Trust no one. Every camera is an eye. Every microphone an ear. Find me and we can stop him together.
The Game: Get ready for Zero Hour as 200 geniuses from around the world go head to head in a competition hand-devised by India's youngest CEO and visionary.
Rex- One of the best programmers/hackers in the world, this 16-year-old Mexican-American is determined to find his missing brother.
Tunde-This14-year-old self-taught engineering genius has drawn the attention of a ruthless military warlord by single-handedly bringing electricity and internet to his small Nigerian village.
Painted Wolf-One of China's most respected activist bloggers, this mysterious 16-year-old is being pulled into the spotlight by her father's new deal with a corrupt Chinese official.
The Stakes: Are higher than you can imagine. Like life and death. Welcome to the revolution. And get ready to run.
About the Author
Leopoldo Gout, the producer behind Days of Grace, which A.O. Scott of the New York Times called "a potent and vigorous film," is also a writer, artist, and filmmaker. He hails from Mexico, studied Contemporary Art at Central Saint Martins in London, and now resides in New York City with his wife and two children.
Read an Excerpt
By Leopoldo Gout
Feiwel and FriendsCopyright © 2016 Leopoldo Gout
All rights reserved.
06 DAYS, 07 HOURS, 39 MINUTES UNTIL ZERO HOUR
My best friend Tunde's text showed up on my cell at 3:01 a.m. on a Tuesday.
I didn't see it until two hours later, and by then his system was down.
No e-mails. No texts. No calls.
So I had to bite my nails until he got online again. And, honestly, given the tech he was working with who knew when that would be? Most likely hours.
Still, when Tunde said something big was happening ... he meant it.
And I couldn't wait to hear what.
Anyway, Tuesday meant waking up at five so Papa could drop me off at the bus stop on his way to work. That way I could catch the five-forty bus downtown to the Santa Cruz Industrial Biotechnology Center. It's a lab that specializes in biochemicals like activators and inhibitors, which are used in chemical reactions; with them, you can make anything from soap to beer.
I wasn't there to design molecules, though. I was there to help the company upgrade its servers to a private cloud-computing model I'd been tinkering with. Those guys were chemists: good with beakers but bad with software.
I did some coding and they fed me doughnuts.
Oh, and they paid me. In designer aldehydes.
All you really need to know about aldehydes is that they're organic compounds that can be whipped up in a lab. You find them in fragrances, shampoos, deodorants, etc. They're also great for cleaning. That's why I got them.
See, every Tuesday I also showed up at North High early to meet with Mr. Jawanda. He was the janitor and we had an agreement.
I brought him some choice aldehydes and he let me into the computer lab on weekends. It was a win-win. Mr. Jawanda mixed the aldehydes into his cleaning supplies and crafted a potent brew that kept the hallways spotless for months. Honestly, Principal Yates was always going on about how great the halls looked. And I got to harness the power of some relatively new computers and a decent-sized server system. Stuff I couldn't access from home.
Still, five a.m. is an early wake-up. And if it wasn't for my natural restlessness and Tunde's text, I would have been fast asleep in my first class, Mr. "Cold Fish" Wagner's AP physics.
I'd heard seniors talking about how bland Wagner was when I first got to school, but I just assumed he was tough and didn't really know how to inspire students. That was why everyone hated Mrs. "Pucker Face" Jenkins's calculus class. She taught math like you treat cancer; it was a war.
But this time it turns out the seniors were right.
Mr. Wagner was able to make even the most exciting developments in physics — say, quantum mechanics or chaos theory — feel like listening to someone read the dictionary out loud for eighty-eight minutes.
Didn't help that he got a lot of it wrong, too.
Last year, when I was a freshman, I would have corrected him. I learned that was a mistake pretty fast. Not only do high school teachers hate it when you correct them, but high school students hate it even more. It took me longer than it should have to figure out why people were pointing at me and laughing and why I kept finding soda poured through the grille on my locker door.
Good news, though: Mr. Wagner had finally gotten around to oscillations and gravitations and everyone (well, everyone but me) had their heads down, scribbling notes furiously, listening as intently as they could. In fact, they were all so busy they didn't notice I was coding on my textbook tablet.
As the name implies, it's both a textbook and a tablet. In my case, it's a tablet computer embedded in an old copy of Resnick and Halliday's Fundamentals of Physics.
You could make one fairly cheaply. Just grab a 4.3-inch OLED touch screen and mount it on a single board with a 1.5 GHz processor, a battery module, a 4 GB preformatted SD card. Then find any decent-sized hardback book to hide it in. Stir together and voilà!
I was two lines into a pretty sweet microcode for an assembly language when my textbook tablet buzzed.
Tunde was back online.
Naija Boi: did you receive my message?
KingRx: of course. did you get my responses? Tell me what's going on. Dying over here.
Naija Boi: patience, omo. Waiting for Painted Wolf.
KingRx: ugh. Come on, give me a hint.
Naija Boi: it is going to change our lives.
At North High, I had no one.
But outside those boring brick walls, it was a different story. I had the LODGE. I always say it with a dramatic flourish, like it's the beginning of Beethoven's Ninth.
Anyway, we call ourselves the LODGE because we all agreed it sounds really cool and exclusive. Especially since the only members are Tunde, Painted Wolf, and me. We're best friends even though we've never actually met in person and Tunde and I don't even know Painted Wolf's real name.
Tunde (aka Naija Boi) is fourteen, a rural Nigerian kid who loves hip-hop and soccer. He also happens to be a self-taught engineer, with the wickedest memory known to man.
Painted Wolf (aka Painted Wolf) is sixteen. She's from Shanghai and is one of China's most notorious (and mysterious) activist bloggers. She's also the one who brought us together. I'll spare you the details because she tells the story best.
Anyway, Tunde isn't given to exaggeration. Like any engineer worth his salt, he's superrational. That doesn't mean he's boring. It just means he sticks to the facts.
So if he said it was going to change our lives?
That pretty much meant it really was going to change our lives.
Naija Boi: Painted Wolf will be on soon. can we talk goniophotometers first?
KingRx: fine. But as soon as she's on, you're going to tell us everything, and don't drag it out. First period's over in exactly eleven minutes.
So yeah, let's talk goniophotometer programs for a sec.
First time I heard about them, I had to look them up, too.
They're for measuring light.
Tunde was working on upgrades to his solar power plant (he'll explain later) but they involved some sophisticated coding and the only computers he had access to were pretty outdated. We're talking like twenty years outdated. Like PC-DOS 6.3. It frustrated him to no end, but fortunately it just so happened that I loved the challenge of writing programs for ancient computers. It was kind of like translating HTML back to papyrus.
The way it worked was simple: Tunde would send me a bunch of specs for the solar power plant upgrades and a general idea of what he wanted to accomplish. My job was figuring out how to make it work on a software level. In this case, he was installing new heliostats (the mirrors that focus the light to the top of the collecting tower).
Naija Boi: So the goniophotometer will be matched with the spectroradiometer.
KingRx: And, uh, what is that?
Naija Boi: It is obvious, no? Measures spectral power solar irradiance.
KingRx: Oh, of course. Makes total sense, Tunde. Let me just plot that out.
Naija Boi: Ha ha. Okay, Mister Sarcastic.
KingRx: What were we talking about?
Naija Boi: Spectral power solar —
KingRx: Right. Right. Are we talking about luminosity? Just off the top of my head I'd be thinking something like "for(int i=1, <=2;i++)". Make sense?
Naija Boi: Yes, this is excellent. Thank you.
My book tablet buzzed again.
A little icon popped up on the screen and there was the face of Painted Wolf. In her trademark dark sunglasses, purple wig, and ... I was actually surprised to see she was wearing a nose ring. Hadn't seen that before.
Painted Wolf: hello, boys. Are we being geeky?
KingRx: what else would we be doing?
Painted Wolf: Tunde, got your message. What's up?
KingRx: He's been driving me crazy with this. Wouldn't tell me until you get here.
Painted Wolf: Well, here I am.
KingRx: spill it, Tunde.
Naija Boi: There is going to be a competition. It is called the Game, and 200 of the smartest people under 18 years of age from around the globe will be flown to the Boston Collective to compete. All expenses are paid. I do not know the prize.
Painted Wolf: Sounds incredible. Who's running it?
Naija Boi: Kiran Biswas.
KingRx: no way.
Painted Wolf: :-0!
Kiran Biswas was only the biggest name in technology, cybernetics, futurism, and design. When people spoke of a Cult of Kiran, they weren't exaggerating. At only eighteen years old, he was not only the CEO of OndScan, one of the most powerful tech companies in the world, but also a social justice warrior and an outspoken egalitarian. And, of course, he just happened to be tall, dark, and handsome.
Guy had it all.
The fact that he was going to launch some sort of brainiac competition was mind-shattering. I wanted in. Immediately. But not just because it sounded like the best time in the world, I wanted in because it was at the Boston Collective, the country's top technology and engineering university.
This was the moment.
The moment I'd spent the last two years waiting for, a competition at one of the only places with a working quantum computer. If I could get in, if I could get to the campus, I could run WALKABOUT and I could find Teo.
Forget that "could" noise. I had to get in.
KingRx: how'd you hear about this?
Painted Wolf: Were you invited?
Naija Boi: No. This thing is being handled very secretively. I received an anonymous e-mail about it this afternoon. Very strange indeed. The invitations are going out tomorrow night. It is to be Africa first, then two hours later, Asia, then a further two hours, the Americas, and finally, Europe. But you will not believe the thing I will tell you next
A hand suddenly came into view and ripped my textbook tablet from my grasp. The hand belonged to Seth Pratt, who was grinning ear to ear.
"This thing is crazy," he said, turning my textbook tablet around and pushing every button on it he could find. Watching him, I couldn't help but flinch. Every button press was another window closed or e-mail deleted or program potentially lost. "You can make something like this, but you still sit in this classroom and listen to Mr. Wagner's bullshit. What's wrong with you?"
"I need that back," I told him, trying to stay calm.
Despite Seth's grating personality (or maybe because of it), he was one of North High's most popular kids. He lettered on the swim team (ridiculously fast backstroke), dated Veronica Styles (outrageous lips), and there wasn't a party in Santa Cruz County in the past eight months that he hadn't been invited to.
Up until that second, Seth had never said a word to me.
Not even a passing joke about my up-cycled Nike Dunk Low Pros or the fact that I'm three and a half years younger than him. No snide remarks in the locker room. No requests for me to make him a cardboard book scanner or install a pin camera in his letter jacket's collar.
"What?" he asked, screwing up his face. Seth wasn't used to people talking back to him. He wasn't familiar with the concept that maybe, just maybe, I didn't want him to have barged his way into my life at that very second.
"I need that back," I said. "Right now."
He scoffed, narrowed his eyes.
"You think you're better than me, don't you?"
Great. Here we go.
"Listen, Seth, can I just have it back?"
He pretended to drop my textbook tablet. "Whoops!"
He did it again and I almost jumped out of my seat to rip it from his hands, but I knew there'd be trouble if I made a scene. I really could do without the administrative attention. Besides, I'd seen the bruises Seth had given Tom Mendez a couple of weeks earlier. Best to just stay put.
"What if I did drop it, though?" Seth said. "What would you do?"
"I'd be pretty upset."
"Pretty upset," he said, mocking me. "Not pissed? Not up in my face?"
"What do you want me to say, Seth?"
"See," he said, "this is exactly why guys like me run the world and guys like you work for us. Think you're such a badass making computer books, like anyone actually wants a piece of junk like this, and slacking off in class. Truth is, all your brains don't mean anything if you can't back them up with a spine."
Seth threw a fist at me, pulled it at the last second. He expected me to jump, to flinch. I didn't. I froze and he left his fist hanging in front of my face, close enough that I could make out the tiny letters on his homecoming ring.
"You're just like your brother, Huerta. All bark and no bite. They still haven't found him, have they? Have you guys checked Mexico?"
That was it.
I jumped up, my hands unconsciously balled into fists.
My body tensed, my eyes narrowed.
I was going to overturn my desk, crush him into subatomic space but ...
"Ha. Chill, dude." Seth laughed with a big grin. "I'm just playing, man. Damn. You look like you're gonna kill me or something. Seriously, though..."
Mr. Wagner cleared his throat.
I glared at Seth and he dropped my textbook tablet on my desk, hard enough to crack the corner of the screen. I sighed, still furious but letting it go.
A trip to the principal's office and a phone call to my house? Well, even breaking Seth's nose wouldn't be worth the fallout from that. I looked up to see the rest of the class turned around in their seats, staring.
"We okay, Mr. Huerta?" Mr. Wagner asked.
"Yes, sir," I said, biting my tongue. "We're just fine."CHAPTER 2
06 DAYS, 07 HOURS, 32 MINUTES UNTIL ZERO HOUR
Naija Boi: Rex? Hello? Hello?
They say that the world is more interconnected now than it has ever been before. They say there are more cellular phones than there are people on Earth. And that it is possible for me to communicate with my best friend seven thousand, eight hundred, and fifty-two miles away and yet none of that matters if you do not have well-insulated transistors.
Such is the way of the universe.
My conversation with Rex and Painted Wolf had been cut short at a most inopportune time, just when I was going to tell them the most exciting news. It would not be easy, perhaps even impossible, to get back on that evening, but it could not hurt to try.
Sadly, the transistor I suspected of being faulty was not in an accessible spot. In fact, it was forty feet up in the air, atop the Okeke Solar Power Tower just outside my village. I would have to climb!
With my flashlight gripped between my teeth, I scaled the tower and took a look at the damage. It was, as I expected, burned to a crisp. There were obviously some excessive voltage issues with the wiring in this section, and I had seen just the thing to fix it at the junkyard earlier that day.
So I had to scramble back down and dig it up.
Fortunately, this did not take very long as I had spent the week prior organizing my section of the junkyard. Yes, my section. With my help, Samkon Malu, the junkyard owner, was able to watch repeats of Storyland and I Need to Know, so he never gave me trouble about organizing scraps or repurposing scrap metal from his place of business.
That junkyard was my haus away from home.
It was where I went to relax and to think.
If you have never spent an afternoon under a palm tree and a clear sky assembling a multicylinder four-stroke motorcycle engine, then you are truly missing out on an incredible pleasure.
I have been told that some people do not find this thought enjoyable.
I cannot think why.
There was once an Englishman who came to our village and was most impressed with the things I had created. He told me that one day I should apply to a university in England and study to be a mechanical engineer. I asked him how he thought I should do that, and he said, "Just go online and submit an application."
This caused much laughter.
The good news was I did not need to travel to England to learn. Everywhere near my village were projects that required attending. Everywhere in my land there were problems that needed to be solved. Katakata dey everywhere for Naija. And from each new project I have attempted, I have learned many things.
Including how to construct a solar power tower.
Yes, I designed it myself.
The idea behind it was simple: There are mirrors aligned very carefully on the ground around the tower. They focus the rays of the sun directly on the tower, where I installed a water system that contains water piped in from the nearest river, two kilometers distant. The light is hot enough that the water becomes steam and the steam turns a turbine.
I built the Okeke Solar Power Tower a year ago with the help of a few friends from Lagos. What good friends! It took us two months to align the mirrors correctly and all I could pay them with was gizdodo, but they did not complain at all.
I named the tower Okeke after the famous Nigerian scientist Francisca Okeke. She was a great source of inspiration; I put her on the same level as Tupac Shakur, Nikola Tesla, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Percy Julian.
Here is a schematic of the structure:
The tower was made of industrial-grade steel that I found at the military junkyard two kilometers from Akika Village. Most of the metal had been sitting out in the hot sun for decades, but it was still strong.
Excerpted from Genius by Leopoldo Gout. Copyright © 2016 Leopoldo Gout. Excerpted by permission of Feiwel and Friends.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Prologue: The Vanishing,
Part One: The Invitation,
Part Two: The Game,
Part Three: Everything That Rises Must Converge,
Part Four: Zero Hour,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Genius tells the story of three teen geniuses who are thrown into a competition run by one of the world's youngest CEOs and visionaries. They have no idea what they are getting themselves into when they join this competition, however, and chaos (and sometimes hilarity) ensues. My favorite thing about this book is how different it is from everything I am used to reading. I love science and math, but I don't indulge in books about those topics very often. And even within the YA genre, science fiction books don't always necessarily delve into the actual science. Genius included mathematical equations and discussions of everything from hacking and coding to solar panels and the inner workings of bugs. Yes, there were times when I didn't understand what the characters were talking about at all, but I still really appreciated these parts of the story and respected their place in the plot. I also absolutely loved the characters in this story. Tunde was absolutely adorable and I just wanted to squeeze him most of the time. And Painted Wolf was so cool! She was completely tough and badass, but she also had a vulnerable side. There were also parts of this book that made me absolutely laugh out loud. I'm not sure if that was the author's intention, but I was almost crying from laughing so hard. (If you have read this book and have met Charlie, you might know what I am referencing.) It was so refreshing to have these comical scenes thrown into a book that also deals with some heavy topics. I think the only thing that bothered me a little about this book (and this is a really small criticism) was the random Nigerian that was thrown in. Tunde would randomly throw in some Nigerian slang (which makes sense, because he is Nigerian), but there was no explanation of what the heck he was talking about. And none of the characters thought to ask, "Hey, dude, what does that mean?" I understand why the language is in the book, but I wish it had been handled a little differently, so I wasn't left wondering what Tunde was saying half the time. I read this entire book thinking it was a standalone (oops), so I was completely shocked by the ending. Even after realizing that this will be a series, I find myself dying to know what is going to happen next. I will definitely be picking up the next book so I can follow the adventures of Rex, Tunde, and Painted Wolf. I need to know what happens to them!
Alright, here we go: time for another Sunday Street Team review! This book was very interesting. There were a couple things that turned me off about it, but I’ll get to that in a bit. The characters in this book were pretty cool. The novel was told in the POV of three different people: Rex, Tunde, and Cai, aka “Painted Wolf.” Each teen can do something special: Rex is a coder/hacker, Tunde is a machinist, and Painted Wolf is a activist blogger. All of them get invited to The Game, a competition designed to find the worlds geniuses. Each character has an ulterior motive for being there. On to the parts that bothered me. Leopoldo Gout created a language for Tunde and his people from Africa. The problem is, the language doesn’t make sense. There are a couple times where he explains what Tunde is saying, but most of the time he doesn’t. He uses a combination of English and what I assume is a made up language. The other thing that bothers me is all the smart talk. Gout uses math, and chemistry, and the like throughout the novel. He doesn’t use common terms either. He uses words and phrases that need explaining, which he doesn’t do. It really turned me off to the novel. I felt like it needed to be dumbed down so that I could follow along. While I enjoyed the story and the characters, there were a few things that turned me off, which is why my rating is lower than I wanted it to be.
pooled ink Reviews: GENIUS is a pulse-pumping, head-shattering, thrill of a story. Sparking with coders, fabricators, and political tangos this little game of chess will keep you reading until the last piece has fallen and a new board has been set. A game within a game? Or was the Game simply the opening move? You’ll be dying to know what happens next. Read my FULL review here: https://pooledink.com/2016/04/19/genius-arc-review/
My whole family loves this book. I barely put it down until i was done
**Thanks so much to the publisher for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review!** Since I'm a huge science fiction fan, I knew that I had to check out Genius: The Game. The book itself is so pretty. The pages are filled with images that go along with the story, which was such a plus. Genius: The Game follows a group of three geniuses who join together to participate in a competition after only being friends online. I think that my most favorite part of this story was the characters honestly. Rex has been looking for his brother as a hacker and he lives in the United States. Tunde is from Africa and Painted Wolf is from China. I found it so great that each character was from such a different place yet they all had the same goal in mind. Another thing that I really enjoyed was the amount of technology. I'm a huge science fiction geek so of course I get all excited when there's lots of cool technology. The competition itself was also very interesting and I loved that there were multiple point of views which allowed me to learn way more than I would have if it had only been one point of view. At the end of the book, my only complaint was the killer cliffhanger ending! I'm not sure if the book is going to be part of a series, but the ending definitely left me wanting to know more. I know that I will for sure be recommending this book to any science fiction or technology fan!
Genius: The Game, written by Leopoldo Gout, is the kind of book I usually don’t reach for. Once I read the synopsis, I was really interested to see what it was all about. I’m so happy that I decided to request it. Genius: The Game is quite unique. The story sprouts into an exciting, fast-paced adventure. It leaves you wanting more once you finish reading it. Let’s get into my likes and the one facet of the book that I felt was a bit lacking. LIKES 1. The main characters and their motives. Each MC is quite diverse, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Rex, a coder, is a Mexican-American from California. Tunde, whose POV I enjoyed the most, is an engineer from Nigeria. Painted Wolf is a female activist blogger. How cool is that? Not only do you get to see their POV’s, you also get to understand what their personal motives are for wanting to be chosen for “The Game.” 2. Graphics. I have to admit that one of my favorite parts of the book was the graphics. There are pictures, code examples, and diagrams. I truly feel that they lent themselves to the fun aspect of the novel. 3. Overall concept. Genius: The Game has a great overall concept that was developed wonderfully. Imagine the top geniuses in the world coming together for a competition. Of course, there are ulterior motives for the competition, which you get to find out before, during, and after the competition takes place. 4. Information. I was worried that I wouldn’t understand a majority of the book because the MCs are geniuses. I’m so glad that I was wrong. Gout provided the necessary information for you to grasp what certain codes or technology is meant for (in case you don’t already know). For instance, I’ve never heard of a quantum computer, but Gout did explain certain aspects of what it is. Without this information, I know I would’ve been lost. Another thing to note is that the short, concise information doesn’t take away from the story. DISLIKE 1. Inability to connect with the characters. Personally, when I read a story, I want to be able to really connect with the characters. It helps me to really become invested with the story as a whole. In the case of the characters in Genius: The Game, I didn’t connect or get attached to them as much as I would’ve liked. I think it was partly because I got to know more about their extraordinary talents and skill than whom they were deep inside. I’m really hoping that Genius: The Game is a series! I will definitely be on the lookout for news concerning this book. I was amazed at how easily I was able to get into it, and most importantly, how much I enjoyed it. I cannot wait to see what happens next :). I received this book from NetGalley and the Publisher for an honest review.
I enjoyed this story. The three characters taking turns narrating are best friends online and repeatedly show their friendship matters, which I really liked. The drawings were distracting, and though the story flowed well enough, it was a bit clunky at times. Even though the whole story was a bit outlandish (I mean, getting the top 200 smartest teens/ kids together on a last minute game, no parental supervision, all expense paid trip to Boston for a top secret game? Sure..), I I found parts too unbelievable, which is why I gave it 3 stars. I loved, loved, loved Cai and Rex. I was totally shocked at the deception one of the major characters displayed at the end, and the ending was cliff hanger enough that I'm really interested in knowing what happens next.
This was kind of interesting, but it didn’t meet my expectations. I received a copy from Netgalley to review, and ended up giving this book 3 out of 5 stars. So here’s the thing…I didn’t hate this book, but I didn’t love it either. The ending kind of sucked and just left the story hanging. I really hate cliffhangers, especially if there’s no second book being published/talked about. I liked the characters for the most part, but I felt like I didn't really get to know them that well, other than their skills that got them into the Game. And the little more besides their skills that I did get to know about Rex, Tunde, and Painted Wolf, I felt unsatisfied with the lack of closure. The different cultures and POVs were overall interesting, and the Game concept was also cool. But the Game felt a little anti-climactic. There were only a couple challenges. I figured they’d be run through a lot of challenges, narrowing down the competitors slower than they did, especially with how much the company paid to get all these people to the Game. The Game seemed like a big waste of money. The other problems that Rex, Tunde, and Painted Wolf faced were just left incomplete by the end of the book. The one thing that took up a lot of Tunde’s POV/time with the warlord was kind of resolved, but I wanted to see it play out more. I felt like you didn’t get closure with that situation. I wanted to see what happened with Painted Wolf next after the Game, especially with what team she ended up on and how they did. I wanted to see what happened with Rex after the end. There was a twist towards the end of the book that just had me staring. It felt so out of place, and weird. I just wanted…more. I did like the hint of romance that was weaved into the story a little bit. Final note: It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either, in my opinion. I think there could have been a lot more of the Game. I really wanted more closure on what happened with Rex, Painted Wolf, and Tunde. Hardcore sci-fi fans might like this more than me.
I really had a good time with this book. If you have a background in computers, math, engineering - add Genius to your list. A lot of technical jargon and diagrams are included, which I didn't understand - way above my pay grade, and add a level of authenticity to the story. Three engaging and diverse MCs, each with their own problems and secrets, make this fast-paced novel a serious page-turner. Genius is loaded with suspense, an intelligent thriller that would have strong appeal to any YA readers interested in STEM. If there were any negatives for me, it would be the Game itself. I never quite understood if the goal of the competition was to work for the young CEO, have the opportunity to meet him, or something else. The backgrounds of some young geniuses made me question exactly how they fit in with all the computer, engineering, and science types; however, it wasn't difficult to overlook these things - I was too engrossed in the story to think much about it. I'm unsure if a sequel is planned for this book - although I certainly hope one is in the works. Thanks to NetGalley for the digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Starring... Rex – a 16 year old Mexican-American coder Cai – a 16 year old Chinese blogger/activist Tunde – a 14 year old Nigerian engineer who up-cycles garbage into technology for his Nigerian village These teens are online friends who get the opportunity to meet IRL (in real life) for the first time when they’re invited to a competition hosted by the world’s top tech visionary, Kiran Biswas. Winners will receive spots on Kiran’s team doing cutting-edge tech development. Um…yes, I’ll read that arc, please! To win the competition, Rex, Cai and Tunde will need to outsmart the top two hundred teen minds in the world. They have to do this while each of them simultaneously faces a threat to himself/herself or their family. I was particularly drawn in by the plight of Tunde, who has never been far from his small village, let alone to Boston, where the competition is being held. His family is held captive by a Nigerian military warlord. His parents and his entire village will be wiped-out unless Tunde both wins the contest and develops a new, powerful weapon and delivers it to the warlord, forcing him to choose between saving his family and helping a vicious killer. Genius: The Game is tightly written and, of course, has tons of cool technology. Readers who love games, tech, and conspiracies will love it! Release date: May 3.
Kiran Biswas, 18 year old tech genius and head of his own business, invites 200 of the brightest kids around the world to compete in the Game. Three friends, each from a different part of the world and with their own special talents, all get pulled into the Game. Rex, a coder from California who can make a program for almost anything you could ever think of; Tunde, a Nigerian boy engineer who built an entire solar power system for his remote village; and Painted Wolf, a mysterious Chinese blogger and activist who exposes the corruptness of China's business leaders. They were friends long before the game, but had never met in person until the fateful day when they all got invitations. But little did they know how much was in store for them, whether it be being blackmailed into helping an evil warlord or being framed for hacking every major corporation on the globe, the Game isn't just tricky puzzles and riddles like they thought. This realistic-fiction book is a perfect read for any middle to high schooler who likes any field in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Other readers will enjoy this book because of its funny, smart, and relatable narrators as well as its in depth technology diagrams and mind-puzzling riddles. My favorite part is the unexpected twist at the end, which will leave you begging for more! Overall, Genius the Game is a smart, funny, and interesting story perfect for any tech lovers, science geeks, math prodigies, and engineering marvels, and everyone else in between. review by Owen L., age 14, Delaware Valley Mensa
This book had a lot of talk computer coding and technical terms which made it interesting, but a bit hard to understand at times. I am excited to see how the next book turns out.
This is such a great book! I loved it.
Why is there no more than five star rating