REVIEW: 'The Vatican Games' by Alejandra Guibert Blog Tour
Hello Fellow Readerholics,
I was recently given the opportunity to review an ebook of ‘The Vatican Games’ by Alejandra Guibert as part of a blog tour with Authoright.
Vera is born on the day an apocalyptic revenge is unleashed, annihilating half of the world’s population.
Her birth marks the beginning of a new world order run by powerful gaming corporations.
A warless existence with no poverty has been secured, until this fine balance becomes once more under threat.
Vera is the female David to beat Goliath and prevent further devastation.
The future lies in her hands. It’s a game that she needs to win.
I would just like to begin by saying that the whole concept of this book was so intriguing to me, from the idea of the Vatican City in a digital age to the backstory on Vera. The whole book was really cool and I loved looking at the deeper meanings and symbolisms within the storyline. I found it to be cleverly woven and intricate and I seriously appreciated the attention to detail.
A really interesting aspect of this book was the primary location, The Vatican City. For those who don’t know, The Vatican City is a very small country/independent state surrounded by Rome, Italy. It is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and is home to the Pope. In the book, The Vatican is now in a digital age and, like the rest of the world, is influenced by video games. This is really interesting to me as before I read the book I struggled to see how religion could possibly interact with the gaming world this way and I found it to be pretty well done. There is fairly heavy religious influence in this book (which was to be expected) but it is portrayed as something deeply political as opposed to spiritual so it isn’t all that preachy. As the Vatican City is, in a sense, Italian, there was a strong Italian influence throughout the book which was really cool to me.
As terrible and tragic as it was, I was also really fascinated by the apocalypse itself. In ‘The Vatican Games’ the apocalypse is caused by a terrorist attack in regards to biological warfare. The water sources for most of the world was poisoned and chemicals were released, causing a pandemic of sorts. This being said, the government, as many dystopian governments do, urge the population to continue life as it was even in the midst of such a crisis. Seeing as Vera was born on the day that this attack was unleashed I was surprised to see just how much life actually did continue on as normal. The very beginning of the book is seen through Alina, Vera’s mother, so it makes sense that she isn’t as worried about the apocalypse seeing as she had just given birth.
I also really loved Alina and Vera’s relationship. Alina was quite young (I want to say 19 but I’m not entirely sure) when she gave birth to Vera and as she is a single parent, their dynamic is quite different to that of a typical mother and daughter relationship. Vera was obviously dependent on her mother as her primary caregiver but I found that Alina was just as dependent on Vera for happiness and love. A good quote that reflected that was after Alina had given birth, ‘for the first time she was enjoying her own life.’
The biggest thing I wanted to mention about this book was the symbolism as it was actually really cool and fun to try and pick up on. I really liked seeing the concept of new life (Vera) after the death and destruction that was the apocalypse. I also noticed that this same concept of new life was to provide Vera as a symbol of hope in the face of adversary. Another symbolic thing was the mention of David and Goliath in the synopsis. For those unfamiliar, David and Goliath is a biblical story that is essentially a classic ‘underdog’ story. A smaller, weaker opponent faces an opponent that is bigger and stronger. This biblical story is, without giving too much away, somewhat of a parallel to Vera’s story.
This book was super interesting to me and I thought the concept was so cool so I was pretty disappointed when I found that the plot was a bit slower than what I would have liked. I found that some things were given too long an explanation that I felt myself losing interest in the topic at hand. I also found the world building to be pretty hit or miss which was a slight downside.
INFORMATION ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: The Vatican Games
Author: Alejandra Guibert
Release Date: 30th January 2020
Page Count: 242
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Alejandra Guibert has been writing since a young age and graduated as a literary translator in Buenos Aires. Following graduation, she worked as a freelance translator, mainly for Spanish newspaper El País. Later she joined theatre company Arte Livre for an extensive European tour of three years with the play Olhares de Perfil (Sideways Glance) as co-writer. The play won a Special Fringe First Award in Edinburgh Festival in 1988 and took part in international theatre festivals throughout Europe.
She moved to London in 1989 and produced and directed several documentaries with First Take whilst dedicating time to her writing.
She has written for both theatre and film and her works include both prose and poetry.
In 1999, she specialized in subtitling and worked as a Latin American Spanish subtitler for more than ten years. She was a founder member and ex Chair of SUBTLE, The Subtitlers’ Association.
Since 2008, she has been working solely on her literary work. The speculative novel The Vatican Games is her fourth book of fiction and the first in English. She has been living and working in Brighton since 2009.
Overall, this book had a really amazing concept but I felt it was lacking in regards to a developed plot. I really did enjoy reading it though and I thought the ideas were really interesting. I’m rating it 3.6/5. A huge thanks to clinkstreetpublishing and Authoright for providing me with a copy.
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