The Traitor Game by B R Collins
|The Traitor Game by B R Collins|
|Reviewer: Loralei Haylock|
|Summary: A story of friendship, loss, betrayal, cowardice and finding the inner strength to stand up to your fears that will appeal to fans of roleplaying games.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 304||Date: August 2008|
|Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC|
Michael and Francis are best friends. Michael's never really had a best friend before – in his last school he was bullied terribly, eventually leading to his transfer to St Anselm's. A new school, a new start. His Mum invites Francis round before the beginning of term to try and encourage friendship. Michael thinks it's a bad idea, that Francis will just laugh at how pathetic he is, needing his mother's help to make friends, but the boys form an unlikely bond over an old school project of Michael's, the fictional country Evgard.
Soon every weekend they lock themselves away in Michael's room and create maps, books, histories and poetry for their project. It's their shared secret, and Michael thinks it means more to him than anything. Sometimes it feels like Evgard is more real than the real world. Sometimes things that happen in Evgard strangely mirror events in his life.
Then Michael receives a note in his locker, an unsigned note that simply says I know where Arcaster is. Believing that Francis has betrayed Evgard, and is secretly laughing at him behind his back, Michael deliberately betrays Francis, setting in motion a series of events with terrible consequences for them both.
The Traitor Game is a story of friendship, loss, betrayal, cowardice and finding the inner strength to stand up to your fears. It travels between the events of the real world, and the story of Argent, a fictional character from Evgard who mirrors Michael in many ways.
At times The Traitor Game felt more like two separate books than one, and I was sometimes much more interested in the events in Evgard than in Michael's real life, however, the coincidences between the two storylines are enough to keep the book tied together.
Other than that, it's a very well written book – B. R. Collins perfectly captures the fear that someone will find out you have a hobby that is not 'cool', and the other anxieties suffered by teenagers. You completely believe that the relationship between Francis and Michael could degenerate so badly over a note.
This is a book that will appeal to the generation of teenagers who spend too much time on roleplaying games, and if Collins can get just a few of them away from their computers to enjoy his book, then it will have been a success.
My thanks to the publishers for sending a copy.
If you enjoy books that mix reality with fantasy try M is for Magic by Neil Gaiman, or any of his books.
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You can read more book reviews or buy The Traitor Game by B R Collins at Amazon.com.
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