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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.

Buzz

Buzz (HP Pettersson, #2) - Anders de la Motte

Four months have passed since HP's involvement in the Game. He's been traveling the globe ever since, boosted by his now very healthy bank account, and has been trying to keep a low profile so he doesn't attract the attention of the Game Master. However, HP finds that his new life is actually rather boring without the thrill of the Game, and as bad as it was, he misses the adrenaline rush that he gave him. After he gets into some trouble in Dubai, HP quickly realizes that he may not have left the Game as far behind as he thought... 

 

I was very hesitant to read this book because, as you may remember, my copy of Game that I received from NetGalley was absolutely terrible. I seriously doubt that it had been looked at by an editor, at least, not a good one, because it contained countless grammatical, mechanical, formatting, and spelling errors. It was an absolute nightmare to read, and as a result I could barely concentrate on the story itself because I had to struggle so much to understand the words on the page. 

 

In that regard, Buzz was a huge improvement. Unlike Game, it actually looked like someone had put some time into making it reader-friendly. I do feel that attention to format slipped somewhat in the second half of the book. Like GameBuzz frequently switches point of view with very little warning. In the first half of the book, there was clear signs by way of formatting that POV was about to change, but in the second half, it would often simply change at the beginning of a new paragraph. Since Anders de la Motte rarely refers to his characters by their actual names, preferring to use ambiguous pronouns like he or she, this did get confusing. However, once again, this was a huge improvement on book one, and I had a much easier time following the story as a result. 

 

When I read Game, I blamed my lack of connection with the characters on the fact that I had so many problems understanding the story. This time around, I think I can safely say that I couldn't connect to them because they simply are not very dynamic or developed. Henrik and Rebecca have very little empathy with the outside world. Pretty much the only people who they care about other than themselves is each other, and this seems to be simply out of obligation. Henrik is completely and totally obsessed with the Game and has very little care for anything else in his life. Rebecca, on the other hand, is entirely devoted to her job. Neither sibling seems to have any interest in personal relationships, whether it be with a friend or a significant other. Rebecca really doesn't seem to have any friends at all - she has work friends, but she keeps them at a distance. At the end of Game, she started a relationship with a man named Micke, which didn't really seem too promising to begin with as he was already in a relationship with another woman when they met,

and by Buzz she had grown bored of him and was cheating on him.

(show spoiler)

As for Henrik, he does want to have a relationship with one woman who he meets, but the main attraction seems to be sexual; he doesn't seem to have made any sort of real personal connection with her. As for Henrik's best (and only?) friend, Mange,

Henrik actually ends up assuming Mange's identity - without permission - and he only really contacts Mange when he wants something, a pattern that was evident in Game.

(show spoiler)

 By this point in the series, I feel like Rebecca and Henrik are selfish, brutal people and I can't say that I really like either one of them. I think that this is a huge flaw in the book - if an author wants readers to continue to read his series, he should have at least one likeable character. 

 

I do have to say, Anders de la Motte's greatest strength is the ability to create an intricate plot and fill the entire book with suspense. Although there were parts in the book that felt like they were simply there to take up time, the story progressed quickly and it ended in a way that suggests that Bubble is going to be just as action-packed as the first two books in this trilogy. The impact of the author's past as a Swedish policeman on this book is evident and I think that he has definitely used it to his advantage. 

 

While I definitely enjoyed Buzz much more than I enjoyed Game, my inability to connect with the characters makes it difficult for me to really care about the story, despite how interesting it is. I hesitate to label books as "boy" books or "girl" books, but I think that this is definitely a stereotypical "boy" book - heavy on the action, extremely light on emotion. Fans of intense thrillers would probably find this book, and the trilogy as a whole, to be satisfying, but readers looking for any degree of emotional depth will be disappointed. 

 

Disclaimer: I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley, but in no way did that influence my review.