Game of the Gods, an adult science fiction novel by Jay Schiffman, is about a future dystopian world in which several political factions are constantly fighting. Max Cone, a judge for the Federacy, finds himself in the middle of this global war. He realizes his life with his family was never what he thought it was, and Max has to do what he can to get his family back and stop this war.
This is Jay Schiffman’s first novel, and I don’t know if it was for me. If I hadn’t been reading this book to review it, I probably wouldn’t have finished it. If you’re a fan of political intrigue, the drama between the fighting factions might be enough to keep you engaged. I felt the characters weren’t well developed and the plot was difficult to follow. Schiffman chose to use initialisms for several of the political groups, so I couldn’t remember the full names or how any of the groups differed from one another, and Max jumps from group to group with no consequences, so it was hard to see exactly how they were different, if at all.
Schiffman also chose to just give modern words new spellings (Ameriquan, Yerusalom, Erabian), rather than attempt to create a brand-new world. He left out a lot of explanation about where we were in the world and what was going on. I never felt sure I knew what was happening in the book, and I often found myself spacing out while reading it because it wasn’t engaging me.
I really didn’t have any interest in finding out how this book ended. I couldn’t get into the story and wasn’t invested in the characters. Schiffman came up with an interesting concept, but I think the narration, characters, and plot failed to meet it.
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher, Tor Books, for review.