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評分與書評 (4 6星級
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    Gripping!

    The Never Game is the firstbin a new series by Jeffrey Deaver featuring the intreguing character Colter Shaw. It's a gripping thriller featuring insights into the world of gaming. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and look forward to reading future books in this series.
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    Utterly Superb!

    A stimulating and spellbinding read - first in a brand new series - from international best-selling author of the Lincoln Rhyme books and many more. When his daughter suddenly disappears, her father knows that she hasn't just run away. With the authorities not taking him seriously, he puts up a reward. Enter Colter Shaw, a  man who searches for missing people where there is monetary gain to be made. There are so many things he is not, but his skills are not in question; but this isn't a novel about one missing person. It's about so much more. Colter Shaw is a protagonist like no other I've come across; his upbringing was, to say the least, unconventional. Shaw is a multi-faceted character, and although I feel as if I know him better than when I opened at the first page, I definitely get the impression that there is so much more to come. This is a superbly crafted book! A phenomenal, unpredictable read this is full of twist and turns, enigmas and revelations. I LOVED it! This is going to be a must-not miss series, and I'll be watching out for the second one. Utterly superb! It's not often I find myself absorbed in a story to the exclusion of everything else, but that is exactly what happened here - I've even consumed less coffee! Sometimes, five stars are just not enough, but that's the very best I can offer, and this one has earned each and every one of them, several times over.
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    Survivalism and Gaming

    I'm not entirely sure what this book was actually supposed to be about. There are a range of topics sort of covered here but none of them are ever really fully explored. Initially I thought this was going to be about the, certainly peculiar world, of gaming but that is a very tiny portion of the book. This was a bit of a disappointment if I'm being honest. Yes, there appears to be a link between a MMORPG and some kidnappings but it is fairly flimsy and tenuous and there is a distinct lack of research in to the whole phenomenon of professional gamers and, indeed, gaming as a whole. I haven't gamed for years but even I could spot the flaws in the plot, technology and the cliche of the type of people who game stuck in my craw. Then you have out hero, Colter Shaw. Kudos to Mr Deaver that I can remember the character name (something that I am famously bad at) some 5 days after reading this book. Colter is a bit of a poor-mans Jack Reacher to be honest. He works for reward but he isn't a bounty hunter, oh no sir, nothing as distasteful as that - and believe me Shaw tells us this often enough. Brought up by survivalist parents he knows all there is to know about wilderness survival and is an expert tracker. He is also strangely alluring as a character and has a wry wit that comes across on the page. Unfortunately I also found him to lack any humility or to have a depth of character beyond survivalist training; this hero is no Lincoln Rhyme. What else is there, oh yes, his dotty father that has left something somewhere and the clue is in a package of papers that Shaw has managed to steal. This thread pops up a few times in the book, mainly because Shaw constantly worries he's going to get busted for pinching it - if I was him I would be more worried about inherited dementia. To be honest I never really understood what place this had in the book, apart from opening the way for a second book (at least) and it is never resolved in this tale. Instead it leaves us on what is supposed to be a cliff hanger as Shaw realises what happened to his father and where he may have hidden something (no idea what he may have hidden). As a cliff hanger it didn't work for this reader. What did save the book for me - to a limited extent - was the procedural side of things. Great explanation of the various levels of Law Enforcement in California. Now, I have taken this at face value so if it is wrong then it is certainly believable (if that sentence makes any sense). The Law Enforcement individuals Shaw comes in to contact with are a fairly innocuous bunch with no real Goodies or Baddies just working stiffs trying to uphold peace and community in the best way they can. It was a pleasant enough read and allowed me to unplug my brain and just go along for the ride. I didn't really get invested in the characters or wonder about who could be perpetrating a dastardly Whispering Man plot in real life. It was sort of thriller by numbers and endearingly daft in places. THIS IS AN HONEST AND UNBIASED REVIEW OF A FREE COPY OF THE BOOK RECEIVED VIA THE PIGEONHOLE
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    A disappointed gamer

    Although I have never read a book by Jeffery Deaver before I was so excited to get the ARC to read The Never Game. I read the blurb out to my friends who all agreed that this book sounded perfect for me. I have been an avid gamer all of my life, I love going to escape rooms and crime thrillers are one of my preferred genres of books so on paper this book sounded absolutely ideal. This may also be why I’ve held it to very high standards and ultimately come away disappointed though! To start with I don’t think Deaver is a gamer, and it was a little obvious that some of the gaming aspects of the book were under researched or that liberties had been taken to suit the plot. There is no way for example, that a game released in the 80s would have a whole level that no-one had ever been able to complete, nor that only 9 people in the world had completed the one before it. I also found it incredible unlikely that gamers would be ok with watching a current news broadcast every time they started up a game – ads are one thing but it would be a massive undertaking to do in every state, let alone international releases. I liked that a female gamer who was a grinder and used twitch was a character but as all the other gamers we meet are men living in smelly basements little is done to break stereotypes – the police of course all laugh at how stupid these people must be to waste their time on video games. I did like the introduction to the excitement and pitfalls of VR gaming though. I thought the prospect of the murders based on a video game was really interesting but actually the crimes themselves aren’t well developed or explained. The 5 items the victims are given are completely side-lined and the perpetrator just leaves an easy escape route available for most of them so the items didn’t actually correlate to anything. I would have preferred to have seen the crime from the victim’s perspective and been introduced to more of the puzzle element of the crimes rather than the police just mentioning that 5 items had been randomly dumped with them. I was a little confused that this is the first plotline that the author chooses to introduce his new protagonist – Colter Shaw (yes, it’s an unusual first name and we are hit around the head with that fact repeatedly). Colter is a reward hunter, a man brought up on a remote compound by survivalist parents – the flashbacks are mostly about hunting and trapping which is so completely at odds with the plot of this book. I don’t really think the target audience for the plot are the target audience for the main character and this is a really odd choice for the start of a new series. There were a lot of red herrings in the book as well, almost too many and the actual reveal was done so fast I almost missed what was going on. I found myself just wanting the book to end – not helped by the fact that after the main plot is finished the book then carries on trying to set up a main through-line for the rest of the series that I had thoroughly lost interest in. Overall, as a gamer I really didn’t enjoy The Never Game despite a love of crime fiction and a plot that looked like it was made for me. It’s too odd a clash between plot and main character, with a drawn out story and under researched topic that failed to keep interest. Thank you to NetGalley & Harper Collins UK for a copy of the ARC in exchange for a (very) honest review.
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