The Sacrifice Game

The Sacrifice Game

2.0 7
by Brian D'Amato

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In the Courts of the Sun introduced Maya descendent Jed De Landa, a math prodigy with rare knowledge of an ancient divination tool called the Sacrifice Game. But now there are two Jeds—one existing at the height of the ancient Maya civilization in AD 664, and another in the present who—for an



In the Courts of the Sun introduced Maya descendent Jed De Landa, a math prodigy with rare knowledge of an ancient divination tool called the Sacrifice Game. But now there are two Jeds—one existing at the height of the ancient Maya civilization in AD 664, and another in the present who—for an unusual but compelling reason—is about to bring about the destruction of humanity. And only one self can win the game…

With illustrations by the author

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The overly long second volume of D’Amato’s apocalyptic trilogy (after 2009’s In the Courts of the Sun) opens on a note of doom. Ethnic Mayan Joachim Carlos Xul Mixoc DeLanda, who’s able to use his expertise with an ancient divination game, the Sacrifice Game, to anticipate the future, describes his decision to end all human life in time to fulfill the Mayan prophecy that the world will end in December 2012. DeLanda believes that “over 99.8 percent of , now, in the future, and always, is and will be sheer unrelieved agony.” DeLanda’s justification for his horrific act and his description of what’s led up to it make compelling reading, but the initial momentum and tension peter out in the middle section set in seventh-century Mexico at the Mayan empire’s peak. While explicit descriptions of mutilation and cannibalism highlight the cultural differences between the Mayan civilization and our own, some readers may feel less would have been more. Agent: Deborah Schneider, Gelfman Schneider Literary Agency. (July)
Kirkus Reviews
The world's going to end in 2012. It's not? Well, don't let the homicidal Maya who figures in the pages of D'Amato's (Beauty, 1992, etc.) latest futuristic/apocalyptic/sci-fi thriller know. Now, the Mayan calendar runs out in 2012--and even if it's lately been discovered that they cooked up a calendar that gives us a few thousand more years, said "ethnic Maya, a twenty-first-century descendant of those guys who built all those palaces in Mexico and Guatemala with the big wacko pyramids with the scary stairs," young Joachim "Jed" Carlos Xul Mixoc DeLanda really wouldn't mind if the crawling anthill that is the human world disappeared. "Life sucks," he sighs. He knows more about it than most, having been sent back in time to save the world from one prophecy, only to decide that the world may not deserve saving. World-weary Jed's got other world-savers on his trail, including a cool chick named Marena, who calls him as she sees him: "You're what shit would shit if it could shit." Never mind the scatological scurrilousness: everyone in D'Amato's sprawling, busy novel has a job to do in playing the big, elaborate game that will decide the world's fate. It helps to have a little knowledge of things Mayan to read it, and it helps to be a little geeky--geeky enough, for one thing, to be able to call up in your mind's eye what the board of the old game Kriegspiel looked like. D'Amato is both funny and brittle, often both at once, as when he remarks of one bright, young thing, "She could end up like Jesus and be dead for a hundred years before the franchise really got going." Hallucinatory and goofy, D'Amato's yarn is a kind of Game of Thrones for those who prize jungles more than castles, and if it's improbable in the extreme, it's a pleasing and well-thought-through epic. But not one without loose ends that'll take a sequel to tie up. Stay tuned for this literate end-of-the-world saga to continue--and well beyond 2012, come to think of it.
From the Publisher
Raves for In the Courts of the Sun
“Absolutely amazing…takes over the late Michael Crichton’s territory with a loud bang.”—Chicago Tribune
“Stunningly inventive…weaves together Mayan history, modern science, game theory, and the coming Mayan apocalypse.”—Douglas Preston, coauthor of Gideon’s Corpse
“Remarkable.…prodigious in its scope, its originality, its ambition, its intelligence, and the mastery of its research. In a word: awesome.”—Raymond Khoury, Author of The Devil’s Elixir

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.56(w) x 9.32(h) x 2.01(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Fans of the late Michael Crichton will welcome this engrossing SF thriller."
Publishers Weekly

Meet the Author

BRIAN D’AMATO is the author of Beauty and In the Courts of the Sun. He is also an artist whose work has been shown in galleries and museums, including the Whitney Museum and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City. He divides his time among New York City, Chicago, and Michigan.

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The Sacrifice Game 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
EA1032 More than 1 year ago
As a seasoned graphic artist and designer viewing this book at first glance, I could not help but to marvel at the cover art! The book's illustrations are overall very creative and awe-inspiring. If you're like me, all about the art, then you'll enjoy reading this.
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
When Jed was a small boy, as depicted in D'Amato's first novel (In The Courts of the Sun) in this planned trilogy, his mother taught him a game that turned out to be a Mayan divination ritual, a game in which one could predict the future and even time-travel. Now in this second novel, it turns out there are two Jed characters, one who is living in the Mayan civilization in the year 664 and the other who is living in 21st Century America. The first puzzle the reader finds in this newer novel is understanding how this divided person can be so different. For with the help of education and the financial backing of a research institution, Jed has learned so much more about this "Sacrifice Game." He and others have refined it so that the world can truly understand the Mayan civilization that is so often misunderstood by our century's citizens, too often confused with other parallel civilizations existing during and after the time of the Mayans. But what Jed learns in that civilization is so decadent, cruel, and so much more that is devastating to him that the Jed living in our world has decided he will fulfill the Mayan calendar prediction of ending the world in December of 2012!!! The style of this sci-fi, gaming novel is unique - not quite stream of consciousness but a type of random and linear writing that takes us into the mind, heart, and even body of Jed and others with whom he interacts. Allusions to history, mythology, current events, religion, power-mongering, and so much more fill these pages so that if one is attentive one gets a fascinating education in the connection between supposedly unrelated events and personalities. We also see the baser aspects of humanity in the way it seeks to destroy anyone who gets in the way of its motives and plans - from the leaders of the Mayan society who practice cannibalism, suicide, and murder without batting an eye and so much more for the reader to explore. It's not much different in American a la 2012. The central conflict is a battle between Jed who has figured out a way to make every living human vanish in a second, even less, so fast indeed that they won't realize it happened and those who earlier supported Jed and his skills and who discover his intentions. They desperately begin to attempt to stop him from carrying out his "righteous" task, one he believes he is inspired to by the sacrifice game. His alter-ego, on the other hand, in Mayan society has found a way to save those people from the extinction we know actually occurred. There's quite a bit of craziness like having chili enemas or taking mind-altering drugs (that helps one go "deeper" in the game), etc., etc. This novel will stretch your imagination and focus beyond where it's been; it's like a mind-altering drug in itself in a way. It will, however, leave readers thinking about the role of humans never learning from history or culture and the underlying tension between destruction and salvation that is constantly going on despite the oblivious lack of attention of most of us. It's a read you definitely won't forget. If you love classic and non-classic sci-fi and relish an "offbeat," novel approach to stories, this is your book. Amazing job, Brian D'Amato.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Disjointed and a bad read. Lots of plot holes and loose ends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a waste of 637 pages. Tied for ALL TIME WORST BOOK I EVER READ. (Tied with End of Days by Robert Gleason). 200 pages of babbling. Some sections he just glosses over important details in a paragraph. Worst of all, he ties in his irrelevant strongly held political views into part of the story that really don't even fit into the story. This guy is strongly Anti-Conservative, Anti-Republican, and throws in jabs at Bush, Cheney and Reagan every chance he can get, even when writing in Mayan time. Then of coarse he basically blames the possibility of the end of the world, not on events from the Mayan calendar, but a Mormon, who am sure he is trying to portray as Mitt Romney. Just a sill book that was a complete waste of time. Read "12/21" by Dustin Tomlinson for a great Sci-Fi Thriller with a Mayan Twist!!!
rleegordon More than 1 year ago
I look forward to reading this. It has not yet been released.