To be completely honest the main reason I picked up this book it was because of the word "flesh-eater" in the description. Pretty much any book/movie/tv show with cannibals is something that I will be spending time reading/watching, so those words, they made this book a must read for me. That being said the plot of this novel was fresh and unlike anything I had read before. The idea of an RPG where the characters were actually live people being unknowingly forced to play a game in a wasteland that is life-or-death is something that I had never heard before, and if you think about it it's actually kind of horrific. What if the avatars that we created to play those horrible video games were actually self-aware? While this makes an excellent idea for a novel I'm not entirely sure how the world in the book came to be so messed up that this was actually allowed to happen, so while other dystopian novels have causes for their societies that make perfect sense this one was a little shaky, but not so much that I didn't believe it could NEVER happen. The main character reminded me a lot of the famous dystopian heroines, Katniss and Tris being the two big ones, in the sense that they were forced to do things that were horrible to survive, and they ended up involved in something that was much bigger than themselves, but this main character had the added problem of not remembering anything before she wound up as a character in the game. She was strong and determined, but also had a conscience, which is something seen often in literature, but it's a good thing to see and personally I don't mind seeing it over and over again. Overall this was an interesting novel that was slightly predictable in the sense that I guessed the big secrets before they were revealed and if you put too much thought into it might end up having some plot holes, but was a fun read. Gamers especially will enjoy this book, and it might even make you pause the next time you pick up your controller. Or it will make you wish for the game-play in it. I know that I've already recommended this to both of my best friends, and despite not being a hard-core gamer myself I will probably end up taking a look at the sequel.
Out August 26, 2014
4/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Harlequin Teen for providing me with an e-ARC of this book in return for an honest review.