Review Blog

Dec 19 2012

Motive Games by L. D. Taylor

cover image

Wombat Books, 2012. ISBN 9781921632259.
Phil's dad has died and he is sure that it was not an accident. The problem he has is proving that it was murder and then finding out who did it. Helped by his friend Oliver and retired police detective Turpin, Phil sets out to achieve this. The story details Phil's efforts, through his work with Motive, a company that designs computer games. His dad had designed a game called Serial Assault which many people believe had led to the death of some of the players, so there is no end of suspects. Through his computer animation skills Phil produces a simul based on the police report that convinces him that his father was murdered.  He then tries to work out the method and some likely suspects.
The story moves along quickly helped  by relatively short chapters and not much character development. There is a lot of detail about the computer systems involved in designing and developing games that may appeal to those interested in the technical side of gaming. As well there is a glossary at the end  which explains the many technical terms used throughout the book. Overlaying all of this is a Christian message about faith and hope and the book won an award for this.
Whilst I found the story intriguing, for me there was too much jargon that got in the way and the Christian message was not seamlessly integrated. However more computer literate readers may find that the detail adds to the story and engages their interest. Despite its worthwhile objectives I found it only moderately interesting although gamers might disagree.
David Rayner

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