Reviewer Ekta Garg: Ekta has actively written and edited since 2005 for publications like: The Portland Physician Scribe; the Portland Home Builders Association home show magazines; ABCDlady; and The Bollywood Ticket. With an MSJ in magazine publishing from Northwestern University Ekta also maintains The Write Edge- a professional blog for her writing. In addition to her writing and editing, Ekta maintains her position as a “domestic engineer”—housewife—and enjoys being a mother to two beautiful kids.
Publisher: Atria Books
A young man’s efforts to escape the alternative reality game that entrapped him become strained; no matter where he goes or what he does, the game faces him. He finally realizes that only the most extreme measures will get him out, but those extreme measures might mean his own demise. Author Anders de la Motte brings his “Game Trilogy” to an exciting, nail-biting end in Bubble.
Henrik “HP” Pettersson has spent months trying to stay clear of the Game. At one time a major rush, now he just wants to stay out of trouble. But the police bring him into the station on suspicion of conspiracy and planning an act of terrorism. When the police eventually let him go, HP knows it isn’t the last of them or the Game.
Someone has put HP in the sights of the police by submitting evidence that may or may not identify him as an attacker. He knows that he needs to keep the police at bay, but certain questionable events in his past make that hard. In order to prove his innocence, HP fears he may just have to get back into the very Game he worked so hard to leave. But as time goes on, he begins to realize that he may not really have ever gotten out in the first place.
Meanwhile, Rebecca Normen, HP’s sister, has taken a leave of absence from the Security Police and begun her new job at PayTag after some coaxing by her boyfriend. The work situation hasn’t exactly plugged the holes in the relationship, however, and when Rebecca gets called to the station after the police bring in HP she realizes that her personal life may still be on the near side of a chasm of challenges.
The one steady influence in Rebecca’s life comes in the form of an old friend of her father’s. He quickly moves into the role of mentor for Rebecca, and she feels grateful. Until her mentor shows up in the unlikeliest of places, and suddenly she begins to wonder. Wonder whether his appearance in her life really was serendipitous or something else. Soon enough Rebecca realizes that the conversations she’s had with her brother about the Game that has trapped him may not just be a young man’s feeble efforts to wriggle out of responsibility.
Author Anders de la Motte (who graciously did a Q&A with The Write Edge Bookshelf recently) rounds out his “Game Trilogy” with an apropos ending in Bubble. Like Game and Buzz, Bubble offers readers plenty of action and several twists and turns. In a small departure from the first two books, Bubble shows more of the intellectual side of HP. He spends more time thinking through his problems and, reasonable or not, puts considerable more effort in being proactive regarding those problems instead of just reactive. Author de la Motte heightens the drama and HP’s risks by this uptick in the third book, and the result is a worthy conclusion to an excellent trilogy.
Readers will also enjoy de la Motte’s actual use of the term “bubble.” As with the first two books, he walks the tightrope between using the literal definition of the word and its metaphorical meaning without once losing balance. All three books contain this quality, a mean feat in its own right. Writers would do well to take note of how he pulls it off.
I wholeheartedly recommend Bubble for those who enjoyed the first two books. Readers who enjoy high tech thrillers will certainly find themselves intrigued by the series. You will definitely not be disappointed.