Game by Krystyna Kuhn

the gameA review by Nalini Haynes

The Game introduces Julia and Robert, teenage siblings starting at an elite college for gifted and talented students in a valley in the middle of the Rocky Mountains in Canada. Their origins are surrounded in mystery, impacting on their ability to integrate into the college. They are assigned to separate apartments with 3 other students each (Debbie, Rose, Kate, Daniel, Chris and Benjamin), creating a clique of 8 in spite of personality clashes. The student mentors Alex and Isabelle are somewhat drawn into the circle, Alex more so because of Debbie’s infatuation and pursuit of him.

Intelligent narrative seamlessly incorporates mathematics, game theory, philosophy and ethics. The characters are gifted in the intellectual sense, which is reflected in their personalities, their approaches to problem solving and their classroom discussions. Thus The Game defies the usual ‘young adult’ tag with appeal to adults of all ages.

The Game is an unfolding mystery, which will be spoilt if I say much more about the plot and characters. Suffice to say I found this unexpected, compelling and chilling. This is the beginning of a series, with much hinted at left unresolved in the first book.

Highly recommended.

Previously published in Dark Matter issue 4, July 2011.