Reviews for Game
Booklist Reviews 2006 December #1
Educated at home and sheltered from the world, Hayley has grown up with her unloving grandmother and inaccessible grandfather. She is suddenly sent to stay with a more freewheeling, affectionate aunt in Ireland. There, her many cousins want nothing more than to play "the Game," which sends each one off on a separate quest in the mythosphere, a magical yet easily accessible place peopled by characters from myths and legends. Events grow stranger and more dreamlike as Hayley, introduced as an orphan, discovers that her parents still live in the mythosphere and, perhaps, she can reunite with them there. The strength of this story is the finesse with which it draws readers into a realistic story that gradually becomes more and more fantastic. What appears at first to be reality becomes increasingly unreal until readers question their own assumptions as well as the narrative's reliability. Though teachers may find this short novel of interest for its references to Greek and Roman mythology, its main audience will be Jones' enthusiastic fans. ((Reviewed December 1, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Fall
Orphan Hayley goes to stay with her excitable relatives. She and her cousins play a forbidden game exploring the mythosphere: an alternate world peopled by mythological archetypes. Though the shifts between Hayley's reality and the dreamlike mythosphere are disjointed, and readers unversed in mythology and astronomy may be lost, the author's lyrical presentation of the hero's journey is innovative. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2007 April #1
A fantasy novella kindles a sizzling premise that fails to catch fire. When a chance encounter with the mysterious musical magicians Flute and Fiddle introduces young Hayley to the "mythosphere," where myths, fairy tales and legends spin their strands through the human imagination, her stringent grandmother exiles her to school in Scotland. A temporary diversion through Ireland acquaints Hayley with several aunts and innumerable cousins, and (most exhilarating) The Game: a scavenger hunt through the mythosphere. But as Hayley roams through the Zodiac and romps through the Hesperides, she discovers secrets about herself and her family--secrets that might free her to defy even her tyrannical Uncle Jolyon. As always, Jones's prose sparkles, and Hayley is a likable character, diffident yet plucky; the mythosphere is a fascinating conceit that deserves open exploration. Unfortunately, the narrative is limited by a constricted paradigm, and the conclusion seems both predictable and forced. Readers lacking a solid grounding in Greek mythology are likely to be left puzzled, even with the concluding explanatory note. Plenty of glitter and flash, but hardly indispensable. (Fantasy. 11+) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2007 March #1
Celestial intrigue and the nature of storytelling are just two of the strands woven together in Jones's (the Chrestomanci books) inventive novella. Sent from her grandparents' London home in disgrace, Hayley arrives in Ireland to stay with her aunts and cousins in their rambling castle home. The girl takes to her new life almost immediately, especially the thrilling game her cousins play, in which they venture into the mythosphere--a mysterious realm where they perform various tasks drawn from the worlds of fairytale, myth and legend. In the course of her own quests, Hayley discovers the truth about her own unearthly nature. She gets the chance to rescue her long-lost parents from dreadful fates, to which they've been condemned by domineering Uncle Jolyon, a power-hungry god thinly disguised as an unpleasant business man. Readers less familiar with classical mythology will be helped (and may well find their interest piqued) by a note at story's end that clearly links the original Greco-Roman characters with their modern-day avatars. A sparkling treat. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) [Page 62]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2007 March
Gr 5-8-- What if just outside of Earth's known atmosphere there sat another layer that was actually a different dimension? Such is the premise for this novel. For as long as she can remember, orphan Hayley has lived sequestered away with her strict grandmother and mysteriously busy grandfather. A chance meeting on an outing lands her in big trouble and she finds herself shipped off to stay with relatives in the country. Here Hayley meets dozens of cousins who invite her to play a strange game. Its object is to go to different places in the mythosphere and retrieve various items while dodging mythological creatures. The plot thickens when she meets her father and learns that he and her mother are both trapped in the mythosphere as punishment for their illicit marriage. Hayley frees them and discovers that she, like all of the other characters in the story, is really a mythological figure who can live in either realm. Meanwhile, the frightening family patriarch, Uncle Jolyon, finds out about the game and comes after the girl, her parents, and her cousins. As he prepares to punish them all, Hayley pierces his chest with a star, causing him to transform into the planet Jupiter. While the beginning parallels The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe , the story takes off on its own midway through. There is a whole lot of plot for such a little novel, and readers unfamiliar with mythology won't fully appreciate it.--Nicki Clausen-Grace, Carillon Elementary School, Oviedo, FL [Page 212]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2008 February
This book joins a series of original novellas by favorite Firebird fantasy authors such as Charles de Lint and Tanith Lee. Haley has lived with her grandparents for as long as she can remember. According to them, her parents died in a crash. Her grandmother is cold, strict, and rigid, but her grandfather seems to care for her in a gruff way. Haley is not certain what she has done to anger her grandmother when she sends Haley to live with other relatives without explanation. Surrounded by mostly friendly cousins in a crowded, comfortable house at first, Haley is introduced to "the game." Through the game, Haley and her cousins can travel into the mythosphere to retrieve objects from mythology and folklore. As she travels, Haley learns the truth about herself, her parents, and indeed her whole family, and ultimately confronts Uncle Jovyon, the domineering head of the family Consistent with Jones's other novels, this novella reaches readers on multiple levels. At its most basic, the narrative is accessible to readers without a background in mythology, whereas those who are interested in mythology will enjoy making connections. As always, Jones's writing is crisp, clear, clever, and laced with plenty of humor. The author's fans will be eager to get their hands on this one, and it is an excellent pick for reluctant readers.-Donna Scanlon 5Q 4P J S Copyright 2008 Voya Reviews.