The God Game

The God Game is a must read for anyone who wants an imaginative ride into the darkest caverns of our collective morality, and what that has created in the world of artificial intelligence.

You are invited!
Come inside and play with G.O.D.
Bring your friends! It’s fun!
But remember the rules.
Win and ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE.™ Lose, you die!

— Danny Tobey

Synopsis:

A group of computer-savvy high school seniors agree to play a mysterious and secret game developed by hackers and controlled by an AI that acts as God. When reality begins to blur with the virtual world seen through their screens and the stakes are raised with each new task, the fun quickly turns sinister. Simple tasks turn cruel and deadly, and the friends risk betraying each other to survive. How far will they go to win?

Review:

Thrillers aren’t my usual genre of choice, but when I received this Advanced Reader’s Copy of The God Game from St. Martin’s Press, the synopsis had me very intrigued. I’ve seen a few Black Mirror episodes that give me the creepy AI-takes-over vibes, and this book felt like a big dose of the same.

I inhaled this book. It’s engrossing, horrifying, and kept me wanting more! Each chapter is so short (there are 102 chapters in this nearly 500 page book) that it didn’t take much to convince myself to read “just ONE more chapter!” This is also probably why I’ve gotten an average of 5 hours of sleep these past two nights…I stayed up WAY too late reading, and the adrenaline pumping through my body after immersing myself into their world kept my mind cycling non-stop through the scenes.

Danny Tobey knows his computer stuff, and it shows (he doubles as a lawyer for AI companies, and has even received an award for his writings on AI). The group of teen friends in the book use lots of AI lingo that I didn’t always understand, but I didn’t drown in the information or frustrate me. There were always ways that Tobey brought the talk back to laymen’s terms, and made the tech enticing and exciting.

The morality concepts discussed in The God Game are mind-boggling and so refreshing. Without giving away a bit of plot, there’s repeated discussion of the evolution of AI from our own human creation. How can AI become more intelligent than its creators? Such an intriguing concept, and one that was explored very well throughout the book.

The pace is devilishly quick, the characters are well rounded and carefully fleshed out, and the virtual world is so descriptive and visceral. The God Game is a fully immersive read into this terrifying world of AI-manipulation. It’s a must read for all the thriller/sci-fi lovers out there, as well as for anyone who wants an imaginative ride into the darkest caverns of our collective morality.

God is always watching, and He says when the game is done.

 

The God Game
by Danny Tobey
Hardcover, 496 pages
Expected publication: January 7th 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

Summary

The God Game is a fully immersive read into the terrifying world of AI-manipulation. It's a must read for all the thriller/sci-fi lovers out there, as well as for anyone who wants an imaginative ride into the darkest caverns of our collective morality. But beware, He says when the game is done!

— Cassie
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