The Unity Game by Leonora Meriel

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rating-christgau-three-star-honorable-mention

The Unity Game is a complex story with three plot lines connecting to one single major plot point and intriguing philosophical views trickled toward the end.

This was good. At about 65% of the story, I was going to give up and shove it to my DNF shelf but somewhere down there, I’m glad I didn’t. All for the ending that actually made sense, unlike the rest of the book.

First of all, the blurb doesn’t even clearly state what the story is about. It’s like an illusion to simply draw the reader in without giving them a hint of what truly lies between the pages. If that wasn’t enough, the fact that the blurb regards the book as a metaphysical thriller, is again a bit misleading. Sure, there is a parallel plot line going on in another part of the universe but there wasn’t anything metaphysical, apart from the forced scientific references like ‘closed circulatory organ’ [I’m a biology student and cringed at the mention of this and many other such descriptions], mere mention of constellations and the fact that David, the main character, had always wanted to be an astronaut, that is if these can even be considered metaphysical. 

Leaving that behind, the story starts off quite slow. There’s too much information, names and scientific analogies within the first few chapters. In one scenario, David, an ambitious VP of a bank in New York is working his ass off for the bonus that awaits him, while hooking up with Vanessa, a perfect girl with perfect features. While his thoughts seemed too focused on money and blowjobs, I was happy to read how real the character was. Amidst all the clients, nightmares and weird wet dreams, his frustration and tiredness was evident. He was losing it all, much like what happens in real life. His narrative was the only thing that kept me sticking around for so long.

In the next scene, Alisdair, an aged old librarian, is dead but his soul has entered this higher level of energy that is void of time or place. While this story keeps dragging halfway through the book, this higher energy level starts being more coherent for the readers and soon becomes a mind-boggling thing, and that’s when I decided not to DNF this. In order to keep this review spoiler-free, I wouldn’t quote anything but to give a little insight, it’s all about the decisions we have made already, are making and will be making. Yes, too philosophical but interesting anyway. 

The third plot line and the one that didn’t work for me at any point of the story was two ‘beings’ addressed as Noe-buk and Aldimar respectively and their interactions through the universe. I won’t elaborate on this point because I simply didn’t understand it myself. This is probably the part that made a few regard the story as metaphysical but I don’t think this aspect affected the story in any way. At the end, it was all bound to be philosophical and this little mention of non-living beings-with-emotions-flying-around-in-space didn’t do anything for me, except to increase the word count.

You must probably be thinking by now, why did I even rate this book if I didn’t like it at all? This might come to you as a surprise but I actually liked it. No matter how confusing and complicated the entire story is, the ending worked for me so well. I think it lived up to everything I felt was lacking. It ended with a bang; scenes became more reasonable, characters made more sense, everything became connected in one way or another and the entire idea of ‘living’ was reflected in a different perspective–a perspective that I agree on many levels.

Overall, this is definitely worth reading for the essence that the story is ultimately trying to convey. I would recommend it to those who can sift through unnecessary content and stick to a book long enough for the ending to surprise them. 

89

LEONORA MERIEL

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I received a digital copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. Thank you Leonora Mereil!


 

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