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Review: Killing Games – Reis Asher

Killing Games - Reis Asher

Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller, Romance, Dystopian

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

Edgar Tobias works as a freelance computer programmer in the city of Anver. Desperate to escape his deceased fathers’ fame as a hit singer-songwriter duo, he left the city of Kasyova and the arts behind. He doesn’t know he’s about to be targeted in a vicious murder game where the prize is a million dollars in cryptocurrency to the first person who can capture his murder on video.

Reis Asher lost everything in the Anverite civil war ten years ago, including their mother. Their father created the agreement known as Unification, which joined Anver and Kasyova to create the Twin City-States of Anver-Kasyova, ending the civil war and ushering in a new era of peace and prosperity.

When they discover the Killing Game, they know that it represents a threat to everything they hold dear and set out to stop it. But powerful forces are at work that refuse to be undermined by one stubborn soul and their sense of justice.

Someone wants Edgar dead, and they’ll stop at nothing to see him six feet under… even if that means Reis and other innocent bystanders get caught in the crossfire.

The Review

Ten years ago, a clash of ideology and politics caused the Anverite civil war, pitting people against people, parents against children, and and bringing destruction and death of major proportions.

Then came the Unification. For those in Anver who survived, life seems to have gone back to normal. It’s as if they’ve all forgotten all the devastation of a war that seems to just recently ended. Some have even made the adjustment to live among the Kasyovans.  

Reis Asher, twenty-five, has not even begun to forget the devastation the war brought. They lost their mother and their father suffers with dementia – a man who fought in the war and was an important man. All that Reis has left of their father is his sniper rifle, which they knows how to use. They have always believed in standing up for what’s right and what they love.

Edgar Tobias, twenty-nine, was trained to fight in the war but didn’t. Edgar is Kasyovan but he likes living in Anver, in a building that was once a hospital – so many hospitals were turned into housing after the war. Edgar took a stand for his self respect and quit his job at Central. He just couldn’t deal with his manager propositioning him anymore. Now, he works freelance from his apartment, developing mobile apps for irritating clients. He loved his famous parents, but now he avoids the notoriety as much as possible.  

When Edgar attempts to take a shower one morning, he finds the water scalding hot. As much as he doesn’t want to, he calls Chris, the maintenance manager. He has his reasons for finding Chris irritating but he still goes with the manager to help him with the water heater in the basement. Then Chris tries to kill him.  

Reis hears about something called the Killing Game and researches it on the dark web. It frightens them, and when they see the picture of a potential victim, they knows they have to find them and protect them. The two find themselves caught up in a terror-filled, dangerous and deadly run for their lives.

Killing Game imagines a spectacular dystopian world that encompasses two cities:  Anvers and Kasyovan. The differences between Anver and Kasyovan are fascinating. Both have their own separate cultures and identites, but it’s still possible for them to merge and survive. This is a fast-paced, twisted, intense, and danger-filled story about political corruption and evil men with the intention to destroy a city and its citizens.

Reis and Edgar are two very opposite and wonderful characters who will pull on your heart strings. They are people from different cities who struggle and fight to find meaning in a world turned upside down. They will do the impossible to survive and live for a romance that is both heartbreaking and beautiful.  

There’s also interesting stories about  the Soulmates, Al and Glenn, Edgar’s parents; and of Teon Escher and Sebastian and Leah. Then there are the agents of the Bureau: Emily Vos and Gareth Grady, and the evil presence of the Killing Game and Tony Anvas.

Asher published Killing Games in 2021, using their own name for the main character, who also uses non-binary pronouns (they/them/their), a fact that makes this novel even more compelling.

I was immersed in the story from the very first page – it’s a spectacular and brilliantly written novel, and I was overjoyed to see the sequel, Killing Nightmares, which I’ll be reviewing soon.

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams. 

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