The Games, Ted Kosmatka, Del Rey books, ISBN 978-0-345-52661-8, $25.00, 360 pgs.

English: The Olympic Flag flying in Victoria, ...

English: The Olympic Flag flying in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, outside the provincial legislature of British Columbia, in recognition of Vancouver’s hosting of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Olympic Games now includes an event that involves each country entering a genetically modified/created being to fight to the death.   There is one rule: no human DNA can be used.  Last thing standing wins. Silas Willams is the geneticist in charge of the Unites States entry.  He’s a past winner.  In fact he’s never lost.  But the other countries are making gains and he knows that if he is to win in this year’s games he will have to come up with something totally unseen before.  The use of a super computer generates genetic code for a gladiator that is incredibly strong, amazingly fast, and, intelligent.  But the computer has created something that none of them truly understand and, as it grows, Silas worries that they may have created something that none of them can control.  With the help of Vidonia Joao, a xenobiologist, Silas hopes to find answers before the creature reaches it’s full potential.  The problem is, it may already be too late.  The creature breaks free of the Olympic cage and begins a cross country rampage.  Now it’s up to Silas and Vidonia to try to stop it.

There are one or two suspensions of belief that you have to have in order to be able to read this book.  First, you have to believe that the Olympics would somehow allow a sport based on genetics into the games, and then allow that sport to be a fight to the death.  Second, you have to believe that a society would allow genetic research to be used for this as well.  If you can get past those two, rather large, suspensions, then you might find yourself enthralled.  Now, granted, fiction is all about suspension of belief.  And it’s the job of the writer to make that suspension as simple and easy as possible.  This is typically done through good world-building or good storytelling.  Most people didn’t mind too much that Lucas had his spaceships function in two dimensions and make swooshing noises in space because they got caught up in the story he was telling.  It’s the same here. The more you are able to fall into the details of the fiction the more willing you are to suspend your belief.

Kosmatka does a good job with the story telling.  His characters are interesting and believable in their actions, the premise manages to hang together, the pacing is fairly fast, and the concept is intriguing.  If you enjoy beasts battling each other in an arena then you’ll no doubt want to get a copy of this book.  If you enjoy Frankenstein scenarios then you’ll enjoy it as well.  And, if you’re looking for a good, old fashioned SF yarn then you should check it out as well. I found it to be pretty entertaining and that’s what I’m looking for in books, for the most part, these days.

If you want to get your own copy you should go here: The Games

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About damnaliens
Writer, reviewer, home provider to the Damnaliens

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