Book Stop: ARC Review – A Game of Survival by T.R. Tells

A Game of Survival by T.R. Tells

Publisher: Self

Published: December 12th 2018

Genre: Fantasy

Series: A Game of Survival #1

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I joined an ARC review team for this book via Book Sirens in exchange for an honest review.

Triggers: Rape and Abuse of children and young adults.

I’m going to say 2-2.5 for this story. I really felt like the story started off really strong with a really dramatic entrance, but as the story progressed it as almost like there were too many ideas trying to converge into the story all at once and it became confusing, non cohesive at times, and honestly it felt like maybe the author didn’t know where the story was going until it got there. I also feel like the blurb was misleading and nothing like what story really turned into. The blurb gave me a “Children of Blood and Bone” feel but this is nothing like that.

We start out with our FMC seemingly being a magi, in a world where magi are being persecuted, but then we find out she is roma and we touch on what that means here and there but its never really explained and woven into the story cohesively. Apparently they aren’t the same thing. I also felt like there were many times throughout the story that the dialogue and plot line seemed to really drag on and even drift away from any end game or goals. There were several times when I had to make myself go back and figure out how we had gotten a certain place.

Thea our FMC kicks off our story pretty roughly, her sister telling her to be a boy as she is dragged off by the kings guards rounded up like all other magi. Her last words telling her to survive.. So she does, barely, doing some really awful things. Her rage causes her to weaken to allow demons to inhabit her. She ends up with a group of child thieves living basically on the streets stealing to survive. She is constantly getting caught. The inner demons/conscience talking to her trying to make her choose bad or good or just arguing with themselves in her head made scenes confusing at times. Eventually just as things are looking up they take a nose dive straight to hell as their rag tag group are found and basically used as sex slaves and thieves. The book skips forward between parts and Thea has even more people to look after as well as a lead to her sister. In all honesty, we start off headed in the direction of revenge but never get there and in the end it seems like we are going to be in the midst of a battle of the gods.

Usually I’m a huge sucker for some mythology, but the Norse mythology and how it was woven into this particular story with the “Roma” which was described more like gypsies those are from a whole different set of mythology “Romani” and the concepts sort of clashed for me. Then there was also the whole “demon” concept which comes from a whole different set of ideals. There were several concepts that I did like in the story, however, one being the whole conscience ideals. The story really seemed to take a lot from the Native American proverb of the 2 wolves existing in each man, one being good the other evil and the one you feed is the one that wins.

Really the mashup made for a really confusing read and it was hard to just grasp what the main plot of the story was until the very end. I kept trying to grasp one idea and hold on for dear life but this book was not having it. The frustration of trying to remain focused on the book made it just ok for me.
View all my reviews

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