends you on an unforgettable ride of entertainment. With the possibility of an opening for a second book, I do hope the author writes another, I for one would queue up to be the first to buy it and I can happily recommend “The Game” to thriller readers. #TheGame - 5 stars Thank you to Alliya Bouyis and HQ Stories for inviting me on this blog tour and for my copy of the book in return for an honest opinion.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ivana - Diary of Difference

    Wishlist | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Ko-fi A very big thank you to the team at HQ Stories, for sending me a copy of The Game by Scott Kershaw. Make sure you follow the other mentioned bloggers above for their reviews of this book. The Game is definitely one of those books that instantly grabs your attention. Synopsis: As soon as I read the synopsis, I wanted to know what this game is all about. We are introduced to five people, and someone they love goes missing and they receive a Wishlist | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Ko-fi A very big thank you to the team at HQ Stories, for sending me a copy of The Game by Scott Kershaw. Make sure you follow the other mentioned bloggers above for their reviews of this book. The Game is definitely one of those books that instantly grabs your attention. Synopsis: As soon as I read the synopsis, I wanted to know what this game is all about. We are introduced to five people, and someone they love goes missing and they receive a message to start playing the game. There can only be one winner and they cannot share this message or seek help from anyone. If they lose this game, their loved one will die. My Thoughts: The first half of the book feels like a prolonged introduction. There is a slight issue with pacing, due to us reading five chapters for five different characters, all having to do the same few tasks. For example – they need to buy a prepaid phone and come to a certain location. Whilst this is great in terms of character building, and us understanding each character’s back story, at times it felt like a recycled content. Once the game officially starts, my reading experience improved significantly. There is a lot of tension and uneasy atmosphere that I quite enjoyed. We discover a lot of secrets about the players and see how each of them deals with the situation they are into. Writing this review now, it’s extremely hard to not reveal anything. The big reveal was very unexpected, that’s all I will say! It took me by surprise still, even though I had my suspicions and picked up on a few clues along the way. The ending was dark and twisty and it was interesting to see the aftermath of everything. A lot of questions were raised regarding morality and taking responsibility of small decisions that may have a huge impact in the long run. There are definitely a lot of topics for discussion, and I can see this book being a great pick for a book club. It kept me glued from start to finish. The game aspect of the book satisfied me and the gripping ending was a masterpiece. Don’t miss this one out, despite its difficult beginning. The Game is Scott Kershaw’s debut novel, although his writing doesn’t feel like a debut author’s writing. I will definitely keep Scott on my radar and look out for his next books.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Think SAW ish and every film where a group of strangers are thrown together to save the lives of the one they love and you are there The Game starts abruptly for all players and before they have time to really understand they are in a battle for literally everything they hold dear Told in a John Marr’s style ie 5 characters who all have a chapter each ( reoccurring at first ) that ends on a cliffhanger it gives you time to get to know them all I had for some reason looked up reviews before starting Think SAW ish and every film where a group of strangers are thrown together to save the lives of the one they love and you are there The Game starts abruptly for all players and before they have time to really understand they are in a battle for literally everything they hold dear Told in a John Marr’s style ie 5 characters who all have a chapter each ( reoccurring at first ) that ends on a cliffhanger it gives you time to get to know them all I had for some reason looked up reviews before starting this ( rarely do ) and very mixed they are too and so wasn’t sure what to expect but for me it was a stunning debut, yes there are flaws, some trigger points for readers ( I skimmed over the ones wanted to ) and the plot at times especially towards the ending maybe did raise an eye but it was entertaining, well written and if you like this kind of thriller you will love it, I couldn’t help but think Netflix the whole way through it, a more ideal 8 parter could not be written…. Give it a try, I cant guarantee you will love it but for me it was an exciting and fast paced read Without doubt an author with a great career ahead 9/10 5 Stars

  12. 4 out of 5

    Pauline

    Five strangers have received a text saying that they have been entered into a game. Failure to play and adhere to the rules will result in the death of someone they love. The story is told by each player looking at their predicament and a little of their history. A frightening tale that left me with a lot of unanswered questions. Thank you to NetGalley and HQ for me e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kirsty Carson

    3.5 rounded up to 4

  14. 5 out of 5

    janine

    ** IF YOU READ ANY BOOK THIS YEAR - MAKE SURE IT'S THIS ONE! ** "THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE WINNER. AND IF YOU LOSE, YOUR LOVED ONE WILL DIE. WELVOME TO THE GAME. YOU'VE JUST STARTED PLAYING." I've got to admit it, I was absolutely blown away by this one. I dont know if the fact that TV series like Squid Games are around at the moment but it definitely made it feel more prevalent. It was completely believable and totally different to all other thrillers I have read. Unique is the only word for it. This is ** IF YOU READ ANY BOOK THIS YEAR - MAKE SURE IT'S THIS ONE! ** "THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE WINNER. AND IF YOU LOSE, YOUR LOVED ONE WILL DIE. WELVOME TO THE GAME. YOU'VE JUST STARTED PLAYING." I've got to admit it, I was absolutely blown away by this one. I dont know if the fact that TV series like Squid Games are around at the moment but it definitely made it feel more prevalent. It was completely believable and totally different to all other thrillers I have read. Unique is the only word for it. This is a dual timeline of The Game and The Pre Game which are split throughout the book but in a clear distinct way that is easy to follow. Five complete strangers from around the globe are thrown together to 'play' a game, all racing to save the one they love but there is only one winner! The rules aren't clear, they don't even know what the game entails or why they have been chosen but to save their loved ones, do they have a choice? Not only are they racing against the clock, challenges are horrendous and dark with no end in sight. We don't get to know the players intricately but what we do find out is more than enough and makes you relate to what they are fighting for and makes you care for the ones they might lose. The way that the author so expertly weaves the two parts together was masterful. The twists and turns actually shocked me and the ending was nothing other but perfectly constructed. It's fast paced, menacing, dark and full of intrigue and mystery - everything you need, want and more. This is one of those books that makes you want to go to bed early just so you can pick it up again! I can easily see this as a TV series or movie, it would make one hell of a blockbuster! I can't believe this is the writers debut novel, I cannot recommend it highly enough and now wait in anticipation to see what he throws at us next. The biggest thanks to netgalley and HQ for the ARC.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kristine

    It's kinda twisty, it's kinda fun - why not! Picked up this book as it sounded cool and a tad different from my usual books and boy it was - and it did not disappoint! The plot and characters were interesting, the pacing fast and the storytelling unique. I did feel somewhere after 60% in the pace dropped off the high speed and I had to skim a bit to keep myself interested and not abandon this book for a better one.. Overall, I was enjoying myself, except for the 'resolution' bit with Sarah's part It's kinda twisty, it's kinda fun - why not! Picked up this book as it sounded cool and a tad different from my usual books and boy it was - and it did not disappoint! The plot and characters were interesting, the pacing fast and the storytelling unique. I did feel somewhere after 60% in the pace dropped off the high speed and I had to skim a bit to keep myself interested and not abandon this book for a better one.. Overall, I was enjoying myself, except for the 'resolution' bit with Sarah's partner.. it just did not sit right with me at all and the ending(s) were tied up in an unsatisfactory manner. Maybe I missed some bits but - I didn't think the ending did the rest of the book justice to be fair. Thank you for the ARC, NetGalley!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alayne Emmett

    I wish I could give this book more than five stars it was so brilliant. Once I started it I just couldn’t put it down. Exciting and very interesting I really didn’t know how this one was going to turn out and I was so surprised by the ending, I didn’t see that one coming. A brilliant read and I highly recommended this one. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mana

    Five strangers find themselves in a dangerous pursuit to save their kidnapped loved ones. Welcome to the game, do not involve the police, obey the rules and try to win. Suspicion is on the rise, challenges dark and horrendous. The world can be cruel, and its cruelty is usually pointless. Who is behind this mortal game and why were they chosen to play? I've read the book in one evening and been pleasantly surprised that the plot is believable, concise and different in comparison with the other "co Five strangers find themselves in a dangerous pursuit to save their kidnapped loved ones. Welcome to the game, do not involve the police, obey the rules and try to win. Suspicion is on the rise, challenges dark and horrendous. The world can be cruel, and its cruelty is usually pointless. Who is behind this mortal game and why were they chosen to play? I've read the book in one evening and been pleasantly surprised that the plot is believable, concise and different in comparison with the other "cookie-cutter" thrillers these days. It is unique, cinematic and fast-paced. The characters are very well developed, issues current, and I am looking forward to another book from Scott Kershaw. Unputdownable and thrilling page-turner. Highly recommended.

  18. 4 out of 5

    agata

    Five ordinary people, living in completely different parts of the world, one day receive the same message: The person you love most is in danger. Some of them don’t believe it at first, others’ first instinct is to seek help. But all of them quickly learn that the message isn’t a joke - to save their loved ones, the five strangers have to play a game. And there can only be one winner. I wish I could give this book two ratings. The first one, based on the premise, the thrilling plot, the way this Five ordinary people, living in completely different parts of the world, one day receive the same message: The person you love most is in danger. Some of them don’t believe it at first, others’ first instinct is to seek help. But all of them quickly learn that the message isn’t a joke - to save their loved ones, the five strangers have to play a game. And there can only be one winner. I wish I could give this book two ratings. The first one, based on the premise, the thrilling plot, the way this book kept me up at night just for ‘one more chapter’, would be very high. The second one, based on the ending alone, would be much, much lower. I was so impressed with the first part of this book that I really thought that I found my new favorite thriller. Unfortunately, I had so many issues with the ending that it completely ruined my experience. Without spoiling it, I can say that it just didn’t make any sense. The reasoning behind the whole setup was absolutely unbelievable and I didn’t like that the author decided to basically give up on one of the most important rules of the Game - it felt like a cop out and like the mastermind behind it didn’t plan the whole thing right, despite somehow being able to know very tiny details about the players. I also didn’t like that some of the characters read very stereotypical - the one Black man was increasingly more aggressive, the women were constantly abused emotionally or physically. TLDR: The Game started out very strong and exciting, but the ending was frustrating and clumsily constructed. An interesting idea, but lacking in the execution.

  19. 4 out of 5

    bookishcharli

    Across the globe, five strangers receive a horrifying message from an unknown number: '𝐃𝐄𝐀𝐑 𝐏𝐋𝐀𝐘𝐄𝐑, 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐏𝐄𝐑𝐒𝐎𝐍 𝐘𝐎𝐔 𝐋𝐎𝐕𝐄 𝐌𝐎𝐒𝐓 𝐈𝐒 𝐈𝐍 𝐃𝐀𝐍𝐆𝐄𝐑.’ To save them, each must play The Game - a sinister unknown entity that has a single rule: there can only be one winner. ‘ 𝐈𝐅 𝐘𝐎𝐔 𝐋𝐎𝐒𝐄, 𝐘𝐎𝐔𝐑 𝐋𝐎𝐕𝐄𝐃 𝐎𝐍𝐄 𝐖𝐈𝐋𝐋 𝐃𝐈𝐄.’ But what is The Game - and why have they been chosen? There’s only one thing each of them knows for sure: they’ll do anything to win… ‘ 𝐖𝐄𝐋𝐂𝐎𝐌𝐄 𝐓𝐎 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐆𝐀𝐌𝐄. 𝐘𝐎𝐔’𝐕𝐄 𝐉𝐔𝐒𝐓 𝐒𝐓𝐀𝐑𝐓𝐄𝐃 𝐏𝐋𝐀𝐘𝐈𝐍𝐆.’ Well holy mol Across the globe, five strangers receive a horrifying message from an unknown number: '𝐃𝐄𝐀𝐑 𝐏𝐋𝐀𝐘𝐄𝐑, 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐏𝐄𝐑𝐒𝐎𝐍 𝐘𝐎𝐔 𝐋𝐎𝐕𝐄 𝐌𝐎𝐒𝐓 𝐈𝐒 𝐈𝐍 𝐃𝐀𝐍𝐆𝐄𝐑.’ To save them, each must play The Game - a sinister unknown entity that has a single rule: there can only be one winner. ‘ 𝐈𝐅 𝐘𝐎𝐔 𝐋𝐎𝐒𝐄, 𝐘𝐎𝐔𝐑 𝐋𝐎𝐕𝐄𝐃 𝐎𝐍𝐄 𝐖𝐈𝐋𝐋 𝐃𝐈𝐄.’ But what is The Game - and why have they been chosen? There’s only one thing each of them knows for sure: they’ll do anything to win… ‘ 𝐖𝐄𝐋𝐂𝐎𝐌𝐄 𝐓𝐎 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐆𝐀𝐌𝐄. 𝐘𝐎𝐔’𝐕𝐄 𝐉𝐔𝐒𝐓 𝐒𝐓𝐀𝐑𝐓𝐄𝐃 𝐏𝐋𝐀𝐘𝐈𝐍𝐆.’ Well holy moly WHAT A BOOK. This had me gripped from the synopsis. Five people across the globe all receive the same message about their loved one being in danger, and the only way to save them is by wining the game. 𝘿𝙀𝘼𝙍 𝙋𝙇𝘼𝙔𝙀𝙍, 𝙏𝙃𝙀 𝙋𝙀𝙍𝙎𝙊𝙉 𝙔𝙊𝙐 𝙇𝙊𝙑𝙀 𝙈𝙊𝙎𝙏 𝙄𝙎 𝙄𝙉 𝘿𝘼𝙉𝙂𝙀𝙍. 𝙏𝙊 𝙎𝘼𝙑𝙀 𝙏𝙃𝙀𝙈, 𝙔𝙊𝙐 𝙈𝙐𝙎𝙏 𝙋𝙇𝘼𝙔 𝙏𝙃𝙀 𝙂𝘼𝙈𝙀. 𝙏𝙃𝙀 𝙍𝙐𝙇𝙀𝙎 𝘼𝙍𝙀: 𝙏𝙃𝙀𝙍𝙀 𝘾𝘼𝙉 𝙊𝙉𝙇𝙔 𝘽𝙀 𝙊𝙉𝙀 𝙒𝙄𝙉𝙉𝙀𝙍. 𝙄𝙁 𝙔𝙊𝙐 𝙇𝙊𝙎𝙀, 𝙔𝙊𝙐𝙍 𝙇𝙊𝙑𝙀𝘿 𝙊𝙉𝙀 𝙒𝙄𝙇𝙇 𝘿𝙄𝙀. 𝘼𝙇𝙇 𝙋𝙇𝘼𝙔𝙀𝙍𝙎 𝙀𝙉𝙏𝙀𝙍 𝘼𝙇𝙊𝙉𝙀. 𝘿𝙊 𝙉𝙊𝙏 𝙎𝙃𝘼𝙍𝙀 𝙏𝙃𝙄𝙎 𝙈𝙀𝙎𝙎𝘼𝙂𝙀. 𝘿𝙊 𝙉𝙊𝙏 𝙎𝙀𝙀𝙆 𝙃𝙀𝙇𝙋. 𝙒𝙀𝙇𝘾𝙊𝙈𝙀 𝙏𝙊 𝙏𝙃𝙀 𝙂𝘼𝙈𝙀. 𝙔𝙊𝙐’𝙑𝙀 𝙅𝙐𝙎𝙏 𝙎𝙏𝘼𝙍𝙏𝙀𝘿 𝙋𝙇𝘼𝙔𝙄𝙉𝙂. This plot was incredible, the writing was incredible, the facing was INCREDIBLE. I cannot fault this book at all. What a debut. If you want a great thriller/psycho-thriller then definitely pick this one up. Thank you to HQ for having me on the blog tour for this one.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jay Dwight

    3.5 stars Loved the premise, and the blurb gave me high expectations for the book. Overall, I did enjoy the read but fell slightly short of those expectations. I was hooked immediately. 5 people in 3 countries receive a text message advising the person they love most has been kidnapped. They must play "The Game", and the losers will see their loved ones die. There can only be one winner. They 5 must get to an advised address in the UK by a certain time to remain in the game. So great build up, and 3.5 stars Loved the premise, and the blurb gave me high expectations for the book. Overall, I did enjoy the read but fell slightly short of those expectations. I was hooked immediately. 5 people in 3 countries receive a text message advising the person they love most has been kidnapped. They must play "The Game", and the losers will see their loved ones die. There can only be one winner. They 5 must get to an advised address in the UK by a certain time to remain in the game. So great build up, and I loved the conclusion. Came together in a way I did not expect and thought the plot in this respect was quite clever. My rating was marked down slightly due to the fact that after the excellent intro and build up, I thought the narratives surrounding each player making their way to the advised location did drag a little. I was keen to get to the commencement of "The Game", not so much the travel to the location. All in all, still a read I will recommend.

  21. 4 out of 5

    chelsea

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. welcome to the game: the worst book of 2022. this book had the potential to be something great. the writing was amazing – it was fast paced and thrilling. although i found the ending to be very underwhelming, with everything happening in the last 50 pages. unfortunately, the blatant racism, homophobia, ableist language and fatphobia ruined the experience for me. if these things don’t bother you, then i think this book would be perfect for you. if they’re not, then maybe steer clear of this book. some welcome to the game: the worst book of 2022. this book had the potential to be something great. the writing was amazing – it was fast paced and thrilling. although i found the ending to be very underwhelming, with everything happening in the last 50 pages. unfortunately, the blatant racism, homophobia, ableist language and fatphobia ruined the experience for me. if these things don’t bother you, then i think this book would be perfect for you. if they’re not, then maybe steer clear of this book. some of the things i found in the game could’ve been put down to character quirks. it’s something that could be easily explained and passed off. however, the repetition in which these comments came made it seem like this is how the author thinks. to make things easier for anyone considering reading, or those who’ve already finished this book, here’s a list of everything that i found (although i’m definitely missing some): please proceed with caution, as there will likely be spoilers ahead. content warnings for the game: death of a dog (pg 46 for those wanting to avoid it, although references late on) rape rape of a minor grooming suicide (drowning) kidnapping child abuse physical abuse (fairly graphic) racism & homophobia ( re: bullying of a black child) plenty of blood, gore, etc. racism “This is Saint Paul, for Christ’s sake. The land of Minnesota Nice. It isn’t Mexica or Venezuela or Brazil. Children don’t just vanish here.” Pg 4. - while i couldn’t find statistics for the united states, this list has plenty of other countries on the list. both new zealand and canada are at the top of the list while mexico is #27. - a quick google search regarding abductions in mexico shows approximately 100,000 missing persons here, and 800,000 in the usa and here. “There’s stubble on his wooden face.” Pg 217. i could be wrong, but describing your only black character as “wooden” doesn’t seem right ….? each victim is abducted by various people. almost everyone in this book is white. unfortunately, the only captors to abuse their victims is a group of black men. this goes hand in hand with: our one black main character becomes aggressive and angry, beating a victim. he then proceeds to die after he wouldn’t calm down. this perpetuates the stigma that black people are violent. homophobia “Craig refers to the English as tea-sipping faggots or buck-toothed limey bastards.” Pg 204. there’s multiple uses of the term “faggot” within this book. almost all are relating to Craig (a blatantly homophobia and racist individual). i could list them all, but i won’t. one is enough. “fags eat assholes” – i didn’t tab it, so i can’t remember what page it was on. used in a scene to bully a defenseless black kid. his bullies shoved dog shit in his mouth/eyes. (tbh, it felt a little unnecessary to go into such detail). - why is this a bad word? check out this article here. ableist language “in Linda’s motherly opinion, the girl is always just a missed meal or two away from an eating disorder.” Pg 55 (and repeated further in the book). missing a meal doesn’t automatically give you an eating disorder. eating disorders are based on persistent thoughts regarding food and behaviours. missing a meal ≠ an eating disorder. did you know binge eating disorder is the most common ed? “She has the trembling hands of advanced Parkinson’s disease, and her legs could go out at any moment.” Pg 61. “Craig was supposed to be crazy.” Pg 297 “… wasn’t this the son of some psychotic racist?” Pg 298 psycho, retard, crazy are all words that we shouldn’t be using to describe someone. fatphobia “Please … I can’t physically do this.” Pg 274. i can’t speak for everyone, but if you’re being made to run a mile (in under 10 minutes) in order to save your toddler, wouldn’t you be trying instead of complaining? if it was me, i would’ve ran as far as i could before giving up. not to mention, i know multiple fat people who can outrun a skinny person. being fat doesn’t make you unfit, just like being thin doesn’t automatically make you fit. - is it possible to be overweight and healthy? - can you be fit and fat? “She has lost sixteen pounds, and her legs are getting stronger; you never know when you’ll need to run; never know when you might have to be strong.” Pg 420. implying that fat people can’t run, and that they can’t be strong. fat ≠ weak. also, why does our only overweight character have to lose weight by the end of the book?

  22. 5 out of 5

    Melanie’s reads

    This book should have been so good. I loved The Players by Darren O’Sullivan which was released last year and I thought this would be a more international version of that. It was international, well to a certain extent, but that is where the comparison ends. Where The Players was a breath snatcher of a thriller this was a jumbled mess. Short chapters flitting between the characters meant I never really took to one before it had jumped to the next. Not that I would have taken to them anyway as the This book should have been so good. I loved The Players by Darren O’Sullivan which was released last year and I thought this would be a more international version of that. It was international, well to a certain extent, but that is where the comparison ends. Where The Players was a breath snatcher of a thriller this was a jumbled mess. Short chapters flitting between the characters meant I never really took to one before it had jumped to the next. Not that I would have taken to them anyway as they are all pretty horrible. There’s a vein of every phobe running through this lot. Homophobe, fatphobe and the way that women are portrayed was just yuck. As if keeping track of the five players wasn’t hard enough the author also throws in all their acquaintances too just to make keeping track of who was who even more difficult. So we have players Brett, Noah, Sarah, Linda and Maggie. Why have they been chosen? They seemingly have nothing in common except they are all out to save their loved ones and there can only be one winner. Now this aspect I liked as it certainly raised the stakes and I was hoping it would also dwindle down the perspectives and make it easier to read. The chapters are short so the pace is fast but I personally felt this actually did the book a disservice as a character driven book needs to give the reader time to bond with them. It needs to find a middle ground. The game itself took forever to get going with them taking way too many pages to even get to the location. Once it started and it was revealed why they were there, which to be fair was blatantly obvious in how they were written, I was by then hoping that most of them would meet a nasty death. I know this is a debut and I have been pretty disparaging but this is only my opinion and to be fair it has good bones it just needs fleshing out and the skin ironing of it’s wrinkles. Some scenes were brutal and well written but after I had finished it I was left with plot holes, a few loose ends and the feeling that by the end even the author had given up playing.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Katie T

    Depressing and ugly plot

  24. 5 out of 5

    BookBloggerJanine

    The Game by Scott Kershaw I give this book 4 stars 5 strangers receive a horrifying message from an unknown number. THE PERSON YOU LOVE MOST IS IN DANGER. To save them, each must play The Game. IF YOU LOSE, YOUR LOVED ONE WILL DIE. There’s only one thing each of them knows for sure: they’ll do anything to win….. A fantastic debut thriller with just the right amount of suspense and twists along the way. 5 players and 5 points of view,each chapter focuses on 1 of the players.l was intrigued by this eng The Game by Scott Kershaw I give this book 4 stars 5 strangers receive a horrifying message from an unknown number. THE PERSON YOU LOVE MOST IS IN DANGER. To save them, each must play The Game. IF YOU LOSE, YOUR LOVED ONE WILL DIE. There’s only one thing each of them knows for sure: they’ll do anything to win….. A fantastic debut thriller with just the right amount of suspense and twists along the way. 5 players and 5 points of view,each chapter focuses on 1 of the players.l was intrigued by this engaging premise and carried along with the pressure of a race against the clock game and 5 loved ones in danger.l was completely in the dark to who was behind it and intrigued by why they’d been chosen. With thanks to Netgalley,Scott Kershaw and HQ for my chance to read and review this book

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    The Game | Scott Kershaw Pub Date: 12/05/22 Genre: Psychological thriller, suspense Rating: 4 stars The Game is a psychological thriller debut from author, Scott Kershaw. I saw this book advertised a while back and instantly the premise drew me in. A bunch of people forced to play a potentially deadly game, I added that to my TBR pile without hesitation. The story alternates between 5 main characters, all from different walks of life, known simply to the reader as Players 1-5. The short alternatin The Game | Scott Kershaw Pub Date: 12/05/22 Genre: Psychological thriller, suspense Rating: 4 stars The Game is a psychological thriller debut from author, Scott Kershaw. I saw this book advertised a while back and instantly the premise drew me in. A bunch of people forced to play a potentially deadly game, I added that to my TBR pile without hesitation. The story alternates between 5 main characters, all from different walks of life, known simply to the reader as Players 1-5. The short alternating chapters gave an opportunity to connect individually with each person and develop and understanding of their backgrounds, lives and personalities. It did mean however that it took a really long time for anything to happen as just when the story starts getting good, it switches to another character. I started listening to it as an audiobook and got lost with regards to which character was who (it helped to write their names down). I switched to the e-book and found it much more enjoyable. About half way through the action and suspense really ramped up and I was hooked. I devoured page after page wanting to know more. What was this mysterious game, how were the characters connected, what would they be asked to do … I had to find out. The ending and reveal were cleverly done and I didn’t see it coming at all. I did think the ‘why’ everything happened was a bit weak and didn’t really seem to make a lot of sense. Despite this, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was quick to read, kept my attention and introduced us to some unique characters who I was really cheering for. This is a fantastic debut and I can see this author going places.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kori Potenzone

    Ugh, talk about a psychological thriller that will have you holding your breath.... The Game, is the type of book that if you do not already suffer from anxiety, you will. This is an action packed book that will have you biting away at your fingers and begging for Mercy. The storyline is completely unique and gave me "Saw" vibes, but yet completely different. A group of people are forced into playing "a game" , if they choose not to play one of their siblings will be killed off ( see I told you, Ugh, talk about a psychological thriller that will have you holding your breath.... The Game, is the type of book that if you do not already suffer from anxiety, you will. This is an action packed book that will have you biting away at your fingers and begging for Mercy. The storyline is completely unique and gave me "Saw" vibes, but yet completely different. A group of people are forced into playing "a game" , if they choose not to play one of their siblings will be killed off ( see I told you, this book is insane!!!) . I found it hard to believe that this is Scott Kershaw's debut novel as the characters were well developed and the plot was executed with precision . This is not a book for the faint of heart but if you are into psychological thrillers as much as I am you are going to be obsessed! Out May 31, dont wait! You do not want to miss this one !

  27. 4 out of 5

    Emandherbooks

    The format of this book is so gripping. Cycling through the players in order makes it s truly compulsive read! Almost impossible to put down! The text formats and cliff hangers really added tension! I felt I really knew each of the carefully laid out characters and was very invested! This was set to be a big 5/5 for me until the ending was revealed! Now I didn’t HATE the twist/ending/reveal, but I didn’t love it… which is why I’ve settled with a 4/5. Interested to hear other peoples thoughts on The format of this book is so gripping. Cycling through the players in order makes it s truly compulsive read! Almost impossible to put down! The text formats and cliff hangers really added tension! I felt I really knew each of the carefully laid out characters and was very invested! This was set to be a big 5/5 for me until the ending was revealed! Now I didn’t HATE the twist/ending/reveal, but I didn’t love it… which is why I’ve settled with a 4/5. Interested to hear other peoples thoughts on this one…

  28. 4 out of 5

    Becky Sumner

    I have loved reading this book and I have been telling everyone about it! It was a little confusing at first but you soon get used to the player 1, player 2 etc Full of things you don't see coming and twusts and turns in the story. I would recommend Compelling reading I have loved reading this book and I have been telling everyone about it! It was a little confusing at first but you soon get used to the player 1, player 2 etc Full of things you don't see coming and twusts and turns in the story. I would recommend Compelling reading

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alison Hartley

    This thriller gets going from the very first chapter, a missing child and a menacing text message. I loved the idea of this book, out of the blue five people have their lives turned upside down, they are put in situations they never thought possible and act in ways they never believed they could. The style of this book makes it an easy read. each player is introduced to us through their own chapter which I really like, it makes it more readable and allows you to get to know them better. Although This thriller gets going from the very first chapter, a missing child and a menacing text message. I loved the idea of this book, out of the blue five people have their lives turned upside down, they are put in situations they never thought possible and act in ways they never believed they could. The style of this book makes it an easy read. each player is introduced to us through their own chapter which I really like, it makes it more readable and allows you to get to know them better. Although I would have liked to have known a bit more about the characters backgrounds, I never felt as if I knew enough to get behind them. The players are gathered from around the globe via text messages, all complete strangers, nobody knows what the game is, what the rules are or who they can trust yet somehow, they form a connection. There are unfortunately a few plot holes throughout and you need to suspend belief on a few things but it is still a very enjoyable story, fast paced, tense with lots of twists and turns. I don’t want to give anything away but I did have to go back and re-read chapters after I had finished it because Kershaw pulled a masterstroke at the end! It is definitely a thought-provoking novel; I mean do any of us really know how far we would go to save the ones we love? My thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for my eARC in return for my honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Elli (Kindig Blog)

    Upon reading the blurb for The Game, it sounded exactly like my cup of tea and I was excited to get started! I am however, always slightly wary of starting books with high expectations. I really needn’t have worried – The Game is a fantastic, fast-paced read and was exactly what I needed after a few previous low-star reads. Five players are chosen to compete in a deadly game where the person that they love is at risk if they fail. The chapters alternate between each of our five players – game de Upon reading the blurb for The Game, it sounded exactly like my cup of tea and I was excited to get started! I am however, always slightly wary of starting books with high expectations. I really needn’t have worried – The Game is a fantastic, fast-paced read and was exactly what I needed after a few previous low-star reads. Five players are chosen to compete in a deadly game where the person that they love is at risk if they fail. The chapters alternate between each of our five players – game designer Brett, drug dealer Noah, stay at home mum Sarah, ex-police officer Linda and recovering addict Maggie. This is quite a lot of POVs and I’ve seen this narrative technique fail before but each character was well defined with their own narrative voice, their stories were also all interesting and engaging and used well to push the plot along so I didn’t find myself wanting to skip anyone out. As the story progressed, other perspectives were introduced to give us hints to the greater picture including ‘Pre-game’ and some chapters from the perspectives of the captives. I felt that the captive chapters didn’t really add too much to the story though and could easily have been edited out. The plot is well paced, and I found myself finishing the book in a few sittings rushing to find out what was going on. The reveal was a great idea although it did feel a little rushed – I still don’t understand what Noah’s connection to everything was. Brett also seemed to make an extreme personality transplant by the end of the story which I don’t think worked very well and made him out to just be violent and angry. Although some extreme content is to be expected from a book with this type of plot, there are some trigger warnings including miscarriage, death of animals and rape. Overall, The Game is a fantastic and fast-paced read which had me up all night wanting to finish it. This is also Scott Kershaw's debut and I can't wait to read whatever he writes next! Thank you to NetGalley & HQ Stories for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review. For more of my reviews check out www.kindig.co.uk

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