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Game by Krystyna Kuhn

A 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. Students surrounded in mystery struggle to integrate into the college. Each lives in a separate apartment with 3 other students each (Debbie, Rose, Kate, Daniel, Chris and Benjamin). Thus Kuhn creates a clique of 8. And personality clashes. The student mentors Alex and Isabelle are somewhat part of this circle. Alex more than Isabelle because of Debbie’s infatuation and pursuit of him.

Gifted and gaming

Intelligent narrative seamlessly incorporates mathematics, game theory, philosophy and ethics. Their personalities reflect their high intelligence, influencing their approaches to problem solving and classroom discussions. Thus The Game defies the usual ‘young adult’ tag with appeal to adults of all ages.

The verdict

The Game is an unfolding mystery. I fear spoilers if I say much more about the plot and characters. Suffice to say I found this novel 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.

The game: a woman looks over her shoulder above the title and, below the title, some buildings loom over the countryside

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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