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The Game of Sunken Places


I'm a big fan of young adult books. The world is still (mostly) innocent. The good guys (nearly) always win. Closure happens in less than 200 pages. The commitment level is low, usually only one or two hours at most (though, some of the Harry Potter books are tomes, and other Dark Materials move slowly).

A young adult (juvi fiction?) book on my shelf for a long while now has been The Game of Sunken Places, by M.T. Anderson. In a moment of desperate need of light reading, I picked it from the middle of the to-read stack and started reading.

The story is about two unlikely friends: one clueless, athletic, and outgoing, the other intelligent, thoughtful, quiet. The two are invited out to a distant uncle's house, where they encounter strange people, unusual beings, a mystery that needs solving and a game that needs playing.

Setting the scene proves difficult, as the first few chapters are slow and a bit tedious, containing slight misdirections which are explained later in the book.

By the middle of the book, however, the boys are in full-game mode, and the action is non-stop. Most of the seemingly random events are tied into the mystery of the house and the uncle, though some are, admittedly, absurd in presentation.

The ending implies this book is of a series of books from the same author. While I believe this book was mildly entertaining, I wasn't pulled into the world strongly enough to seek other books in the series (and thus, can't confirm the book as part of a series).

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