Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

The Game The Game
The Valley - Book One
by Krystyna Kuhn

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Jacqui Smith

I was curious about this book because it is unusual in that it’s an acclaimed YA novel written in German and then translated into English. It’s not really Science Fiction, or even Paranormal Romance – maybe Mysterious Romance if there is such a thing. There are classic horror scene-setting elements, but if there are actual supernatural forces operating here, they’re not revealed in this first book.

It does seem that something odd is going on at Grace College, high in the Canadian Rockies, and a long way from anywhere, and there’s definitely something peculiar about that lake.

The book does take a long while to get going though, and about a third of the way through I was starting to think that all this slogging through teenage angst and adolescent relationships wasn’t going to be worth it. Well, I was wrong. By the time we finally find the murder victim (about 2/3 through the book) Kuhn has built up the pace, established the characters, and even tossed in a dose of philosophy… It all works out to a satisfactory conclusion, with sufficient mystery remaining to make the reader want to go find the next book. Oh, and there’s a nice little bombshell right in the epilogue…

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