Tangle’s Game starts off with a bang and never quiets down, throwing you into a whirlwind plot that’s equally fascinating and brilliant. By pairing a doubting protagonist with a secret that would topple the world, we get a heightened sense of suspense as she travels around looking for answers, at first ignorant of the forces trying to take her down. This is a thriller at its best, complete with a throwback to old technology and a series of supporting characters that create a quirky band.
I love how long the author takes to reveal the secret object our protagonist has been burdened with. It leaves a lot of room for the reader’s imagination to play. By the time you get the big reveal, so many possibilities have run through your head that anything comes as a surprise. The author’s use of a very real protagonist just trying to get back to her daily life magnifies the universal issue this object has created for her. The world around her begins to fall apart and she’s unprepared for the ramifications. It’s startling and exciting, especially as you try to imagine how this could all end.
I was most impressed with the author’s mastery of dialogue and its use to shed light on the social inequality of an oppressive system that favors the rich and pits the poor against each other. The award for most surprising supporting character goes to Ichi, an elderly ex-professor whose worldview has been shaped by her proximity to the many catastrophes that have redefined this world of the future. Extremist politics have run rampant and she breaks down how and when the world fell apart, and what it meant to those struggling to get by. It’s a brilliant analysis of capitalism and the possible future the world is headed if extremism becomes the norm.
Overall, Tangle’s Game is a wonderfully entertaining novel that excites at every turn, filled with unexpected twists and a group of characters who compliment and challenge each other. It’s exactly what a futuristic thriller should be.
NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.
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