Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

BubbleFrom Goodreads: The stunning conclusion to the groundbreaking Scandinavian crime trilogy featuring a deadly game that blurs reality and fiction in a world obsessed with social media. It’s the middle of summer and Stockholm is preparing for the wedding of a beloved Swedish princess. Trying to move on with his life after the end of The Game, HP is still struggling to find his way when he receives an anonymous text message asking if he’d like back in. HP knows his participation has already put himself and his sister in danger and he’d like to ignore the text, but he also realizes he doesn’t know who to trust. HP tried to stay hidden and on the run, but he can’t escape the Game Master. Hoping to uncover the truth behind The Game and free himself from the Game Master’s control forever, HP decides to accept one more assignment.

Rebecca’s life has changed dramatically as a result of her brother’s involvement in The Game and she, too, is trying to move on and find the truth. And now she’s determined to uncover the connection between her late father’s past and her brother’s current predicament. But will Rebecca’s investigation into the past cost her the future? Taking action, HP hunts down a man he believes might be the Game Master himself. With a band of fellow former Game players, they infiltrate the Fortress in order to collect information that could be the Game’s undoing. But is he strong enough to take down The Game? And can he trust his fellow gamers?

A fast-paced, technological thriller that concludes the story that began in Game and Buzz, Bubble will have readers gasping for breath during the final showdown between HP and the Game Master.


In this final installment in The Game Trilogy, many questions are answered as HP embarks on his final task while trying to find the Game Master in order to put an end to it once and for all.  But, nothing is as it seems, and no one is who they say they are… making this another intense read as both HP and his sister and thrown for a loop as events materialize that shake them to their core.  Who is the Game Master?  I was shocked by the revelation within the text—it bowled me over and left me piecing together all the evidence.  Luckily, Anders presents the truth in vivid detail, making it the perfect fit, and bringing a smile to my face—especially because it isn’t necessarily over, even though this is the last novel in the series.

HP has grown a lot over the course of the series. While he’s still not my favorite person in the world, he has put his vindictive, childish ways of the first novel behind him, focusing more on stopping the Game and keeping his sister safe than on being let into the Game one last time.

Likewise, HP’s sister’s involvement and the back and forth nature of the novel, focusing first on HP, and then on Rebecca, flows much better in this third installment.  Whereas I wasn’t a fan of this writing style at all in book one, I now really enjoy it, especially as the events all intertwine and have much more meaning to me than they did when I first picked up this series.

Overall, this is a great read, a great series, that ultimately swept me up in its intrigue and betrayal. And, while I wish that HP and his sister could have seen eye to eye and had a more open relationship, which would in turn have prevented much of the disasters within the novel, the story just wouldn’t have been as intense had they been on the same page throughout.  This is definitely a series worth reading if you enjoy mysteries and cat and mouse scenarios.  Four stars.

4 stars

Atria and Emily Bestler Books have been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release tomorrow, February 4, 2014.

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BuzzFrom Goodreads: In the second installment in a new crime trilogy, a young man is on the run to escape a “game” that blurs the lines between reality and fiction, from an award-winning Swedish author and former policeman.

It’s been four months since he was dragged into the Alternative Reality Game that nearly cost him his life, and HP is still on the run. He has everything he ever wished for—freedom, money, and no responsibilities, but he still isn’t happy. Plagued by insomnia and paranoia, HP misses the rush and attention of The Game. Sometimes he almost wishes the Game Master would find him.

In Dubai, HP meets Anna Argos, a sophisticated and beautiful Swedish IT millionaire. When she disappears, HP is questioned by the police. Fearing he has been found by The Game, HP returns to Sweden after being released from custody. Determined to uncover the truth about Anna’s disappearance, HP uses a fake identity to apply for a job at ArgosEye, the company Anna worked for. In the business of online information management, ArgosEye is involved in some questionable practices, under the control of Anna’s husband, the CEO Philip Argos.

Meanwhile, HP’s sister Rebecca has started dating Philip Argos. When she unknowingly reveals her brother’s real identity to Philip, the police try to bring HP in for questioning again. On the run again, HP refuses to give up and tries to uncover what is really happening at ArgosEye. Before he can find the truth, HP is stopped in his tracks. Thinking he’s about to be thrown in prison, HP is taken to the outskirts of the city and left in the woods, where an elderly man hands him a piece of paper. HP believes the game is over, but is it really just beginning?


Whereas I really didn’t care for the first novel in this series, Game, this second one definitely sparked my interest and kept me on my toes as I read.  It’s so much better than the first, in my opinion, mainly because I felt it was more cohesive, especially with the alternating stories between HP and his sister Rebecca, but also because HP has toned it down a bit; he’s actually not as despicable or annoying as I found him to be in the first novel. I’d say he’s grown up a bit, but that’s not really it–he’s just more interested in what’s happening around him and to others than to just himself, which makes him a much more likable character.  Though certainly not selfless, he is a little warmer towards his fellow denizens of the world, and that really had an impact on me as a reader.

The storyline in this second novel is also a lot easier to follow than in the first, or at least it was for me.  Perhaps I just have a better understanding of de la Motte’s writing at this point, but I really think this novel flows a lot better, and the story is much more interesting for me, especially as I now like the two main characters.  Rebecca, HP’s sister, also had a bigger part and her actions had a lot more meaning for me in this one. Although it irked me that the siblings never shared anything with each other, which would have saved them each a lot of headache and fear, I enjoyed that their stories made more sense and were much more cohesive and interesting.

de la Motte is a very good writer and I really enjoyed his look into the “what if” world of computers and money.  If you’re looking for a crime thriller, I’d definitely recommend this novel, even if you didn’t care for the first.  Four stars.

4 stars

Atria Books has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on January 7, 2014.

The Game Trilogy

Update: I have now read all the books in this trilogy AND while I didn’t care for GAME, I really enjoyed BUZZ and BUBBLE.  I suggest you try this series and see–books two and three definitely made up for book one.

et cetera
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