Guest Review by Khalid "Kal" Ismael @ The Daily Khronicle
Title: Kill Screen
Author: Benjamin Reeves
When game designer Jack Valentine finds his best friend’s body floating in a bathtub of his own blood, he begins an investigation to discover the reason for his friend’s sudden suicide. As Jack digs into the abandoned artifacts of his friend’s private life, he uncovers a mysterious artificial intelligence program that takes credit for his friend’s death. After conversing with the program, Jack quickly spirals into an insomnia-fueled craze. Haunted by demons from his past, Jack will have to discover the truth behind his friends suicide in order to save is career, his love life, and even his sanity. Set in the heart of videogame and tech culture of the mid-‘90s, Kill Screen is a novel that explores the concepts of death, personal forgiveness, and the social issues surrounding our ever-advancing technological culture.
A great one-sitting read for the general fiction lovers
Having read this book by the time I woke up, I had the liberty of immersing myself into the book without judgment nor bias. Any ounce of sleepiness that I had was killed off as I kept on going, and with that, I finished the read in a single sitting.
The novel ‘Kill Screen’ centers on the protagonist, Jack Valentine, who delves deeper into the reasons behind the abrupt suicide of his best friend, Dexter, who is found floating in a bathtub filled with his own blood. What lies in wait, is an artificial program that takes credit for the death and it sends Jack in a downward spiral to get to the answers and stay alive. What piqued my interest initially, was the novel being set during the 90’s gaming culture. The references were appreciative and help set the tone. But what did grasp me, was the novel being a fast paced read, allowing for readers to beat their hearts through as they strum through the pages. As far the main synopsis goes, I figured it was a common cliche story of ‘hero versus bad guy’ but what came was not expected. The writer has weaved in a twist that goes beyond that general cliche and allowing the story to be an eye-opener to one’s self and acceptance, questioning life, good and evil. All in all, a philosophical and thrilling plot that was fun to read to the end.
The protagonist, as well as the other characters in the novel are interesting and their character development is well played from start to end. My favourite instance of this is a whole chapter dedicated to a deceased character which really fleshes naturally and ties in well with Jack. Jack is a troubled man, ripe with dark secrets that the readers would yearn to know, while the writer teases and introduces them appropriately to watch Jack grow. Jack is not perfect, but that’s what why he makes a connection, his desires and conflicts are all relatable. The other characters make quite an impressive roster, helping in building the world you’re immersed in with their own qualities.
Overall, the book is a pleasure to read. It’s story is unique, its characters interesting, deep and thought out, leaving you satisfied. A definite must read for those into the genre. Plus, it doesn’t hurt if you’re a gamer like me, since the small nods always leave a smile just like when I finished the book.
Hey guys! I've been getting tons of review requests from General Fiction Writers and I felt bad turning them down. So I asked a friend (Kal) who loves the genre to read them and review them for Unputdownable Books! He might be a regular here, so watch out! He even might also join the blog full on, if I'm lucky enough. So for now, he'll just stop by for guestposts etc.
Kal has also given me permission to post up this review on Amazon on his behalf. *happiness*
I hope you enjoyed the review! See you all next time!