Genius: The Game

Genius: The Game (Genius #1) by Leopoldo Gout (2016)
-eARC Review-


YA Fiction | Sci-Fi4 StarsBlurb:

“Trust no one. Every camera is an eye. Every microphone an ear. Find me and we can stop him together.

The Game: Get ready for Zero Hour as 200 geniuses from around the world go head to head in a competition hand-devised by India’s youngest CEO and visionary. 

The Players:
Rex– One of the best programmers/hackers in the world, this 16-year-old Mexican-American is determined to find his missing brother.
Tunde-This14-year-old self-taught engineering genius has drawn the attention of a ruthless military warlord by single-handedly bringing electricity and internet to his small Nigerian village.
Painted Wolf-One of China’s most respected activist bloggers, this mysterious 16-year-old is being pulled into the spotlight by her father’s new deal with a corrupt Chinese official.

The Stakes: Are higher than you can imagine. Like life and death. Welcome to the revolution. And get ready to run.”

Expected Publication Date: May 03, 2016

pooled ink Review:

Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy to review!

Dude that was awesome! I consider myself a nerd on a very basic level seeing as I decided to veer off into the path of theatre rather than continue down the fun-but-not-for-me roads of physics and Calculus. My brother though knows a thing or two about coding. Anyway, that’s not the point. I bet you could know 0% about the tech in this story and still find it thrilling and interesting.

Rex Huerta? Berkhoff (from the TV show Nikita) would be proud of you, I’ve no doubt. A part of me is elderly and wants to snub the idea that teens could be some of the most brilliant minds in the world but the youth in me knows that that’s a stupid thought. Adults may be able to learn the ways of modern technology but teens are the ones who were born into it. Ever notice how a baby can work their parent’s iPhone without any help? We find it incredible and yet to them it’s almost natural, instinctual. Pretty crazy, but true.

It’s pretty insane to believe young people capable of even half the things completed in this book, and yeah I’ve no doubt there was some serious dramatization because duh it’s a story, but even though the adult/”real” world struggles to acknowledge it, the youth run this world now.

Okay so the characters I found likable (except Kenny), realistic, diverse, and captivating to read. Rex was a familiar American teen with the armor of a coding genius, Cai was a modern Chinese fierce warrior princess with a calculating mind like a wizard, and Tunde was a brilliant Nigerian fabricator and self-taught engineer full of warmth. Maybe I’ve been watching too much Nikita as of late but it’s an awesome show so take it as a compliment when I say I saw Nikita in Cai and Berkhoff in Rex (I mean come on, Rex invents WALKABOUT and Berkhoff invented SHADOWNET). I’m not really sure who Tunde would be… I really liked Tunde but he was often naïve to the point of eye rolling, ya know? Although that being said without his very good heart and deep honesty and innocence the LODGE would be incomplete and cut loose from a tether that keeps them firmly away from corruption. Anyone would love a friend like Tunde, loyal and true. Oh! Okay, Tunde is Ryan (from Nikita).

I really loved the diversity of the characters. They came from all sorts of backgrounds and nationalities, which was both realistic, hopeful, and refreshing. Diagrams are interspersed throughout the book, which I found very cool and helpful. Structurally the story alternated between three different POVs.

Now for the plot. Look, I’m being honest when I say it was a thrill of a ride. But I’m not going to say it isn’t without its holes and illusions. For a book, who cares? But I guess if you’re a super smart tech genius then you might. That’s not me, so I’m safe. For the masses I doubt you’ll notice anything and will be way too absorbed by this spectacular game to even care.

Oh yes, the Game. Well Kiran is quite the interesting-but-only-towards-the-end sort of character. I felt like Kiran would be hardly worth mentioning (I mean, besides the Game being of his design) except that Cai kept insisting he was up to something. It felt like pushing, honestly. I felt like the book was trying to force me into seeing the sinister possibilities of Kiran. And I don’t mean that all I would have seen otherwise were his good qualities. I would have seen almost no qualities at all. A young genius and billionaire CEO is not an unheard of concept. I knew Kiran was a loon from the start but only because I’ve watched so much TV…particularly Nikita. But if I were to just go on the info provided in the book then very little pointed to Kiran being of much significance…I mean, besides being a genius billionaire. But Cai pushes and frames him up as an awesome chill dude with secret probably sinister plans as if it’s earth-shattering news. It wasn’t earth-shattering news to me. Yeah, I’ve definitely been watching too much TV if I’ve become this cynical of people. Oh well.

I do look forward to this game Kiran is playing. Oo! Kiran is totally Percy from Nikita. But anyway…yes I will be on the lookout for a sequel as this book has left me incredibly curious as to the LODGE’s next move and how Kiran will undoubtedly manipulate it. Mmm, yes indeed, what a game we have all stumbled upon!

Genius is a pulse-pumping, head-shattering, thrill of a story. Sparking with coders, fabricators, and political tangos this little game of chess will keep you reading until the last piece has fallen and a new board has been set. A game within a game? Or was the Game simply the opening move? You’ll be dying to know what happens next.


amazon icon_tiny Purchase here: Genius: The Game 

Similar Recommended Reads: The Calling (Endgame #1) by James Frey, The Maze Runner (Maze Runner #1) by James Dashner, The Vault of Dreamers (Vault of Dreamers #1) by Caragh M. O’Brien

Meet Leopoldo Gout!

leopoldo gout

Leopoldo Gout was born in Mexico City, Mexico and studied contemporary art at Central Saint Martins School of the Arts in London. In 1996, Leopoldo founded the Mexican art group and production company Calabazitaz (English: Tender Squash) with his brother Everardo Gout, also a director, writer and producer. Leopoldo wrote, directed, and produced several animated short films, for which he also composed original film scores, through the Calabazitaz entity. Leopoldo and Everardo developed Calabazitaz into Casa Buñuel/Voodoo Post, a producer of films, animation, television documentary films and music videos with worldwide distribution.
Leopoldo became a key executive at James Patterson Entertainment in 2006 through his collaboration with James Patterson on the graphic novel Dangerous Days of Daniel X.

Website | Goodreads

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