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The Games by Ted Kosmatka
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The Games (edition 2012)

by Ted Kosmatka (Author)

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Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
DISCLAIMER: I received this book through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program.

I was pretty apprehensive about reading this & put it off for awhile, mainly because the Goodreads rating was pretty terrible, but I actually really liked it! Super fun, fast-paced, and kept me turning pages rapidly til the very end. I appreciate that it also made you think, something the thriller/horror genre is not terribly well known for. The dangers of genetic testing, virtual reality, what it means to be "alive" and "human"--meaty subjects for a little book like this, but I think the author pulled it off well. It was a little predictable in the "oh-what-hath-we-wrought" kind of way, but most of these books/movies usually are. It was both unique and well done enough that I thoroughly enjoyed it! ( )
  rlycox | Jun 30, 2014 |
Excellent near future thriller, with some very original twists on the Michael Crichton formula. It definitely raises above the ocean of non-A-list action / sf / thriller books. Very visual story-telling (an example on the opposite extreme would be Isaac Asimov), and solid scientific background. It's rather obvious what this book wants to be, and I'm always surprised to find reviewers who choose to read a book with a broken net and blood splatter on the cover, somehow expecting major charachter depth à la Jane Austen ("Oh, the charachters are not very developed..". Who cares??).

Spoiler alert ---- A couple of comments for those of you who have already read the book: 1) the ultimate "why" was a little too vague for me and I felt it should have been further articulated. Basically, the only reason why Pea decides to help in the end is that, while he created the gladiator race, he felt they were destructive, while humans are constructive. That 11th hour change of mind left me a bit puzzled. 2) I was expecting the matter of the directive "Survive the competition" to resurface towards the end, but it didn't. It could have been interesting to find out a bit more about what happened then and how exactly those instructions influenced the creation of the gladiator. ( )
  tabascofromgudreads | Apr 19, 2014 |
Excellent near future thriller, with some very original twists on the Michael Crichton formula. It definitely raises above the ocean of non-A-list action / sf / thriller books. Very visual story-telling (an example on the opposite extreme would be Isaac Asimov), and solid scientific background. It's rather obvious what this book wants to be, and I'm always surprised to find reviewers who choose to read a book with a broken net and blood splatter on the cover, somehow expecting major charachter depth à la Jane Austen ("Oh, the charachters are not very developed..". Who cares??).

Spoiler alert ---- A couple of comments for those of you who have already read the book: 1) the ultimate "why" was a little too vague for me and I felt it should have been further articulated. Basically, the only reason why Pea decides to help in the end is that, while he created the gladiator race, he felt they were destructive, while humans are constructive. That 11th hour change of mind left me a bit puzzled. 2) I was expecting the matter of the directive "Survive the competition" to resurface towards the end, but it didn't. It could have been interesting to find out a bit more about what happened then and how exactly those instructions influenced the creation of the gladiator. ( )
  tabascofromgudreads | Apr 19, 2014 |
If we did not have the Hunger Games Series, I would be much hotter on this book. My main problem is the bond between the reader and the believability of the characters is stretched to the breaking pint through most of the story. OK, it is a work of fiction, science fiction at that, but if you just go with the science as it is presented and don’t think about it too much, it works. Action is the saving grace for this story, so if you concentrate of the action, the overall experience is a little better than average. ( )
  PghDragonMan | Aug 13, 2013 |
What starts out as a believable and interesting story turns into something that I barely could finish to the end. I only give this a 3 star because the first half of the book was good, the second half is just horrid. ( )
  Punchout | Apr 29, 2013 |
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Book description
This stunning first novel from Nebula Award and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award finalist Ted Kosmatka is a riveting tale of science cut loose from ethics. Set in an amoral future where genetically engineered monstrosities fight each other to the death in an Olympic event, The Games envisions a harrowing world that may arrive sooner than you think.

Silas Williams is the brilliant geneticist in charge of preparing the U.S. entry into the Olympic Gladiator competition, an internationally sanctioned bloodsport with only one rule: no human DNA is permitted in the design of the entrants. Silas lives and breathes genetics; his designs have led the United States to the gold in every previous event. But the other countries are catching up. Now, desperate for an edge in the upcoming Games, Silas’s boss engages an experimental supercomputer to design the genetic code for a gladiator that cannot be beaten.

The result is a highly specialized killing machine, its genome never before seen on earth. Not even Silas, with all his genius and experience, can understand the horror he had a hand in making. And no one, he fears, can anticipate the consequences of entrusting the act of creation to a computer’s cold logic.

Now Silas races to understand what the computer has wrought, aided by a beautiful xenobiologist, Vidonia João. Yet as the fast-growing gladiator demonstrates preternatural strength, speed, and — most disquietingly — intelligence, Silas and Vidonia find their scientific curiosity giving way to a most unexpected emotion: sheer terror.

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345526619, Hardcover)

This stunning first novel from Nebula Award and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award finalist Ted Kosmatka is a riveting tale of science cut loose from ethics. Set in an amoral future where genetically engineered monstrosities fight each other to the death in an Olympic event, The Games envisions a harrowing world that may arrive sooner than you think.
 
Silas Williams is the brilliant geneticist in charge of preparing the U.S. entry into the Olympic Gladiator competition, an internationally sanctioned bloodsport with only one rule: no human DNA is permitted in the design of the entrants. Silas lives and breathes genetics; his designs have led the United States to the gold in every previous event. But the other countries are catching up. Now, desperate for an edge in the upcoming Games, Silas’s boss engages an experimental supercomputer to design the genetic code for a gladiator that cannot be beaten.
 
The result is a highly specialized killing machine, its genome never before seen on earth. Not even Silas, with all his genius and experience, can understand the horror he had a hand in making. And no one, he fears, can anticipate the consequences of entrusting the act of creation to a computer’s cold logic.
 
Now Silas races to understand what the computer has wrought, aided by a beautiful xenobiologist, Vidonia João. Yet as the fast-growing gladiator demonstrates preternatural strength, speed, and—most disquietingly—intelligence, Silas and Vidonia find their scientific curiosity giving way to a most unexpected emotion: sheer terror.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:01:33 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"This stunning first novel from Nebula Award and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award finalist Ted Kosmatka is a riveting tale of science cut loose from ethics. Set in an amoral future where genetically engineered monstrosities fight each other to the death in an Olympic event, The Games envisions a harrowing world that may arrive sooner than you think. Silas Williams is the brilliant geneticist in charge of preparing the U.S. entry into the Olympic Gladiator competition, an internationally sanctioned bloodsport with only one rule: no human DNA is permitted in the design of the entrants. Silas lives and breathes genetics; his designs have led the United States to the gold in every previous event. But the other countries are catching up. Now, desperate for an edge in the upcoming Games, Silas's boss engages an experimental supercomputer to design the genetic code for a gladiator that cannot be beaten. The result is a highly specialized killing machine, its genome never before seen on earth. Not even Silas, with all his genius and experience, can understand the horror he had a hand in making. And no one, he fears, can anticipate the consequences of entrusting the act of creation to a computer's cold logic. Now Silas races to understand what the computer has wrought, aided by a beautiful xenobiologist, Vidonia Joao. Yet as the fast-growing gladiator demonstrates preternatural strength, speed, and--most disquietingly--intelligence, Silas and Vidonia find their scientific curiosity giving way to a most unexpected emotion: sheer terror"--… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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