The Games

The Games

eBook - 2012
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"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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Del Rey/Ballantine Books, c2012
ISBN: 9780345526632
0345526635
Characteristics: 1 online resource (360 p.)
Additional Contributors: Overdrive, Inc

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ChristchurchLib Feb 04, 2016

Monsters don't care about gold medals. Neither do fans of the Olympic Games, where the main event is watching genetically engineered gladiators fight to the death. Designed by a supercomputer, America's most promising combatant proves to be so lethal that U.S. Games Committee chairman Dr. Silas Williams calls in xenobiologist Vidonia João to determine exactly what kind of creature they're dealing with -- and how much destruction it might cause if it were to escape the ring. If you've ever wished that the Olympics were more like the Hunger Games, this fast-paced, action-packed debut should slake your bloodlust. The novel's themes of technology gone awry should also please fans of the late Michael Crichton.
Science fiction newsletter January 2016

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DreamScapeReader
Jun 17, 2013

Very good read. I will check out the rest of the books by Ted Kosmatka.

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Octillion
Jun 16, 2013

I found this book to be entertaining in the way that 90's action movies are entertaining. If you don't think too much, and just go with the flow, it's decent. However, when you start to actually look at the plot, characters, pacing, etc it gets to be fairly frustrating. I found it dragged in a lot of parts, and the sections with the super computer really lacked the punch that it should have. All in all, there are better sci-fi books out there, but if you are looking for a not-too-deep, fluffy, entertaining sci-fi thriller - give this novel a shot.

s
ScorchingSun
Apr 10, 2013

Interesting and frightening ideas in the setup. Some exciting action. Would make a great Hollywood sci-fi thriller. A big problem was the huge amount of long-winded boring filler, especially at the end. A substantial trimming would tighten the pace.

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SFCohen
Feb 21, 2013

What was the author thinking? He had at least three different plot lines, each of which could have been worked up into a decent novel. Why he decided to waste them all on this one book, I have no idea. It's not like he ties them together in any meaningful way.

What's even worse is that in a slightly futuristic world (although it's never stated explicitly, one can deduce the year is 2044) where tech and genetic engineering have made great leaps, attitudes about gender remain sadly unchanged. Yes, there's a brainy female scientist who saves the day eventually. She's also a hot Brasilian with a nice butt who lets the man do all the hard work while she defers to him, and doesn't rise to the occasion until he's dead. Is that really the best character development you can come up with??? Ugh.

w
writer13
Sep 25, 2012

While I am not generally a reader of science fiction I found this novel to be highly entertaining. This is not science fiction in the traditional sense, but reads more like a thriller that just happens to be set in the future. The concept is unique enough to both grab your attention and serve as a cautionary tale. All that said though, the ending was a little formulaic and could've been better. Still, I'd recommend this book even if you're not into science fiction.

sugermom Jun 19, 2012

Disturbing idea of what could happen when we start relying on too much technology.

KileyP May 28, 2012

The Games is a great play on the popular dystopia, and timed perfectly (I'm sure it was planned that way) with the upcoming summer Olympics.

In the (not so) distant future, the Olympics have had a gruesome new spectacle added to their round up - the gladiator battle. Instead of worrying about geneticists altering humans who compete in the classic portion, the Olympic Council gave science their own sport. Countries build/grow their own hideous mash-up of animal DNA and breed it to compete in a battle to the death.

Sounds like a pretty straight-forward story, right? Wrong. What happens when you have a supercomputer (created by a crazy man) create the chimera?

This book didn't leap out at me as fantastic - it's a great read, and has some interesting concepts. However, it could have been so much more than it was, and the ending quickly became typical for me. But overall a refreshing perspective on mad-scientist-creates-crazy-animal topic.

j
jvehawn
Apr 09, 2012

I was looking forward to reading this book after reading a review and reading an interview with the author. Honestly it felt like I was back in middle school rereading Jurassic park, except that I got to find out more about how the dinosaur was made then just the brush over of DNA that Crichton gave. The characters are pretty well thoughtout and interesting, but for me it just took to long to get to a point in which I began to really get excited and feel my pulse race; and even when it did race it was only as if I had just gone for a light jog, not survived an attack from raptors and a T-Rex by the mearest of chances. The Games is a good book for something to read, but don't ecpect too much out of it.

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Octillion
Jun 16, 2013

Octillion thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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