Genius by Leopoldo Gout [ARC]

GeniusRex, Tunde, and Painted Wolf are best friends and they’re about to meet in real life for the first time. The CEO of one of the biggest companies in the world is hosting an event simply called The Game. 100 of the best and brightest from around the world will be competing head-to-head and they’re all under the age of 18. Rex is a coder, Tunde is a brilliant engineer, and Painted Wolf can out-strategize anyone. They’ll need all of these skills if they want to win, but the question is, what will happen if they do?

I felt like this book was a really great idea. The premise was interesting and I always love the idea of gifted teenagers coming together to compete in a reality show-esque atmosphere. The characters were interesting and I liked that they were all very distinct. Sometimes when authors try to do multiple perspectives, all of the narrators just end up sounding the same. Luckily that wasn’t the case here. Since all three of our main characters have such different skill sets, it makes sense that they would think and communicate very differently. This really came through with the switching narratives.

I liked the way the author took the reader through The Game. It could have been easy to feel passive as a reader because there’s no way we can help our characters to move on, but each problem was still engaging and I found myself thinking about possible solutions. Overall, the plot follows a pretty linear path and I thought most things made sense and nothing was too technical. I also appreciated the drawings and diagrams that were scattered throughout the story. It makes things more interesting and also helps the story to feel like it’s moving faster.

Those things being said, however, I felt like this book and the idea would have been much better suited as a movie. I don’t think the book was able to create as much or the same kind of tension that the author was looking for. It just doesn’t come across on the page whereas I think film would have been a very good medium for it. In addition, while I liked that some of the contestants were very, very young, I think the book would have been better if the competitors were all college students. It’s almost hard for me to take the characters seriously because they’re so young.

Overall, I thought this book was pretty good. There were definitely some changes that I would have made, but I think readers will still enjoy the book anyway.

Overall Rating: 3
Language: None
Violence: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: Mild
Sexual Content: None

Note: I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.