Welcome to Gameland by S.W. Tanpepper

6 Hackers, 1 Game… and 10,000 Undead.

Everyone loves Survivalist, a live-action, virtual reality show based on Arc Entertainment’s The Game, where cybernetically controlled zombies do battle in a video arcade in the middle of a Long Island wasteland. It’s to die for.

If you’re rich enough, you can buy your way in. If you’re desperate enough, you can volunteer to become one of the Undead Players. Jessie Daniels and her gang of computer hackers plan to break their way in.

Welcome to GAMELAND. Access Restricted.

EPISODE 1: Deep Into The Game

A reckless, end-of-summer plan leads Jessie and her friends onto Long Island hoping to catch a glimpse of the infected victims of a decades-old outbreak. But while breaking in might be easy, getting back out is a hell of a killer. It doesn’t take long before they realize they’re part of The Game.

Deep Into the Game is the first book in the hi-tech dystopian thriller GAMELAND. Structured on television’s The Walking Dead and Law and Order, the nearly 400,000-word series consists of eight individual episodes, first published monthly between May and December 2012. All are available digitally in single and multi-episode packages, as well as in an omnibus edition. Also available in print.

Not recommended for readers under age 15.

One of the things I abhor the most in series fiction is the gratuitous cliffhanger ending, designed only to get the reader to buy the next installment. And, while this book does end on a cliffhanger, I did not feel it a gratuitous one because the author warned the reader up front (and this is why it is important to read the author’s notes) that these books are episodic, somewhat like the reality television formula on which it was based. Even though I was warned, I was still surprised that the book ended right in the middle of the action, and I immediately went and downloaded the next installment.
I am a huge fan of post-apocalyptic fiction and the most important aspect to any sort of not-here, not-now fiction (sci fi, fantasy, etc) is internal consistency of the world, and Tanpepper has done an excellent job in creating a world that has enough throwback to the present to ground it in reality, but with enough foreign for the reader to believe that he or she is reading about an authentic possibility. Woven into this well-crafted world are characters that show that going through a zombie apocalypse isn’t enough to change the fundamental nature of teenagers. So, while I did not really care for any of the characters as people (they each had their own annoying qualities), it certainly wasn’t because they were poorly written.
I ended episode one wanting more of the story, and that is just about the best compliment I can give to a book that ended on a cliffhanger, which I despise. LOL Because of the subject matter and some of the descriptions, I would only recommend the book to mature readers 15+.
Reviewed by HR Duby for Romance Authors that Rock
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Posted on December 27, 2017, in Paranormal Romance & Author's That Rock. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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