Book Review: Genius

Genius Photo

Genius is a book about a genius competition involving the 200 smartest teens and children in the world. The concept of the game is to outwit and outsmart the rest of the teens while working under brutally tough conditions.

The cast consists of Rex, an American, Tunde, a Nigerian, Painted Wolf, a Chinese girl, and Kiran, an Indian CEO. Honestly, this is possibly one of the most character rich books I have read in a long time. Each of these four teens have a very complex personality and unique story that are all easily decipherable from each other. The way their stories interact and weave through each other is very well done, and the diversity of their experiences is very fascinating.

However, the characterization may be the only thing about this book that is worthwhile. It is a fast-paced thriller, but I think the author wrote it as fast as it was designed to be read. There are many gaping plot holes that even through suspending my disbelief were extremely hard to get over. For example, of the 200 brightest people on the planet under 18, 5 of them are under age 9. Even if this was true, I have a very hard time believing that one of the minor characters, an 8 year old, would be an expert in engineering that has captured the attention of a small private corporation in India.

I zipped through this book and enjoyed reading it most of the time, but the more I thought about it, the more it bothered me. Diagrams are frequently used as substitutes for poor description, pictures portraying characters do not match the text descriptions of them, and the actual nature of the competition is not fully explained, and I’m starting to doubt if it will be even with the likely sequel that this will spawn.

You may have noticed the cover image at the top is very difficult to read. I did this on purpose. A renowned author was heavily praising this book, and I simply don’t think it is worth being tricked into thinking this is a must read book. It is a nice and easy thriller, but I don’t think it deserves as much attention as it is trying to garner.

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3 responses to “Book Review: Genius

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