Book Review: Game Theory by Barry Jonsberg

Game Theory
Author: Barry Johnsberg
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Published: 25th May 2016
Pages: 320 pages
R.R.P: $19.99
Game Theory has brought me to this point and I must follow where it leads. Even though this is not a game.

Jamie's is a sixteen-year-old maths whiz. Summerlee, his older sister, is in the grip of a wild phase. Tensions at home run high. When Summerlee wins a 7.5 million-dollar lottery, she cuts all ties with her family. But money can cause trouble- big trouble. And when Jamie's younger sister Pheobe is kidnapped for a ransom, the family faces a crisis almost too painful to bear.

Jamie thinks he can use game theory- the strategy of predicting an opponent's actions- to get Phoebe back. But can he outfox the kidnapper? Or is he putting his own and his sister's life at risk?

My review
Though on the book: Game Theory, I suppose of you knew what Game Theory was you would know what this book was going to be about and why the author chose to name the book so. Unfortunately I had never heard of Game Theory before receiving this for review so didn't really know what I was in for besides how Game Theory is explained on the back cover:
Game Theory- the strategy of predicting an opponent's actions
Maybe is was because I didn't really know what it was all about (and much to your dismay I'm sure, still don't) that it took me until a couple of chapters into Part 1 before I really starting getting into the story and enjoying what was happening. But once I did I had to keep on reading as I wanted to know who the kidnapper was and why they did it, whether it was because of the money, for revenge or some other exciting reason. 

The main character Jamie is very easy to love. You can see yourself being friends with him because he is just so awkward but is also your very smart geek, who loves his maths and little sister very much (not the older one as much though) and tells it like it is basically in the story. He leads a very ordinary life until his older sister turns 18. Suddenly, thanks to his winning numbers that he gave her but of course she denies this, she wins the lottery and his whole life changes. Once Summerlee recieved the money she basically goes off the rails and basically disowns her family. That is until one day while out picking up a few things with Jamie, their younger sister Phoebe is mysteriously taken from the local supermarket while going to the deli section to get four salmon fillets. Jamie feels the guilt of it all because Phoebe was in his charge, even though they normally go to the supermarket together and he goes and gets one thing and Phoebe gets another. So Jamie decided that he is going to take matters into his own hands and deal with the kidnapper himself. He tells the police only parts of the information he recieves and devises his own plan to bring Phoebe back.

I loved how Jamie thought methodically about everything. In his eyes everyone could be the kidnapper, his teacher, his best friend, his own family, the little old lady down the road,no one is safe in his eyes and this is why I believe I never picked the kidnapper. I thought for ages that it was a certain person (I don't want to give it away) because of certain "clues" I thought I was being given but I was completely wrong. The author has done an amazing job of hiding who the kidnapper is. I will say though that I felt the ending, when the kidnapper is revealed, to be a bit rushed. We get this great big amazing middle part where we are being told every detail in great detail and then the ending, when we find out who it is, is 39 pages long. I would have liked s bit more background information as to why he chose to do it now and not later and would have liked to have a bit more of an ending than the way, I felt, it suddenly stopped.

Rating: 4/5