Thursday, December 12, 2013

Saul Tanpepper

Gameland: Deep into the Game
by Saul Tanpepper
139 Pages
Published by Brimstone Press April 29, 2013
Genre: Horror, Zombies, Apocalyptic, YA
ISBN: 978-1479177554
Currently FREE on Amazon

Everyone loves Survivalist, a live-action, virtual reality show based on Arc Entertainment's The Game, where cybernetically controlled zombies do battle in a video arcade in the middle of a Long Island wasteland. It's to die for.

If you're rich enough, you can buy your way in. If you're desperate enough, you can volunteer to become one of the Undead Players. Jessie Daniels and her gang of computer hackers plan to break their way in. Welcome to GAMELAND. Access Restricted.

The apocalypse is old news. Zombies roam the restricted areas and Gameland, a Long Island arena owned by Arc Entertainment is the sport of choice for the wealthy. Zombies are used not only to compete in the games, but janitorial tasks. A group of teens decide to break into Gameland. Things go bad, so very bad.

Gameland is told first person by Jessie, a teenage girl. She and her moody boyfriend, along with her best friend Ash, and Micah and Reggie aren't looking forward to their senior year of high school. Their last hoorah is to sneak into the infected zone to have some fun before the monotony of school begins.

Tanpepper's got something here. I like the unique plot he's created; reminds me of Mad Max's Thunderdome. The story is told in episodes, a total of eight. I've read only the first episode but I'm definitely looking forward to reading further. The book kept me intrigued all the way through, but at the halfway point it got even better and turned into something I just couldn't put down. It was an exhilarating and nail-biting adventure. I considered giving this a four star rating, but as the story progressed, it earned my five stars. The setting was new and futuristic, the concept was imaginative, and the characters were well fleshed out.

The prologue sucked me right in. Tanpepper jumps forward to reveal a hint of the ending and there was no way I could stop reading without finding out the journey that got our little group to that point.  Being that the book is episodic, I wasn't rewarded with the full scope of the story. The episode ended in such a way that I can't let it end I downloaded the second episode...ALSO FREE on Amazon! Get your copy of Episode 2, Failsafe here.

Deep into the Game is well written. I had no issues with a male author narrating from a teen girls perspective, not an easy task I'm sure. The read is fast-paced and full of action. These are the most ambitious group of teens I've ever come across! As a die hard fan of zombie fiction, it was invigorating to find something so unique inside my genre. Here's to hoping I find a new review request for the entire season! (hint hint, lol)

About the Author:

Saul spent his formative years in a leaky century-old house overlooking the Erie Canal in Upstate New York. His bedroom was a refurbished attic, which he shared with all manner of creatures, not all, he is convinced, flesh and blood.

After bouncing around the US and Europe for several years, he settled down to pursue a career in the sciences, opting to study the mysteries of human molecular genetics. But even positions as an experimental biologist, teacher, manager and biotech entrepreneur couldn't keep him from his true passion as a storyteller.

He now writes speculative fiction full time from his home in the San Francisco Bay Area. Although his house is now attic-less and waterproof, he continues to be haunted by a variety of creatures, including a wife, kids, four dogs, three cats, six chickens, a wayward rooster, and one very grumpy possum. They are all flesh and blood. 

Except, maybe, for the possum, which he's convinced is the reincarnated spirit of Jack Torrance.

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About the Reviewer:

Shay Festa a.k.a The Bookie Monster reviews horror and paranormal books, with an emphasis (but not limited to) zombie fiction. She is currently working hard on completing her debut zombie fiction novel, Time of Death.


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