I absolutely adore reading - my love for books has had a huge impact on my life! I'm going to grad school to be a children's/YA librarian.
When Henrik "HP" Pettersson finds a cell phone on the train, he hopes to sell it for some quick cash. However, his plans change when the phone invites HP to play a game. When HP accepts the invitation, his life becomes more exciting than he ever imagined as he's thrust into a series of risky situations with high reward for good performance... but is the reward worth the danger involved?
This book has such a cool concept. I think it's super creative and de la Motte successfully held my attention from start to finish. I think that, once it's gone through a very thorough editing process, this has very high potential to be a best seller, especially among thriller and gaming fans.
However, this book has a long way to go before it's ready for its release date on Tuesday. I received an advance copy from NetGalley. I'm not sure if there were problems in the transfer from NetGalley to my Kindle or if the version I received is just like this, but there were so many format problems that I struggled to get through the book, even though the story itself was great. A fellow reader suggested to me that a possible culprit of these problems could be the fact that this book is a translation, and I think that definitely could be the reason... however, I don't think that it excuses the fact that these errors are still in the version that I read. I didn't just encounter simple typos; there were TONS of spelling/grammar mistakes. Proper nouns were rarely capitalized and I encountered multiple sentences that completely omitted spaces. I frequently had to put the book down just because I got a headache from trying to deal with all of these problems. Now, I'm sure that the editor will address all of these before the release date. But I can't pretend that these problems didn't influence my reaction to the book.
Another format problem that really bothered me was the frequent unannounced changes in point of view. This book is told from the perspectives of HP and his sister Rebecca. In my copy of the book, it will switch from HP's perspective to Rebecca's and then back to HP without any indication of a POV switch whatsoever. This was very confusing and also needs to be remedied before the book's release.
I also feel that the characters need further development. HP came across as a complete tool with absolutely no regard to anyone or anything but his own interests. He does care for his sister, but aside from saving her from a sticky situation in the past (which I will not specify out of regard for spoilers), he does not go out of his way to help her at all. HP does redeem himself a bit at the end, but even in his act of redemption he's only motivated by personal glory. This leads to the creation of a protagonist who is extremely difficult to connect to and even more difficult to like.
As for Rebecca, the author tries so hard to avoid creating an overemotional female character that she comes across as almost robotic. As with HP, I found it difficult to empathize with her, simply because it was so hard to like her. She cares about her brother, but she also seems to regard him more as a burden than anything else (and once you get to know HP, you will understand why she seems to feel this way). Ultimately, I wish that de la Motte had created characters who were a bit more complex and not simply flawed - I wish that I could like them a bit more.
This book is off to a great start. As far as the plot goes, even when I had to put the book down because the format of it was driving me crazy, I couldn't stop thinking about what was going to happen next. The ending is just fantastic and I can't wait to see what everyone else thinks about it once the book's released. The twist at the very end came completely out of nowhere and I kind of want to re-read the book just to look for clues throughout the book that subtly point to what's coming. I definitely think that, eventually, this book will be great. However, it's not quite at that point yet and I think it could use some further revision before it's actually released - though, admittedly, at this point, it's probably a bit late for that.
Disclaimer: I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley, but in no way did this influence my review.