Title: Game of Fear
Series: A Fearless Novel
Author: Gledé Browne Kabongo
Publisher: BrowneStar Publishing
Publication Date: February 24, 2016
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult
From the author—
A desperate act, an explosive secret, and a diabolical enemy—all part of a treacherous game, with no limits.
Overachieving good girl Abbie Cooper has her future all planned out. As senior year at her elite private school kicks off, she has one simple goal: get into the Ivy League. But at St. Matthews Academy, nothing is ever simple. The pressure is overwhelming, the secrets are dirty, and the games are wicked. Abbie has a dirty secret—one that could destroy her chances of getting admitted into Princeton, and the lives of those closest to her.
One morning, she discovers a note in her locker with the warning, “I know what you did”. Then a photo arrives in the mail. It captures her most shameful deed—the shocking blunder she can never erase, in glorious detail. Someone is out to ruin her, but who and why? The answer lies with the sender of the photo, a mysterious girl known only as The Avenger. For a price, she assures Abbie her secret will remain safe. There’s only one problem: The Avenger may not exist at all. If Abbie doesn’t uncover her true identity before acceptance decisions are made, it’s game over…
Poor Abbie…her nearly perfect, planned-to-the-last-detail life has run into a stumbling block, one she can’t control or even understand. Who could be sending her these threats and what are they referring to? While that’s going on, she’s monumentally distracted by bad boy Christian who seems to be pursuing her relentlessly but Abbie doesn’t trust that his intentions are good and his ex-girlfriend, Sidney, queen of the mean girls, is out to make Abbie’s existence miserable.
Christian actually is pretty likeable and Abbie is, too, except that she’s so controlled, so driven, to the point where I sort of thought these threats from The Avenger might rattle her cage enough to make her a bit more like an ordinary teenager. Her best friends Callie and Frances are truly loyal to Abbie and each other and the three take strength and comfort from each other. In fact, all of this is almost too good.
I know there are very privileged kids in this world and many of them go to extremely exclusive private schools but Saint Matthews Academy and its students are so over the top I couldn’t really relate to any of them. This is a world in which nearly everyone has enough money to buy a small island or the Hope Diamond and they’re all paragons of beauty. Essentially, they’re interesting but nowhere close to normal.
I also can’t really agree that this is a thriller because the pace is pretty slow and, in fact, far more attention is paid to the romance than to the apparent blackmail. The final resolution is kind of ho-hum, possibly because it’s hard to feel too sorry for these kids. On the positive side, though, this is a pretty good story, better than average escapism, and that’s not a bad thing at all.
Autumn of Fear, the sequel to Game of Fear, will be coming out in the future but, for those who’d like to know more about Abbie before then can check out her first appearance in Swan Deception, available now.
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, May 2016.
About the Author
Gledé Browne Kabongo writes intense psychological thrillers—unflinching tales of deception, secrecy, danger and family. She is the Amazon Bestselling Author of Game of Fear, “Mark of Deceit” (Eye of Fear Anthology), Swan Deception, and Conspiracy of Silence. Her love affair with books began as a young girl growing up in the Caribbean, where her town library overlooked the Atlantic Ocean. She was trading books and discussing them with neighbors before Book Clubs became popular.
She holds both an M.S. and B.A. in communications, and worked as a freelance news reporter right out of college. After she abandoned the dream of winning the Pulitzer Prize as a reporter for the Boston Globe, she jumped into marketing management for over a decade. Gledé lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two sons.