Extinction Game

By Gary Gibson

Rating: 3 stars

Jerry Beche is, he believes, the last person left alive, after a doomsday cult engineered a virus which wiped out humanity. So he’s, to say the least, surprised, when a groups appears out of nowhere and plucks him away to an island paradise where he joins other end of the world survivors in the hunt for more people and technology. The snag: they’re not people from his world, but other last (or almost last) survivors of their own parallel worlds, all brought together by the mysterious Authority for an equally mysterious purpose.

Although Jerry seems like your out and out survivalist type to start with, we also see his fragility and the (failing) coping mechanisms that he used to keep going in a world where he believed he was utterly alone. His fellow “pathfinders” don’t get as much in-depth treatment, but are still fleshed out fairly well. I wasn’t entirely convinced by Chloe, I’m not convinced that having been in love with one version of Jerry, she would fall so quickly into the embrace of the second, but that’s a reasonably minor gripe.

The mystery of the Authority, and the trustworthiness of the other pathfinders is intriguing and kept me going through the book, and Jerry is a likeable first person narrator with just enough unreliability to keep things interesting, without being frustrating. The ending was self-contained so you don’t need to run away and read the second book in the series, and, to be honest, I’m happy with the way it ended, so I probably won’t.

Book details

ISBN: 9781447242727
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Year of publication: 2014

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