Tuesday 27 October 2015

REVIEW: Keith Deininger - The Godgame (The Godgame #1)

Genre: Dark Fantasy
Publisher: A Meridian Codex Book
Publication Date: 1st October 2015
Pages: 242

A copy of The Godgame (The Godgame #1) was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author Keith Deininger in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This is A Meridian Codex Book.

Isn’t it funny how the simple task of reading a book can take a turn you never expected it to? This sort of describes my experiences with the writings of Keith Deininger. My first experience of reading his stuff was The Ghosts of Eden. I found it very weird. I just didn’t get it at all. I could however see potential there for me to like his stuff in the future so kept plugging away.

When I saw a post with some blurb on it for The Godgame it looked right up my street.

What I’m trying to say is, if you don’t “get” a book, don’t write the author off. If I had done that I would never have found this absolute beauty.

This series starts with the extended prologue, Marrow’s Legacy. You can read my review of it here.

Eli has made it to the other side and is on his way to Talos. At the same time, in the neighbouring territory of Nova, twelve year old Ash is starting an adventure he is not even aware of.

The Talosian’s are a people of decadence. They live for the good things in life and will do anything in their power to get it and eradicate anyone who gets in their way. The Archon of Talos has some tough decisions to make. There is unrest in Talos. People are losing faith in their God and in their leadership. The Archon feels the time is right to destroy Nova and all its inhabitants.

In a story with many paths, the entire population of Nova is in danger. The Archon of Talos is in danger from people in his own city but doesn’t realise it. Who will survive? Who will be victorious? Will common sense prevail or will the forces of darkness that surround everyone have their way. These are the players in The Godgame.

In the first real part of what is proving to be an epic tale, The Godgame follows immediately on from Marrow’s Legacy in the story of the land know as Meridian.
This is going to be a very difficult review to write. Mainly because I don’t want to mention too much from the extended prologue or tell you too much about the story in this or it may spoil things for you. My previous review of the prologue will tell you all you need to know about it so I will just stick with this story. And what a wonderful story it is.

In terms of what the characters are like? Well as you would imagine, when an author is setting out to tell you a tale of epic proportions, from which I understand there will be about six books, the first full novel is used as an introduction to the main players. For that reason there are lots of them so forgive me if I don’t mention them all. Ones you really need to know about are firstly, Ash. He is a young boy that, according to some people, is special. He doesn’t know it himself but he is certainly a very strong character. He is very mature for his age. This is purely from his upbringing. His father and mother have been fantastic in educating him in the right ways. His mother, Lena, is a Talosian which is rare in Nova. She holds secrets that not even her husband knows. Trevor is the assistant to the Archon, the most powerful man in Talos. Trevor has risen from nothing, to a position of great power and will not let anything stand his way of keeping that power. He has more secrets than the Secret Garden. One other main character in Talos is Embla. She is Lena’s sister but where Lena abandoned Talos and all its treasures, Embla stayed behind. She is also searching for something. She has no idea what it is either but she is determined to find it.

The plot? That’s a toughie because the story is really only starting to get going. The way I see it, this is obviously set in a mysterious world. Now whether this is all supposed to be happening in the same world we live in, in either the past or the future or some other universe or parallel existence is still to be discovered. It looks like it is going to develop into a story of struggles for survival against forces of authority and possibly forces of evil. There is a certain dark element to the story that I think is just festering under the surface and is bursting to get out.

What I can tell you is this – it’s bloody good. This is something that I never thought I would see Mr Deininger write. His previous writings have always had a fantasy element to them but have edged more towards pure horror. This story, at the minute, is pure fantasy. Set in a fantasy land, in a fantasy time with fantastical characters from different realms and worlds all trying to mix together but all having their own agendas. I can’t wait for the time in the story that the dark stuff really comes to the surface. I think it’s going to take off big style.

Keith Deininger’s writing in this is absolutely superb. You cannot help but be totally glued to the pages. The way it is written, it just doesn’t want you to set it down and go do something else. It teases you into reading just one more chapter and before you know it you are finished. At times this story is extremely moving and very emotional. At times it is extremely harrowing. At times it will take your breath away. I found it totally mesmerising. The descriptions of the city of Talos and the territory of Nova are fantastic. In fact the descriptive writing throughout this book is fantastic. You truly do believe you are in another world. Very imaginative, giving you an amazing vision in your head if you let yourself go.

Now let’s face it, this type of story has been done to death recently so why should you pick this up? I honestly can’t tell you. I just know that once you start reading this you will be hooked. It is so easy to read but at the same time a complicated story that you know will all be explained the further you get into it therefore forcing you to carry on to find out what will happen next.

By the way, don’t be expecting to read a story where you will be able to predict what will happen to characters. More than once when reading this, certain storylines changed direction very rapidly and threw things into the mix that literally had me gasping.

To summarise: a fantasy tale that will run over a few books. Going by what I have read so far, I will be reading every one of those books. This is truly a book where you can totally lose yourself in a fantastical world that you will not want to come back from. With twists and turns galore, I cannot wait to read the next instalment. I am, in fact, about to start it right now!

General rating:

★★★★★ just brilliant.

Fantasy rating:

★★★★★ epic.

If you would like to help support Confessions of a Reviewer then please consider using the links below to buy The Godgame (The Godgame #1) or any other books from Keith or indeed anything at all from Amazon. This not only supports me but also lets me know how many people actually like to buy books after reading my reviews.


Book Synopsis:

Some say the world of Meridian is in its last age of existence. The Flood is coming, an event that will wipe the planet clean of corruption. But for humanity, there are more immediate troubles. A war is brewing between the decadent and industrial City of Talos and the rural territory of Nova.

When twelve-year-old Ash Alexander is recruited by the Novan militia, his life—and the life of each member of his family—is thrown into chaos, into a war far deadlier than anyone could have predicted.

While Ash’s sanity is tested against the horrors of war; a woman seeks to uncover the mysteries of the School of the Unseen in her lifelong quest to travel the world; a man will do anything to cure his wife of a horrible sickness; and the chief adviser to the ruler of Talos will align himself with grotesque and otherworldly beings in order to achieve his ambitions.

The Godgame has begun.

An award-winning writer of fantastic and disturbing fiction, Keith Deininger is the author of several novels and novellas, including THE NEW FLESHWITHINMARROW'S PIT, and THE GODGAME series. He was raised in the American Southwest and currently resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife, baby daughter Violet and four dogs.

And for more about Keith, visit his site or find him on social media:

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