My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Holy Moly, What a Ride!
I’m usually a reader of fantasy and sci-fi, so reading thrillers and mysteries is not quite my forte. In fact,this might be the first thriller I’ve ever read.
And apart from very, very slight things, I was not disappointed. I wish it lasted longer.
What I Thought Didn’t Work Well
I thought the economy of words could be tightened in some places. For example:
Detective Jonathan Johnson grinned at her and scribbled something on his notepad. “I know we’re in a hurry here, but if it makes you more comfortable, you can call me ‘DJ.’ You know, for Detective Johnson. Or JonJon, if you’re a four-year-old boy, like my nephew.”
“That helps,” she lied.
“I don’t know why I tell people—”
Sara interrupted. “Can we get started? Sorry, I’m sure it’s—time is sort of…” Anxious, she rubbed her damp palms on her pants.
The dialogue between these two characters has already been established. And they are the only ones talking to each other at the moment. Therefore, the sentence “Sara interrupted” isn’t really needed. I can tell that Sara, the protagonist, interrupts Detective Johnson with his broken dialogue. I also don’t need to specifically know that it was Sara that interrupted, unless there were three characters, and Sara was specifically coming in to the conversation.
I had a problem with editorial things like that, but not too frequently.
Speaking of the characters…
I wanted more characters that I got to know—more chances to figure out who the villain was. The characters were pretty well-drawn to begin with, although I agreed with some other reviews that Sara, the protagonist, felt a little flat in her character arc, in that she didn’t grow too much
But I’ll allow it. She grew a little It’s supposed to be a trilogy. Baby steps.
What I Thought Worked Well
Plot and Pacing
Sara’s Game had very, very powerful pacing.
By the time chapter one ended and Sara found a piece of paper on her car that read, “ARE YOU READY TO PLAY THE GAME?” I was hooked. I ran with Sara as she searched for her kids. I thought my way through the various challenges Sara had to face. I had to know what would happen next.
It was the first time I had read something that felt like someone had took me by the shirt collar, and pulled me along at breakneck pace.
I was a little disappointed that the novel didn’t delve into video gaming too much, but those are unfair expectations of me. The theme, overall, involved mind games and riddles, I couldn’t ask for more than that.
Sara’s Game centers Sara Winthrop, a fierce mother and lead game developer who would do anything to protect her children. When her three children are all kidnapped at the same time, the real game begins.
Given that this is a thriller/mystery about a protagonist trying to save her family, I’m not sure that I was supposed to walk away with some profound new outlook on life.
And that’s okay. This book is not perfect, but I had an amazing time. And I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
4.9 out of 5 stars