A young woman disappears in Silicon Valley. Ignored by the police, her father offers a reward to find her. That attracts reward seeker Colter Shaw, who soon figures out she was kidnapped. After a bit of investigation, he is able to rescue her. Then another person is kidnapped. And it becomes obvious the kidnapper follows the plot of a computer game named The Whispering Man, in which the player is placed in some place with five random objects and must either escape or die...
My impression of The Never Game is mixed. On the one hand I liked the idea of a gamer enacting a computer game in real life, and with Colter Shaw there is an interesting main character. His way of bringing the bad guy to turn himself in to the police was clever. On the other hand I expected a slightly different book with more suspense and a focus on the victims trying to escape a potentially deadly situation. The motive didn't convince me and feels too constructed.
Quotes from the book
[...] he felt a wave of euphoria, hypothermia's way of telling you that death can be fun.
Too much information is as useless as too little.
"When you write something by hand, slowly, you own the words. You type them, less so. You read them, even less. And you listen, hardly at all."
"Somebody tries to murder a girl because of the game and what happens? No effect on sales whatsoever. People don't care. If there's a game they like, they'll buy it, and they don't give a shit if it inspires psychos or terrorists."
"You have your weapon?" - "I do." - "Don't shoot him, okay?" Standish said. "The paperwork for something like that..."
Shaw had to admit he felt some sympathy for him. What would it have been like to throw your entire life into your art and then, at this young age, to realize that you'd lost your spark? The muse had deserted you?