Book Review: Genius: the game by Leopoldo Gout (spoiler-free)


Hey fellow book lovers! how are you? Today I’ll be reviewing Genius: the game by Leopoldo Gout! Guys, this book is so action-packed and it’s all about masterminds, solving riddles and figuring things out along the way. I would like to thank Pan McMillan for providing me a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Let’s get started!


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.

The Players:
Rex– One of the best programmers/hackers in the world, this 16-year-old Mexican-American is determined to find his missing brother.
Tunde– This 14-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.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Publication Date:
 Apr 26 2017
RRP: $16.99 AUD

WOW – This book blew me away – I didn’t expect it to be so good! At the start it was a bit weird – but then after a few chapters in, the story really picked up from there. We have 3 main protagonists: Rex, Tunde and Painted Wolf. And I really would like to talk about these characters and their relative themes in a little more depth.

Rex is a 16 year-old Mexican American hacker/programmer, but his parents entered the country illegally. I really enjoy the representation of marginalised groups (i.e. migrants) that Gout included in this book. We also have Tunde, who is from a rural town in Africa, which is suffering from poverty and a corrupted Government. Corruption is a HUGE theme in this book. And our third main character: Painted Wolf, is a Chinese Girl dedicated to expose the corruptions in China. Lies and deception also play a huge determining factor in the book. I really enjoyed how openly the author discuss these issues, because most of it are considered a taboo (i.e. Chinese government corruption). So by being able to read it out loud, especially from a teenager’s POV, is something new for me. Everyone is this book is so smart and I find it so fun to keep up with them, and trying to solve it myself – I actually learn a skill or two about computer programming which is a huge plus.

The competition itself is SUPER cool, the characters get to see all these VERY ADVANCED technologies and gadgets that make my jaw drop (I mean free unreleased smart phone? C’mon!) The 3 characters already talked to each other prior to the competition and are practically best friends – and to finally meet each other in real life – it was very heart-warming and I love how their friendship develop and drive the plot. There are a few background stories that go on during the competition, and the characters had to face various challenges in order to keep their head in the game. There are obviously, the ‘people’ who don’t see eye to eye with our little trio, and things do get nasty real quick. The author cleverly portrayed the inner struggles of each of the 3 characters by writing in their own POV.

I personally love multiple POV in a book, and believe me, Gout really nailed it. And I was clutching the book so hard as I read the last few chapters because MAN! The PLOT TWISTS are SUPER GOOD. Like I was so not expecting a lot of things that happened in the book! Believe me, if you like Kaz Brekker (from Six of Crows) and how his mastermind works, you’ll enjoy this book – it’s got loads of scheming and thinking and problem solving (did I mention how much I ADORE the brain on the cover? It’s so gorgeous!).

And one other thing that I LOVE most about this book, are the illustrations and layout of the story – it’s got maps, program algorithms, security footage, blueprints on inventions and LOADS of other ones. It’s got elements like Illuminae Files, which is another reason I love this book.

Since this is a spoiler-free report, I won’t be able to write more – it’s best if you go read it and find out! I recommend it to all fans who love the illuminate Files with a contemporary twist! I am SO DOWN for the next book!

Hope you enjoy this review! I’ll see you very soon! Happy Reading! x


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