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Loved the series, hated the ending
am 23. Juni 2014
Warning: there are no direct plot spoilers here, yet some general info about the ending which some might consider as spoilers anyway.
As is already clear from the book descriptions, this series is about levels of reality in the tradition of movies like "Matrix" or "The 13th Floor" (less known, but a closer match). While in the first book "The Game is Life" this game is introduced as an educational measure for children, the subsequent books take you deeper into its real significance for the world that invented it.
After a slow start of the first book, the series quickly got me hooked. After each book, I was relieved to find that the sequel had already been written and I could continue at once... and felt the author was getting better at his job with each book.
One of the great features was the high frequency of questions posed and answered. All along the way, there were always some new riddles to keep the interest alive, mixed with some solutions to old ones. Some of those coincided with my guesses, some were surprising, and that mixture made for pleasant reading. All in all a great page turner! But it felt like the total number of open questions steadily increased, and when I was nearing the 90 % mark of the last book (this one), I began to itch a bit: how can all this be cleared up in the little space that remains? Well, it isn't. At the end of the last chapter you are left with a big bunch of open issues. What had promised to be an intricate and convincing world stayed too undefined and full of holes to satisfy on the finish line.
To add insult to injury, there's an epilogue, which on a few pages effectively changes the whole tenor of the book. Below it is printed, unmistakably: T H E E N D - telling me that what would have been a great cliff hanger is in fact the worst spoiling of a good book I've ever seen.
What remains is a feeling of having been horribly let down by the author.
Three stars anyway, because I had almost four books' worth of great fun.
Three stars only, because it's hard to forgive that ending.