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The Galaxy Game

3.08  ·  Rating details ·  623 ratings  ·  179 reviews
For years, Rafi Delarua saw his family suffer under his father's unethical use of psionic power. Now the government has Rafi under close watch, but, hating their crude attempts to analyse his brain, he escapes to the planet Punartam, where his abilities are the norm, not the exception. Punartam is also the centre for his favourite sport, wallrunning - and thanks to his bes ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 6th 2015 by Del Rey (first published January 1st 2015)
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3.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  623 ratings  ·  179 reviews

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Althea Ann
Sep 06, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a fascinating book; any plot summary is going to make it sound much more mundane than it is.

Teenage Rafi is a psion in a society that strongly distrusts psionic powers. His abilities have caused even his own mom to pull away from him, and he's been sent to a special school for some questionable 'treatment.' In many ways Rafi's a typical kid. He likes hanging out with his friends and enjoying his favorite sport, Wallrunning. But he's got serious issues to deal with, and not all of them wi
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

For a long time I’ve wanted to read something by Karen Lord, so I was excited when I was given the opportunity to review the audiobook of The Galaxy Game. This latest novel by Lord sounded very promising, featuring a compelling blurb that teases a fascinating premise and hints at some action. Thus I admit I went into it with high expectations, but regretfully came out of the experience feeling rather underwhelmed.

I also fe
Dec 16, 2014 rated it liked it
I was excited for The Galaxy Game. The premise sounded wonderful, and I had heard some good things through the grapevine. Sadly, this book did not live up to my expectations and I was left feeling a little disappointed by the end of it.

The Galaxy Game tells the tale of Rafi Delarua, whose family has suffered under his fathers unethical use of psionic power. Following the governments attempts to keep a close watch over him and analyse his brain, Rafi escapes from their clutches and flees to the
Frank Errington
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
Review copy

I'm fortunate enough to be given a lot of books in exchange for a fair and honest review. On occasion, I will even reach out through services like NetGalley when I hear about a new work that piques my interest. That's exactly what happened here.

Late last year I heard about Karen Lord who was making a name for herself in the SF genre and a new book that would be published in January. A book grand in scope with political and religious overtones. I, like many other readers of my genera
Mar 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
A young man finds his place in a rapidly changing galactic society.

Rafi Delarua is the nephew of Grace from The Best of All Possible Worlds (he appeared briefly in that book). He's a powerful coercive telepath, like his father was, but he's nothing like his father. At the beginning of the book he's a resident of the Lyceum, a combination school/prison/hospital for kids with psionic powers. The predominantly anti-psi Cygnan society place people there whose powers are either dangerous or difficult
Mar 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
A quiet 4 stars. I spent a lot of this book mildly confused but also happy to be back into the elaborate universe Lord has constructed. The book lacked the compelling characters of the previous, but retained the fascinating social structures.
Mar 14, 2014 rated it liked it
The Galaxy Game is not a traditional sequel. It’s set in the same world as The Best of All Possible Worlds and a thread of that story continues in Karen Lord’s newest novel. But the focus this time is on Grace Delarua’s nephew, Rafi.

For years, Rafi watched his family suffer abuse at the psionic hands of his father, delivered via psionic abilities that are not only rare, but not very well understood. When Rafi exhibits similar psionic capabilities, he’s remanded to a special school where the secr
Received to review via Netgalley

100 pages into this, I ended up giving up, at least for now. I enjoyed The Best of All Possible Worlds, and thought I remembered it quite well, and yet all the interplay of characters and cultures felt confusing here. It features a minor character from The Best of All Possible Worlds as the main character, so you wouldn’t think it, but to be honest I am wondering if it’s best to read this straight after the first, so that all the societal details are at your finge
Mar 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fab-16, woc-16, to-re-read
Oh the joy of being in the arms of a writer who can truly write – the delight of well-crafted sentences and well-chosen words. I love her ability to tell a meandering, almost mundane, yet mysterious tale of a journey towards adulthood. This layered tale is simultaneously one of coming-to-age, of discovering, through lots of trial and error, one’s vocation, yet also an-oh-so-subtle tale of gender with hints of the effects of inequity, and also a straight science-fiction tale of traveling technolo ...more
Oct 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I actually struggled on whether to give this one two or three stars, but I settled on three since there is a lot of interesting world building going on and the writing is generally good.

I enjoyed "The Best of All Possible Worlds", Lord's previous novel set in this universe, and so I had high hopes that "The Galaxy Game" would expand on the rather interesting universe she was developing. It both does and does not accomplish this. There are a lot of intriguing plot threads teased, but somehow the
Nov 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
The Best of All Possible Worlds was one of my favorite books that year, so when I got a chance for an ARC of this book I jumped at it. Unfortunately this book is nowhere near as good as that one, almost completely due to poor writing choices.

The book is in third person, except one viewpoint which is in first person. That character is not the main character however, and had a jarringly different tone from the rest of the book, and became horribly distracting. The book simultaneously gives you to
Feb 15, 2015 rated it liked it
...There is a great deal of background to this galaxy. A history that, despite all the things Lord has put into these two novels, is not yet fully revealed. There are a few hints in the novel that the situation on Earth might be explored further for instance. Given what we've learned of it so far that would certainly be interesting but it is but one of many possibilities. Lord has created a universe that allows many more directions for good stories. In this novel, she doesn't quite manage to fin ...more
Andrea McDowell
Mar 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
So there is this boy named Rafi. He lives on a planet. The name of the planet is immaterial. He attends a school for the psionically gifted. What his gift is, why he is there, what they learn, is never made clear. They make him wear a cap. What is a cap? Why is he being forced to wear it? Why is it giving him nightmares? No idea.

His father disappeared at some point in the past. There are hints that his father used his psi gifts dishonestly, but this is not elaborated on. When did his father disa
 Charlie - A Reading Machine
Unfortunately this book was not for me.

I was excited about the premise and thought the idea of someone translating a parkor/wall running style competition from brain to page an appealing one but it did not pan out.

Fairly early on in the reading I found myself unable to visualise the action taking place or the layout of the game zone. I’ve a decent imagination and even though I had no idea what the Battle Room in Enders game would look like until it was impressively brought to life on screen, I
Feb 22, 2015 rated it did not like it
I went back and forth between one and two stars, but it came down to not liking the book. First, I read lots of fantasy and science fiction, so I'm used to unusual names. However, this book took the naming conventions to such a level that I couldn't fathom attempting pronunciation, in my head, so it took me approximately 150 pages before I really began to realize who was who. This was not helped by abruptly changing from viewpoint to viewpoint in first person narrative. It sometime took me pages ...more
Something I want to get out of the way right from the start: while it’s not stated anywhere on the book’s cover, The Galaxy Game is the sequel to The Best of All Possible Worlds. I very much wish this had been made more clear from the onset, not for me (as I’ve read Worlds) but for any unsuspecting readers who haven’t. The book takes place in the same fictional universe, a few years after the conclusion of the first novel. More significantly, several major and minor characters return in roles of ...more
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
This is one of those books that has a great concept, a great idea, that is also poorly executed. There are way to many characters that add nothing to the story and while the book is relatively short, it could have even been half the length and lost nothing in the story. A great world concept where nothing happens. The plot tires to be intricate but is actually quite simple, but because it tries to be intricate it leads itself to some confusing and murky waters at times. Disappointing as the syno ...more
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf
I want to like this book, and want to like the author. But both the story and the writing are flawed. The prose was almost incomprehensible when the author was trying to set the scene. I couldn't understand what was going on in the prologue until I went back after finishing the book. And when Serendipity was introduced, I couldn't even tell whether it was a person or a town or a concept. There were discontinuities and inconsistencies. For example, when the Patrona was introduced, it was inapprop ...more
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
If you have read and enjoyed Lord’s The Best of All Possible Worlds, then you should be eager to read her new The Galaxy Game. If you haven’t read her previous novel set in the same universe as this one, then you should go and read The Best of All Possible Worlds. I wish I had, and despite the flaws I see in The Galaxy Game, I’ll starting back at her earlier work and eventually rereading this one again with a bit more familiarity under the belt to guide/support me as a reader.

The Galaxy Game pre
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
A wonderful book that reads like the hidden currents of a deep river, seemingly placid but with breathless moments of pace that enthralls the reader.
March thoughts:
I did not care for this novel, but I did try to. Typically, if I’m not enjoying a book, I’ll give up on after 50 or so pages. Why continue reading a book, when I’ve got dozens, okay, hundreds, on my to be read lists? This time I finished it, maybe since I was forcing myself to read it I liked it even less. Rafi, the main character, plays a team sport, that is tied to his telepathy and piloting space ships between worlds. Or I think it does, I was confused about what was going in t
Dec 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
Does every book need to follow the typical story structure? Protagonist vs antagonist. A hook, building action, climax, resolution. Some sort of conflict or struggle that ultimately ends in growth or death. These are the types of things I expect in genre fiction. Don't expect any of these going into The Galaxy Game.

The Galaxy Game is about three friends: Rafi, Ntenman, and Serendipity. They all live at the Lyceum, a sort of boarding school for the psi-gifted, and they are all aliens. Or maybe th
Samantha (AK)
Jul 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Well, I should probably start by saying that there is a lot going on in this book, and at times that is to its detriment.

You won't find it anywhere on the promotional material, but The Galaxy Game is a loose sequel to Lord's previous work, The Best of All Possible Worlds. While it can be read on its own, some knowledge of Worlds will probably be helpful to the reader, as characters and themes reappear.

Now down to the nitty-gritty.

Things that I Liked:
I am so, so happy to see the results of events
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
My Thoughts

Rafi has been sent to the Lyceum, a school for young people with psi powers. There his skills will be assessed to determine just what they are and whether he has the appropriate discipline and control to avoid being a danger to others. If Rafi had lived on a planet other than Cygnus Beta, there'd probably be no concern at all, but on his planet, there are few psionically gifted people.

As soon as he can, Rafi removes himself from the school—and from his planet. He travels with fellow c
Aug 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
My love for the previous book, The Best of All Possible Worlds, prompted me to pick this up the moment I could. I enjoyed the up close and personal feel the book gave me, while it quietly detailed the struggles of a few survivors of a horrific planetary genocide.

Now, the Sadiri people have settled in and a lot of politics come into play. A lot of politics that made this book a significant struggle for me. The machinations seem to be leading somewhere interesting, but never quite solidify into a
Oct 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, ebook, sci-fi
The Galaxy Game by Karen Lord is a fascinating book about culture, politics, fear and a game that illustrates the intersection of all of these things. This is a well-defined and complicated galaxy. The interactions between the various worlds and the cultures that sprang from them are not easy to digest and the story requires a close rather than a casual reading.

The story centers primarily around Rafi, a psionically gifted student whose abilities are viewed variously as something to be exploited
Wayne McCoy
Sep 15, 2014 rated it liked it
'The Galaxy Game' by Karen Lord is a follow up set in the same universe as her novel 'The Best Of All Possible Worlds.' I liked that other novel a bit more than this one and found this one a bit confusing to get in to.

The main character this time around is Rafi Delarua who has psionic powers. He is being watched by his planet's government, so he escapes to the planet Punartam. Which is lucky because they have his favorite sport there, wallrunning. He soon learns that this society has weird rules
Dec 15, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, lemmed
Disclaimer: I received this book as an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

I really wanted to like this book -- I've always enjoyed my space opera with a side of political intrigue before. The Galaxy Game follows one teenage boy, Rafi, as he escapes government investigation for his psychic powers, travels to another planet, and tries to play his favorite game (wall running) with the elites.

But... I couldn't finish this book.

I spent the first 15% of this book confused -- so many
Mar 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf, space-opera
This is a damn good book and I can't wait to read more by Karen Lord.

It is not easy to read though. Karen Lord is so deeply immersed in her own world that it's often hard to figure out what the hell is going on. Many things about her universe only become clear after you have read the book mostly through. This is not a bad thing in itself but I found myself losing the plot for sheer lack of understanding. I should reread the book right after I finish it, and I would, if there weren't so many othe
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2015 Reading Chal...: The Galaxy Game by Karen Lord 2 15 Jan 28, 2015 12:12AM  

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