After the events of the second book, the virals have really enhanced their hut with the extra prize money. Now their hut has so many new features. And both Madison and Chance know there is something up with the Virals. Well, Tory specifically. They don't know what yet but they are getting close. Meanwhile, Hi (Hiram) has been playing an online game where people bury...things, maybe special rewards, and people can travel over to where someone hid their artifact. However Hi comes across a puzzle that says you are now in "The Game" brought to you by the Gamemaster and if you don't play the game or if you reveal it to anyone, everyone you care for will die. It's actually not an exaggeration because soon the Virals are given surveillance pictures of their family members. But this Gamemaster doesn't exactly know whom he's messed with.
Despite a sense of this Gamemaker sometimes having the upper hand so much it's ridiculous and tiresome, this book still has all the chase and thrills of the last two books. But in Seizure, the Virals were out trying to discover a four-hundred year old lost treasure from pirate Anne Bonny in order to earn the money to pay off the Charleston University debt. This time, the feel of the endless game makes the book seem a bit more videogame than story or mystery, completing one level and then back to square one at the next stop. Don't get me wrong, I love videogames, but after Seizure made my Top 5 Best Books Ever List, this one seems slightly muddled, especially since it didn't quite touch on this subject about exposure Tory accidentally showed off to her enemy.
Even so, there is still a mystery. And I enjoyed the one involving elements in the periodic table. If you understand hints beforehand, you can put down the book and do some research yourself. If you theorize and are right, that can really add to the pleasure of the book. It's also still sassy and the conflcit with Ben versus Jason Taylor is at a peak here and I didn't see it coming how far it went. Plus, just like the last two, you feel there's something you're forgetting about that's important that relates to a situation and presto! This happens more than once, thankfully. The cliffhanger this book makes also made me feel that the end is rising nearer and nearer and gave me a bad feeling about the rest of the series I can't wait to continue! I also surprisingly enjoyed the subplot well enough of Tory and Whitney and the show Whitney had been trying to put Tory through. I think the relationship between the two is showing good progress.
But there's just this one line that really tugged at me the wrong way. Maybe I'm being too picky, but there's this one scene where the Virals have to investigate a crypt and someone escorts them out, furious they would harm sleeping spirits, and he says to Tory, something like "You seem like a good kid. I hope you feel bad about this so you can make better choices in the future." Okay, I get what he was saying, but FYI, it wasn't their fault and they were trying to save lives, maybe even his own. There have been things I've done that I feel bad about and have helped me grow but saying it bluntly like a parent is a cynical and not very enjoyable way to look at the matter. If that guy had a second appearance and had things explained to him, I wouldn't have minded this. I probably would've minded less the fact that the antagonist isn't as layered as before. I also probably wouldn't have minded as much the fact that something's scheduled two thirds of the way done in the book, and there's no doubt where the final battle is.
Maybe I just didn't like Code when comparing it to Virals and Seizure, and maybe that's the reason for my 2/4 grade. Comparing, which I shouldn't do but in a series it's hard not to. Well, either way, I still think this series is very good and I'll be reading and reviewing Exposure soon.