Plot: Guibert's dystopian thriller offers a chilling, fascinating premise and surveys the collapse of our present world and the rise of a new globalist videogame utopia with rich detail and a detached perspective. The global news events that pulse through The Vatican Games disturb while exhibiting a welcome satiric edge, especially the author's treatment of the war the U.S. starts after a global bio-terror attack involving canned soda. At its midpoint, the novel shifts into a techno thriller with bible-code touches. The mystery plot soon concerns a global pattern of suicides, but the author's tendency to write summations of scenes and events rather to fully dramatize them reduces its potential power.
Prose/Style: This novel boasts many striking, memorable sentences touched with poetry. But the novel's written primarily in an essayistic mode, reporting to readers about the future in detached, even passive prose. Little time is spent in the characters' minds or in the dramatization of key moments. The Vatican Game does not invite readers in to feel what its protagonists feel.
Originality: Vatican conspiracies and mass genocide, of course, are familiar from the works of Dan Brown, but author Guibert invests fresh imagination in the material, offering an exciting, inventive perspective on what the headlines and habits of a ravaged future might actually look like.
Character Development: While The Vatican Game is certainly inventive, its detached prose and habit of summarizing rather than dramatizing actions and feelings leaves its characters distant and flat.
Date Submitted: June 03, 2020
From the moment I read the title and book bio, I knew I would love this book and I was correct! It’s a little different to what I would normally read but I’m very glad I started and finished this book. For me, the most interesting aspect of the book was the primary location, The Vatican City. The book also brought back memories of visiting when I went to Italy a few years back. What was also interesting was not only the digital age aspect but also the backstory on Vera – I found it to be cleverly woven.
There are so many amazing aspects of this book that all combine to make a brilliant book. The path that Alejandra took me on throughout was amazing! It highlighted how good she is as a writer and how she can provide readers with time to let their imagination take on a journey through a fantasy life. This is my main love for a book, let’s you escape to a different world.
I don’t want to spoil too much of the story as I want you to experience it for yourself! All I can say is the apocalypse storyline, along with the relationships between the characters, make this an amazing book.