Gods of Blood and Bone by Azalea Ellis

In this young adult science fiction, teenagers are forced to compete in a secret, deadly game where the prize is superhuman power.

Teenager Eve is forcibly recruited into a secret game where the rewards for completing quests include improving her own strength, stamina and intelligence. Trouble is she’s going to need all the enhancements she can get to survive, because some of the games pit teens against monsters or each other in a fight to the death. The only way to escape is to become more powerful than the mysterious forces running the game.

The writing is effective and confident, with few editing errors. In the version I read, there was one major problem: a whole chapter had been duplicated, and I’m guessing that mistake led to a chapter being omitted, since the plot jumped forward a bit. It was still possible to follow the story and I didn’t feel I’d missed much. The author assures me this issue has been fixed.

The gaming-meets-real-life premise is interesting and well executed, though the heavily action-oriented plot becomes a bit predictable towards the end. Overall, an enjoyable read if you aren’t expecting too much.

Expect a lot of violence, blood and death.

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